Everyone on earth could be fed easily because we currently grow more than enough grain to feed ten billion people; our current practice of feeding this grain to untold billions of animals and eating them forces over a billion of us to endure chronic malnutrition and starvation while another billion suffer from the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer linked with eating diets high in animal foods.
The transnational corporations profit from animal food consumption, as do the big banks, which have made the loans that have built the whole complex and demand a healthy return on their investments. The system spreads relentlessly and globally, and while corporate and bank returns may be healthy, people, animals, and ecosystems throughout the world fall ill and are exploited and destroyed.
The metaphor of eating is central to spiritual communion with the divine presence. It is universally recognized that eating food is both a literally and symbolically sacred action: it is directly partaking of the infinite order that transcends our finite lives.
As we bless others, we are blessed, and seeing beings rather than things, our own being is liberated and enriched.
Glimpsing this essential nature that we share with all beings not only deepens our yearning to relieve their suffering but also strengthens our ability to work effectively to do so. Seeing victims and perpetrators not merely in these roles but in their spiritual perfection and completeness is profoundly healing. We see that there are no enemies‚Äîno essentially evil people or completely hopeless or destructive situations. There are, rather, opportunities to grow, learn, serve, and work together to raise consciousness and bring compassion and understanding to the painful and unjust situations we may see unfolding around us.
Rising above anger and despair while still keeping our hearts open to the ocean of cruelty, indifference, and suffering on this earth is not easy. It requires cultivating wisdom and compassion‚Äîboth the inner silent receptivity that links us to the eternal truth of our being and the outer actions of serving and helping others that give meaning to our life.
Jesus‚Äô exhortation that we love one another and not do to others what we wouldn‚Äôt want done to us is the essence of the vegan ethic, which is a boundless compassion that includes all who can suffer by our actions.
We are all presented with the same evidence and hear the same call for mercy and justice.
Because the quality of our food is directly connected to our mental and physiological health and to our quality of life, diminishing the quality of our food can make us sicker, weaker, and more distracted, violent, stressed, drugged, confused, and disempowered. This is perhaps the real agenda behind the vicious efforts to weaken the standards for organic foods and to introduce highly toxic foods through irradiation, genetic engineering, addition of artificial dyes, noxious flavor-enhancers like MSG, chemical preservatives, known carcinogens like NutraSweet, and dangerous genetically engineered hormones like rBGH and carcinogenic growth hormones. This is in addition to promoting animal-based meals, which concentrate the largest variety and intensity of toxins and are inherently confusing and disempowering.
As we research, discuss, and deepen our understanding of the mind-body connection, of the human-animal connection, and of our connection with all the larger wholes in which we are embedded, our spiritual purpose will become manifest.