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May 2004
Welcome to Satya!
Original Editorial from Satya’s First Issue
By Martin Rowe

 

June 1994
Vaclav Havel

Welcome to the first edition of Satya: a magazine devoted to the subjects of animal advocacy, vegetarianism, and environmentalism. The first question you probably want to ask is why we chose this particular title.

Satya is the Sanskrit word for ‘truth’ and in the form of satyagraha or ‘truth-action’ was the word coined by Mahatma Gandhi for the nature of his efforts to rid India of the British.

Gandhi’s is an apt name to evoke here: not only because he stood for nonviolence and compassion (keynotes I believe of this magazine), but because vegetarianism was an active part of Gandhi’s social protest. When, in the late 1880s, the young student lived in London, he found the ubiquitousness of meat very difficult to cope with. His vegetarianism at the time centered on his identity as a Hindu and from the admonitions of his mother; it was only when he stumbled across a vegetarian restaurant and read the Plea for Vegetarianism by pioneering vegetarian Henry Salt that his beliefs were hardened by a solid ethical concern.

Gandhi understood that his vegetarianism was more than a statement of his belief in the inherent value of animals. It was his mission. He saw it as underpinning his action to relieve the suffering of human animals. His life was and remains a powerful example of how animal advocacy, vegetarianism, and environmentalism are not exclusively concerned with nonhuman life, but are—directly and urgently—human social justice movements. It is just such an integration of ideas we hope Satya can present and strive for.

Animal advocacy, vegetarianism, and environmentalism are ideas whose time has come. The issues they raise are surfacing more and more in the public’s mind as both individuals and groups of people realize that the quality of their lives and the lives of those they love is being diminished by rampant greed, exploitation, toxicity, and thoughtlessness. Satya aims to provide a voice for the people of New York City and the surrounding area who wish to explore and affirm the connections between their different groups to unite around a common theme of ending exploitation, suffering, random cruelty, and waste.

Satya will be a forum to reflect on these ideas. There will be interviews, book reviews, stories, and features which reflect vegetarian, animal, and environmental issues by people who live in the immediate New York City area. Most importantly, there will be a bulletin board of events, allowing the three communities campaigning for a cleaner, less violent, and healthier world to come together and share resources. This is where you come in. We want you to tell us when an event or protest you’re organizing or participating in is going to happen in the month ahead, and we’ll list it, absolutely free of charge. That way you’ll reach out to more people than you possibly would otherwise. And we want you to write for us, and tell us what you’re thinking about the issues important to you.

Thank you and enjoy!

Martin Rowe is the Founding Editor of Satya.

 


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