Letter writer: Brother Wolf is asking the right questions

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I commend the letter by Michelle Neff, “Asheville Lucky to Have Brother Wolf” [Xpress, Nov. 9], which details the many ways in which Brother Wolf Animal Rescue helps animals in need, whether through emergency relief, adoption, food assistance or health care.

My own volunteer experience with Brother Wolf is with its Asheville Vegan Outreach program, ably directed by Rowdy Keelor [Spreading the Word: Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Launches Asheville Vegan Outreach Initiative” by Hannah Sentenac,  Xpress, April 20]. For me it is this more recent extension of its programming and service that brings Brother Wolf into wholeness.

Why vegan advocacy in an organization focused on saving companion animals, you might ask? It’s a no-brainer when you do the math. Why accomplish heroic pursuits of animal rescue and be the largest no-kill shelter in the state and then exploit another population of animals? It’s simply hypocritical.

Of course there are other reasons to be vegan, as Mr. Keelor writes eloquently in “How Food Can Preserve the Future of Our Forests” (Blue Ridge Outdoors, Nov. 8; http://avl.mx/379). In that piece, he notes provocatively: “In the age of information, most of us have the choice to be informed or to be ignorant. Most of us have the choice to act or to spectate. And we all have the choice to care or to be indifferent. Which will we choose?”

And so, Asheville Vegan Outreach nudges folks here and across the state toward the compassionate choice by informing, advising, and even teaching how to eat and live healthy and humanely. Their commitment is to “uncompromised compassion”!

In the article, Keelor describes his shock “when I began to understand the magnitude of the [environmental] destruction caused by animal agriculture. But I was also excited. So rarely are we as individuals given such an opportunity to make such a meaningful difference. By choosing not to consume animal products, we are making one of the most impactful and revolutionary choices of our time.”

To this I personally would add, one of the most “evolutionary” choices of our time!

He concludes with yet another question: “In the age of information, we know what the production of animal products is doing to the earth, to human health and to the trillions of animals who die every year to be consumed. We know and we can’t unknow. So then we are left with a decision, to act or not to act. Which will we choose?”

— Cynthia Sampson


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22 thoughts on “Letter writer: Brother Wolf is asking the right questions

  1. Huhsure

    For those not inclined to abstain entirely from meat, they don’t have to. Sure, it’d be wonderful if they did, but the act of simply cutting down their serving size, or their number of servings a week is still meaningful action, derived from an understanding that each of us can act to the best of our abilities and still have a meaningful role to play in affecting our enviornment and the lives of its residents.

  2. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    Vegans haven’t yet adequately or convincingly explained how raising farm animals is exploiting them. But let’s ignore the death part for the moment and only focus on eggs and dairy. Now ignoring the strawman of industrial production, how are cows and chickens being exploited for producing these nutritious foods they provide? In exchange for these benefits they provide, they are receiving lives and care they would not normally have. It’s like saying that a landlord exploits a tenant for charging rent. And for vegans to be logically consistent, they would also have to say that raising dogs and cats is exploiting them for the emotional, and other, benefits (protection, catching mice, etc) they provide.

    • luther blissett

      “Now ignoring the strawman of industrial production”

      See, you don’t get to do that, because it’s not a strawman. So, ignoring your BS, what’s your point?

      • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

        My point is that industrial production to a large degree is cruel. However, billions upon billions of chickens and cows are humanely raised for eggs and milk. So it’s a strawman to make the blanket claim that raising all livetstock for these purposes is inhumane exploitation using industrial production as a proof case.

        • Huhsure

          Considering 80% of “humanely raised” and “sustainably farmed” claims can’t be verified, I call BS on your premise, snowflake. Try again.


          “Of the claims investigated by AWI, only two of the USDA-approved claims were found to be verifiable by more than just the producer, but more than 80 percent of the label claims ‘were backed by no supporting evidence whatsoever,’ the group explains. ‘This lack of government oversight allows for the use of deceptive labels,’ which is causing widespread confusion among consumers, as well as jeopardizing ‘higher-welfare farmers’ who work hard to live up to those claims.”

          • Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

            What the hell does this BS mean? Good grief. You google something and try act like you know what you’re talking about. When I said billions upon billions, I was referring to the WORLD. Most of the world’s livestock production is done by millions upon millions of individuals and not by corporations.

          • huhsure

            That’s not what millions of millions of individuals do. To pretend that there are any basic standards for farm animal treatment around much of the world is just patently absurd.

            But see my comment below. The gravest environmental threat is the sheer # of animals we raise for food.

            And dude, if you’re having trouble parsing, perhaps some remedial work would be beneficial at this point.

          • huhsure

            You’re sounding stressed. Go see a movie. Except not Star Wars, cuz, you know, it’s leftist propaganda.

  3. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    “We know and we can’t unknow. So then we are left with a decision, to act or not to act. Which will we choose?””

    I’ll have a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, thank you. IMO, the only thing that these kinds of arguments produce is pious, self-righteousness.

    • Huhsure

      “IMO, the only thing that these kinds of arguments produce is pious self-righteousness.”

      Of which you seem to have found an infinite supply.

  4. Snowflake (Social Justice Worrier)

    “[environmental] destruction caused by animal agriculture”

    How do cows and chickens raised by non-industrial farmers and individuals cause environmental destruction? That field you see while driving down the road would cause much more environmental disruption if it were plowed for crops than simply being mowed twice a year for hay. The chicken and cow poop you spread on your garden is much less environmentally disruptive than using chemical fertilizers derived from oil.

    • Huhsure

      It’s called math. It’s not the way the cows are raised that is the cause of the methane, it’s the number. It doesn’t matter if they’re raised in a factory farm or on a field, the fact is that the sheer # of animals that we raise for meat is responsible for a significant portion of methane emissions (which are more onerous for the climate than CO2).

      That is why any effort to cut down the # of servings of meat you eat, or the size of those servings, can, in aggregate, have an impact on methane emissions.

  5. NFB

    Asheville is supposed to be a progressive city so why do we praise a non-profit that glorifies and condones the patriarchy with a name like “Brother” Wolf? We should refuse any support of this organization until it changes it’s name to Sister Wolf, or at the very least Sibling Wolf.

  6. Brother Wolf will learn a hard lesson here. Adding one mission to another, in which there is not significant overlap will damage the core mission. Members/contributors will not be added but will be lost. I, for one, am out due to this change in focus.

    • Big Al

      Funny how inclusion and tolerance go out the window when contributors and supporters are found to have the wrong politics. The implication now is that only vegetarians are acceptable to contribute, support and adopt from Brother Wolf.

        • The Real World

          It really seems that ALOT of people have just lost their minds in the last few years.

          The Kellogg’s Company and now the CEO of Pepsi have really stuck their necks out politically. And those offended by their discriminatory actions and words are in quite the mood to boycott the products of those companies. And they are. Target earnings and stock price got quite a beat-down last Summer for the same reason.

          If I was on the Board or a major shareholder of one of those companies, the CEO would be getting an earful from me about sticking to BUSINESS matters. Leave the slime of politics to the politicians and the corrupt media.

          Brother Wolf appears inclined to travel the same ill-considered road. I agree that they will likely pay a price and achieve little to nothing positive from it.

  7. boatrocker

    Bravo Cynthia- you get a LTE with the title referencing Brother Wolf, and animal adoption agency.

    Then you turn your LTE into a stump speech for vegan cultists.

    Too bad your PETA puppet masters would have you believe humans should not adopt domesticated pets. Rather they would have us all deliver all domesticated animals to their Richmond VA headquarters to be euthanized. Please contact PETA and ask how much money they spend on adoption options and what % of animals they adopt are euthanized if your don’t believe me. Right there on their website.

    Brother Wolf may do a good job of adopting out animals that need homes, but their addiction to wide eyed vegan cultist beliefs will put their organization in the ‘dog house’ soon enough. Prepare for ‘ruff’ times ahead in terms of community support. Perhaps Brother Wolf needs to take a ‘paws’ to remember their first goal should be the adoption of animals.

    • Many of the animals PETA takes in have been brought to them by desperate people who can’t afford euthanasia for their elderly, dying, suffering cat or dog. PETA operates a shelter of last resort for animals who need euthanasia to end their suffering (many of whom have been rejected by “no-kill” shelters). This includes dogs who are aggressive and unadoptable because they have been kept chained their entire lives; feral cats dying of contagious diseases; animals who are wracked with cancer; elderly animals who have no quality of life; and the list goes on. Please watch this short video to see some of the animals PETA has helped in its community: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3AxNgrU51o.

      • boatrocker

        Uh huh. PETA seems to have no problem murdering those animals, yet killing a deer in the woods with minimal suffering (bang) via, you know, hunting in order to feed your family is evil.
        Got it.

  8. JoeBob

    Google “The Least Harm Principle Suggests that Humans Should Eat Beef, Lamb, Dairy, not a Vegan Diet” for a global point of view

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