The Peaceable Table

A Vegetarian Journal for Quakers and Other People of Faith

The Peaceable Table is intended for the mutual support, education, and inspiration of people of faith in the practice of love for our fellow animals and observance of a nonviolent diet

Guest Editorial: The Dance of Death

In 1999, bullfighting organizers attempted to make bullfighting popular in the border Mexican town of Nogales, Mexico but activists in Tucson, Arizona successfully put an end to their efforts. We educated people about the cruelty and ignorance involved in this blood sport and boycotted every single company that was willing to support this barbaric practice. The multinational Dillard’s had to stop selling tickets to the fights due to an overwhelming public demand. Macy's withdrew support after receiving customer threats to cancel credit cards. One scheduled fight was actually held, but very few people came, and most US visitors left within five or ten minutes. We clearly sent the message that bullfights were not welcome in Arizona.


During our investigation, I had the opportunity to visit the plaza and sadly realized that the connection between this blood sport and the symbols of the Catholic Church are still present and alive as an important part of this violent fiesta. I was invited to visit the traditional chapel built inside the plaza where the killer would pray and request God’s protection. On the walls, I saw several paintings depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin of Macarena, and some other Catholic saints and angels. I asked about the relationship between these two elements and they told me the devotion of the bullfighters and the Catholic Church was an important element of the fight.

This is indeed an inexplicable connection, since the basic principles of respect for God’s creation are incompatible with the cruelty displayed in bullfighting. Puzzled by this situation, I went to talk to the priest of the biggest church in the area. First at all, he told me that the Catholic Church does not have a particular policy against bullfighting. In his personal opinion, he said he found bullfighting extremely disgusting and cruel and seemed to be surprised about the use of Catholic symbols in bullrings. I asked him about the possibility of openly preaching against bullfighting but he said that nothing could be officially done without an order coming from higher Catholic authorities.


The God of Abraham, Isaac, and especially Jesus, loves all creatures and cannot allow or endorse their sufferings to satisfy the blood thirst of a drunken mob. Callousness and cruelty are not limited to Catholic sporting events; for example, some Protestant churches endorse hunting, and nearly all churches serve the flesh of animals at their dinners. This month, millions of North Americans will be thanking God over the corpse of a turkey, with never a thought for the suffering of the animal. Church authorities and members have to understand that animals are also God’s beloved creatures, and not human property, tools, resources or merchandise. We also need to realize the close relationship between their suffering and the suffering Jesus had to endure. The cross of Jesus represented God's total identification with the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, but most of all, it represented the identification with the sufferings of the defenseless and innocent. A God that remains apathetic in the face of the anguish of innocent victims simply cannot be a Christian God.

We must talk to our local clergy and congregations, and bring up this important issue with the hope of changing society one step at the time. Our time and energy will be totally worth it. Blindness and cruelty are not the last word of our faith. "The light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome it." (John 1:5)


--Maru Vigo

National Director, AnimaNaturalis Peru | AnimaNaturalis Arizona
Maru@animanaturalis.org | www.animanaturalis.org

News Notes


Animals Returned to Sanctuary After California Fire


Ellie Laks and Jay Weiner of the Gentle Barn Foundation, together with twenty volunteers, returned to their six-acre ranch in Santa Clarita, Calif. on Oct. 26 with their sixty rescued animals. There was a desperate evacuation from their property to escape the Aqua Dulce Fire on Sunday, October 21, 2007. Animals were displaced in six different safe locations, including Animal Acres (see editorial, PT Dec. '05.) Now humans and animals are relieved to be back. None of the animals were hurt, but there is damage to the site, and funds are urgently needed.


“When you look into the animals' eyes, you can tell that they are grateful but scared.” says Ms. Laks, founder and director. “It’s going to take time to show them that they are safe again.”

The Gentle Barn is an educational facility, specializing in violence prevention, teaching disturbed and at-risk children kindness and compassion to animals, each other, and the planet. This is done by inviting them in to meet the animals, including cows who come when you call them, chickens who will fall asleep in your lap, pigs who love tummy rubs, goats and sheep who follow you around, and a rescued turkey named “Big Bird.”

The Gentle Barn is located in Santa Clarita at 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91390. Readers of PT are invited to visit their website at www.gentlebarn.org for more information and to make donations. Animal Acres, www.animalacres.org , has been taking in other fire refugees as well, and is also in urgent need of financial help.


--Thanks to Sherry and Bob Madrone

Topps Meat Co. Goes out of Business


Just a few days after they issued the second-largest beef recall in U.S. history, Topps Meat Co. announced this month that it's going out of business. The 21.7 million pounds of ground beef might have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria strain O157:H7. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thirty people in eight states had E. coli infections matching the strain found in the Topps patties. Fortunately there have been no human fatalities. To read the full article please visit www.thepoultrysite.com/ poultrynews/13012/ secondlargest-us-meat-recall-sinks-topps.

This recall is just one more in the extensive list of recalls in the meat industry. The way we raise and slaughter animals is conducive to disease transmittal and food contamination. The transition to a plant-based diet can help us protect our health, the environment, and God’s animals.

--Contributed by Lorena Mucke

Christian Vegetarian Association



Foie Gras Banned from Two British Council Buildings

On October 4, '07, councillors in York voted almost unanimously to accept the motion proposed by Paul Blanchard (Labour) aimed at banning foie gras on council premises. On October 24, councillors from Bolton borough council (in the northwest of England) voted unanimously in favour of a similar motion, proposed this time by a Liberal Democrat, Richard Silvester.
The City of York Council also agreed to write to hotels and restaurants in the city to inform them of its opinion of the pate.
As readers of PT know, foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers swell to six to 10 times their normal size. The practice is illegal in Britain.
Before the voting, animal rights campaigners demonstrated outside the full council meetings. A luxury restaurant scene was set up, with waiters “force-feeding” elegantly dressed diners.
Paul Blanchard, whose campaign has generated much media attention in Britain and quite vociferous opposition, originally wanted York to emulate Chicago in passing a total ban on the sale of foie gras throughout the city, but legal advice said this was not possible.
Though these bans are in a sense token actions, in that it is unlikely the councils spent much – if any – taxpayers' money on foie gras anyway, they are seen as a useful way of promoting animal defense issues.


--Marian Hussenbux

Quaker Concern for Animals




"Hear our prayer O Lord ... for animals that are overworked, underfed, and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that [are] put to death.... And for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us true friends of the animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful."--Attributed to Albert Schweitzer

--Contributed by Lorena Mucke


"Divine providence, if it is truly gracious, requires more than a humanly gastrocentric view of the animal world."

--Andrew Linzey


Though a vegan can often be seen
Eating lentil and tofu and bean,
Still when omnivores pass
They invariably ask
"How do you get your protein?"


--Susan V.

Contributed by Steve Kaufman


Book Review: The Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism

David Sears, A Vision of Eden. Spring Valley, NY: Orot, Inc, 2003. 375 pages. $30.00 hardcover.


"All creatures are imbued with the Creator's wisdom, which itself makes them greatly deserving of honor. The Maker of all . . . is associated with His creatures in having made them. If one were to disparage them, God forbid, this would reflect upon the honor of their Maker." (p. 33). These words are not from Francis of Assissi, but from the kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (1522-1570), who further says "He sustains all living beings, from the highest to the lowest, and does not disparage any creature . . . He watches over and shows mercy to all. Similarly, a person should be benevolent to every one, and no creature should seem despicable to him Even the smallest living thing should be exceedingly worthy in his eyes" p. 28). All who "hate" spiders or "detest" snakes, take notice!


Rabbi Cordovero speaks with wisdom and eloquence, and to my mind is a prophet, but these ideas are not original with him; they are found in Midrash, Talmud, and Zohar, and are based on Scripture. It is often pointed out that admonitions to compassion for all beings appear also in other religions, particularly Buddhism and Hinduism.


It is less often noticed that a concept that some forms of orthodox Judaism hold in common with these Eastern religions is reincarnation. Rabbi Sears, in fact, claims that "today the doctrine of reincarnation is accepted by virtually all authorities" of Rabbinic Orthodox Judaism (p. 123), which I find surprising. This is relevant to compassion for animals, in that it includes the idea that human souls can be reincarnated in animal bodies. One would expect that these many authorities would all be vegan, but this is not the case because of a widespread belief that these imprisoned human souls can be freed to ascend to heaven by means of kosher slaughter and being eaten by the devout. This idea is certainly tragic. Sears' book includes some stories of these spirits asking for the ritual knife to give them liberation. But animals cannot speak in words, and messages purporting to come from them via human channels should not necessarily be taken literally, as they are likely to be influenced by human cultural presuppositions. Caution is especially important when messages ask for violence, as in this case.


Not all of the aforementioned authorities accept the liberation-by-slaughter concept. Rabbi Nachman asks: "Is it not an act of murder to take a chicken in which the soul of an old man has been reincarnated, hold him by the beard, and cut his throat?" (p. 146). This position is certainly more sensible as well as more compassionate, and vegetarianism and veganism are spreading among Jewish people.


Sears' book contains a number of stories of saintly rabbis showing compassion and respect towards animals of many sorts, including cats, frogs, roosters, oxen, pigeons, geese, pigs, donkeys, calves, and lions. These accounts, and the increase in practice of nonviolent diet, represent a theme among more and more Jewish people seeking to live as though the Messianic age, described in Isaiah's wonderful passage of the wolf and lamb lying down together, were already here. Certainly the atrocities of factory farms and slaughterhouses are still with us, but, as Sears points out, it is precisely such horrors that tip the scales today in favor of veganism for any spiritual seeker for righteousness, justice and love. Whatever our faith tradition, we must all reject the Zeitgeist of violence, and strive to unite to bring redemption to the world.


--Benjamin Urrutia and Gracia Fay Ellwood

Book Review: Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues: Reflections on Redecorating Nature


Marc Bekoff, Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues. Forward by Jane Goodall. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005. xvii + 303 pp. $27.95 paperback.


The title of this book is a bit misleading, as it suggests a popularizing work for the general public. In reality, it is a compendium of scientific papers that would be most profitable for graduate students in the field of animal ethology. It could also be useful for Bekoff's colleagues: those who are already on the pro-animal side, and those openminded enough to be persuaded to join that side. However, general readers with a college education and a good vocabulary can also benefit from this work. Bekoff himself avers " I try hard not to compromise solid science to make the major messages accessible to a wide variety of readers" (p. 19).


These major messages include:

1. Nonhuman animals are capable of thought. People who reject this idea are called "skeptics" by Bekoff, a term which seems to me too kind. Many of them are not skeptics in the sense of being truly open-minded, but stubborn dogmatists who cling to preconceived notions. Bekoff does point out that these rejectionists face a very difficult challenge in describing much animal behavior. Their denial forces them to invoke a very complex chain of instincts and reflexes, whereas the same behaviors can be explained very simply if one accepts that the critters are thinking. The traditionalists' approach in fact means a rejection of Occam's razor. Their task is analogous to that of geocentric astronomers who had to calculate very complex system of circles within circles to explain planetary movements, whereas it was--and is--much simpler to adopt the Copernican-Keplerian system of heliocentric ellipses. In the end, the simpler, more elegant system prevails.


2. That some nonhuman animals--e.g. coyotes, dogs, wolves--practice fair play and justice in their mutual interactions. This seems to be a major focus of original research by Bekoff. If I understand him correctly, he is saying that a sense of fair play evolved indeed from the requirements of play. As hunters, these animals are ruthless; no holds are barred. But play is not enjoyable or worthwhile for human or beast unless rules are agreed upon and scrupulously followed. When hunting, one bites with intent to kill; when playing, one pretends to bite. From such rules of play followed by wrestling puppies, to the pronouncement of legislative bodies and courts of justice, there is an evolutionary connection. Does this seem hard to believe? Not to me; Bekoff certainly makes a very strong case for it, citing abundant evidence. I think only the most dogmatic could fail to be persuaded.


One of the essays presents an analysis, with solid statistical support, that coyotes are very inefficient predators of sheep. Coyotes do kill and devour some sheep, but coyotes are responsible only for a very small percentage of sheep deaths. Bekoff points out that "the indiscriminate killing of coyotes in areas where sheep are being killed is an ineffective method of control" (p. 97). A far more effective method is the addition of llamas to sheep herds! The llamas are quite capable of defending themselves against coyotes, and they defend the sheep as well.


Bekoff, like Jane Goodall who wrote the introduction to this book, is an example of an emerging breed among animal scientists--a scrupulously careful ethologist who has given much thought to ethics, and refuses to leave the principles of justice and compassion out of his studies. We who consider animals our kin can heartily applaud.

--Benjamin Urrutia



Autumn is here and it’s time for soup, creamy comforting soup, that says cooler weather is on its way . . . . We have been having unseasonably warm weather here in Pittsburgh; yet a few cooler days have been just right for autumn-themed soups. The mushroom soup is rich and earthy. The tomato soup comes from the harvest of our family garden.

Creamy Mushroom Soup
Makes about 1 quart soup

1 ½ lbs. fresh white or Cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread (stick form)
½ tsp. sea salt, or to taste
2 T. vegetarian broth powder
¾ tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dry onion granules
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. dried rosemary powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. organic whole wheat flour
2 cups spring water
2 cups plain soy milk
1 T. additional Earth Balance Buttery Spread

In soup pot, melt Earth Balance on medium-high heat, then add sliced mushrooms, salt, vegetable broth powder, seasoning, onion granules, paprika, rosemary and pepper. Stir with wooden spoon to combine, continue to stir occasionally until the mushrooms release their juices. Stir in flour and cook 1 -2 minutes. Stir in water, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add soymilk and allow to heat through; do not boil. Before serving stir in 1 T. Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Serve with warm crusty rustic bread on a cool autumn day.

--- Angela Suarez

Creamy Spicy Tomato Soup
Makes about 1 ½ - 2 quarts of soup

4 cups crushed fresh blanched and peeled tomatoes
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
½ tsp. dried marjoram
¾ tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. flour
1 T. olive oil
2 cups plain soy milk
2 tsp. powdered vegetarian bouillon
1 tsp. dried onion granules
1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. paprika
¾ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand)

In a large soup pot, warm olive oil and add tomatoes, garlic, salt and black pepper. Cook over low heat until the liquid reduces and a chunky sauce forms. Purée the tomatoes in a blender.
Meanwhile, combine flour and 1 T. olive oil in soup pot; stir with wooden spoon one minute. Whisk in soy milk and combine well. Return puréed tomatoes to soup pot; add vegetarian bouillon, onion granules, sugar, paprika, ginger and red curry paste. Warm on medium heat until heated through—be careful not to bring to a boil. Serve immediately. Serve with warm crusty bread or over your favorite rice.

This is a wonderful, nearly all-day to make, soup.

"Being with people where they are in their own lives" was a theme in a recent Friends Meeting. This helped me think about my children’s food likes and dislikes, and how I could make meal times more pleasurable for the entire family. Making a few minor adjustments – such as using dried onions instead of fresh – makes this soup pleasant for all members of my family. As appreciation for all kinds of food develops, I hope that someday soups filled with more fresh vegetables will grace our table…. until then I will accept being where we are together and doing my best.
This tomato soup is spicy with just enough heat to wake up the taste buds. We start by harvesting the tomatoes and making a sauce that becomes the main flavor of this warm creamy soup. The tomato “sauce” may be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Then thaw or warm to use in the recipe to make the soup.

-- Angela Suarez

Oat Biscuits for Canine Friends
makes about 3 dozen biscuits

These biscuits provide a variety of whole grains in each tasty biscuit.

1 ½ cups organic whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups organic rolled oats
¼ cup organic wheat germ
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅓ cup safflower oil
¼ cup molasses
1 cup soy milk
1 cup spring water

Preheat oven to 400° F. In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together safflower oil, molasses, soy milk and spring water. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients; stir well with a wooden spoon. Shape into little balls using a tablespoon. Place on well oiled cookie sheets. Press to slightly flatten. Bake 20 minutes until golden.
Remove and cool on racks. Store in airtight containers after completely cool.

These biscuits provide a variety of whole grains in each tasty biscuit.
Serve these yummy oat biscuits as an autumn treat for your best canine or feline friend.

--- Angela Suarez

Curried Butternut Squash & Potatoes
Serves 4 – 6

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch x 3 inch pieces
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly (about 1 inch thick)
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread (stick), cut into pieces
1 ½ cups plain rice milk (or plain soy milk)
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. curry powder
1 tsp. Red Curry Paste (Thai Kitchen brand)
½ tsp. sea salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Prepare deep 3 - 4 qt. casserole by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange butternut squash, potatoes and onion in the baking dish. Sprinkle with minced garlic and Earth Balance pieces. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together rice milk, cornstarch, curry powder, red curry paste, sea salt, and black pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake until all vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes – 1 hour. Serve hot over rice.

Curry comes in a number of varieties. I use Frontier brand curry (available at my local food co-op in bulk). This is their website: www.frontiercoop.com/company.html and here is where you can learn more about curry powder: www.frontiercoop.com/learn/savvy/curry.html . In this recipe I use the regular curry powder which is not as hot as curry powder muchi. It’s a delightful blend of autumn harvest vegetables seasoned with curry for a pleasant surprise.

--Angela Suarez

My Pilgrimage: Jacob Stone

Friends Testimonies, Emerging Awareness, and an Unexpected Opportunity

When I was drawn to the Religious Society of Friends as a young adult, I was most attracted by Friends’ testimonies of integrity and simplicity, and the ongoing quest to find the divine in all things. The true gift of our testimonies is that they are not creedal, but invite us to a lifetime of laboring with them to discover their meaning in our lives.

Long before I moved away from an animal-based diet I recognized that the testimonies – as I interpreted them – urged me toward a simpler plant-based diet. I knew of the health and environmental benefits that a diet change would foster, and I struggled with the guilt of knowing about the suffering of food animals while I continued to eat their flesh and organs.

To be sure, I made some changes; I drastically reduced the amount of meat that I ate, and avoided – most of the time – fast food meat. Yet . . . . I wasn’t ready to make the final commitment. Cream in my coffee was just too good. Bacon was just so delicious. And what can one say about cheddar cheese? The guilt was nagging me, but decades-old diet habits weren’t about to let go easily.

Then came the 1993 Friends General Conference Gathering, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. When my wife Gretta and I went to the cafeteria for our first meal at the Gathering we saw that all of the food was brightly color-coded. Conventional diets were one color, ovo-lacto diets were another, and vegan diets were, very appropriately, marked with bright green labels. All we had to do to eat a vegan diet was to point only to the green-labeled food. We decided on the spot that we’d give veganism a try for a week. Fifteen years later we are still vegan

We often hear people say that they support the concepts of vegetarianism but could never give up their – pick one – steak, or cheese, or pizza, or sushi, or bacon. The simple fact is that they can do without these things, but the power of habit makes the change seem frightening and overwhelming.

The FGC Gathering gave us a safe way to test the strength of these habits, and we found that we could manage, and even be happy, without bacon, sushi, chicken, cream, etc. Our experience suggests that one way to make dietary changes is to set a focused period of time as a trial for a new diet; the well-documented psychology of habit-change supports the idea that this approach works. Some people will want to return to their old diet after a trial period, but some will surely find that their new food awareness feels good, and they will continue with it, as we did.

Now that our diet is consistent with our understanding of Friends’ testimonies, we are more able to fully examine our relationship with animals, with the environment, and with our own bodies. We feel more able to live the testimonies more completely. We urge people considering a change in diet to give it a try for a while. You might find that the old habits have less of a hold than you think, and your relationship with our testimonies might shift.

--Jacob Stone

Jacob Stone and Gretta Stone are longtime members of Doylestown (PA) Monthly Meeting, now sojourning at Santa Cruz Meeting while they serve as Co-Directors of the Ben Lomond Quaker Center, near Santa Cruz, California. They served as Friends in Residence at Chena Ridge Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, and led couples enrichment programs through FGC. They are also founding members of the bluegrass/folk band, “Faith and Practice.” They have followed a largely vegetarian diet for about twenty years, and have been committed vegans since the 1993 FGC Gathering.


. . . . I enjoy reading the PT, especially the recipes. I can try them when I get home and give Mom a taste of delicious vegetarian fare. . . .

--Gerald Niles
#122280, Graceville Correctional Facility
P. O. Box 989, Graceville, FL 32440

A Friend and long-term vegetarian, Gerald has been imprisoned in Florida for sixteen years. For a long time he has been seeking a writ of habeas corpus from the Florida courts and a DNA test, which he has no doubt will prove him innocent and lead to his exoneration. In the meantime, he appreciates contact by correspondence and prayer.

Pioneer: Martin de Porres, 1579-1639


Martin de Porres was the "illegitimate" child of a freed African slave, Ana Velasquez, and a Spanish grandee, Juan de Porres. Martin was born in Lima, Peru, just forty years after the bloody destruction of the Inca Empire. His father abandoned Ana and her children for eight years, leaving them in extreme poverty, before returning. At age ten Martin was apprenticed to a barber-surgeon so that he would have a trade. He was an unusual, bright and gifted child with a mystical bond with nature. Because of his interracial parentage and dark skin, he was often belittled as a mulatto. This lonely, difficult and often painful childhood contributed to his deep compassion and generosity toward all. Martin had a deep longing for God and an overwhelming desire to help all who were poor and destitute.


At age fifteen he began his long relationship with the Dominican Order, beginning as a tertiary doing servant tasks, and later taking vows as a full brother. (The order changed its racist entrance rule in order that he could join.) As a Dominican Brother trained in medicine, he doctored Lima, sick people and animals alike. To Martin all living beings were sacred, and he loved and ministered to all.


Even in early childhood he was fascinated by plants and felt that they had healing properties; he became an herbalist. Medical knowledge in his day was quite primitive, so he often treated illnesses, ranging from infections and fevers to intestinal disorders, parasites and even sprains and fractured bones, with herbs, all free of charge. He was immensely effective, and his healings were regarded as miraculous.


He distributed many thousands of dollars' worth of food and clothing to the poor each week--all of which he begged from wealthy families. He founded an orphanage for homeless children and staffed it with the best teachers, nurses and guardians he could find. On the hills of Lima he planted orchards to help feed the poor.


Martin spent many hours a day in prayer, sleeping very little. He was known by his Dominican brothers as the "flying brother," because, though he never traveled out of Lima, he was seen on many occasions bilocated in distant places like Japan and Africa. In the Philippines he was seen by Peruvian merchants who knew him. He was also seen by an African slave in chains during the hellish Middle Passage; this man later saw him in Lima. Martin would sit before the chapel altar and was often observed there levitated several feet above the chapel floor. He was also gifted with prophecy and clairvoyance.


Martin loved animals, and like St. Francis of Assisi considered them children of God. He cared for them with the same tenderness and reverence with which he treated his human charges, mixing herbal formulas for them and performing surgery when necessary. As with St. Francis, his tenderness for animals was well known; passersby would see him walking along the streets of Lima with a following of animals who were magnetized by his loving radiance. He never passed by a sick or suffering animal, but took each home with him. He would lovingly nurse their wounds with herbs and their spirits with prayers. He eventually opened a hospital for sick and injured animals in the home of his sister, an amazing thing to do in his time.


He died at the age of sixty of a prolonged high fever. Declared a saint in 1962, his festival day being November 3, he remains today one of the most beloved saints of the Americas. Statues and pictures of him often include at his feet a cat, bird, and mouse all eating from one plate.



--Sharon Callahan

Animal Communicator


Poetry: Nightingales


BEAUTIFUL must be the mountains whence ye come,
And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams, wherefrom
Ye learn your song:
Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
Bloom the year long!

Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
A throe of the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound,
No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,
For all our art.

Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
Welcome the dawn.

--Robert Bridges, 1844-1930


The Peaceable Table is intended to resume the witness of that excellent vehicle of the Friends Vegetarian Society of North America, The Friendly Vegetarian, which appeared quarterly between 1982 and 1995. Following its example, and sometimes borrowing from its treasures, we publish articles for toe-in-the-water vegetarians as well as long-term ones, poetry, letters, book and film reviews, and recipes.

The journal is intended to be interactive; contributions, including illustrations, are invited for the next issue. Deadline for the December issue will be November 28, 2007. Send to graciafay@mac.com or 10 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023. We operate primarily online in order to save trees and labor, but hard copy is available for interested persons who are not online. The latter are asked to donate $12 (USD) per year if their means allow. Other donations to offset the cost of the domain name, server, and advertising notices are welcome.

Website www.vegetarianfriends.net
Editor: Gracia Fay Ellwood
Book and Film Reviewers: Benjamin Urrutia & Robert Ellwood
Recipe Editor: Angela Suarez
NewsNotes Contributors: Marian Hussenbux & Lorena Mucke
Technical Architect: Richard Scott Lancelot Ellwood