By: Martin Cisneros
I believe that the dignity and nobility of the individual is not compromised but is actually enhanced by a recognition of the dignity and nobility of the animal kingdoms where ever they're found.
Hence, I see the simple principles of respect for all life as expressed in the vegan lifestyle as a necessary step towards a growing understanding of ourselves and the creation around us, and as a vital part of a practical extension of the seeds of the fruit of peace in this world. It is our contention that respect for all life without a stand in veganism is merely a politically correct lip service with no true deepening conviction behind it.
It is my contention that a vegan lifestyle does not infringe on the liberty of an individual, but enhances personal and moral powers of self-restraint, compassion, dignity, health, and is a demonstration of wisdom in an age where genetic and chemical manipulation, mutation, and mutilation has made animal flesh not of the same type as our ancestors ate, and therefore we see historical arguments as irrelevant to our present concerns. All compassion concerns and issues aside, I also view the human body as having either evolved or degenerated away from any capacity to thrive on animal flesh and bodily fluids. As it may have one time been possible for mankind to thrive on feeding off of the weaker, his genetic structure can do so no longer. Whether this is because of environmental reasons or divine plan, I have not yet arrived at an official position on that point.
Slavery and child labor were a common practice in the time of Christ and the early Apostles and yet no one these days would argue that they were inherently virtuous practices for that reason, and nor would anyone suggest that somehow the righteousness of Truth was somehow impaired by their abolishment.
Americanism should have always been an ever-evolving faith connection with a new world and a vital healing practice in the world. Our good news should have grown stronger, purer, and more hopeful for all life on the earth and not more sectarian and intolerant as the ages have progressed. I say, "blessed are the merciful, indeed, who's mercy is not merely in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth!"
Veganism is the ONLY compassion based lifestyle that I've yet to find. Veganism isn't about religious doctrine or practice and neither is veganism impaired by "true religion". It's not about personal or metaphysical growth and stratagem (though I can scarcely perceive of either growing without veganism). I know of no spiritual/spiritualist philosophy that Veganism would be in contradiction of. Veganism is about contradicting selfishness; valuing life above personal pleasures, so it's it's own form of "crucifying the flesh" and bringing newness of life and perspective to all. With regards to the dietary aspects of vegan philosophy, there are no other dietary choices that can be made that reflect on genuine concern about the welfare of others. All other forms of abstinence are about calorie control, fat loss, fat gain, various forms of appearance, and [fad] health reasons.
Veganism is the point where one finally reaches out beyond themselves and realizes that there are more lives at stake than mine and those of the members of my immediate family in regard to the day to day choices that we make.