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BuddiesThis young ape and tiger were put together as infants, and remained good friends as they grew.I have been unable to find further identifying information; Readers, if you know more, send a link.--EditorEditor’s Corner Essay: NimrodThe biblical Book of -- --Genesis, 10:8-9, reads "Cush became the father of Nimrod; -- --he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a -- --mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, "Like -- --Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord." (RSV)Not a few -- --biblically literate contemporary hunters have taken these -- --words to heart, and even gone so far as, perhaps -- --lightheartedly, to apply them to themselves, assuming they -- --mean that a hunter like themselves can be "mighty before -- --the Lord," and thereby enjoy the Lord's favor. But as the -- --expression goes, not so fast! Nimrod’s may appear to be a -- --good kind of might to one who, like many Protestants, -- --reads the Bible line by line and without benefit of an -- --extensive living tradition of interpretation, or a sense of -- --a line's broader context. In fact, with a few exceptions, -- --Nimrod has not been viewed favorably by Jewish exegetes, -- --who might be considered the primary custodians of the -- --Hebrew scriptures, nor was he by ancient or medieval -- --Christian interpreters.Why was this? Here are a few -- --benchmarks.First, the name Nimrod is said by Hebrew -- --scholars to be derived from the word for "rebel"; it is -- --probably not really a personal name, but simply designates -- --someone otherwise unnamed known only as "the rebel." -- --Moreover Jewish commentators as early as Philo and Yochanan -- --ben Zakai in the first century C.E. took the line "a mighty -- --hunter before the Lord," literally "in the face of Yahweh," -- --to really mean, "in opposition to the Lord," “right in his -- --face.” In other words, his mighty hunting may not have -- --been blessed by God but may have been an aspect of his -- --rebellion against God.He came by his contrary character by -- --means of heredity, for he was, according the Genesis, the -- --son of Cush and grandson of Ham, the one of the three sons -- --of Noah with whom curses have been associated. Many of us -- --today dislike the notion of visiting the sins of the -- --fathers upon the children and grandchildren; the rule is -- --affirmed in the Ten Commandments, but rejected by the later -- --prophet Ezekiel. Even so, there is enough in the further -- --story of Nimrod to justify a poor view of the mighty -- --hunter.The biblical account (Gen. 10:10-11) goes on to say, -- --"The beginning of his kingdom was Babel [Babylon], Erech, -- --and Accad [Akkadian empire], all of them in the land of -- --Shinar [central Mesopotamia or, today, Iraq]. From that -- --land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh. . ."Here a -- --couple of red flags go up. The next chapter of Genesis, 11, -- --tells of the famous tower of Babel (pictured), by which -- --humans attempted to reach heaven, much to the displeasure -- --of God, who hobbled their ambition by causing our ancestors -- --to speak many languages. The Bible does not explicitly say -- --that Nimrod ordered the tower, but tradition has generally -- --ascribed that offense to the rebel. The words of the -- --ancient Jewish historian Josephus (who developed Roman -- --sympathies) are worth citing:Now it was Nimrod who excited -- --them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the -- --grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great -- --strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to -- --God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but -- --to believe that it was their own courage which procured -- --that happiness. He also gradually changed the government -- --into tyranny, seeing no other way to turning men from the -- --fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence -- --on his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if -- --he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he -- --would build a tower too high for the waters to reach. And -- --that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their -- --forefathers.We know how that worked out. But, perhaps -- --unwilling to accept defeat by God, Nimrod went on to -- --Assyria in the northern part of present-day Iraq where he -- --built the great city Nineveh (see artist’s rendition -- --below); he may in fact be identified with Ninurta, the -- --mythical Assyrian warrior, hunter, and founder of human -- --civilization in that metropolis. But that would scarcely -- --endear him to the Hebrews, who dreaded the Assyrian -- --Empire's ruthless military tactics and widespread -- --deportations of conquered peoples. That culminated in the -- --Assyrian captivity of the northern tribes of Israel in 733 -- --BCE. Though this was of course much later than the -- --legendary Nimrod, that atrocity could have been seen as a -- --continuation of the son of Cush's rebellion against God and -- --the Good in favor of dictatorial rule here on earth. The -- --terrorism out of Nineveh is reflected in the biblical book -- --of Jonah, whose protagonist went straight in the opposite -- --direction when God called him to preach repentance to that -- --great city; see “Jonah, the Big Fish, ‘and Also Many -- --Animals’” in PT 95.So this is Nimrod. Though there are -- --traditions that paint him more favorably, or claim that he -- --started out good but then turned to the dark side, he is -- --clearly, all in all, not a man to be admired or -- --imitated. Nothing in Nimrod lore is inconsistent with the -- --Jewish and some Christian traditions that sport hunting is -- --wrong, even if (and I would disagree with this too) hunting -- --for food when it is considered necessary is acceptable. Let -- --us find other figures more worthy of admiration.--Robert EllwoodNewsNotesMayo Clinic Ends Animal Use for TrainingThe well-known Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has stopped using animals in its training of residents, thanks to the activism of the PCRM. See Mayo--Contributed by PCRMAlt Burger Production -- --ExpandingBoth the Beyond Meat burger and the -- --Impossible Burger are proving enormously -- --popular, and are likely, when prices are -- --equal or less, to put slaughterhell burgers -- --out of commission. See Exponential Growth--Contributed by Guru PrasadUnset Gems“At what time animal -- --[flesh] food came first in use is not certainly known. He -- --was a bold man who made the first experiment . . . . To -- --see the convulsions, agonies, and tortures of a poor -- --fellow-creature, whom they cannot restore nor recompense, -- --dying to gratify luxury, and tickle callous . . . organs, -- --must require a rocky heart, and a great degree of cruelty -- --. . . “--George Cheyne, M.D., 1671 - 1743Letters: A.J. Morey, Gerald Niles. . . . I really enjoyed the opening essay on hunting culture. It reminded me that I find myself at odds with horse culture about sporting with animals--calf roping, -- --bronco riding, barrel racing, for -- --example. I've been taking pictures -- --at horse events and find myself also -- --photographing the calves. But I -- --don't know what I'll do with these -- --images; I'm waiting for a path. Of -- --course, your comments in this -- --edition about hunting are of much -- --more moment. The minor cruelties -- --in calf roping or even barrel racing -- --take a back seat to killing.But, in -- --this context, I want to mention that -- --my 2014 book, Picturing Dogs, Seeing -- --Ourselves: American Vintage -- --Photographs (Penn State) has a -- --chapter about hunting culture and -- --its intimate relationship to racism -- --and misogyny. One book I found very -- --helpful was Luke Brian's Brutal: -- --Manhood and the Exploitation of -- --Animals. If you decide to comment -- --on my book, I can supply a couple of -- --dandy antique hunting photos. . . .--A.J.M.. . . . Thank you for sending the July-August -- --PT; it’s always a treat.While few readers of PT are -- --sport hunters, your [Editor’s] corner essay and -- --Robert’s review of God, Nimrod, and the World -- --explore sport hunters’ views extensively. It’s -- --good to know the views of the other side so we can -- --“speak truth to power” effectively. . . .--G.N.Pioneer: Richard Phillips,1767 - 1840There -- --are two differing accounts of the origins of -- --our pioneer Richard Phillips, each having its -- --different story of the event that led to his -- --commitment to a vegetarian way of life. One -- --of them says that he was born into a farm -- --family near the city of Leicester, spending -- --his early years on the farm. While still -- --fairly young he went off, with parental -- --permission, to London to seek his fortune. -- --But his hopes of success and independence -- --miscarried. Half-starved, he made his way -- --back home, where his happy parents threw a -- --feast, for which they, like the father in the -- --biblical parable, killed the fatted calf. -- --Richard partook with his family; it wasn’t -- --until afterwards that he discovered that the -- --butchered calf was the one he had specially -- --loved and played with. He was horrified and -- --promised himself never to eat meat again.The -- --other account says that he was born in London, -- --the son of a brewer, and went to school -- --there. At age twelve he blundered into a -- --slaughterhell (probably an outdoor area), and -- --was so traumatized that he swore off eating -- --the products of such violence for the rest of -- --his life. Whatever the circumstances in which -- --he made his vow, he kept it. His parents must -- --have been kindly people, because their -- --cooperation would probably have been -- --necessary; parental authority was a very -- --strong force then.This second account has the -- --strength that the incident of the -- --twelve-year-old entering a slaughterhell comes -- --from his own writing. It is quite possible, -- --however, that he was born on a farm and sent -- --to London to stay with the family of the -- --brewer, who may have been his uncle. It was -- --common in eighteenth-century England to send -- --boys as young as eight or nine away from home--e.g., to start naval officer training, to attend boarding -- --school, take up an apprenticeship, or the like. But it -- --seems pretty unlikely that parents who cared enough to make -- --a feast at his return would have allowed him, at age twelve -- --or younger, to go off by himself with no arrangements for -- --his board and keep. So I am inclined to accept the second -- --account as more likely overall.Richard engaged in various -- --trades during his life: school usher, teacher, and -- --shopkeeper selling everything from stockings, books, and -- --patent medicines to pianofortes. But he was best known as a -- --publisher, writer, and public figure. During most of his -- --twenties he lived in Leicester, where, besides books and -- --pamphlets of various kinds by himself and others, his big -- --publishing venture was a newspaper, the Leicester Herald, -- --which became not only a herald of compassion and justice, -- --but a substantial moneymaker.One would think doing well by -- --doing good was a win-win situation. Today the paper would -- --be considered liberal; at that time, in the 1790s, it was -- --thought to be radical. The French Revolution had begun in -- --1789, and paranoid anxiety swept England, worsening with the -- --development of the Reign of Terror across the Channel. -- --England became something of a police state, with -- --suffocatingly repressive laws, spies everywhere, and many -- --transportations to prison colonies. In this atmosphere, -- --Richard’s vocal passion for social justice put him in -- --danger. A paid informer reported that he had committed the -- --crime of selling Thomas Paine’s book The Rights of Man. As -- --a result, Richard was convicted of a “misdemeanour” and -- --sentenced to sixteen months in gaol (according to another -- --account, three years). His ample purse and some powerful -- --friends, such as the chemist Joseph Priestley, supported -- --him, and he did not undergo the kind of horrors poor -- --prisoners faced (and many died from--more of this later). In fact he was able to continue editing the Herald, and to relieve the suffering of some of his fellows during his time as a political prisoner.After his release, he continued to edit the Herald until a fire destroyed his office and shop. He was then twenty-eight years old. With his insurance money he betook himself to London and set up a new publishing office and printing press. Besides books and pamphlets on many topics--ranging from -- --textbooks for children to attacks on -- --the abuses of the powerful -- --contrasted with the sufferings of -- --the poor, and defence of vegetarianism--his main effort was a new periodical, the Monthly -- --Magazine, which covered the wide range of subjects -- --in which he took an interest. It was much praised, -- --and also ridiculed, but it too made money--£1,500 a month. One pound was then worth about $90 in today’s money, so, needless to say, our hero became very rich indeed.When he first moved to London, he took a room in a boarding-house owned by a milliner. He had remained a compassionate and articulate vegetarian (a “Pythagorean” in the then-current language). Pythagoreans were very rare, and his stance created a major logistical problem for him. Meals were part of the arrangement in such situations, and all lodgers in a house took them together, at the “board.” They were anything but veg. But in Richard’s case, the problem led to an unexpected benefit. One of the landlady’s hat-making assistants, a Miss Griffiths, who was blessed with beauty as well as flexible culinary skills, offered to prepare his meals. The adage about the way to a man’s heart turned out to be doubly true for this pair. Thanks to her kindness and her good looks, Richard was soon smitten, and probably she with him as well; it seems likely that, as a caring person herself, she was touched by his extraordinary compassion and commitment. And, judging from Richard’s portraits in his overweight middle age, he was no doubt handsome as a young man, with curly hair, fine features, and healthy color. They “married in haste,” and fortunately did not have to “repent at leisure,” for the marriage was a happy and fulfilling one. In time they moved into an elegant villa in Hampstead north of London, produced seven children--four -- --girls and three boys--and lived in comfort and luxury.(Richard’s ample girth may actually have been a social asset. So long as it stayed short of obesity, overweight was much more acceptable then than it is now; he would have been considered a “fine figure of a man.” Poundage signaled wealth, and in Richard’s case it also assured the naysayers that Pythagoreans certainly do not waste away.)Thanks to his many publications, his wealth, beneficence, and influential friends, Richard became prominent in London affairs, and at age forty in 1807, was elected High Sheriff for Middlesex. This position included oversight of the prisons and gaols--poetic justice, -- --considering that he had himself been -- --confined to one in Leicester only -- --the previous decade. Thanks to -- --what he had witnessed then, and his -- --profound compassion for all those -- --who suffer, he took this -- --responsibility very seriously, -- --visiting the Newgate and Fleet -- --prisons every day. There had -- --already been some reform; despite -- --the well-known book by Pioneer and -- --prison reformer John Howard thirty -- --years earlier (see PT 87 ) and the -- --consequent passing of some laws by -- --Parliament,, the prisons were still -- --terribly overcrowded, unsanitary -- --holes where then-deadly typhus -- --(“gaol fever”) was rife. People -- --arrested for trivial offences were -- --jammed in with violent criminals, -- --fed scantily, and (unless they were -- --rich) denied access to family visits -- --or legal help. Hanging was common, -- --even for fairly minor thefts. -- --Prisoners were considered guilty -- --until proven innocent, which put the -- --poor at a great disadvantage. By -- --vigorous and persistent appeals to -- --those in authority, Richard managed -- --to right some of these wrongs, -- --though he failed in his efforts to -- --get a larger building constructed.In -- --more than one of his published -- --works, he gives many reasons for a -- --vegetarian regime. In one or two of -- --them the language is hard to -- --understand, and a few points are -- --stretched, but many of them have a -- --very modern ring. He points out -- --that animals, like us, love life and -- --fear death; that we have a natural -- --abhorrence of eating the flesh of -- --humans, cats, dogs, and horses -- --(implying that it is unnatural to -- --eat the flesh of other animals); -- --that there is plenty of plant food -- --available, and it doesn’t hurt -- --plants to be cut or eaten; that -- --people are generally averse to -- --killing, and many of them wouldn’t -- --eat animals if they had to do their -- --own killing; that carnivorous -- --animals aren’t capable of imagining -- --the sufferings of the animals they -- --kill, whereas we humans have a -- --capacity for sympathy; that a plant -- --diet results in good health and -- --strength equal to, or better than, -- --that of flesh-eaters; that the land -- --can feed many more people with -- --plants than with animals; that -- --peasants who eat only plants -- --(potatoes in the case of the Irish, -- --oats in the case of the Scots) have -- --health just as good as, or better -- --than, the rich who eat animals.In -- --the Age of Reason as well as the -- --Romantic era following, Richard -- --championed the importance of -- --feelings as a guide to life, -- --especially for people in positions -- --of authority; in a very stratified -- --and abusive society, he championed -- --the downtrodden. He was knighted by -- --the king for his many achievements, -- --and became Sir Richard. This title -- --can be seen not as a merely verbal -- --honor, but as a symbol of his life -- --of riding forth, the storied Knight -- --in Shining Armor, to rescue helpless -- --beings in distress.--EditorThe house pictured on page 7 is a villa in present-day Hampstead.Sources: The Ethics of Diet by Howard Williams; Wikipedia.Review: Tobias Leenaert: How to Create a Vegan WorldTobias Leenaert, How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach. New York: Lantern Books, 2017. Pp. xvii + 195. $20.00 softcover. Foreword by Peter Singer. Illustrated by Amy Hall-Bailey.This compact book, one in a succession of distinguished vegan-vegetarian-animal-concerns publications by Lantern Books, is essential reading for anyone wanting to become active in those areas. Whether one likes the author's pragmatism or not, it forces crucial thinking about vegan means and ends. It asks "What do we really want, and how do we most effectively get there?" and then points out that paths to the mountaintop Veganville, as Leenaert calls the supreme goal, can start in many different places and follow diverse paths up the slopes to the summit, some of which might almost seem to be going in another direction for a while.Tobias Leenaert, a Belgian, is a leader in several international vegetarian organizations. Living in Ghent, Belgium, he launched the campaign which resulted in that city's becoming the first in the world to officially endorse a weekly vegetarian day. (Otherwise, Ghent is best known, at least by me, for Robert Browning'spoem in galloping rhythm, "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix." (Be warned: it describes riding several horses to death.) Aix is probably Aix-la-Chapelle, or Aachen, Charlemagne's capital. What the good news was, or even exactly when the story in the poem took place, is never revealed and has been the subject of no small amount of speculation. But I have a greater idea that an exciting tidings-bearing venture now might be carrying the good news of veganism from Ghent to the European Union, the medieval emperor's present-day successor, and from there to the world.)Leenaert's pragmatism ("whatever works") is quite open about encouraging reducitarians and flexitarians, those who cut back on meat and dairy but aren’t there (yet) so far as absolute veganism goes. They are animal products abstainers several days a week, or during Lent, or before 6 p.m. Or they limit animal products to seafood or cheese or are vegan only at home, not when traveling or visiting relatives. The author illustrates, by the vivid diagrams which are a feature of this book, that because of their far greater numbers, reducitarians actually save many more animals from suffering and slaughter than do the absolutists. Moreover, meat reducers are more likely in the end to go vegetarian or vegan than regular meat eaters, and are less likely to backslide later.To his credit Leenaert deals fairly with vegan critiques of his pragmatism. Young audiences, especially teenagers, like black-and-white messages without ambiguity; perhaps we can all remember that stage in our intellectual development. Of course we should utilize that enthusiastic commitment when it is there.How to Create a Vegan World goes on to state certain objections to its measured stance, such as: "It's immoral to ask for anything less than vegan," "People want clear choices," "We need to set an example." On the other side, the Belgian writer shows that having an impact is not about winning an argument, but truly motivating change of whatever degree. An interesting example involves hunting, the topic of the last Peaceable Table. When an individual told an animal advocate that he liked to hunt and asked what the advocate thought about that, perhaps looking for an argument, the latter responded in a way that both distanced and supported the hunter: "I'm not going to say hunting is good. But it is nowhere near as bad as factory farming." This is in fact true, and also shifts the conversation from confrontation to something on which the two might both agree, and at least possibly lead to a considerable reduction in meat-eating on the hunter's part, if he was persuaded to limit himself only to what he himself shot.Finally, Leenaert (pictured) emphasizes the importance of presenting the how of veganism as much as, or even more than, the why. Although the figures vary, there is no question but that many of those who try veganism, probably a majority, backslide to some degree (even if not all the way to their original carnivorism), often in three months or less. This, Leenaert asserts and I think rightly, is not because they have suddenly become intellectually convinced that the why of veganism is entirely wrong; they may still think it is ideally true, but they get discouraged and give up. The how looms as a very big problem. They just don't know how to shop and cook vegan every day, especially amid today's fast-paced lifestyles, or can't face family dinners with meat still as the centerpiece, or feel run-down from too drastic and too uninformed a change in diet. (Or feel depleted because their unconscious mind is teaming up with their body to give them an out.) So it is vitally important that vegan advocates communicate in very practical terms about the how, and not to fuss about their gradual changes if they can’t “go cold tofu” all at once.Again, Tobias Leenaert's pragmatic How to Create a Vegan World belongs on every vegan activist's bookshelf. I have above only scratched the surface of the resources, talking points, and insights it offers. Be sure to get your copy.--Robert EllwoodRecipe: -- --Vegetarian Chili1 onion, chopped1 -- --garlic clove, chopped1 green pepper, -- --choppedOil to sauté½ tsp. chili -- --powder¼ tasp. cuminParsley, salt and -- --pepper2 c. bean broth1 c. tomato -- --sauce1 c. fresh corn4 c. cooked -- --beans (pinto or kidney)Sauté the -- --onion, garlic and green pepper in -- --oil. Add other ingredients and -- --simmer at least two hours (I put -- --this in the crockpot and serve with -- --bread and green salad.--Susan NelsonFrom The Peaceable Kitchen, a cookbook produced by Sandpoint (Idaho) Friends. Used with permission of its editor.I like to top chili and other Southwest dishes with shredded Daiya cheeze.--EditorPoetry: Paul LindholdtThe Way to OpenOff Lopez -- --Island on Puget SoundTwo otters rolled and doveFor -- --abalone.They pried freeThose muscles of suctionFrom -- --boulders beneath the waves.I liftedne shellDiscarded on -- --the rocky shore.Far back within its reachesPearly -- --motherLight cast back my shadowAnd the sky behind me -- --gathered hue.The otters, all whiskers and -- --dog-jowlsWatched over their shouldersAnd swam away.I -- --wanted to slideBeside them through the surfAnd recover -- --something I’d mislaid.There is this richFood inside us no -- --one knowsThe way to open.Paul Lindholdt is a poet, -- --professor, and environmental activist who lives in -- --Washington state.