Interview with vegan anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan

By on September 28, 2011

“Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan lost her son Casey in Iraq, a tragedy that galvanized her into action against the war, and ultimately against the corporate stranglehold on our political process.

Shortly after the loss of her son she met President Bush, an experience that would make her the face and name of the antiwar movement. She cofounded Gold Star Families for Peace, a coalition of people who have lost loved ones in the war, and is best known for “Camp Casey,” the monthlong peace rally held outside Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Ever at the center of media firestorms, Cindy’s activism against the war and the corporate elite has led to multiple arrests. When the change in the Oval Office did not result in a change in the nation’s imperialism, Cindy continued to speak out against Obama’s policies, and wrote Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution, a book that accurately predicted the financial crisis and advocates for healthy economies and communities. Other books include Not One More Mother’s Child, an account of her first year of activism; Dear President Bush, a collection of writings and speeches; and Peace Mom: A Mother’s Journey through Heartache to Activism.

Many animal rights activists are surprised to find out Cindy is also vegan. She spoke briefly to us about her commitment to veganism and activism.

How long have you been vegan and how did you come to that decision?

I have been a vegan off and on (mostly on) for 25 years. I decided to do it because I felt then, and now, that it’s a healthier lifestyle and more compassionate way to eat. It’s far better for the environment, too.

It’s hard for people who have compassion for human victims of war and capitalism to feel the same compassion for animals. How can we get more progressives to see that violence is violence, and victims are victims?

[Leo Tolstoy] said, “as long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” I think the violence that is endemic to this country has a direct correlation to the amount of meat the people of this country eat.

You talk a lot about the Robber Class. Can you share what you mean?

The Robber Class is comprised of: the wealthy “2 percenters” that control most of the wealth in this country; the federal government; the banks; Wall Street, the corporate media and the Military Industrial Complex.

We in the Robbed Class need to unite to create healthy systems of our own.

Do you see a commonality between the animal rights movement and the anti-war movement?

Yes, we all need to protect the innocent.

When Obama came into office, many progressives and anti-war activists took a break. It became obvious pretty quickly that Obama’s foreign policy wasn’t much different than W’s. You were not fooled. Why are Obama’s wars different than Bush’s wars, when they’re the same wars?

Well, I don’t believe they are different, but some Democrats seem to think that wars waged by Democrats are okay.

What are your thoughts on the execution/assassination of bin Laden?

I don’t believe it happened on May 1st the way the Obama regime said it happened. There is not one shred of evidence that anyone was killed that day, let alone bin Laden.

What advice do you have for activists, whether they are animal rights, civil rights, or peace activists?

Pace yourself–it’s a lifelong struggle. Too many people burn out. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy non-animal food, exercise, laugh, love and don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in, ever!

What are you working on at present and how can people support your work?

I am working on my radio show and blog, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox; Re-Creating Revolutionary Communities; and a new book about Venezuela and grassroots revolutions called: Revolution, A Love Story.

The best thing to do is go to my website: www.CindySheehansSoapbox.com.

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