9.1 The Vegan Metamorphosis

The rise of Veganism is a swift kick in the rear to such linear thinking. We know that the current socioeconomic system, based on mindless consumption, is incompatible with Veganism. When taken through its logical progression, Veganism necessitates conscious simplicity since any unnecessary consumption uses natural resources that impacts animals somewhere. This is why going vegan is a process that doesn’t stop with our dinner plates. This is also why “vegan consumerism” is an oxymoron and why it frightens the elites in the current system that more and more people are going vegan. Hence the widespread Cowspiracy that has infected elites and institutions, especially in the developed world. However, since no one can force people to consume animal products, the vegan metamorphosis is inexorable and just as in Nature, the Caterpillar has no choice but to become a Butterfly. As of 2015, 36% of Americans were actively experimenting with a plant-based vegan lifestyle[5]!

In this book, I have laid the case that the enormous waste and excess found in the animal agriculture industry can be used to devise a compassionate solution to our environmental predicament, which is considerate of all Life, not just humans. As ecosystems recover and human societies restructure around compassion, not consumption, as an organizing value, the demands on Nature will subside. As a globally equitable human society evolves, our descendants will naturally reduce their population over time and return towards the necessary balance with Nature. This is the true metamorphosis as the Caterpillar evolves into the Butterfly.

Buckminster Fuller once said[6],

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

In the self-improvement book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, the main character, Socrates, also advised against fighting the old system head on[7]:

“The secret of change is focus all of your energies, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

But in order not to fight the old, the old must not fight the new either. Therefore, it is important to build the new in a manner that complements the old and in harmony with it. Just as no one truly wants planetary catastrophes looming in our future as our current socioeconomic system continues to destroy the planet, no one wants the current socioeconomic system to collapse and cause global chaos either. That is precisely what world leaders are trying to avoid, but in their typically secretive, ham-handed fashion. Even the youth were not taken in by the charade that was the UN Paris Accord of 2015. Youth artists created toilet paper rolls with the text of the Paris Accord written on them and had those rolls smuggled into the restroom stalls at the UN COP-21 meeting in Paris!

Unfortunately, world leaders are forced to engage in this Kabuki theater. In a brief address to the press recently, President Obama described his job as follows[8]:

“Being President is a hard job… Whoever’s standing where I’m standing right now has the nuclear codes with him, and can order 21 year-olds into a firefight, and has to make sure that the banking system doesn’t collapse and is often responsible for not just the United States of America but 20 other countries who are having big problems and are falling apart and are looking for us to do something.”

Notice how stabilizing the banking system was high on his task list! Since the financial crisis of 2007-8, the big banks have become even bigger and almost universally disliked, because they are “too big to fail.” They have successfully socialized their risks and privatized their profits. In fact, the total annual profits of the four largest banks in the US is about equal to their total federal subsidies, meaning that these banks are truly insolvent[9]. But the current debt-based financial system has become so complex, with unfettered trades in derivative instruments exceeding the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many large nations on a daily basis, that it might well be impossible to tinker with this financial system without triggering a collapse. As the current socioeconomic system chugs along destroying the planet, we just have a few years to work out its replacement. It is now in all our best interests, young and old, rich and poor, corporate and academic, to collaborate and build the infrastructure for a parallel new system that complements the old and can grow from it.

Today the mainstream media belittles Veganism as a fringe movement. I predict that ten years from now, Veganism will be mainstream and the average person will wonder aloud how we could have ever committed such atrocities against the animals and the planet!

I look forward to overhearing that conversation in ten years time.

[4] Hallegatte, S., et al., “Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty,” World Bank report, 2015, http://bit.ly/1MjUDl1

[5] This statistic was reported in the 2015 Special Diets Report of the Nutrition Business Journal here: http://newhope.com/2015-nbj-special-diets-report-and-webinar. This report is behind a pay wall, but an analysis explaining the statistic in question can be found here: http://bit.ly/1HLKZqT

[6]  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/13119-you-never-change-things-by-fighting-the-existing-reality-to

[7] Attributed to the character, Socrates, in Dan Millman, WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR: A Book That Changes Lives, HJ Kramer/New World Library, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-1932073256, http://amzn.to/25804OS

[8]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDmIdhcQ4Ew

[9]  https://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/Rigged_Justice_2016.pdf

9. Towards Moral Singularity
9.2 Learning from Experience
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