VEGANISM IS ABOUT INCLUSION

love-538685_1280I have had this blog on my mind for quite some time. But I finally decided to write it because I see something that really bothers me just continuing.

I always considered (particularly after reading The World Peace Diet) that Veganism was not just about other animals in the literal sense but also about including everyone from the human community. After all, we are animals too.

But what I tend to see when I browse through Facebook or other social networks is a lot of anti-religious hate from vegans not only towards pre-vegans but also, and particularly, towards other vegans because they follow a particular faith.

I am a former atheist. I understand the point of view of an atheist and for clarification, I haven’t embraced any new faith. However, I do see things from a different, more spiritual, so to speak, perspective. I do not like being ridiculed by religious pre-vegans because I am a vegan and it doesn’t agree with their beliefs anymore than anyone else. I get it!

I also get why vegans reject religion. All religions, even the most peaceful ones, have some really nasty sides to them. But that is dogma. In other words, it is interpretation.

What I regret is that people who attack vegans and pre-vegans because of whatever faith they have miss out on the opportunity of educating and showing a different vision of their faith.

For example, a few years ago, I saw a wonderful documentary called A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal the Planet which, being non-Jewish myself redefined Judaism to me from a different perspective.

Another example is that beautiful documentary shared by Will Tuttle recently (who is featured in it as well as French Vegan Monk Mathieu Ricard) called Animals and The Buddha which also shows a vegan perspective of Buddhism worth sharing with those in their community who think differently. I even shared it on the Dalai Lama’s pages in the hope that this would open his own perspective.

Now I wish I could find a Christian or Muslim movie from a vegan perspective but that may yet happen. After all, there is a Christian Vegetarian Association (which also supports veganism) and a Muslim Vegetarian Association which I found both exist online. I know vegan Muslims as well as vegan Christians as well as atheist or agnostic vegans and so on. We all share one thing in common, regardless of beliefs, we love other animals and we want to spare their suffering. That is ALL that should matter.

I also want to point out that I work with activists here who are Muslims AND Vegans. Do you think we care if we are from different cultural/religious background? We don’t. We work for a common goal.

We are all on the same boat. We try to enlighten our own communities within our cultural/religious frameworks. And let’s face it, if you’re atheist and believe that religion is going to disappear overnight, you’re delusional.

All I am asking is that, instead of criticizing someone’s faith or lack thereof, we give people a vegan alternative within their own conceptual view of life. Who can pretend to know more than anyone else about life and death? To think that we or anyone else have the answers is just ego at work. The only things we know are that we have one planet, we are one species and we have to protect other species from the insane side of humanity. And this is not going to work as long as people see only the outer limits of others instead of encouraging common grounds and offering a different perspective (of faith for example) as the two movies above do.

Veganism is about inclusion and compassion. It is not about division and hate. When vegans despises pre-vegans and vegans alike because they don’t agree on the same things, they just bring even more hate in this world.

Instead of wasting their time doing this, they should realize that we all belong to the same human family and that we are all born with compassion in our hearts. Hate, sexism, religion, racism and speciesism is not something we are born with, it is something that is taught to us… just like eating other animals. Let’s extend this vegan principle of love and compassion to those who need to be enlightened, not cast them out because of our own prejudices against them.

So next time, you hear someone of faith ridiculing you about being vegan, why not ask them to watch a documentary or give them information about people who do vegan education in their own community. Not doing it is missing the point of our message and missing the chance of maybe having another new vegan join our family.

AHA! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas – by Jordan Ayan, Founder of Create-It Inc.

In this amazing little book, Jordan Ayan takes us on a journey of rediscovery of our inner creative self. Jordan has been studying his craft for quite a while and doesn’t hesitate to bring what he learned from others as examples for his tools.

This is a very simple and useful little book. It’s remarkably easy to read and understand. The author also provides us with exercices to help us unlock our brain’s creativity. From Role-Playing ideas to Retreats, Mind-mapping to Toys, you will find a multitude of useful tools to get your ideas on paper and find the courage to implement them.

There are 10 basics main tools to get to where you must go. For each, Jordan Ayan gives examples, exercises, tips to help you fight whatever blocks you have (whether it is in painting, writing, business, you name it!).

Very useful book, a must-have.

 

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© Copyright June 2005 – All Rights Reserved.

THE CELESTINE PROPHECY by James Redfield

In this amazing story, James Redfield takes the reader to a journey through the wonders of Peru in search of a spiritual manuscript left behind by the Mayans.

This is not a true story but, turning page after page of this book, it felt real enough for me to take it seriously. From one insight to the next, we learn about the energy around and in us. What makes this story interesting is the inherent poetry to this journey the main character is undertaking. At each step, his understanding of the divine and human nature takes a leap forward and I found this aspect very refreshing.

I wasn’t particularly thrilled by the adventure in itself. Nothing about his encounter with the Peruvian soldiers or the priests really fascinated me. On the other hand, the difficulties the hero stumbles on makes his search for the truth all the more interesting. By the end of the story, I was so captivated by the « revelations » regarding mankind’s future that I was hoping to read the sequel.

The most becoming moments of the book are indeed the Insights given to the different protagonist in their understanding of evolution. They learn to recognize what the author calls the psychological dramas that each of them (and us) have programmed in themselves since childhood. They learn to recognize how to let go of these dramas in order to reach a superior energy level. This is the way, the characters tell us, we can learn to see beauty in nature and feed ourselves with the divine energy inherent in the trees, plants, etc…

The most appealing aspect to me was the explanation given as how we feed on others’ energies like vampires in order to survive and how the goal is to stop this particular psychological drama and learn to connect to the superior energy source. This part, in my opinion, is what makes the book well worth reading for anyone interested in the invisible forces surrounding us.

celestine

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© Copyright October 2003. All Rights Reserved.

YOUR ERRONEOUS ZONES by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer, best-selling author of Real Magic and Pulling Your Own Strings, takes us on a journey of self-discovery through the « erroneous zones » which are in the majority of us and which we choose to ignore.

I have found this book extremely intelligent and very simple to understand. This is not a Psychology book full of terms only understood by psychiatrists. Wayne Dyer reenforces what he taught in his other books and conferences by showing us our « bad social habits ». We live in a guild/fear oriented society. People have lost their emotional freedom and are slave to conventions, fashion, social models, manipulation, etc… Wayne Dyer is good at dissecting all the behaviours we encounter in our society and at showing us how to get rid of them. Whether you feel manipulated by others, be it your family, boss, children, friends, culture, race, religion, the solution is in yourself and you have the means of achieving emotional freedom. You can also be the manipulator, the one who always expects others to conform to his opinions or have to agree with him. Those are erroneous zones as well and never lead to happiness.

There are many emotional habits that keep you enslaved: guilt, fear, envy, procrastination, conformism, revolt, anger, domination, being dominated yourself, jealousy, hate, dependence, fashion, complaining. What the author demonstrates to us with great efficiency in this book is how to be a doer and stop being immobilized by the above erroneous habits. Ultimately, the happy people are the ones who are not plagued by any of these supposedly « acceptable » social traits. We are constantly manipulating (although we don’t want to admit it) and being manipulated by others often by just accepting to be hurt by them. Wayne Dyer tells us that it has nothing to do with our own self-worth. Hence, if someone disapproves of you, it doesn’t mean you are less than this person. We have to learn to « choose » how we feel, train ourselves not to get hurt or revengeful for anything since, as the author explains, it’s not going to change anything.

Everybody should read this book unless you don’t belong anywhere in the categories described above, which I greatly doubt. If you are such person, why are you reading this anyway?

If you have never read any of Wayne Dyer’s books, I recommend that you start with this one and not « Pulling Your Own Strings », for example, which is a prolongation of the authors’ thoughts on those subjects.

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© Copyright November 2001 – All Rights Reserved.