We live today in a world where people seem to crave more than anything for world peace, but many are wondering if this is actually achievable. The media is filled with reports of human violence, and most governments, including our own, are willing to perpetuate and justify violence and injustice. How will we build a true foundation for peace, justice and stability? Is it even possible?
The key to answering these questions lies in understanding the far-reaching implications of our food choices and worldviews, both of which shape our future. At first glance, it may seem unlikely that such a powerful key to world peace can be such an everyday thing as a source of food. If we look closely, we can understand that our common cultural reality is deeply immersed in attitudes, beliefs and practices related to food. So amazing and invisible are the social, psychological and spiritual consequences of the contents of our meals, they pulsate in every aspect of our lives.
Food is indeed the most familiar and natural part of our cultural heritage. By eating plants and animals, we accept the values of our culture and its paradigms at the most primal and unconscious levels.
By placing humans at the top of the planet’s food pyramid, our culture has historically perpetuated a certain worldview that requires its members to suppress basic feelings and consciousness – and it is this process of desensitization, and we must understand it, if we really want to understand it, that lies at the basis of the foundations of oppression. , exploitation and spiritual failure.
When we practice eating for spiritual health and social harmony, we track certain essential connections that our culturally induced eating rituals usually require to be blocked from awareness. This practice is a necessary condition for developing a state of consciousness in which peace and freedom are possible.
We live in the midst of a profound cultural transformation. It is becoming increasingly clear that the old myths that underlie our culture are crumbling. We understand that its basic dogmas are outdated and if we continue to follow them, this will lead not only to the ecological devastation of the complex and delicate systems of our planet, but also to our self-destruction as well.
A new world based on cooperation, freedom, peace, life and unity is struggling to be born to replace the old myths based on competition, division, wars, occupation and the belief that force can do justice. Nutrition is one of the most important prerequisites for this birth, because our eating habits deeply affect our condition and determine our mentality.
Nutrition is the primary way our culture reproduces and communicates its value system through us. Whether this birth of a new world and a more advanced spirituality and consciousness will be successful depends on whether we can transform our understanding and practice of nutrition.
One way to break down the pervasive myths of our culture is to awaken compassion in our hearts for the suffering of others. In fact, the dawn within us, according to Donald Watson, who coined the word “vegan” in 1944, is the desire to live in a way that minimizes cruelty to others. We begin to understand that our happiness and well-being are interrelated with the well-being of others. When compassion blossoms in us, we are freed from the delusion that we can improve our own well-being by harming someone else, and instead awakens in us the desire to be a force for blessing others and the world.
Awakening from the old paradigm of striving for dominance, we see that the more we bless and help others, the more joy and meaning we receive, the more life and love we feel.
We see that the choice of animal products is inhumane, their obtaining is directly related to suffering and cruelty in many ways. Animals are held captive and killed. Wild animals are trapped and dying as their habitats are devastated, destroyed as ecosystems in order to graze livestock and grow the vast amounts of grain needed to feed them. People are starving and suffering from malnutrition because the grain is fed to animals that will become food for the rich. The slaughterhouses and farms attract workers who do a terrible job of cagering and killing billions of resisting animals. Wildlife ecosystems are suffering from pollution, global warming and other effects of animal husbandry.
Future generations of all beings will inherit an Earth ecologically devastated and mired in war and oppression. Understanding our relationship with others, we naturally believe that our greatest happiness comes from discovering our unique way of blessing others and contributing to their happiness, freedom, and healing.
Our cultural heritage is the array of seemingly intractable problems that surround us, such as constant wars, terrorism, genocide, famine, the spread of disease, environmental degradation, species extinction, animal cruelty, consumerism, drug addiction, exclusion, stress, racism, oppression of women, child abuse, corporate exploitation, materialism, poverty, injustice and social oppression.
The root of all these problems is so obvious that it easily manages to remain completely invisible. In trying to solve the social, environmental and individual problems that we face, ignoring the root cause that generates them, we treat the symptoms without eradicating the causes of the disease itself. Such efforts are ultimately doomed to failure.
Instead, we must build a network of understanding and awareness that helps us see the connection between our food choices, our individual and cultural health, our planetary ecology, our spirituality, our attitudes and beliefs, and the purity of our relationships. When we emphasize this understanding, we are contributing to the evolution of a more harmonious and free life on this beautiful but misunderstood planet.
It becomes immediately apparent, however, that our collective guilt about cruelty to animals and eating them makes recognizing this underlying connection extremely difficult. Eating animal products is the fundamental cause of our dilemmas, but we will squirm in different directions to avoid admitting it.
This is our blind spot and is the missing link in achieving peace and freedom. Our culture accepts the exploitation of animals, the use of them for food production, and we must dare to look behind the scenes of our traditions, talk to each other about the consequences of our way of eating and change our behavior. Our behavior always reflects our understanding, yet our behavior also determines what level of understanding we can achieve.
The song of the world, longing to be born through us, requires us to be loving and alive enough to hear and acknowledge the pain we inflict through outdated food orientations. We are called to let our innate grace and kindness shine through and be able to resist the myths that are instilled in us that encourage cruelty.
The golden rule, which is spoken by all religious traditions of the world and intuitively perceived by people of any culture and belief, speaks of not harming others. The principles discussed here are universal and can be understood by all of us, regardless of religious affiliation or non-affiliation.
We can live out the dream of a completely different culture where we liberate ourselves by liberating others outside the trance of consumerism and war. All the efforts we make along the way are vital to this basic transformation that can change our outdated dominance mentality to a joyful mentality of kindness, co-creation and cooperation. Thank you for finding your unique role in a benevolent revolution for peace and stability. As Gandhi said, your contribution may not seem important to you, but it is vital that you contribute. Together we are changing our world.