One of the most important but rarely-discussed benefits of the vegan lifestyle
A lot of non-vegans try to characterize veganism as some kind of religion in order to disparage the vegan movement and scare people away from eating only plants.
Most religions have codes of ethics. Veganism itself is a simple ethical framework – Do as little harm to animals as possible.
For people who have not yet embraced this ethical framework, living without consuming animals might seem like a personal death wish.
But the overwhelming clinical evidence shows otherwise. Eating substances derived from animals is detrimental to human health. Once this one fact sunk in, it was truly a no-brainer for me to go vegan.
While I was always sympathetic to veganism, I held the common misunderstanding, carefully promoted by the animal exploiting industries, that to entirely eliminate the consumption of animal products would lead to my own malnutrition and death. It wasn’t until I realized that eating animals was directly killing me personally that I could wholeheartedly embrace the vegan ethic.
The vegan ethical code does not make veganism a religion. It is purely a moral commitment, not a belief system. There is nothing in the vegan code of ethics that is incompatible with any of the world’s religions. Today, even the most meat-centric religions now include rapidly-growing numbers of vegans.
But veganism does have something in common with religions and other spiritual pursuits. Human beings suffer a lot. Despite so much progress, there is still is so much human suffering in the world.
Many people today are working hard to remedy the human suffering caused by external factors such as lack of clean water, food supplies, adequate health care, and much more.
Religious and spiritual practices such prayer, meditation, and rituals can help people alleviate the suffering that somehow comes from inside of ourselves. All religions were founded by pioneers and researchers into our inner world.
The unprecedented wealth of westernized countries has exposed the fact that happiness is not solely related to external factors. The wealthiest countries tend to also have the highest rates of depression and mental illness.
Something beyond material wealth seems crucial to human happiness. Religions and spiritual practices seek to provide the missing pieces in human happiness that don’t seem to be attainable via material progress alone.
In 1999, I began my own path of inner exploration to help address all the pressures I was experiencing as an executive in a national environmental NGO and new father. The outer world results I was able to produce purely by looking inside of myself were so profound, I ended up spending the following 17 years going deeper and deeper into my inner world exploration.
But there was a problem. While my practices would lead to short periods of relief from my default unsatisfactory experience of life, such as upset, anger, and hopelessness, it seemed that the periods of feeling “normal” achieved via spiritual practices were not sustainable. Intensifying these inner practices wasn’t making a lasting difference.
By 2016, I my default state of being was apathy. I wasn’t depressed, but my enthusiasm for life was very low. I would wake up in the morning wondering why I was granted another day.
Out of that apathy I came across vegans on YouTube explaining the virtues of eating a high-carbohydrate, plant-based diet, and backing up those assertions with stacks of scientific and clinical evidence.
On September 2016, I watched a video about what happens to male baby chicks in the egg industry. That video hit me so hard. Given the reassurance that the science supported a plant-based diet, I vowed to never again eat animals again.
Within the first week, I began to experience profound shifts in my inner world. My previous religious and spiritual efforts gave me clear reference points for what it meant to be happy without an external reason. Suddenly, I was beginning to feel happier and healthier day by day, despite doing less and less inner work.
I was shocked. I suddenly realized that if I’d just been eating like a typical citizen of the non-westernized world, 90% of the problems I had tried to address via religious and spiritual practices for the previous 17 years might have never even occurred!
Not only was my physical health improving before my eyes, I started to notice that my mental sharpness and thinking process were also improving rapidly. I was able to solve difficult problems with greater ease than ever before. Age 63 as I write this, I continue to experience profound improvement in this regard on a daily basis.
A few years after I first went vegan, my own personal observations were validated by reading The China Study. That book makes it clear that people who eat traditional, carbohydrate-rich diets statistically experience far fewer physical and mental illnesses than their western counterparts. But when they start eating more like westerners, the incidences of these conditions increase.
The ability of a plant-based diet to reverse a wide range of physical and mental health conditions is also increasingly being demonstrated clinically by the growing numbers of plant-based, lifestyle medicine professionals whose practices rely on long-standing traditions of healing with food.
We Create From Our State
I founded Vegan Launch in 2018 primarily as a way to help people all over the world shift their diets toward plants because of my commitment to world peace.
From my inner work and dietary shifts, I saw for myself that so much inner and outer suffering is caused by our thought patterns. While many of our thought patterns are programmed into our minds as part of our natural survival mechanisms, our body chemistry also has a tremendous influence on the way we think moment by moment.
While much of our suffering can to a be addressed by religious and spiritual practices, my own experience is that simple dietary changes can do so much on their own to eliminate our inner suffering, and greatly help improve the results of prayer, meditation, and other practices for those who wish to pursue them.
Many people believe that a peaceful person is a lazy person, and that we need adversity to keep us motivated. My own experience that the more peaceful and joyful I am in my inner world, the more energetic, creative, and productive I am in the outer world.
My goal for Vegan Launch is to rapidly increase capitalization for vegan-led businesses using the methods described on this website, so that more and more people can naturally experience what I worked so hard to accomplish for myself.
Will people who experience inner peace simply by eating more plants find new ways to avoid war, save the environment, and reduce all other forms of needless outer-world suffering? I believe they will, and I hope you will join me in working together for that future.
Founder, Vegan Launch