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Thanksgiving Gratitude

Story ID:10165
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various various
Person:Steve and Natalie
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This morning I went to liturgy to give thanks to God for all His blessings to me.
I was disappointed that the church was not packed, because surely others must
be grateful to God in this same way, but sadly they were conspicuously missing
here today.

Fore mostly, I thank God for living in a land where I do not go hungry – where I even
have food to share with my rescued cats and hungry birds. And then I thank Him
for giving me a compassionate heart, and I am always happy to read about others
He has favored in this same way. Today I loved reading on Care2 about Steve
Williams’ experience on the road to veganism at the ages of 13. He remembered
that he had been involved in a religion class debate about the ethics of whether
animal testing for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals is ever justifiable. Choosing to
argue against animal testing –not from a moral standpoint but just because he
felt strongly that using animals in this way or any other way was simply wrong.

In essence he felt that cosmetic testing was never justifiable as well as the
problems with animal testing for medical purposes because treating thinking and
feeling creatures as objects and as a means to an end was intrinsically suspect.

He won the debate but was profoundly shaken when his teacher asked him later-
that if he felt so strongly about animal rights, why then was he eating meat?

This question really shook him up since he had never connected the two ideas- that
the same arguments he was using against using animals in cosmetic testing and
biomedical research should also apply to what he ate. And to his credit, he realized
that he would have to stop eating meat.

He told his dad that night when his father had ironically stocked the freezer with all
kinds of meats and you can well imagine that it did not go down very well with him.
Not wishing to hurt his father- he said he would eat meat until it was all gone. But
this father of this special young man was also very special as well and told him –
“Don’t come in here saying it’s a moral thing and then go back on it. You’ll have a
lot worse than me telling you off so if you’re going to do it, you should commit to it
now.” What a dad! I am grateful for both father and son.


Every Thanksgiving In Defense of Animals rallies the “troops” to demonstrate
against the wearing of fur coats. In Cleveland I would see these compassionate
people with posters parading around the then Higbee’s store downtown. It always
made me feel good to see them because I firmly believed that fur always looks better
on its original owners.

However, this event took place in Russia. I always felt bad when cameras in Russia
would focus on the people who during winter invariably wore fur hats and/or coats.
So when Aleks Gaintseva wanted to surprise his wife Natalia with a new fur coat,
he would be in for a big surprise.

When he took her to the fur farm in Barnaul, Russia she too was in for a big surprise.
She saw the frightened black fox imprisoned in a pen. She saw her cowering at the
back of the cage and immediately felt sorry for her. Gaintseve saw her as a beautiful
little fox looking at her with gorgeous big eyes.

Then she surprised her husband by telling him that she would much rather buy her
and release her than have her killed and WEAR HER. So this lucky little fox- per Susan
Bird who wrote this post on Care2 went home with the Gainstevas where she has
become their pet. She is well fed and happy with the woman with a big heart who
saw her as a sentient being instead of something pretty to wear. Were there millions
more like this compassionate Natalie.


“There’s nothing good to say about an animal’s life on a fur farm. They live crammed
together in small cages and pens. They live their lives in sheds, never going outside or
running free. They live and eat in the same tiny space in which they urinate and

After that sad life, they die hard deaths. To avoid damaging the fur, workers frequently
slaughter the animals in a particularly painful and cruel manner –anal or vaginal

China exports about half of the world’s finished fur garments. It’s a country known for
killing fur-producing animals by skinning them alive, hanging them or bludgeoning
them to death.”

There is more to Susan’s article and I am sure you can find this information on the
internet if interested. Sufficeth to say that compassionate people will not buy anything
made from the fur of tortured animals. Be also wary of faux fur which real fur is
sometimes labeled to fool the buyer. I would not even buy faux fur out of respect
for the millions and millions of innocent fur-bearing animals killed in places like
China, Canada, the United States and even some other places as well.