The Interfaith Vegan Coalition (IVC) spoke up for the animals of the world at the Unity People’s Convention in Overland Park, Kansas, from June 17 to the 21st. Thanks to vegan minister Reverend Carol Saunders (check our her beautiful "Unity for All" banner behind the table), we were not only able to have an information table at the Convention, but also to show Thomas Jackson’s new film, “A Prayer for Compassion,” on the evening of the 18th. The attendees of this annual convention include Unity ministers and teachers as well as lay people who love Unity and its principles. Interestingly, Unity’s founders, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, considered abstaining from animal flesh a key to one’s spiritual growth as well as to world peace. Yet that part of their teachings has been ignored for many years. IVC was there to invite these spiritual leaders to embrace the absolute necessity of bringing this teaching of truth back into Unity. Imagine how quickly veganism would grow within Unity if the ministers would see and teach the true teachings of the Fillmores which made it clear that our own inner peace, peace for the animals and world peace can only be obtained when we stop our violence toward animals.
Our table was a busy gathering place. We had books and prayer flags from Will Tuttle, Gracia Fay Ellwood, Sailesh Rao, Victoria Moran, and Judy Carman to sell, beautiful shirts designed by Carol for sale, and many free brochures and flyers. Reverend Saunders sold a good number of her new “The Forgotten Teachings of Charles Fillmore: How our relationship with animals connects to Universal Love—Ethical Living—Spiritual Development—World Peace.” We met a surprising number of vegan and vegetarian ministers and teachers. We talked in depth with them about how to be respectful and inclusive of vegan church members and how to address the issues of violence toward animals in their sermons. We had a special brochure for the vegetarians who visited the table titled “Are you vegetarian for spiritual reasons?” to help them take the next steps to veganism as a full and joyful spiritual path which helps us become completely aligned with our love for all beings and our desire to do no harm.
We will be following up with many of the Unity folks who visited us. Many will be added to our lists of Vegan ministers and Vegan Friendly Churches at AllCreatures.org. We could not have done this without the wonderful help of Thomas Jackson who came with his adorable daughter, Melody, all the way from Florida to field questions after the two film showings. (The second showing to a full house was at Unity on the Plaza in Kansas City, MO.) Victoria Moran flew in from New York and helped immeasurably with many aspects of this event and was also on hand for Q and A after the films. Dianne Waltner and Damaris Hubbell drove all the way from Wichita, KS, to table, film, and encourage the visitors to our table to embrace the beautiful Fillmore teachings. They have organized a showing of “A Prayer for Compassion” in Wichita on July 28, 2019.
|Carol, Damaris, and Dianne--sharing the beautiful truth|
IVC is not stopping here, of course. We are on a Divine Mission to “wake the sleeping giant of religion.” An estimated 80% of the world’s people believe in God. And most see the Golden Rule as the ideal for which we all are striving. If we can get enough faith leaders to help their members connect the dots and see that in order to align our highest values with our daily actions, we must live vegan and help to create a vegan world.