I was asked a dozen times by store clerks over November and December if I wanted to donate money to provide a holiday meal for a poor family. It tugged at my heart strings to think of people being hungry on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I didn’t donate because I knew the meals wouldn’t be vegan.
I’m sure that there are many who disagree with my choice. Those who believe that the lives of people are more important than the lives of animals and thus that it was callous of me not to donate. There are people who might even shame me with the question, “Don’t you even care about starving children?”
I understand this position (for gosh sakes, I’ve been there!), but my perspective has shifted. I have more respect for animals now, and I do not want to take their lives even to feed starving children. Besides, it isn’t necessary. I can help feed starving children AND respect animals (not to mention help the environment) by giving poor people free vegan food.
This thought made me fantasize about starting a non profit that feeds needy people plant-based meals. I romanticized about this for days and went on and on to my husband about my plans. At some point, my down-to-earth better half interrupted me and said, “Maybe you should see if something like that already exists before you go any further.”
My husband was right, so I did some research and found out that such a thing does exist. Food Not Bombs is a worldwide movement that shares free vegetarian food with hungry people while also protesting war and poverty. What’s more, there’s already a chapter close to where I live.
Phew! I don’t know that I had it in me to start a non-profit anyway. Helping out an existing one sounds a lot easier.
One of my readers, Mychael, shared in a comment that Food Not Bombs is not strictly a vegan organization. Mychael says, “I checked out Food Not Bombs, and it appears that while they try to be vegan, they are really not. As you and I both know, there is as much pain and suffering in a piece of cheese as in a hamburger, perhaps more.”
Thanks for sharing this Mychael! It’s something to think about.
I also recently read Facts About Hunger and How You Can Help that I found interesting.
Photo courtesy of alaskapublicemployees.com.