I am embarking on a new project.
It's called "The Sarah Palin Project."
I am going to write a letter to Sarah Palin once a week for one year. If my math is correct, that's a total of 52 letters. I'm going to send the letters to her house in Alaska. I got her address by Googling "Sarah Palin's address in Alaska." I hope to hell it's correct.
Who knows? Maybe I'll also forward a copy to Fox News, scene of her current gig.
Why am I doing this?
I was reading Palin's book Going Rogue (pictured here) and I came across the following passages:
“If any vegans came over for dinner, I could whip them up a salad, then explain my philosophy on being a carnivore: If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?”“I love meat. I eat pork chops, thick bacon burgers, and the seared fatty edges of a medium-well-done steak. But I especially love moose and caribou. I always remind people from outside our state that there's plenty of room for all Alaska's animals -- right next to the mashed potatoes.”
Palin's book has been a bestseller. She has become a media superstar across North America.
But I'm going to challenge her. Not in a mean or abrasive way. My letters to Sarah Palin will be down-to-earth, friendly, frank - just the way I'd be if I were sitting at her dinner table, having a conversation.
The first quote (above) from Going Rogue reads to me like an invitation. I think Sarah Palin wants to have a conversation about meat eating and veganism.
I want to try to convert Sarah Palin to the vegan lifestyle because I think she'd be happier as a vegan. I'm going to take some time out of my schedule each week to explain why I think veganism is the way to go.
Why devote one year to this? I'm giving myself a year to talk Sarah Palin into becoming a vegan. If, at the end of that year, my efforts have not borne fruit (excuse the pun), I'll put aside pen and paper and move on.
The animal rights and vegan movement is about winning over converts, one person at a time. I'm sick and tired of people on both sides of the political spectrum shouting at each other and dehumanizing each other. I'm tired of the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters assassinating people's characters. I'm tired of overzealous militants throwing pies in the faces of their "enemies." I'm tired of the Red State/Blue state paradigm.
I want to reach out across the political spectrum and have a friendly and honest conversation with someone who is on the opposite side. And I want to talk about what I see as the most important issue of our times: The sanctity of life - not just human life, but all animal life as well.
But my letters to Sarah Palin won't just be about that topic. Fifty-two letters about the sanctity of life would get awfully boring after a while.
No, my letters will cover a wide variety of issues: Personal and political; the food people eat; the ways in which we argue with each other; attitudes about meat and veganism; vegan recipes; the treatment of human beings and animals in capitalism; movies, music, literature. You name it, it'll probably make an appearance in my letters.
You might ask: Why bother trying to convert Sarah Palin to veganism? It's not fundamentally altering the status quo. It's not going to get rid of the factory farm system or any of the other pernicious manifestations of capitalism. It's not going to trigger a revolution.
True. True. True. It won't do any of those things. But I've been sitting on my tush cursing the darkness long enough. It's time to act. Time to do something. Time to reach across the spectrum with the hand of friendship and start sharing ideas in a manner that does not involve yelling, pies in the face, name calling, etc.
And who better to have that conversation with than Sarah Palin? And what better way to do it than through the dying art form of letter writing? Each week, I'll print off a letter in Courier font, each week I'll address it, each week I'll mail it. Will any of this make a difference? Maybe not.
But damn it, I'm going to try.
I'll update you from time to time on my efforts, Blog Friends. Stay tuned!