BEING VEGAN – Let’s Bring This to Critical Mass

Paul Graham NewBy Paul Graham

Las Vegas Informer

“The vegan ideal represents no less than the next evolutionary step for humankind. The quantum leap may seem far-fetched from the position we are in today, but it is within this very change we ultimately find our hope for world of tomorrow.”    – Angel Flinn

All the rocket scientists and the like out there know that “critical mass” is the amount of fissile material needed to sustain nuclear fission.  I am sure that is certainly important to some, but realistically, it has not proven to change the world.  It seems like we are actually having some problems with all of that nuclear stuff from what I seem to recall. But critical mass is also used in terms of thinking of something similar to a “tipping point.”  It is not necessarily when the position of something becomes greater in mass, numbers or something similar, but at the point anywhere along the line where that idea or action takes hold and begins to influence the setting or society in a particular way and perhaps signal a shift or development of a new paradigm.

It seems like almost every day, if not week, we are seeing victories take place in regards to animal rights and welfare, not only in this country, but around the world.  They may not seem large to some, but they are all significant because they all are contributing toward what I believe is going to be critical mass in regards to conscious eating and living and animal rights and freedom.  One such victory this past week was in New York City, where mayor-elect Bill De Blasio vowed to abolish the horse-drawn carriages in the city.  “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period. It’s over.”  This is significant for the over 200 horses working 9 hour days pulling hundreds of pounds on hard pavement and breathing exhaust from cars, buses and taxis all day.  There have been many accidents over the past few years and has created animal safety, human safety and sanitation issues. The horses also live in cramped quarters where they can barely move and when they are done with them they are sold off to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.  This is very important for these animals to be freed from these archaic practices.

So what does this have to do with the big picture?  Well it is significant for New York City and the animals there.  It also sets precedent for other activists to use towards reform in other cities where these practices are still used.  We have seen things like this spread from city to city, as has been the case of the ban on local pet stores from using animals from puppy mills but instead finding homes for animals from shelters and rescue organizations.  It makes it somewhat easier for these changes to take place when it is part of a movement taking place and there has been precedent set.  This can hold true for so many different areas in regards to animals.  All of it is making the news and raising awareness.  The movie “Blackfish” has been making a significant difference in raising the awareness to the plight of marine animals in captivity everywhere, not just at SeaWorld. I believe the scope goes even beyond that. It is making a difference and contributing to where I believe we, standing and speaking as the voice for the animals, want things to go.  I am truly for the rights of animals and want to see the abolishment of anything that keeps them confined or used as a product for consumption.  Period.  Yet I also realize these things are not going to happen overnight and we are battling against systems, cultures and thought processes that have been in place for centuries.  Anything that we see happen that moves us away from the cruelty and towards compassion should be embraced. We can, and I believe we will, change everything in this generation we are in.

We are also seeing a move towards critical mass in regards to diet and health.  Plant-based eating is fast approaching the mainstream in regards to the culinary and health fields.  It is not just a trend but is becoming entrenched in mind and practice.  The growth in numbers of the vegan lifestyle is contributing like few other things to helping our environment.  The use of animals for consumption is one of the leading contributors to the pollution  of our planet and robbing it of its natural resources. We are moving away in growing numbers from consumption and it is having an impact on production and the pollution and devastation it creates.  We are also beginning to experience a spiritual awakening of sorts as pockets of spiritual communities from various faiths are beginning to wake up and take up the cause of animals for the spiritual as well as health, ethical and environmental reasons.

All of these things are moving us towards a time of critical mass where the plight and rights of animals will be at the forefront of things.  That is where sweeping change and reform can take place.  All of this is contributing and leading to that. We somehow need to build a bridge together and work towards animal liberation, which is not only the hope for the animals, but also one for mankind and the planet as well.

Paul Graham

Paul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004.  He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer.  He has a daily vegan food blog which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.  He can also be reached at or

Paul’s e-book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas:  If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere” is now available at

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7 Responses to BEING VEGAN – Let’s Bring This to Critical Mass

  1. Thank you for such an uplifting hope-inspiring article! I like your positive view of where we are headed! I truly hope that we are approaching critical mass for the animals as closely as you describe! I’m vegan but feel that there is more I should be doing. I don’t speak up much for the animals, for fear of offending others. I am not proud of that; I need to find some courage and start taking a voice for animals.

  2. Go Vegan!!!!

  3. David Wishengrad

    I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. -Leo Tolstoy

  4. David Wishengrad

    The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man. -Leo Tolstoy

    …but one thing only is needful: the knowledge of the simple and clear truth which finds place in every soul that is not stupefied by religious and scientific superstitions — the truth that for our life one law is valid — the law of love, which brings the highest happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind. Free your minds from those overgrown, mountainous imbecilities which hinder your recognition of it, and at once the truth will emerge from amid the pseudo-religious nonsense that has been smothering it: the indubitable, eternal truth inherent in man, which is one and the same in all the great religions of the world. It will in due time emerge and make its way to general recognition, and the nonsense that has obscured it will disappear of itself, and with it will go the evil from which humanity now suffers. -Leo Tolstoy

    It is to Tolstoy whom Mahatma Gandhi gave credit for his own first understanding of nonviolent resistance to oppression, and there is an unbroken lineage from Tolstoy to Gandhi to Martin Luther King.

    This “truth’ that we must have, is inherent in all of us, and that which each person must recognize and profess is: “Life is Most Important in Life”. With people like Paul doing it with love we can rejoice. Paul, thanks for being yourself. You have provided much needed inspiration.

  5. David Wishengrad

    Choice is required
    Choice is made by what we want.
    We can want to have our cake and eat it too, but that’s just not possible.
    We must want the truth more than we want the lie.
    This is the actual reality of the situation.
    Typically, people want both truth and lies. Then they conflict in some choice and what we really want the most is chosen.
    What usually fixes this is when we have gotten so hurt by lies that we come to hate the lie, leaving only the truth to want and choose. That’s a reality based (real) way that people choose the truth. There may be others, but this is the usual forced fork in the road.

    I don’t see anyone jumping forward and saying, “Wow David, The Most Important Truth is on spot. I’m going to want that more than anything else from this day forward.” Leaving only lies to want and choose that cause harm to all life until such time as the the pain becomes so much that we come to hate the lies that causes the pain.

    Your critical mass is coming. If need be, it will be by the pain we experience from our painful choices.

    There is storm coming if the truth is not chosen above all else from our strongest wants. The only exception will be a direct intervention of some being beyond our intelligence. I wouldn’t count on such a being to do more given the truth, what we need, is already here.

    Love you all. Critical is correct.

  6. David Wishengrad

    Now, we can love other so much that they come to want our love. If we love other unconditionally then they usually end up hurting us and even destroying us. Usually about that time they come to realize their mistake and choose love, but we took the damage. You ready to love other to your own death, no matter what, because then they will see real love?

    Whereas I may be willing to risk my own life and health, having done it many times before to bring the truth to others by living it myself, I have others that depend on me to take care of them. I don’t think it’s okay to sacrifice or risk sacrificing others’ safety and health.

    This is up to all of you too to get done. I’m already trying. I can’t make the choices for others. So far, most have not chosen truth over lies, even though they clearly love animals more than they love to eat them.

    If you come to Los Angeles Paul look me up. I would really like to take you out to dinner or lunch. My phone is usually on.

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