Veganism is Not an Extreme Way of Life

How can you save all beings from suffering,
if you keep eating some of these beings?

– Stonepeace

Every once in a while,
I’m accused of being an extremist
just because I’m a vegan (i.e. a vegetarian who also does not use any animal-derived products),
who speak up for animals.
But if vegans do not speak for them,
how can the animals’ suffering be heard,
when their screams of pain and terror
are muted away from their consumers?

What about those who insist
it is perfectly alright to endlessly devour murdered animals,
and demand stuff derived from exploiting them?
Who are the true extremists?
As the truth is often hard to swallow,
I don’t force vegan views (or food) down any human throat,
while animals’ throats are forcibly cut,
while they and their produce are swallowed and (ab)used with glee.

Male calves get swiftly killed due to being unproductive.
Milk cows are murdered later for beef and leather.
Male chicks get swiftly killed due to being unproductive.
Egg hens are murdered later for meat and feathers.
Silkworms are killed for your scarves.
Bees are killed for your honey (during harvesting).
Sheep are killed for your wools (when they are considered useless).
Foxes are killed for your furs.

‘… who do not wear silk, leather boots, furs…,
or consume milk, cream, or butter can truly transcend the world [i.e. be liberated].’

So taught the Buddha later in the Surangama Sutra,
who did not immediately advocate veganism…
probably because he knew too well
that we are so attached to animal produce,
that to speak of veganism at the beginning,
few would accept it – even as a simple practice of universal compassion.

Though the compassionate Buddha never insisted
that all his followers must be (full) vegetarians or vegans (immediately),
it is a Bodhisattva precept that Buddhas-to-be must be vegetarians,
since all Buddhas are perfect in compassion.
More than mere diet, veganism is surely no extreme way of life,
for it is part of the ultimate Middle Path of Bodhisattvas in training,
to minimise harm to beings and to maximise their protection from fear and danger.
It is a noble guide to how we should relate to sentient beings.

How can you wish all beings to be well and happy,
if you keep eating some of these beings?

– Stonepeace

Related Articles:

Is Vegetarianism Extreme?
Veganism in Mahayana Buddhism
Veganism in Surangama Sutra
Shocking Truths about Animal Exploitation
Vegetarianism is Only Half of Total Compassion to Animals
Top 10 Reasons Not to Drink Milk
Is Your Egg-free Cake Milk-free too?
An Easy Way to Make the World a Better Place

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