“I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one, but I give myself to it.” So wrote German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, in words perhaps echoed by Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, who each advocated enlarging our “circle of compassion.”
For me that “widening circle” includes the entire community of life. That’s why I simply cannot eat the flesh, mother’s milk or ova (eggs) of tender, caring, intelligent creatures. And I’m not alone. Veganism — a diet free of animal products — is exploding in the United States and abroad. (The most vegan country in the world as a percentage of the population is Israel!)
Vegan grocery-store chains, restaurants, new food products galore, even a vegan “butcher shop” (!) are opening across the U.S. and Europe. And who is the driving forces? Millennials. Young adults in the prime of their lives.
That is the future we’re moving into — an evolutionary leap into healthy, compassionate “wining and dining” (beer, too!). The idea of a slaughterhouse producing “artisan meats” is laughable — or rather painfully “cry-able” [“The Art of Butchery: An Ancient Craft is Reborn in Asheville’s Food Scene,” July 15, Xpress]. It is so not Asheville, which on a per-capita basis may well be the most cruelty-free, vegan city in the world. Let’s stop this deadly notion of “artisan” killing in its tracks!
— Cynthia Sampson