Eric Bahrt, a long-time Pattaya resident and champion of animal rights, has defended his stance following an interview with the Bangkok Post. Eric, a contentious letter writer who draws vociferous criticism, says he has converted many people to vegetarianism but his critics make more noise. “McDonalds and KFC have billions of dollars behind them and I can’t compete with that, but to get letters published in the press you don’t have to be connected or have power.” Last year, 62-year-old Eric, who was born in America, was the subject of an editorial in Pattaya Today.
His basic concern is the suffering that billions of animals must endure annually to become meals for humans. As a young man, Eric was a meat eater until he was driving his motorbike in the Philippines and got stuck behind a truck stuffed with live pigs destined for pain and plate. For the past 30 years he has campaigned vigorously, always on his own, for the vegetarian lifestyle. “Like slavery, snuff taking and cigarette smoking, meat eating will eventually die out,” he predicts, “because it’s wrong and dangerous for your health.”
Although Jewish, Eric is sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. He has also contributed many articles and letters on subjects as diverse as the evils of American presidents and the threat of a new world war. “When I see something that’s unfair to animals or humans, I speak out as it’s my way of being useful and hoping some people will connect with it.”