Vegan Parents, Vegan Children: Strong, Ethical, Healthy

Being a parent is probably the most important social role a person can take on.

And being a vegan parent is the most challenging form of parenting.

That’s because vegan parents are guiding children to be part of the very tiny minority of humans who prioritize empathy, ethics, and integrity when it comes to how they interact with animals and the earth.

Vegan parenting takes place within the cruel confines of a technoindustrial grid built from the blood and bones of innocent animals and the planet.

In a world where our entire human culture and infrastructure is constructed from gouging and otherwise using up the earth and its processes, and from imprisoning, exploiting, and killing BILLIONS of animals yearly, it’s hard to raise a gentle, kind, self-restrained child who believes harming  animals and the earth is wrong.

Our entire capitalist society is based on a con game in which individuals and businesses capture our minds as soon as we’re born so they can control what we perceive, think, and believe.

The biggest con of all tells we’re the “best” animal on the planet, so we have the right to do whatever we want to the planet and all other animals.

This is why 99.9% of the people think that torturing, killing, and eating other sentient animals is absolutely acceptable.

Hunting and fishing are enshrined as “nice outdoors things to do.”

Most parents feed their kids dead animal parts and products made from milk meant for baby cows.

Cruelty is an unavoidable aspect of modern food production. Being vegan is a rebuke against that cruelty.

It requires extraordinary courage and diligence to be a vegan parent, and I’m here to help you do the job well, and be proud of your efforts.

The War on Vegan Parents

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are falsely told that being a vegan isn’t good for their children.

Government agencies have tried to steal children away from vegan and vegetarian parents, acting under the dubious assumption that depriving children of flesh foods and dairy is bad for their health.

You see alarmist media articles such as this one, in which various experts (and the so-called journalist) are clearly shilling for a meat and dairy diet for children.

I have no problem calling out anti-vegan propagandists for what they are: liars.

The fact is, vegan moms are the healthiest moms, and their children are the healthiest children, as long as the parents follow sound nutritional advice as provided by ethical scientific and medical organizations like the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (read their dietary advice for children, here).

Ironically, it’s children whose mothers eat the standard American diet rich in meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, fish, and processed foods who are often born with or soon experience health problems created by that diet, especially if parents feed animal foods and processed foods to newborns and toddlers.

There are plenty of obese, pre-diabetic, and other sick children whose illnesses come from a non-vegan diet.

Non-vegan children are often fed breast milk substitute formulas that contain materials derived from animal exploitation, along with hormones, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, artificial flavors, sugars, and other problematic materials found in processed and non-vegan, non-organic foods.

A vegan child, eating a properly-balanced vegan diet derived from organic grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and other vegan sources, has an optimum diet from a nutritional and ethical perspective!

Raising Ethical, Kind Children in an Immoral, Unkind World

Another issue for vegan parents is having the courage to raise miniature vegan samurais.

The vegan parent is raising ethical, animal-defending warriors who are surrounded by a culture of death.

Some parents are afraid to educate their children about the realities of the dark forces at work in our corrupted world.

Other parents, in their admirable but misguided zeal not to “force veganism” onto their children like some parents force religious choices on their children, are unwilling to raise their children vegan, opting instead to “let their children make the choice.”

This is an odd and defeatist way of parenting, and parents rarely have this “let them make their own choices” approach for other issues that are as important as diet.

We know children don’t inherently know what’s right to eat.

In fact, they have to be trained about almost everything—how to use the toilet, how to walk and talk, how to interact with other humans, how to avoid danger, how and what to eat.

It’s not dictatorial or tyrannical for parents to provide only vegan food for their kids, and to explain to their kids (when the kids can understand such explanations) why vegan food is the family’s dietary choice.

When vegan parents are Vegan Samurai rather than Vegan Lite, they refuse to buy non-vegan foods for their kids and they work hard to ensure their children aren’t snared by non-vegan foods and the desire for them that come from influences outside the home.

Remember: carnism (the belief that humans should eat animals), is taught.

It’s a meme brainwashed into society by government, industry, family, and socialization.

The US government’s “food pyramid” and other USDA eating guidelines are wholly the result of animal food industry lobbying and pay-offs, rather than objective, holistic nutritional science.

It isn’t until children have been brainwashed by the dominant death culture that runs our world that they begin to think of other animals as “food.”

When vegan children see a cow, chicken, fish, rabbit, pig, or other animal, they don’t immediately rush over and start biting the animal, trying to eat it!

In fact, they’re more likely to identify with the animal and find it fascinating, cute, cuddly.

Well-raised children look at the world with innocent eyes that are full of love and empathy.

But when parents allow children to watch television, animal food commercials quickly program children to see other animals as burgers, wings, chicken nuggets, barbecued ribs, fried fish, and other food items.

When parents teach their kids to hunt or fish, they’re teaching cruelty and killing.

When vegan children socialize with non-vegan children, the dominant culture will try to make them feel like weirdoes because they don’t eat dead animals or drink milk meant for baby cows.

Vegan kids go to birthday parties, pool parties, picnics, the school cafeteria, relative’s houses, friend’s houses, and other places where pizza, ribs, steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream and other non-vegan foods are the only food choices.

Vegan parents find out that their relatives, especially the kid’s grandparents, are covertly or overtly trying to subvert veganism, giving kids bad foods, telling the kids veganism is wrong, slagging the vegan parents.

Thus, Vegan Samurai parents have to be very vigilant as they manage the educational and social environments for their children.

We must realize that society and 99% of the people around us are pressuring our kids to participate in an industrial food system that kills billions of animals per year in the United States.

Who’s Trying to Corrupt Your Kids?!?

Just like you don’t want your children going to a school, social event, relative’s house, or friendship setting where cigarette smoking, alcoholism, profanity, sexual perversion, or other antisocial behaviors are on display, you don’t want your vegan children hanging around with people who try to get your kids to eat animals, dairy products, and junk food.

Part of being a parent drawing boundaries for and around your child, to protect them from the world.

We all know about and detest child sexual predators, but your children are subject to a more generalized form of predation called consumer capitalism.

From the time your child is born, the outside world is trying to hook her attention to make her a consumer, a customer, a client.

Corporations try to get your kids hooked on miniaturized, ludicrously expensive, branded Nike clothing and accessories.

Junk food restaurants create playgrounds and lurid clowns like Ronald McDonald to lure your kids in and get them hooked on junk food.

Psychiatrists have created “diagnoses” like ADD and ADHD  so they can profit prescribing pharmaceutical psychotropic drugs even to tiny babies, even though the drugs haven’t been tested on children.

Ironically, the problems described as ADD and ADHD most often come from kids eating processed, high-sugar foods, kids trapped indoors, and kids given electronic devices and “entertainment” that entrains their brains to be hyperactive and distracted.

The gender dysphoria and gender reassignment industries tell your kids that their sexual, somatic, and psychological feelings come because “they were born the wrong gender.”

These burgeoning massively profitable industries pathologize and monetize nebulous feelings, reaping stacks of cash from dangerous, needless surgeries, counseling, and hormonal “therapies.”

The gender confusion industry’s marketing is full of false hope and promises.

The sad fact is that many people who buy into a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and get gender reassignment hormonal and/or surgical intervention discover too late that their born physical gender wasn’t the real cause of their problems.

But by then, they’ve been surgically or chemically altered, and sometimes that alteration endangers their physical and emotional health.

The make-up and cosmetics industry wants your daughters to start using their products (many of which are created using animal experimentation) at an earlier and earlier age.

Generalized hedonism culture wants to sexualize your children, and the standard non-vegan diet assists this because intake of meat, poultry, and dairy filled with industrial hormones is causing young girls to reach puberty at earlier and earlier ages.

Media, entertainment, and electronic device corporations want to hook your kids on movies, music, theme parks, computer games, phones, handhelds, and other mindless distractions. They want your kids to be slaves to electronica.

Sexualized music videos are marketed to pre-teens, tweeners, and teenagers.

The Internet is an electronic net, with chat rooms, advertising, entertainment, pornography, and other features where sexual predators and other miscreants lurk like demons, hoping to net your kids.

The military-industrial complex creates video games, ROTC, and other tactics, hoping your kids will love war and consider the military as a career option.

You correctly view your child’s world as a landscape of predators designed to attract them to a baited hook, hook them, and reel them in so they’re captured.

My point is: capitalist society is a predatory system where people with profit agendas are constantly trying to hook your children’s minds to make money off of them.

And the worldwide culture of death symbolized and embodied by the imprisonment, torture, and murder of billions of animals per year is among the most pervasive and societally-accepted predatory traps your children can fall into.

Vegan Parents Are on the Side of the Angels

When your sweet, innocent child, who used to love animals and want to cuddle them, is gradually corrupted by death culture so that he or she starts wanting to eat meat, dairy, fish, or poultry, it’s the same as if your sweet, innocent child started smoking cigarettes, hunting, or engaging in risky, precocious sexual behaviors.

I mean, let’s face it, what life lessons are non-vegan parents teaching their kids?

They’re teaching them it’s ok to create needless suffering and death for billions of animals that have just as much emotional capacity and will to live as the family’s dogs or cats have.

They’re teaching their kids to NOT have empathy, and that it’s ok for the strong to victimize the weak.

That’s what the non-vegan food system is all about: the strong victimizing the weak.

And they’re feeding their kids foods that are bad for them.

None of these are admirable parenting traits.

The good news is that raising a vegan child is more than feeding them the healthiest diet in the world.

It also teaches them character, integrity, self-respect, and respect for others.

A vegan child is a child of ahimsa (non-harm), an empath, a healthy role model, a beacon of kindness and compassion in a world of exploitation and death.

A vegan child is a child whose conscience is clean, who has no blood on his or her hands, who isn’t consuming products created by the death industries.

A Vegan Samurai child is a rare youngster who isn’t afraid to be different when it’s the ethical thing to do, who understands that humans with their dominant paradigms of speciesism and carnism are on the wrong track, are creating a world of hurt.

So be proud and vigilant as you raise your child to be a Vegan Samurai.

Your child will be healthier, happier, and more ethical than non-vegan children.

Your child raised on a plant-based diet will be part of the small but admirable tribe of humans who live ahimsa, who refuse to participate in death culture, and whose hearts and minds are evolved towards kindness, doing what’s right, and standing up for the billions of innocent, sentient beings who deserve better than to be consumed as food and otherwise exploited by our species.

Note that this article doesn’t address a situation where one parent is vegan and the other isn’t, or any other situation in which the children haven’t been raised vegan. I’ll be posting another article about that topic.

And please take a look at this article about a marriage and family dealing with a mixed situation in which the wife is vegan, but her husband and children aren’t.

For more information about vegan parenting, read here, and stay strong because… Vegan Samurai parents are the best parents in the world!

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Just Say No to Seaworld, Zoos, Circuses, Animal Theme Parks

In a previous article here at VeganSamurai.org, we talked about being Vegan Lite versus being a Vegan Samurai. [Read Five Ways Being Vegan is More than Not Eating Animals].

In that article, I mentioned that a Vegan Samurai opposes all forms of animal exploitation and abuse, not just animal exploitation and abuse found in the food industry.

Circuses, zoos, aquariums, and animal theme parks are businesses that imprison, exploit, and abuse animals.

But because those facilities provide “entertainment,” and sometimes education, it’s harder for some people, even some vegans, to give them up and oppose them.

In a recent CNN article about the impacts of the movie Blackfish on SeaWorld, we read the following revealing segment:

But plenty of parents also feel like Laurie Marshall, a mom of two, who has no plans to stop taking her kids to circuses, zoos and aquariums. Marshall, whose kids are 6 and almost 10, just visited SeaWorld two weeks ago and said it was “startling” when you see “how big these creatures are and how small the tanks are.”

Still, her SeaWorld experience didn’t change her mind about bringing her kids to places where they can see animals up close.

 “First, I think it is OK to keep some of these animals in a contained habitat if it does not impede on their lifestyle,” said Marshall, who is the founder and president of Marshall Law Group. “Also, I am not the type to boycott as I don’t believe my sacrifice is going to make a difference and it would deprive my kids of their enjoyment.”

Laurie Marshall’s statements perfectly reveal the speciesism and deliberate selfishness that fuels most of the harms humans do to other animals and the planet.

Specieism is our belief that we’re the best species on the planet, and that this assumed superiority gives us the right to do whatever we want to other species and the planet.

Speciesism echoes the fact that humans are the most powerful, deadly, and consumptive species on the planet.

If by “best species” we mean to say “the species with the most power to imprison, exploit, and kill all other species,” then the description is accurate.

But might doesn’t make right, and just the fact that we can and do dominate all other animals and the earth itself provides zero moral justification to do so.

Marshall was being interviewed about notorious SeaWorld, which puts orcas and other marine mammals into small tanks.

Marshall is quoted as noticing how big the animals are, and how tiny their SeaWorld tanks are.

Thus, Marshall’s statement that it’s ok to “keep some of these animals in a contained habitat if if does not impede on their lifestyle” makes no sense at all.

The very definition of a “contained habitat” means the animals are having their natural lifestyle impeded.

I’m saddened by Marshall’s cluelessness and lack of empathy.

The article describes Marshall as the founder of a law firm. On the firm’s website, we read that Marshall for ten years was in-house counsel for Major League Baseball.

Surely an educated, wealthy woman like Laurie Marshall ought to have the brainpower to understand that if the imprisoned orcas were instead native orcas in ecosystems unspoiled by humans, the orcas would be swimming thousands of miles per year, enjoying all the benefits of open ocean and their natural social groupings.

How can anyone who even minimally understands wildlife biology believe that an orca in a tiny SeaWorld tank is living an “unimpeded lifestyle?”

We also see how Marshall’s statement reveals callousness, fatalism, a flawed sense of entitlement, and extreme selfishness.

For example, she describes it as a “sacrifice” if she was to choose not to bring her children to businesses where animals are imprisoned and harmed.

She wrongly says it won’t make any difference if she boycotts businesses where animals are imprisoned or harmed.

The actual truth is that the boycott of SeaWorld, just like boycotts that stopped rights violations such as South African apartheid, are often successful at achieving positive change.

Another animal imprisonment facility that should be boycotted is the Miami Seaquarium, where an orca has been imprisoned for many years in a tiny tank, exploited for entertainment.

Read here for more information.

In Marshall’s quest to provide “enjoyment” for her kids, she’s willing to be a customer of businesses that imprison and harm animals.

Marshall reminds me of parents who used to bring their kids to public lynchings.

Because American history has been sanitized, many of us don’t know that public lynchings of African-Americans used to be considered “family entertainment.”

Parents made picnic lunches, and a generally festive spirit abounded, similar to what you see at circuses, zoos, and places like SeaWorld.

Thousands of people partied and cheered as blacks and other minorities were tortured and killed.

There were popular postcards depicting lynchings, beatings, people tortured, dismembered, and burned alive.

When I hear someone defending zoos, circuses, SeaWorld, and similar businesses, I ask them the same question I ask people who consume meat, fish, milk, cheese, and eggs.

“If other animals did to you what you think is acceptable to do to them, how would you feel about it?”

I wonder how Marshall would feel if her two children were permanently housed in a small glass chamber where strangers paid to watch them perform tricks.

If Marshall objected to that, but doesn’t object to it being done to orcas, it’s a perfect example of speciesism.

You shouldn’t do it to her precious kids, but it’s ok to do it to other sentient animals… that’s her speciesist “logic.”

The true vegan knows that humans using animals for food is wrong for the same reason that SeaWorld, circuses, and zoos are wrong.

In all cases, it’s our species doing bad things to other species—things we wouldn’t want them to do to us.

The Vegan Samurai goal is to create a deep ecology, egalitarian world, where humans no longer feel the need to dominate, eat, imprison, experiment on, abuse, and otherwise harm animals.

It includes, but goes way beyond, dietary choices. It includes not giving your money to zoos, circuses, Vegas shows, SeaWorld, or any other business that imprisons animals.

Five Ways Being Vegan Includes More than Not Eating Animals

There’s a form of veganism that a Vegan Samurai calls “Vegan Lite.”

Vegan Lite is…

A person doesn’t consume any food products derived from the capture, domination of, enslavement, torture, or killing of animals.

This includes eggs, dairy, fish, and meat.

The Vegan Lite person limits their vegan activism to their dietary choices.

In contrast, an authentic “Vegan Samurai” refuses to participate in any industry that exploits and harm animals.

Here’s what I mean…

The Vegan Samurai Opposes the Animal Entertainment Industry

The animal entertainment industry includes circuses, Seaworld, zoos, rodeos, dolphin encounter businesses, and other facilities that take animals away from their natural habitats, biological pathways, and social groupings.

The zoo and animal theme park industries claim their facilities educate people about and expose them to animals, but the most pervasive message animal captivity facilities implant in peoples’ heads is that animals have no rights to live as Nature intended, and are ours to capture, cage, and gawk at.

There are limited exceptions one could make for wildlife rehab centers and farm animal sanctuaries, although I’ve seen examples where both of these categories are actually exploiting animals rather than helping them.

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Using Animals for Clothing & Other Materials

For centuries, trapping of animals for fur has been one of the most brutal ways humans abuse animals.

In the modern era, so-called “fur farms” imprison, enslave, and often electrocute animals so their furs can be made into fancy coats for humans.

We also see cows, pigs, and other animals skinned alive so leather, pigskin, and other materials can be made into wallets, shoes, gloves, coats, and other items that instead could  be made with materials from non-animal sources.

Animals in the wild are hunted for furs, or for ludicrous uses such as “bearskin rugs.”

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Hunting & Fishing

Other than the few remote, indigenous native peoples whose cultures have no choice but to rely on hunting for sustenance, nobody on the planet needs to hunt to eat.

They do it because they like to kill innocent animals, not because they have to do it.

Hunting and fishing are nothing more than humans invading the homes of other animals, using vehicles, dogs, hooks, boats, overwhelming firepower and other means to murder animals that haven’t done anything wrong, and can’t fight back.

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Vivisection (Animal Experimentation)

The horrors of vivisection in some cases are more disgusting even than the terrible atrocities you see in undercover videos that expose the animal foods industry.

And the “benefits” of vivisection are vastly overstated.

In fact, the defense given for vivisection is that vivisection helps humans develop medical treatments and medicines, and is wholly based on specieism (the belief that our species is more important than all other species).

I’ve spoken to animal experimenters who actually say things like, “If I have to stick electrodes into the heads of kittens so I can help even one human, it’s worth it.”

The real truth is that most vivisection is unnecessary if not inapplicable to human medical needs, experiments can be conducted without animals, and a lot of animal experimentation is conducted for ridiculous purposes, such as the torture done to rabbits by eye make-up companies.

A Vegan Samuria also opposes transgenic experimentation, such as the creation of chimeras that are part non-human animal, part human animal.

We oppose Frankenstein experiments done with animals!

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Animals Used for Labor

Have you seen the incredible movie War Horse?

One of the most powerful scenes is when majestic horses are harnessed and used to pull heavy military equipment, which injures and kills them.

Contrary to the nostalgic way we’ve been taught to look at oxen and horses hooked up to plows and other human machinery, the Vegan Samurai opposes ALL use of animals for labor.

Why? Because animals can never give us explicit, non-coerced, voluntary consent to what we want them to do.

And yes, this includes “service dogs.”

I realize that people who are Vegan Lite may initially feel the Vegan Samurai paradigm is challenging, shocking, or “too extreme.”

But I can assure you the Vegan Samurai paradigm is well-analyzed and totally solid from the perspective of logical, ethical consistency.

If it’s wrong to be a customer of a food industry that imprisons, enslaves, and harms animals, then it’s wrong to be a customer of other industries (such as zoos, aquariums, circuses, animal experimentation labs, rodeos, animal labor, etc.) that also harm animals by imprisoning and harming them.

I urge everyone who’s a vegan to adopt the Vegan Samurai paradigm as described above.

It’s the most all-encompassing, morally-consistent vegan paradigm, and it cleanses you from being a participant in any system that harms animals.

Living Vegan in the Death Culture

I went to a non-vegan restaurant with friends and was reminded how challenging it is to live vegan in a society founded on animal abuse and the psychological mechanisms that facilitate it.

The three people I had dinner with are all “good” people… a married couple who both had eminently statured careers in academia, and an engineer.

They’re interesting, personable, friendly people whom I respect and care about.

The restaurant was classy, full of diners. The interior had attractive aesthetics.

But I felt uncomfortable because my companions are non-vegans who ordered meals containing cut-up animal parts.

I haven’t seen non-vegan food for a while. It made me sick to see other animals’ breasts and other body parts on a plate.

I studied the menu trying to find vegan options. Out of approximately 25 main entrees or side orders, only two appeared to be vegan.

I asked the waitress if there were any animal products in the items and she said there were not.

My companions questioned me about being vegan. Why  had I done it? What about protein deficiency? Did I miss non-vegan food?

I recommended they read VeganSamurai.org for a full explanation of why I went vegan, but that the short answer is, veganism is the only dietary system that’s good for personal health, environmental health, and animal health.

And that’s when my companions’ cognitive dissonance, deliberate unknowing, and moral evasion became very apparent.

They agreed that veganism is the morally defensible dietary paradigm.

But they cavalierly talked continuing to eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy even though the animal food industry, and animal foods themselves, are harmful to animals, Nature, and people.

Not only that, one of my companions is severely overweight because of his dietary choices, and suffers greatly because of it.

In an ironic moment, he talked about his addiction to foods that were killing him… as he ate foods that were killing him.

It was if I’d been sitting in a restaurant with companions who casually admitted they were shareholders in or employees of a company that committed genocide or other horrors.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a self-described “pacifist and anti-war activist” who worked for a military contractor making weapons of war.

I recalled the book and videos by Dr. Melanie Joy who explains that carnism–the belief system that supports the eating of animals– creates moral deadening, denial, and self-delusion.

When my beet salad and veggie burger main course arrived, I looked at them carefully to see if there were any animal components.

I couldn’t see or taste any, but to my dismay, at the end of the meal when I was asking if there were vegan desserts, the waitress told me my salad had had cheese in it.

This explained the queasy, heavy feeling I’d started to experience as soon as I ate the salad.

And I mused to myself that if there was a Church of the Vegan Samurai, I’d have to go to confession and tell the priest, “I need forgiveness, for I’ve eaten foods produced by harming cows,” and seek absolution.

But as of  yet, there is no Church of the Vegan Samurai.

I was left to feel guilt about my inadvertent “cheese sin,” and the incongruous experience of communing with nice people I care about… except they’re willing participants in the violent, dominant culture of speciesism and carnism.

To put it bluntly, my friends support the animal-killing system that to me represents the greatest moral failing of our species.

All of us who truly care about animals realize that living vegan in a death culture means we’re often forced to compromise, camouflage, and “be quiet” when we’re with people who participate in carnism.

We love our family, lovers, friends. We want to “get along” with people.

We don’t want to dislike people for the deliberate, needless sins they commit against innocent animals and the environment.

We grieve for the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other maladies they create for themselves because they eat animal foods and processed foods.

Vegans are the dismayed witnesses to the core immorality that animal-eating represents.

Other than the animal victims themselves, vegans are the only people who viscerally recognize we live in a world dominated by carnistic people and systems that create massive harms and suffering.

This is yet another reason I created the Vegan Samurai concept.

A samurai is a warrior who works hard to stay strong and resolute no matter what battles are looming.

A Vegan Samurai is often alone in a cruel world, surrounded by carnistic people who participate in the genocide against animals.

All you have are your vegan ethics, honor, principles, and strength as antidote to the heartbreak of being part of the only species that enslaves billions of innocent animals, destroys its own health, and trashes the earth.

Why I Became a Vegan Samurai

What is a vegan samurai and why should you consider becoming a vegan samurai?

Let’s start by defining what a vegan samurai is.

I first envisioned the Vegan Samurai code when I was transitioning from raw food and vegetarian diets to veganism while also studying religion, spirituality, philosophy, ethics, animal sentience, and related topics.

As I considered my life and the tenets of general society, it seemed we lack a crucial organizing principle or code of behavior that would create inner peace, physical health, social harmony, and justice.

For example, when I talked to people about the terrible harm human society does to non-human animals and the earth, I sadly learned that many people have no internal moral code and conscience when it comes to such harms.

This lack of internal moral code and ethical conscience starts with individuals and then permeates society as a whole, especially capitalist consumerist societies.

Our world is threatened by amoral hedonism, mindless entertainment, selfishness, greed, narcissism,violence, and relentless consumption of the planet and non-human animals.

Look around all people rushing to and fro in airplanes and cars, in a frenzy of compulsively traveling, buying, talking on or looking at handheld electronic devices.

They’re stressfully busy doing things that almost always involve consuming fossil fuels and other energy sources, eating animals, and harming the planet.

Our technoindustrial grid is founded on systemic, societally-approved brutality: the way humans use animals for food is a perfect example.

In my studies, I noticed earlier cultures had “codes of honor” that organized personal and group relationships around morals, civic duties, and spiritual centeredness.

Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism had aspects of honor codes that greatly impressed me.

But when I discovered Bushido, which is the code of virtues commonly associated with samurai warriors, I felt an immediate clarity, practicality, and attraction.

Samurai warriors have been popularized (in a distorted, sensationalized way) in movies, books, anime, and hentai.

In modern lore, such as the Quentin Tarantino movies Kill Bill: Volumes One and Two, samurai are portrayed primarily as unhinged sword-fighting warriors who possess almost-supernatural fighting skills combined with iron will and a lust for blood, revenge, and victory.

The actual samurai were martial artists and military warriors in Japan hundreds of years ago.

They fought bloody battles using body skills and various weapons including samurai swords.

But fighting and blood aren’t the whole samurai story– true samurai were also trained in the liberal arts, and had a rigid personal honor code that governed the way they managed their thoughts, ethics, actions, and interactions with others.

This code and the samurai lifestyle are sometimes known as “Bushido.”

I don’t follow all aspects of Bushido, of course, because I’m not a sword-wielding warrior serving an emperor.

But I was particularly impressed that Bushido required frugality, self-control, benevolence, sincerity, loyalty, respectfulness, and right behavior towards others.

I also like the fact that Zen Buddhism influenced samurai and Bushido.

Buddhism, of all major “religions,” has by far the most explicit teachings forbidding the killing of animals.

Buddhism also acknowledges more than any other religion that all animals are sentient, not just human animals.

A further benefit for those of us walking the vegan path is Buddhism includes the practices and teachings of “emptiness,” and meditation—two inward-looking concepts that clear the mind to provide an accurate, calm, and health-enhancing view of “self” and life.

As I started the vegan life exposed to the enormous societal and interpersonal pressures from those who create or eat animal-derived food products, I felt a need to be a “warrior” for veganism, the earth, and animals harmed by humans.

I also noticed that being vegan in a non-vegan society, where I too had been raised to love eating flesh, eggs, and dairy, is a spiritual warrior path requiring us to always strengthen our resolve by remembering the moral reasons we adopted veganism.

To put it simply, I learned to resist external and internal negatives by following a form of vegan Bushido code, so I could stay on the vegan path as an empathic being in a world full of needless suffering.

My commitment to non-killing, to not being a customer of those who exploit animals, involves honor, frugality, benevolence, sincerity, loyalty, self-control and other Bushido values.

Of course, I’m not into sword fighting or ritual suicide as the ancient samurai warriors were.

While the original samurai had no qualms about shedding blood, the vegan samurai is dedicated to preventing the shedding of blood, especially the blood of animals tortured and slaughtered for food.

So there you have it… the birth of the vegan samurai.

To my knowledge, I’m the only one so far.

I’ll be writing more articles that explain and amplify what a vegan samurai is and does, and I hope you too will become a vegan samurai.

For now, I suggest reading this book on the Bushido code, and also engaging the YouTube videos I’ve embedded herein.

The bottom line is that being vegan is a form of being a warrior… a wholly honorable warrior on behalf of innocent animals, mother earth, a just society, and your own physical and spiritual health!