VegInspiration. Universal Compassion


October 21

The motivation behind vegan living is the universal spiritual
principle of compassion that has been articulated both secularly and through
the world’s religious traditions; the difference lies in veganism’s insistence
that this compassion be actually practiced. The words of Donald Watson, who
created the term “vegan” in 1944, reveal this practical orientation and bear
repeating:
Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to
exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and
cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension
promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of
humans, animals, and the environment.

 

October 22

All the world’s major religions have their own form of the Golden
Rule that teaches kindness to others as the essence of their message. They all
recognize animals as sentient and vulnerable to us, and include them within the
moral sphere of our behavior. There are also strong voices in all the
traditions emphasizing that our kindness to other beings should be based on
compassion. This is more than merely being open to the suffering of others; it
also explicitly includes the urge to
act
to relieve their suffering. We are thus responsible not just to refrain from
harming animals and humans, but also to do what we can to stop others from
harming them, and to create conditions that educate, inspire, and help others
to live in ways that show kindness and respect for all life. This is the high
purpose to which the core teachings of the world’s wisdom traditions call us.
It is an evolutionary imperative, a spiritual imperative, an imperative of
compassion, and, in reality, a vegan imperative.

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