Many years ago, I was standing with friends at a crossroad waiting for the light to switch to green. Seeing that the road was “clear,” one person on the other side started walking on the road with the intention of crossing with a red light. Others followed blindly the first instigator only to find themselves having to back off immediately because he only had inspected one side of traffic, and they were being reprimanded with honks from the cars.
Witnessing this scene, one of my friends commented with something along the lines of “We (humankind) are sheep. Always following without thinking.” At the time I just took his comment as it was, but something about it bothered me and always felt wrong.
Years later I finally understood my reluctance in accepting such a statement. What if there was another way of “reading” the scene? Instead of looking at the “blind followers” in an idiotic kind of way (big shout-out to the sheep who are so poorly used in this “human expression”), maybe we could look at it as a manifestation of trust. Granted, trust was a very poor choice in that particular situation, but I choose to highlight this “sheepish” behavior as a strength rather than a human weakness.
By trying to understand the scene at a deeper level, I see in it the beauty of oneness. This invisible thread that connects us to everyone (whether or not we know them) and everything that transcends the thinking mind. (On a side note, please always look both ways before crossing the street, you little rebel!)
Okay, so maybe this example is a long shot, but it shows that you can feel this sense of oneness everywhere, it only depends on how you choose to look at a situation. This is a feeling that nurtures and comforts me. So why is our current way of living so focused on separation (skin color, educational level, cultural differences, interpretations of God, etc…). Why do we do this to ourselves?
I’ve never been much of a group person. Don’t get me wrong, I have a strong sense and need of “belonging somewhere,” but it always was bigger than a “cultural group” could ever offer. The only exception to date is when I discovered veganism. I was blown away because it was so fitting to my journey of understanding the oneness of all living beings and the entire universe.
To this day, even as I identity as a vegan, I still believe that every kind of label is limiting our potential and our possibility of growth. To my dismay, even in the vegan movement, which I so fondly cherish and truly believe in, I observe this sense of separation. You all know what I’m talking about, the eternal argument about the three focal points of veganism: health, environment, and animal rights, and how worthy one is if he or she is focused more on one aspect than another.
To me, this is now nonsense but I have to admit, it got me confused for awhile–probably because I wanted to do the right thing for the right reasons, but also because I wanted to belong. And yet again, when I read comments on the Internet about vegans attacking vegans, or listen to conversations on this matter, something always feels off and it doesn’t make me feel “home” in this movement that I so truly love.
The key for me is to understand that we are all one. Intrinsically connected. Each and every one of us has a big responsibility towards our own self because we are one and it is only by letting go of these kinds of “separations” inside of us that we can move forward in raising our consciousness as living beings and truly change the world.
Our vibrations raise when we feel the connection with all that is. That’s why being conscious about our environment’s well-being (animals need this planet to live on as well as we do and are part of the environment as much as we are); of our health (to truly send good and positive vibrations into the world we simply can’t ingest cruelty and death); and the well-being of the animals (the cruelty that we are inflicting upon them is a reflection of our – humans’ – current state of being as a collective) is all part of the same journey.
Animals are part of oneness. Humans, and by extension our health, is part of oneness. Our planet is part of oneness. There simply isn’t any separation between the animals, the environment and our health. Why not care for everything?
What veganism encompasses, to enjoy a life free of violence and cruelty, is a big step toward an ahimsa world, and it is a step that I hope every human being will eventually take. But I also believe that it’s not the final destination. I believe that the journey of awakening of humankind has only just begun. It starts from within.
What an exciting time we are living in! I for one, despite the difficulties and the chaos that seem to pervade humankind at this moment in time, am extremely happy to have chosen to experience it all now and am proud to call myself an earthling.
Laura Teodori, VLCE, Lover of animals and humans! I live in the French part of Switzerland. Passionate about traveling and drawing, I’m currently finding joy in understanding the laws of this universe in which we live. I’m hungry for knowledge that transcends that learned in school and through cultural habits. And even though I know that change takes time, I’m happily searching for the way that will accelerate the process for everybody or something like that 🙂