I am a responsible, mature (73) vegan. I am one of those protesting Wild Abundance. If I had any aggressive friends threatening Mr. [Frank] Salzano I would, as he suggested, try to calm them down [“Stop Threats Against Local Sustainability School,” Oct. 18, Xpress]. Not only do I personally feel it is wrong, it reflects badly on the vegan movement.
But I don’t know any, and I do not believe the threats came from local activists. While there are outliers in any movement — violence in the anti-abortion movement is an example — I find it odd that Mr. Salzano is receiving so much attention from one. Is it possible he has angered someone else? … Who is using vegans as a cover to harass Mr. Salzano?
Mr. Salzano’s phone records would have the number from which the calls were made. Has he filed a complaint with the police so they can follow up? If not, why? Do we know anything about the phone calls other than what Mr. Salzano has told us?
Much of Mr. Salzano’s letter reads like an advertisement for his $500-per-enrollee business. Perhaps Mr. Salzano’s real concern is bad publicity, not threats to his family.
The local vegans have nothing to gain personally from their protest. In fact, as they pay for supplies out of their own pockets, it costs them money. I’m proud to be associated with them.
— Lynda Cozart
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Salzano about several points raised in the above letter. His response:
Wow, your letter hurts. I am sorry that you could imagine a reality where the needs of our safety is less of a concern to us than misdirected “bad publicity.”
Please understand, this is not “bad publicity.” It’s scary. Like last year, the silver lining in the cloud of vegan harassment is that the WNC community across a wide spectrum has been very supportive and protective of us. Activists, local old-timers, vegetarians, indigenous folk, local media, former students and random strangers have all been vocal and caring. Thank you!
Yes, like last year, we have contacted the police and are considering contacting the FBI because animal rights extremists are considered “domestic terrorists.” …
Please accept that the class will happen. The price is actually a sliding scale; we offer scholarships for our programs, and all the profit from this class will be donated to the nonprofit Earthjustice.
Please leave us alone and shift your energy to attacking large corporations, not a respectable local school and family.