I was saddened to read your article in the last issue of Peace: “Can Trees and Cows Save Us?”. The words attributed to Albert Schweitzer rang in my ears [edited for gender]: “until [humanity] extends [our] circle of compassion to include all living things, [humanity] will not [ourselves] find peace.” Is it not plausible that the destructive effects of building our bodies out of violence, pain, and death, through the unnecessary daily slaughter of billions of innocent beings, might be an impediment to peace on a larger scale?
The article addressed some elements of animal agriculture’s horrific impact on our Earth, but generally spoke of these living beings as though their lives were of no relevance, carelessly treating their deep yearning to be alive as a matter of no concern. But animals are sentient. They have emotions. If you hurt them, they scream in pain and fear. Yet for no reason other than our pleasure, they are forcibly raped and impregnated so that their babies can be stolen from them and they can be attached to machines, and then life to cry out from the feces-ridden concrete and steel cages where they are imprisoned until their milk runs dry. Save Money, Live Better, right? The more fortunate animals are rapidly fattened on unnatural calories in order to be turned into corpse flesh as quickly as possible. But Peace Magazine says to just go on eating meat “if you want to.” Because your wants are what matters most, right?
Two campaigns offer peace activists an opportunity we have not seized often enough. It is to learn about what we share with progressive faith communities and how to work together with them. We have not done that often enough. As a member of both a faith community and a peace group, I think I understand one of the reasons for that. Too many peace activists equate God with organized religion — one of the great destructive forces in human history.
Bells for Peace:
Planning for the event is in its early stages and your input and participation is needed. In addition to the ringing of church bells, hand bells, phone bells, and other devices, the campaign seeks to have clergy and mayors conduct educational events on the themes of the nuclear threat, the falsehood of standard justifications for the bombings, the public health and environmental consequences, and other subjects designed to encourage public resolve that nuclear weapons will never, ever again be exploded anywhere. To get involved, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hibakusha petition drive:
The Hibakusha, survivors of Hiroshima/Nagasaki, present us with another opportunity. As you probably know, in 2017 after 47 years of ignoring Article VI of the 1970 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty’s commitment to negotiations at an early date to do so, more than 150 nations negotiated the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. More than 30 of the 50 ratifications required to establish the treaty as international law have since been achieved. All this has been managed in the face of obstruction and opposition by Canada and the US at every step of the process. The treaty is coming up for a periodic review in April. The Hibakusha ask for our support in a petition drive urging ratification. I hope that you will reach out to both peace people and faith communities and produce a great tide of signatures on the petition.
William S. Geimer
Contact email for the campaign in Tokyo is
hibakusha-appeal.net/french; and hibakusha-appeal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/shomei-english.pdf