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Animal Pain Hurts: The Ghosts In Our Machine

This feature-length documentary challenges deep-seated cultural practices about how we annually brutally mistreat billions upon billions of animals who are caught in the web of so-called "civilized society" as if they don't care about what happens to them. The fact is they do care about how they're treated and we should too. It's time to stop the heinous war with animals. Read More

My Recent Letter to 4-H program coordinator at UNH

Dear Miss Royce,

I read in the local paper that , as UNH 4-H Program Coordinator, you are looking
for re-enrollment. The Albany Town Column piece mentions participation in many
activities relating to raising animals that I assume, will eventually be
slaughtered. It mentions entrances in beef, steer, and goat shows at local

It also mentions participation in building robots that help clean up oil spills,
a noble intent as our environment becomes more in crisis by the day, largely
from the methane, Co2, and other contaminants released by the largest polluting
sector of the global economy, animal agriculture (see links below).

The H's in 4-H, stand for, as we know, "Head, Heart, Hands, and Health."
Growing evidence points to animal product consumption in every chronic and
preventable , diet related disease. Saturated animal fat is the biggest
contributor to heart disease, according to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., a fourth
generation Cardiologist, who wrote, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and whose
son, Rip Esselstyn, a Texas Fire Fighter, wrote, The Engine 2 Diet. The
father/son duo promote prevention and reversal of heart disease, through
educating students, teachers, and community members about the incalculable
health benefits of getting animal fat and cholesterol, along with concentrated
animal protein, off our plates.

Dr. Esselstyn speaks around the country and can be seen on you tube,

There are many other medical doctors who are having great success helping people
reduce and eliminate medications, symptoms that make them feel lousy, by
educating them on the benefits of eating whole, plant based nutrition, void of
animal based, high fat, high acid, low fiber, low nutrient food.
The documentary, "Forks Over Knives," which has been in circulation for several
years now, as well as "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, conclude overwhelmingly, that
the current animal based diet IS killing Americans. Our hearts are negatively
affected, our heads (brains and arteries leading to )get saturated with grease,
a major contributor to stroke and dementia like problems,our hands cease to
function as Arthritis is a major symptom of human allergies to animal products
that cause joints to become inflamed, and our hands become pill popping
machines, pills prescribed by doctors with only a few hours of nutrition
training. Pills with , as we hear and read in ads, horrific, even lethal side
affects. 4-H has taken on new meaning since its first inception long ago.

Future efforts to encourage animal raising and consuming, is clearly a detriment
to all aspects of health for humans, the environment, and, as this link shows,
is horror to animals being raised for food.

Lastly, but of equal concern, is the emotional trauma, perhaps unspoken, that
children endure when their beloved animal is taken away to be butchered. I've
had personal discussions with adults that tell me of the absolute horror they
went through, seeing thier animal that had become their trusted pet, struggling,
screaming, while having her/his throat slit, blood everywhere. The story of
Attorney Jim Mason, as a child on his family farm, confirms that children, who
have an innate bond with animals, are as betrayed as the trusting creatures. His story is here.

I to, as an adult, am horrified that our culture claims to be civilized, while
we accept the most egregious animal cruelty in meat, dairy, egg, poultry and
fish production. It appears our moral and emotional schizophrenia has symptoms
that for many years, have gone unexplained. Today, with animal agriculture the
largest threat to our health and environment, I pray we can look at healthier
missions that encourage empathy, kindness, and non-violence to animals, that
like cruelty and violence accepted towards some, while protecting others by law,
can benefit a culture in dire need of change.

I look forward to your response. Please feel free to share my comments.

"One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or
torture an animal and get away with it." -Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Laura Slitt

Reply to comment | Psychology Today

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Once again I agree with

Once again I agree with everything Marc has to say save one. That is the saving only of sentient beings. Who are we to say what is self aware and what is not? So, I would propose that we save all living things from destruction. No more harvesting of the oceans. No more industrial cattle ranches. No more cutting down of the forests. No more pets. Animals must be considered equal to us. No more infiltration of man into this world.

I agree, that we must open

I agree, that we must open our hearts to all of Earth, not just sentient beings. However, I think that saving sentient beings as Dr. Bekoff refers, implies compassion and care for all of life and even 'inert matter' like rocks. I think it is only natural that as we open our hearts to the other-than-human animal world that our compassion will continue to expand to the entire Earth. I know my personal experience has been a constant expansion of love.

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Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


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