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back issues


June/July 2007
Letter from the Publisher
By Beth Gould


Satya's first issue. Artwork by Amy Ippoliti

As we finish our final issue, I find myself looking back at Satya’s beginnings and our original intentions. For me, reflecting on this magazine is a litany of successes and failures. Much like the movements we have sought to serve.

I don’t think we were naïve enough to think, at its inception, that one magazine, with limited circulation and an even smaller budget would single handedly bring about a vegetarian revolution. Instead, we sought to provide a home for those who struggled to make the world a better place using the tools of education and compassion, rather than anger, recrimination and rhetoric. The name we chose, and the history of its antecedent, satyagraha, inspired our intention to change minds using nonviolence.

It is difficult to maintain such ideals when evidence of cruelty abounds. It is tempting to fight, to take up arms and to argue, especially when the tangible victories are so scarce. More animals die today, needlessly, painfully, than did when our first issue came out. Our movement is more fractured. More people are willing to spend their time arguing about theory than creating positive change. But there are more of us than ever. More people willing to stand up, every day in the face of injustice.

I don’t think that Satya is to thank for our increased power. Instead, I would like to believe that we are entering a time when people are becoming more mindful of their impact upon the environment and the planet. As violence increases throughout the world, people are looking more at themselves, at what changes they can make in their lives that could have a positive impact. Are these small steps enough? Perhaps not. But it could be argued that one woman refusing to move to the back of a bus would not make any difference at all, and one man quietly, peacefully, refusing to submit to his country’s subjugation would be forgotten.

I suppose, in this difficult task of writing my last letter for Satya magazine, and examining what help we might have been to those less fortunate, I am offering a plea. Though the voice of this magazine is becoming silent, there are so many of us that care, that can raise our voices, and make that decision for compassion instead of cruelty.

There have been many mornings that I have woken up believing that I am the luckiest person in the world. I have been blessed to be able to work on Satya, with the most amazing people, my friends, my wonderful staff. The commitment and patience that they have shown humbles me. I truly cannot thank them enough.

As I said, one reason we started Satya was to offer a home to the activist community of New York City, readers, writers and advertisers. I recently attended a farm animal sanctuary benefit, and was struck, not for the first time, by the kindness, warmth and intelligence of this community of people. I intended to provide a home for others, and instead, they have welcomed me into theirs. I am grateful.