The Original Think Magazine (Published since 1996)
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Letters to the Editor, #17

Letters to the Editor, #17


birth defects illustrationDear Editor,

I was saddened by your decision to publish the ludicrous and badly written article about vegetarianism in the German Nazi Party.

The fact that Hitler was a vegetarian is not new, and isn't very interesting. Quite how this relates to other people being vegetarian is difficult to understand: the peculiarly-named "Phyla. exe" seemed unable to form any logical connection between the two.

Hitler's fanaticism was in favour of vegetarianism: for example, as far as I am aware, he made no attempt to encourage Germans to stop eating meat. The author makes the reasonable, if trite, point, that it is dangerous for people to swallow ideologies whole, without looking at their inconsistencies.

It is obviously difficult to understand how the Nazis could have been vegetarians, yet have been so willing to kill humans. However, vegetarians are not typically mass-murderers.

A person who promotes vegetarianism is promoting a philosophy that is internally consistent and rational. Vegetarianism is no more an ideology that is carnivorism. I am a vegetarian because I am concerned about the brutal way in which animals are kept in factory-farms, and because I respect the life of other beings.

Feeding plant protein to animals is extremely wasteful: it takes about twenty kilos of plant protein to produce about one kilo of animal protein. If more people were vegetarians, far fewer people in poorer countries would be undernourished. If this sounds like an irrational belief-system, so be it. I am not clear where the connection with Nazism comes in.


The anger in the article may stem from a desire to fit in with Think's journalistic "style" of nihilism and sloppy writing. However, if the author really feels put upon by vegetarians whom he feels are trying to force through their philosophy, I would ask him to consider how much of this anger comes from his own ambivalence about eating meat.

By the way, if you think this sounds a little humourless, I'm sorry. Spend a bit of time going round a factory farm.

Yours sincerely, Dr. Paul Kail Animal Consciousness Foundation

Phyla.exe replies;

Re: Nazi Vegetarians or For Whom the Bell Tolls

Excellent. I just *knew* one of you would hear the call. So, for the sake of searing the thought a bit deeper perhaps I should re-state the article's main premise:

That people often frame *whole assumptions* about others based on short & cursory ideological referents. With respect to your letter/unfortunate illustration, perhaps I could first point out that your *assumption* that I am male is <<GONGG>> incorrect, and your *assumption* that I am anti-vegetarian is <<GONGG>> sorry, also incorrect.

Your *assumption* that I'm nihilistic rhymes with oooh, take a wild guess <<GONGG>>, and your *assumption* that I'm proposing that vegetarians are mass murderers is so far off the page that you must have read it elsewhere <<GONGG>> <<GONGG>> <<GONGG>>

You are right however, in suggesting that Hitler may not have encouraged the German people en masse to 'go veggie', but he was highly critical of those around him who were not vegetarian; and his personal preferences did assist in spurring the growth of fad-vegetarianism during the Nazi regime. FYI:

The primary source for the article was actually from a book called Regarding Animals (Animals, Culture and Society) (ahem, in the animal rights section of the bookstore...). It examines the fact that even loving animal 'shelter' workers have to go through a little cognitive dissonance when they routinely kill the surplus puppies/kittens etc. that aren't cute enough to be adopted.

Finally, the message was a metaphor, and wasn't addressed to vegetarians, or Nazis, or gun-toting midgets for that matter; but specifically to self-righteous hypocrites who insist on making *assumptions* about others without taking the time to first reflect on what might be shared in common. But I guess that's just a little too 'trite' for you.

- pmyla. exe Human Consciousness Foundation

To the Journalist that wrote Sarajevo... Think no. 16

Are you SIMPLE-MINDED or what ???Are you a damn angry nationalist or just completely brainless ???Are you trying to explain the heart-breaking after affects???

I suppose the answer to the last question is YES, so my next question is when describing the three forms of desctruction, why it was necessary to promote the second as being from the Yugoslav National Army?

There is a proof that all sides of this war {that you obviously can only estimate about} have had hands in all three types of destruction as well as the brutal killings, rapes, tortures... ... Media is a powerful tool and thanks to BASTARDS like you, the wider public has got it figured out wrong!

Get yourself informed {try watching the film Savior - an Oliver Stone production}, and then you might even try signing the next crap you write.

- Nat

Editor replies,

Well, welcome to HappyLand Nat! And say hello to the big BANG of Yugoslav National Army guns that are now pounding the Kosovars. Now, I'm assuming if you read the article, in the part that says "The second type of destruction, and the one that Sarajevo suffered most from, appears to have been accomplished by artillery fire, from the Yugoslav National Army guns that punched round, tire-sized holes inthe walls..."

You should then ask yourself, "Did the Bosnians do this to themselves?" No, it was the big ol' YNA cannons on the hill. And if you noticed in the article, the blame was layed on all the peoples, not any one in particular.

But I doubt you actually read it all, because in the intro paragraph, I wrote that this article is a passage from Michael Ignatieff's excellent book, Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism and is available at the Globe Bookstore, where you should get your on down to if you really want to know what happened in Yugoslavia.

Heroism and Valour,

Thanks for making me famous guys. Just what I always wanted. Geez, and I thought you were all pathetic. And you even seemed to tone down some of the nonsense hip-hop / pierce / enviro / glop / snargle / yank shit, excepting the sad sad sad pictures towards the end, the "hysterical" cartoons and the 15 or so American whinging articles which are cliches in themselves.

The penis piece was je ne sais quoi "real art." Chartered mental growth of this mag is nil. However, a little more cerebral (palsied) than usual. Swimming in a sea of retarded sexuality and marijuanna coughs.

You all make me so proud to live here. Better and better Bob, somewhat lacking in emotivity however, but still: D-

P.S. Why are you ripping off the Bob Dobb's Cult of the Sub-Genius Stuff? Must be enough imagination there in Thunk to come up with their own anus, er I mean alias eh?

Still, insincerely up yours, Will Rose. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Attention readers:

An article in Think #16 erroneously left out the author's name. 'Donna's New Tattoo' was written by Jack Sargeant and was submitted as an example of his work when he was here for the Spoken Spooky Tour. Jack Sargeant may not be the new Jack Kerouac but he is a published author and his work deserves more respect than to be anonymously and tritely described as "one of our readers shares his experiences...". Such things happen when documents are submitted without a name. We apologize for any problems this may have caused anyone.

- The Editors