Amnesty’s success is because of do-gooders

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Dear Editor:

After my Mailbag letter of Nov 11 about how Amnesty International is fighting against worldwide child abuse was published, someone posted a comment on your website calling me a vegetarian “do-gooder” and Amnesty International “a toothless tiger”. This despite the fact that in that letter I noted that an innocent rape victim in Saudi Arabia was spared a prison sentence and being lashed because of Amnesty International’s protest.

Numerous ex-political prisoners have said they would be dead or still in jail if not for Amnesty. And Amnesty will tell you their success is because of “do-gooders” such as myself who write letters and sign petitions in order to bring attention to human rights abuses. “One single postcard means a lot,” says Aung San Suu Kyi.

As for my vegetarianism, I read an article in an animal rights magazine which noted that if every vegan could convince just one person to become a vegan and then those new converted vegans could do the same, we would reduce the demand for animal products to the point where millions of fewer animals would be killed.

There is a tremendous difference between saying we can’t solve all the problems of the world or saying we can’t improve anything so let’s do nothing. I have more hatred for “nice” people who ignore injustice than I do for the people who commit evil acts. The prison guard who tortures prisoners or the slaughterhouse worker who tortures animals may not know any better. But people who know better and still do nothing about cruelty are the most contemptible people on earth.

Apathy, not cruelty, is what makes this world so evil.

Eric Bahrt