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Veganism Promotes Non-Violence
by: Frank L. Hoffman
Published in Vegan Online Magazine 30 March 1998
The very essence of a vegan lifestyle is one that speaks forth and says, "No one (human or non-human) shall suffer and die that I might live." Veganism promotes a respect for all of God's creation: for people, for animals, and for the environment. But unfortunately, not all vegans live in this ideal manner. A few, in the name of "animal rights", have destroyed property and brought harm to other people. Some have allowed their children to learn violence through the watching of some television shows, including cartoons, and through the playing of most of the video games that are available in our stores.
When Jesus was sick in His heart because of the way people were behaving in the Temple, and He cleansed it, He made a symbolic whip to drive the people and animals out, one that would do no harm, but one that would deliver a message (John 2:13-17). When James and John were frustrated when the people of a Samaritan village would not receive them, and desired to command fire to come down from heaven and destroy them, Jesus rebuked them, for His message was one of love and peace (Luke 9:51-56).
The world around us being violent, teaches, at best, a selective respect for life. This disrespect for life was amplified on Tuesday, 24 March 1998, at the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where two boys killed and wounded many of their classmates and teachers. These boys were taught to hunt and kill. They liked it and took pleasure in it. And in the process, they lost respect for all life. They learned from "the hunt" how to lure their prey into their gun-sights, and they used this technique to lure those in the school into the open where they would have a clear field of fire.
The violent people of this world would love to lure us vegans into positions where they can take "pot shots" at us, too. They want to be able to label us as "terrorists". We are too few in number, and our message is too important, to allow ourselves to be provoked and lured into becoming violent. We are to make a stand for what we know to be right in non-violent ways. If people in one community won't listen to us, then we should peacefully move our message on to another. We should learn from the Bible, for when Jesus and the disciples went on to another Samaritan village, Sycar, the people did listen and believe their message and change their lifestyle (John 4:1-42).
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