Veganism is an essential first step towards social justice

10170748_655284877892808_4585808779452618471_n[1]  Veganism is much more than a dietary choice: it’s a philosophy. In fact, it’s more than a philosophy: it’s an ethical stance, and it’s just the basic first step we need to take before we can see justice among both human and non-human animals.

A fascinating new book that makes this clear is Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice, edited by Will Tuttle.  It’s a collection of essays by activists and writers on social, ethical, and environmental topics.  Connecting the dots among issues that we might think of as unrelated is vital if we want to avoid social movements acting in unhelpful or even damaging ways towards others who should be their allies.

Why is veganism a prerequisite for justice in the world? What does veganism have to do with racism or sexism? There are many answers to these questions, but it’s about what happens when we refuse to see any sentient being as inferior to others, or as a commodity.  In the concluding article of this book, Will Tuttle explains the true significance of veganism:

“Even though we may be vegan in our outer lives  and choices, veganism, we begin to realize, is far more than consumer choices, talking points, and animal rights campaigns. Veganism demands us to question absolutely everything in us that has been modeled by our cultural programming, and to bring our thoughts and deeds into alignment with a radically more inclusive ethic that calls for respect and kindness for all beings, including our apparent opponents. We see that veganism, as boundless inclusiveness, is the essence of all social justice movements, and that it is the antidote to what ails our world.”

Find out more about this enlightening book here:

Circles of Compassion: Essays Connecting Issues of Justice, Will Tuttle, editor. Vegan Publishers, 2014.

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