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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 84 (Spring 2000)

New centuries, even new seasons, can be confusing. I am puzzled when I receive a magazine from down-under saying Autumn when it is still Spring here. Autumn can have a similar feel to Spring although moving in the opposite direction.

This is my excuse for labelling the last issue Spring/Winter when in fact it came out in the Autumn. Apologies for any confusion caused. New centuries, even new decades, are more artificial than seasons and merely a trick of our way of numbering, but can be useful for us to take note of change over the passage of time.

1999 did produce some events that marked a noticeable change. The rejection by a mass of Western Europeans of genetically modified foods led to changes by producers. The name Monsanto has become so unpopular that they have decided to trade under another name. The other massive grouping of people swamped Seattle in the USA in protest against the activities of the World Trade Organisation. Unfortunately violent people used the peaceful demo as cover for riotous behaviour, which they seem to have organised in advance.

Another indication of change is the use of the Internet to spread information internationally quickly and discreetly to organise movements worldwide.

Unchanged, alas, is the human capacity for killing their neighbours who differ in race, religion or customs - and the century ended with wars and mass slaughtering. More hopefully, there are signs that slowly more sections of the population are condemning the violence and alleviating the suffering.

Slowly, also, veganism and more humane treatment of animals is gaining ground. It may take another century, but we can feel that truth and justice will prevail.

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Cross-reference: Genetically Modified Food