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Practice What You Believe: Faith Panel on the Relationship between Religion and Veganism, Part 1 of 4



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On October 27, 2019, a discussion titled “Faith Panel on the Relationship between Religion and Veganism” which took place in London, England, explored the interrelations between spiritual beliefs and cruelty-free, plant-based living. It was organized as part of London’s VegFestUK, one of the biggest annual vegan festivals in Great Britain, dedicated to celebrating, expanding and relishing with gusto the life-affirming vegan trend. Each of the individuals in this respectable group of advocates reached the conclusion that being vegan is an essential aspect of following their respective holy scriptures. Moreover, it is the only way to truly live in harmony with the spiritual values of virtue and compassion.

These panel members discuss how they came to realize that our concern for the welfare of animals lies at the very heart of any religious belief and thus should ideally be a top priority for any person of faith. “I’d say that veganism and Judaism more than correlate. I’d say that they go hand-in-hand. And that’s what as an organization, the ‘Jewish Vegetarian Society,’ soon to be renamed with ‘vegan’ in the title, is trying to achieve.” “And I’ve got one quote from the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon Him. It says, ‘A good deed done to an animal is like a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as cruelty to a human being.’ And I think that’s self-explanatory.”

“The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred scripture and the basis of Hinduism. The fundamental principle of the Bhagavad Gita is that there is Divine Energy everywhere. For instance, in Chapter 10, Verse 20, which says, ‘O Arjuna, I’m seated in the heart of all living entities. I am the beginning, middle and end of all of these beings.’” “So, on these bases it’s obvious that Hinduism discourages consumption of animals, animal flesh and meat.”

“I think it’s quite simplistic to jump to a verse in Genesis, in the Old Testament, where it says that God gives humans every seed and seed-bearing plant for food, as a kind of endorsement that we should be vegan, and that that was what God’s big plan for us was.”

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