>> Sunday, August 5, 2012
When I became vegan the second book I read was Striking at the Roots by Mark Hawthorne. Being new to the cause I wanted to dedicate myself to... I had no idea where to start. But this book delivers just what the title promises... I certainly wasn't disappointed in learning the endless ways to get the message heard. Every chapter has useful information and real world solutions to get motivated and to stay involved. This book and Mark's suggestions are at once insightful and inspiring.
So I'm happy now to share excerpts from his amazing journey into advocacy that started out by participating in the very unkind event of "running bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. This event is part of the Saint Fermin festival and was historically the prelude to bullfighting.
Mark recalls that in 1992 he knew nothing about the world of animal cruelty and he was neither a vegan nor an animal advocate at the time. "I ate from the table of ignorance and wore the skin of animals without a single thought about who they might have come from."
"But that summer, something in me shifted—a flickering of awareness, if you will—and it began in Pamplona."His accounting of the events on that day are written here on My Road to Activism Began in Pamplona and he concludes:
"Not wanting to witness a bullfight, I left the Plaza del Toro and made my way back to Estafeta Street and found several tourists dressed in white shirts and pants with red sashes. They were pondering the sight of bull’s blood on the cobblestone. “That’s where he got it!” said a drunken man of about 25, pointing at a smear of crimson near the curb. Was I the only person to travel to Spain, run with the bulls and then feel shame?
It didn’t happen overnight, but soon after visiting Pamplona I began regarding all animals with an abiding respect. Gradually, I stopped eating cows, chickens, pigs and sheep, and I visited farms where these animals are cared for and allowed to live their natural lives. Watching them interact with other animals, it occurred to me that compassion is my religion, celebrated in kindness toward all beings. No scripture, no rituals, not even a prayer to a patron saint—just a reverence for all life."
|Bull by Franz Marc|
Mark Hawthorne more than accomplished these brave and thoughtful deeds... A true champion who no longer "runs the bulls" but advocates for them!
Here's some wise advice from Mark to avoid burnout:
Accept that you are human
Create something tangible to remind you of success
Talk to someone you trust
Ignore upsetting text and images
Visit and volunteer at sanctuaries
You can learn more of Mark's helpful techniques in these videos recorded at the Let Live Animal Rights Conference and this presentation at the Lewis and Clark Law School.
What a fine example Mark Hawthorne is of someone who is the change he wishes to see!