From ‘Never Again’ to It COULD Happen Again | | Another powerful blog entry from JoAnn Farb! 

Growing up in the 1960s I was among the first kids whose Jewish education emphasized the horrors of the Holocaust. This left me with a couple of burning questions that never got answered: “How did so many seemingly average/good people fail (in the beginning stages when they still could) to speak up? How did so many not object to the propaganda, and to the insidious progression of little injustices/oppressions that we now recognize paved the way for such an enormous tragedy? 
My mother always said things happened so incrementally that people just accepted them – never dreaming how bad they might get…until it was too late. But her answer never explained HOW people failed to speak out against things that were so wrong in hindsight. It wasn’t until 2020 that I came to understand what I never before could – which I will explain in just a moment.
Most of us upon learning of atrocities like The Trail of Tears, slavery in the US South, internment of Japanese Americans, or Tuskegee, believe we would never have gone along with things that so obviously harmed others – even if those around us appeared to be okay with them. That’s why I vowed to myself, decades ago that I’d never ignore injustice happening to others. And it’s why, in direct response to the horrors I observed happening to animals while working as a pharmaceutical industry microbiologist in the 1990s, I became a vegan.

For two decades, as part of a national vegan activist community, I felt reassured to personally know so many outspoken, passionate fellow social justice advocates, because during this time I was also a parent raising vegan children, breastfeeding longer than society approved of, sharing a family bed, and giving birth at home. I had heard about cases where parents’ custody had been challenged for straying from society’s norms, and I always felt better thinking about all the amazing people in my vegan community, who I believed would fight for my rights alongside me if ever I found myself in a class of citizens facing injustice. That’s why 2020 was especially disturbing – I realized how many of us were vulnerable to the very same fear tactics and social pressure that have manipulated and silenced dissenting voices that might have averted so many past atrocities.

When officials began recommending face masks, I was caring for my two elderly parents in hospice. They did not want to go into a nursing home, and I was doing all I could to keep them in their own home. I oversaw a half-dozen caregivers, plus filled in gaps in care myself.

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