A Love Letter to You
Articles Reflecting a Vegan Lifestyle From All-Creatures.org

Vegan lifestyle articles that discuss ways of living in peace with humans, animals, and the environment.

FROM Indra Lahiri, Founder, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary
June 2020

Indraloka Sanctuary

The opposite of love isn't hatred. The opposite of love is fear.

And fear is a dangerous thing, a thing that causes us to hate, a thing that causes us to lash out and do harm. Racism-- and every sort of prejudice that exists-- is steeped in fear. Fear's voice is anger, and violence. However, in the end, fear is weaker than love. Love will always win.

Sometimes, living here with the animals, I feel like I'm in a sort of bubble. I go days without watching the news or checking social media, not from disinterest, but only because there is so much to do. My days are long, and at the end of the day, I'm often too tired to enquire about the world around me. So, it was a few days before I caught up with what's happening out there, in the world. I scrolled through article after article, each one uncovering even more horrific violence, hatred, and pain. I watched videos of atrocities captured on people's cell phones. I watched armed officers sworn to protect and serve standing by while unspeakable violence was carried out by one of their own in the name of justice.

And I also saw videos of officers taking a knee with great sorrow and great love; and of people of all skin colors working together, peacefully raising their voices for liberty and justice for all. I learned of people on the streets helping their neighbors to pick up the pieces of their shattered windows and broken dreams. I saw the elderly and the children working together, comforting one another, and lighting the way for love.

To my brothers and sisters who have had violence and injustice forced upon them, who have been marginalized repeatedly, to those whose children are taught to temper their hopes and give up their dreams, I am listening. I feel your pain. I cry with you. I mourn with you. I stand by you...with you. Your tears will be my tears, and your heartbreak will be mine. I will carry this load with you.

Because we can continue to live in ignorance, in the illusion that there is something to fear in the differences between us. Or, we can choose to love our brothers and sisters of all walks of life-- to understand that we are so much more connected than we are different.

I choose love.

What if we all pledged to do this? What if each of us found the place in our hearts-- the core part of us-- that remembers our interconnectedness? What if we use this unbearable ugliness and darkness to bring us together? And what if we intentionally light each other's way, so that none of us need to be in darkness anymore?

Race doesn't exist. Skin color is just a color. We humans are beautiful and rich in our diversity. We have been given so many gifts to enjoy, not the least among them learning from, laughing with, and growing because of each other.

What are your gifts? How are you using them to light another's way, to banish fear, and to embrace love? Can you offer a meal to someone who is hungry? Can you play a song to ease a grieving heart? Can you teach a child the value of diversity? Can you reach out with compassion to someone you fear may have wronged you? I'd be so grateful if you'd reply to this note to tell me what you are doing to show solidarity, right wrongs, and engender hope.

My friends, let's band together, with love, and spread the light of compassion to every corner. For where love exists, fear will be banished, and hope will prevail.

In solidary, and with great reverence,
Indra Lahiri

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