Dr. Tom Regan (1938 - 2017) - Articles From The Writings of Vasu Murti

In the fall of 1989, my friend Greg and I heard Dr. Tom Regan speak at the First Unitarian Church in San Diego. John Stuart Mill wrote all great social movements go through three stages: ridicule, serious discussion, and adaptation (absorbed into the mainstream), and these words appear in the 1983 edition of The Case for Animal Rights. Dr. Tom Regan autographed my copy of The Case for Animal Rights, writing, "Stage three is up to us."

Despite the intellectual rigor of The Case for Animal Rights, Dr. Regan also wrote many books and pamphlets on animal rights at the popular readership level. My friend Greg appreciated how personable Dr. Regan was, responding favorably when members in the audience addressed him by his first name.

When my book on animal rights and religion, They Shall Not Hurt or Destroy, was published  in 2003, Tom Regan appreciated receiving a copy, and acknowledged my words from May 1992 in Harmony: Voices for a Just Future, a peace and justice periodical on the religious left, that the power of the American consumers to end animal suffering is a sleeping giant which needs to be awakened. Sleeping Giant is also the name of a vegan Christian metal band, and guitarist Eric Gregson pastors a church in Redlands, CA.

Tom Regan clearly saw the need to bring the inspiration, blessings, and support of organized religion into the modern secular animal rights movement.

"As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change."

"That which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul."
"For the soul there is never birth nor death.  Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval.  He is not slain when the body is slain."
"As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones."

Bhagavad-gita, chapter two, verses 13, 17, 20, and 22

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