Posts Tagged ‘veganism’

veganparadise.biz is in business!

March 5, 2011

Vegan Paradise Cover

Finally, I was able to get my website, www.theveganparadise.com (also known as www.veganparadise.biz ) up and running! Please check it out for information about my book, Vegan Paradise, for awesome vegan recipes (beware, however, one of them is only half there!), information about vegan deep ecology, and, of course, about the Vegan Paradise Paradigm!

If you want to order a signed copy of my book, plus some vegan freebies, just pay $14.99 (includes shipping anywhere in North America, add $2.00 for shipping elsewhere) to me via my Paypal account, at ann.epiphany7@gmail.com. Please be sure your address is listed in the Paypal payment form.

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Buy Vegan Paradise at Lulu.com

June 20, 2010

Glad you are interested in the deeper reasons for choosing veganism and my book, Vegan Paradise! The updated, referenced, first edition of my book is on Lulu.com now! Just go to Lulu.com and search for “Vegan Paradise” in products page. It’s available as a download or a 6 x9 paperback!

THE VEGAN PARADISE; THE PARADISE PARADIGM AND DIET: SAVING OUR PLANET, OUR HEALTH AND OUR SOULS

May 19, 2010

In my book, Vegan Paradise, I discuss the possibility our world was designed to be a beautiful, harmonious place in which people live in harmony with Mother Nature and all of her children. Over twenty years ago, when I became vegan in California and began writing and teaching about veganism, noone I knew was vegan. I was thought mad to be considering cutting animal products out of my diet, and I certainly could not even begin to convince anyone that Mother Nature meant people to be vegan. Now veganism has exploded around the world, much has been written about it, and no end appears in sight. Also, over twenty years later, in my late 40’s, I still have the figure of my youth, am unusually healthy, and have raised two healthy vegan sons. I want to help others to understand the many reasons for becoming vegan, to have tools for veganizing their lives, and to have the spiritual wisdom about veganism that I have, which are the main reasons I wrote this book, The Vegan Paradise. For over twenty years, I have been educating families, friends, and local organizations about veganism, and writing a book about it was a natural outgrowth of my teaching.
If you do not know already, veganism is the philosophy that the killing of other living creatures–be they animals or people–is not natural, and that we must do what we can to avoid participating in it. More and more people in cosmopolitan places are choosing veganism and/or switching from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet, and trying to eat more raw, unprocessed (“whole”), and organic vegan foods. In my book, The Vegan Paradise: How the Paradise Paradigm and Diet Can Save Our Planet, Our Health, and Our Souls, I explore not only the latest health research about animal products (meat/fish, eggs and dairy), but also look at the latest ethical, environmental, psychological and spiritual reasons people are choosing veganism. I relate the philosophical shift in our dietary choices to the larger paradigm shift necessarily underway in our society to deal with the current techno-capitalist crises in economics, natural resource depletion, the wastefulness of big agribusiness, as well as the erosion of our health and psychospiritual selves.
The Vegan Paradise (whose short title will soon change to Vegan Paradise) proposes that we may have been designed through our genetic and psychological make-up, to emotionally desire to live in harmony with nature (an archetypal phenomena known as biophilia), and in particular to deeply want to live in harmony with, and care for, animals. I term this caring for animals “faunophilia” (as it would be a subcategory, along with love of plants, “florophilia”, of biophilia).
This is possibly one reason that the technological, meat-eating Western world has more severe mental health problems than the Eastern world. In my book, I use the model of the recent “elegant design” theory, to show how our minds, our bodies and our natural food system were logically and beautifully designed by an intelligent, ethereal source–which could be termed the “divine” or “universal consciousness”—to create a system in which plants, animals, and people live harmoniously. I use scientific, health and ecological statistics, as well as a summary of various world religious/spiritual beliefs to support this idea, which I term the “Paradise Paradigm or Paradise Principle/ Theory” . This theory—which is creating a huge paradigm shift in science, spirituality, and natural history–also holds that, at one time, the world was a literal paradise, a Garden of Eden, in which humans generally lived in peace with nature, animals, and our souls—surviving largely on a vegan diet. My chapter on the religious and spiritual implications of this theory covers consideration of Eastern, Western and indigenous people’s ancient beliefs and practices surrounding animals.
When I began thinking about saving animals’ and people’s lives by educating people about veganism, I started realizing how much of a divine gift sentient life is, for both humans and animals; hence, it follows logically how important the lives and feelings of other living creatures ought to be to all of us. Our lives as well as animals’ lives are here for higher purposes than most of us (if any of us) realize, and in being raised to be our food, especially today on factory-farms, animals suffer tremendously, unnecessarily, and more than most of us could ever possibly know. Unfortunately, the Western social paradigm includes a disrespect for life itself, and a repression of our bio- and faunophilia (as our increasingly destructive wars and brutality towards both animals and humans prove), despite the teachings of many ancient spiritual leaders. Most importantly, when we eat plant food, we show respect for the lives of animals, and help animals avoid unnecessary suffering.
In Part One of Vegan Paradise, I also outline the Paradise Paradigm and Theory, discuss how a needed paradigm shift towards living a more natural and compassionate life is already beginning to happen—and the reasons this shift must include veganism and a massive effort to recreate a vegan paradise on earth. I discuss possible solutions for the worldwide food, economic and natural resource crises related to our consumption of animal products and the model of big agribusiness. I touch on how veganism relates to the permaculture, alternative mental health, and raw food movements, as well as how the principles of a deeper psychology–a la deep ecology–can help us to begin relating to farm animals in a more natural and compassionate way. I show how choosing veganism is above all about being compassionate.
Vegan Paradise is intended, in part, to be a companion guide or “how-to” manual for those attempting to be or to become vegan in a place which may or may not be vegan-friendly. Toward this end, Part Two of this book offers psychological and social tips on making your conversion to veganism easier. I discuss how to help convert oneself, as well as one’s family and/or friends, to the vegan diet, including how to change your own favorite recipes into vegan ones. Here, I also share ideas for designing your own vegan social group and/or educational workshops, discuss the latest nutritional information, and provide a vegan “shopping list” and over 100 tried and true vegan recipes. I hope you will read and benefit from Vegan Paradise, which is currently available under the title “The Vegan Paradise”, at http://www.lulu.com (search for “The Vegan Paradise” in their products list; allow 3-5 days for delivery) or by contacting me at epiphany7@hotmail.com. I also hope you have many years of health, guilt-free eating, and psychospiritual peace ahead of you!

THE VEGAN PARADISE PARADIGM

May 12, 2010

 

THE SCIENTIFIC ECOSPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE ON VEGANISM: THE VEGAN PARADISE PARADIGM

Our world was designed to be a beautiful, harmonious place in which people live in harmony with Mother Nature and all of her children, including those animals which we now abuse and slaughter for food and other commercial products. This theory, which has been promoted by various thinkers throughout history and even more so today, encompasses and extends the limits of Western spirituality, philosophy and science. It implies that the earth and all its inhabitants have the potential to live in peace and harmony now if we make the right choices about how to treat animals, each other and the natural world. For our diets and lifestyles, it implies that we at least abstain from eating meat (including fish, of course), dairy and eggs, if not that we try to recreate a paradise on earth in our own surroundings in whatever way we can.

Related to “Systems” (or “Elegant design”) theories, what could be termed the “Benign Divine Design” or “Paradise Principle”, postulates that not only does a “grand designer” exist behind reality and in every part of nature’s design, but that one time in ancient history, humans were vegan, in general. When the ancient spiritual literature from around the world is examined with an eye for how people in ancient times were taught to approach animals, we see much indication that ancient spiritual leaders taught their followers to be vegan. We also see that humans probably started out living with a consciousness more closely tied to nature, animals and their souls. Surprisingly, it appears that we were actually vegans, generally–rather than hunters and gatherers–in our ancient past.

Environmental statistics also indicate that the raising of animals for food has led to much misery–desertification and water and air pollution (for example, it is the number one cause of water pollution and desertification in the Western United States, and the fifth leading cause of global warming). Finally, the health statistics increasingly indicate that our bodies were meant to be vegan; the avoidance of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and even autism has been linked to the vegan diet.

Interestingly, I have come to the conclusion also that a surprisingly large amount of Western society’s mental health problems can be linked significantly to the large amount of animal products we eat. Psychologists (Jungians, for example) have shown how a collective unconscious joins living creatures together; we have what is termed an “animal” archetype, related to the hero’s horse in ancient European myths or the Ganesh or Hanuman of Hindu stories. What I call the “animal-caretaker” archetype is related: humans have an innate way of relating to animals, we care for them and have emotions for them. This indicates that our mental, emotional and psychospiritual selves are affected by the suffering that we cause animals, even if the animal-caretaker (faunophilia archetype) is repressed. Biologists such as Harvard’s Edward Wilson and deep ecologists like Joanna Macy (Thinking Like a Mountain) have also shown how we are psychospiritually connected to nature and animals, how we need nature and animals and how they need us—our need for nature Wilson termed “biophilia”.

Biophilia could be broken down into several categories: one might be “florophilia” (attraction to plants); another I have named “faunophilia” , the animal-caretaker archetype, or attraction to animals. Because we have this natural attraction to animals, we naturally do not want to participate in the killing or abuse of animals. Again, studies have shown that the repression of this innate need which occurs on a massive levels in the West (such as the thought that farm animals have no feelings) may lead to some of the violence and mental distress in our culture.

The current state of disrespect for life, be it human or animal, calls for a new paradigm in our culture, one based on honoring the natural world, honoring life itself, compassion for others and living by the deeper principles of veganism, true science and our spirituality. Perhaps this paradigm could be facetiously termed the Benign Divine Design Paradigm, or the Paradise Paradigm, but whatever it is called, it must occur. We have everything at stake.

The Paradise Paradigm (excerpts from book, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”: The Paradise Paradigm and Veganism)

July 2, 2009

Introduction by Dr. Nandita Shah

I am honored to be asked to write the introduction to this book as much as I am proud to be an ethical vegan striving to spread this vital information – for our health, the planet and last but not least for the 56 billion innocent animals slaughtered every year for food that we don’t really need.  Ann’s passion to spread this message is very much like my own.

Like Ann, I was not brought up as a vegan, but I was lucky to grow up in a vegetarian culture in India. I grew up believing that cow’s milk was a health drink and continued to do so despite the fact that being a doctor and homeopath, I should have known better. Homeopathy is based on nature’s laws, and I think the most basic of nature’s laws is that mammals produce milk only for their young. Its notable that even calves don’t drink their mother’s milk when they are weaned. Why then do we? However it took me too long to make the connection.

Once the connection was made though, I began to read articles everywhere about why cow’s milk was not a health drink. I could see the logic, and the evidence was clear. The countries with the highest incidence of osteoporosis were those with the highest consumption of milk. Why? Was it a coincidence that I had never seen a single case recover all these years with the help of  dairy and calcium supplements?  I could see the links between animal products and other diseases as well. However it was not until I was one hundred percent vegan that I could begin to urge my patients to try it. How could I tell anyone to do what I did not do? And how could I be sure that the health benefits were real? I believe this is just one of the many reasons more doctors are not urging their patients to switch to veganism to heal themselves.

In my practice I realized that only the very desperate people were willing to heed my advice and change their diets, but when they did, the results were beyond my wildest hopes. They were exactly as other vegan doctors had described. Patients that were thought to be incurable were getting back to health – some healthier than ever – and were able to get off all or most of their medications. Many of these patients had been told that these medications would be for life. I found though that my less desperate patients were not willing to make any changes. To address this challenge I started conducting the Peas vs Pills workshops that Ann mentions in this book.

India, where I have been practicing, is a developing country. Fifty years ago refrigerators were rare. Meat and dairy consumption is growing year by year. As recently as in the late 1970’s India was not producing enough milk to meet its requirements. Today India has the largest cattle population in the world, and produces enough dairy to foster the rising epidemic of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. And not surprisingly the incidence of mental diseases has increased manifold. The ecology has suffered a considerable set back. And despite the increased availability of animal products the deaths from starvation continue.

Ann has covered many of these aspects in this book, as well as the many other reasons why the world must see a paradigm shift if our species is to thrive. The most interesting though is the anthropological aspects about why man began eating meat in the first place and what it has done to our society, our world and our species. Can we turn the tables? I believe there is reason for hope.

“Thou Shalt Not Kill” Table of Contents

 Part One. The Vegan Explosion: How and Why

 Chapter One. The Paradise Principle and The Animal-Caretaker Within

 Chapter Two.  Ancient Paradise: Anthropological Findings

 Chapter Three.  Ethics: Animal Suffering, The Environment and World Hunger

 Chapter Four. Veganism, Your Mental Well-being and Your Health

 Chapter Five.  Making the Vegan Connection: Self-help tips for you to become vegan (Including box: Vegan Nutrients)

Part Two. Recipe and Vegan How-to Tips Section…

Part One. The Foundations of Veganism

 “Though Science dreams not as yet of her goal, her feet are on the road from which there is no turning back—the road which Vedanta on a different plane has already trod before it.”

—Sri Aurobindo 

 

 Chapter One. The Paradise Principle

…BIOPHILIA, THE MEANING OF LIFE, AND THE VEGAN REVOLUTION

Both metaphysics and quantum physics—as well as the new awareness about altered state of consciousness experiences (epiphanies) in psychology–has lead many of us with scientific worldviews to believe that a higher power of some kind exists (whether one calls that a universal underlying consciousness, God , the Great Spirit, Shiva, Source, Gaia, Earth Goddess, Mother, Buddha, etc), and that it is a divine or godly creative force that drives the universe. The “discovery” of this  new reality, which indicates a paradigm shift in science and has been discussed by the religious and/or spiritual since the dawn of history, is part of the reason many people are philosophizing about—and scientifically-investigating– the possibility that we were meant to be vegan.

This paradigm shift, which conveniently could be called the “Paradise Paradigm” shift, would revolutionize science and would indicate that there is an underlying consciousness akin to what some would call God—a higher power, Gaia, Brahma, etc.–and that the world was hence intelligently–and benignly–designed. Presumably, by living in the ways in which we were designed to live, we as humans could all achieve happiness and a harmonious union with the natural environment, including with its animals—a harmonious lifestyle which would be akin to paradise.

But how were we designed to live? If we were designed (or programmed, to use high-tech terms) to live in certain ways, then it makes sense that each of us has this knowledge imbedded inside us, in our unconscious or subconscious, if not in our conscious mind (just like a computer has a program inside of it telling it what to do when). Archetypes are innate patterns of behavior, knowledge, feelings and actions, which psychologists (such as Piaget) have found guide us through critical times of our lives. For example, a maternal archetype governs female behavior when a baby is born. Generally, archetypes guide our behavior—how to recognize and behave toward one’s mother, be a good lover, friend, hero and/or teacher–as long as they are not repressed.

The Paradise Principle/Theory and the Animal-Caretaker Archetype

Let us focus on how we may have been meant to behave towards animals. Because many of us traditionally have eaten animals and animal products (milk, dairy, and eggs), this meditation must also include thinking about how we were meant to eat, as well as to interact with the animal kingdom—on what we might feel and know inside (our archetypal knowledge) about that.

We all have an archetypal/innate desire/need to live in harmony with animals and the natural world. This innate, archetypal need has been termed “biophilia” by the famous 1950’s humanist psychologist Erich Fromm (author of The Humanist Credo). In the 1960’s Fromm wrote extensively on the subject of our separation from nature, as spoken of in the story of the Garden of Eden, and its effects on our social harmony and mental states.

In the 1980’s, Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson wrote a Pulitzer-Prize-winning book by the name of Biophilia, and Joanna Macy and John Seed wrote Thinking Like a Mountain, helping to spawn the modern 1990’s ecopsychology, and deep ecology movements.  John Robbins and Dr. Will Tuttle have also published prize-winning books in recent years beginning a public discussion of how our eating habits interact with social, spiritual and health factors.

These and dozens of other modern thinkers have shown how, often in our complicated modern world, we as individuals suppress our biophilia–which has led to many of our modern psychological, social, health, moral and environmental problems. Although most of these writers were mostly talking about the destruction of wild animal species’ habitats, their teachings can be applied to the destruction of farm animals as well (as Lengerich, Macy and others have shown clearly; we are finding that eating farm animals also involves the destruction of many wild creatures’ lives)—because our love for animals must logically not be confined to only those hunted or killed in the wild.

Moreover, our carnivorism may be the prime example of our disassociation with nature. Our separation from nature has included not only an ancient separation from (and dominance over) animals, but also a dramatic ancient switch from an animal-friendly to an animal-eating culture. And the consequences of such suppression of our biophilia, in particular our animal-caretaker archetype, have created much suffering. Suffering on the part of animals, of course, but also human suffering, in the form of much of our major disease killers, the increased destruction of our environment, and increased mental crises/neuroses and social disharmony…

…because it offers an alternative to the current non-theistic paradigm in science, as well as a direction away from our nature-exploiting current soci0-economic paradigm,  it could be called The Paradise Paradigm; that is: 

Humans were meant to live in a paradise on earth, a place where we live peacefully with nature, animals and with each other. We must return to that paradise. We know this innately (through biophilia and the animal-caretaker archetypes) even though that knowledge might be unconscious. Because this knowledge has been repressed and suppressed for millennia, our society and our world is in a state of crisis….

The Paradise Theory and the New and Emerging Thought in Science and Religion

More implications for hard sciences, psychology, medicine, education, and other disciplines are obvious—as are those for religion. First of all, one might ask, does this theory that there is a higher reality fit current scientific understanding? Renowned quantum physicists such as Alex Paterson (author of The Observer Effect), Barbara Brennan, Ross Rhoades, and David Bohm among many other physical scientists have stated that the natural world is a product (or final effect) of a higher consciousness/spiritual reality and that an underlying consciousness connects all things….

 …Dr. David Bohm speaks of the “new or emerging paradigm” in science as offering support to the (traditionally-religious) idea that human consciousness can potentially interface with a higher consciousness (God/prayer, Brahma/yoga, etc.). Modern spiritual leaders such as Alan Watts, Sri Aurobindo, and Osho—among many other spiritual-science philosophers, of course–also teach of a higher reality that we can all commune with in some way (or at some times). Psychologists (perhaps they could be called “deep psychologists”) and age-old religious teachings have confirmed the fact that humans can access this higher reality through religious-mystical altered state of consciousness experiences (which goes by different names as discussed earlier). Again, all of this science and thinking indicates that humans are connected spiritually with some kind of higher power, as well as all other life forms.

This is one reason we feel empathy for animals.  Also, we have an innate, God-given, archetypal (often unconscious) desire to care for animals; as explained by the animal-caretaker archetype theory (discussed earlier). For example, when a child has a pet dog he or she tends to want to pet it, feed it, play fetch, train it, and treat it as if it is a real human playmate—i.e.,  play house with it, play catch, etc.. This pattern of behavior (persona) unfortunately often disappears as the demands of school, work and society tend to send it into the unconscious or subconscious realm….

… The assumption underlying the Paradise Principle is simply of course (as stated elsewhere) that we were actually designed by this intelligent cosmic force, as was the world. Physicists have proposed that too much natural “elegance” and logical design appears in nature for it to all have evolved by accident, as a shift in the scientific paradigm such as the one proposed here would indicate.  As we have turned away from how we were designed—from living in harmony with nature–we have created more and more misery for ourselves and our planet. Taoism’s Tao te Ching–among other ancient Indian vedic scientific-spiritual, and many other world religious writings (some of which we shall study in subsequent chapters)–confirms this deep truthI believe the foundations of ethics, religion and science—both social and hard sciences–must be expanded to include the Paradise Paradigm (or a similar theory),  and its assumptions and implications. This is important, so that we may research (among other things) and begin to think rationally about how to live in harmony with nature, how to resolve the global warming crisis, how to prevent illnesses (including some kinds of mental disorders, as we shall see), and how to raise our children so that they can live independently and productively in a crisis-filled world.

The truth about the fundamental nature of reality could be said to be the ultimate goal of science, as well as religion (as long as their objectives remain unfettered by political and economic control). Experiments trying to prove that the concept of God is only biochemical …have failed… in fact, a higher power does appear to exist, just as religion has traditionally taught. To deny this at this point would be a dismissal of the much scientific and religious evidence to the contrary—and the psychosocial evidence that certain people have had experiences proving this to themselves (albeit subjectively; not only Jesus, the Buddha, and other famous spiritual leaders and shamans, but also–psychologists are finding–many more common people; those who have had such experiences often can inspire others to believe).

Similarly, disregarding evidence that we were meant to live in harmony with nature and other living creatures—for example, the evidence that we were not meant to eat animals (which we will examine in this book)—is also dismissing an essential truth about life.  Hence, we are in danger of missing the ultimate truth, while “scientifically” amassing piles of facts, “truths”, about our world.

Further, the Paradise Principle ought to be embraced by the scientific among us because current world society must not only recognize that we have a deep connection to all other living things, but that we have a natural (innate, archetypal, spiritual) sense of morality and our place in the universe (and hence psychosocial consequences for ignoring our innate knowledge and feelings). Psychologists and educators have already begun to recognize the existence of innate moral knowledge (for example, Kohlberg’s/Turiel’s stages of moral reasoning), but this area should be carefully examined and refined, particularly with regard to our innate sense of the wisdom of killing other living creatures and of treating our environment like a throwaway play toy (to put it crassly). Moreover, we are in danger of (and already have been) teaching our children to live a technological, resource-wasting, murderous life that abandons the need to care for our natural resources, animals, and certain human beings, as well as our own humanity.

Unfortunately, we must recognize that the drive for power and money has often perverted our true desires along with valid science and that these twin problems are not going away easily.  Unless we admit to the truths behind the Paradise Principle, create a societal scientific and religious paradigm shift, and take action to preserve scientific integrity, our modern science may have to be abandoned altogether as a purveyor of absolute truth, and as a method for creating the (energy, technological, social, economic, political, healthcare, etc) alternatives that the world needs now.*

The mental, spiritual, social, and physical suffering we and other living creatures are going through as the result of both the destruction of Paradise (the natural environment) and the animal-killing and abuse that occurs in the animal product industry is positive in the sense that it is meant to “slingshot”  us back toward a natural human life. That is, to deeply motivate us to move back to a live of paradise, of living in harmony with other living creatures and with ourselves. If we make the right choices now, we will reach untold levels of happiness for all.

Hence, in all of the darkness that we are experiencing—in increasing physical and mental illness in the world, in tragic childhood disorders such as autism (which we will discuss in chapter 4), and in the traumas of the consequences of environmental destruction and social discord —we can find a ray of hope. That is, we can choose to take these lessons to heart about how to treat our natural world–and how to deal with our own inner natures, animals, and each other—and help to change our world.

In this and the following chapters, we will study the animal-caretaker archetype. We will see, through the study of anthropology, how veganism is rooted in our ancient past and has gone in and out of cultural “style” throughout history. We will also examine the ethical reasons people are choosing veganism and the horrible physical and mental consequences of carnivorism, which separates us from both Mother Nature and our own human nature….