[Check back daily for additional messages for this week and find previous posts with Will’s VegInspirations by searching for Tuttle]
The guilt and shame perpetrators feel – 6-27-22
Though we are born into a culture that emphasizes our differences from other animals, our actual experience tells us differently. Those of us with companion animals, for example, know without doubt that they have distinct personalities and preferences, emotions and drives, and that they feel and avoid psychological and physical pain.
Cultivating awareness is essential – 6-28-22
The guilt and shame perpetrators feel for their violent actions stem from their natural sense of kindness and caring, which they have blocked and are violating. Their attitude toward bystanders may even be indignation: “If you want to be a vegetarian, that’s fine, but don’t tell us what to do.” While at first blush this seems reasonable, we quickly see that it is only because of the disconnections and bias inherent in our culture. Perpetrators wouldn’t dare say, “If you don’t want to beat and stab your pet dog, that’s fine, but don’t tell me not to beat and stab mine.” We all recognize that we aren’t entitled to treat others, especially those who are defenseless, however we like, and that if we are responsible for doing harm, people have every right to ask us to stop.
Animals behave altruistically – 6-29-22
Besides the enormous amount of anecdotal evidence that animals behave altruistically, both toward members of their own species and also to animals outside their species, there is clinical evidence as well, such as the typically cruel experiments in which monkeys were given food if they administered painful shocks to other monkeys. Researchers found that the monkeys would rather go hungry than shock other monkeys, especially if they had received shocks earlier themselves. The researchers were surprised (and perhaps somewhat ashamed?) by the monkeys’ altruism. Though it is our true nature, one wonders if we humans would be so noble.
The bystander offers an example of nonviolence – June 30, 2022
The bystander offers an example of nonviolence and speaks on behalf of the victims who have no voice (and, on a subtler level, on behalf of the perpetrators who are also victimized by their own actions). Perpetrators may condemn bystanders for judging them and making them feel bad or guilty, but the bystanders are merely acting as the perpetrators’ conscience, asking them to please become more aware and stop their violence, for everyone’s sake.
As perpetrators, we are profoundly challenged – July 1, 2022
As perpetrators, we are profoundly challenged by the truth-field established by attentive and articulate bystanders. Eventually, we may respond to the challenge, examine our attitudes and, recognizing our behavior as morally indefensible, cease it and join the ranks of the bystanders. As bystanders, we are also deeply challenged to respond creatively to the situation with love, understanding, and skillful means, and to strive to live in ever more complete alignment with the values of compassion, honesty, and integrity.
It’s illustrative to watch – July 2, 2022
It’s illustrative to watch how the attributes we have proclaimed make us unique, such as using tools, making art, experiencing “higher” emotions, having a sense of the ludicrous, using language, and so forth, have all collapsed under the evidence as we get to know animals better. Of course, we have certain unique attributes and abilities. Every species has certain unique attributes and abilities. Eating animals makes us so subconsciously nervous that we neurotically overemphasize our uniqueness and our separateness from them. This allows us to exclude them from our circle of concern.
Our main website and daily VegInspiration
Subscribe to Will’s World Peace Diet Email to receive these and more in your own email inbox.