And since you have, you already possess the capacity to understand an individual’s desire to live a peaceful life and to avoid taking advantage of others in any way whatsoever. You should know how urgent and important and good it is to care for others. And so it follows, that we all have a moral obligation to be Vegan in our lives to the greatest possible extent. It’s not just a “diet”. Being Vegan is a rejection of violence, an embrace of justice, and a representation of caring. Please, for the peace of the planet, commit to living a life of peace by becoming Vegan. And explain it to others.
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Posted in Abolitionist Commentary, Animal Exploitation, Education, Uncategorized, Veganism, tagged Abolition, animal rights, Government, Justice, Respect, Vegan Education, Veganism on Sunday, August 22, 2010| Leave a Comment »
I read the Manifesto of The Netherlands’ Party for the Animals recently. Marianne Thieme’s election victory last year, I think, was certainly exciting. And I do think it is crucial to change Governments’ behaviour toward nonhumans. But what really changed? I am skeptical about the value and effectiveness of an Animal/Environmental political party that does not clearly and unequivocally promote the rejection of *all* use of any sentient being—human or nonhuman. Unfortunately, change will not come as long as voter thinking does not change. And I am convinced voter thinking will not change without widespread grassroots Vegan educational efforts. As an example, just look at the membership rolls of any large animal advocacy organization or those who vote for any Green Party candidate. The sad truth is, I suspect, very few are actually Vegan. Voters need to hear a clear and unequivocal message that rejects the use of sentient beings. In order to get elected, if a “Green” political party must water down the animal use plank in their platform so much as to assure animals will continue to be enslaved or without any mention whatsoever, then for what change do they stand? For as long as we continue to use and exploit other species, we will *without question* continue to use and exploit each other.
I have several particular objections to the approaches of Animal/Environment parties—even my Green Party of Canada, whose platform seems entirely devoted to human interests. It’s all well and good to appeal to the public to give more consideration to the “interests of animals.” The most glaring failure in the Netherlands manifesto is to have confused this message with distinctly Welfarist language like “if we deem their use as necessary” or to “use sustainably.” As Professor Gary L. Francione has argued so eloquently, the one “right” that urgently needs to be accorded to nonhumans is the right not to be *property*. This simple right addresses the injustice of the commodification of sentient beings and all the misery that goes with it. At the same time, a Vegan moral view eliminates their use to the greatest possible degree.
As with almost all animal advocacy and “environmental” organizations, the Party for Animals suggests that some use might be acceptable if the user gives a greater degree of acknowledgement of the nonhuman’s “interests”. This is an extremely contradictory message to the one of “respect” since to use anyone requires a rejection of their interests.
In the Welfarist – Abolitionist debate, all Welfarist precepts come down on the side of ‘use is permissible’. That’s what 200+ years of Welfare regulations have been about. Welfare laws have *only* resulted in increasing the efficiency of our use. They’ve done nothing to release nonhumans from our domination. The key to understanding Abolition is to recognize that use—any use—must be rejected. Use *can be* rejected. It’s as easy as going Vegan. The crucial detail which the vast majority of organizations fail to recognize is that Veganism is a primary moral obligation of us all. And that requires Vegan education. And only a Vegan electorate will bring change to Government.
Thank you for considering my observations.
The term Vegetarian by its popular & commonly accepted meaning is one who does not eat meat, but who also does not avoid dairy & eggs.
People who become Vegetarian do so for their own reasons, which may include health and/or ethical reasons. Each of these reasons are severely problematic for one who is Vegetarian. One would be hard pressed to find anyone in modern medicine or the alternative health community who does not agree eggs and dairy consumption are related to a whole host of disease. And since it is a fact that billions of nonhuman animals continue to suffer producing eggs and dairy, there is no ethical justification to be Vegetarian. A lack of clear understanding, therefore, still exists for Vegetarians.
It is my strongly held opinion now, since embracing the Vegan ethic, that if one truly feels animal exploitation is wrong (and unhealthy), they should NOT EVER suggest that being Vegetarian is a morally acceptable behaviour nor “a good step”.
Bottom line: It is up to the individual to make the decisions that affect their behaviour. The best I, or anyone else, can do as a Vegan is present the facts and encourage Veganism as the right behaviour. It would go against my entire belief system (which is basically the Vegan ethic), to do anything otherwise.
Prayer for Liberation for Our Brother & Sister Animals
May all sentient beings in the animal realm subject to unbearable pain in labs throughout the world be free from suffering.
May alternatives to animal experimentation and testing be used immediately.
May Bodhicitta fill the hearts of those who imprison them.
May all sentient beings from the animal realm who suffer endless days, months, years locked in tiny cages unable to move, be filled with peace and calm.
May the many billions waiting in slaughterhouse lines be free of fear.
May the hearts of those who work in abattoirs be filled with Bodhicitta so the very thought of harm is purified.
May they never kill again and may the slaughterhouse lines become immediately empty.
May no animal be afraid or depressed.
May their bodies be free of injuries, disease and illness.
May those who need homes, or who have been driven from them find shelter, plentiful food & water.
May there be liberation for those tortured for fur, entertainment or who are hunted.
May those who believe they are superior to our brother & sister animals develop perfect equanimity.
And may they realize in their hearts that all sentient beings possess Buddha nature
And they are not ours to kill or exploit.
May the many billions of land and sea dwelling sentient beings who are abused, exploited and killed due to greed, hatred and ignorance be free of suffering
May they experience complete and perfect enlightenment, through the virtue of my efforts and prayers.
May I be a voice for the voiceless.
In short, may all human and non-human sentient beings live together in harmony, peace and equanimity and achieve perfect Enlightenment quickly.
Composed Feb 14, 2007 by Liberation for Our Brother & Sister Animals. http://www.lobsa.org
From a distance, there is harmony, and it echoes through the land.
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace, it’s the voice of every man.
From a distance we all have enough, and no one is in need.
And there are no guns, no bombs, and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed.
From a distance we are instruments marching in a common band.
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace. They’re the songs of every man.
God is watching us. God is watching us. God is watching us from a distance.
From a distance you look like my friend, even though we are at war.
From a distance I just cannot comprehend what all this fighting is for.
From a distance there is harmony, and it echoes through the land.
And it’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves, it’s the heart of every man.
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves. This is the song of every man.
And God is watching us, God is watching us, God is watching us from a distance.
Oh, God is watching us, God is watching.
God is watching us from a distance.
– lyrics by Julie Gold