Vegans are Conscientious Objectors to Cruelty

>>  Monday, February 25, 2013

At the onset of WWII Sir Nicholas Winton sought registration as a conscientious objector. In 1940 his service changed to the Administrative and Special Duties Branch of the Royal Air Force. He was initially an airman, rising to sergeant, then commissioned as an acting pilot. Later he was promoted to the rank of flight lieutenant.

In 1988 his wife Grete found a detailed scrapbook in the attic that detailed his benevolent private acts of kindness. He had organised the rescue and safe passage to 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport. This touching video is the from the 1988 BBC Program "That's Life". 

Go ahead... You tell me how one person can't make a difference! Just go ahead!

So - You're only one person! But what you do matters! It matters to all others who could be affected by your choices; By your kindness.

Be a conscientious objector in the holocaust against animals... Live compassionately.


veganelder February 26, 2013 at 7:19 AM  

Curious that you made this post just now. I just finished re-watching Schindler's List and thought afterward how deplorable that there were so few (relatively speaking) who went out of their way to help the human victims of human viciousness. Mr. Winton and Mr. Schindler and folks such as them should be presented to children everywhere as models of admirable behavior...yet they remain virtually unknown.

As you note, we each can, by living as ethical vegans, be Conscientious Objectors to the cruelty of the ongoing human-driven holocaust of our fellow Earthlings.

Thank you for honoring him and his efforts.

veganelder February 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM  

Bea I got so worked up over the confluence of reading your post in conjunction with what I had been doing recently that I had to write about it over at my blog. Thank you for the inspiration!

Anonymous February 26, 2013 at 10:04 AM  

I don't have any tissues handy, so I was wiping my eyes under my glasses just as Sir Nicholas Winton did.

Just as V.E. found the timing coincidental (having just re-watched Schindler's list), I did, too, for two reasons.

This weekend I started reading a book my uncle loaned me: "Emancipation: How Liberating Europe's Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance" by Michael Goldfarb.

And just last night I declared to two friends that I would be a conscientious objector (or Conscientious Olivia!) over a vote taken earlier in the evening at a non-profit I belong to. My objection is that it feels like a regressive, repressive move imposed by fundamentalist thinking, even tyrannical control, instead of a progressive, uplifting step.

The best way I could find to praise Sir Nicholas -- and to thank you for sharing this, Bea -- is to forward the YouTube to family members and friends. And, of course, to keep living vegan values of generosity, compassion, patience, respect, humility, and harmlessness. That's just a short list of the endlessly good qualities naturally exhibited by those who strive to be good to all and do good to all.

Bea Elliott February 27, 2013 at 4:20 PM  

Hi veganelder! Apparently inspiration might be one of those gifts that keeps on giving because it is I who now thanks you for the beautiful, mind and heart-felt post you wrote.

It's amazing how when we try not too hard we can find some incredible people that have sifted through lies and built in objections to kindness... Surely it is a matter of repeating the ones we know and making new ones as we go - All in the goal of telling it enough.

I know the world will get it someday - They just have to!
Thanks! xox

Bea Elliott February 27, 2013 at 4:33 PM  

That's just how rejuvenating themes join, connect and weave themselves into our lives isn't it? Seems that when we focus on what we know is true and right we keep bumping into things that re-affirm we're on the correct path. Joyfully so! :)

I'm glad you were able to vote in a way that felt right to you as I'm sure it was right in the practical end... I trust your judgment is always in the interest of being helpful and kind.

So glad (once and a while) you can find inspiration and rejuvenation here! Thank you for likewise! <3

Laloofah March 8, 2013 at 10:21 AM  

I love the idea that we vegans are Conscientious Objectors. Now that you've mentioned it, it seems so obvious! Guess I always have associated that phrase too strongly and narrowly with warfare. (Which is what our species seems to be waging on the non-human animals, though 99.99% of the time they are innocent non-combatants!)

Anyway, it's so true that one person can make a huge difference, and usually in a lot of small ways rather than in an epic one. I think that one of the major ways we can each make a powerful difference is simply through our intersections and interactions with others, even when we're unaware of it. How much we can consciously or unconsciously encourage, inspire, or inform another through our words or deeds, while they can then go on to do the same for others, ad infinitum. I think that's really how the world gets changed.

And speaking of the Holocaust, I'm always struck at how horrified people are (rightfully so) at how people were transported to death camps in cattle cars, without making any connection to what those "cattle cars" were and are used for the rest of the time, despite the name making it so obvious. Society's ability to de-sensitize us is awful.

Bea Elliott March 12, 2013 at 8:18 PM  

Very perceptive of you Laloofah to see the blind spot of the "cattle cars" being used to transport human victims as well. Yes it's sadly true that we are easily numbed - Especially when groups or "authority" claims to have better answers than what's in our own hearts and heads...

I hope you're right about making positive change by daily interactions with others. I know I try as hard as possible by always putting a positive, kind and gentle foot forward... Most of the times it's a good step - Sometimes I get my toes mashed for it... But unless we try we just become the insensitive ones we have no desire to emulate. Not an option. Nope! ;)

I appreciate you spreading your light and peaceful message especially through your blog - It truly is a spot of reflective calm on the web!
Thank you!

Ingrid May 25, 2013 at 1:48 PM  

Thank you, thank you! This is a beautiful way to frame it!

Bea Elliott May 30, 2013 at 4:13 PM  

From one conscientious objector to another... You're very welcome! ;)