I agree with the animal issue wholeheartedly. I am vegan, too. I think the daily killing and blood shed is horrific.
However, I didn't think it was necessary to say such negative things about Memorial Day. I take time to say "thanks" on Memorial. NOT because I worship war but because I want to honor those brave men and women who had to fight horrible things. I believe in peace...99% of us do. But peace only comes when the other side wants peace and sadly, in this often unenlightened world...that is often the case. In these cases, we need soldiers to fight...even if we don't want to.
So let's have a day for animals...a day of remembrance of their perilous place in our world but leave Memorial Day alone, OK? Good men and women have done a service and they need to be remembered. Thank you.
This is interesting. On the one hand, if you are an activist...it is sometimes harder to be happy because of everything you read about but on the other hand, if you eat a light, clean diet and you have a heart that wants to be kind to all beings, I can definitely see that as being a mood lifter.
I have found the heavier I eat or the more toxic I feel, the more my mood is impaired. Conversely, the lighter and fresher I eat, the less I eat...the more joy and lightness I will experience.
I just learned a great deal about this issue when I saw "Queen of the Sun" a beautiful documentary about this.
We can help with this. You can help if you have land to plant bee friendly plants and flowers. Also leave some water out for bees, they get thirsty. Stop using pesticides, they are killing them.
You can research online on how to help.
I respec the whole not eating honey issue but that is not the problem. Honey is OK IF it comes from bee keepers who are good to their bees and they ONLY take extra. Honey is not good if it comes from commercial growers who use the bees to death.
Bee sanctuaries are popping up to help. If you have a backyard, perhaps you can have a bee sanctuary, too.
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Thank you for the moving post and call to action. I also was stimulated by your book, The World Peace Diet - enough to remove the last non-vegan item from my menu, that of the occasional egg, and to be "on the ready" with information on US farming and slaughterhouse practices whenever conversation veered in that direction (as it often does when omnivores eat with a vegan).
However, I have some questions about ethics as related to milk and eggs on small "humane" farms. My neighbor has 88 chickens and each has a pet name. She does not kill any of her chickens. But she does gather their eggs, which I believe are unfertilized. Is it ethical to eat those eggs? Or is it unethical to participate in animal husbandry at any level?
In a broader view I have questions about the statement that "We absolutely do not have the right or luxury to eat animal foods, or to think in the exclusivist ways that eating animal foods requires." I see your point. I think I understand exclusivism in the context of animal welfare. But is it moral, is it ethical, is it WISE for me as a vegan to view my omnivore family and friends as wrong? It feels...exclusivist. It would feel vastly better to view my family and friends as simply in need of information (and willingness to see outside our current cultural paradigm). How should I view those in third-world countries with access to few food sources due to their current environment? Perhaps a grain or two, a vegetable or two, and then the occasional goat. Is it wrong for them to eat meat, dairy, and eggs? It feels better to view these people as doing the best they can with the food and knowledge they have access to.
I want to believe that we are on the edge of a cultural revolution where eating animals is no longer the norm, but I need to integrate these absolute statements about omnivores first.
Thanks so much for your attention, and your great writing as usual.
Glad to hear of your progress and success, and as far as your question, briefly, it is absolutely not that we see people eating animal foods as "wrong" - it's simply they've been indoctrinated into behavior that is damaging to others (and themselves).
As far as eggs on small farms in our culture, there is still violence, in the sense that the animals are reduced to property and we have stolen their sovereignty, using them for our own ends, and they are not living freely as they did for millions of years in the jungles of Asia. You are not describing a sanctuary, but an animal confinement operation. I don't believe there's any nutrient in eggs we can't get from plant foods, without the toxins, huge cholesterol load, and forcing an unnatural way of life on them. It's hard to see it at first, but if we look a bit more closely and deeply, we see that they are being imprisoned against their will, and being manipulated by us for our own ends. Veganism is based on the understanding that the universe is not set up essentially as a malevolent place where we need to inflict violence on other to better ourselves; in fact, the opposite is true: violence and manipulation harm us probably more than the ones we are harming, though it might be hard to recognize at first.
As far as "3rd world countries" I have little to say about that. I think we should live our own lives as much as possible in alignment with our values, and work to educate people in our culture - this will help the whole world, including those in other cultures, who are being harmed by us without our actually recognizing it.
Great questions, Pamela! I do think we are on the edge of a cultural revolution, as you see -- our survival depends on it. As far as integrating absolute statements, it's very simple - we all agree that violence toward others for our own benefit is contrary to everyone's ultimate interests; we're just born into an extremely primitive and ethically blind culture that doesn't recognize this universal truth, and is in the process of massive destructiveness because of it. I believe it's up to us to bring the healing message of vegan awareness and living to our world.
Thank you, Dr. Tuttle! I appreciate your educational words on animal confinement and living our own lives where we are. You bring up good points to ponder. Take care.
Your fan always,
I agree...Einstein was a smart guy, maybe the smartest guy ever. So when he said that the disappearance of bees would lead, within four years, to the disappearance of humans, people took notice.
Problem is, the famed physicist never said it.
With colony collapse disorder leading to unexplained and sometimes dramatic declines in commercial bee colonies in 35 states, that didn’t stop the frequent recycling of the quote, which was first written down about 40 years after his death in 1955.
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