I was sitting in a circle discussion on the Sunday morning of a recent Buddhist retreat when the word 'aggression' came up and was decried as a thing that ought to be scoured out of our minds if we want to create an enlightened society. I disagreed and reclaimed the word 'aggression' with a liberal dose of straightforward humor, whereupon it was suggested to me that (1) 'aggression' was the wrong word for what I was describing, and (2) I'd 'get it' eventually if I just kept working on myself. This while one of the men in the circle tittered and exchanged sidelong glances with another man as I spoke. Of course these responses were problematic, especially since much of the conversation was about the aggression, assertiveness and strength of women. But I understood them, coming as they did from basically good people at a Buddhist retreat who were working toward peace. Still, they reminded me of the reasons why I'm not a Buddhist.
Let me stir the pot a bit before I continue....more
In light of recent Pagan conversations around the blogosphere on the topic of animal sacrifice, I thought I'd skip ahead in the Vegan Pagan series to offer the animal-centric perspective I had scheduled for January. I'll be back on track next month.
Good Samhain to all!
Modern Paganism has more than a few bloody roots. The early Celts practiced both animal sacrifice and human ritual killing...more
This is the least intersectional and least spiritual of the entries I'll be writing on veganism and Paganism. The reason is simple. If a vegan diet is bad for your body, this...more
As before, I've been following the Facebook conversations around my vegan blog entries, and this time I've noticed further discussion around the idea of plant sentience. Some of you have argued that plants are no different from animals and so the eating of plants and animals should be considered on equal footing.
How very animistic of you. I would expect no less from my Pagan community.
It's an interesting question and one deserving of its own space, so I've decided to offer a vegan perspective here in advance of my next major blog entry in the series.
For the sake of argument, let's presume that plants possess independent minds and thoughts of sufficient complexity that they can deliberately communicate with the world. From this premise,...more
I've been following the Facebook conversation around my first post in this series, and I'd like to address a few things here that I hope will help to facilitate a more congenial conversation around this topic going forward.
First, to my fellow vegan Pagans: If you've allowed yourself to be baited into flaming on Facebook, you're not helping the animals, the Earth or yourself. Difficult as it is to do, you need to remain calm when you address non-vegans in cyberspace, even when you're treated unfairly. Remember what you believe in, and let your ethics guide your...more
In the next several weeks, I'll be discussing intersections between veganism and Paganism. As a long-time vegan, animal rights activist and wildlife rescuer, I believe I can bring a perspective to the discussion that might be helpful to vegans and non-vegans alike. But before I do that, I think it's important to lay some groundwork, and that's what this entry is all about.
First, I'd like you to check in with your body and your emotions right now. Take a breath and ask yourself if reading the last paragraph left your neck, shoulders or any other part of your body feeling tight or tense. Consciously release those muscles. Give 'em some love. Now ask your mind, heart and gut if they've thrown up any defenses to the topic at hand. Acknowledge those...more
Since Samhain of last year, I've been a regular blogger at PaganSquare, a blogging community of several dozen Pagans writing on a variety of topics. My posts tend toward Gàidhlig advocacy, current events in the Pagan community and philosophical discussions of various topics of interest to Pagans. I've shared these posts irregularly in my social networking feeds, but you can catch up on them here - Gael Ùr: Cànan, Sgeul 's Creideamh.
Going forward, I'll be sharing these monthly posts across my social networks. Some upcoming topics will include a multi-part series on veganism, a shared Gàidhlig song and more philosophy of storytelling stuff, which I love to write...more