the vegan philosophy

Sunrise in a calm blue sky

As We Should Be

Veganism is not simply a different way of eating. It is a different way of seeing and feeling that embodies the principle of ahimsa, or reverence for life. Simply put, veganism is feeling for another’s feelings.

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A single bare winter tree stands in a field with misty sunset colors in background

Solstice

This December, I face the winter solstice with perhaps a little more appreciation for what it might mean for others who are struggling to remember that although we have a winter ahead of us, the light will, as it always does, return.

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Close up portrait of a stunning bull

An Irrefutable Truth

What a boost to my self-esteem to discover that I knew something that was absolutely right; something that no one, no matter their station in life, could convince me was wrong.

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Man walking his dog in the woods standing backlit by the rising sun casting a warm glow and long shadows.

Taking Our Ethical Commitments Seriously

For me, veganism is an indispensable cornerstone, and a minimum standard, of taking the well being of others seriously. I could do more, and sometimes do, but being vegan is the very least I can do in taking my ethical commitments seriously.

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Beautiful golden sunset shining path over the ocean

The Golden Rule

Gentle World’s Angel Flinn teamed up with animal rights activist Craig Cline to create a compilation of Craig’s writings on the subject of The Golden Rule, as it relates to veganism.

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A black and white portrait of an elephant's face against a black background

The Elephant in the Room

We are called vegans, and although we come from differing nations, cultures, religions, economic stations, genders and ages, we share a powerful bond. We have all seen the elephant in the room, and agree that the only humane response is to withdraw our support.

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Large group of people in black and white - sitting as members of an audience

No Innocent Bystanders

We must be willing to examine the biases and bigotries of the present, and see them with the same critical eyes we use to view humanity’s heinous crimes of the past.

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Two hands facing up with a butterfly sitting in the center

The Power of Ahimsa

Prescribed by sages throughout history as the most effective way to temper the bestial nature in man, taking the vow of Ahimsa means resolving to refrain from causing any harm to any living creature.

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Back shot of young man contemplating the sunrise

The Importance of Being Vegan

As most people are naturally opposed to unnecessary violence, becoming and staying vegan is not a matter of changing any of our basic moral beliefs. It simply requires us to be willing to change the habits we have developed that prevent us from living according to our principles.

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A black and white historical picture showing segregation at a water fountain

The Colored Entrance

Did you stand up for the rights of the enslaved, the oppressed, the massacred? Did you withdraw your support for every single shameful service the exploitation industry provides? Did you speak up on behalf of the billions of innocent victims and plead with the rest of humanity to do the same?

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Portrait of lovely lamb staring at the camera in a barn with other lambs

Could You Kill An Animal?

To actively participate in the death of an animal forces people to deaden a part of themselves, with consequences that we may not even be aware of. Is it fair to place that burden on those who carry out this despicable task in order to allow the rest of us to partake of the spoils while avoiding getting our hands dirty?

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A black and white dairy calf isolated in a veal pen

A Call to Vegetarians

The production of milk and eggs involves both tremendous cruelty and also the deaths of billions of animals every year. Not only are these animals killed just like those raised specifically for meat, but they are kept alive longer, and subjected to a tragic lifetime of slavery, including the horrific violations that come from the brutal exploitation of their reproductive systems.

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Mother gazing lovingly at breastfeeding baby

Mother’s Milk

Humans are far from the only animals to experience the deep connection between mother and child. In fact, this might be one of the very experiences that is universal — crossing all boundaries between species.

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Partial sunflower in front of a deep blue sky

Let Your Conscience Be Your God

The conscience is the one and only place inside us where reason and compassion live harmoniously, side by side. Its purpose, as should be that of any God figure, is to guide us to our better nature.

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A close up of a cow's face eating grass from a woman's hand

Being Vegan in a Speciesist World

Moral paradigm shifts do not cause themselves. They are caused by small groups of people within society – always considered radical in their own time – who persistently educate others why change is necessary.

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Looking up from within a circle of tall trees almost covering the sky with light at the top

A Saner Way

The many symptoms of our shared illness are easily seen on any street corner, in homes, schools, work places, courtrooms or anywhere else human behavior is on display. But the most serious is our seeming obsession with some form of violence.

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An orange and pink sky with many birds flying through it

If We Were They

The other animals, although born into different physical bodies are, like us, victims of circumstance. Like all people, they are who we might have been, there but for we know not what. They too, are us, if we were they.

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Fiery sunset with blue sky

The Power is Ours

If we want a gentle world, we must reject violence. If we want a free world, we must be willing to free our human and non-human slaves. And if we want a peaceful world, we must first find a way to make peace with ourselves and one another.

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A human hand caressing the head of a beautiful white horse

The Vegan Inside Us

Now is the time for those of us who are willing to be the essential change this world so desperately needs, to open the closet door and set the vegan inside us free to unashamedly show the world who we really are.

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Artist's rendition of a path through a green meadow in the sunlight

Paradise Bound

Veganism is as essential to peace as peace is to Paradise. It topples the foundation of violence and cruelty upon which our terribly imperfect governments, cultures, societies and religions are built. It frees us from the self-absorption that fuels our conflicts. It inspires an expansive and inclusive way of living heretofore unknown to our species.

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A signpost with a rainbow colored sky in the background

Which Will We Choose?

Is there any hope at all for a peaceful resolution of the opposing forces in our nature, which are driving us mad? If so, the answer must be the pillars of sanity we call reason and compassion.

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Beautiful sunset sky, with full sun and orange clouds

Why?

Why don’t those who make the laws do so with respect for our essential needs, and deepest feelings? Why do we continue to cause so much suffering and death to others? Why is there so much cruelty and violence in the world?

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The thinker statue with a blue sky in background

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Progressive Movement

If you are not yet vegan yourself, you might be moving in that direction or have a friend or two who is. You may even be convinced by now that veganism is a reasonable solution to many of the world’s problems. Perhaps, you have secretly envisioned doing it yourself, someday… when you are ready.

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A forest with sunlight beaming through

Another Chance

When we advocate for the widespread adoption of vegan values, we speak for the entire population of humanity’s victims, including once-glorious landscapes that have been preyed upon rather than protected.

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A human hand touching the hand of an ape, palm to palm

The Vegan Evolution

The vegan ideal represents nothing less than the next evolutionary step for humankind. This quantum leap may seem far-fetched from the position we are in today, but it is within this very change that we will ultimately find our hope for the world of tomorrow.

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A single cow stands silhouetted against a sunset sky

Occupy Humanity

Even many of the most progressive among us, seemingly without thought, continue to exclude certain sentient beings from the shelter of their compassion by accepting, condoning, supporting and even applauding the most unspeakable injustices perpetrated against those they see as “others,” because they happened to have been born other than human.

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High angle shot of a gavel and a scale on a wooden desk

The Legal Right to Do Wrong

Human slaves were once legally the property of other members of the human race and were not granted legal personhood. They were regarded as property just like nonhuman animals are regarded today. To treat animals as property is species discrimination, and it is reflected in every country’s legal system.

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Crowd of raised fists in the air protesting

We Will Be Heard

In the dark days when the horrific custom of enslaving our fellow human beings was accepted behavior, the abolitionists could not, in good conscience, remain silent. We too, will continue to speak on behalf of freedom, until all beings are free.

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