Choosing a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is growing in popularity. More and more people understand the many benefits to be gained from this choice.
Compassion, kindness and peace of mind, as well as improved energy and physical health, to name a few.
Yet conventional thinking considers eating meat to be normal and good for you.
Being vegan, therefore, is often viewed by mainstream thinking to be a radical approach to life.
Few seem to stop to consider the radical nature of factory farming, with its breeding and slaughtering of food animals en masse to turn a buck and satisfy the lust for meat.
Some people use the Genesis defence
People who eat meat often vigorously defend it as ‘normal’ and sometimes — in their own defence — refer to this passage in the Bible from Genesis:
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
They defend their choice to eat meat, because they’ve never really thought about not eating it. They take it for granted, believing it’s their God-given right to assert their power as the dominant species on Earth.
They very conveniently omit these two verses which directly follow:
1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
If you believe in the Bible, look at what it’s really saying
Whether or not you believe in the stories from the Bible, it does contain some universal truths.
I feel verses 29 and 30 from Chapter 1 of Genesis is one of them. It very clearly states an intention for harmony and unity among all sentient beings.
The vegan lifestyle offers us the foundation to create this.
Many vegans and vegetarians make a choice for compassion before other considerations such as their physical health (although their physical health usually improves as a result). They make a conscious choice not to participate in this particular form of violence.
It’s not only a compassionate choice but also a spiritually enlightened one, as it returns us to a natural and intended state of grace.
And as such it’s something to admire, rather than criticise or ridicule.
We make excuses for cruelty to animals
The scale of killing, and the way food animals are treated, would be considered nothing less than torture and genocide if instead of animals, they were human.
Given that human beings can be so cruel and unkind to members of our own species, it’s not a great leap in reasoning to see why flagrantly killing another species is seen as okay.
And it’s not surprising that so many people openly ridicule the choice to be kind to animals.
But why does someone’s choice to be unconditionally loving upset some people so much? Some to the point of aggression?
I believe guilt is the answer.
Our subconscious mind recognises that animals are being treated cruelly.
We know it to be true.
Some of us take responsibility for this abuse by choosing not to contribute to the suffering of innocent and beautiful animals.
Being vegan is choosing to be kind; it’s that simple
Thou shalt not kill.
It’s the fifth commandment.
Our judicial system insists people swear on the Bible as an oath of truth, and penalises killing with life sentences; so we take the Bible and this commandment seriously when it applies to our own species.
It doesn’t say: ‘Thou shalt not kill human beings.’
So there must be something strangely amiss when this commandment has been so grossly misinterpreted and never applied to other species.
Some quite clearly see the contradictions and make no excuses for their own participation in this heart-breaking reality.
I’m referring to those rare and beautiful souls who offer admiration, interest and even a secret desire to become vegetarian themselves. Expressing sentiments along the lines of: ‘I’ve always known I would become vegetarian eventually, it seems to be a natural part of spiritual evolution.’
And of course, it is.
Choosing not to kill animals puts us in harmony with nature
Being in harmony with all of life is the ultimate spiritual aspiration.
And to truly be in harmony with all that is, we have no choice but to become at least vegetarian, if we’re really being honest with ourselves.
By choosing to be vegan or vegetarian we return to our original state of divinity and embrace and honour God’s original design for us.
Changing our life in this way, aligns us with grace and the unconditional principles of love and harmony.
Many positive effects are attained by abstaining from animal products
There are many benefits to be obtained by the careful elimination of cruelty from our diets. And not just benefits to our bodies.
Few people are aware of the more subtle negative impacts which accompany meat eating, as our soul’s vibration is lowered by a lack of love.
As we remove meat from our diet, we remove cruelty from our hearts.
And the benefits of this decision are experienced at all levels of our being: soul, mind, energy and body.
It frees your soul
At the soul level, you’re no longer contributing to the suffering of animals, which are being bred and raised purely to be slaughtered and served up on your dinner plate.
You’re no longer ingesting and assimilating the sorrow of those animals which have been mercilessly treated their whole life, as though they experience no pain or fear.
This removes from your life any association with, or contribution to, the industries which so arrogantly disregard the preciousness of life.
And, therefore, you’re no longer adding to your own karmic debt.
It gives you a clear conscience
At the mind level, you’re no longer avoiding subtle messages from the subconscious that tell you killing contradicts your natural desire to be loving.
So your mind becomes more peaceful as you’re no longer avoiding the truth — you’ve been harming innocent creatures — and your conscience is appeased.
It raises your vibration
At the energy level, your vibration is elevated because of these loving actions and attitudes. As a result, you feel lighter and happier, and this further enhances your newly attained state of peace.
Anyone who believes in and understands the effects of positive and negative energy, would not be blind to the negative energy associated with factory farming. And, they would never dream of contributing to more suffering or ingesting products infused with that energy.
It’s healthier for your body
And finally (because I feel this really is the least of the considerations), at a physical level, you’re no longer ingesting high concentrations of the saturated fats which go hand-in-hand with many chronic and deadly diseases.
That also means you’re no longer attempting to digest rotting flesh which your body is not designed for — our teeth, saliva and digestive tracts are virtually identical to those of herbivores.
As a result of all these benefits, we begin to re-experience our divinity and natural state of grace.
It’s the spiritual Everest
Becoming vegetarian or vegan is a challenge, but one essential to spiritual development.
For anyone pursuing spiritual growth, it’s inevitable that, at some point in the process, you’ll be challenged to consider the transition to a vegetarian or even vegan way of life.
This one choice alone decides whether or not you reach your full spiritual potential.
In this lifetime, you may not decide to take the step into such a transformative way of living. We each have our own perfect path, and we each have to walk that path as honestly and with as much integrity as we can.
Grace will descend at the exact moment we’re ready for change, and touch us with the strength, enthusiasm and love required for whatever change we need to make — continuing our growth toward love and harmony.
You can do it
So if you’re being challenged in this way, be courageous. Love yourself. And know that if the feeling is strong then the time for change is approaching.
Remember, while it feels like we’re attempting to achieve a new spiritual height, we’re actually just returning to our original and loving nature. To the way God designed us.
Returning to the path of love, or remaining fixed in behaviours that you’ve outgrown, may be the only choice left to make before you reach the peak of your personal spiritual Everest.
Support others if they choose this path
On the other hand, if you’re the friend or relative of someone making this change, please remember that your contribution could mean the difference between a loving, positive experience, or an unnecessarily difficult one.
And given that the choice to be vegetarian or vegan is not just one of love, but one in line with perfect unity, then making it more difficult for the person making that choice would be a dreadful shame.
So if it’s time for you or a loved one to answer the call to greater love, this blessing is for you:
May compassion guide your final decision
And may you feel great love for life, deep in your heart.
With all my love and encouragement
* A big thank you to Mark, for his insightful edit of this post.
Image credit: nzgabriel