“There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Veganism is a moral imperative to our non-violent, living kindly, co-existence on planet Earth.
It comes from the belief that hurting people, animals or the planet is unnecessary to achieve an outcome and, as a result, refers to a general philosophy of abstention from violence based on moral, religious or spiritual principle. (source: Wikipedia)
If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence. (John Lennon)
The concept of Ahimsa seems to have first appeared in Vedic Brahmanism which pre-dates these and came to an end in 500BC.
However, non-violence is also a core principle of the other major world religions.
It appears that the actual genesis of ahimsa is unknown, though the earliest references to ahimsa originate from the ancient Vedic texts which later developed into Hinduism.
Ahimsa initially meant ‘non-injury’ but developed to mean ‘non-violence’ to animals and from there to ‘non-violence’ to all beings.
Indeed, in Hinduism, the souls of humans and non-humans are not differentiated. Hunting, butchery, meat eating and the use of animal products provided by any violent means are classed as himsa (injury or harm).
In fact, the moral basis for all three Abrahamic Religions is the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments.
In most Judeo-Christian orders, the sixth commandment states, in various forms, that murder is a sin.
In Islam, based on the same texts as the Judeo-Christian, the Qu’ran states that murder has no just cause.
A debate is ongoing among all traditions as to whether these commandments relate purely to human beings or to all beings.
In Confucianism, the most important virtue is ‘Ren, meaning benevolence to others.
Analogous to this in Taoism is tz’u (or ci),one of the three treasures.
Tz’u relates to compassion, mercy and benevolence.
Chinese Folk Religion draws heavily from Chinese Mythology with hundreds of gods and goddesses.
Central to it is a reverence for the earth, sun, moon, stars as well as animals.