Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.
I, for one, take the side of the victim. I am not becoming a victim, but I am taking a stand and providing a voice for those that cannot…the animals. At this point in my life, I don’t have to think about it at all. It seems the most natural and logical thing to do. It is what my compassionate heart leads me to do.
We all want peace in this world. We think that it starts by having peace with all mankind. But the bridge there begins with the liberation and protection of animals first. Make peace with yourself first. Make peace with the animals and make peace on our plates in 2014. The rest of a thinking and feeling mankind will follow.
“In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and
executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the
- Albert Camus
No doubt that Albert Camus, the quoted Nobel Prize winning author, journalist and philosopher, would have some interesting things to say about life today as we know it. When we look at our general treatment of most species of animals on this planet, too many humans have taken the side of the executioners and the animals have become the victims. I love how he expressed it that it is “the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” As we end another year and are about to begin a new one, I would like us all to think about what side we want to align ourselves with in 2014.
Do we want to continue support the corporatocracy that is abusing and slaughtering sentient beings and contributing to our health crisis, the pollution and destruction of our planet, and a vast moral and spiritual void before us? Or do we want to take the side of the victims, in this case all species of animals, and begin to live and eat consciously and begin to heal, restore and evolve to a higher form of humanity?
I, for one, take the side of the victim. I am not becoming a victim, but I am taking a stand and providing a voice for those that cannot…the animals. At this point in my life, I don’t have to think about it at all. It seems the most natural and logical thing to do. It is what my compassionate heart leads me to do. I will admit that I lived most of my life not conscious to these realities. But fortunately, for myself and the animals, I woke up. I began to educate myself and become aware of the harsh reality that exists for both animals and the humans who participate in one form or another in all of this. It has become reprehensible to me what we have somehow come to justify over time our treatment and exploitation of animals. One can not be a “thinking” person or a “feeling” person and feel that any of this is justifiable when confronted with the truth and begin to make a connection with what we eat and what we wear and where it all comes from. We have to think about what the animals have to endure to provide food, clothing and other products for us…especially when none of it is even necessary. Whatever may have been necessary or useful in the past is no longer needed, especially in the face of what we now know about the detriment of animal products to the human body and the wholly unethical treatment of animals and their relegation to that of a simple, lifeless, soulless commodity.
I was so touched this past week by a video that I watched of Esther, The Wonder Pig. It has gained quite a number of views and Esther even has her own Facebook Page with over 16,000 followers. It seems that Esther was adopted by her human caretakers Steve and Derek with the thought that she was going to be a miniature potbelly pig. It did not take very long for Steve and Derek to discover that Esther was in fact going to be a full-sized domestic pig, and at first this caused a dilemma for them. The truth is that they had fallen in love with Esther and her sweet, loving demeanor and could not think of parting with her. Instead, she began to change their lives and the lives of others who met her in one way or another as she began to become a face for, at least in her case, pork products. Steve had some very compelling things to say in an interview with Gary Smith on The Thinking Vegan blog.
Steve said, “We want people to know that Esther is what you’re eating. The personality you see. Her smile, her intelligence, her affection are no different than millions of pigs we allow to be treated like a product on factory farms. We want to put a face on pork products we love so much. Given the chance, every one of those pigs would be just like Esther.” Indeed.
I do not pretend know everything there is to know about the human anatomy or psychology. Yet I can only imagine there is somewhere a switch inside of us that allows us to turn off our brains and hearts to certain things around us. That switch, when turned off, somehow keeps us from seeing things as they really are and making that necessary connection, to what we eat and wear and where it all comes from. It keeps us from seeing animals as living, intelligent, caring, feeling and reasoning beings. There is way to right all of this. Read the books, watch the videos and documentaries, talk to people…whatever it takes…to find your switch. Flip it and allow the energy of life to flow through you. Make the connection. The difference it will make in your life is palpable on almost every level. If you have already made the connection, I applaud you and encourage you to continue to stand strong on the side of the victims. Be their voice and build a bridge to the humanity around you. Be a living and vocal representation of thinking, feeling and compassionate humanity. If you are not there yet, I implore you to think about this and not stay on the side of the “executioners.” We all want peace in this world. We think that it starts by having peace with all mankind. But the bridge there begins with the liberation and protection of animals first. Make peace with yourself first. Make peace with the animals and make peace on our plates in 2014. The rest of a thinking and feeling mankind will follow.
Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blog, Eating Vegan in Vegas which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.
Paul’s e-book, Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.
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