BEING VEGAN – An Inescapable Truth

Paul Graham NewBy Paul Graham

Las Vegas Informer

“But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of the proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.”   – Plutarch

There is not a week that goes by that my awareness does not increase and the burden become heavier for the change that needs to happen in this world.  A skilled body worker can take one look at a person and know that they are out of alignment and need some sort of inner spirit or body adjustment.  It does not take even that much skill to look at our world today and to see that we are grossly out of adjustment.  Despite decades of money being raised and donated for cancer research, many cancers are increasing in the number of victims claimed.  We are at a health crisis in addition to cancers with obesity levels, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, food intolerances to name a few along with the rising specter of the impact of GMO’s in our food. Our rivers and oceans are increasingly being polluted with toxins and now radioactivity.  There are floating islands of garbage in our oceans.  Our ground and air is being polluted like never before.  Our rain forests are being stripped away to make way for more animal production.  Animals are being raised, held captive, abused, drugged and slaughtered by the tens of billions every year for human consumption and also used and abused for animal experimentation or our amusement. Far too many people are spiritually void because of greed, consumption, selfishness, pleasure-seeking and even religiosity.

It was noteworthy that recently Al Gore recently became a vegan.  He will be forever linked with “The Inconvenient Truth, ” sounding a warning about global warming.  But it took him many years to make the connection and see the inescapable truth that we need to all shift to a lifestyle of conscious eating and living to truly save this planet.  You cannot call yourself an environmentalist and still consume animal products. No more than a person can say they are an animal lover and still consume animals. It is incongruent.  Animal production is one of the leading contributors, if not the biggest in some areas, to the pollution and corruption of our planet.  It only makes sense to make this connection and to see that if we separate ourselves from consuming animal products in any way, shape or form, we are doing one of the greenest things that we can personally do for the planet.  We need to make a connection with that truth.

There is a growing tide of change in regards to health and wellness.  People are realizing that they need to take back control of their health and the number one way to do that is through what we eat.  Most of the diseases that we know and suffer and perhaps die from are almost all diet related. Animal products are a leading contributor to our problems.  Shift our diet and we can shift our health. Every day doctors and health professionals are coming to understand these truths that were not taught to them in medical school or in other aspects of their training.  We have become too dependent upon a system that is concerned about the treatment, because that is where the profit is.  That is shameful.  We instead should focus on prevention and cure and a move towards a plant-based diet can help us achieve that in remarkable ways.  It is been known throughout  the ages that our food should be our medicine and our medicine be our food. We need to embrace that truth.

I was horrified to see an image this week of an animal transport truck outside of Toronto that was completely frozen, filled with animals that had frozen to death while on the way to slaughter.  Some would ask which would have been worse?  We continue to support a system that wants to feed an appetite for animal flesh that is not natural.  We did not come into this world with an appetite to eat animals any more than we came into it with an appetite for human flesh.  No child naturally chooses to eat an animal. They want to play with it and take care of it.  That is how we were designed to live upon this planet with animals. Instead we have become socially programmed to accept them as food. To mistreat them so badly, to profit from their captivity and slaughter, to consume their flesh or wear it upon our bodies, is one of the grossest crimes regularly committed by our humanity…or lack thereof.  For centuries people had tried to justify their ignorance and bad behavior by tolerating slavery, not allowing equal rights for women, as well as basic human rights for all individuals.  Those shortcomings of humanity were eventually overcome and we saw change take place.  We do not need to consume animal products in any fashion to live or be healthy.  We need  to liberate the animals and learn to live with them.  We need to face that truth.

There is a shift happening in our spirits as well.  Both individually and in spiritual communities we are realizing that we cannot preach life and then consume torture and death.  It makes no common or spiritual sense to do so.  We can be so much more spiritually aware than we are when we choose to step aside from a system that preys upon other sentient beings and robs them of their freedom and life-force.  When we consume animal products, it cannot help but clog up not only our arteries, but also the spiritual channels that allow wisdom, love, kindness, compassion and so many other wonderful things to flow through us freely to others.  Too many people and gatherings of them have become spiritually fat from consumption but actually do very little.  You want to spiritually grow?  Remove animal products from your life and shift to conscious eating and living.  That would be a loving and compassionate start.  If you think of yourself as being spiritually aware and yet can sit through watching something like “Earthlings” and not be challenged to make a change, then in fact, your spirituality is probably worth very little.

You want to change the world?  Then I suggest you start here with your relationship with animals.  Make the connection.  That is the inexcusable truth we must all accept.

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 www.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas.  He can also be reached at eatingveganlv@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas.

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

3 Responses to BEING VEGAN – An Inescapable Truth

  1. Thanks Paul. I agree that it is a conflict to love animals, yet eat them, even if we set aside the fact that they are made to suffer tremendously on their way to becoming food, which obviously is wrong. Animals should not be thought of as “just food”. But it seems to be a mindset that is common. Last week I heard a woman on TV telling everyone that her fiancee’s last name was unusual. His last name was “Chicken”.She continued — “spelled just like the food.” How weird is that? She could have said his name was “Chicken, spelled just like the animal”, but people seem to have forgotten that a chicken — or cow or duck is an animal first, not food.

    I am amazed at the disconnect. I know many people who supposedly love animals and who volunteer at animal shelters and PAWS thrift shops, etc. but still eat meat. Some realize the conflict, but most don’t think about it.

    Here’s a great little vignette called “Vegan For Life” by a Philosopher at University of N. Florida.

    “Vegan For Life” by Dr.Robert Bass

    “If you look at a photographic negative, the colors are reversed, nothing seems quite as it should, and the image may be unrecognizable. Once you see the picture developed, you recognize the face of your best friend.”

    “That’s a bit like a common impression of vegans. We don’t eat dead animals. Or their products. Pork and beef, seafood and fowl are out. So are milk and cheese, eggs and caviar. And it doesn’t stop with what we don’t eat. We try to avoid leather and wool and fur. We don’t use them to cover our bodies or our furniture or our floors. It sounds like a long list of negatives, of don’ts: Thou shalt not this; thou shalt not that. Why would anybody want that?”

    “You get a better picture by reversing the colors, developing the negative. The incomprehensible prohibitions turn out to be the boundaries of something positive, visible in its true colors and proper proportions. Instead of a list of don’ts, we see an abundance of healthy, delicious foods, with plenty of options for home and clothes and personal care. We do not grudgingly practice a creed of self-denial. We select from an embarrassment of riches.”

    “But that is still just a flat, two-dimensional picture instead of the solid, three-dimensional reality. At the heart of being vegan is a kind of compassionate awareness. We share this planet not only with billions of fellow human beings, but also with uncounted billions upon billions of other creatures, with lives, wants, enjoyment and suffering as real as our own. Humans have had and used the power to crowd them out, push them aside, sometimes driving them to extinction, and often, making them into tools for our use, servitors of our desires, food for our tables, clothes for our backs. As vegans, we look, we pay attention, we see the unnecessary suffering imposed on our fellow creatures. We respond in compassion, refusing to pretend that might makes right, refusing to turn away and ignore what we know. The vegan message is ultimately very simple:”

    “Look. Pay attention. See the unnecessary death and suffering. We don’t have to contribute or help to keep it going. We can stop being a part of this. And so, that’s what we try to do.”

  2. [ Smiles ] I truly believe that the vegan lifestyle is not only a moral one but a healthier one as well.

  3. Great blog. What you said is so true. I like to think more people are waking up to the reality of what we’re doing to animals. Sadly the world still has a long way to go. I just became a vegan a few days ago when my conscience would no longer let me eat meat

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