when i went vegan 10 years ago i was very proud of myself. it was something i wanted to do for a long long time but it almost seemed impossible. i honestly could not imagine life with out pizza & ice cream! becoming a lacto-ovo vegetarian when it was 17 was easy – i literally stopped eating animals overnight. although truly i was not vegetarian until i stopped eating fish 8 years later. when i finished graduate school and moved to washington dc i found out about peta – people for the ethical treatment of animals. i wanted to work for them and so and i had to go vegan. but i was addicted to dairy ! it was then I discovered hemp and stopped buying and wearing leather. and I made sure that every product that I purchased was free of animal testing. it was a long and gradual path to being fully vegan so when i finally got there in 2006 i felt a sense of achievement and pride. yeah, i did it ! i felt proud of myself until i read the world peace diet in december 2010. on page 293, the very last page of the book it reads:
“as our hearts open to deeper understanding, our circle of compassion naturally enlarges and spontaneously begins to include more and more “others” – not just our own tribe, sect, nation or race, but all human beings, and not just humans, but other mammals, and birds, and fish, forests, and the whole beautifully interwoven tapestry of living, pulsing creation. all beings. all of us.
when we are then drawn toward a plant based way of eating, it is in no way a limitation on us; rather it is the harmonious fulfillment of our inner seeing. at first we think it’s an option we can choose, but with time we realize that it’s not a choice at all but the free expression of the truth that we are. it is not an ethic that we have to police from the outside, but our own radiant love spontaneously expressing, both for ourselves and for the world. caring is born on this earth and lives through us, as us, and it’s not anything for which we can personally take credit. it is nothing to be proud of. refraining from and using animals is the natural result of seeing that it is no longer chained within the dark and ridged dungeon of narrow self-interest. from the outside it may look and be called “veganism” but it is simply awareness and the expression of our sense of interconnectedness. it manifests naturally as inclusiveness and caring. it’s no big deal because it’s the normal functioning of our original nature, which unfailingly sees beings rather then things when it looks at our neighbors on this earth.”
reading these words brought me to tears. & tears are streaming again now for truth has a way of doing that to me. thank you, will, for writing this amazing book !
so yeah, going vegan is nothing to be proud of – it is simply the natural expression of our true nature. as human beings we do not need to eat other animals in order to survive. this is not my opinion or belief, this is a fact based on the chemistry, physiology & biology. and it’s a beautiful thing ! we do not need to kill in order to live.
as human beings our true nature is love. and the ability to express love is essential to our health and well being. harming animals in any way be it for food, clothing, entertainment or research causes suffering – to the animals, the planet and ourselves. For what we do to others we do to ourselves. no good can come from the unnecessary suffering of another being.
it was my love for animals that started me on this path to veganism. and along the way i realized being vegan is also better for me, the planet. it’s a beautiful thing that in taking care of ourself we take care of everything. this is the beauty of nature. the laws of nature make perfect sense. the web of life connects us all. it is so tightly woven, with each strange inextricably linked to the whole. if one strand is broken, it affects the whole. because we are all one. i am not separate from you, we are not separate from them, they are not separate from us. to quote ingrid newkirk, president and founder of peta, “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
these words also bring me to tears, as truth does.
now go be raw vegan !