Category Archives: activism

Thich Nhat Hanh: True Happiness

art of Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form.”

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”

All quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh

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George Carlin, Muhammad Ali & Vietnam

Muhammad Ali

George Carlin discusses Muhammad Ali & Vietnam in 1971 on the Ed Sullivan Show:

muhammad ali vietnam

Muhammad Ali: “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality.… If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

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James Aspey: Voiceless for Animals

James Aspey Voiceless 365

In January of 2014, James Aspey started his journey of not speaking for 365 days. It was in honor of all the abused animals (for lab testing, breeding, etc.) and slaughtered animals (killed unnecessarily for food, religious ceremonies and sport) that don’t have the ability to speak on their own behalf. With compassion & commitment, James achieved his goal of not speaking for a full year — but he wasn’t silent. He spent the entire year spreading a powerful message of awareness & non-violence for the animals that don’t have the same opportunity to do so.

James Aspey activist

If an animal could talk, what would it say? Would it yell for help when being tortured in laboratories for the testing of products for humans (examples here)? Would it ask repeatedly not to be tied up or crammed into small crates (examples here)? Would it try to convince those who snatch its newborn babies not to take them (examples here)? Would it plead for its freedom when enslaved by breeders for profit (examples here)? Would it beg for its life just before its throat is slit (examples here)? What would you say, if you suffered the plight of these animals? Would you speak out and try to save yourself or those you love?

If we can say we love animals, or love other living beings, or embrace the idea of peace on earth and equal rights — then I think we need to be honest with ourselves; is our exploitation of animals necessary or fair? Or is it cruel, and based on old traditions, food addictions and insensitive actions?

The thoughts I shared above all came to mind, as I was putting this blog post together. And they are part of a thought-wave I’ve shared on Sunday Is For Lovers over the years. You can find similar trains of thought here, and here, and here. I am so grateful for James Aspey, and the year he spent in 2014. And for all of the other animal rights activists (most of them never acknowledged or named, many of them working in secrecy or anonymously for others) that make a difference in the world. Whether they are cheered, seen or ever acknowledged, their every action has a ripple effect. This blog post is one very small example of that effect. So are the millions of people that have changed their lives after becoming more aware. (There are over 7 million vegetarians in the USA alone. Meat-less food alternatives are now a multi-billion dollar industry, because of the demand for vegan & vegetarian options. Each day the number of people that eat this way grows, and the examples of people living healthy & fulfilled lives, without the need to eat animals or animal products, becomes more evident.)

You can get to know James and his work via the videos below. James is very open with his contact information. So if you have any questions for him, you can find him via the links I share in this blog post. Also, his direct email address is listed on his website.

And don’t forget, you have a resource in me as well. If you have any questions on how to transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet, I would love to help you. I have over 25 years of experience (it includes both raw and cooked diets, so I can answer questions and share tips from both perspectives). I’m happy to help you, and it’s absolutely free of charge. You can find me via my contact page.

You can find James Aspey through the following links:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Instagram

James Aspey

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