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!
Action for Animals