The appearance of this page is a long-awaited opportunity
to share my thoughts and feelings about Vegan issues with
a community of like-minded and like-spirited people. The
awakening of my conscience began long before I announced
to my family one Sunday morning in 1976, shortly after my
52nd birthday, that henceforth I would eat no animal's flesh.
That statement took only a moment to make, but it represented
the confluence of feelings, perceptions and understandings
that began in my childhood and grew and ripened with my
years and my experience. Almost a quarter of a century later,
in an abundance of blessings, I find that I am still growing
--- though hopefully not yet overripe. There is a link to
a "bio" that purports to tell something about me, but I
realize that it would not satisfy the Little
Prince at all. All it tells is facts and figures.
Welcome to my site.
ici pour une version française de ce site!
The term philosophy is often
used to mean a set of basic values and attitudes toward
life, nature and society. In this sense, Veganism
is a "Philosophy of Life," guided by what I envision
as an essential core of values and principles:
||Vegans see life as a phenomenon
to be treasured, revered and respected. We do
not see animals as either "The Enemy" to be subdued,
or the Materials for Food, Fabric or Fun that
were put on Earth for human use.
||Vegans see themselves
as a part of the natural world, rather than its
owners or its masters.
||Veganism recognizes no
expendable or superfluous species that humans
are free to hurt or destroy. Species of life-forms
need not justify their existence, nor plead for
protection from extinction on the grounds of their
potential usefulness as food or medicine for humans.
We continue to be burdened and misguided by adages
such as "A weed is a plant we have not yet found
a use for."
the intrinsic legitimacy of all life. It rejects
any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient
creatures. It is no more acceptable to torment
or kill creatures with "primitive nervous systems"
than those with "highly developed nervous systems."
The value of life to its possessor is the same,
whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish,
a carp, a cow, a chicken, or a child.
||Veganism understands that
gentleness cannot be a product of violence, harmony
cannot be a product of strife, and peace cannot
be a product of contention and conflict.
||Vegan ideals encompass
much more than advocacy of a diet free of animal
products, or a fervent defense of animal rights.
Veganism excludes no sentient being–animal or
human– from its commitment to compassionate, gentle
benevolence. To show tender regard for the suffering
of animals, yet treat humans with callous contempt,
is a disheartening contradiction of Vegan principles.
||John Muir, talking about
the natural environment, once observed "Every
time I bend down to pick something up, I find
it is connected to something else." There is an
equivalent "ecology" to our behavior. Everything
we do connects to something else; every action
touches on the world around us, either close at
hand and noticeable, or far away and unperceived,
immediate in its effect or distant in time.
||If Veganism has a prime
value, it is simply that life-respecting compassion
overrides individual issues of custom, convenience,
comfort or cuisine.
||If there is a single article
of faith, it is that commitment to Vegan values
will bring us closer to a world in which the fate
and fortune of a planet and all its life forms
do not hang on the judgment or the generosity
of one species.
||If there is one single
concept that both generates and sustains the meaning
and the power of the Vegan world-view, it is found
in the word mindfulness. As Vegans, we strive
to be thoughtful, aware and concerned about the
impact of our choices, our actions and our decisions.
The fruit of this awareness is inner peace, the
quiet strength of ethical confidence, and an uplifting
sense of fulfillment.
Dr. Sapon welcomes your comments.
Please write to Dr. Sapon - click here
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