A Vegan World
The vegan concept involves more than just eating. It is all encompassing. It involves not only people, the planet, and our fellow travelers on Spaceship Earth, but also the broader concepts of Peace, Prosperity, and Social Justice.
We know about the health benefits of a vegan diet as opposed to the meat and dairy based diet in overcoming cancer, heart disease, and diabetes: the main causes of mortality and morbidity of both men and women in the United States. We of us also know that meat production does more to cause global warming than all of transportation combined. See www.VeganRetreat.org for further details. Many, but not all, people are aware of the horrors of factory farms, and the immense suffering at slaughterhouses by our innocent fellow sentient beings.
I think that the issue goes further than that. Recently I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the United Nations Annual Non-Governmental Organization Conference in Mexico City. Kevin Martin, the founder of Peace Action - the largest grass roots Peace organization in the United States - was one of the panel members. He referred to ‘peace on all levels’, and I repeated this concept in my closing remarks.
It is my belief that Peace, Prosperity, and Social Justice will be impossible to attain while the results of extreme violence are in the bodies of the world’s population. Let me explain.
I am a member of Pax Christi, a national and international Christian Peace organization. At a recent meeting, a book entitled Personal Nonviolence was recommended for the ‘study’ part of our Prayer - Study - Action mandate. The author is not a vegan, nor does he mention food in his table of contents, which I perused. Going against the crowd, I refused to read the book on the basis that I personally would prefer to read a book on Personal Nonviolence by someone who was personally nonviolent.
My decision was met with ridicule, which I should have, but did not, expect. In response to this, I explained the Digestive System, and how whatever is ingested is broken down by digestive enzymes into smaller and smaller pieces, and finally becomes single molecules which are absorbed directly through the villi of the small intestine into the blood stream. There it is eventually taken to every cell in the body to provide nourishment. The end products of violence nourish every cell of the body. How is it possible, under those circumstances, to accomplish something which is totally opposite of what permeates the entire body?
I sometimes wonder what side God is on. I often wonder if I am fighting with God Almighty in trying to end the violence and abuse of our fellow creates. Even if I have to take on Heaven and Earth, I will still do it. It is too much a part of me to do anything else.
However, I decided to consult the Bible to see What God’s position was on this issue. This is what I found:
“God said ‘Let us make man in our own image after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” Genesis 1: 26. The word ‘dominion’ means ‘to take care of’. It does not mean to exploit.
“God also said, ‘Look for you, I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat, but for all the animals and birds, I have provided grass and leafy plants for food.’ Genesis 1: 29-30. The first humans were also the first vegans.
“What are your endless sacrifices to me?” says Yahweh. “I am sick of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of calves. I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, and lambs, and goats.” Isaiah 1: 11. In addition, God has told us “To do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.” Micah 6: 8.
“God of our ancestors, Lord of Mercy, who by your word have made the universe, and in you wisdom have fitted human beings to rule the creatures that you have made, to govern the world in holiness, and saving justice, and in honesty of soul to dispense fair judgment.” Wisdom 9: 1-3. This was the original plan.
God gave Adam one wife, Eve. David had many wives, a transition from God’s original plan. As likewise the human race started out as vegans, and transitioned elsewhere. The compassion and virtues called for in the treatment of God’s creatures has likewise been disregarded.
The vegan lifestyle not only has health benefits, environmental benefits, but also bring us closer to living out God’s original plan for Peace, Justice and Prosperity, which I do not think can happen any other way.