Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

My grandmother taught me about Santa Claus. She told me how he could see me when I was asleep and he knew when I was awake. We had no chimney, so he could pass through walls. He knew every child in the world by name. He knew my name. No matter what time of year it was, he knew when I was bad. He also knew when I was good. In fact, he rewarded me. Once a year he would come to our house and put presents under the tree for me. With all of his mystical powers, he found it in his heart to make the effort to come all the way from the North Pole to deliver presents. I was one of those children whose home he visited!

My grandmother was a devout Catholic. She taught me about God and the teachings of the church. She showed me how to pray and be a good boy in the eyes of God, who always watched over me. Naturally, I assumed that Santa Claus was a part of the Holy Trinity. Besides, Santa physically came to my home and bestowed tangible gifts unto me. He blessed me with rewards that I cherished: rewards I could touch and feel. I believed in and respected God, but Santa was of this Earth. He was my connection to the other realm. He was my real-life hero.

When I was ten years old, I found myself at school defending my hero to the other children. After all, my grandmother would never lie to me and I saw the presents. I touched them. I still had them at home as proof! My argument did not sway the opinions of these unbelievers and there were so many of them. They succeeded in planting a seed of doubt in me and I finally had no choice but to confront my grandmother on this issue.

She came clean. I had been lied to all this time. He never visited. The gifts were not from him. He did not even know my name . . . because he was not real. I had but one more question to ask her. “What about God?”

Most religions teach us that we should have compassion. They tell us that we should do right by others and in the process, we will save our very souls. Many are evangelical, meaning that we must enlighten others to save their souls as well. So what happened? Why do we see so much selfishness in religion? We are to save our own souls while we leave a dying planet in our wake. We are to insure our place in the far-beyond while future generations will have to suffer from our selfishness.

According to scientists, there will be little or no life left in the oceans as of the year 2048. You don’t believe me? Look it up! Research it for yourself. While you are doing that, you may as well research the repercussions of such an environmental catastrophe. If the seas die, we die . . . or should I say, the ones we leave behind will die.

But that’s okay because we can just save our souls and that is all that matters.

Forty percent of fish caught in the oceans are fed to livestock and farm raised fish. Most of the land used to grow vegetables is used for producing feed for livestock. Our meat habits are destroying the Earth. But that’s okay too. We can leave compassion in the wind and enjoy another meal from a dead animal. If the entire world were vegan, there would be no hunger and we would not be animal rights activists. Talk about a utopia!

You may say, “Well why should I be vegan when the rest of the world isn’t? It’s not gonna matter anyway if just little old me becomes a veggie freak!”

Hmm! Do I detect a note of selfishness in your tone?

Maybe I do follow a religion. Maybe I follow them all. Does it matter? How can we even have the slightest bit of comfort in our own souls if we don’t do everything in our power to fix this mess we have created? I have many years to make up for. I may never make up for all the animals who suffered so I could have a comfortable life, but that is not going to stop me from trying.

You cannot insure a place in heaven if you cannot find your place here on Earth. And our place right now is to stand up and do something. Our place is to spread the word and let people know what this world is coming to. Our place is to not be selfish, to not seek our own comfort and to not leave a ball of dust behind us for our children, for our grandchildren, for our nieces, nephews and our neighbor’s children. Take responsibility! Take charge of your life. Quit being so damned content and make some waves for once! If I hear one more person say that they don’t want to share a post on facebook because they do not want to upset their friends, I’m going to reach through that monitor and slap you silly! Wake up! This is not a game!

Maybe it’s time we got back down to Earth. Why? Because that is where we are needed the most. Heaven can wait! Maybe it’s time we made the connection. Maybe it’s time we finally sat down and watched Earthlings! Yeah! I’m talking to you! Pull your chair up and pay attention. Watch it now. It will change your life! Then you can see how you can leave a tangible gift behind. You can see how to leave a reward just because you care. Then you can believe in Santa again, because he is you!


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Comment by Wendy A.M. Prosser on February 3, 2011 at 21:45
That's wonderful news about your friend. I am sure you will do your best to help her make the change permanent.
Comment by Sharron Woodward on February 3, 2011 at 18:37

I love your comment about finding a place here on earth.  I feel that I have a place.  I have only felt that way since becoming vegan. I fel connected.  I want to also spread the word.  I don't ever want to sit back & not speak up despite who I may offend.  I won't set out to offend but so be it if what I say offends.  I have a non vegan friend who agreed to watch Earthlings (at my insistence) as she was interested in veganism & why I was one but also she said she felt deep inside that something is wrong with how she is living her life.  I received an email from her yesterday after telling me that she watched this life changing movie.  She says that she has been moved beyond her capacity to express.  I am hoping that this change will be permanent. We are meeting tomorrow as she wants to know more.  I have decided not to go lightly.  After watching Earthlings how can anyone not be changed?  It would be a souless person who could. 


I have grown up.  Santa is long since gone.  The horrible world of reality takes up my time & efforts. I will put my focus on what I truly believe in - a vegan world.

Comment by Holise E. Cleveland III on February 2, 2011 at 10:09
Thank you very much!
Comment by Lisa V on February 2, 2011 at 3:16

I never did believe in Santa. I think I was born a skeptic. I was sometimes envious of my younger sister who did believe in Santa (until she was about 12!) so I do see the allure of belief ... whether it's Santa or a religion.


Anyway, you made some good points. And if there is a god, I'm certain she'd be pretty mad at what we're doing here.

Comment by Wendy A.M. Prosser on February 2, 2011 at 2:30
Powerful post -- thanks for sharing.


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