As a long time Jain vegan who first heard Will Tuttle talk last year at JAINA in LA and then this year at JCNC, followed by the talk at the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Church (that is posted here), I have lots of appreciation for his style and content. The music and pictures help the audience to get in touch with feelings of joy and natural compassion. From there, he talks about very concrete facts on meat and dairy production, weaving in personal stories and insights. One of the unique connections he makes is between the violence that we commit to animals and our consequent suffering of diseases (mental and physical) , a kind of karmic connection. Many years ago, I remember hearing Gurudev Chitrabhanu also talking about the consequences to our natures from ingesting the fear of dying animals. The only potential contortion that could be made– which neither Dr. Tuttle or Gurudev ever made– is that being vegan will make us completely free of disease and automatically kind and compassionate in other ways. Being as compassionate as possible, striving on the path towards spiritual perfection, is never one-dimensional, cannot be limited to going vegan. But to know what happens to animals in meat and dairy production and choose to ignore it or rationalize it certainly cannot lead us in the right direction.
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