Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

March 31 marks the birthday of Cesar Chavez, co-founder (with Dolores Huerta) of the United Farm Workers Union.  The pair deserve a National Holiday, IMO.  (The recent documentary, “Dolores,” supports that contention.)

Much lip service is paid to Chavez, but few follow his philosophy of non-violence.  (Chavez was a disciple of Gandhi.)  Fewer still are aware that Chavez was a vegetarian for ethical (not health) reasons.  Here’s an excerpt from a treasured letter the great man wrote to me in 1990:

“Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society.  Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people.  Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cock fighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence.  Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.”  Words to live by.

R.I.P., Cesar — you are sorely missed.  Si se puede!

Eric Mills,
Action for Animals


  • Jennofur OConnor

    Beautiful sentiments.

  • chickenadvocate

    This Letter to the Editor is an outstanding reminder of Cesar Chavez’s commitment to compassion and justice for all beings, in an unbreakable bond of nonviolence toward all who share the earth. Thank you for your letter and for the magnificent words of Chavez expressing his vision of how we humans should choose to live as citizens of this planet with our coinhabitants. May his awesome vision be realized. Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns http://www.upc-online.org

  • ericmills

    P.S. – Most legislators keep a “spot bill” on hand for emergency situations. Here are three animal welfare issues desperately in need of an author: (1) amend CA state rodeo law, Penal Code 596.7, so as to require ON-SITE veterinary care at all rodeos; the current “on call” option is not working; (2) ban the rodeo’s brutal “steer tailing” event–already outlawed in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties; and (3) ban “glue traps”–cruel and indiscriminate. See GOOGLE for legislators’ contact info, then let them hear from you!

    • Mark Caponigro

      Good luck with these, Californians.

  • Mark Caponigro

    It’s wonderful to learn this about César Chávez. Let’s hope that all workers for social justice come to realize as he did that justice in our relationships with animals is most certainly part of the cause.

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