I am not religious, I consider myself more of a spiritual person. I enjoy learning about religions and I do believe in something bigger out there that connects us all. Many people simply associate veganism with a diet choice but I have found that something more profound occurs. After several conversations with other vegans, we agree that the choice to live more compassionately creates a sort of inner peace. A spiritual balance, if you will. It carries on to other aspects of our lives, as well. We're less inclined to argue or be aggressive towards others.
I would like to believe that the world would be a better place if everyone chose to be kind to one another and the other beings that inhabit this planet. It seems idealistic, I suppose but really, if someone can show kindness to those that are smaller than they are how could they not extend that to their fellow man? It has a ripple effect. Once others see the example you set, they may become inspired to do the same thing and so on.
Ellen DeGeneres made an interesting point while speaking about her journey to become vegan. She said she didn't want to consume the flesh of animals who live a life of suffering then die with fear. If you are what you eat, then would that fear and anxiety then transfer to you? Perhaps it does. She also said she experienced less panic attacks and anxiety once she stopped consuming animals. I think Russell Simmons also said something similar. This brings me back to what I said about being connected to all life.
I often wonder why more religious people don't choose to live a life of compassion. I would think if mankind is to have "dominion" over the animals, which I believe it states in the Bible, then shouldn't we take care of them? We shouldn't be shoving them into crates or cages, keeping them locked up in horrid conditions, pumping them with anti-biotics, and creating an all-around unnatural and sad life just so we can eat. We consume mass quantaties of animals that we don't need in order to sustain ourselves. They weren't created to live that kind of life, we have done this to them.
I hope that with all the new information available on plant-based diets and all the attention it's receiving, others will understand the real benefits. That it's not just about a diet or for those "crazy animal rights activists" but it's also beneficial for the soul.