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Animals are important to me.  And I find the atrocities committed against them hauntingly and deeply disturbing. 

No meat is served in my house.  I keep a vegan diet as does my oldest son. My middle boy is vegetarian.  My boyfriend and youngest child are almost, but not quite vegetarian.  Our varying levels of commitment and the welfare of animals are something we talk about from time to time.

During one such recent conversation we acknowledged that a person can be vegan and still complicit with a wide range of crimes against humanity and the planet and, in some cases, animals as well via other (non-food) avenues of consumption.

Fuel consumption and large chain bargain store shopping were cited.  I had to admit that the family member making this point had hit a bull's eye.

Our family is not unaware of the issues associated with materialism.  We repurpose things like crazy.  We have a garden.  We avoid processed food.  We also buy things at stores we should not be supporting.  We drive everywhere because we are always in a hurry.  We turn up the heat when we could just as easily put on a sweater.  We turn on our air conditions when we should be living in harmony with the seasons.  

We have a coal stove for extra heat.  We have no solar unit. No wind power.  No rain barrel.

We tax the planet and support actions which we cannot in good conscious agree with.  Our goal is to shift the balance away from these practices and I think that we will be successful to a degree. That is to say, our changes in these areas will probably be limited.

While we may modify our behavior, it is very unlikely that we will give up gasoline, or natural gas, or coal or large chain bargain stores completely anytime soon.  Even though we understand that by supporting these industries we are complicit with practices we do not approve of.

Which raises an interesting question.  Why do some causes push our buttons and propel us to action, when others do not?  Why do some protest for the planet while others focus on a single habitat or community or breed?

Our particular passions are, in my opinion, clear evidence of our soul level programming.  To be passionate about a particular cause is not to say that our cause is superior to others or that we are, in ourselves, in any way superior to others.  It is only to say that this cause belongs to us.  That it is a thing that we have been charged with. 

Not everyone is activist but we can all lead by example.  In my world view, the crimes committed against our fellow earthlings are something for which the whole of the human race should feel accountable.  In your view, something else may strike a more resonant chord.  

And while none of us are confined to single act of good conscience, I believe that we should all lead with our heart.  I believe that by expressing our own passion, we express our soul level reason for being and that this is why we are here.

Our life mission is rarely one dimensional.  And it is my opinion that most of us are charged with a number of highly significant tasks.  The time and energy we can devote to each is always to some degree limited.  To me, our mission here seems not unlike our day job.  Certain responsibilities are assigned to us and it our job to incorporate them into our plan.

We  must not underestimate the affect we can have. 

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