Hi there all you happy vegans!… I noticed one of the headings on this issue’s Vegan Magazine (Spring 2010) was the question: “WHY ISN’T THERE MORE OPPOSITION TO NONHUMAN ANIMAL EXPLOITATION ?”
Well, I wholly agree with the reasons set forth in the article, which are largely to do with the conceptual separation of food and animals in childhood, and the concealing and objectifying of non-human animals which perpetuates the exploitation. The article also explains the connections with human oppressions and how the same processes of hiding and objectifying are involved in the exploitation of humans on the basis of their various dissimilarities. And here again, I am in total agreement, for I believe this (i.e. the perceived differences between and within species) is the underlying key issue, and the main reason why, as intrinsically caring, moral beings, humans allow the immoral treatment of others, be they of their own species or otherwise…
The area under discussion is connected to a subject matter I am deeply engrossed in; namely the universal oneness of all creation, the ignorance of which leads to a false sense of separation, creating innumerable divisions, and the illusory “us” and “them” syndrome; the basis for all fear and attack. I truly believe that all atrocities ever committed or permitted by man are due to the widespread forgetting of this principle, which at a deeper level is indeed understood by all.
It is this message, above all, that prompted me to write Planet Cannibal, my recently published fiction book. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the book is a humorously illustrated allegorical story – aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at young adults – depicting the bizarre, sometimes baffling, and often inconsistent practices that take place on a planet whose inhabitants have not yet evolved beyond the habit of eating their fellow-beings. It exposes the corruption and manipulation behind the barbarity, as well as its chilling consequences for the inhabitants and their planet.
Despite the obvious parallel and disturbing message, the book – which covers every vegan argument – nevertheless concludes on a fairly hopeful note (as does the Vegan magazine article mentioned above). And depressing as the current state of exploitation remains to those of us who see it and refuse to condone it, I believe there is still cause for optimism, however slow and slight the signs.
We only have to recall the general ignorance, just a decade or so ago, regarding just the term ‘vegan’, and compare it for an instant to the increasing influence the movement is currently gaining worldwide, to realise how far we have come – although, admittedly, we still have a distance to travel.
Regarding the essential understanding of the unity of all creation, here, too, are signs of progress. There are grass-root movements springing up the world over, proclaiming the message of our oneness. One of these is “Humanity’s Team” – a global movement with the prime intention of awakening the world to Oneness – which is forming branches all over the world, including in the UK, and who are currently petitioning the UN to declare a universal Day of Oneness. Their goal is to collect 50,000 signatures by mid-May (at present they have under 40,000) which they need to present at the meeting they have secured with the UN General Assembly President on May 20th 2010.
Inspirational as these movements are, the concept of unity within them appears, at present, to be limited mainly to the human species – although their identified spheres do also cover nature and the environment. I admit this is somewhat disappointing, but I believe any step in the right direction is a good one, and overlooking perceived differences in our own kind is at least a start. Hopefully, once humanity has awakened to our oneness with each other, we will find it easier to expand the concept to include our unity with all creation, and thus extend our compassion to our brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom. So I still feel the signs are good.
For those of you who would like to sign Humanity’s Team online petition, their website is: www.humanitysteam.org.uk
And for those of you interested in Planet Cannibal, the books are available from Amazon or my website www.dorreyawood.com at the newly reduced price of £6.99 (original price £8.99). However, I am now offering the book for only £4.99 (plus £1 p&p) to any of you who contact me with reference to this offer. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning that you found this offer on my blog on the tohappyvegans website.
Dorreya will also be giving us copies of her book to win on our stall at the Bristol Eco Veggie Fayre in May.