People of different faiths are increasingly embracing veganism as a way of living and eating that is consistent with, and an extension of, their own spiritual beliefs. Veganism is not a religion but, like many faiths, it is based on compassion, benevolence, charity, love, equity, and respect.
As people learn more about the devastating impact animal agriculture has on our planet, its peoples, and animals, they are coming to understand that our food systems and choices are at odds with their sincerely-held beliefs and principles. For example:
Christians may ask themselves how the violence of factory farms and slaughterhouses fit into God’s Peaceable Kingdom.
Hindus may start to recognize the suffering in the dairy industry and wonder how supporting that trade is consistent with their reverence of cows.
Islam expects people to treat all animals with respect, kindness, and dignity, so it is not surprising that many Muslims are choosing to live that belief, and eat a plant-based diet.
Sikhism is based on Daya, or compassion, and Sikhs have historically been lacto-vegetarian. Yet, today’s industrial milk production is no more compassionate than meat production.
There are vegan Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu groups, blogs and information hubs, where followers can find out more about how an animal-free diet strengthens and supports their own beliefs.
People who do not belong to an organized religion, but still follow a spiritual path, may find that being vegan can help connect them to something deeper—to love, compassion, community, and justice.
While no religion demands veganism, all permit it, and for many people, veganism is a way to put their beliefs into practice daily.
A Prayer for Compassion is a feature-length documentary that strives to inspire and encourage those already on a religious or spiritual path, to expand their circle of compassion to embrace all life, regardless of species, and make choices in alignment with this value.