Veganism and Religion - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-07-2011, 07:14 PM
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I'm just wondering how many people consider veganism something ordained by their religion, something they associate with religion, or something that has a relgious pretext in any way.

Personally, I've always approached veganism from a secular way, by I have a friend who I've been trying to interest in veganism who is ordained as a Buddhist monk, and who has been discussing Buddhist precepts for veganism with me. Also, being into straight edge hardcore, there are a lot of bands that have approached veganism and straight edge from a religious standpoint, be it Buddhist (Eightfold Path), Islamic (Vegan Reich, Racetraitor), Krishna Conciousness (Shelter, though I think that's only vegetarianism, still some great lyrics).
EDIT: Chucking this in also, that the quotation from Henry Beston included in 'Earthlings' has always struck me as having a peculiar intensity that isn't quite secular.

Having seen religion as an instigator for violence (from Northern Ireland, so not picking fights so much as speaking from personal experience), I've always avoided it, but I have to admit that as I progress further into sXe and veganism both, I feel not something lame like a 'spiritual' reason, but a sort of dearth in the purely scientific perspective of veganism and environmentalism. My friend has suggested zazen and indeed commented that I am 'Buddhist in all but name' before, so I am interested i pursuing that in the future, even as a sort of cultural exchange thing with him and my veganism...

But yea, before I just ramble on about myself for any longer, anything in these thoughts strike people as interesting or connecting veganism to a wider 'religious' experience?

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#2 Old 03-07-2011, 07:24 PM
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I follow a Buddhist philosophy. Although Buddhism itself did not lead me to veganism, it fits nicely with the rest of the Buddhist beliefs.

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#3 Old 03-07-2011, 08:21 PM
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I'm not religious at all now, though I was raised Catholic, so for me, there is no connection between religion and veganism.
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#4 Old 03-08-2011, 12:14 AM
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I'm not very religious, not even baptised, although I was brought up with religious education in school. (My parents wanted me to know what it's about so I could decide for myself later on if I wanted to be part of it or not.) My contact with Christianity here hasn't brought me any closer to veg*nism.

I've been attracted to an earth-based spirituality though and dabbled in paganism for a good while. As it is, I don't really adhere to any religious/spiritual path, but I do view the world as one big ball of sacred stuff or something. It's hard to explain. But I try to do as little damage as possible and leave no traces behind, as well as respect all living (and un-living) things.

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#5 Old 03-08-2011, 12:32 AM
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I was bought up in the Anglo-Aussie secular culture so religion is not even on my radar, therefore my veganism has no religious or spiritual links of a mystical nature at all.

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#6 Old 03-08-2011, 02:24 AM
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I consider myself agnostic with Buddhist leanings. I think that I was drawn to Buddhism because it fit with my intristic values rather than my values being shaped by religion.
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#7 Old 03-08-2011, 03:53 AM
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Although I'm an atheist, I do have respect for a great number of Taoist and Buddhist teachings (to me they're more philosophies than religions especially Taoism). I've done a lot of reading in those areas for a number of years. The reason I first tried to go vegetarian about 10 years ago was based on that reading. This first attempt was short lived, but I when I went back to eating meat it was in drastically reduced amounts. It took a few more years until I went vegetarian (after watching meet your meat) and eventually Vegan. So, it was my initial investigation of Taoism and Buddhism that planted the seed, but the shock of witnessing the true horror of producing animals for food that cemented my Veganism.

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#8 Old 03-08-2011, 04:52 AM
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I'm not religious at all. But. I do associate Veg*nism with good "karma". How can you make a positive change when you're killing just for the sake of it? When I wanted to become a positive person I thought that I HAD to become vegan, it wasn't an option. I must say it works I've never been so positive in my life even though nothing is perfect.

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#9 Old 03-08-2011, 08:07 AM
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I associate my veganism with my lack of religious belief, because finding out about either one usually elicits a similar reaction from people.
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#10 Old 03-08-2011, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by New England Vegan View Post

Although I'm an atheist, I do have respect for a great number of Taoist and Buddhist teachings (to me they're more philosophies than religions especially Taoism). I've done a lot of reading in those areas for a number of years. The reason I first tried to go vegetarian about 10 years ago was based on that reading. This first attempt was short lived, but I when I went back to eating meat it was in drastically reduced amounts. It took a few more years until I went vegetarian (after watching meet your meat) and eventually Vegan. So, it was my initial investigation of Taoism and Buddhism that planted the seed, but the shock of witnessing the true horror of producing animals for food that cemented my Veganism.

I too became vegan in phases. About 1980, I was reading a religious text called Oahspe, which actually "commanded" me to be vegetarian. '....cease being a carnivorous man of contention and become an herbivorous man of peace.' It took 2-years for me to figure out this was actually good advice, so I gave up all meat and failed utterly; within a month, I was back on hamburgers and sausages. I had to brood for 5-years, before I finally came up with my own plan to phase out meat; then, after another 5-years of eating beef, but no pork, I tried again to give it all up, and this time was successful. As for being vegan, Oahspe makes no demands, but teaches that animal husbandry is neither necessary nor desirable and leaves it up to the individual to choose his own way. After 5-years of vegetarianism, I made the transition to being vegan. I think I had always understood, rightly or wrongly, the connection between animal slaughter and human violence and warfare; Oahspe reinforced this idea and provided a nudge for me in the right direction.

What's ironic is, I was raised in a fairly pious religious (Christian) family, by parents who worshipped God, because they wanted to do the right things, and yet, carnivorousness was so deeply instilled in me, it took an alternate theology and 15-years to wean myself away from it.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#11 Old 03-08-2011, 09:17 AM
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I think most people, like myself, if they are religious come to veganism through ethical. philosophical arguments and only afterwards seek to connect it to their faith.

"It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh"- Clement of Alexandria
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#12 Old 03-08-2011, 10:36 AM
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I think most people, like myself, if they are religious come to veganism through ethical. philosophical arguments and only afterwards seek to connect it to their faith.

Maybe. In my case, as regards the "commandment" to be vegetarian, I seriously question whether I ever would have done it, without this push. Likewise, for me, veganism came about as a direct result of the ideas presented in the text of Oahspe. This is a modern work, composed through "spirit writing" about the year 1880, coincident with the invention of the typewriter. I mention this as a response to the OP, because there is at least one religion or theology, albeit a little known one, at work today, where vegetarianism at least, and veganism by suggestion, is a requirement. Put another way: in order to have a favorable relationship with the "Great Spirit" (Supreme Being,) one MUST be herbivorous. It's quite clear on this point, at least as I interpret it.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#13 Old 03-08-2011, 10:42 AM
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It does nothing for me.

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#14 Old 03-08-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rotoshave View Post

I think most people, like myself, if they are religious come to veganism through ethical. philosophical arguments and only afterwards seek to connect it to their faith.

This is interesting, definitely. I know that my friend is interested in veganism because of his beliefs, but for myself, I guess it's the opposite way around (and yet a year ago I would have claimed any religious/spiritual leaning was a psychological insecurity!). I have previously dabbled in Paganism, but that was when I was omni, and truly I associate Paganism more with that, though I suppose there are more New Age, spiritual takes on it. I don't know.

And yea, sorry to Buddhists/Taoists for simplifying and lumping in with 'religion,' I know that can be a sore point, but it was, I hope everyone understands, for ease's sake.

In this grand illusion of entitlement to life / Our 'need' is a mask for our greed and it's not right /
We are executioners who parade ourselves as kings / As selfish and deluded as the blood-bathed Bathory. ~Kingdom, 'Bathory' xVx
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#15 Old 03-08-2011, 02:06 PM
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I approach veganism from the spiritual belief that a great white angel will come to redeem humanity, and until then, going vegan is the best way to prepare for his upcoming manifestation.


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#16 Old 03-08-2011, 02:26 PM
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I approach veganism from the spiritual belief that a great white angel will come to redeem humanity, and until then, going vegan is the best way to prepare for his upcoming manifestation.

The question is, does veganism welcome your overtures? I mean, a white angel? Isn't this sort of racist?

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#17 Old 03-08-2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post

This is interesting, definitely. I know that my friend is interested in veganism because of his beliefs, but for myself, I guess it's the opposite way around (and yet a year ago I would have claimed any religious/spiritual leaning was a psychological insecurity!). I have previously dabbled in Paganism, but that was when I was omni, and truly I associate Paganism more with that, though I suppose there are more New Age, spiritual takes on it. I don't know.

And yea, sorry to Buddhists/Taoists for simplifying and lumping in with 'religion,' I know that can be a sore point, but it was, I hope everyone understands, for ease's sake.

With Buddhism, Hinduism and perhpas Taoism my statement may not hold true, since there are significant movements in those traditions that are already vegan and veganism is supported by much of their traditional writings. But for Christianity, Judaism and Islam what I said I think holds true.

"It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh"- Clement of Alexandria
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#18 Old 08-24-2016, 12:46 AM
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Religion comes from Latin, "religare", which means "reconnect" [with God]. In that sense Veganism is not a religion, but follows several patterns of it. Radical abstinence of consuming certain products, transmitting ideals trying to convert "non-believers" to it, and a non materialist/capitalist approach to a certain cause and life style.

According to the etymological dictionary Religion comes from Latin religionem (nominative religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods; conscientiousness, sense of right, moral obligation; fear of the gods; divine service, religious observance; a religion, a faith, a mode of worship, cult; sanctity, holiness". If you remove the deity part, you find many similar patterns.
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#19 Old 08-24-2016, 08:27 PM
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I respect all opinions. I am going to tell you what happened to me when I was 2 yrs 4 months old and then will tie it in with my own Vegan beliefs now. (This is not to witness! Just my life experience!)

When I was 2 yr 4 months old, I still understood nothing anyone said to me - including come here, eat. I have auditory dyslexic symptoms really badly. I heard scrambled sounds and not necessarily the ones you said to me. TV and radio was off. This was way back in 1967. Messianic Jews existed, but was banned from being Jewish by both the Christians and the traditional Jews. They also lived several states away from me. I did not know they existed. However, I am hearing a deep voice say that my name is a tetragrammaton Yud Hey Vav Hey. Some people call me Gospodyn, others call me Jesu, but the Jews call me Yeshua. My dad was at work. No male species was in that house and my mom had a higher pitched voice. I did not understand language, so I knew this was something really special. IMPORTANT: This voice also said to me that he was going to implant some thoughts into my mind. (I left off the last part that happened so as not to witness.)

Fast forward to age 3. I am looking at the beef on my plate and thinking that killing animals is wrong. I did not know at that time why I felt this way, but I was convinced that killing to eat was wrong and that we should be taking care of God's animals. I heard this voice say to me that now is not the time. I knew that it would be very dangerous for me to mention not wanting to eat animals. I was always chronically constipated, so going dairy free would have been good for me. But, in the 60s we really didn't have the resources we have now. We dd not know what we know today. And, in the church, meat and dairy was almost elevated to "god" level in that it was always in huge quantity as church buffets.

Fast forward to me now. I believe that in the Bible where it says that Samson ate vegetables - he was thought to be Vegan - that he was on the right diet. He was very strong and feared by everyone because he was so strong. I believe that both the Holy Bible (Christian) and the Torah/Tanakh (Jewish) support a Vegan life style - through Samson and through the Garden of Eden. I also believe that that voice was Yeshua and that one of the thought he planted into my mind was to care about animals and to go Vegan when the opportunity availed itself to me. However, I did not go Vegan right away because I did not know how to. And, I was still fighting my parents for control over me without all the drama.

Currently, I am 100% Vegan at home. And no drama with parents (adult onset allergies to poultry and meats helped me here). I still have my faith, and do not find that my faith and my Vegan diet are at odds with each other even though other believers tend towards not wanting to accommodate Vegan always. I have found other believers who are Vegans or vegetarians.


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#20 Old 09-06-2016, 12:26 AM
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I respect all opinions.
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#21 Old 09-06-2016, 09:34 AM
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I respect all opinions.
I don't. For example, some religions treat women like second class citizens. I cannot respect people who are ok with that.

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#22 Old 09-06-2016, 09:53 AM
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I don't. For example, some religions treat women like second class citizens. I cannot respect people who are ok with that.

Lv
I feel the same way, and also that many women have struck a devil's bargain in order to get their husbands to go to church. Some religions seem so toxic that there may be no gain for the women involved, just a climate that makes it easier for the men involved to abuse their familial power. In others, The gain might be that church affiliation will pressure that husband not to drink away his paycheck or spend it on another man's wife, and not to beat the wife he already has, in return for puffing him up and telling him he's the head honcho in his own cave and that his wife is supposed to obey him. I understand that some governments use Quoran text to justify not allowing women to vote or hold jobs or drive cars, but also that Mohammad raised the status of women in Arab cultures from what it had been before Islam existed. The harder I look at religion the harder it is for me to tease out simple truths about it.
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