VegInspiration. Guilt and Shame

A Flower For You My Friends from Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The guilt and shame perpetrators feel for their violent actions stem from their natural sense of kindness and caring, which they have blocked and are violating. Their attitude toward bystanders may even be indignation: “If you want to be a vegetarian, that’s fine, but don’t tell us what to do.” While at first blush this seems reasonable, we quickly see that it is only because of the disconnections and bias inherent in our culture. Perpetrators wouldn’t dare say, “If you don’t want to beat and stab your pet dog, that’s fine, but don’t tell me not to beat and stab mine.” We all recognize that we aren’t entitled to treat others, especially those who are defenseless, however we like, and that if we are responsible for doing harm, people have every right to ask us to stop.

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