22 March 2004

From the Mailbag

Dear Keith,

I came across your website a few weeks ago, I can't remember from where or how naturally, but ever since I've been reading your posts daily. It is so nice to come across someone who has fair arguments, inspiring posts and not to the point of extremism.

The post you made on Dec. 27th, Becoming a Vegetarian (or Demi-Vegetarian), really got me thinking. I gave up all red meat a year ago this month, and sometimes, sadly, I still get those intense cravings for a cheeseburger. Deep down I know I would never eat one. When someone around me is eating one, I will look at it and wish for a bite, but then will realize that it is the last thing I want. Before reading your post I always felt like a hypocrite for calling myself a vegetarian and still longing for a bite of meat, but maybe this is normal. Like you, I still eat chicken and turkey, though with time and self-discipline, it will stop. Weird thing is, it's not that I even want to eat poultry, half the time I'm picking at it and putting it to the side for someone else who will usually ask me what's wrong with the chicken and then snicker when I say "nothing."

Another post that you made that got me thinking was about zoos and the horror they cause animals. On my own weblog, psycheoflove.com, I posted a small story of what I witnessed at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona that completely changed the way I view zoo and animal welfare. Leaving the zoo that day two years ago I was so disturbed by what I had seen and the way people reacted to these animals, these animals who are there simply for their amusement and entertainment, who look so bored and alone behind their cages, I wept on the way to the car thinking and knowing that this just was not right at all. What is there that we can do though? It feels no matter how much I try to tell people or inform people, no one seems to really care for the treatment of animals, or believe that it doesn't matter . . . they're "just animals." The article about the beautiful 13 year old gorilla was terrible. Watching the video they put up, showing the police officer so determined to shoot it was painful to watch.

Bear with me.

Many years ago, when I was around eight or nine, I believe that is when I had my first moment of realization that animals deserve fair treatment, and what animal cruelty was. I practically ran away from home when I witnessed my step-father beat my dog and I could not believe the pain it caused the dog, as well as me. Ever since that moment I cannot stand to view an animal being mistreated in any form.

Ok, hopefully this e-mail has not bored you too much. All of this is to say that I, as well as many others, appreciate your website and the articles you share. It's really wonderful to know there are people like you who do care about the animals of the world.

Many blessings to you,

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