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Vegan Spirit


Duncan_Idaho
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What does it mean to be a vegan? Why are we vegans? Are our eating habits that important?

And what does veganism have to do with spirituality?

 

The answers to all these questions are connected.

 

A vegan is a person who doesn't consume animal products. Most vegans also avoid using animal products at all – for example not wearing leather.

 

The reasons to go vegan are different for everyone but the most common ones are intolerance to cruelty and avoiding 'heavy' and unhealthy foods (like meat). Usually, when someone starts thinking about going vegan, he or she comes to both conclusions almost at the same time.

 

Have you ever found it difficult to explain why you are a vegan? When someone asks me that question, I usually say “There are so many reasons that I don't even know how to begin telling you. The question is, why wouldn't I be a vegan?”.

 

Why is being a vegan healthier? That's a huge topic. The shortest answer is : because this is how nature meant us humans to be. Human societies have survived thousands of years without eating animal products and so did our close relatives the apes. Meat and animal products were considered a luxury in many ages of the human history. Not every society had healthy eating habits. Historically, in our western society, eating meat was considered to be a sign of prosperity. In the 1930ies chocolate was considered a luxury – then is someone avoiding chocolate going to die of malnutrition? Let's look beyond our social fears!

 

“The wisest men follow their own direction.” - Euripides.

 

When someone decides to become a vegan, he or she faces the violent opposition of the social order. People who know nothing about nutrition suddenly become experts in the field and start making statements that 'You are going to ruin your health.' Someone undecided might easily break here and abandon the idea of becoming a vegan. All of us have been there. Logic, knowledge and science are our only saviors! The common misconception is that plant food is 'not good enough'. That doesn't sound very scientific.

 

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” - Albert Einstein.

 

The only reasonable argument against veganism is that most plants don't contain all of the 8 essential amino acids in together at one place. However, what one plant lacks, the others have. Normally we wouldn't eat only one food source anyway – no one eats only meat either. By the way some plants (like soy) do contain all of the essential aminos.

 

What else is 'better' about animal food? The saturated fats? That it's harder to digest? That it has a high cholesterol content? Animal fats are saturated fats - i.e. the 'bad' fats, which raise the cholesterol level and lead to heart diseases. Meat is digested very slowly and overloads the body with toxins from the metabolism of the animal. The number of scientific studies showing that meat consumption a major cause of many contemporary diseases is increasing.

 

How are animals hurt? A lot of suffering is hidden behind the flashy food packages – the suffering of countless living creatures treated as products – basically worse than the nazis treated the jews in the concentration camps. A living being is born to enjoy this world, not to be stuffed into a cage with other creatures where it can barely breathe, let alone move, and certainly not to be torn apart just so parts of its corpse can be heated and put on a table. All things die. And all living creatures are a part of nature's living cycle. Predators are a part of nature. However, predators hunt their victims and kill according to nature's cycle of life. Lions don't breed antelopes. When an antelope dies, it knows that its days are over. When an animal dies in captivity, its dies without the link to nature. And what is worse, in most cases it spent its whole life away from its Alma Mater.

 

By becoming vegans, we choose not only to live healthy and to not support animal suffering – we choose to reestablish our link to nature's harmony. Vegans follow the social contract of nature. We are one with our ultimate source of life – Mother Nature. All creatures in nature are born free and they must remain so. To enslave a creature means to enslave your own soul – to cut yourself off from the flow of nature's processes. Enslaving means dependence – both for the slave and for the slaver. Treating animals like objects means turning our backs on the infinite possibilities of interaction with nature. Why eat the animal? Why capture it? Can't we just stroke the fur of our four-legged friend? We are here to enjoy this world, not to be torn by fears or enslaved by greed. Industry is greedy – and at the bottom of that greed lies fear. Greed tells you to want more and more, disregarding anyone and anything else but its commandments. Fear keeps you there by telling you that the unknown, the different, might mean death. The way out is in the middle. By choosing to be vegans, we have already made the first step to real freedom – we have started following our own direction.

Edited by Duncan_Idaho
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