| Because vegetarianism
is essentially a peaceful and compassionate act, not only does it
drastically reduce the negative impact that we each have on the world,
but it also aids us immensely in our personal development. Physically,
it has restored health in my body and heightened my awareness of and
connection to my physical body through the attention that I have had
to give to my eating habits. Emotionally, it has helped me develop
an attitude of non-judgment, nonviolence and non-attachment through
continually testing my motives as well as my patience. Spiritually,
it has helped me develop a relationship with the divine and filled
me with love.
to our relationship with ourselves, vegetarianism changes greatly
how we relate to the rest of the world, albeit without our knowing.
It has over the years bestowed upon me a consciousness of the devastating
effects of animal agriculture, not only on the billions of animals
involved, but also on our environment, our fellow humans, our own
health, and our future on this planet. It has shown me the interconnectedness
of all life, and that how we treat one we treat all. This heightened
awareness has developed in me compassion, empathy and respect for
all of creation, deepening my connection with others, animals, the
Earth and my higher and true self. It has helped me develop a strong
empathy with all who are oppressed. It has empowered me to speak
out on behalf of others, although I found it very difficult in the
beginning. It has, in my opinion, given me the ultimate reward:
the opportunity, to quote Gandhi, to "be the change I wish
to see in the world". I can think of no more fulfilling way
to live for me than in freedom, in truth, in peace and in love with
the whole of creation. In short, vegetarianism has helped me give
back to the world.
seen thus becomes a transformational art. It becomes not a question
of what we must go without or give up, but of what we can gain from
our alignment with the highest values of humanity. Ultimately vegetarianism
is rooted not in deprivation, but in abundance. Vegetarian mind
reconnects us with the whole, and insodoing heals us all.
ethical individuals, we have choices. We have the power to choose
the most compassionate and peaceful answers, starting with our own
lives. Following a vegetarian today is not only easy (and growing
easier by the minute), it is a positive, energizing action, a rekindling
of the true human spirit and an enactment of the highest good of
which humanity is capable.
Above all, vegetarianism
is a gift of love.