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By Janine - 5 Feb 2017

Greetings and Happy Sunday!!!

What a pleasure to read your well formed carefully thought-out message, and to think about whom it addresses, and who might be influenced, or wish to think about some of these issues more carefully, and how can we continue to make a difference in this world we live in and do so "gently" with compassion, at the same time, and understanding how what we say might be interpreted, depending on who hears these points?

If we are wondering who might even be interested in understanding more about our vegan diet, then the question of free will might be intertwined with this thought, connecting us to the essence of who we are, and what we might draw from our subconscious inner self, drawing upon our sense of belonging to our sphere of influence, family of origin or background, immediate and extended families/friends, in other words who we consider as close to us, as in thinking about ourselves, (our comfort zone) and unfortunately in some unwelcome instances by those who might be more inclined to be subjective and be more involved in distancing themselves from the "other," (that which might be foreign or unfriendly or hostile or an enemy and not welcome the thought of seeing the sameness or oneness but having fears, regrets, or other negative emotions, instead of peace)... just listened today to Rabbi Yael talk about the Portion Bo where Pharoah's heart was hardened... amazing variety of responses from the participants in this study and shared words of wisdom, although there was more discord than agreement on this topic... but to get back to the topic (sorry for the digression) coming back to the point here, thanks and in appreciation for your insights, yes, indeed, you asked quite a practical question, Maynard about the possibility that there are people who might not be ready to hear about the vegan diet, of course, that is their choice, because each one of us has a set of priorities and timing might not be in favor of their making change of lifestyle an important issue. Fortunately, we do get opportunities to redo things, rethink, make amends, change and develop personally at a certain pace. What circumstances brought YOU (or anyone you know of, for that matter) to come to the conclusion that NOW is the right (or perfect) time for you to switch over to a vegan way of living, and this choice became a commitment to you for a lifetime, not just a phase that is something you do out of convenience or to please another person(s) but something that makes sense for you, and ultimately for those you wish to join you in your new spiritual path, if you did so for reasons you feel coincide with your faith/belief system or ideals? Maybe veganism appeals not only to the intellect, (thoughtful mind, practical way, self-sustaining, feeding more of the hungry, less going to waste, etc., etc.) to the emotions (less harm done to sentient beings on the planet we share with these non-human animals) to the spirit, compassion and avoiding murder, ethical choices, but also for other reasons that fall into different dimensions, difficult to explain in words, but having to do with sentiment, intuition, and wonder? What if someone were to make a joke about something one shouldn't really joke about, but just to be humorous seeing a slight difference between two directions of dialog. Man speaking to G-d would be prayer (right?) whereas G-d speaking to man, would be bordering on insanity? (when one is accused of "hearing voices")... ha, ha, ha...indicating that much depends upon the reference point, and all is relative... anyway, I think my actions as a vegan, might not always be in line with the desired reaction of one who asks me questions about why I chose this lifestyle, but for me, I think the best choice has always been (when someone shows curiosity as to my motives) to smile, and try to find out what that person's understanding is, and what they know about it, but more importantly to see if they have been influenced by negative stereotype propaganda or believe in myths that can be explained in other ways, similarly to the response I got when I mentioned wouldn't it be interesting if the people who spoke Esperanto (some thousands of people, in some cases for those children whose mother tongue was Esperanto (when taught by their parents as their first language) and that the Esperanto culture had developed, even to include Esperanto-unique humor, etc., that what if a large number of these people were to seek a "homeland" and there would not only be talk about a two-state, but now a three-state "solution" to peace-in-the-middle-East, after all wasn't the language of Esperanto supposed to be (or hopeful) that it would become the language of peace, or the universal language spoken all over the world for a better chance at realizing peace on earth, and if that were to happen, shouldn't Jerusalem then be the "Capital of the World" (it means the city of peace depending on how you translate it) and the response I got from someone who had studied Esperanto for many years was that in his opinion why would someone who spoke Esperanto even be looking for their "homeland" and that most people might not be interested in this, and have other priorities in whatever country they were living in, and it was not something to be bothered with, but then veganism, like you pointed out, Maynard, might not be of paramount importance to many individuals, but on the other hand, it just might spark interest in those we were not expecting it to, and we could be surprised, and therefore it might make sense to assume that EVERYONE could benefit from the possibility of perhaps they might welcome the chance of finding out more about what a vegan is (or is not) and how to apply the vegan teachings to their own life assuming it made sense just like it does to me and I would not be hesitant to offer the opportunity to discuss it further... 



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