I am grateful for you

By on November 22, 2011

As I was tossing and turning in bed, between the hours of two and four a.m. last night, a wave of gratitude hit me. I’m not sure exactly why; maybe because it is so close to Thanksgiving and we are told that we should reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives.

What I was reflecting on is how grateful I am for all of the vegans and animal rights activists in the world. We make up such a small minority (one half of one percent in the US, which is smaller than the margin of error in polls!) on this planet. It warms my heart to know that there are others who see nonhuman animals the same way as I do. There is a group of people who view other animals as unique, sentient beings who are worthy of moral consideration, just as other humans are worthy.

Being vegan brings with it prejudices, ostracization, loneliness, strained and failed relationships, extreme sadness bordering on depression, and many other negative consequences. The very act of omitting other animals from our food, clothing, entertainment and household/cosmetic purchases is a serious offense to the 99.5 percent of people who view animals as property and things. Making a conscious and compassionate choice to view others as equal is an affront to those who use and exploit others.

The world we live in is a literal hell for other animals. I don’t have to remind you why. The world we live in is also extremely vegan-unfriendly. You cannot turn on the television, walk into a mall, office or your family’s home without being confronted by violence towards animals, whether that violence is manifested as meat, dairy and eggs or leather and fur, for instance. The world is a personal affront to our ethics. And yet we find ways to manage and remain sane.

We have chosen to not only wake up from this nightmare, but to also work towards ending the violence and exploitation against those most vulnerable. We choose to witness the atrocities committed daily against other animals, all for the pleasure of humans. We are living through yet another Holocaust.

And even through the personal costs, we continue on to fight on behalf of other animals. It would be much easier to spend our lives trying to figure out how to serve our own selfish desires, yet we continue the struggle. And this is where my gratitude came from. Knowing that you are out there, confident in your ethical commitment towards nonhumans, struggling to bring rights to those enslaved.

And so the entire country will be considering what they are grateful for on Thanksgiving, while munching on the corpse of a once sentient, beautiful being who desired the same life that you desire, and I will be thinking about you. I normally have a difficult time experiencing gratitude on a holiday that celebrates and worships the dual genocide of a race of people and a species of animal, but this year I will be grateful for the work you do on behalf of other animals, on the personal sacrifices you make, the protesting, shouting, leafleting, writing, fostering, rescuing and more. While we may not agree on how we are going to get to the promised land of equality for all, I am grateful to know that you are on the same team. Happy Thanksgiving.



  1. Occupythisworld
    November 22, 2011

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    Hi Gary! Thanks for a great read. I know exactly what you mean; I’ve had that same feeling of gratitude toward a small percentage of humankind. I get so happy whenever I hear about someone who is considering going vegan…there will always be people are unable (and unwilling!) to look away once they’ve seen the truth. People with compassion and a sense of justice. In these times of great change, we’re seeing more calls for compassion and justice all over the world every day. Maybe it will help more people realize that violence is always violence, no matter what kind of face you paint on it or how hard you look the other way. More people are learning to take responsibility and to be the change they demand to see in the world, and so I hope it will become easier to condemn not only the exploitation, abuse, and murder of humans, but also of non-humans. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  2. Ali
    November 22, 2011

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    Thank you for writing this. It means so much to me because we share the same sentiment and sometimes I feel alone and glad that I’m not.

  3. beverleyyates
    November 23, 2011

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    there is nothing to lose but so much benefit from being vegan: better health, good for the environment, better way to feed the world, but most of all the beautiful beautiful animals. They are all so beautiful, so how do people decide which ones it is acceptable to eat and exploit? I was ‘turned’ by a little white male calf alone in a field missing his mom:(

  4. Paria
    November 23, 2011

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    I truly enjoy reading everything you post, and am thankful that I stumbled upon your facebook page/blog not too long ago. I hope your messages are heard far and wide – we need more thinkers in this world. Please keep doing what you do 🙂

  5. Ms.Monster
    November 23, 2011

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    Thank you so much for this. It was a lovely post.

  6. veganelder
    November 29, 2011

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    I hope your holiday was enjoyable for you and yours. Great post, you write many true things.

  7. Julie Hamilton - NLPR
    November 22, 2012

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    Love you! Love everything about you! Love your soul!

    You are not alone!

    Viva veganism; the only way for a peaceful world for all!

  8. Bea Elliott
    November 22, 2012

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    Mutually felt! I’m so grateful for the support I have with my online family and community. Honestly – I owe much more than I can ever express. Thank you for making a fabulous start in extending gratitude. And of course for all you continue to do in the name of peace and justice.

  9. CQ
    November 22, 2012

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    I’m grateful to the ethical vegan activist who sent this to me.

    I’m grateful to learn about your blog today — from her.

    I’m grateful your post articulates so beautifully how I feel.

    I’m grateful for the Internet and for blogs that unite all “thinking vegans” (love that name!).

    I’m grateful for all the turkeys we vegans spare — those who are either never born into a living hell, only to be murdered, or who are saved from that hell and delivered into the heaven of an animal sanctuary — the next best thing to living free with one’s wild turkey families and friends in forests and fields.

    I’m grateful for everyone who founds and runs and works in ethical vegan companies: food, clothing, cosmetics, household products, etc.

    Most of all, I’m grateful to the power I call Truth, Life, and Love, which instills in each of us the desire and ability to be moral — just, fair, honest, compassionate, kind, respectful — to all fellow-beings.

    Happy 2012 Thanksgiving and ThanksLiving!

  10. Bea Elliott
    November 27, 2013

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    And here we are a year later… And I still feel the same – Only more so. Happy ThanksLiving to all who share a deep respect to our fellow Earthlings. We are family. <3

  11. Florentina
    December 10, 2015

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    You bring tears to my eyes.We are daily persecuted because we choose to be different and we are hated by the children of darkness.We choosed to come here to help and show the way to humanity.The whole universe entered in a complex process of transformation and purification,especially the planet earth.New energies are taking over and we entered also into a new era.We are the teachers of the new era.If each of us would drag close to our Heavenly Father daily and pray to
    Him to show us the narrow path we need to walk,you would be amazed what He can show you.
    We are the pioneers of the new era and that’s why our life is so difficult and most of us struggle with depression.
    We need to learn to concentrate on positive things just,learn to let go every moment all that is negative.I am doing my first steps and I know how hard it is when we are living in hell and need to see all the time those atrocities.
    We together WILL CHANGE this world.We together WILL DELIVER OUR DEFENSELESS BROTHERS AND SISTERS from human bondage,torture and cruelty ! You are NOT alone and our Heavenly Father pouring His grace,wisdom and knowledge over all
    of us who are thirsty for Truth.
    Is December 11’th 2015 and wish to all of us a very productive new year 2016 in educating people about the cruelty hidden behind their daily meals.I love you all !
    Together we can move the mountains,together we can make the mountains that stay behind factory farming- diary farms to crumble at our feet.Is a long process but daily new vegans and new activists are added to our little team,people start to wake up.We need to continue spread the word,the Truth.

  12. Florentina
    December 11, 2015

    Leave a Reply

    Dolores has just a very small part of the Truth and I she is wrong in many ways but what she says here is 80% true.If you are a light worker,you will know that.


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