By Jason Miller on Thomas Paine's Corner
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
Verily I say unto you, for this end have
I come into the world: that I may put
Away all blood offerings and the eating
Of the flesh of the beasts and the birds
That are slain by men.
In the beginning the Creator gave to all
The fruits of the trees, and the seeds
And the herbs for food; but those who
Loved themselves more than the Lord
Or their fellows, corrupted their ways
And brought diseases into their bodies,
And filled the earth with lust and
Violence. Not by the shedding of
Innocent blood, therefore, but by living
A righteous life shall you find peace.
Blessed are they who keep this Law, for
The Creator is manifest in all creatures
And all creatures live in the Creator.
The Gospel of the Nazarenes. 75:9-14; the words of Jesus
This verbatim scroll preserved by the Mt. Carmel Branch of the Essenes (Carmelites) was found in Tibet in the latter part of the first century. This text pre-dates the writings of the New Testament.
Confirming texts appear in the Dead Sea Scrolls which were discovered in 1947. Courtesy of Philosopher, Lecturer – Gary Yourofsky.
Blessed indeed are those who have chosen the path of vegan abolitionism, for you have heeded the call of conscience with a selfless, determined, and courageous devotion to righteousness in a world populated by hordes of iniquitous oppressors whose unenlightened minds and stone-like hearts remain unmoved by the horrors of the Animal Holocaust they perpetrate.
These “iron men,” who are not unlike the oppressive patriarchs whom
Hester Prynne so aptly labeled and courageously defied, shamelessly and
gleefully inflict suffering that evades the human capacity to imagine and
create torrential rivers of blood that rage forth from the headwaters of
unchecked and rampant slaughter and annihilation of nonhuman animals. And
they wield the power derived from their bloody lucre as an immense cudgel to
crush those who stand between them and their exploited victims. You who dare
to oppose them are blessed.
Like Job, you vegan abolitionists adhere to your faith in the face of tremendous adversity. Despite nearly overwhelming opposition, periods of deep despair, semi- isolation, marginalization, public humiliation, legal intimidation, financial strain, broken familial ties, and, in some cases, imprisonment, you persevere in the sociocultural war to bring other sentients into humanity’s appallingly exclusive moral sphere. You are blessed.
Acting as a proxy for those whose voices of opposition to their exploitation and murder are limited to screams and cries that elude our species’ capacity to understand, and as a proxy for those whose capabilities to fend off the horrors of industrial civilization, anthropocentrism, and human cruelty are profoundly inadequate, you have undertaken a noble and just crusade. Like those who preceded you in similar battles for social justice, you recognize that ‘might does not make right’ and you fight for the rights of those who lack the might. You are blessed.
As a tiny fraction of the burgeoning human OVER-population that has dragged the Earth into the dystopian Anthropocene Epoch, you are waging an infinitely moral war against armies of speciesists who vastly out-number you and who can potentially inflict serious pain and hardship upon you. You are blessed.
Selflessly and tirelessly you struggle for the essential and basic rights of nonhuman animals, providing a very thin line of protection from the obscene levels of abuse, barbarism, torture, enslavement, and slaughter that our species imposes upon other sentient beings. You fight to protect beings who have far more complex intellectual, emotional and social lives than any speciesist with an ounce of compassion dares to allow themselves to imagine. You are blessed.
Is your struggle admirable? Yes. And yet, as the aphorism states, “No good deed goes unpunished.” You receive myriad punishments and painfully few rewards. Beyond the personal satisfaction attained from adhering to your moral and ethical beliefs or the pleasing knowledge that your efforts mitigate some of the abject and ubiquitous suffering, you reap very little in the way of reward. You are blessed.
As our species has evolved morally, we have recognized that children are innocent and sacrosanct. Once commonplace and widely accepted, child abuse, child slavery, child labor, and child sexual exploitation are now illegal and taboo. As humanity’s moral vanguard, you are fighting for a sociocultural structure in which other sentient beings are free of the same torments. Your moral evolution has eclipsed that of most of your fellow humans. You are blessed.
With no prompting, financial remuneration, social rewards, or mandate, you make significant sacrifices to stand up for the rights of the oppressed, abused and holocausted nonhuman animals. Your motives are pure and your objective is laudable. You are blessed.
And for those of you who are spiritual, here are two prayers to the Animal Gods in which you may find solace as you tread the harrowing path you’ve chosen:
Higher Power, grant me the serenity to accept that I will not win every battle, the courage to win the battles I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Give me the strength to hold my head up, to spit back in their faces, and to never surrender…
You are blessed. Press onward. For them…