This is Hope: Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology
How We Find Our Way to a Humane and Environmentally Sane Future
By Will Anderson
Earth Books 2012
From This is Hope, “My Youth”:
As a boy, I did a number of things I would not do today. I trapped fireflies in glass jars when the Chicago summer nights were warmest, put live insects
into vials of alcohol to preserve them at camp, and from fear, directed a powerful jet of water at a bumble bee after which I grew sad and disappointed at
what I had done. At a Boy’s Club camp I attended when I was about 10 years old, I saw a frog who was pinned to a dissecting tray, cut open, and very
much alive. He was displayed under a hot light bulb in a cubbyhole office tucked under some stairs. Over him or her stood a microscope where any happy
camper could see the flow of circulating blood that visibly pulsed with each equally visible heartbeat. I was told the hapless frog was pithed,
had his brain scrambled with a needle in a way he would not feel pain, at least not after the pithing was completed. I remember this clearly, though it was
50 years ago. . . .
With the urging of a different counselor at the same summer camp, I aimed a .22 caliber rifle at a white bird perched in the top of a distant tree
bordering a cornfield. I squeezed the trigger. High above me, he or she had a life. Her name was Target. She had capacities to suffer and enjoy and work to
purpose every day until I ended it one afternoon. All I and the other young boys understood was that something was defined as a small burst of white
feathers that flew upon the impact of my ignorance. I recall immediate remorse as we searched in vain under the stand of trees for that poor bird. As
creatures suffered for my ignorance then, they suffer today at our hands in ways we may not be thinking about. There is always something new to learn about
how we can reduce our callousness and harm. That never ceases.
What do we require, to what extent will we continue to demand individuals from other species be just like us before we treat them the same as we would
choose to be treated, acknowledge them as being more like us than not? When will they qualify, in our worldview, for inclusion under the Golden Rule? . . .
Our awakening to the lives of other species is just beginning. (Will Anderson, This is Hope, pp. 93-94.)
Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns, writes of this powerful new book:
This is Hope
is filled with well-documented insights, eloquently expressed, into the causes and conditions of the malaise that is spreading over the Earth and
afflicting all of its occupants as a result of the human desire to coerce the planet to conform to our will and our will alone. Ironically, our drive
entails a death wish that can be seen not only in the extinction of other species but in the destruction of the ecological systems and networks upon which
all beings on Earth, including ourselves, depend and into which all of us are integrated, for better or worse.
As terrible as species extinction is (I have often thought of what it must be like for a creature to experience being the last of its kind, like the last
Dusky Seaside Sparrow who was so uncaringly reported in the news media as having drowned in “its” water cup at the zoo and whose death as a
species was said to matter only because of what it could portend for humans) – as terrible as species extinction is, I say: equally terrible and in
some ways worse is the endless proliferation of animals to fit the procrustean beds of global industrial agriculture, experimental research and all of the
other human horrors that not even death can rescue them from being forced to endure in endless rebirths of an agonized Phoenix.
Apathy or Empathy, Apathy or Action: These are the questions that confront us and that are affirmatively addressed in This is Hope. This book
presents its solid conceptual arguments in lucid prose while evoking the experiences of actual beings who, once you have lived with them in its pages, you
will never again be able to forget or abandon for “someone else” to care about.
is an environmentalist/species rights professional who for 30-plus years conducted campaigns while employed for regional and national organizations. He
most recently founded Green Vegans (www.greenvegans.org). Will was a featured speaker at United Poultry Concerns’ 11th annual conference in Berkeley, California on April 6, 2013. All presentations at
this informative Conscious Eating Conference will soon be available on video on our Website at