As I glance through YouTube I see many arguing over diet, ethics, and the environmental problems of animal agriculture. I see my fellow vegans becoming angry with meat eaters. I hear the words ” I just don’t understand” being repeated over & over again. To develop compassion for others we must first understand them. Us vegans will drive ourselves crazy with this mindset of misunderstanding. I hope to inspire others to practice a vegan lifestyle but do not wish to force others to be vegan. People change on their own time. You can not force anyone to be more compassionate to animals or care about the health of themselves & the planet. Forcing another is a violent act in itself, which goes against my vow of non violence. The world will change in it’s own time. All we can do is live our message and share it with others. If our message is peace & compassion, then we must be peaceful & compassionate with our meat eating brothers & sisters. Peace is the way.
Understanding others is necessary for compassion, love, & peace. I ate a meat/dairy/egg based diet for 27 years and have been vegan for 2 years. How can I judge anyone who still consumes animal products when I ate them most of my life? My focus as of now is to develop true compassion for those who consume animal products and especially for those who advocate for them in ones diet. True compassion is when we can show compassion to those we disagree with. It’s easy to show compassion to the innocent & weak. It’s much more difficult to show compassion to a slaughterhouse worker but nothing could be more important than developing compassion for them as well. Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants who are recruited to work long hours for little wages. They often suffer from PTSD from the horrific violent acts they see on a regular basis. There are documented cases of slaughterhouse workers dieing from bacterial diseases and neurological diseases from freshly slaughtered animals.
I also feel strong compassion for those who suffer from chronic diseases from eating animal products all their life. From heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, colon cancer, and many other diseases that could of been prevented with a whole food plant based diet. They were lied to be industry and led to believe that they are wild carnivores that need to eat meat every meal for protein. So much unnecessary human suffering. My heart goes out to them & their families.
I hope to inspire my fellow vegans to be more compassionate & understanding to our meat eating brothers & sisters. Many of us were meat eaters most of our life. Who are we to judge? We are not perfect enlightened beings floating above others. Let’s focus our energy on educating others while showing compassion & understanding to them. This way we don’t drag ourself down with anger, rage, & misunderstanding. We can allow compassion guide our life. How will they ever understand compassion if all we show them is apathy? How will they know peace if all we show them is violence? Our own life is our message to the world.
My idol once fell from the sky.
Bruised & broken,
His body burning as he descended into the atmosphere.
Landing in the deepest of rock bottoms.
My perception shattered of a once untouchable man.
Judgement by others filled the air so thickly you couldn’t see the sun above.
Darkness surrounding him as he sat with himself in the coldest of winter’s.
His mental health at an all time low.
Body deteriorating in front of our eyes.
He fell once more.
Almost all doubted his ability & strength.
But he still kept moving forward.
As years went by, his mentality changed.
Soon he was grateful to play the game he loved.
Years of hard work began to pay off.
Today, I watched my idol win once more.
Tears came to my eyes as I saw him hug his family & pump his fists into the sky.
The journey was well worth the struggle.
As a man who has fallen in dark times before.
I appreciate your journey to becoming a better man.
Thank you Tiger Woods.
As I stare off into the horizon
I reflect on my life
The man I have become
In 29 years, I have come so far
Yet old unskillful habits persist
Holding me back from living the life I truly want to live
My breathe brings me back into this moment
In this moment I can change my life
I can begin the process of letting go of what’s holding me back
So I can acquire the life I want to live
Suffering lives within all of us
Past mistakes on rerun
Future uncertainties constantly dance within our minds,
Making us suffering in this moment
How do we break from this cycle?
We can understand our own suffering
We can develop compassion and self love
As we develop compassion for ourself,
We can begin to transform our suffering into joy
Our life can now be spent helping others suffering less
Bringing joy & peace for those in need
What is our purpose?
Is our only purpose in life to consume & buy stuff?
I believe our purpose on this planet is much more than what’s listed above.
We are here,
To help others.
To protect the innocent.
We are much more than our career, bank account, awards, and trinkets.
Fear bubbles underneath the volcanoes surface.
Pain filled smoke seeping to the surface.
Anger, hatred, & rage boiling inside.
Until one day,
A vicious explosion destroys all in it’s path.
Leaving only pain & suffering to all.
Innocence lost in a moment.
How could this happen?
Will there ever be peace?
Fear, anger, hatred, & rage live within all of us.
Simmering under the surface.
Compassion leads us to love & understanding.
Love & understand can tame the simmering flames within us.
Peace begins & ends with us.
This poem is in response to the Christchurch mosque shooting on 15 March 2019. RIP to all who lost their lives and condolences to all who were touched.
Inspired by the late Chester Bennington & the band Linkin Park’s song “One More Light”.
I wake today,
Fueled not by apathy,
For the 150 billion of animals slaughtered each year.
For the million of children who die from disease and famine.
For those who commit suicide & those who suffer silently each day.
I vow to live a life that reduces the amount of suffering I cause in this world.
To speak for those who have no voice.
Who cares if one more light goes out in the sky of billions stars?
All life is precious.