Peace Bracelets from the Esther Store
Peace Bracelets from the Esther Store

At this time of year, thoughts usually turn to peace – on this earth, among friends, families and warring nations alike. We can all get on board with this concept, perhaps because it is one which we relegate to a few days or weeks out of the year. We get a warm fuzzy feeling when we hear the word peace, because it is, after all, a peaceful sounding word – go figure!!! But once the frivolity is over  and all the bells, whistles and baubles are safely packed away, we experience a collective sigh of relief. Now we can get on with  the requisite New Year’s Resolutions and with making things happen in our lives, instead of celebrating what we already have and who we already are.

Universal Symbol for Gratitude
Universal Symbol for Gratitude

Two peace related concepts have landed in my world this holiday season and have made for much reflection and some action on my part. They are none other than gratitude and charity. We hardly make time for gratitude as we barrel through our lives, always trying to get somewhere, perhaps even trying to be or to procure something that may be unattainable and ultimately unneeded. My “getting somewhere” came to a screeching halt when a chronic, but manageable health issue reared its ugly head. Suffice it to say that I had been running pell-mell (I used to say, “like a chicken with its head cut off”) and did not notice the symptoms knocking at my door until I was feeling really crummy. I had to step back from my animal activism telling my vegan and animal advocate confrères that I would be back in the New Year when my new meds kicked in. This made me sad and a little bit mad and a little bit down in the mouth. I have to get control (dangerous word) of this I told myself,  trying as usual to force something that simply cannot be forced.

It was at this point that I connected on a deeper level with a fellow vegan and Facebook Friend, Lisette Templin. She spoke to me about letting go and

Lisette Templin
Lisette Templin

not trying so hard to be well, about connecting with the word flow, about deep breathing and QiGong, about releasing the long held pain of family trauma and about eating more whole foods. Lisette also mentioned that advocating for animals and knowing what we know can take a toll on the emotional self which is then reflected in our physical selves. Slowing down and being in the moment, whether forced or not does give us an opportunity to feel gratitude for our presence on this earth, for our emotional and physical lives, for all life on this earth and for those we love and who love us in return  – an opportunity for just being!!! Reveling in the joy are wise words from Lisette.

Chinese Symbol for Charity
Chinese Symbol for Charity

And what about charity? Just this past week I came across a Facebook post from my daughter’s friend, Stef. She is actively advocating for a woman she barely knows – a woman who is on her own with three young kids and a fourth due in the spring. “What can I do to help?”, I asked. Along with some of Stef’s kind friends we are donating some goods to make this Christmas and the coming year a little easier. We are  giving help because it is needed and because we can. Gratitude for the blessings in our own lives can serve to make us feel more charitable towards others who are having a rough time – there but for fortune my friends, there but for fortune!!!

Christmas in our Home
Christmas in our Home
Esther and her Two Dads
Esther and her Two Dads

These two life happenings have led me to much reflection about how empowering gratitude and charity can be in our advocacy for all other species. Gratitude for even being on this earth, for seeing and acknowledging our complicity, gratitude for being in a time when our message is being heard, gratitude for good friends with whom to advocate, gratitude for persons like Esther and her two Dads, gratitude for those  who are saved through our efforts.

This gratitude is, in essence, magnificent and it opens the door to true charity, being  that which we do for no personal gain, that which we do humbly and with respect for all living beings on this earth. So, like the Grinch, our hearts  which  may have at one time been two sizes too small are now big enough and strong enough to take on even the skeptical, the disconnected, the complicit, the perpetrators, the uncharitable. I am with my friend Jimmy when he says, “I believe in a vegan world”.

Annie’s Vegan View

As you celebrate this holiday season, whatever your faith, please remember that true peace on earth will be achieved only when we accord respect and love to all life on this earth.

We cannot in good conscience, hunt, enslave, abuse, torture and murder those we love and respect, all for our wants, not needs.

Let there be vegan peace on earth and let it begin with each and every one of us!!!

I wish you all a wonderful fête and I will see you on the flip side (old timey term from and old timer) in 2016 ready to rumble and to stand with humanity as one voice, in unity with and for the animals.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne
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Let There be Vegan Peace on Earth

6 thoughts on “Let There be Vegan Peace on Earth

  • December 17, 2015 at 10:22 am
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    Thank you for making the time to post during what is a stressful and probably exhausting time. I’m sorry you’ve been feeling sick and hope that you’re feeling better soon! … Thank you also for the positive message. And it was fun to see Esther and her family mentioned! 🙂 I’ll look at your friend’s FB page when I get a chance. She sounds like a lovely person. … Wishing you and yours a happy and peaceful holiday season. See you in 2016!

    Reply
    • December 18, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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      Hey Krissa,
      Thanks for the compassion. I am actually feeling a lot better for which I am grateful. I do believe that the positive messages are likely to be the most effective. Gotta love Esther. It is my goal to go and spend a week next summer at the Sanctuary helping out where I can.
      Yes, do check out Lisette when you get a chance. She is very inspirational and supportive.
      I wish you a wonderful holiday season Krissa and I thank you for all the heartfelt, informative and soul baring comments you have graced me with over this past year.
      I stand with you, my friend, I stand with you.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • December 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm
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    Thank you Anne for this wonderful connection.
    I have been told by my spiritual teacher that our world will be just fine. The momentum has shifted to the side of light. What happens now that is seemingly negative is the last draw of effort to plunge us back to darkness of the heart. We must stay in the vibration of love and joy as much as possible. That is the original energy of every being. Merry Christmas to you and to all.

    Reply
    • December 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm
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      Hi Lisette,
      Welcome to my website and I am glad you enjoyed my article. I thank you for the connection and for your support. I am very hopeful that the momentum has shifted. I have chosen to believe, like my friend Jimmy and all of my fellow advocates a kind and compassionate world is possible.
      I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • December 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm
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    Hi Anne, I didn’t know there was a symbol for gratitude. Cool!

    I’ve had a daily practice for a number of years now of ending the day by thinking of what I’m grateful for, and it really does help to be reminded of all the good things even on not so good days. Right now I’m focusing some of that energy on being grateful for all the time I was able to spend with my cat who passed away on Saturday, and being grateful for all the lessons that that incredibly wise being taught me. It’s one way of coping with the loss as I miss her terribly, and as my apartment seems too quiet and empty.

    As for charity, I suppose taking her in for her final visit could also be considered a charitable act, even though it wasn’t very charitable of me to have waited this long. In hindsight she suffered for too long because I didn’t want to make the mistake of ending her life too soon, and that is something I’ll likely always regret.

    Awesome that you’ll be spending time at HEEFS! I hope to finally make it out sometime next year, so please let me know when you’re going and maybe we could meet up!

    In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful and healthful holiday season (although a bit sadder as it’ll be the first one without Chimpy) and 2016. See you next year! 🙂

    Reply
    • December 23, 2015 at 10:40 pm
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      Hi Friend,
      I did not know either-that is the beauty of google. One can find out all sorts of stuff.
      Very good practice, that one of gratitude. When I remember to be grateful, I am much more peaceful and in the moment.
      I am so sorry about your kitty cat. It is always so tough to say goodbye! And the decision about when to say goodbye is not easy. I do have some regrets too about my decisions about my furry companions, but I also try to remember all the love I gave them.
      My goal is to spend some time at HEEFS. I have not checked with Esther yet. If I am out your way I will certainly try to connect with you. That would be awesome.
      Yes, this year there was no Chimpy dancing around waiting to take residence under the Xmas tree. He is missed. Thank you for remembering!
      I wish you a wonderful holiday season and look forward to advocating for animals in 2016 and beyond.
      Peace and love,
      Anne

      Reply

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