Letter: ‘Inconsiderate protest’ accomplished goal

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Chris Carter’s letter titled “An Inconsiderate Protest” [Aug. 22, Xpress] regarding the small assembly of activists in a Biltmore Village restaurant during Charles Lee’s “whole hog butchery” cuisine highlights exactly why disruptive tactics are needed in the animal rights movement in the first place. If he had any knowledge of social justice movements, he would understand that most successful ones have used these forms of protest. What about the sit-ins of the civil rights movement? You will probably say this was a worthier cause, because by now our society accepts it as such and merits their courage and their bravery. But these activists were criticized in their day and labeled as extreme, rude and even inconsiderate.

Who are we to tell someone the time, place and manner to speak up about oppression? And what better place than right where it is happening. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from a Birmingham jail, “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.”

As one of the protesters that day, I can say that we had no intention that the patrons of that restaurant would suddenly put down their fork and say, “You’re right.” We believe when your personal choice involves a victim, it should no longer be your choice. We also believe the violence toward animals and our planet that animal products produce is inconsiderate. All of the activists there that night are also involved in activism that is intended to engage in conversations on the streets or fight for legislative change, but this was a different strategy intended to force people choosing to ignore violence to think about it and open dialogue. The fact that Mr. Carter went home and continued to think about our bold action, then took the time to write a letter about it proves that we accomplished our goal.

— Sarah Windle


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21 thoughts on “Letter: ‘Inconsiderate protest’ accomplished goal

  1. think critically

    What a beautiful and thought-provoking letter. I offer the quote below to further make Ms. Windle’s point:

    “It is easy for us to criticize the prejudices of our grandfathers, from which our fathers freed themselves. It is more difficult to distance ourselves from our own views, so that we can dispassionately search for prejudices among the beliefs and values we hold.”

    Peter Singer

  2. Stan Hawkins

    Nice try; as my granddaddy used to say; HOGWASH!!!

    Gee honey, that roast sure was tasty tonite!

  3. SpareChange

    Being publicly dismissed by the original letter writer as simply, “obnoxious and inconsiderate,” and then convincing oneself that this reaction is actually the proof of having accomplished one’s goal, requires a pretty deep dive into an alternative political reality bubble. The worst trap one can fall into when it comes to any kind of direct action political organizing is to become predictable and merely annoying. That threshold has been crossed.

  4. think critically

    “If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the Civil War, don’t look at where you stand on slavery today. Look at where you stand on animal rights.” Captain Paul Watson, founder, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

    • Lulz

      LOL let’s associate meat eating with slavery lulz. And the lunacy continues.

      Problem with these protesters and left wing loons as a whole is they protest people and places that they know won’t bite back. Sure, they can go into posh Biltmore Village where they know they’ll be merely looked at. They’re cowards really. And as far as these “intellectuals” with their quotes, they’re weaklings with big mouths, And have no guts to sacrifice. But they pass judgement.

    • Stan Hawkins

      So, using your logic and your quotes, we are supposed to “dispassionately think critically “ whilst we have someone “in our face” whilst we’re attempting a moment of peace with family (including minors) and a meal? Hmmm?

      Your comment on the Civil War truly is a mind bender, seemingly equivocating animal rights with human rights? By your logic, if I have a Rhino, Big Grizzly, Rabid Dog, and Hungry Mountain Lion stampeding in the direction of my herd of cattle, whilst I have a loaded 30.06 in my hands, I am supposed to “dispassionately think critically“ about how I will feel after they peel the bones of my cattle.

      Thomas More warned of such nonsense many centuries ago.

  5. james

    Oppression? Quotes from MLK? I think you are self-aggrandizing, ma’am.
    You compare (indirectly, but recognizably) your actions to those undertaken by civil rights activists. I think perhaps your ideas and tactics are more closely aligned with those of the evangelically-based Temperance Movement (advocating abstinence from alcohol)–vocally imposing your own beliefs upon anyone within earshot whether they are guilty of your self-defined crime or not.

  6. John the Conqueror

    Why don’t you take your protests to some third world country where people are protein deficient? I’m sure they’ll all agree with you that they shouldn’t be eating meat.

    • Lulz

      Rich white people problems. These buffoons that think they have the answers lack any awareness.

  7. Just an average Joe

    I wasn’t there during the protest, but have been disturbed by inconsiderate folks like you at other restaurants. I understand you and the others are passionate about the subject, but alienating the people that would generally be on your side, will get you nowhere. The only ones who appreciate your tactics are the ones that are willing to participate in them.

    As a result, of the “bold action”, I will still love animals, I will still fight animal abuse, and I will certainly still eat meat. Nothing changing there, but since you work for Brother Wolf, my protest will be that I won’t be volunteering or donating to them any longer.

    Was that the “open dialog” you were looking for? If so, goal accomplished.

  8. Fascinated Onlooker

    Have you ever thought of all the times you’ve heard someone say “I won’t eat anything with a face” (or some such equivalent) and then wondered how many of those people were also zealous supporters of abortion?

  9. think critically

    “The denial of rights to other animals by humans (speciesism) is analogous to the denial of rights to lesbians and gay men by heterosexuals (heterosexism). Both these forms of oppression derive from a prejudiced and chauvinistic mentality which devalues ‘difference’ and ‘otherness.’ Likewise, animals deserve rights for much the same reason that lesbians and gay men deserve rights. All human and non-human animals have a shared capacity for feelings. This recognition gives society the moral obligation to confer the right to be spared physical and psychological suffering on all animals, irrespective of their species, race, sex, class, disability or sexual orientation.” Peter Tatchell, cofounder of ACT-UP London and OutRage

    • Stan Hawkins

      So again, using your logic – the denial of my rights to express my diet freely by jumping in my face during dinner out would be analogous to “diet-anti-free choice ism.” We sure have a lot of “isms” in this thread, having trouble keeping up. How come violating my rights to a peaceful dinner out are not considered oppression?

      You of course are free to equivocate such “hetero” bashing with your primary point, just as I am free to ignore that and bring the topic back to why is not my freedom to have a peaceful dinner just as important as your freedom to protest freely downtown on Pack Square?

      If my dog, my cat, my rabbit, and my daughter are all crossing the road in front of a Mack Trucking speeding down the hill with my daughter the furthest away from me, with only seconds to spare to save one species, should I sacrifice my daughter to save that rabbit? Is that what you mean by “speciesism?” If so, may I ask who is teaching such nonsense?

  10. Bright

    Was this Windle person’s letter put in the paper to generate entertainment? If so, mission accomplished. Rich white people problem…as usual.

  11. J Harris

    This type of “protest” may bolster the ego of the participants, but it is likely more people are alienated, than are convinced by their tactics.

    As I again seek adopt a dog, this Brother Wolf associate has convinced me to look elsewhere.

    • Big Al

      The new philosophy of Brother Wolf is that people who eat meat are at best inferior beings (and should be discriminated against as such when considering employing them or considering them as volunteers) and at worst are criminals and murderers.


      There are plenty of deserving animals needing adoption at the county shelter and no one there will accuse you of murder or discriminate against you for having a cheeseburger.

      • B.E. Vickroy

        To all the SHAMELESS meat-eaters on this thread … a mind-altering [and belly-busting] video by JP Sears “”If Meat-eaters acted like Vegans””
        https://youtu.be/3-42U4JBYOM this guy has sanctimonious double-speak down!
        ‘That salad is totally grossing me out’ ‘I’m going to the meatstock flesh festival, are YOU going?’ ‘It’s not that vegetable eaters are bad people ….it’s just that they are terrible people’ ‘I could never eat plants that are raised in crowded farms…. stuck in the soil against their will’

  12. think critically

    Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to humankind.
    –Albert Schweitzer

    • B.E. Vickroy

      Albert Schweitzer —
      American journalist John Gunther visited Lambaréné in the 1950s and reported Schweitzer’s patronizing attitude towards Africans. He also noted the lack of Africans trained to be skilled workers. By comparison, his contemporary Sir Albert Ccook in Uganda had been training nurses and midwives since the 1910s and had published a manual of midwifery in the local language of Luganda. After three decades in Africa, Schweitzer still depended on Europe for nurse. Journalist James Cameron visited Lambaréné in 1953 (when Schweitzer was 78) and found significant flaws in the practices and attitudes of Schweitzer and his staff. The hospital suffered from squalor and was without modern amenities, and Schweitzer had little contact with the local people. Cameron did not make public what he had seen at the time: he made the unusual journalistic decision to withhold the story, and resisted the expressed wish of his employers to publish an exposé.

      The poor conditions of the hospital in Lambaréné were also famously criticized by Nigerian professor and novelist Chinua Achebe “In a comment which has often been quoted Schweitzer says: ‘The African is indeed my brother but my junior brother.’ And so he proceeded to build a hospital appropriate to the needs of junior brothers with standards of hygiene reminiscent of medical practice in the days before the germ theory of disease came into being.

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