Your Daily VegInspiration: The beautiful word, “shojin” | Dr. Will Tuttle | 2-27-23 – 3-5-23

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A positive approach is essential because it mobilizes our spiritual resources, generates enthusiasm, and brings more joy and love into our world.

The Greatest Act of Love – 2-27-23

There is no greater act of love and freedom than to question the core of violence and disconnectedness churning unrecognized in the belly of our culture, and to switch to a plant-based diet because of compassion for the countless animals, humans, and future generations to whom we are related. All life is interconnected, and as we bless others, we are blessed. As we allow others to be free and healthy, we become free and healthy.

The Boundless Joy of Leaving Prison – 2-28-23

The boundless joy that accompanies leaving the prison of delusion draws us irresistibly, and this joy is ultimately inevitable for everyone. Veganism is love for all, expressed as respect and kindness, and is both the path and the goal of spiritual life. It leads, when practiced mindfully, to the awakening that there is no fundamentally separate self at all. We are all infinitely interconnected manifestations of boundless, radiant love, and we are here to discover and share our unique gifts, and allow this love to shine and flow through us, as the lives we live.

The destructive agricultural system – 3-1-23

The destructive agricultural system now in place devastates millions of acres of forest and grassland in order to grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and other grains and legumes for animals, who convert plant carbohydrate into profitable and unhealthy fat and protein. The food and medical industries are guaranteed lucrative incomes at the expense of starving people, wildlife, aquifers, biosystems, and future generations. Ironically, we’re growing far more grain than we could ever eat ourselves. The billions of dollars invested in hospitals, drugs, and pharmaceutical and medical facilities require a reliable and steady flow of clogged arteries and cancers to stay profitable and pay back the bankers in the background.

The weak, erroneous delusions – 3-2-23

Indoctrination, social pressure, and the self-centered pursuit of pleasure have been behind all the atrocities we humans have committed, and when we shine the light of our awareness and truth on them, they are seen for the weak, erroneous delusions that they truly are.

All eyes that see the sun – 3-3-23

The great philosopher Schopenhauer, in criticizing how some Christians treat animals, wrote, “Shame on such a morality that fails to recognize the eternal essence that exists in every living thing, and shines forth with inscrutable significance from all eyes that see the sun.” All of us are celebrations of infinite mysterious Spirit, deserving of honor and respect.

The three main reasons 3-4-23

It seems there are three main reasons why people continue to eat animals in spite of the horror and tragedy this behavior generates. The first and essential reason is that eating animals is not a behavior people have ever chosen freely. It has, instead, been forced upon them, starting at an early age. People have been indoctrinated to do it. The second reason is because of social pressure. Being so gregarious, we humans like to fit in and be part of the group, and this militates strongly against questioning the eating of animal foods. The third big reason is that people like the taste: they get a certain pleasure that they are loath to give up. Fortunately, these three fundamental reasons for eating animal foods are all ultimately invalid and indefensible.

The beautiful word, “shojin” – 3-5-23

In the Japanese language there is a beautiful word, “shojin,” roughly translated into English as “abstention from animals foods and products for religious or spiritual reasons.” The existence of this word reveals the culture’s recognition that abstaining from the use of animal products is a valid dimension of religious practice and of spiritual aspiration.

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Original Visionary Paintings & Art by Madeleine Tuttle

There are strong voices in all religious traditions emphasizing that our kindness to other beings should be based on compassion. This is more than merely being open to the suffering of others; it also explicitly includes the urge to act to relieve their suffering. We are thus responsible not just to refrain from harming animals and humans, but also to do what we can to stop others from harming them, and to create conditions that educate, inspire, and help others to live in ways that show kindness and respect for all life. This is the high purpose to which the core teachings of the world’s wisdom traditions call us. It is an evolutionary imperative, a spiritual imperative, an imperative of compassion, and, in reality, a vegan imperative.

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