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What does it really mean?

By Ahowan ICrowPublished 3 years ago 4 min read

I can give you the definition according to Wikipedia...

I can tell you what the main World Religions say about 'how to treat' Animals...

I can also explain what the difference is between Vegan and Vegetarian...and be sure to take the time to read here as well.

However, in honor of World Vegan Day, let me share with you the reasons I feel so passionate about 'it ' (veganism and animals) in my heart and what lead my non-profit to join United Religions Initiative years back as I was becoming an Ordained Animal Chaplain and Humane Minister. I had been on several 'Compassion Rides for Animals" with my non-profit ( in numerous countries to share the message that if we want peace, we must honor the animals. The message for the Rides was, "The animals can live without the human; however, the human cannot live without the animals. What we do to them we do to ourselves. So, what if saving the animals, IS saving the earth." (There is now a facebook group called that!)

I have since joined a passionate group of "Animal Compassionistas" called the Compassion For All Living Beings CC and become fully vegan myself.

Here is my deeper reasoning for being Vegan (besides loving animals, my health, and our Mother Earth). The Golden Rule is present in every major religion and most cultures, each expressing it in their own words. Basically, it is, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you." And each tradition has a reference to include all living beings.

The original definition of the word animal comes from the Latin word 'anima' which means 'breath.' states "animal (n.) early 14c., 'Any sentient living creature' (including humans), from Latin animale "living being, being which breathes.""

We are all animals, we are all living beings, we are all sentient. This means the Golden Rule applies to us all, any living being, human or non.

So, when we put the Golden Rule and animal together with those things we say we all want: peace, freedom, equality, dignity, respect... at least we say we do...we must, therefore, want all of these for everyone, all animals, human or non. What we want is a world that works for everyone. What we want is for the Mother Earth to continue to support the lives of our children.

So, let's take into account all that "being Vegan" is. It is a living practice of the Golden Rule, including the 'animal tenets' of all the major religions and cultures. It is covered in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, part of the URI PPP's and definitely covers ALL of life... including, but not limited to: humans, soil, water, women, men, religions, hunger, cultures, children, the environment, and Mother Earth herself, by giving the very freedom, peace, equality, dignity, and respect to ALL living beings in a way that is sustainable for Mother Earth and all of us who reside.

Let's face it...being Vegan adheres to all of it, even in the absence of religion, culture or a national boundary. It is a global 'thing.' It is about opening one's heart to the realization of "What we give or do to any animal, human or not, directly or indirectly, we get it back in return." And today's world is absolutely demonstrative of how many of us have not been living with "e" for empathy towards animals, (knowingly or unknowingly) which is why the United Nations itself is calling for us all to switch to a plant-based diet or in other words to be 'Vegan'.

So, for me this term we use, 'Vegan,' incorporates so much more to me than the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the products we use. For me, it is the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" practiced with all living beings, including human Animals.

In practice, veganism has no real need for religious affinity... it is a human 'thing,' ... nope, it is more like a humane 'thing.' allowing the 'e' to be for empathy. Empathy, by definition, is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Being Vegan for me is a basic philosophy for treating all life with equality, treating all life with empathy, and taking it one step further, treating all life with compassion. Compassion, by definition, is the emotional response to empathy that creates a desire to help.

When we teach our children that we eat these animals, and we wear these animals, but we pamper these other animals, it's undeniable that we are teaching discrimination, teaching apathy towards some, and creating a degree of inequality.

We also have the undeniable connection science has proven when a child is abusive to an animal they will soon be abusive to other humans. This same holds true with our slaughterhouse workers.

From my heart to your heart,

May we have Peace with all Animals

"The motivation behind vegan living is the universal spiritual principle of compassion that has been articulated both secularly and through the world’s religious traditions; the difference lies in veganism’s insistence that this compassion be actually practiced. The words of Donald Watson, who created the term “vegan” in 1944, reveal this practical orientation and it bears repeating: "Veganism denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment." Will Tuttle "World Peace Diet"


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    Ahowan ICrowWritten by Ahowan ICrow

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