Ahimsa

October 4, 2008

AHIMSA – n. (in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainist tradition) respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others.

Upon first reading this definition, I thought that this was a word I could really get behind.  After looking into it a little further, I discovered that many people take it a little further than just respect and non-violence.  Check out www.ahimsa.com for a brief run-down on it and some related links.  They offer suggestions on how to live a proper ahimsa lifestyle, including veganism, fruitarianism, and not going to zoos, for example.

Even though I, personally, am not willing, at this point in time, to go to such extremes as veganism I still think that a healthy dose of ahimsa (as defined above) can do a lot of good in this world we live in.

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3 Responses to “Ahimsa”

  1. Dano said

    Veganism isn’t extreme. What’s extreme is the killing and suffering going on right now and it doesn’t have too. For gluttony and taste. We can all live happy and healthy without animal flesh. There won’t be an end to wars without an end to slaughterhouses. The slaughter industry is what is extreme here. Extreme is 58 billion animals killed a year for profit and violence. That is extreme, that and extreme jello pudding and extreme doritos (oh wait, no they’re not).

  2. Peter Leavitt said

    I haven’t looked at this blog in a while but seeing as some people still appear to read it I’m going to comment on the above comment.
    Dano, while I see your point, I want to point out what I meant by extreme. Imagine a spectrum where at one end is completely carnivorous and at the other completely herbivorous. Each end of that spectrum can be considered an extreme. I think I’m correct in saying that veganism would lie on the completely herbivorous side of that spectrum, hence veganism is extreme.
    Please don’t assume that I equate ‘extreme’ with ‘bad’, I merely wished to illustrate that I am happily (perhaps ignorantly so) omnivorous and that veganism would require a change in lifestyle to which I am not yet willing to commit.
    Thanks for your comment.

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