The Most Offensive of Tet Offenses
"Harm no person, animal, plant or mineral."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
"If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed;
if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in
terms of 100 years, teach the people."
* * * *
Tet is Vietnam's Lunar New Year, celebrated on the
same day which Chinese celebrate their New Year.
Tonight is the eve of the 2014 Tet holiday, which
is both the Chinese and Vietnamese year of the horse.
To wish someone of Vietnamese descent a happy
new year, one would say, "Chook mung numb moy!"
Today is also the 46th anniversary of the Tet Offensive,
the largest military campaign of the Vietnam war in which
80,000 Viet Cong troops launched simultaneous attacks
against hundreds of key South Vietnamese military
and non-military targets.
Today's Tet Offensive is infinitely more egregious than
I was in college during 1971, when the New York Times
published classified Pentagon Papers revealing America's
lies about an unjust war in Viet Nam. In those days, we
burned draft cards and protested Southeast Asian injustices.
I drank milk like everybody else, and had no clue how badly
dairy cows were abused. I was also unaware that a biochemist
had genetically engineered the first version of human growth
hormone (rGH) using a technology that would soon be applied
I recently came across an "old" Hoard's Dairyman veterinarian's
column, dated October 10, 1971. The column appeared on page 1054,
Volume 116, Number 19.
The veterinarian, Clyde Lyle, D.V.M., related the story of a
dairy cow that took a liking to cow's milk and sucked from
the udders of other cows grazing in the field. Dr. Lyle
discussed traditional options:
"There are several ways to prevent sucking. Hog rings are
one method. There are muzzles with forks and nose rings with
forks or prongs that may cause pain to both the offender and
the cow being sucked."
The method that Dr. Lyle finally selected is horrifying. The
"I have found only one method that has been consistently
successful in adult animals with the habit...The method
consists of giving the cow a general anesthetic which
provides insensitivity to pain for 5 to ten minutes...I
pulled the tongue forward and out through the side of the
mouth...I split the tongue down the midline for 8 to 9
inches and removed half of the tongue."
I am totally disgusted, and challenge compassionate
vegetarians who continue to use dairy products to recognize
and accept the dairy industry as the least compassionate of
all animal abusers. By continuing to consume dairy products,
such vegetarians sanction the above torture.
Many cheese-eating vegetarians will curse me for blaming
animal torture on their less-than-compassionate dietary choice.
Such is the nature of a messenger's reward. On this day, those
hypocrites will be practicing tit for tat for Tet for cow
* * * *
"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method
which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation.
The foundation of such a method is love."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Let us enjoy breathing together."
- Thich Nhat Hanh