Stepping out of a systemic paradigm is not something that one can just decide to do. It is simply not a mental process. You can direct reason and logic at me and tell me all the negative egregious consequences of our current animal-as-commodity world paradigm and I will most likely respond [as a non-vegan] with a shame induced sense of powerlessness and find a way to mentally justify my use of animals. We’ve heard all the excuses of denial a thousand times, I have no need to list them here.
Actual life, the playing court, is experiential. It is the state of your consciousness at any given moment. Who you are is highly subjective! How exciting is that? It means there is no right or wrong, there is only your experience. I know that’s a bold statement and here is what I mean by it. I’m not a vegan because torturing and killing animals is wrong (mental concept), but because my open and innocent heart experiences such excruciating pain and empathy.
It was my heart that opened my eyes, not my mind. It takes great courage to bear such pain. And great love. I am often amazed at how we as vegans (myself included) insist that the non-vegans in our lives rip open their hearts at our demand. That’s just not how hearts open. We are paradigm-shifters learning the ropes and I am not judging here. To the contrary, this exponential growth of the vegan movement is unprecedented and I am heartened by all of our efforts, from bumbling to exquisite.
Each and every one of us was born into this “othering” behavior. Capitalism certainly fans its flames with a strategic urgency. “We are all one” is a spiritual concept until it becomes one’s genuine experience. Once we are grounded in this knowing, we will no longer be invisible to each other’s hearts. I envision a planet where the well being of all earthlings is in everyone’s self interest, where advocacy and support of each other in the face of oppression or danger is as natural a response as the lifting of one’s face to the kiss of the sun.
What I am saying is: let’s not make non-vegans into the “other”.