But, a recent trip has renewed my hope.
In mid-May I went to visit my mom in my small hometown, right in the heart of cattle, gas and oil country. My husband and I joke about needing a special passport to pass safely through this land as vegans, but sometimes it feels close to the truth. This visit, though, I noticed several small differences. While picking up a few items at the local grocery, you would have thought from my yips of joy that I had won the lottery. I felt like I had. There were vegan burgers and non-dairy ice cream, organic produce and eco-friendly, cruelty-free toothpaste and shampoo! During that visit I saw an article in the newspaper of a nearby (larger) city about healthy vegetarian cooking (with recipes!) & the county extension office was offering veg cooking classes. My hometown now has a farmer’s market in the summer. And for the first time ever, my mom, who has pretty much stuck her fingers in her ears and done the “la-la-la-la” song any time I bring up humane issues -- especially surrounding animals -- admitted that I’ve changed her thinking about the place of animals in the world, and that “Thou shalt not kill” and “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren….” might actually include animals, too. She expressed her willingness to consider not buying slave chocolate. She has recommended a “progressive” book to her church group. She is willingly reading books by people like John Robbins & Zoe Weil…and liking them.
I tell you, friends, when you’re lenses are dragging you down instead of lifting you up, take them off, polish them a little, and put them back on. Those little beacons of hope will start popping up in your field of vision. Notice them, appreciate them, and let them bring a smile to your eyes and joy to your heart. Because those little beacons mean that humane choices are making true progress.
-- Marsha Rakestraw, Web Content & Community Manager