This is an important question and defiantly deserving of some sort of explanation…
I will give it to you in two answers. One of a quick feeling, emotive and sorta common sense answer. and the second, an in depth explanation of why Veganism is perhaps the most beneficial non spiritual (and sometimes spiritual) thing you can do.
I ask that if you are going to comment here or elsewhere about this that you read both reasons and not just throw out “knee-jerk” responses. It will be interesting to see how discussion unfolds across the Internet.
The fast reason I tell people why I am vegan is that I do not believe in the exploitation of animals. Exploitation in this case means that the animal suffers for our benefit (duh). Most animals raised for food live in what I would consider a darker hell than one even I could ever imagine. The best parts of their lives is their moment of death. Chickens live in tiny cages among mountains of shit, Cattle live in crowded factory farms on cement floors. Pigs live in crowded pens, or if its a female that has just given birth, live in tiny “gestation crates” where they can not even turn around. Turkeys are given so many hormones that they grow too fast for their bones to support them… I could go on and on with this but I will just post some videos instead. I do not care if you like or dislike the people that made/produced the videos, not saying that every animal rights group is the holy savior of all. …..just take it as it is and drop your presumptions/pretenses.
Of course not each and every animal is treated like this, but it is such the majority case that its time to bring consciousness to this area and decide if we want any part of it once and for all.
Now if I lived in a native culture who’s life depended on the consumption of animals and had a deep respect for the source of their food… I would happily eat what I had to. Since I can easily not do that, I will happily not. Being grateful for the source of your food is not limited to animals. Grow some vegetables or herbs and pick from them and eat, and you will feel an incredible gratitude toward the plant that gave you your food. Its all about brining consciousness to your life and actions.
*Its all about brining consciousness to your life and actions.*
Here is the 2nd more in depth reason. Both of these reasons are true in their own way. One of the secrets of our universe is that we live in a world of seemingly contradictory paradoxes. On a physical level…. Is light a particle or a wave? It displays properties of both so we call it a particle (its a baseball) and a wave (its a ripple on water), a seeming contradiction… In reality it is neither. (See the movie what the bleep do we know, further down the rabbit hole if you have no idea what im talking about… its on youtube). Light’s truth is something that we have not yet wrapped our minds around and seen it for what it is.
How does this relate to the question Why Vegan? Well in the first answer, I gave you a moral reason. That seems to imply that there exist morals and that there are “good” and “bad”. This along with everything else can be looked at from two standpoints, the ultimate and the relative. Ultimately “good” and “bad” do not make much sense… they are arbitrary and ever changing with the times and rise and fall of civilizations and cultures. However in the relative sense there are defiantly seen and unseen consequences to ones actions. This would imply that there is some usefulness to “morals” in a relative sense.
Ultimately everything is just fine as it is… but lets examine that a bit. What is “as it is”? The world is in a constant state of change, refining and evolution. So “as it is” is not a static “stand still condition” but a dynamic ever changing one. This applies to the world/universe in general and it applies equally as much to our own selves. So just because in an ultimate sense the world is just fine even with all of the various horrors that go on (not limited to just animals)… in a relative sense we must constantly bring consciousness to all of our actions and continue to refine them and discard that which is not useful for our own true happiness. Since everything is interconnected, if we are causing suffering and exploitation to others, including animals, the earth in general etc… we are causing suffering to ourselves. This is the opposite of happiness and liberation.
This second reasons contains “mystic” truths of the universe. Science and Mysticism are simply two sides of the same thing. Science is the discovery of truth on the outer world, Mysticism is the discovery of truth on the inner world. They both use the exact same methods of experimentation, replication etc… The only difference is that Science uses the instruments of the outer world to detect and measure the truths, where as in Mysticism YOU are the only instrument to detect and measure the inner world. Makes sense right? Therefore you can not know the mystic truths by outer means alone…such as philosophical argument… you must try them out, weigh in your mind and being, and see for yourself. Experiment, and replicate your results.
Now I also believe that ridding our lives of the use and exploitation of animal products is one of the single easiest actions to do that could have the greatest beneficial impact on the world compared with any other non spiritual action. I say non spiritual action because ultimately the most important thing you can do in your life is get a glimpse of your true self and follow that everlasting path of the union of your ultimate and relative selfs.
Ridding our selves of the exploitation of animals would be beneficial in all of these areas and more: Health Care, World Hunger, The Environment, Energy, Domestic and International Policy, etc… While this is just a brief description, you may look up for yourself how this will impact all of these issues. I will help develop this argument further when ready… however all of the information is readily available if you really care to look at it. This is HUGE and in my opinion easily done. One of the purposes of this website/project is to aid everyone that wants help in this.