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Peace unless, that is, I disagree with you then its death to you
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Hardcore militant vegans — those who eschew animal products in any form to consume not based on health reasons but the morality of killing any animal — are posting death threats.

They want to kill Matthew and Terces Englehart of Vacaville. The couple has gone back to incorporating meat in their diet after 40 years as vegetarians. They also happen to own six vegan restaurants dubbed Café Gratitude.

It should be noted the couple never embraced the “meat is murder” philosophy that drives hardcore militant vegans. That’s important because many of the social media postings that seem even tempered when compared to the death threats still paint the couple as hypocrites and Benedict Arnolds to the cause.

But none of that matters to holier-than-thou militant vegans.

And nothing is more two-faced — and frightening — than a self-righteous “meat is murder” vegan getting in your face.

I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for half my life. That means I will consume animal products such as dairy and eggs but no meat including fish or fowl. During the past 30 years I’ve had the displeasure twice of having a self-righteous “meat is murder” vegan get in my face. Having crossed the path of black bears twice so far while hiking I can assure you I feared them a heck of a lot less than militant vegans.

The first was in a Berkeley vegan restaurant in 1989. I know. What was I thinking as a registered Republican from the Central Valley patronizing a vegan restaurant off Telegraph Avenue?

I had switched to being a vegetarian three years prior. The couple I was with mentioned that to the waitress. For whatever reason, I used that as a cue to repeat a joke I would tell when someone made a big deal about me being a vegetarian in a public setting in the Sacramento area as back then it would draw more than a few strange looks. So without thinking I delivered the line, “I’m not that type of vegetarian. I don’t care if you machine gun downed Bambi.”

No sooner had the word “Bambi” left my lips, a lady at the next table jumped up almost shouting “how dare you call yourself a vegetarian!”

She happened to have a butter knife in her right hand — I assume she wasn’t using it to spread animal byproducts — that she pointed at me.

During her diatribe she managed to squeeze in how she was a true blue card carrying member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals which I found interesting. The PETA members I knew at the time had the temperament of Quakers who I doubted thought it would be dignified to get a foot or so away from a stranger while yelling about the poor treatment of animals while waving a butter knife. After about 30 seconds, we got up and left while the enraged woman following us to the door.

The other time was when a college student overheard me as I mentioned to a friend that I had just bought another leather jacket from Wilson’s. I got the quick rundown on how buying a leather jacket was murder. Like an idiot, I engaged her noting I was a vegetarian and that the hide to make the leather came from an animal that was dead.

That enraged the college student causing her to step forward and lean into my face to tell me  if people didn’t eat cows they’d be no reason to kill them.

This time I kept my mouth shut resisting the temptation to ask her thoughts about the Donner Party and whether they should have just skipped the oxen and got down to what made them famous. Besides I’m sure she would have favored sparing the oxen.

I have discovered over the years that there are a few vegans out there that view me as a traitor to their cause.

But here’s the rub: I never embraced their cause.

While I’ve never hunted nor fished my grandparents were cattle ranchers. Perhaps that qualified me as a war criminal in their eyes.

Just like other self-absorbed radicals of whatever cause you can mention, it’s not good enough for hardcore militant vegans that you inadvertently embrace — for your own reasons — one or more of their primary objectives which in this case is the eating of animals for food.

And because you don’t see eye-to-eye to them even though they like some of your moves — so to speak — they threaten you with bodily harm while ignoring those who have daily Big Mac attacks.

Even more bizarre is how someone who essentially argues thou shall not kill to feed your hunger can be at peace with themselves for threatening to kill someone.

That’s the great thing about being politically correct. You sins don’t matter. It’s only the perceived sins of others that aren’t marching lock step with you.

The characters of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” had a term for those that think that way — fascists.


This column is the opinion of Dennis Wyatt and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Journal or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209.249.3519.