Original Editorial from Satya’s
By Martin Rowe
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
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.