Cesar Chavez - A True Guardian
Dear Friends and fellow Guardians,
This is the week our nation celebrates the outstanding life of Cesar Chavez, a man whose life, actions and beliefs have meant so very much to millions of people around the world. He was a deeply caring and compassionate man; a man of love and peace, whose life has been, and will always be, an ongoing source of inspiration to so many of us. And yet he was a humble man…I have been in awe of his warmth and compassion, his caring words and actions. He was a man who fully represents each and every principle of being a Guardian of others.
Twenty years ago, I had the honor and pleasure of presenting Cesar with IDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Today, I am sharing his acceptance speech with you as we celebrate the man, his work, his memory, and especially his values, dignity and integrity. His words are important to me because they reflect not only his sense of values, but also how very much he appreciated the work and ideals of IDA and, in particular, you, our thousands of supporters. His description of you is exactly how I feel about you. On behalf of our animal friends, I thank you all for allowing IDA to be what it was then, and what it is today. Few, if any, organizations can approach the many victories and accomplishments IDA has achieved—all because of you. If Cesar was with us today, I know he would join me in giving you all a giant thank you.
“Dr. Elliot Katz, and all the members and supporters of In Defense of Animals. We bring you greetings from the farm workers and all those who feel we must respect all life without exception. We want to congratulate, in a very special way, Dr. Katz and all the people who work with him, and all the people who follow him for making the good fight. Congratulate him and all those who belong to In Defense of Animals for their victories and programs. We want to thank them because this award is especially meaningful to me because it comes from higher caring people.
It is also meaningful to us because it comes from people that put action where their pronouncements are, and that’s important to us. We need in a special way to work twice as hard to make all people understand that animals are fellow creatures; that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves. And that the basis for peace is respecting all creatures. We cannot hope to have peace until we respect everyone, respect ourselves and all living beings. We cannot defend and be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them. Exploiting them in the name of science, exploiting them in the name of sport, exploiting them in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting them in the name of food.”
Cesar’s words are as true today as they were the day he spoke them. May we all continue to follow in his footsteps for many, many years to come.
Elliot M. Katz, DVM
Founder, Guardian, President Emeritus
In Defense of Animals