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Vegan and Religion

Vegan: The Way of Compassion – Interview with the Reverend Father Chris Golding (vegan), Part 2 of 2

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“We certainly look very strongly to the teachings of Jesus about what He said and particularly what He didn’t say, and particularly the way He imagines His life and His offering of His life. He doesn’t come back in the sense to wage war against the religious or political authorities. He comes back, Christians believe, from the dead and cooks a meal with His friends. He doesn’t come back seeking a violent retribution, but comes back in love and in peace. And so, for me, Jesus is the ultimate symbol of a peace-filled life and someone who was very radical in the way that He challenged the status quo of cultural and religious norms.”

“My hope is that vegetarianism and veganism continue to increase. I think we are seeing the percentage of people taking on that lifestyle and making that choice is increasing. I’m hopeful that people will realize and understand that this is a compassionate choice, not just for animals and creatures themselves, but for the global challenges of climate change and global warming. This is one concrete way that we can make a difference each and every time we eat.”

As a closing note, Father Golding shares his thoughts on Supreme Master Ching Hai’s call for a vegan world. “Thank You. I think they’re profound words. They’re said in a very direct and straightforward way, which I do hope that people understand that there’s a reason culturally, why we call animals and the product that comes from animals, a different name. But if we stop and think about it, for example, bacon points to a living being a pig that had a mother, that was born, that had an opportunity to thrive, that maybe lived in very cramped and harsh conditions, that maybe was removed from their parent at an age, which caused them real grief. And as we know more and more about the emotions and the feelings that animals themselves have, that they are not just checked out, that they have their own sense of an internal life, that they feel pain, that they are much more like us than we might imagine. I think these words call us to realize that and to know that simply by making a personal choice, we can alleviate that harm. We can alleviate that suffering. And in a broader term, we can also have a positive impact for the environment as well. There’s no losing here. There’s only winning. There’s only opportunity for hope and for joy.”
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