Letter to the Editor: Veganism promotes health, compassion, environmental sustainibility | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Veganism promotes health, compassion, environmental sustainibility

Iand#8217;m writing in response to Bob Sweigertand#8217;s June 1, 2011 column: and#8220;Eat the circle of lifeand#8221; .. .reasons to (not) eat vegan. Although I realize that Bob Sweigertand#8217;s writing strength is in hyperbole (tongue in cheek), I thought it would be valuable to offer another perspective.

Eating vegan (a plant-based diet) is one of the best ways to promote health, compassion and environmental sustainibility. Being vegan is defined by a sense of care and responsibility to the land and life around us. Itand#8217;s a principled refusal to add to the violence in the world.

Food is a necessity, but itand#8217;s also a symbol for the shared inner life of every culture. Food can be an expression of love, generosity, pleasure and compassion; and it can also be an expression of control, domination and cruelty. In order to confine and kill animals for food, we must repress our natural compassion, separating us from intuition, moving us toward violence and disconnectedness.

For example, the life of a veal calf is one of separation from its mother immediately after birth, being forced to live its short life (6 months) confined in a wooden crate where itand#8217;s unable to turn around, before itand#8217;s slaughtered by being stunned and having its throat slit. This harsh reality is a far cry from Bob Sweigertand#8217;s description, and#8220;a cute veal calf raised by a little girl who won a blue ribbon for grooming.and#8221;

I believe that at the deepest levels of our consciousness we yearn for peace and kindness, experiencing the wisdom of our true nature. As we look more deeply into food, into what and how we eat, we might discover connections that allow us to live more compassionately and harmoniously on this earth.

John Merryfield

Tahoe City

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