Animal
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Animal
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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
19 March 2000 Issue

Religion?
By parogers@mindspring.com (Patricia Rogers)

Religion?
I have no religion.
For I have yet to find
any religion
that includes
in its innermost circle
those being not like us.

Here and there
a small sect or two
will grant that the spark
of the divine rests in both man
and woman.

But what of the great apes?
The elephants and grey whales?
And the birds?
Have they no spark?
And the ants
who scurry to get clear of our feet?
Have they no spark?
And the little grey mouse
with her nest
in the old vacuum hose
in the garage.
Has she no spark?

Until the spark of
the divine universe
is recognized
and honored
in all living beings,
the ethics of veganism
is my religion:
To do the least harm.
To all living beings--
including the very breath,
skin,
muscle,
blood and bones
of Planet Earth herself.

Veganism is not any easy path
nor one so difficult.
Certainly perfection
is not attainable.

To do no harm is not possible
but to do the least harm
is a goal worth striving for,
a goal that can be attained
by conscious living.
Formal services are optional;
but daily attendance to one's activities,
choices and thoughts,
is a necessity.

Difficult?
Not really.
The real difficulty is not
in changing habits.
Choosing veganism
is not like
giving up smoking.
You are leaving behind actions
which contribute to pain and suffering.
You are choosing life--
life for an "Other."
How difficult is that?

For me,
the difficulty is in accepting
that it took so very long
to see that the chicken on my plate
had a life of her own.
A purpose.
That she knew and understood.
And it was not
to cover the right side of my plate
or fill my stomach.

Veganism is not asceticism.
You do not have to live in an earth house
and bathe in cold streams.
You do have to choose carefully
what you use to remove the dirt
from your houses
and not contribute to the pollution
of the body of the Mother
by your choices in food and clothing.

Veganism is joyful.
For to choose compassion
and life
is spirit-freeing.
Like seeing a double rainbow.

Go on to Quote To Remember
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