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Who is not a member of your family?

The Lakota say ‘Aho Mitakuye Oyasin’ which means I honor the circle of all my relations. This includes the sky and Earth, the birds, the four legged animals, the fish, the reptiles, and all the two legged animals as well. It is about finding connection with the living and realizing that this complex life system is a family of interrelations without which we could not survive. We need the bird to eat the seed and fly a hundred miles to release it. We need the rain and Earth to nurture the seed, we need the growing tree to breathe and to house the animals each of which serves a vital life function like the bird. We all need each other to live.

Like the Lakota people of North America, Kung Fo Tzu is a famous Chinese philosopher saw all of life as a large family. He knew that women were the source of life, but in his view the family needed structure to successfully serve the needs of the life-giving mother. The son had to obey the father to ensure the family business was not undermined, the money from which the wife would create a home and more children. The man had to feel he was in charge to sustain his fertility, and so a role of patriarch was created to stabilize the male in participation within the familial relations that the woman created. This helped to provide protection for the family and income. Many of the things Kung Fo Tzu has written have been wrongly criticized by those who do not understand the true message and historic context of his philosophical treatises. He was alive from 551bc-479bc. He too saw all of life and all of humanity as a singular family through which one’s destiny, role and purpose was founded.

Buddhism redefines family with the six realms. We are not just family members with life, connected to our fellow humans, the plants, and the animals, but with the departed as well. Our relations extend into the heavens and hells, the hungry ghosts, the gods and the goddesses, the Bodhisattvas and the Buddhas. We are part of a larger sphere of inter-dependency that co-creates life. Indeed this cosmic family does not just exist for one life, but reincarnates in a multitude of possibilities that consistently reflects our Karma perfectly life after life. We are so very interdependent that should even one person fall and goes to hell it is a failure we all suffer together. Likewise, every time a Buddha is initiated and comes to fruition, all share the blessings in this life and every life to come.

What does veganism do to the cosmic family of the heart? Vegans protect the animals with their diet. Vegans know that animals are part of this sacred family that weaves life. Vegans grow with a more purified Karma because they eat what is appropriate for humans and do not steal flesh or reproductive fluids from other species to consume. Vegans can interact more successfully with all six realms of life; the Gods and goddesses, the humans, the animals, the hungry ghosts, those that inflict punishment in hell, and the victims in hell who are brought to this most lowly position due to their own choices and behavior. Vegans serve as a shining light to all. Yet for a vegan to be an effective family member, a spiritual practice needs to be in place and actively exercised in one’s vegan dedicated life to develop skills for correct participation in the family of creation. Vegans must purify in mind and heart, not just body, to be the shining example for the six realms and the entire family of creation. Going vegan is the most important contribution one can make to the evolution of this circle of life. By renouncing all but plants and minerals as a method of diet, medicine, housing, transportation and clothing, our entire family group Karma purifies and we can all then reach higher ground together.

Responses (4)

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    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 02/25/17 16:57:17

    I have reservations about any religion that places men above women in any hierarchical scheme.

    "The man had to feel he was in charge to sustain his fertility, and so a role of patriarch was created to stabilize the male in participation within the familial relations that the woman created. This helped to provide protection for the family and income."


    "There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages."
    -Ruth Hurmence Green

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    Posted by Star the magic vegan at 07/05/17 15:18:15


    You seem to disdain the role and word 'Patriarch.'

    It is in the dictionary, it is a common English term, and other people use it without fear and dread.

    Pseudo Women's lib places negative magical value on certain words as they try to narrate implausible gender destruction. You seem to have joined that religion through your vocabulary censorship desire mechanism. Perhaps this is a new Dark Age you are ushering.

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    Posted by Star the magic vegan at 07/06/17 17:36:51

    I am just amazed that Ahimsa has read the above topic and singled out one misinterpreted concept to attack. I have found, in general, that the vegan people who respond to this Forum have a common idiosyncrasy. It seems normative to call each other sexist and racist and to disregard the substantive material at hand.

    Ahimsa is a very respectable person whose ideology I do not agree with on any level. He, like the others who employ his tactic of rhetoric, seem to feel that calling themselves a feminist is enough reason to disregard other vegans and their discourse. I can assure everyone that it is not part of a healthy feminine design to alienate and disregard others.

    This topic is about all inclusiveness. How could Ahimsa derive an exclusive, alienating, judgemental, discriminatory, divisional argument to battle in such a manner that pits matriarch against patriarch?

    Ahimsa, you are part of the Vegan Family and so you have familial responsibilities. You want to call yourself something of an atheist, feminist, rationalist, scientifically oriented author, then this is your dilemma. It should not come at the expense of the singular uniting concept of being Vegan. Your side swiping of all religions only causes hardship for the vegan community. Your desire to outcast others and attack their arguments as not fitting into your non-vegan atheist feminism is irresponsible. Perhaps you should consider addressing this negative habitual pattern.

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    Posted by Star the magic vegan at 07/06/17 20:45:23

    To clarify: I also support science, math, rational thought, inductive reasoning etc. as does Ahimsa, but not at the expense of my humanity nor do I have to disbelieve in God nor stop my vegan lifestyle for such minor sub-components of my philosophy.

    I consider rational thought a gift and blessing from God that deep meditation helps to cultivate in my life. I enjoy seeing things as they are. For me Vegan Religion is not a source of irrationality nor fantasy but rather it is a source of culture, history, understanding, morality, devotion, free thought and increasing awareness.

    I also consider Vegan Religion as a harbinger of a great age of light and indeed Enlightenment itself. Science, math and technology without the sacred, the reverent and the divine usually is immoral, inhumane, un-ecological and greed driven.

    The majority of vegans are religious and this is why they found the compassion to stop eating animals. A vegan diet is suggested in the Bible, the Buddhist Sutras and other Scriptures. As a Vegan Family we also include vegan atheists as part of our community but not if they continue to attack the beliefs of others. Atheism has no beliefs and is not vegan so one may question, attack and disagree with it freely.

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