[Check back daily for additional messages for this week and find previous posts with Will’s VegInspirations by searching this site for Tuttle]
Animal foods are heavily contaminated – 5-29-23
It is well known that animal foods are heavily contaminated with viruses and bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, campylobacter, and streptococcus, which can be harmful if not fatal to people, especially given our already overworked immune systems. The urea in animal flesh also contains toxins. It has furthermore recently been shown that cooked animal flesh contains heterocyclic amines, which are carcinogenic chemicals that form during the cooking process. Thus, by not cooking flesh enough, we may expose ourselves to salmonella, E. coli, and other pathogens, and by cooking it, we end up eating cancer-causing chemicals formed by heating the animal fat.
Looking from a variety of perspectives – 5-30-23
Looking from a variety of perspectives at our animal-based meals, we discover that eating animals has consequences far beyond what we would at first suspect. Like a little boy caught tormenting frogs, our culture mumbles, “It’s no big deal,” and looks away. And yet the repercussions of our animal-based diet are a very big deal indeed, not only for the unfortunate creatures in our hands, but for us as well. Our actions reinforce attitudes, in us and in others, that amplify the ripples of those actions until they become the devastating waves of insensitivity, conflict, injustice, brutality, disease, and exploitation that rock our world today.
A lesser problem? – 5-31-23
Even those who acknowledge that our treatment of animals is indeed a great evil may feel that it is, like the other evils in our world, simply a product of human limitations, such as ignorance, pride, selfishness, fear, and so forth. According to this view, the horror we inflict on animals is a problem, but not a fundamental cause of our problems—and, because it’s a problem for animals, who are less important than us humans, it’s a lesser problem.
The connection between our daily meals and our cultural predicament – 6-1-23
If we fail to make the connection between our daily meals and our cultural predicament, we will inevitably fail as a species to survive on this earth. By refusing to make this essential connection, we condemn others and ourselves to enormous suffering, without ever comprehending why.
We become a revolution of one – 6-2-23
We become a revolution of one, contributing to the foundation of a new world with every meal we eat. As we share our ideas with others, we promote what may be the most uplifting and healing revolution our culture has ever experienced.
Miserable and terrified animals – 6-3-23
The fat we carry around under our skin is mainly the fat of miserable and terrified animals—it’s not surprising we’re anxious to be rid of it! If we based our diet on the whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes for which we are designed, we would find the obesity problem in our culture evaporating, along with many other problems.
Perpetrators and victims are known to exchange roles – 6-4-23
Perpetrators and victims are known to exchange roles over and over again in countless subtle and obvious ways. The cycle of violence may span larger dimensions than we in our herding culture would like to admit, and there are many wisdom traditions that affirm that it does. Until we see from the highest level, we had best heed the counsel of every enlightened spiritual teacher from every time: be ye kind to one another.
We must, if this process is actually happening in us, be drawn toward veganism, and it is in no way a limitation on us, but the harmonious fulfillment of our own inner seeing.
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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.