It’s about loyalty to a friend - A letter from Mary Max - 12 Feb 2003
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A letter from Mary Max
February 12, 2003

Hi All,

Some food (maybe literally) for thought:

While sharing a vegan meal with a fellow animal advocate last night, I was quite surprised to hear that my colleague sometimes eats baked goods made with eggs, milk, or honey.  When I asked her why, she said, “I’m not as strict as you are.”

(Forgive me if what I am about to say is not news to the veteran vegans.  When I came home and shared my experience with my husband, he was so excited about the concept of loyalty, not strictness, that he encouraged me to share this with all of you too.)

My choice to eat an “honest” vegan diet has nothing to do with being strict, but has everything to do with being LOYAL.  You see, I (and I know many of you do too) know about the torture egg-laying hens are forced to endure for two years (until they finally meet their death by being composted alive), I know about the pain and discomfort dairy cows have to suffer for five years while they are ceaselessly milked (not to mention the anguish they feel every time their newborn calves are torn from them at birth so that WE can drink the milk meant for the poor calf who is now stuck in a veal crate), and I know about the utter disruption bees have to deal with when their intricate family lives and work systems are completely destroyed as they are smoked out of their hives so we can have a little honey.

I asked my friend if she would ever go into my wallet and take a dollar.  Hey, it’s just a dollar. What’s the big deal?  She said, “Of course not, you’re my friend, I would never betray you!”

Well, all egg-laying hens, all dairy cows, and all bees (as well as all the other animals…including fish!) are my friends and I will never betray them.  Just as my colleague wouldn’t take one dollar out of my wallet, I will not eat a baked good (or any food) that “just has a little bit” of any animal in it.

It’s about loyalty to a friend, not about strictness (or that other word, “extremism”).

All the best,


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