By Louise Thacker
Veganism. A term often associated with compassion, equality and diverging from the norm. But it also conjures up images of warring vegans and non-vegans spitting malicious comments about how the other should live. What we associate with veganism and what is the truth are two very separate but equally important elements to understanding the term more effectively. What can we hope to gain from learning more about the deeper meanings hidden within veganism?
First, we need to be honest with ourselves. Veganism is not about superiority, subjugation or preaching about how people ought to be living. These negative assumptions have been constructed by people who do not fully understand the truth of the veganism because of their beliefs and years of social conditioning. There may be people who have a negative perception of the vegan movement and the term itself because they’ve had a bad experience or don’t agree with how veganism is communicated to them. This can change when we look deeper into the universal connections veganism provides for our wellbeing and happiness.
Considering the connection between veganism and the universe is an overwhelming ideology so let’s begin by reflecting upon ourselves. When we think of our place in the universe, some of us may gaze up at the stars, some may smile at the Moon and some don’t notice them at all. But, how does veganism link in with how we perceive and appreciate the world around us? First, we can trace the connection between veganism and how our existence runs parallel to the Earth’s. Veganism is a philosophy built upon the value of other species having equal rights and the freedom to be live happily and peacefully. This ideology is linked to universal laws because every single living being on Earth comes from the universe. We are all connected by the same energies, the same air and the same survival necessities. Even though each species has its own evolutionary path, we all began at the same point, at the same tree of life.
The universe is full of energy that can help us to better understand our place within it. Veganism enables us to question our choices and our treatment of others; generating a learning process. This is where mindfulness and meditation can be brought into the framework of the universe, veganism and us. Being mindful and aware of our environment, wildlife, people, our job, family, friends and our mind and bodies is basically where Veganism originates from. Becoming aware of ourselves and our choices is how we begin to see the connections between our lives and those of other species.
Peace of Mind
Meditation is a gateway to understanding how we live in harmony with the universe and how we can understand ourselves more clearly by asking for guidance about what we want to achieve and who we really are. It provides a space for us to breathe and simply ‘be’ without conditioning ourselves to thoughts, worries or the future. When we acknowledge ourselves as beings of spirit, we have ultimate freedom to be able to experience a spiritual connection with the universal energy that is always around us and recognize the value of other species.
Our disconnection to the universe is also why most of society is so emotionally and spiritually disconnected to other species. In the East, spiritual awareness is a part of many people’s lives and has been since ancient times but in the West, we have forgotten our spiritual selves. We are controlled by society’s consumerism of materials and constantly bombarded with information that distances us further from looking at who we are and who we could be. Peace of mind is something we all wish for but don’t believe we can find it.
Veganism is a step towards a more peaceful and contented mind because we realise there is more value in respecting and appreciating other species. Creatures we share the Earth with are striving for the same goals as we are. They wish to survive another day, to recreate and live on through their offspring and experience the riches of the air, to feel the wind and simply experience being alive.
Veganism provides us with the knowledge that we are all a part of a vast system in nature that is complex and beautiful. Once we understand our connection to the universe and what it can teach us, we learn that every choice can change the world, no matter how small. A choice where every living being is respected, appreciated, loved and free to live as beings is the most important and valuable one of them all.
The universe created us millions of years ago and as a species, we have the privilege of knowing that most of us will survive another day. We are also one of the most evolved and intelligent species in the universe which means we can easily bring awareness back to ourselves and connect with our spirituality.
Where to Go from Here
When we take a moment to breathe, relax and allow ourselves to be aware of everything around us, we can discover the invisible connections we all share- family, friends, food, water, sleep, warmth, shelter, recreation, love and play. When we take a step back from the noise of society and ask ourselves what we believe in, how we would wish to be treated by others and how we can take energy from the universe and use it to refresh our mind, body and spirit we can then recognize the beings within the eyes of another. Veganism is the bridge between understanding that who we are is not determined by society or those in higher power but the choices we make every day. We are spirits of energy that are beautiful, complex, rich and intelligent. Without distinction or separation, we are all one of a universal energy which when you realise you’re a part of, is the greatest discovery.