The Fawn and the PuppyThis week-old fawn was found orphaned or abandoned beside a hops field near Regensburg, Germany. He would not have survived had he not beene rescued by a kind soul, who took him to a farm family who had rescued and raised fawns before. The family took him into their house and bottle-fed him; their Australian Shepherd puppy, Lia, immediately became his foster mother and gave him the affection he needed. The photo is by Anna Auerbach. See Lia & Hansi .Editor’s Corner Essay:Valentine’s Day: Expanding the Range of LoveLimits on the Range of LoveToday as I write this, it is Valentine’s Day 2021. That it is a day for love has long been recognized, but its historical roots as a celebration for lovers are murky. There were three recognized saints named Valentine in the days of the Roman Empire. One was a priest in the Church during the reign of Emperor Claudius II in the third century. Claudius, the story says, decided that unmarried men made better soldiers and forbade military personnel to marry, but those who wanted to be married had Valentine’s sympathies, and he would perform secret marriages for them. When Claudius found out, he had Valentine executed. Another account says that the Valentine who was the origin of the feast day was a priest of Rome who shielded persecuted Christians, perhaps helping them to escape from hellish prisons, but was beheaded for his pains. This may also be the Valentine who restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer, and before his beheading wrote her a letter signed “from your Valentine,” meaning only “from your friend Valentine.” A variant of this story says that Valentine fell in love with a young woman who had visited him in prison, and sent her a letter with this signature. Whatever the story, February 14 became the Feast of St. Valentine the martyr.The day’s strong connection with erotic love, only suggested in these legendary accounts, might have later been influenced by the Courtly Love movement that began in several French courts in the eleventh century--although the movement was not linked to February 14 at the time. It was initially promoted by aristocratic women, especially Eleanor of Acquitaine and her daughter Marie. The central idea of Courtly Love involved an extraordinary reversal of millennia-long power relations between the sexes: a knight would devote himself to his chosen Lady, who often was not a woman he hoped to marry, but in many cases the wife of his feudal lord, and thus beyond his reach. He would put her on a pedestal, write poems and songs in her honor, and perhaps wear into battle a token she had given him. The story of Sir Lancelot’s love for Queen Guinevere, and later of Dante’s for Beatrice, are classic examples. Although the love was extra-marital, in many cases it was not expected to be consummated (Queen Guinevere was married to King Arthur; Dante and Beatrice each married someone else), and was thought to be spiritually elevating. In fact Dante’s long narrative poem La Commedia, usually called “The Divine Comedy,” has Beatrice guiding her lover to heaven and the Divine Presence. The theme of a man’s spiritual love for his Lady also became linked to the cult of the Virgin, with the poet’s adoration being focussed on Mary, who as Queen of Heaven was infinitely far above him.In other cases, however, the extra-marital love in question was not highly spiritual, but unabashedly human and physical, and was indeed consummated. (The Church did not approve.)“The Parliament of Fowls,” a 899-line poem written by Geoffrey Chaucer probably about 1380 CE, may be the first real link of St. Valentine’s day to erotic love. It is a gentle satire of courtly love. Many of the characters are birds, who are all concerned to choose their mates on that day. Several eagles, the aristocrats among the birds, proclaim their love grandly in the courtly-love tradition as they vie for the “hand” of a female eagle. Representatives of the species of smaller birds give their varying opinions on the matter. Finally, Lady Nature leaves the decision as to who should win her to the female eagle herself. But she won’t choose; she wants another year to make up her mind. So happiness is delayed for eagles, while the many smaller birds fly off, each with his chosen mate; Lady Nature has prevailed.The courtly love tradition does not go down to total defeat in the poem, but is modified by the common sense of Nature. Historically, however, Lady Nature, despite that common sense, was unable to bring a great deal of happiness to humans, because cultural practices had to compete with “her;” and none of them were stronger and more pervasive than patriarchal power, both social and political. And patriarchs have long been much more interested in keeping control of women and of property than of bringing about human happiness. From this perspective, marriage was chiefly a means of insuring that property, whether a farm or a kingdom, would be passed down from a man to his legitimate son or sons. And it was arranged by fathers, or both parents, primarily with this goal in mind. If love and happiness ever came into the picture, it was a lucky accident. (However, among working class people--as with birds--where little or no property was involved, there was greater freedom.)Around the turn of the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, however, a major change was beginning: control of marriage decisions was moving into the hands of the would-be marital partners themselves. The idea that love and marriage were no longer strangers or enemies began to take hold. The change took a long time, and even when parents and other family members could no longer legally force their will on lovers in order to keep control of money and property, they could still put heavy pressure on the lovers, especially the woman, to accept their chosen candidate. A big difference from courtly love was that the new system showed most of the power to be back in male hands: men claimed the right to take any concrete initiative, and the rare women who dared to take it were ridiculed. The popularity of novels of love culminating in marriage (such as those of Jane Austen, which are still best-sellers) marked this change. As the nineteenth century progressed, February 14th increased as a day for celebrating erotic love, especially by the sending of valentine cards and gifts, and the power of older patriarchs to disregard love and control marriage waned.The most recent big change in the celebration of February 14th is an expansion of the nature of the love being expressed. In the last few decades, conventional gifts, such as chocolates, and especially valentine cards, are being sent to other loved ones beside romantic lovers and spouses. No doubt the marketers of cards and gifts had much to do with this change, but its origin cannot be altogether explained thus; it has taken firm hold and come to seem quite natural, whereas some of their past campaigns have dwindled or failed.Increasing the Range of LoveAside from the prominence of talking birds in The Parliament of Fowls (who are partly stand-ins for classes of people), what does this brief sketch of one aspect of the history of love in our culture have to do with the liberation of animals?As an animal activist, I find it encouraging because it shows that those holding long-entrenched social power and wealth can lose it before the power of love. I acknowledge that it takes faith in a continuity of different forms of oppression, and especially of having faith in love as a thread connecting all forms of liberation, to find encouragement in such widely varying situations. For me, as a Quaker, that faith is based ultimately on a conviction that the Divine Splendor, the Light that is also the impersonal dimension of God, fills the universe and is part and parcel of everything in it, and that it reaches fuller expression in living beings, especially in humans who live by the principles of kinship with all that live. The presence of the Light in all beings means that we owe respect to the whole universe, to our planet, and to every being. Very seldom can we expect to actively feel love for every being comparable to our love for our intimates, but respect is not just a feeling, based on closeness or another’s appearance or achievements. It is a choice, implying that we are aware that it is right to wish all beings well, even, as Jesus urged us, our enemies.Of course, many conflicts arise. In the neighborhood where I lived from 2001 until the end of 2020 there was a community of coyotes. Wishing them well, with satisfying lives and full stomachs, and praying for them when an epidemic of mange was devastating the community, was to wish a violent death on many bunnies and squirrels in the area, not to mention the risk of the same to our beloved cats. Needless to say, there are also conflicts in regard to the wellbeing of different classes of our fellow humans. But the fact that we can’t resolve the many complications involved doesn’t excuse us from making the decision to care about all beings, to support all movements of liberation, and to take action in the particular area in which we feel called to labor.Every word, every action of real love, however small, brings as blessing to the world, and brings all animals--human and otherwise--a little closer to the Peaceable Kingdom.--EditorLead Photo: This 2019 image shows a rare ménage à trois eagle family. See MénageThe painting of the courtly lovers (Tristan and Isolde) is by Edmund Blair Leighton.For more on the relevance of romantic love as a temporary vision of the Divine Glory in a human being, see “The Hidden Paradise” in Issue 44.NewsNotesBabies in Mailboxes?New York State is considering a measure that would make illegal the mail shipment of baby chicks within or from New York State. If you live there, please take a moment to sign a petition to your state legislator in support of this compassionate measure. See Babies in MailboxesMaking Educational Choices About Cultivated MeatLorena Mucke, former Recipe Editor for PT, some years ago shifted her area of activism to education in ethical choices. Her organization’s website is now offering helpful up-to-date information about cultivated meat. See Ethical Choices“Is the Burger Nearing Extinction?”Tis is the title of an article in major news medium The New York Times, by columnist Frank Bruni. His answer if “not completely,” but many people are definitely eating less meat, for many reasons, principally the ecological ones. See Burger--Contributed by Patrick HornUnset Gems“ . . . . Earth’s crammed with heaven,And every common bush afire with God:But only [those] who see take off [their] shoes . . . .”--Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from her long poem Aurora LeighBook Review: Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing JudaismRichard H. Schwartz, Vegan Revolution: Saving Our World, Revitalizing Judaism. Brooklyn, NY: Lantern Publishing, 2020. xxxiv +230 pages. $20.00 softcover.This is now one of the basic books on veganism and Judaism for the general reader. With the passion of a convert--Schwartz became vegetarian Jan. 1 1978 at the age of 41 and vegan in 2000--the author presents a convincing case for Jewish observance of a plant-based diet.Along with the passion, he is always respectful of those who differ, or perhaps one should rather say, have not yet come to his mid-life convictions. Schwartz is well aware that the world is beginning to enter upon, or is on the verge of, a major change in dietary consciousness; some may be ahead of others in this transition.The several chapters of Schwartz’s volume reflect common vegan concerns: health, effects of animal agriculture on the “Climate Catastrophe” and the environment, world hunger, and peace. Much of thispeace. Much of this material will not be new to those familiar with even a smattering of vegan writing, though it remains a very useful, well-organized summary of the case. (Schwartz, though now president of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarianism and past president ofJewish Veg, was a professor, now retired, of mathematics rather than religion or other humanities, and something of the mathematician’s wholesome bent toward concision and clear structure comes through.) We encounter the positive effects of veganism on health, the appalling condition of animals in factory farms and slaughterhells, together with the way in which animal husbandry devastates the environment and induces global warming far more than plant-raising does. We are rightly admonished here that these negative conditions can lead to large-scale hunger and may easily lead to war as desperate nations try to seize what scraps of food remain. But if the world changed entirely to plant food, Earth could produce more than enough for all.What is special in this book is its reinforcement of vegan values from out of the Jewish tradition. Regarding health, for example, we are reminded that “Judaism regards life as the highest good, and we are obligated to protect it,” one’s own as well as others’. Thus, if it is true that veganism protects one’s life better than carnivorism, then a plant diet is really a religious obligation for this reason alone. Indeed, “Jews are to be more particular about matters concerning dangerto health and life than about ritual matters.” Later, Schwartz shows that despite tradition it is possible to observe sacred days, even Passover, without consuming meat or setting out the Paschal shank bone of a lamb. (A beet may be used instead.) The same applies to “kosher”; the Torah’s permission to eat flesh, though under strict restrictions, is seen as a concession to human weakness and archaic ways of life, but veganism is still acceptable if not better: Eden was vegan.As for animals, “The Jewish tradition clearly indicates that we are forbidden to be cruel to animals and that we are to treat them with compassion. These concepts are summarized in the Hebrew phrase tza’ar ba’alei chayim, the Torah mandate not to cause ‘pain to a livingcreature.’ Much more is cited from scripture, the Talmud, and the writings of rabbis throughout the ages to support the way of compassion toward our animal kin, and to make totally clear that the present world of factory farms And dis-assembly line mass slaughter is completely at odds with traditions of centuries of Judaism.In this connection Schwartz especially emphasizes that recreational hunting and fishing are totally unacceptable to Judaism, even if they can be, and have been, tolerated as professions when necessary for food. The 18th century Rabbi Yechezkel Landau wrote, “In the Torah thesport of hunting is imputed only to fierce characters like Nimrod and Esau, never to any of the patriarchs and their descendants. . . I cannot comprehend how a Jew could even dream of killing animals merely for the pleasure of hunting . . . When sport prompts killing, it is downright Cruelty.”One issue in the Hebrew scriptures which has seriously troubled me, and many, is the sacrifice of animals in worship, first on any high hill, in the times of the patriarchs and the judges, later only in the temple in Jerusalem, up to the destruction of that temple in 70 C. E. The fear, pain, and callous treatment of the animals involved over a couple of millennia or more can hardly be imagined, not to mention conflict with the admonition to cause no pain to any living creature. Schwartz is clearly disturbed as well, and offers a special appendix dealing with biblicalsacrifice. He justly points to the rejection of the sacrifices by such prophets as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Amos, and cites prominent rabbis to the effect that blood-offerings will not be commenced again even if the temple is restored in the Messianic age.The author also cites rabbis who claim that animal sacrifices were practiced in the Israelite religion of old because virtually all other archaic religions did so, which is true, so many ordinary people may have thought killing was essential to worship whether in the cultus of Yahweh or of the Baals, and without its own animal-deaths Judaism might itself have died out in favor of another religion with a bloodier altar. Schwartz also cites rabbis who claim that sacrifices were not mandatory--they are not mentioned in the Ten Commandments--so no one had to honor God in this way. Whether these rationales fully explain the frequent mentions of animal sacrifice in the scriptures, including the many precepts on its performance in ritual laws, thereader will have to decide. In any case, it is very clear, according to Richard Schwartz (pictured) that Judaism today not only eschewsanimal sacrifice, but properly understood should reject all animal killing for human ends, and embrace veganism. This book is a skillful and exciting vehicle toward that end. Schwartz’ case for Jewish veganism–-which includes a fictional “Dialogue Between a Jewish Vegan Activist and a Rabbi” that raises all the usual points of contention--is, to my mind, irresistible.(It should be noted, however, that a small subgroup among Orthodox Jews has at some point developed a practice originating in the Middle Ages of killing a chicken and donating the flesh for food for a needy family on the eve of Yom Kippur, into a ritual of atonement for personal sins. In contemporary urban settings, the corpses of the chickens are not given to the poor for food but trashed, to avoid conflict with urban slaughtering regulations. This situation completely undercuts the original compassionate purpose, according to Hasidic Rabbi Yonassan Gershom in his book Kapporos Then and Now: Toward a More Compassionate Tradition. Considerable controversy over the present practice has arisen, with other Jews such as Gershom together with non-Jews objecting to the practice. Those who observe Kapporot but reject the chicken-killing have the option of donating money to the needy instead, which maintains the original intent. Schwartz has worked with Gershom in the past, and is aware of the Kapparot issue.)Vegan Revolution is very highly recommended to any readers wishing a manageable summary of the subject. It belongs in public and private libraries devoted to animal-concern and diet issues, and would make an excellent gift to Jewish friends and loved one.--Robert Ellwood with Gracia Fay EllwoodPioneer: Bronson Alcott, 1799 - 1888 Amos Bronson Alcox was born on a flax farm in Connecticut in 1799. He attended an ill-equipped, primitive schoolhouse where a library was unheard-of and the rod was freely applied. He taught himself to read and write in part by forming letters in charcoal on the wooden floor. To further their education, he and a cousin wrote journals on paper scraps they stitched together, and critiqued each other's work; they scoured the nearby farms looking for books to borrow, finding a few gems such as Pilgrim's Progress. His formal schooling ended at age thirteen.Amos became a peddler in the upper South. His needles, hair combs and other notions were welcome to the planters' families, and his charm and blue-eyed-blond good looks got him an entree into their art-lined drawing rooms, musical sessions, and libraries. The dependence of this cultured life on slave labor did not stop him from using these encounters as a kind of college-prep and finishing school. He gained a polished manner and changed his name to A. Bronson Alcott.Whenever possible throughout his long life he read widely and voraciously, especially in philosophy and education. His educational and social ideas were more than a century ahead of their time, taking for granted that girls were as worthy of education as boys. Instead of drilling facts into children with the threat of beatings, his conception of teaching was to inspire them and draw out of them, by means of Socratic conversations, wisdom they did not know they had. The several schools he started were paradisal islands in an ocean of prejudice and rigidity, but none lasted long. One failed due to the unexpected death of its patron; another took a nosedive because he had the imprudence to publish some of his conversations with the children, which drew amazing ideas out of them, but questioned received wisdom about the Bible. It finally failed because he enrolled an African-American child, and refused to give in to parental pressure to expel her. Thereafter, most of the teaching he did was poorly-paid adult education in freelance sessions he called Conversations, on all manner of spiritual, philosophical and social topics.Bronson married Boston aristocrat Abigail May and in time became the father of four daughters, to whom he was a devoted, hands-on father and teacher. The second daughter, Louisa May, went on to become the author of Little Women and other best-selling novels. The family was involved in the anti-slavery movement along with Thoreau, Emerson and other New England Transcendentalists, sometimes hiding Underground Railroad fugitives in their house. During the 1850s Bronson narrowly escaped death as part of a group of protesters trying to rescue a recaptured Black fugitive.Bronson's commitment to compassion and justice led him into vegetarianism in his early thirties. Together with his colleague and financial backer Charles Lane and others, in 1843 he set up a community called Fruitlands that was to use no products of human or animal slavery. The down-to-earth Abigail was dubious about these innovations, but was willing to give them a try. It might have worked had Bronson and Lane added to their idealism a large dollop of common sense, but Louisa May's later image of her philosopher-father as living up in the sky with his family trying to pull him to earth by a rope had too much truth to it. Bronson and Lane were quite willing to do hard manual labor, but at other times would hold profound conversations while urgent farming tasks waited, or go off to recruit other members when a storm threatened the harvest. Their linen garments, designed by the ascetic Lane, had an outré appearance that called down derision on them and hindered their attempts to communicate. As winter came down their finances failed, their provisions dwindled, and in January, 1844 the community collapsed. The farm was bought by one of the supporters, who eventually made it both a prospering business and an open-door soup kitchen for the poor of the area. Today it is a museum (pictured).Even had the leaders had more practical minds, it is difficult to say whether Fruitlands might have succeeded as a vegan farm community given the insufficient funds available before it could become self-supporting, and the rather primitive technology of the times. For example, they had to compromise their determination never to use animals, and ended up borrowing a team of oxen for plowing. Perhaps there are stages of civilization in which a partial enslavement of animals cannot really be avoided. But the story of Fruitlands is witness to the need for a sensible grasp of practicalities as well as compassion and vision.Bronson continued to be a vegetarian his whole life, although Abigail, who believed that a little meat was necessary for health, did not follow him in this practice. He remained in very good health nearly all his life and continued his work for justice and enlightenment into his eighties, surviving his wife Abigail and his daughters Elizabeth and May.—Joan Gilbert (Slightly edited)Image credits: Fruitlands Museum. Reprinted from the Friendly Vegetarian and the February 2005 Peaceable TablePoetry: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1828 - 1882John Hall Wheelock, 1886 - 1978Sudden LightI have been here before,But when or how I cannot tell:I know the grass beyond the door,The sweet keen smell,The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.You have been mine before,—How long ago I may not know:But just when at that swallow's soarYour neck turn'd so,Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore.Has this been thus before?And shall not thus time's eddying flightStill with our lives our love restoreIn death's despite,And day and night yield one delight once more?--D. G. B.Wood-ThrushBeyond the wild bird’s throatAn Eden, more remoteThan Adam knew of, lies;The primal paradise,Lost, yet ever here;From that wild syrinx criesInto the listening ear,The labyrinthine heart,A longing, a regret,In which it had no part.Where the young leaves are metIn overarching green,Soft winds stir and divide,Where shadows crowd and throngThe coverts in between,That early bud of songOpens its petals wide,Becomes a threefold starOf voices twined and blent,Happy and innocent,Within whose singing areTroy lost and Hector slain,Judas and Golgotha,The longing and the pain,Sorrows of old that wereAnd joy come back again--From ages earlierBefore joy’s course was runBefore time’s bounds were set.The fountains of the sunAre in that tiny jetOf song, so clear, so cool,While the false heart raves on,For longing, like a fool,The quiet voice is gone:The song, inept to save,Happy and innocent,Falls silent as the graveClosing the door uponThose half-remembered things . . . .--J. H. W.Photo of barn swallow in flight by James VolloggiRecipe: Cheeze and Nut Casserole1 C. flaked vegan cheddar cheeze1 C. chopped nuts1/C cooked brown rice (½ C. raw cooked in 1 C water (plus a little more)2 C onions, chopped and sauteed2 T. ground flax seed; stir into ¼ C/ plus 2 T warm water; let stand until it gels½ tsp. salt1 tsp. poppy or caraway seedsSeasoning (I like garlic powder)Combine ingredients; turn into oiled casserole dish. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven. After removing from oven, try sprinkling on flaked parsley for color.It is important to use orange or amber-colored cheddar cheeze, as with pale yellow cheeze it looks rather palid.