Animal World
 
Harold Brown: From Cattle Farmer to Animal Advocate    Part 2   
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I spent most of my life in agriculture; I grew up on a cattle farm in Michigan (USA). And now I am a vegan and animal rights activist.

Compassionate viewers, welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today’s program features the first of a two-part interview with Harold Brown of the United States who grew up on a cattle farm and also worked in the dairy industry for three years.

He eventually left the farm and became an animal advocate, a promoter of plant-based agriculture, an environmentalist and a vegan. He has formed his own non-profit group called “Farm Kind” and travels across North America to talk to audiences about sustainability, veganism, kindness to animals, and his experiences as a farmer.

Harold Brown appears in two documentaries by US director Jenny Stein – “Peaceable Kingdom” released in 2004 and the re-make released in 2009, “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home.” The films focus on farmers who were in the animal agriculture industry, but ultimately rejected their profession because of the inhumane treatment and slaughter of animals and the severe damage to the Earth caused by livestock raising. During childhood, Harold felt deeply disturbed by the animal cruelty occurring on his parent’s farm.

When my brother and I, were fairly young, my grandfather had bought this dairy steer, he was a Holstein, a black and white cow to the farm. He was big, and we named him Max. Max, he liked being petted, and we grew attached to him. Well one day I came home from school, and, Max was gone, and I asked my grandfather, “Where's Max?” He said “Oh we had to butcher Max.” I cried; I was so sad that they killed Max.

Due to his heavy consumption of animal products, Mr. Brown had his first heart attack at the mere age of 18. But he did not actually realize that is what he had experienced until his father’s heart began failing many years later.

It wasn't until thirteen, fifteen years later my dad had his first heart attack and bypass, and I was the one person in the family who believed in cause and effect. These just don’t happen; there is a cause and effect to most things in a way, at least with our health.

Eventually Harold made a choice to leave his family’s cattle business and seek an alternative career.

There came a transition point where my brother and I were going to take over the farm, and I had decided that, because there were some changes that I had made in my lifestyle for the sake of my heart health. The family were frustrated with me and so on and it created a lot of stress, so my wife and I we just packed up our stuff and left the farm and we moved to Cleveland, Ohio (USA).

Now working as a auto mechanic, Harold learned from a customer about a compassionate concept that would transform his life.

And I was actually working as a mechanic and the very first car I worked on had this bumper sticker and I could not figure out that bumper sticker. I fixed her car. I delivered the car to her and I said, “Do you mind if I ask you about your bumper sticker?” And she said, “Sure.” I said, “It says, ‘I don’t eat my friends.’” I said, “Is that a joke that you’re not a carnivore?” And she said “No, I am vegetarian.” I said, “What’s that?” And she looked at me with astonishment, and said, “You don’t know what a vegetarian is?” I said, “No I’m 31 years old, and I have never heard that word.”

This encounter inspired Harold to learn more about this beautiful lifestyle and he reached out to vegetarians in his community for more information.

I found a vegetarian group in Cleveland (USA). My wife and I went to a potluck and at the potluck we met this amazing group of people that were concerned with environmentalism, but also spiritual growth and psychological healing. They created through this multi-disciplinary way of approaching life a safe place for me to deconstruct my past.

It was an enormous challenge for Mr. Brown to re-orient his views on the place of animals in our world given his farming background.

To question that indoctrination is difficult and most people aren’t willing to ( Right.) because it's frightening. They live in this irrationality that they are living the best that they can. ( Yes, yes, yes.) There is a lot of wisdom out there and good teachers and so on.

It's just whether we have the eyes to see them and the ears to hear them.

We tend to shut our eyes and shut our ears to these teachers and this wisdom

The thing that validated my cattle culture was television. And it was the commercials on television because every time you turn on TV you see commercials selling you a food product that has animal product in there. So I was looking at that, (feeling) I’m going great. I am helping to feed a hungry world. I’m meeting the demand for consumers. I worked three years in the dairy industry also and, especially when it comes to cheese, I was just seeing all these commercials and all these franchises and I’m just going

“Yes, I am doing the good work.” So how would I ever question that? Why would I question that? That’s the dominant culture. Well it took a crisis and I started to wake up.

When we come back, we’ll learn more about Harold Brown’s amazing journey from cattle rancher to compassionate animal advocate. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

It’s like that old saying, “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Well I could curse my past and play the victim, or I could light one candle and reverse that darkness. And I did; I chose to do that.

Welcome back to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants featuring the story of Harold Brown, a former cattle farmer who transformed his life and became an animal advocate and a vegan. Harold now speaks about how through a loving bovine friend, his compassion for animals which he had suppressed for years because he had butchered them for meat, was restored.

I had adopted a cow at a sanctuary, his name is Snickers. I visited him two or three times I think and then about six or eight months had past and I hadn’t seen him and there was this event where there were a whole bunch of people in the sanctuary. And I went into the cow barn and there were people in there petting the cows and talking to them. And over in the corner was Snickers chewing his cud and nobody was petting him.

Well, I thought “I wonder if he remembers me,” and I walked in just inside the gate and I just called his name. I said “Snickers” and put out my arms and he came running over to me and just slammed his head into my chest and just leaned against me and I just wrapped my arms around his neck and gave him a hug and then I just broke down.

Mr. Brown then realized that all this time he had relied on repeating a certain phrase in his mind in order to ignore his conscience when he harmed animals as a farmer.

I had this immediate mental image of a light switch right over my heart and I call it my “compassion switch” and I could turn this compassion switch on and off, depending on circumstances, on who is involved. I could turn it on for some people and turn it off for other people. Turn it on for some animals, and turn it off for the ones that I had to butcher.

To turn my compassion off, to turn my love off, to turn my empathy and sympathy off was three words. A phrase. And if I had the power to take this phrase out of the English language I would. It was the phrase “I don’t care.” Any time I had to do something that I thought was objectionable, something that I thought was not right, I would just say, “I don't care.”

And from that point, looking, from this new perspective, I realized that every time I said that it disconnected me mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually, from that other so that I could do whatever needed to be done. Whether it was to kill them, and butcher them, or to eat them. If I had an emotional connection with that animal, but I ended up butchering and then eating them, I'd feel "yes, yes" but I don't care, I need to eat. Or if I went out hunting, it's, "I don't care."

Harold now speaks about the pressing issues he believes that humanity must address and how we can move toward a constructive future.

People will look at environmental and social justice, animals’ rights, and veganism; they look at all these different things as different issues. They’re actually not different issues. They’re all part of the same problem; there is systemic problem in human culture. I really feel it’s our ego that keeps us tied up to these things and it’s those attachments that keeps us from seeing that how we treat the animals is how we treat each other, and how we treat the environment.

If we are able to easily look at animals as being a commodity, an economic unit, then we will always look at the other human beings as the same.

It is this kind of worldview that we developed and then it becomes this kind of destructive cycle of not looking beyond our own self and what we want. We have to open our eyes and open our hearts to what we all need – what the Earth needs and what all of creation needs and not just what we want.

Farm Kind is Harold Brown’s effort to help elevate the world’s consciousness and open people’s hearts.

I’m developing my own non-profit; it’s called Farm Kind. I travel around North America giving talks about environmental issues, social justice issues, animal rights, and veganism. I advocate for all of these things. I try to bring all these things together, so people can see that it’s really a whole with the end result hopefully being a more peaceful and compassionate world.

We would like to convey our appreciation to Harold Brown for sharing his life story with us and others. May Harold Brown’s work and the initiatives of like-minded people promoting the protection of animals soon change hearts so that all embrace the organic vegan diet.

For more details on Farm Kind, please visit

To learn more about “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home,” please visit

Benevolent viewers, we enjoyed your company today on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Please join us again tomorrow for the second and final part of our interview with Harold Brown. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May we always take deep care of our animal friends and our awe-inspiring world.

Do you know why it is not easy for people to quit eating meat, cheese, and refined sugars?

They’re eating a diet with so much processed foods and so many animal products, and so much sugar, and so much salt, and so much soda drinks.

They keep craving to eat more food because you become addicted, you become a food addict.

Please join us for “Understanding the Cravings: Food Addiction” Monday, March 22 on Healthy Living.
When we eat animals, we're eating their fear, their anxiety, their anger. It’s because we truly are what we eat.

Enlightened viewers, welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today’s program features the second of a two-part interview with Harold Brown of the United States who grew up on a cattle farm and also worked in the dairy industry for three years. During childhood, he felt great empathy towards farm animals. His young heart repeatedly questioned the senseless slaughtering of innocent animals for food.

As a kid, I think the things that astounded me was to watch the adults kill an animal. And it made me feel profoundly sad but I couldn't understand why they didn't look sad, why they didn't feel, express the emotions that I was feeling.

As an adult, he left the farm and became an animal advocate, a promoter of plant-based agriculture, an environmentalist and a vegan.

He has formed his own non-profit group called “Farm Kind” and travels across North America to talk to audiences about sustainability, veganism, kindness to animals, and his experiences as a farmer. Harold Brown appears in two documentaries by US director Jenny Stein – “Peaceable Kingdom” released in 2004 and the re-make released in 2009, “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home.”

It’s a story about the journey of consciousness. It’s about people who were former farmers. There is three of us; Jim Vandersluis who lives in Massachusetts (USA), he had a dairy farm. I grew up on a beef farm and Howard Lyman who ran a cattle farm and feedlot operation, a very large operation in Montana (USA). And through our respective journeys, which were different for all of us, we realized what we were doing was breaking a sacred trust with these animals and that we couldn’t do it any longer.

For Howard and I, there were health crises that kind of knocked us upside the head to get our attention. But it’s also the story about the animals and about how they are here for their own purposes and they want the same things out of life as we do. They just want good food, they want community, friendship, shelter, and just to be at peace. All they want is to be at peace.

It’s a very powerful story, and it intertwines and weaves together the stories of the animals and the people, and in a narrative that shows that if we truly want to find inner peace, which will translate into a more peaceful world, then we all have to take that journey. It’s not going to be handed to us; it’s not going to be given to us. It does not come down from Heaven; the Kingdom of Heaven is in here and that’s a journey we have to take. That’s what the movie really brings across.

Yesterday on part one of our interview with Harold Brown we learned that when he was a farmer he would think to himself “I don’t care” when his conscience told him not to harm animals. He now focuses on a different phrase to overcome personal challenges and to help him in his mission to encourage others to have compassion for all beings.

For many years now, whenever I come into a situation that I'm uncomfortable, I find objectionable, that I want to run away from, I just say, "I care." It makes me feel in a whole different way. Because when you say you care, you have to become engaged. And that is where you become all that you can be. You realize your potential of what you are capable of. That's where unconditional love comes from, that's where unconditional peace comes from, that's where forgiveness comes from, and that's where grace comes from. It's where gratefulness comes from. And these things are very, very powerful.

I look at it this way, that every person I meet in my life, is a piece of fertile ground and all I am to do in my life is to plant seeds. So I look at the seeds of love, of compassion, and peace. I plant those seeds, but then I just don't walk away, because I try to steer them either to keep them in my life, or to steer them toward a community of people that will give those seeds what they need. What does it take for seeds to grow up?

It takes sunshine. It takes light. It takes gentle rains. It takes nutrients. It takes a little weeding now and then. We’re all farmers of compassion. That's what I call it. I'm a farmer of compassion. So that's my duty in life now, is to be of service to other people, to nurture them like seedlings so they may grow, in their own time, and be all that they can be.

Mr. Brown once said, “Since I have made this conscious decision to show mercy, my life has been blessed a million, million times over and I have found a deep peace.” When we return, we’ll learn more about Harold Brown’s fantastic transition to a life-saving vegan lifestyle. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants featuring the story of Harold Brown, a former cattle farmer who transformed his life and became an animal advocate and a vegan. Animals are intelligent and loving sentient beings. They feel, think, and shed tears just as we humans do. Deeply understanding these fundamental truths, Mr. Brown is advocating for an immediate constructive change in the relationship between animals and humanity.

We have pets, and we love them; they’re so dear to us. And we will never think of eating a cat or a dog. But we have no problem with other animals, whether they are free living animals or domesticated animals like cows. It's this dichotomy; it's this double standard that we have that one is worthy of our regard and the other is not. One is worthy of our love and the other is not.

But we can learn to love any animal if given the opportunity and they can learn to love us.

The animal agriculture industry has craftily invented labels for meat, egg, and dairy products such as “organic,” “humane,” “cage free,” “free range,” “free run,” “cruelty free,” and “natural” to make consumers feel less guilty about the fact their purchases involve animal suffering. As Harold Brown astutely observes, these labels are entirely meaningless from a moral perspective.

Is there a humane way to kill anyone? No, no. You can’t humanely kill a human being, so why would anybody think you can humanely kill an animal - you can’t. It’s a word that shouldn’t be equated with anything that has to do with an animal food product. If you look at Webster’s Dictionary, it defines the word “humane” with three words. It just says, “To show kindness, compassion, and mercy.” That’s humane, and I think most people would agree with that.

Well, with a farm animal you could raise a farm animal kindly and with compassion, but when do we ever show them mercy? We don’t; we kill them all. So it’s not a word that should ever be used with animal agriculture in any way, shape or form.

You can’t eat humanely; you can’t kill humanely, it just can’t be done.

How would a loving relationship between humankind and animals affect the consciousness of our world? Mr. Brown believes that the quickest and the only way that heaven can be made on Earth is through humanity adopting the kindhearted, life-affirming vegan diet.

Veganism isn’t a lifestyle choice; it’s a moral and ethical way of being in the world. It is surely about what you wear, what you eat, what you buy, but that’s just an aspect of it. The core of it is the moral concern for the dignity and respect of the other, whether that’s a farm animal or a farm worker, because they’re exploited too, in these agriculture operations. The thing about veganism is it’s not about saying “no,” it’s about saying “yes.”

As my friend Will Tuttle says, “Veganism is radical inclusion.” That’s something to think about; it’s “radical inclusion.” In other words, everybody and everything is included in our community, in our circle of compassion, in our circle of love. It’s not about saying “no” to anything. It’s not about saying no, I’m not going to eat steak anymore. It’s no, I’m bringing that cow into my circle of compassion. It’s about radical inclusion. It’s not about saying no, it’s about saying yes. And yes in a positive and peaceful way.

Besides being the most healthful, sustainable, animal-friendly way of life, following an organic vegan lifestyle is the single most effective way we all can halt climate change.

Now look at the new research that 51% of greenhouse gases are produced by (animal) agriculture; they’re our number one polluter on this planet and it’s growing. Your personal responsibility is you ought to be adopting a plant-based diet. You should not be eating animals or any of their products.

People say, “Well, I am only one person, how can I make a difference?” Well, there's an African proverb that I love: “If you think that one person can’t make a difference, sleep in a tent with a mosquito.”

We can all be mosquitoes and we can make a big difference. People will pay attention but our message should be one of love, of radical inclusion, of compassion, of peace and that's how we create a better, more peaceful world is by everything that we do, being an expression of that peace.

With the acceleration of climate change and the suffering of animals in factory farms and elsewhere, the future of our Earth is determined by what we do right now. If we all choose the path of love and kindness, we can create an immediate, wonderful transformation and elevate the level of our planetary home.

I stand on the shoulders of giants, people like (Mahatma) Gandhi, people like Martin Luther King, people like Howard Lyman. There are thousands and thousands of them. There’re so many people out there now. There seems to be a shift in consciousness happening. Culturally we’re starting to see globally people are waking up, slowly, but they’re waking up, they’re asking questions. And we need to be there for them with emotionally honest, factually honest information and to nurture them to be farmers of compassion.

We thank deeply Harold Brown for being a model of benevolence by serving as a voice for the animals and the environment. Indeed we should all become farmers of compassion so that love always grows and ripens on the tree of life. May Mr. Brown’s noble example be an inspiration to all to follow the eco-friendly, life-saving organic vegan lifestyle.

For more details on Farm Kind, please visit To learn more about “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home,” please visit

Joyful viewers, we appreciated your company today on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May the light in our hearts be the key to awakening our true compassionate selves.

Land of beauty and liveliness, South Africa is a country where brilliant colors, intricate decorations and artistic textiles are woven together to create the resplendent traditional outfits of the Zulu people.

The beads show that our African culture is so rich and beautiful, and when I am wearing these kinds of clothes, I feel very proud and comfortable that I am an African.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant hues and culture of Zulu costumes with designer Rose Mabunda on Tuesday, March 23 here on Supreme Master Television’s A Journey through Aesthetic Realms.

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