Why We Refuse to be Bystanders on Animal Slaughter and Human Starvation

Dear Climate Healers,

“What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander” – Elie Wiesel.

Doing nothing is not an option. Do something, anything to help make things better. Chapter 2, Verse 27 of the Bhagavad Gita says,
“The only thing you have any control over is the action that you choose to take at any given time. The outcome of your efforts is not in your hands. You should neither take the outcome personally nor fall into the trap of thinking that doing nothing is better.”

On Saturday October 8, 2022, Wayne Hsiung and Paul Picklesheimer of Direct Action Everywhere were acquitted by a jury of their peers in the Smithfield Pig trial. They were both charged with two counts of burglary for rescuing two malnourished piglets, Lily and Lizzie, from Circle Four Farms in Milford, Utah. For refusing to be mere bystanders on animal suffering, they faced up to 11 years in jail. This acquittal was one for the history books as it established a “Right to Rescue” animals in distress in factory farms, meaning the vast majority of all domestic animals in the US.

While Wayne and Paul won us all the right to stop evil in the current system of normalized violence, we still have to step up and create good in the form of a new system of normal nonviolence. We cannot solve our global problems simply by being kinder to animals before we kill them. To solve our problems, we have to not only stop killing animals altogether, but also do the opposite and restore the ecosystems and biodiversity of the planet.

This means that we have to stop pretending that we don’t have to give up meat, dairy, fish and eggs. We do. Indeed, giving up meat, dairy, fish and eggs is the least we can do. However, in addition to this individual change, we also need fundamental institutional change.

Our institutions must join us in protecting animals instead of slaughtering animals routinely. They must stop seeing animals as objects to be exploited if we are serious about surviving and eventually thriving as a species on this planet.

Humans have wiped out an estimated 7-13% of all species on this planet already and we cannot guarantee that even with a whole hearted adoption of a compassionate, Vegan ethic, we can restore all of the life support systems on this planet to their original conditions. For a medical analogy, please think of a patient who has lost the use of 7-13% of their internal organs. At that point, shouldn’t the doctor recommend their patient to stop deliberately gouging their remaining organs out one by one?

Our institutions must join us in feeding healthy, whole-foods, plant-based Vegan meals for free as the fulfillment of an inalienable human right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and stop starving people deliberately. This is the Food Healers ethos. Let community kitchens mushroom everywhere, making healthy food available for free.

In Los Angeles, volunteers are cooking up healthy, vegan meals at the community kitchen of the Sanatan Dharma Temple of Norwalk every Sunday and serving them to everyone. This is just the beginning. We envision such community kitchens serving healthy Vegan meals daily everywhere so that all humans can truly heal. It is only when we heal ourselves that we will be in a position to heal the planet.

Finally, our institutions must join us in restoring our planet instead of destroying it for profit. When native ecosystems and food forests replace grazing lands, factory farms and slaughterhouses, the climate will truly begin to heal as well. Then there will be plenty of healthy food available not just for each and every human being, but also for all the animals.

Let’s act to turn today’s dream into tomorrow’s reality.

Onward and upward!

Join us on World Food Healers day and let us heal the climate with cowrage. Deliciously.

Heal the planet.
Eat plants.
Love animals.
Plant trees.

It’s that simple.

Thanks again for being a superhero and joining our herd. Please forward this post to all your friends and let’s grow our MOOvement together.

With much love,
Sailesh and Vega, Cow and Climate Healer for the Climate Healers team