We are sorry to announce to the vegan animal rights activists who spent so much time targeting Wild Abundance [“Vegan Activists Rally Against Local Permaculture School” Xpress online post, Nov. 23] that your attempts have had absolutely zero impact on how we view the ethical nature of our Humane Slaughtering and Butchering class. We believe in what we do, and we have no apologies for you.
Despite all the overzealous verbal abuse, threats to our safety and consistent harassment, the class took place this year and was really empowering and satisfying for everyone involved! Furthermore, as it is an annual class that we have done for several years now, we certainly plan to host it again next year.
This is not because we want to offend animal rights activists or get some sick enjoyment from killing farm animals. It is because we believe that sharing the knowledge and life-ways of our ancestors with interested folks, who want to learn the skills to partake in a deep and intimate experience with the web of life, is an empowering process and deserves to have a place in the world. That’s why at Wild Abundance, we share all these ancient and sacred skills in regard to animal and plant food systems, a variety of natural shelters, wildcrafting and herbalism, buckskin leather clothing and more!
I hope that the Let Live “Coalition” will offer us an official apology for the responsibility they bear in creating a mob mentality that they have no control over! We have been consistently phoned/emailed and called extremely offensive names. We have been compared to Nazis and serial killers. We were sent a sexually explicit picture and message in an email. We have had death threats to “slit our throats” and vague threats that “bad things might happen to us if we went through with the class.”
Our neighbors have been bothered, and our peaceful rural community has been concerned. The local Baptist church near our home was very offended when protesters posted on the internet they were planning on meeting there, without having the courtesy to check in with the church first. We even had to talk down the sweet old-time locals from wanting to come to our house with shotguns to keep us safe from the potential vegan extremists. For real, people: This is all so petty and ridiculous! Like Trump rallying up the mob who he has no control over, you really need to claim responsibility and consider what happens when you run a sloppy attack campaign that stirs people up!
We are not opening a factory farm here, folks! We humanely slaughtered two sheep and made use of every part of the animal. People are going to eat meat, and sorry to say this, but get over it! I applaud those omnivores who want to take the full responsibility of meat eating into their own hands!
Please think about this: The very nature of your argument is so culturally narrow. Traditional and indigenous cultures all over the world consume animals. The idea that a group of largely middle-class, educated, young, white vegans can make a philosophically self-righteous claim that all omnivores are doing something immoral — come on! Next year, please leave us alone, and go focus your time on issues that matter like racist police brutality, factory farms, gentrification, climate change, etc.
Looking forward to an apology,
— Frank Salzano
Wild Abundance instructor
Editor’s note: A response from the Let Live Coalition appears in the letter, “Let Live Coalition Responds” in this issue.