Tuesday, May 9, 2017

10 Questions: Vegan Rockstar with Alex Hershaft




Dr. Alex Hershaft
was the first vegan heroes I’d met in person back in the late 1990s when I was at Vegetarian Summerfest where he was a speaker. I’d been vegan for a couple of years and had been an activist for a while so I was familiar with his work with the pioneering organization he founded, the Farm Animal Rights Movement or FARM, which evolved from its precursor, the Vegetarian Information Service, in 1981. As someone who was happy to pick up a sign and pass out some pamphlets for the animals, his work, like World Day for Farmed Animals (October 2, yo!) and the Great American Meatout (March 20!), gave people like me an outlet. (FARM also puts on the Animal Rights Conference every year, no small undertaking. I will be speaking this year. Join us! It’s always an incredible conference.) As an ardent collector of newsletters, Alex and his work through FARM gave me inspiration. I will never forget that Summerfest when he sat on a bench next to me and talked to me about a part of his life I hadn’t heard about before: his childhood, his survival of the Warsaw Ghetto, his narrow escape of the Treblinka death camp along with his mother, his father’s murder. It was mesmerizing and agonizing. I was also very touched by his approachability and patient willingness to be peppered with questions by my neophyte, awestruck self.

All these years later, Alex has made his story of survival, and how he connected the dots of the cruelties he observed and experienced as a child to his life’s work of promoting kindness for all species, available to everyone in his amazing speech, From the Warsaw Ghetto to a Life of Compassion. Alex Hershaft is a living legend and I am proud to feature him as this week’s Vegan Rockstar.

1. First of all, we’d love to hear your “vegan evolution” story. How did you start out? Did you have any early influences or experiences as a young person that in retrospect helped to pave your path?


As far back as I can remember, it never made sense to me to hit a beautiful, innocent, sentient animal over the head, cut his body into small pieces, and then shove the pieces into my mouth. I suppose it was initially an aesthetic conviction - not too different from that of the ladies in Queen Victoria's England that led to the early anti-cruelty statutes.

In 1962, during my two-year stay in Israel, I stumbled across the ritual sacrifice of a baby goat to celebrate the birth of a Druze baby. The bitter irony of that act was the last straw I needed to change my diet. I remained a closet vegetarian until attending the 1975 World Vegetarian Congress in Orono, ME, when I decided to spend the rest of my life promoting a vegetarian diet.

In 1976, I founded the Vegetarian Information Service, offering veg literature to the public. In 1981, I launched the first animal rights conference, without fully getting the concept. My fellow board members who did convinced me to go vegan. In my defense, about what took so long, very few of the animal champions at the time were vegan.

2. Imagine that you are pre-vegan again: how could someone have talked to you and what could they have said or shown you that could have been the most effective way to have a positive influence on you moving toward veganism?

It would be pretty much the same argument we are presenting to young people today. Failure to embrace a vegan diet requires subsidizing and becoming complicit in the worst oppression and abuse of sentient living beings in the history of humankind. The associated health and environmental benefits are just a bonus.

3. What have you found to be the most effective way to communicate your message as a vegan? For example, humor, passion, images, etc.?

a) videos, b) photos, c) stories about personal experiences and individual animals.

Least effective: facts and numbers about slaughter, health and environmental arguments (OK, health may work for older folks), animal "rights" arguments.

4. What do you think are the biggest strengths of the vegan movement?

a) The fact that our actions are consistent with common values of respect for life, in general, and animals, in particular

b) The fact that we are working at the roots of all life-affirming and social justice movements - a vegan lives a healthy life, with minimal carbon footprint, without oppressing

b) The fact that we are the only movement working on behalf of another set of beings - not ourselves

5. What do you think are our biggest hindrances to getting the word out effectively?


We have gotten pretty good at getting the word out through videos, social media, traditional media. The problem we are running into is getting people to change their lifestyle three times a day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No other U.S. movement has demanded a substantial lifestyle change since Lincoln's 1863 emancipation proclamation.


6. All of us need a “why vegan” elevator pitch. We’d love to hear yours.


See 4 (a)

7. Who are the people and what are the books, films, websites and organizations that have had the greatest influence on your veganism and your continuing evolution?


Without meaning to sound arrogant, can't think of any.

8. Burn-out is so common among vegans: what do you do to unwind, recharge and inspire yourself?


To unwind - folk dancing every Friday evening and occasional classical music concert

To distract - crossword puzzles and news reports and commentaries

To recharge and inspire - occasional trips to a slaughterhouse, but haven't really needed that, as activism has become part of my life's fabric

What has most immunized me against burnout, however, has been my low need for praise and recognition and my being in control of my activities

9. What is the issue nearest and dearest to your heart that you would like others to know more about?


It's the main conclusions of my Holocaust speech:

* that oppression is initially subtle, almost imperceptible and, like some forms of cancer, becomes evident only when it's to late to stop

* that all are capable of oppression, including some of our favorite friends and relatives who subsidize the greatest oppression of sentient living beings in the history of humankind every time they shop for food

* that oppression is not about the victims, but about the oppressive mindset, or the capacity to oppress

* that making oppression about the victims and the resulting cult of victimhood divide and frustrate our efforts to mount a united front against all oppression

* that oppression of animals is the "gateway drug" to all oppression, administered to a four-year old when they are told that the dog on the couch is to be cherished, fed, and cared for, but the pig on their plate is to be abused, killed, dismembered, and consumed as food

10. Please finish this sentence: “To me, being vegan is...”


See 4(a)

10 comments:

  1. Hey guys, I'm so excited of getting my husband back after he left me and our 3 kids for another woman.
    After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
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    Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
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    I was in a relationship with this guy for the past 1 and a half year.. We became close real fast and were very serious about each other… he’s German and was in the country for her internship.. he left after first 6 months and came back after a couple of months.. he said that he had come down for me.. WE started living – in.. We discussed faMILY, KIDS, future, moving to EU together.. everything was going good until of last August when I started to get jealous about his moves, I got controlling and things started to get worse.. we spoke about it a lot of times where he expressed how he felt but I was not able to understand why I was doing that.. During our discussion I would always say I did .. This February he called it off and since then I have been a mess.. I gave it a lot of thought and realised my mistakes and why I was doing it.. I tried talking to him .. begged him.. pleaded him .. but he says that he has lost all his feelings for me and would never get back to me..I was in my knees praying looking for help, them i fine a comment online how a spell caster help to restored relationship get ex lover back, ” so i decided to give a try coz i love my boyfriend so much. so i contacted Dr happy http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ tell him all my problem and he gave me 100%guarantee that i will have my boyfriend back after the spell so i was gifted and lucky to have contacted him i did every thing he ask of me and to my greatest surprise a day after the spell my boyfriend call me and apology for what he did to me and ask for my forgiveness to come back again for me, we both are happily living together again plz Contact him urgently via.........
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  3. Hi My name is 'CHERRY SHANE' just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my husband back and saved my marriage... I was married for 7 years with 2 kids we lived happily until things started getting ugly, a point where he filed for divorce... I tried my best to make her change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him so much didn't want to loose him but everything just didn't work out... he moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce... I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster who eventually helped me out... I have never been a fan of things like this but just decided to try reluctantly cause I was desperate and left with no choice... He did special prayers and cast a return back spell on him... Within 7 days he called me and was sorry for all the emotional trauma he had cost me, moved back to the house and we continue to live happily, the kids are happy too and we are expecting our third child. I have introduced him to a lot of couples with problems across the world and they have had good news... Just thought I should share my experience cause I strongly believe someone out there need's it... You can email him via eromosalespelltemple@gmail.com website http://eromosalspiritualtemple.webs.com or call him with +2348161850195..

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey!my boyfriend has abandon me for the the past months now,
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    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey guys, I'm so excited of getting my husband back after he left me and our 3 kids for another woman. After 2 years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a (Love spell) for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before,All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact: Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,
    you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,
    his website:http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com ,
    Jessica, 26 years, Texas, USA .

    ReplyDelete
  7. My name is TRACY MORGAN am from USA. I am here to give testimony on how I got heal of hepatitis virus,and my sister from herpes virus we have been suffering from this disease for the past 3 to 4years ago. we have been to different hospital and different spell caster, and we felt like killing ourselves,life became very bitter and sorrowful. hepatitis virus and herpes is a deadly disease i stayed away from my husband because i don't want to transfer it to my family same as my sister until one very good day i was directed by my friend to DR OSABULU a great spell caster who cased a spell and i was healed of the disease.i also introduce my sister too.i didn't believe it because I've worked with so many of them and it didn't work. She begged me further so I decided to try this great spell caster called Great DR OSABULU. I still didn't believe, but inside me i wanted to give a try and as God will have it, i used the spell solution he gave me and the next day I went to the hospital to carryout a test,after the test i went home the next day i received a call from my doctor and he told me i was NEGATIVE.i didn't believe it because it was like a dream I'm very happy now with my family and also with my sister we are all living very happy it worked for me and my sister i believe it will work for you too just give him a try and follow up this is a clear truth from a testifier. Thank you DR OSABULU once again, if you want to reach him via email: drosabuluspellhome@gmail.com or call +2349055346802, you can also reach me with this +17328203678 for more information..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello,
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    (From United State Of America).
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    http://tracygrilli.blogspot.com.tr
    https://tracygrilli59.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dr MABUWA is a great healer that can heal your disease. i was cured from HSV 1 and HSV 2 VIRUS after i contacted from my boyfriend after he cheated and since 2years ago i had been living a life full of fear. but when i surfed on the internet one morning and i saw comment on Dr MABUWA curing deadly disease. HERPES.HIV.DIABETES.HPV.HBV. CANCER and many more. i was skeptical that he might not be real then i decided to give a try to him. and as i did i never regretted contacting the great Dr MABUWA. he told me the ways and how to get my herbal medicine i believe and worked with him and he sent me my herbal medicine and as i received it he gave me instruction on how i will take it and i also gave my boyfriend to also drink because i really love him. despite he cheated on me. and behold Dr MABUWA said after 2weeks of usage we should go for test and as we did. our result both came out negative. Many lives has been saves because of you sir. may you ever reign and may God bless you more. you can reach him on his Email:drmabuwasolutioncuretemple@gmail.com or his What app Mobil:+2348130714541 or visit his Webs:https://drmabuwasolutioncu.wixsite.com/drmabuwa

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello everyone my mouth is full of testimony I was help by Dr Zack Balo. I have been married for four 8years and on the fifth year of my marriage, another woman had a spell to take my lover away from me and my husband left me and the kids and we have be suffering until I meet a post where this man called Dr Zack Balo who have helped so many people and I decided to give him a try to help me bring my husband back home and believe me I just send my picture to him and that of my husband and after 72hours as he have told me, my husband drove home by his self apologizing that I should forgive him, now my husband has show me love more than ever I am happy knowing Dr Zack Balo. So if you know you have these kinds of problem contact him through his private email: wiseindividualspell@gmail.com or call him on +2348078927387 and your heart desire will be granted.

    ReplyDelete

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