As the global environmental crisis accelerates, and as our understanding of the impact of our choices on others deepens, we are challenged to rethink our habits and assumptions. It is time to set a new standard for ourselves, one that seeks the convergence of justice, sustainability, creativity and joy.
This video produced by a grassroots organization called NonviolenceUnited, invites its audience to consider a holistic vision of nonviolence, not just nonviolence toward one's fellow humans, but also toward other animals, those of the future, and the earth herself.
The themes of this production no doubt would have been of great interest to Donald Watson, the founder of the vegan movement in the 1940's, who believed that the adoption of a vegan diet was a moral imperative.
Veganism was born in the cataclysmic aftermath of World War II, a time, like this one, when many people wondered if humanity had the wisdom necessary to to avoid self-annihilation. As if in answer to the overwhelming dilemmas posed by a world war and the frightful power of the atomic bomb, Watson and his contemporaries offered a humble path to peace that began with each person's ability to refuse to participate in the exploitation and killing of others, be they human or non-human animals.
It is important to remember that Watson's rejection of animal exploitation did not occur in response to industrialized farming, but in response to what he saw going on at his uncle's small scale farm, where he observed, "The idyllic scene was nothing more than death row, where every creature's days were numbered by the point at which it was no longer of service to human beings."
Like Watson, the creators of this video challenge us to consider the possibility that the answer to the world's problems do not lie in distant lands, high tech laboratories, academic think tanks or the halls of government, but in the daily choices of billions of individuals, who, by a simple change of diet, can play a real part in addressing global warming, fresh water depletion, deforestation, human hunger, and habitat destruction, and the injustice of animal exploitation.