Animal Liberation is Human Liberation

Welcome to Peace to All Beings. Until we liberate animals from human exploitation and violence, we cannot expect to have true freedom and peace for ourselves. We human beings can awaken to our higher consciousness and embrace a new paradigm of living in harmony, rather than in fear and domination. We can become "Homo Ahimsa," my term for a new nonviolent and kind human, but we must make that choice together. There is hope for our species--hope that we will not continue this war against animals and the earth. Together let us co-create a new culture and heal the wounds humanity has caused to the earth, to each other, and to the animals who share this world with us.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

A WORLD THAT WORKS FOR ALL: Awakening the Sleeping Giant of Religion

 

AWAKENING THE SLEEPING GIANT OF RELIGION

The Awesome VeganSpirituality Forum and Retreat at Unity Village, Missouri

Facilitated by Lisa Levinson, Judy Carman and Reverend Carol Saunders

This is a brief summary of the wonders and joys of the forum and retreat that took place at Unity Village, Missouri, October 1 through 3, 2021. Stay tuned for the next one!


THURSDAY, September 30: We started off with deliciousness on Thursday evening, September 30, for all those who arrived early. Gigi the Vegan brought Kale Yeah Wraps from her Wellness Cafe for us to eat while she performed a food demo and told us about her vegan journey from cancer to healing. 



The hall leading into the Fillmore Chapel, where we had most of our activities, was adorned with the beautiful traveling Animals and World Religions Exhibit, curated by Dr. Lisa Kemmerer. The panels, in various forms, have travelled to the Parliament of World Religions and many other events, enlightening people about the deep connection between world religions’ highest values and doing no harm to animals. 








After attendees introduced and shared about themselves, Dr. Will Tuttle blessed us with a heart opening piano concert, and Madeleine Tuttle accompanied him with her beautiful flute. 

FRIDAY, October 1: After Meditations led by Dr. Will Tuttle and his concert piano, as well as Gentle Movement led by Lisa Levinson, Friday morning began with an inspirational welcome from Reverend Carol Saunders. She explained that the early 1900 revolutionary founders of Unity Village, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, were adamant about the need to do no harm to animals, to not eat them or use leather on their bibles.  They established a vegetarian restaurant in Kansas City, a city devoted to its slaughterhouses and bar-b-q's. 

As we had hoped, many ministers, activists and deep thinkers came to this landmark event to explore how we can awaken the sleeping giant of all religions. The animals and Mother Earth need the help of these billions of spiritual seekers to deepen their commitment to being caretakers and partners in love with all life, rather than dominators and exploiters of nature and innocent beings.

Following Reverend Carol, we were astonished to hear from the Executive Director of Unity Worldwide Ministries, Shad Groverland. We expected to hear the usual "welcome and enjoy your stay." Instead we heard Reverend Shad speak out about the need for Unity churches to raise the bar to the heights to which the Fillmores aspired and taught, reinstate the wisdom of vegan living and recognize that this is not about spiritual comfort alone, but about spiritual growth and the discipline that it requires. He shared his perspective that Unity ministries have lowered the bar of spiritual consciousness and lost the beauty of the Fillmores' original and transformative teachings.  This applies to every religion where its members have forgotten that the universal Golden Rule applies to all living beings, not just the human ones.

This awakening and enlivening talk by Reverend Shad was quickly followed by more guidance on how we are going to do this when Dr. Will Tuttle took the stage. He is the author of the award winning book The World Peace Diet, among many others. He has presented over 4,000 talks around the world, accompanied by his Swiss visionary artist wife, Madeleine. 


 Unity Village's own chef created a scrumptious series of vegan lunches and dinners that had everyone raving about the beauty and taste, as well as the enthusiasm with which this pre-vegan chef created them.   

  After lunch, we were given some wonderful tools that can help us introduce vegan values and love and appreciation for animals into religious rituals. Reverend Sarah Bowen and Reverend Erika Allison of the Compassion Consortium introduced some very inspiring interspecies spiritual practices and rituals.  

We continued to receive more tools to help bring vegan values to people of faith when we listened to Keith Akers, author of The Lost Religion of Jesus and Disciples. Keith showed how the five precepts of Buddhism closely match many of Jesus' teachings, and lead us to understand that we are not here to harm other beings but rather to care for and have reverence for all life. 

The ever sparkling Charlotte Cressey then helped us to understand how the labyrinth can be a "tool in transformation." She also encouraged us that the "Vegan Paradigm Shift" is coming soon as long as we are here to make it happen. Her "Embody Love" courses offer even more assistance with this transformation toward which we are all moving.


  After another amazing vegan meal, we were treated to "Veganism, Ahimsa, and the Spiritual Life"
 offering by Victoria Moran, founder of Main Street Vegan and co-founder of the Compassion Consortium. Victoria's podcasts are essential to hear and to share with others, as they always nudge the listener closer to a vegan lifestyle of kindness and ahimsa (Sanskrit for non-harm). Victoria's talk was followed by a viewing of the film "A Prayer for Compassion," by Thomas Jackson. This film is truly one of the most important tools we have for bringing the message of vegan living and love to the
faithful. 

SATURDAY, October 2--Gandhi's Birthday, dawned with more valuable gifts for us all to share. After Meditations and music led by Dr. Will Tuttle and Gentle Movement led by Lisa Levinson, Dr. Milton Mills presented "What the Bible Has to Say About Plant-based Diets and Animal Rights." Dr. Milton Mills, an emergency physician and Seventh Day Adventis, gave us some superb tools to help us reach those who believe that God is fine with us killing and eating animals. Dr. Mills is famous for explaining how our bodies are not designed by God to eat animals, and that eating them leads directly to poor physical and spiritual health.  He makes it crystal clear that God's highest goal for us is to do no harm and to live in a joyful Eden at peace with all God's creation. We are here, he said, to be a shining light, and vegans are working with God to return us to a vegan world. Robbie Schiff, a frequent speaker on vegan spirituality, shared some vegan treats and words of wisdom.


Dr. Mills' great offering was followed by our entire group walking the Unity Village labyrinth, led inspiringly by Charlotte Cressey. We ended the walk by forming a circle around the labyrinth and repeating the worldwide circle of compassion prayer "Compassion encircles the Earth for all beings everywhere." 


After another satisfying and beautiful lunch we heard from Sara Eifler, Program Director of Jewish Veg speaking on "Faith-Based vegan advocacy in your community." She guided us in a workshop so that we could work in small groups to choose a typical religious ritual and veganize it. 

Dr. Sailesh Rao, founder of Climate Healers and author of Carbon Dharma and Carbon Yoga, followed Sara and explained to us "How to Get to a Vegan World by 2026" and why we must. We are running out of time. He explained that the world is controlled by only a few giant and wealthy elite entities that benefit from sick people and addictive behavior. It is a Ponzi scheme, but we do not have to play their game. Going vegan is a powerful step to live without them and create an entirely new system based on love, not fear, and understand that we and the animals are all one family. Dr. Rao's information can help us build a fire under the various religious groups and motivate them to help literally save the world. The time is now, and we need all people of faith to help. 


A gourmet dinner was followed by Dr. Lisa Kemmerer's "Religions of the World and the Vegan Moral Imperative." Dr. Kemmerer is also the curator of  the "Animals and World Religions" traveling exhibit  which graced the hallway outside the Fillmore Chapel that I referred to at the beginning of the article.  She is also a professor, the author of many books, including Animals and World Religions, and a world expert on anymals (as she refers to them as a way to raise our perception and respect for them) and world religions. 

Thomas Jackson capped off a day of awe and wonder with a sneak peak at his inspiring new film "Compassion in Action--Bringing the Elixir Home." As a fiery vegangelist, he gifted us with his unique style of veganizing the world and creating heaven on earth.  

SUNDAY, October 3. The sun rose on a beautiful day in spite of predictions of rain. So with gratitude we were able to have our outdoor Interfaith Contemplative service and our Animal Blessing ceremony at the Lowell Terrace Garden, which is an outdoor church tucked in among the trees and flowers of Unity Village. With Madeleine Tuttle's beautiful flute music nurturing us, we blessed the animals with various rituals that celebrate vegan ideals of harmony, compassion, gratitude, and prayer. To receive a copy of the Blessing Ceremony, please email interfaith@idausa.orgAll the rituals can be used in any religious setting or ethical tradition. 


  

This forum and retreat was organized by Judy Carman and Lisa Levinson of Vegan Spirituality and the Interfaith Vegan Coalition and Reverend Carol Saunders of The Spiritual Forum. VS and IVC are groups designed to help you bring vegan values to your religious communities, friends, spiritual leaders and family. There are Faith Based Advocacy Kits at the Interfaith Vegan Coalition website as well as helpful brochures that you can download or order. Vegan Spirituality hosts retreats, animal blessings, vegan ceremonies and online interviews of vegan spiritual leaders.  VS is an online and in-person community that explores veganism as a spiritual practice while IVC helps bring vegan values to your religious communities, friends, spiritual leaders and family. Reverend Carol Saunders' popular and brilliant podcasts and other essential offerings can be found at her The Spiritual Forum

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

WHAT WOULD HOMO AHIMSA DO?

 The landmark new book titled, Animal Agriculture is Immoral, includes chapters by me, Pramoda Chitrabhanu, Lewis Regenstein, Brandon Burr, Dan Brook, Rabbi David Rosen, Karen Davis, Jason Glasson, Jeffrey Spitz Cohan, Richard Schwartz, Sailesh Rao, Rabbi Dr. Schmuly Yanklowitz, Steve Kaufman, Susan Hargreaves, Victoria Moran, Will Tuttle, Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Hope Bohanec, Duke McLeod, and S.O. Fasrus. It is a Climate Healers publication. My chapter is entitled:  

What Would Homo Ahimsa* Do?

 Michael was mowing on a hillside in a forest one day. At the bottom of the hill among the trees was a rocky creek. Thinking he could ride the mower successfully down to the level area above the creek, he began descending the hill.  But the path was muddy, the large mower lost traction, and Michael suddenly found himself pinned upon the jagged rocks next to the creek with a five- hundred pound machine on top of him.  For a couple of hours, barely able to breathe and sensing that one leg was badly injured, he wondered if he was going to die. When he was finally found, the first thing he wanted was to be touched by another human being. “Please, just hold my hand,” he said.  It was that touch that sent physical waves of hope and healing through his body.  As men gathered to lift the machine and pull him to safety, he knew he would survive, and his gratitude for their compassion and kindness was overwhelming.



Such is humanity at its finest—reaching out, helping, touching, rescuing, bringing hope for an end to extreme suffering and fear of death.  At the other end of the human behavior spectrum, we find humanity at its worst in the form of animal agriculture and the extreme abuse of animals in many industries.  Instead of rescuing these innocent and defenseless cousins of ours who have never harmed us, instead of touching them with love and respecting their rights to live and be free, they are brutally killed by the billions at the hands of human beings.  Those hands that could bring comfort and compassion, as they did for Michael, instead bring terror, torture, suffering and death without mercy.

What is going on here?  How can the same species, indeed some of the same individuals, behave in such opposite ways?  Clearly, there is a desire in most human beings to be kind and loving.  This yearning is, perhaps, best expressed in the Golden Rule--“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is a nearly universally accepted moral value by almost all religions and ethical traditions. Although many of these traditions stop short and apply it only to certain (but not all) human beings, there is no logical, scientific or spiritual justification for limiting it so arbitrarily. But doing so has, for centuries, allowed animal agriculture, slavery, wars, genocide, religious persecution, etc. to proliferate and benefit those in power.   

Nevertheless, the Golden Rule still shines like a star, beckoning us toward an ideal to which most, if not all of us, aspire. Certainly, we could not have this as an ideal if we did not believe we could achieve it. Somewhere, deep in our hearts, we long for a chance to express our true and ideal nature all the time toward all sacred life. I believe that time is here now if we will grab the opportunity.

Deep in our souls, we know who we really are and that we are not here on this earth to cause despair, destruction, desecration and death to nature, people and to billions of our fellow earthlings.  Animal agriculture, and all that it destroys, shows how far we have fallen from our ideal.  Our golden moral compass points us toward a higher consciousness that understands the sacredness and interconnectedness of all life, and we can see, now better than ever before, that, by the law of cause and effect, we ourselves are reaping the same death and suffering that we have sown for others for these many thousands of years. 

Animal agriculture is a recent invention of human beings—approximately 10,000 years old.  Prior to that, there is anthropological evidence that many human beings lived in small egalitarian, mostly nomadic, bands that did not wage war and did not have weapons of war.  Although there were respected elders among the groups, they did not have the authority to force their friends and families into armed conflict.  We could say that animal agriculture and war are twins, born together out of the dark shadows of the human psyche. 

Ten thousand years later, we live in a world filled with billions of Homo Sapiens, all fully capable of love and compassion.  Yet, in spite of our potential for kindness, the world that we have created is one that grows more violent, oppressive, sick and polluted with each passing day. Only Homo Sapiens, and no other living being on earth, is responsible for the devastation caused to our beautiful Earth home and to all living beings who are trying to share this home with us.

Our time is up.  We cannot live as Homo Sapiens any longer.  That species cannot solve the problems it has created.  It is a creature too willing to leave morals and ethics behind, too eager for self-gratification to unfurl its full capacity for love, and too frightened and confused to heal the damage it has done.  We have to evolve now.  All because of the actions of Homo Sapiens and only Homo Sapiens, the sixth extinction of animal and plant species accelerates, deserts keep forming where once there were life-giving forests, waters continue to fill with lethal trash and poisons, pandemics proliferate, polluted air toxifies the bodies of all who live here, millions of children and families starve due to animal agriculture and millions of innocent farmed and aquatic animals suffer and die every single day from human violence. We have finally run out of time. 

This is a spiritual, moral, ethical, and life or death crisis for us and all species. Governments and giant corporations have no interest in repairing the damage that has brought them so much power, control and wealth.  It is absolutely up to us to literally elevate our consciousness and realize who we really are--Homo Ahimsa. Only with the ethics of nonviolence and unconditional love for all beings can we rise up and heal the wounds we have caused to ourselves, the Earth and all our fellow earthlings.

It is time for all people to take off the masks that we have worn to show our conformity and our willingness to go along with the status quo, for fear of rejection and not fitting in.  It is time to get rid of our masks and see how radiantly beautiful we really are. With our masks off, we take a deep breath and we stare this anthropocentric patriarchy in the face and see, really see, this is not what we want. This does not reflect our true nature, and it is killing us and everyone else. What a liberation it is to know that we do not need to live this way. In fact we ourselves can bring in an entirely new way of living and create peace and freedom for all earthlings. Our hearts and our spirits already know the way. This is something remarkable to celebrate!

Animal agriculture, hierarchical domination and war grew up together and fed upon each other. Because all of these dark forces are completely out of alignment with our true nature of lovingkindness and ahimsa, the suffering has been beyond measure. All the domination of women, animals, nature and people considered “other,” has brought us now to the edge of a cliff, but we still have time to choose.  We can give up in the face of what seem to be overwhelming odds.  Or we can wait for Big Ag, Big Pharma and the military industrial complex to fix it.  Or we can seize this amazing opportunity, this big push, this calling to our souls from all the innocent lives hanging in the balance—and reveal ourselves as the radiant, loving beings we truly are. 

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “The present chaos is not the end of the world, but the labor pains of a new earth and a new humanity coming into form.”  Our new form is Homo Ahimsa—the one who, not only knows the Golden Rule, but lives by it every day. Deep within, we are not killers. We do not salivate at the sight of a cow or a chicken. In quiet moments, with our minds still and calm, we can feel our sweet connection to the dog at our side and the birds singing in the trees. Just as Michael needed his hand held so desperately; in their suffering, the animals who are being tortured and killed by people, long for a simple touch, a touch of hope and healing, a touch that says, you are safe now.  We are here, not to harm you, but to free you. 

When we think about it, eating plant-based food and living by vegan values is the Golden Rule in action.  What would Homo Ahimsa do? At the top of the list would be to live vegan since that is in perfect alignment with ahimsa nonviolence and the Golden Rule. Veganism can be defined as a way of life that excludes using, confining or killing animals for any purpose.  It is an ethical principle that leads to living nonviolently and with compassion toward all people, animals, nature and the Earth. It is a commitment to touch gently, rescue, liberate, love and cherish all sacred life.  Ahimsa literally means non-harm and is a commitment to nonviolence, truth, lovingkindness, and justice. The shining beacon of the Golden Rule that has been part of cultures for these many centuries finds its pure and whole expression with the arising of vegan Homo Ahimsa consciousness in us all.  

Isaac Bashevis Singer famously said, “As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures, there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people.  Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”  That profound statement carries within it a major key to our rising consciousness and the world of peace we want to create. By simply ending the shedding of “blood of innocent creatures,” we have a chance to create a world of peace, liberty and harmony.  And what is really exciting about this is that we don’t have to wait for Big Ag to decide to be nice. We have the power in our own gentle hands. We simply stop buying their products, and their doors will have to close, bringing to a final end the hells on earth that caused so much pain and misery. Imagine that! Let us rejoice that we do indeed have that power. 

Gandhi once prayed, while witnessing the sacrificial slaughter of thousands of lambs at the Temple of Kali, “for some great spirit, man or woman, fired with divine pity, who will deliver us from this heinous sin, save the lives of the innocent creatures, and purify the temple.”  Let us all be an answer to Gandhi’s prayer. Let us purify the temple of Mother Earth. Let us hold the hands and paws and hooves and fins of those who need to know that we have finally awakened to who we really are. Now we understand that we have the power to stop their suffering and eliminate this vile, diabolical, immoral industry. Let us join together, hand in hand, around the world and rise up to our higher consciousness of lovingkindness, ask forgiveness, and get busy healing the damage Homo Sapiens has done.    

Judy McCoy Carman, MA, is the author of Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul and Homo Ahimsa: Who We Really Are and How We’re Going to Save the World; recipient of the 2014 Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist Award and founder of the Animal Peace Prayer Flag Project.  She is co-founder of Animal Outreach of Kansas, Worldwide Prayer Circle for Animals, Interfaith Vegan Coalition and assists with Vegan Spirituality events. Her website is peacetoallbeings.com. 

*Homo Ahimsa first appeared in the book Peace to All Beings, and is the subject of a new book, Homo Ahimsa: Who We Really Are and How We’re Going to Save the World. See a detailed description of our transformation from the predator species, Homo Sapiens into the caretaker species, Homo Ahimsa at Sailesh Rao’s climatehealers.org.   

You can order this book at  https://upc-online.org/merchandise/book.html#aai      

 


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Vegan Divide: Coming Back Together

 

The Vegan Divide: Coming Back Together

for the Animals and a Vegan World

 

We’ve all noticed it—the growing divide in our beloved vegan community that has taken its toll since March of 2020. This has been a source of anguish for many of us, and so I wanted to share my thoughts on how we can and must build a bridge. The animals need us all; nature needs us all; and, yes, people too, as we know that everything is connected. These are extremely critical times, moreso than any of us have every witnessed in our lives, including the elders among us.  Of course, I’m talking about the layers of covid and politics that have been added on to the already excruciatingly dire conditions for life on earth that called us to action long before covid.

First, let’s look at what most, if not all, of us agree is true. 

  1. ·        We are activists and we want to do what we can to create a nonviolent, vegan world. 
  2. ·        This requires nonviolent noncooperation and noncompliance. We do not comply with any entity that demands that we eat or harm animals. As a result of our noncompliance, among other things, we increase our chances of having strong immune systems (if we eat a healthy plant-based diet).  And we understand that viruses, in general, actually inhabit us and help us stay healthy.
  3. ·        We became activists, because we questioned authorities—the people and companies with a lot of power.  We could see that Big Pharma, Big Ag, the Banking system, the War machine, Big Tech and Big Government had brought the earth to the brink and caused the suffering and deaths of trillions of animals on land and in the waters.  And we want to do what we can to end their domination and terror by teaching the truth and creating a different way to live in partnership and with compassion for all.
  4. ·        As authority questioners, we vegans reveal the lies, the “humane and green washing,” the uselessness of animal experimentation for human health, the pollution and destruction that feeds enormous profits, and, most of all, the immoral violence they inflict on our animal cousins, nature and people.
  5. ·        We need each others’ support in all our activities as we work to unveil the lies and violent domination of all life.
  6. ·        We work together in direct action, rescues, tablings, video screenings and a thousand other ways to help pre-vegans see how their actions are not aligned with their own desire to be kind and, then, to help them learn how to live vegan and join the movement to create a world of peace for all.
  7. ·        We speak the truth about the horrors that Homo Sapiens has inflicted on our beautiful earth home and all who live here. It is to the advantage of these powerful companies, governments and people to keep the violence hidden. We reveal their secrets.
  8. ·        We believe in putting ourselves at risk in order to comfort and liberate our animal cousins.  We let them know that we are here for them, and we will not stop until they are free.
  9. ·        We believe in the absolute necessity to protect our right to assemble for protests and education and our right to free speech. In the U.S. and other countries, these and many other freedoms are guaranteed by law but are being threatened by those who need to silence us. In order to free the animals, we must be free ourselves.
  10. ·        We believe that animals have the right to bodily integrity and autonomy, to not have their bodies violated by human beings. Likewise, we have those rights, including the right to “informed consent.”
  11. ·        We are very familiar with double-speak, phrases that are used to cover up the truth, such as “humane slaughter.”  We find many of our terms co-0pted in advertisements, news articles, social media, books and magazines as veganism has become more popular. 
  12. ·        In addition to co-opting our language, techniques are used to divide and conquer, causing divisions among us to distract us from our mission. Co-opting members and groups within ours and other social justice movements is also practiced. Once an animal rights group has been infiltrated and assimilated into a larger group with a violent agenda, their identity is lost, along with their effectiveness and the clarity of their message.
  13. ·        The elites in power pass many laws, such as the ag-gag laws, to attempt to prevent us from shining a light on their dark deeds.
  14. ·        We practice nonviolence and respect for all life, and on a spiritual level, we understand that we are all interconnected and that our Golden Rule ideal calls on us to love one another.  Nevertheless, when some entity causes violence and harm to another, we feel compelled to defend those being harmed.
  15. ·        We understand that being an activist can be frightening sometimes, but we do it anyway for the sake of those who cannot defend themselves.    


You can all, I’m sure, think of many more items upon which we agree.

But we find ourselves at this critical time disagreeing with each other over the covid issue and the current politics. And that calls us all to look deeply at what is happening.  As in #12, one of the goals that the elites have is to divide us and silence us. Regardless of where we stand on covid and politics, we cannot deny that our animal liberation movement is suffering life threatening blows. We cannot let this happen. We have come so far.   

Evelyn Beatrice Hall in 1906 said, (although this is sometimes attributed to Voltaire) “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Vegans are questioners. We don’t accept what the elite politicians and billionaires want us to believe, because we know their intentions are not for the good of humanity or of animals or of nature. That being said, with all the confusing messaging around covid, our questions range widely, and many of us have arrived at very different interpretations of what is going on. 

On one end of our vegan continuum, many people are isolating at home and have been since spring. On the other end, there are those who believe the entire narrative promoted by the mainstream media is false. Many fall in between those two ends of the continuum, with varying understandings of this strange time in our history. The mainstream media seems to have devolved into news that is filled with opinions rather than investigative, unbiased reporting.  Social media giants are deciding for us what information we can see by censoring videos and content we try to share. A look at the CDC website and the reports of thousands of doctors reveals many contradictions of what mainstream media is saying. For example, the CDC itself reports that deaths in 2020 are about the same as they have been the last several years. And we must remember that the news reports that people see on television are owned and run by fantastically powerful corporations and heavily influenced by their advertisers, Big Pharma being foremost among them. 

We have never trusted these giants before. We have questioned them on all fronts in order to bring to light the destruction they have wrought upon the world. We must continue to question them now. Several very troubling situations have developed for our vegan movement as a result of this covidian dilemma. And not just for us but for all social justice groups. One critical element is that nearly all our VegFests have been cancelled, not just for the first month as we were told, but for the entire year. The number of VegFests was climbing every year and being attended by millions.  All other gatherings, such as the annual Animal Rights conference, and numerous other major events that we have all depended on for decades, were cancelled.

In addition to eliminating our in-person gatherings where we are able to reach many pre-vegans with the truth, those in power have also been able to divide us as a movement.  We can’t let that happen. The animals are depending on us to free them. We have lost many of our own freedoms which has seriously impacted our ability to free them, as well as to stop the descent into mass extinction and the continued brutality toward the world at large.

We have some of the most courageous people on earth in our midst—people who get undercover footage of animal cruelty, those who rescue animals in dangerous conditions, those who have been killed protesting for the innocents, and all of you. You have spoken truth to power in the face of rejection by your friends and family. You have committed to living vegan in a world that has not yet seen the truth that you see. 

This is both a physical and a spiritual battle to bring the world out of darkness into the light, to leave behind Homo Sapiens and become Homo Ahimsa (Ahimsa, meaning non-harm in Sanskrit) in order to create a world of peace for all beings.  We need each other now more than ever. I implore all of us, regardless of where we stand on the covid issue, please listen to each other. The unfriending and violent speech toward one another has to stop.  We do not have the privilege or the time to be ridiculing each other when so much is at stake. We have to show the people in power that they cannot divide us or shake us from our mission.

There is much more going on now than a pandemic. For thousands of years, animals have been in lockdown and have had no autonomy or freedom to give informed consent (think mandatory vaccines against people). Please, let us listen to each other. We can agree to disagree and still maintain our unity. We need to respect those who want to protect their loved ones from illness. We need to respect their compassion for other human beings. We also need to respect those who are diligently studying the possibility that this is much bigger than it appears. If we are correct, and there are millions of us, we will all have to stand together to make sure we do not lose our freedoms. We cannot allow the power elite to divide us, not now, not ever. We can respect each others’ differences and still work together. This is no time for discord, insulting each other, or refusing to have each others’ backs. The world as we have known it is changing rapidly. None of us are perfect, but we know that we must create a vegan, nonviolent world, and we have to do it soon. This is our chance to subvert the dominant paradigm, end the manipulation and violence of the power elite and bring peace and love to the world finally.

The liberation of our animal cousins depends on us to take back our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly, our rights to informed consent and our ability to refuse the nonvegan vaccination. The animals are waiting and watching.  We can’t let them down.

If you feel strongly that you must isolate, wear masks and take the vaccine, that is absolutely your right. And I know most of you are bravely doing all you can to create new ways online to speak for the animals. But please consider that those of us who are looking at what we believe is the larger agenda have exactly the same goal as you do—to create a vegan world of peace for all beings. If we are wrong, and everything goes back quickly to the way it was before last March, that would be fantastic. We can get back to our in-person animal liberation work right away, support each other as we have in the past and get on with freeing the animals. But, if we are correct that our freedoms are being taken away, we will need to support each other on that front as well.

I finished my new book, Homo Ahimsa: Who we Really are and how we’re going to save the world, before covid. In that book, I felt such an urgency to get our message out. In spite of all the progress we had made in educating people about the plight of animals and making “vegan” a household word, the destruction of nature and animals was escalating to an extreme degree. I wanted to show how, by living by the vegan values of ahimsa, human beings could completely change the trajectory from destruction to restoration and healing.  I believe we can reveal ourselves as Homo Ahimsa—a being who can create an entirely new way of living on the planet in compassionate harmony with all liberated life.

So I finished the book, and then, almost overnight, our challenges to revealing our true Homo Ahimsa nature, multiplied in so many strange and unexpected ways. As if slaughterhouses, pollution, rainforest burning, etc. were not enough—suddenly we also had to cope with and grasp the lockdowns and all that meant for our activism and the liberation of the animals and of our own inner Homo Ahimsa. The narrative we are hearing daily is very fear-producing, but fear interferes with sound judgement. Regardless of where we stand on the spectrum of understanding what is happening now, we have to hold on to our precious vision, refuse to be fearful and do everything we can to support freedom and nonviolence for all beings, including us.

We must come back together in whatever way we can. In spite of our differences, we are each speaking what is true for us now at this confusing time. If we are to succeed in creating a vegan world and living as Homo Ahimsa we have to hang on tight to our common vision and mutual respect. May the light of ahimsa love guide us all.

Judy McCoy Carman, M.A.

12-15-20          

 

 

 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Updates on the New Book, Homo Ahimsa



Love this meme created by Hope Bohanec who 

has a wonderful "Hope for the Animals" podcast


Please click above on the videos and podcasts tab to hear more about who we Really are--Homo Ahimsa, as we work to create a vegan world and learn to live by our highest values of love and compassion. Please share these.  Everything we do to get the vegan truth and the animal liberation vision out to everyone makes a difference Also several comments have been posted on Amazon by readers.  

One reader, Susan, was not able to get it posted there and asked me to post it here instead.  So here goes.

From Susan: "This book delivers an urgent and important message. It calls for us to evolve through loving kindness and higher consciousness in order to heal and save our planet, and live in harmony with ALL fellow beings.  A poignant and significant step in reaching this higher state of being, is addressing the issue of abuse and exploitation of fellow beings, especially our animal kin, as they constitute the overwhelmingly largest number of victims on this planet.  This is undoubtedly necessary if we want to usher in the world of peace and true liberation.  As always, J M Carman writes with effortless eloquence and authenticity that easily engages the reader.  I highly recommend this book."  Thank you, Susan.  

A couple that have been posted on Amazon: 

From a lovely but unnamed purchaser: "If you want to make this world a better place, you must read this book. Whether you are vegan or not, this book will have a positive effect on you. I really liked the book."

From Michael Vegan Lanfield: "I am deeply grateful to have read Homo Ahimsa. Even though we humans are causing immense suffering and violence on Earth, Judy’s book inspires us to foresee a positive future; that as a species, we can actually achieve world peace and live in harmony with all life. The horrors we inflict on other sentient beings, to the environment, and other human beings bring me to tears. Still, it also gives me hope and a reason for living, that humanity can

indeed awaken to our natural compassion. It also propels me to do more to share nonviolent veganism with many more people. Homo Ahimsa is truly The Book About Who We Really Are and How We’re Going to Save the World. Excellent, highly recommended."

Please do post comments if you like Homo Ahimsa, and let me know about your own Homo Ahimsa experiences.  


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Homo Ahimsa: Who We Really Are and How We’re Going to Save the World is here

Homo Ahimsa: Who We Really Are and How We’re Going to Save the World is here



These are troubled times. Everything we do now matters. But our dreams of peace on earth are closer than they have ever been. Right now we are immersed in the sixth extinction, environmental destruction, pandemics, corruption and relentless violence against animals, nature, and people. These ecological, spiritual and social justice crises were not caused by alligators or bears or dogs. It was Homo Sapiens alone.

We are being called to save the world from our old selves. It is time, and yes, there is still time. Governments and mega-corporations cannot stop the madness, because they are not powered by love. But we are, and we can. We have a chance right now to discover and Be who we Really are--Homo Ahimsa, the kind, nonviolent creatures that we were always meant to be. Ahimsa, in Sanskrit, literally means non-harm. More broadly, it means non-killing, lovingkindness, and reverence for all life.

We are, within our true hearts, compassionate and loving partners with each other and all life. While the world’s life support systems are in free-fall, we are heading for a massive paradigm shift in human consciousness that can bring us out of these dark times and into a new way of living that works for all. This time of chaos, uncertainty and fear is our window of opportunity. Together we can cocreate the loving and liberated world of peace and partnership with all life and end domination and violence. We can start today to heal the damage Homo Sapiens has done. May this book, Homo Ahimsa, be your companion guide on this important, exciting and sacred journey.

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“Homo Ahimsa has the potential to have the kind of transformative impact that Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet For a Small Planet had. I very strongly recommend it.” Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D., author of Judaism and Global Survival.

“Homo Ahimsa, is a guide toward the road affirming life; it extends the holy messages of different traditions with the force and enlightenment of a New New Testament, of a deeply informed New Scripture: it is that important! It is must reading for anyone interested in human enlightenment and survival.” Lee Slonimsky, Poet and Manager of the Animal Rights hedge fund. 

"Carman's luminous book opened my heart again to believe that, given the extreme moment in which we find ourselves, humans' path to becoming Homo Ahimsa could actually happen.” Kate Lawrence, author of The Practical Peacemaker and Denver Vegans Organizer 

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Judy McCoy Carman, M.A., earth, peace, and animal activist, is the author of Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul and co-author of The Missing Peace. In addition to animal rescue work, some current projects include Vegan Spirituality interviews, co-founding the Animal Peace Prayer Flag Project, Animal Outreach of Kansas, Circle of Compassion, Prayer Circle for Animals and Interfaith Vegan Coalition. She is on the board of Shy38 Animal Sanctuary, appears in the film, “A Prayer for Compassion,” and received the Henry Spira Grassroots Animal Activist Award in 2014. Her website is peacetoallbeings.com

Thursday, December 5, 2019

THE WORLD EDUCATION SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABILITY AND TRANSFORMATION INVITED US TO SPEAK AND SHARE INFORMATION


VEGANISM: THE KEY TO TRANSFORMING AND HEALING THE WORLD

Lisa Levinson, Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane Unchained, and I attended The World Education Summit in Las Vegas November 22 and 23rd.  We hosted an In Defense of Animals information table loaded with vegan starter kits, books, prayer flags, Vegan World 2026 information, Go Vegan IDA pins, t-shirts and mugs, along with brochures about Vegan Spirituality, Circle of Compassion, the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, and other important information. We also handed out Sailesh Rao’s “White Paper” on the devastating effects of animal agriculture.


Most spectacularly, we also set up the beautiful traveling museum exhibit, curated by Dr. Lisa Kemmerer, titled “Animals and World Religions.”  This is the same exhibit that we took to the Parliament of World Religions event in Toronto last year. 



The morning was filled with talks by the founder of InterEdx Center for Advanced Research on Energy and Sustainability (ICARES), Dr. Lee Dedicatoria; James Campbell, motivational speaker and founder of Divine Intervention helping at risk youth; Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAVia and former Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for Los Angeles,; Robert Pauley, inventor of a smart recycling bin that pays kids to recycle; Pablito Villegas, an international consultant on sustainability and manager of organic demonstration farms in the Philippines; and several other brilliant and influential environmentalists.     



The morning talks addressed many crucial aspects of sustainability and healing ourselves and the earth. But the devastating impact of animal agriculture that increases human hunger and disease, wildlife extinction, pollution and unbearable suffering for farmed animals was discussed more in the afternoon talks. As important as they are, biking, recycling, shorter showers, eco-tourism, etc. will not, by themselves, reverse the devastation caused by humanity if we do not eliminate animal agriculture and transition to vegan values.  Jane got that essential conversation started in a big way with her talk “The Biggest Climate Threat that Everyone is Afraid to Discuss.”   She showed her film “Countdown to Year Zero,” in which she and Dr. Sailesh Rao make it very clear that we have to end animal agriculture and rewild the earth if there is to be any hope for earth’s creatures, including us.  Jane hosted Q & A following the film and helped a lot of pre-vegans make the connection. One woman in the audience was particularly disturbed by the information and claimed that God wanted us to dominate and eat animals.  Jane handled the situation with grace and respect for the woman who, after all, had the courage to speak her mind. 



Lisa Levinson, co-founder with me of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, then spoke on “Vegan Spirituality and Earth Caretaking.” She was beautifully able to weave together some of the graphs and information from Climate Healers.org, along with the moral, spiritual, and ethical aspects of creating a vegan world in which all beings can thrive.





Saturday evening we were treated to a most amazing Eco-Fashion show featuring a well known Philippino designer, who specializes in using materials that are sustainable, such as coconut husks, bamboo, tree nuts and other sources of fabric and decorations.  Unfortunately, he uses feathers, but Lisa did point out to him that feathers come at a terrible cost to the birds.  So hopefully, a seed was planted there. 

It was a seed planting venture for us all, and we are thrilled and grateful that we had this opportunity to speak to these influential people who have many followers of their own.  Several told us directly that they are now going to go plant-based, and we will be following up with this group so that veganism, the beautiful key to healing the world, shines bright in their future work. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Please click here to check out and register for this upcoming online event.  I am one of the speakers and humbled to be among so many visionary vegan women who have done so much to create a vegan world of peace for all beings. 
Vegan Blessings to you all, Judy