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Buddha’s central teaching is The Four Noble Truths and, according to the Buddha, it is the source and foundation for all Buddhist wisdom. The Four Noble Truths are very simple to state, but need much explanation and experience applied in real life situations to find their deep profundity. The Four Noble Truths are as follows:

The Cause of Suffering
The End of Suffering
The Path Leading to the End of Suffering

There is one big question that needs to be asked which is like a big elephant in the room, the one no one notices and everyone tries to ignore. How does this relate to the vegan lifestyle? In truth, only a vegan can teach these truths. Why? Imagine Jeffery Dahmer or Adolf Hitler teaching us how life is only suffering as they stand in front of their victims. The same is true for meat eaters and lactarians who try to teach this topic with bellies full of animal parts and animal secretions. The one writing this will have been a vegan for 17 years and vegetarian for 19 years next March.

Let us start with the first precept, Suffering.

All sentient beings are suffering. Children suffer as they grow, both physical growth pain as well as emotional and psychological pain of maturation. Every human that lives a long life will one day suffer sickness, old age, and death. We suffer by being separated from the ones we love and by being with the ones with whom we would prefer not to share time. We suffer from loss, uncertainty, stress, excess, anger, greed, ignorance, jealousy, fear, and many other sources.

If we look at planet Earth as a singular location of this suffering and we see this entire mass of suffering from the beginning of life on Earth until now, what do you think might be the greatest source of suffering upon Earth? Some may say the Jewish Holocaust, some might say Joe Stalin or Mao Tse Tung were the greatest infliction of suffering, another might say poverty or alcohol.

The truth is that the greatest source of suffering in the world today and which has always been the greatest source of suffering upon our planet is animal slaughter. Around 9 billion animals are killed in the U.S. alone each year, and about 70 billion worldwide each year. This means about 200 million animals are tortured and killed every day for food. These stats do not include hunting nor fishing, only factory farming. If we include hunting and fishing, private farming, animal experimentation, etc. the number could stand as high as 2 or 3 billion each day. THAT IS EACH DAY! All the war dead combined from every war ever fought does not exceed this amount of animal slaughter every day. Every Day!

The Cause of Suffering

Not practicing a vegan lifestyle is the central cause of suffering. It affects our planet’s gross aggregate of suffering as well as the greatest part of each individual’s suffering from Karma, health and consciousness.

The End of Suffering

Going vegan may not end all suffering, but it is the most important first step. If we all went vegan, not only would the atrocity of global animal slaughter and torture end, but we would stop burning down rain forests, stop wars in general, share resources better and have plenty of water to drink. If you want to end suffering, go vegan. Then we can talk about ending other aspects of suffering next.

The Path that Leads to the End of Suffering

We can only walk this path as vegans. How can one meditate correctly with angry animal spirits emanating from one’s intestines? How can one support correct view with animal blood dripping from one's mouth at dinner? The Path that Leads to the End of Suffering is a vegan path. Vegan corrected speech, thought, meditation, action, livelihood, zeal and mindfulness guide us and keep us on the correct vegan path. One must have a vegan mind and vegan consciousness to comprehend the Vegan Path that Leads to the End of Suffering.

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