Countryside near Würzburg in North Bavaria is at first sight completely the same as all other farming areas, meadows and forests. But when you set your foot on that land, you feel deep peace all around you that soon fills up every cell of your body. The reason for such a high spiritual atmosphere is peaceful farming that has been carried out in this area for several years. The result of farming methods by laws of nature are products with great and natural taste. But this peaceful farming far exceeds healthy food products that are probably the best in the world. On the grounds of everything stated above we can say that in this area true world peace is being established and spread, which means humans living in harmony with animals and nature. We talked about Gabriele foundation with its manager Martin Haennel.
How did the idea of peaceful farming come up?
Peaceful farming has its beginnings almost three thousand years ago, when prophet Isaiah announced that the Kingdom of Peace will be created on Earth, that people will replace swards with ploughs, that animals will live in harmony and a child will tend them. Jesus of Nazareth also announced the Kingdom of Peace. People thought that the Christian Church will create the Kingdom of peace, but exactly the opposite happened. It is historically unquestionable that the very Christian Church with its doctrine about a fair war is in the last two millenniums directly or indirectly responsible for violence and deaths of millions of people, especially in the Crusades and at the time of inquisition. People think that the Kingdom of Peace will turn up on its own, but Jesus wanted every person to first develop a kingdom of peace in themselves by respecting the ten Commandments and His teachings of Sermon on the Mountain. As this had not happened in two thousand years, God sent a new prophet on the Earth. Now the time has come for what was written to come true. It started with the establishment of Gabriele foundation.
Why is this area, where peaceful farming is being practiced, named Gabriele foundation?
The Spirit inspired a very spiritual woman and a prophet of our time, whose name is Gabriele, to start with peaceful farming. Her prophetic work of God grew into an awareness of unity of life that encompasses humans, animals and plants, which is the basis of peaceful farming. Gabriele says that the Spirit of God is in everything around us. In every plant, mineral, animal and human being. Harmony with nature is only possible, if humans are living in peace with themselves and in harmony with their loved ones. She therefore believes that peace is not something you can divide. The more internal peace humans have, the more perceptive they become of communication with nature and natural elements. One of the prophetic words of God through Gabriele are: „Stay connected to every creation, every stone and plant and protect the animals that were entrusted to you. Never slaughter an animal for your own needs. You see, the nature has taken care of you. Fruits of the fields, gardens and forests provide you with food for your body.“
What are basic characteristics of peaceful farming?
Peaceful farming is aimed at achieving peace with all forms of life. Farmers are learning to live in peace also with animals and they don’t raise them to make profit, to slaughter and eat them. There is no killing of living beings, not even microorganisms in the ground by use of chemistry, manure or liquid manure to grow as much crops as possible. They don’t put any substances in the soil that destroy life and burden the environment and are then ingested with food. They also don’t make use of genetic modification. They cultivate their fields and harvest crops for two years and then they let a field lie fallow for a year - this is called three-year rotation of crops. When a field rests, they let different plants to grow there, such as clover and chamomile, which with high content of nitrogen in their roots help soil to recover. Soil regeneration depends also on the billion smallest living beings in the ground - microorganisms. Natural cultivation of fields excludes exploitation - it means giving and receiving in mutual respect. These farmers treat earth as a living being that wishes for a sincere communication. Peaceful farmers see themselves as friends of nature and all animals. They don’t hunt and kill animals that live in nature either. They are aware that humans are limiting living space of animals, which are thus forced to cause damage to fields, if we can call this damage at all because animals merely take what Earth has given them. Experience has shown that when farmers intentionally sow a part of a field for animals and leave it unreaped, animals barely do any damage to other fields.
What are the main objectives of Gabriele foundation?
One of the priorities of Gabriele foundation is to recreate a safe living space for animals and provide living conditions that are appropriate for a certain species, to return animals a piece of Earth they deserve and to teach people to share food with them that mother nature gives to us. Until now humans have obviously thought that animals only need air to live and in the last centuries they have severely contracted their living space. In short, one of the basic objectives of Gabriele foundation is to undo damage that human egoism caused to animals and mother Earth and this is one of the first steps toward true world peace.
How do you provide for a more qualitative life of wild animals on this area?
We created different types of biotopes that are suitable for a way of living of a certain species. In this way we try to achieve for the nature to start functioning again in a way the Creator imagined it and for all animal species to have their own living space so they don’t have to interfere with the space of other species. We created a biotope for birds with nests and water, as until now the lack of water on this area forced animals to travel far away to get water and a lot of them died on this journey. We also created natural living space for lizards and snakes and we are happy to note that quite a lot of reptiles have found their home in these rocks. We created water biotopes that are already populated by first ducks and we are noticing a lot of dragonflies too. Our area is surrounded by hedgerow, which consists of old branches - underneath it sprouts richly varied flora and it also offers a living and hiding place for a lot of animals, such as rabbits, foxes and birds. Along these hedgerows we planted trees that will protect the earth from strong winds and with their fruits provide food for animals. Where there are no strong winds, the temperature is more constant, which means better growth of crops. These trees will also prevent water from flowing off this area.
Do wild animals on this area trust people more?
All animals want to be friends with humans, but they firs need to feel safe. It is obvious that animals can feel that this area is safe for them, that hunters won’t bother them and therefore they become more trusting towards people as well as towards other animal species. We are noticing that different species are starting to associate with each other. We saw deer together with cows and sheep, and rabbits that came on the farm to visit hens. Slowly it is realizing what Jesus announced - that there will be time when all animals will live in harmony and a lion will pasture together with a lamb. As there are no hunters on this area, animals are a lot more relaxed and playful. We recently saw rabbits on a meadow jumping over each other and enjoying like little children. We also observed that this area is repopulated with certain animal species which obviously also feel that this is the most peaceful place to live.
How do you protect field animals at the time of harvest?
Peaceful farmers are aware that it is possible to communicate with every living being, even with plants and animals. Harvest time is a great shock for field animals because some of them have to leave their living place. However, through sincere communication field rabbits, birds, deer, worms and microorganisms are informed about a harvest and can leave in time before a harvester could hurt them. Worms and microorganisms go deeper into the ground and other field animals get a new shelter and food - a line at the edge of the field that farmers leave unreaped or in the woods where there are no hunters. This is a typical example of coexistence between humans, animals and nature because we know that the Spirit of God is everywhere.
Does peaceful farming also mean different living conditions for stable animals?
Farmers treat all domestic animals as family members and accordingly take care of their wellbeing. Currently we have 25 cows of different species, which we bought from farmers who wanted to sell them to slaughterhouses and we thus save them from cruel death. One of the cows has especially interesting story. On the way to a slaughterhouse, in South Bavaria, this cow jumped off the truck and hid in some village. When we found out about that, we asked the owner to sell the cow to us. We really take a good care of animals here, they have spacious stables, where they can move freely, pastures and forests, as cows are basically forest animals.
On the farm we also have a biotope for sheep which we bought from a farmer who kept them without food and water in the middle of the winter, knee-high in snow, at temperature around -20°C. We returned them their dignity and built them a comfortable stable, we even built them a sort of pavilion on the pastures, where they can resort to in case of severe heat or rain. When a grandchild of the former owner of sheep saw, what a qualitative life these animals now have, he asked his grandfather to stop slaughtering animals.
You mentioned before that one of the problems of this territory is a lack of water. How do you deal with this problem in connection to the animals?
Former owners have completely drained these forests and pastures by regulation for the purposes of agriculture - even all marshes and streams. Moreover, last year there was extreme drought in this area. Lack of water affected animals most of all therefore we had to provide them with water in tanks. However, despite extreme drought, our farming suffered no damage.
How is this possible?
Last year the earth was completely dry deep in the ground - even 40 cm - because of the lack of rain. Roots of plants that grow on traditionally cultivated earth, where there are almost no microorganisms and the soil is dead and hard, cannot grow more than 30 cm deep. Therefore last year conventional farming suffered a 40% loss because of drought. In peaceful farming, where soil is alive, light and humid due to microorganisms and worms, roots can grow 80 cm deep, where soil is still humid. For this reason peaceful farming suffered no damage because of draught last year, it was the opposite - our harvest improved for 20%.
Is there another reason for a better harvest despite bad weather conditions?
On each field we always sow seeds of the same plant species because we discovered that in this way a certain communication develops in the long term between the soil and these seeds. This also makes the crops more qualitative and a richer harvest. Beside that, we plough very low and thus preserve in their natural surroundings microorganisms, which play a very important role in loosening the earth. We are aware that earth is a living organism and by treating it with respect it will award us with healthier and more qualitative crops. However, it has to be noted, that conventional farming before us already did a great deal of damage to this earth, which cannot be repaired over night. It takes seven to ten years to revive soil. In this period microorganisms and worms multiply and they make soil lighter and process substances that plants need for growing and people and animals for nutrition.
How do you kill weeds?
Weeds play a positive role in peaceful farming, for they grow always when soil lacks of a certain substances that weeds contain. Therefore we don’t kill them. They are an indicator of the state of soil.
Do plants that contain substances needed for the revival of earth also grow on meadows?
That is right. For this purpose we left four spacious meadows to develop on their own, without interference of humans. On these meadows then started to grow wonderful flowers that are difficult to find elsewhere. These are the plants earth needs to revive the soil that humans almost destroyed by spraying plants with insecticides and by fertilizing. On these meadows started to grow plant species that animals need for food as well. We saw rabbits on these meadows eating healing grass blades.
What measures have you taken against pests?
Traditional farmers spray plants to protect them from warms and other pests. But if plants grew on completely healthy soil, they wouldn’t be attacked by any pests, as it is known that pests don’t attack completely healthy plants or fruits. Worms attack only ill and decaying tissues. It is the basic principal of nature: what isn’t capable of surviving has to be destroyed. As peacefully cultivated earth is on its way to recovery, fruits are more vital and healthier too and are therefore rarely attacked by pests. Another reason our cultures are more resistant to pests is that we use only original plant species. By crossbreeding that is typical of conventional farming the resistance of plants is drastically reduced. We have certain problems because nature needs insects as well, but we solved these problems by sowing different plants along fields that are natural food for insects.
What is the opinion traditional farmers have about the methods you use in peaceful farming?
Reactions of traditional farmers are very different. Some completely ignore us, but most of them are interested in our work, mostly because of positive results of the past years, especially past three years.
What do you recommend to traditional farmers?
It is difficult to recommend something to another person, but our first step towards unity with nature was stopping eating animals and then stopping using plant protection agents in fields because this is a real slaughter of little animals - microorganisms that live there and have an important function in making a qualitative earth.
Do you have any problems with hunters that are not allowed to hunt on the area of Gabriele Foundation?
Of course, we have some problems, but our task is to take care of animals and their wellbeing. We noticed that animals can feel where they are safe and usually don’t leave this peaceful area.
Hunters claim that if we don’t shoot a certain number of animals they multiply too much. Do you have any problems with excessive multiplication of animals in this respect?
It is perfectly clear to us that nature can regulate the number of animals on its own and this has already started to show on our area. We are noticing that animals multiply as much as their living space allows them to.
How can friends of animals and nature help Gabriele Foundation?
Gabriele Foundation lives and develops mostly with the help of voluntary contributions of friends of animals and nature from all over the world. As much financial aid we receive as fast we can grow. At the beginning it was very difficult to buy this land, the living space for animals, but today we get a lot of offers to sell us this land and we don’t have enough money. Therefore we are grateful for every euro our friends in Slovenia can give us. Every euro contributes to helping us saving a number of animals from certain death and this means gradual achieving of goals of spreading the Kingdom of peace on this planet. In this way we can save more and more animals from the area of war as well as plants and microorganisms from lethal manure and pesticides and eventually human race from destruction.
More information about Gabriele Foundation on websites www.neu-jerusalem.de and www.gabriele-stiftung.de
You can send an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
You allocate voluntary contributions for Gabriele Foundation on:
G. S. Stiftung Verwaltungs-GmbH
Bank: Volksbank Main-Tauber
Account No.: 206253
Bank Code No.: 673 900 00
IBAN: DE12 6739 0000 0000 2062 53
Resource: Magazine Liberation of animals, September 2004
JESUS AND FIRST CHRISTIANS WERE VEGETARIANS AND FRIENDS OF ANIMALS
Moris Hoblaj was born in Štrukovec near Cakovec in Croatia. He went to high school in Zagreb and studied philosophy, theology and sociology in Zagreb and München. Today he lives near Würzburg and is engaged in production of vegetarian food. In his free time he writes critical articles about church. He left the Church as theologian - teacher of religious studies because he believes that the Catholic Church with its hierarchic absolutistic arrangement and rigid dogmatic teaching is not even close to the message of Jesus of Nazareth. He says that the Bible clearly shows that Jesus of Nazareth was a democrat and a pacifist and that the religious caste of that time prosecuted him with the help of the authorities because of his teaching and at the end crucified him. Moris says: “I think the same thing would happen today if Jesus of Nazareth would come to Vatican and asked for what is written in the Bible - to respect only one Holy Father or for people to stop slaughtering and eating animals.”
Does God’s commandment “Do not kill!” refer only to people or also to animals? It is difficult to picture Jesus telling people that slaughtering and torturing animals is all right!
God is perfect and when he says “Do not kill!” he means everything that lives and feels. This commandment includes every living creature, both people and animals, and in broader sense even plants. God let us know through His prophets that He does not want us to kill the animals. Prophet Isaiah wrote: “Killing an ox is the same as killing a person.” It is interesting that the Catholic Church does not respect this part of the Bible, has nothing against killing animals and does not support vegetarians. In the Middle Ages, at the time of Inquisition, Catholic Church was even prosecuting and killing the members of all religious communities, where vegetarianism was a part of religious belief, such as Manicheans, Cathars, Bogumils and several others. It is known that members of these communities were against torturing and killing animals for food out of their belief and respect for animals.
The Catholic Church should therefore fight for the rights of animals. Why is this not so?
The reason seems to be that the self called followers of Jesus Christ with different mitres and tiaras, Holy Fathers, Excellencies, Cardinals and Bishops preferred power over people and animals to the succession of Jesus Christ, who was a pacifist and loved animals. Almost every Christian Institution betrays Jesus Christ and His teaching with its attitude to animals and definitions of animals. This is stated also in authentic historic documents that confirm that Jesus of Nazareth and first Christians were vegetarians and friends of animals. The Bible includes the words of Jesus: “Whatever you do to one of the living beings, you do it to Me.” Jesus was not a hunter as many of His self-called followers, who are proud that they were or are passionate hunters, which are murderers of the animals, such as Cardinal Franc Rode.
Why does the Church have such underestimating attitude to animals and people with different views?
This is a wide-ranging issue which reaches the core of state Catholicism in history as well as today. Today it is no secret that the bloody history of the Church is founded on the so-called theological doctrines, such as doctrine about a fair war, existence of eternal curse, non-existence of soul before birth in the case of humans as well as animals. Just by reading the Bible anyone can be sure that the prophets and Jesus of Nazareth loved animals, while religious castes and their followers did not or loved just their dead bodies. They used dead bodies of the animals in pagan ritual worshiping of God, such as blessing of meat at Easter or Hubert’s masses.
In order to hide from the followers the non-acceptance of the prophets and Jesus of Nazareth, instead of prophetic divine declarations the clergy created its own absolutistic and forced dogmatic theology, which is far from divine.
You are asking, why the Church underestimates animals? It is known from prophetic essays that animals are constantly connected to their Creator, that they are constantly worshiping Him and that He immensely loves them. This may be the reason for its underestimating attitude to animals. Church theology convinced people that animals have no soul and thus people learned to have materialistic attitude to animals. To people animals became merely soulless dead objects that can only be used for food and clothes and towards which theology allows any possible brutality, such as laboratory tests. Although people, especially politicians, should know from the Bible that religious caste caused Jesus of Nazareth a great deal of problems, prosecuted him, slandered him and at the end crucified him because of his teaching that God and people do not need clergy, these religious people and politicians remain faithful, throughout the history and today, to the clergy, who according to facts manipulates them from religious as well as from political and economical point of view. It is true that today the Church cannot kill people, who oppose it, or burn them at the stake, but it can discriminate and slander them and together with its political vassals and different insulting and dangerous concepts, such as sect or sectarian, makes them look bad in public.
It is obvious that parts about Jesus’ love for animals were deleted from the Bible. When and why?
In all religions power and money always play the key role. Historical facts tell us that in year 313 Constantine’s edict replaced religious leaders, who were the carriers of prophetic words, with managers of material properties of the first Christians - deacons, elders and Bishops, who made a pact with Constantine. With his help they became leaders of a privileged religion and formulators of state authority. For these favors the Emperor Constantine requested counter favors of the new state religion, which he also got. Thus, in comparison to the first Christians, who were not soldiers and were against war, the state church, later Catholic Church, promised to Emperor its support in recruiting soldiers. It promised the Emperor support in warfare and to fight against everything that the Emperor would not approve of, among other things also against other religious movements. This newly based state religion also needed a certain authorized Holy Book, the Bible, in which the Christians would have to believe and which would bring power to clergy over everything and everybody as well as wealth and luxury.
Many experts and theologians are of the opinion that a lot of today’s Biblical Essays were manipulated at the very beginning of their formation, as also tell us authentic historical records and authors or translators - formulators of today’s Bible.
Can you state an example of forgery of God’s word?
One example is St. Hieronimus who was given a task by Pope Damasus to formulate and translate a unique work. This work is today named the Vulgate or the Bible. Hieronimus wrote to the Pope: “…I have several different translations of which I have to make one uniform work, which is impossible, therefore I have to formulate something completely new and that will probably make me a forger of holy essays.” Hieronimus had to formulate the Bible in accordance to the teaching of the state church, which means he could not include some basic truths of the written teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, which was known at that time. These truths were especially essays of reincarnation, nonexistence of eternal curse, truth about the animals in relation to Jesus’ love for them. All this was not allowed to be included in the Bible, which today many Christians think is the authentic God’s word, so that there could exist a privileged state religion that has nothing in common with the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, except for His name, with which the Church manipulates religious people.
Where can be found more about Jesus’ vegetarian life and His living in harmony with animals?
First, there are apocrypha from the time of the first Christians. These are not part of Biblical texts. Then there are many Roman state documents from the time of the first Christians and Christian movements that talk about the prosecution of these movements because they followed the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and vegetarianism as one of the main truths. These are foremost essays of Manicheans, Cathars, Bogumils or the essays of the Grand Christians in Universal Life. In one of the most recent leaflets Great Gabriella’s letter No 4 it is stated that the great Church Father Hieronimus (331-420 A.D.) wrote about vegetarianism in one of his essays the following: “Until the Flood, consumption of animal meat was unknown. From the Flood on our mouths are full of fibers and smelly juices of animal meat… Jesus Christ, who came when the time was right, made ends meet again and now consumption of animal meat is not allowed anymore.”
The Apostle Paul wrote in his official letter to Romans: “We know that all beings breathe and suffer together. Beings await in fear for people to recognize themselves as God’s children, as all beings shall once be freed from the slavery of circle of mortality into the ultimate freedom of God’s children.”
John the Goldenmouth (354-457 A.D.) describes life of a certain group of Christians of that time: “They do not shed blood, slaughter and cut meat… There is no horrible smell of meat… no raging and terrible uproar. They only eat bread they earn with their work and drink spring water. When they wish for a luxury meal they eat fruits and enjoy more than at King’s table.”
I know a lot of historical researches about life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, but the most authentic and comprehensive is the book This is My Word. Alpha and Omega. The Gospel of Jesus. A Christ-Revelation which the world does not know., in which He, who walked this Earth as Jesus Christ, explains in details about what really happened at the time of His life.
In one of the newspapers there was an interview with former Slovenian Archbishop, Cardinal Franc Rode, in which he said that he was once a passionate hunter, but the new hunting law does not allow him to shoot wild animals as much as before. How do you comment his statement?
This surely is not something Jesus Christ would approve of. Those, who on vile impulse treat animal like this, kill them with a gun, slaughter and at the end eat them, as Archbishop said in the interview, are well described in the statement of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss (1884-1963): “Hunting is a definition of a very cowardly murder of a helpless being. Hunting is a parallel form of a mental illness.” Jesus of Nazareth, in whose name Franc Rode thinks is acting, did not teach nor do so. He was a pacifist and loved animals. Unfortunately, the hunting of Franc Rode is not the only wickedness toward animals in connection to torturing and killing animals that has full support of the Church. There are also the so called Hubert’s masses. These are offered by his college Bishops and priests in front of dead bodies of animals that are blessed at the end of the mass.
Tolstoy said: “As long as there are slaughter houses there will be wars!” Is the Catholic Church, which abuses the fifth commandment, also responsible for violence and wars all over the world?
Even the late Pope John Paul II obviously did not doubt it, otherwise he would not ask for forgiveness of the victims, who were killed by suns and daughters of his organization. Many historians and free-thinking people are of the opinion that the Catholic Church carries a great deal of responsibility for wars that happened in the last 1700 years because it was ethically-moral institution of the authority or it was the authority itself, which means that it was actively deciding for wars. It is a historical fact that churches, which claim to be the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, from the time of their establishment in year 313, have caused only suffering, problems and deaths to people as well as to animals and nature. Just think about the Crusades, the Middle Ages, burning of witches at the stake, massacre of Catholic Croatians over Orthodox Serbs in a period 1941-1943 in Yugoslavia - former Pope asked for forgiveness for this crime in Banja Luka.
It is almost impossible to believe that an organization, such as the Catholic Church, has been killing, prosecuting and, as at the time of inquisition, slaughtering people and animals for almost two thousand years, without people being able to fight against it, and all this in the name of Prince of peace, Jesus Christ.
Resource: Magazine Liberation of animals, April 2004
DR. JANEZ DRUNOVSEK, PRESIDENT OF SLOVENIA, ABOUT VEGETARIANISM AND ANIMAL RIGHTS Vegetarianism would increase the chance for long-term survival of mankind
In the entire history of mankind there have only been a handful of notable statesmen who were vegetarians and seriously took a stand for animal rights. Even today there are very few. Slovenija is one of the few bright lights in the world of politics today. By giving this interview the president Dr Janez Drnovsek has for the first time expressed the message to people, to start thinking about unimaginable brutality that man is inflicting upon animals.
Why did you become a vegetarian and what changes did you notice as a result?
Because I feel vegetarian food is better, better quality. We eat meat because it’s the way we had been brought up. I have been a vegetarian for a few years and just recently I have become a vegan, which means I don’t eat milk, dairy products or eggs. There is still plenty of choice, varied vegetable foods, which are sufficient to our needs. I took this step following my inner feeling. Some people believe that vegan food is very limited and boring which is not true. It can be very diverse.
Was the main reason for changing your diet your serious illness a few years back?
That was the time I gradually started to change. First step was omitting red meat, then poultry and eventually fish.
After changing to vegetarian food do you feel better, healthier?
I feel great - they say I have too much energy.
On World protection of Animals Day (October 4th) you invited members of Society for Liberation of Animals and their rights for discussions. What was discussed?
I invited them mainly to try and convey the message to general public to coincide with this day. We don’t always realise how we treat animals, how we manage them. They are live creatures. As I said people have this set idea of behaviour towards animals and as result very rarely question what we actually cause. If we think for a moment how man manages animals and what impact he has on animal world we could say he was not human at all. Just think of all slaughter houses and production of beef or poultry where conditions for animals are impossible. Animals are transported in lorries many times without any water which is extremly cruel. It is not that people are bad they just don’t think about it. When the final product is in front of them on the plate they don’t think what was it before and how it got to this stage.
So you decided to become a vegetarian on ethical grounds as well?
The ethics are part of the reason; the other part is the fact that humans don’t need the animal flesh. It is only thinking patterns we follow that are ingrained in us. It is probably really hard to change overnight, but it can be done gradually. This is how I did it.
You spoke against subsidising mass livestock farming in the media. What was your reason for this?
I believe it is foolish, that European Union’s main priority is one hundred percent subsidy of farming especially meat products. The fact that EU subsidises mass production of meat and poultry is really the main obstacle from the ethics point of view. Not only that but also from the point of view of nutrition. We are frequently reminded by nature i.e. mad cow disease, recently swine fever, bird flu. It is obvious that something is not as it should be, something is disturbing the natures balance and that should be a warning to us all.
Vegetarian products in shops are more expensive than meat products, which does not encourage people to buy healthier food. Do you think that more people would stop eating meat if vegetarian option was cheaper?
That is a factor as well although I believe the main reason to be awareness of people. It is a question of making people aware of what is happening and what are they being part of. I think that is the key. That in turn leads to changes in politics i.e. agricultural policy, farming subsidies and future directions. Instead of using huge resources for mass meat production we should use it for organic farming of diverse produce from cereals, pulses, fruit and all the products that originate from these. This would certainly be kinder to nature as organic production means no use of chemical fertilizers or additives. It would mean no pollution to the environment and no chemical additives in our food. We consume these chemicals every day in our food and they are harmful. But behind all this are the interests of big manufacturers, lobbies, huge profits which are the driving force for these food manufacturers’ conglomerates. Nonetheless I believe that awareness of people continues to increase in our country and in EU. People are more and more searching for natural alternatives; they are turning to nature and becoming more aware of problems regarding animals and animal products.
Would you on the basis of your own experiences recommend people to try vegetarianism?
If I do it myself I can’t see a reason why I wouldn’t recommend it to others. I have no complaints as I said; I have more energy than I need. If nothing else I am living proof that you can survive without meat and meat products.
How do you view the fact that we all have to pay the same national insurance contributions? It is well known that vegetarians are a lot healthier and therefore don’t use the health service as frequently.
This is a wider problem; the whole concept could be different. I don’t think that is a valid point, because there should be some solidarity, where healthy people help those, who are unwell. It is true however that everyone is responsible for their own health. If we consumed less harmful and unhealthy food, we would considerably lessen the financial burden on our health service. Of course it is not in everybody’s interest if that were to happen. What would happen to pharmaceutical industries, huge multinational companies which make billions from sick people?
What is your view on hunting?
Hunting as killing animals in the name of sport is unethical. If you are referring to the part of the hunting organization that looks after nature environment and wild animals, for example helping with feeding in the winter - it is very useful. Hunting which is by definition just chasing and killing of animals is of course completely unethical.
What is your opinion on live animal testing?
This is a well known dilemma which has recently been in forefront of politics in Europe, in Great Britain. You have to ask yourself would you like it if you were the subject of such testing. During the second world war my father was an inmate in the concentration camp in Dachau, where he was subjected to such medical experiments together with thousands other people. He didn’t like it one bit. Some people would say it is necessary for the progress of science but I am sure that in most cases alternative methods can be used without the need for animal testing.
Where do you think the brutal treatment of animals originates?
It comes from low level of people’s awareness.
And looking historically?
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact time in history. It is a question of respecting life in general. Animals are live creatures with feelings. Everyone who has a domestic animal or a pet knows that animals have feelings. The world’s religions often speak about respecting life but they only mean human life and sometimes not even that. Looking back in the Middle Ages Catholics proclaimed for a long time that native Red Indians which were enslaved by the Spanish and Portuguese do not have a soul. This meant that they weren’t treated as living creatures with feelings. Then they changed their mind and proclaimed that black people don’t have souls. Centuries of black slavery followed. All this happened with the blessing of the Church. Today nobody accepts this anymore. We can see how historical conscience of people is changing despite the opposing views from some institutions at different points in time.
It’s nearly Christmas. For millions of people it is time for happiness, love and peace. For millions of animals it is a time of terrible cruelty at slaughter so that our tables can be laden with carcases. And all this to celebrate the birth of a man who loved animals, protected them and didn’t kill them. What is your view on this?
Jesus would be turning in his grave if he knew that mass slaughter of animals is carried out every year in his name. His deliverance is based on absolute respect of life and it is very difficult to imagine that he would accept millions of living creatures being killed in his honour.
Are you aware that all vegetarians (including you) are cursed by the Church and are condemned to eternal hell?
Fortunately people who say this don’t decide who goes to hell and who doesn’t.
All the world leaders always emphasise their endeavours for world peace. Do you think peace is connected to our relationship to animals and nourishment of people without the need for killing? Tolstoy said “As long as there are slaughter houses there will be wars.”
If a person’s conscience is highly developed they will not kill or be cruel to animals. You can not expect from such person to go to war and kill people for a profit. People who do not kill and eat animals have a greater chance of finding a way to live in peace in harmony. Everything is interconnected in one’s conscience. On a higher level one comes with the other. Making people more aware is the key.
How do world’s politicians view this?
The world’s politicians are no more aware of this than most people. I have noticed that in many cases ordinary people are ahead of politicians. We see a lot of non govermental organizations championing causes that are not priorities of governments. Be it our treatment of animals, environment or climate change. This push for change is coming from ordinary members of society. When the critical mass of people accepts an idea, when majority of people expect and demand change only then will the politics respond. Sadly politicians are not the ones to encourage others to be conscious but instead they follow public opinion of the moment. When they see the public support slipping they reassess their priorities.
Tolstoy is just one of many “great minds” of mankind, who publicly spoke for vegetarianism. Let me name a few: Pythagoras, Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and Mahatma Ghandi….These people are recognized for their great works and achievements, they are often quoted in recognition of their genius. Why do you think that mankind does not want to hear about animals and vegetarianism from these great people for example this daring saying from Albert Einstein “Nothing will increase our chances of survival on Earth as significantly as will switching to vegetarian food.” How would you comment on this quote from the genius physicist?
Certainly the chances of long-term survival of mankind would increase. Everything is connected. Better quality food is somehow connected with higher level of consciousness. It is a parallel process if we can do one we can do the other. However it is unreasonable to expect from people with lower levels of consciousness who are cruel to animals, to end wars, to stop manipulating others, to help eradicate world poverty. In short as long as consciousness level is low all the disagreements in the world today will remain and possibly increase to the point of annihilation of humans.
Are the people who say they love animals, but they eat meat, real animal lovers?
I think that people do love animals, their pets, but somehow they automatically eat other animals. If they had to slaughter a cow before they could have a steak, they would think twice. Meat products are so altered in appearance that people don’t associate them with real animals.
Some ladies wear animal fur in winter. What is your view on this fashion industry?
Again it’s the question of consciousness of people. People often automatically accept the behavioural patterns without questioning them. Only when you question something, you can change your point of view and become more aware of what you are buying.
Where do people get the right to slaughter, incarcerate and torture animals and at the same time demand peace and all the rights for themselves? Is this sanctioned in the constitution?
It is not sanctioned as such, of course the lawyers and legislators will tell you it is not barred; but it is indeed assumed it is legitimate.
From unofficial source I’ve heard that even your dog Brodi is vegetarian. Is it true?
You’ve been informed well. You’d better ask him personally. I’m not authorised to answer in his name. (laughing)
Source: Magazine Liberation of the animals, January 2006
Confession of a former hunter from Sevnica (Slovenia):
THE NUMBER OF ANIMALS IS BALANCED BY NATURE ITSELF,
THEREFORE HUNTERS AREN'T NEEDED
For 37 years he was a member of the hunting family from Sevnica, for 22 years a member of its administrative board and for 12 years the president of this board and of the rifle commission. In this period he killed a great deal of animals, but four years ago he decided to quit hunting for good. Rudi Ameršek from Sevnica today says that he is a converted murderer - his opinion is that killing animals is a crime. Not spending so much time aiming his barrel at game, he has more time left for his hobby and his family. In Slovenia he is known for unique hand-made vine sculptures.
What memories do you have of your first years as a member of a hunting family?
To become a hunter I had to fulfill some conditions. The president at that time said to me: If you want to become a hunter, you must have a hunting dog! He than sold me a young of his hunting dog and I had to kill my mongrel with poisonous gas. We used poisonous gas in ampoules in many cases. We usually threw such an ampoule in front of the earth and when a fox ate or bit through it, it soon died. Fox fur was very valuable at that time and sometimes I waited in the woods for my prey the whole night. Today I am ashamed for killing animals in the past.
What happened that made you quit murdering animals?
My children from the second marriage and my present wife Slavka kept telling me for years that killing animals isn’t ethical. At last they even forebode me to bring shot animals home. That was a shock for me. Every enthusiastic hunter is proud of his prey and wants to show it. I used to do that too. As I couldn’t bring killed animals home, my passion for hunting slowly ceased. In time I began to understand that hunting is merely passion for killing animals. Women in my family opened my heart to animals and today I can call myself a converted murderer.
Many hunters claim that they are friends of the animals.
Hunters and love for animals? That is ridiculous! Hunters only love animals when they are eating them. Hunters that go to the woods to feed the animals without their guns are very rare. A hunters’ saying makes everything clear: A hunter without his gun is like a man without his penis on his wedding day!
Hunters claim that they kill animals to prevent their increase in number.
Nature doesn’t need hunters. It is scientifically proven that there are certain mechanisms that maintain balance in nature, therefore human interference with nature isn’t needed. If there are to many animals at a certain area, the number of births reduces or an illness takes care of the least resistant members of a species. Another thing has to be stressed concerning the number of animals: hunting families often report a greater number of animals at their hunting ground than the actual truth, so that the Slovenian Hunting Association can authorize a greater number of animals to be killed. I can confirm this is happening.
What is the primary hunter’s motive?
Only passion for killing and selfishness. Do you know what hunters are talking about most of the time? How they shot an animal, what kind of trophies they have, which one is better, they compare each other, which hunter has a better gun, which gun does more damage to the animal, has better breakthrough… Some hunters throb with excitement and passion when they see an animal or when something moves in the bushes. This excitement can also cause accidents. Last year two accidents happened at boar hunt, when a hunter shot another hunter. I know hunters who neglected their families and farms because they preferred hunting and going to a pub after. Sometimes hunters even started a fight in a pub because someone was jealous of another one, who had shot a better animal. Even the police had to interfere. Let me tell you a story which well presents, how many hunters are addicted to killing. Years ago a member of our hunting family fell ill. I suggested to visit him on Sunday instead of going hunting. Most of the members chose hunting. Only three of us went to visit our friend. They even resented me for wanting to deprive them of their hunting pleasure (killing animals).
What about the trophies?
It is all about the most beautiful trophy. Just like other men love beautiful cars and girls. Many hunters decide to kill the most beautiful deer species, in spite of the fact that it is sometimes forbidden. They think it is worth to kill a deer that will make such a beautiful and enviable trophy, even though their hunting license might be revoked for two years.
I heard that some of the hunters visit schools and lecture to pupils. What do they talk about?
Yes, that’s true. School administration invites hunters to do that. A few years ago a hunter even visited a kindergarten in Sevnica and he clearly didn’t tell them that hunting is passion for killing animals. He was telling children fairytales about hunters being friends of the animals, he was convincing them, how good they are to animals, how they take care of them and how the animals need them.
Some farmers complain about wild animals eating their crops.
We didn’t get a lot of such complaints. People complained more about hunters shooting their cats or loose dogs. They even shot ducks that some farmers had in creeks. Domestic animals become victims when hunters don’t shoot anything in the woods.
What is your advice to hunters?
I advise them to take up a more ethical hobby or sport. They should sell their gun and buy a bike instead. Gun means killing and killing is a crime. Fishing is a crime too. At hunting an animal usually dies right away, but at fishing it is dying in terrible suffering for couple of minutes. The animals want to live together with humans and nature in harmony. In my opinion another problem is that humans interfere with nature more than they should and they are increasingly contracting living space of the animals.
What memories does his wife Slavka has of the bitter period, when Rudi was still a hunter?
Sometimes Rudi used to be away from home for the whole weekend, hunting. The hunt finished at 2 p.m., but often he afterwards went with other hunters to a pub, where they stayed till late hours. Sometimes I would come home at 10 p.m. and he would still be out. I didn’t like him coming home drunk. Hunters have a saying: A real hunter comes home on Monday, if the hunt is on Sunday. In some cases alcohol led to violence at home. 15 years ago Rudi gave me fox fur that he himself tanned and he also killed the fox. My daughter told me that if I ever wore it and came to school, she would pretend not to know me. I’m against wearing animal fur too, so Rudi had to sell it. I disapprove of fishing just as much because fish suffer even more. I don’t understand sport fishing, where fisherman catches a fish and then throws it back. I’m sure a fish doesn’t enjoy to have a sharp hook through its mouth. I remember a teenager in botanical garden Mozirski gaj who fainted when she saw a severely damaged fish that a fisherman pulled out of the pond.
Source: Magazine Liberation of the animals, June 2006
Edited by The Society for the Rights and the Liberation of Animals Slovenia
Used by permission
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