My Personal Journey on Veganism, War, and Abortion
by Frank Lane
I’ve been an ethical vegan for about 28 years and a vegetarian for 16 years before that. My passionate conviction came from a profound sense of the sacredness and wonder of my existence, the natural world, especially the unborn, animals, and trees.
I was a registered conscientious objector to war and refused to kill when asked by my country. But on the flip side of that principle, I am a black belt in martial arts, where I learned how to severely protect by force for those that could not protect themselves.
This may sound like a dichotomy of principles, but I think not. A soldier will give his/her life or take life, for the greater good based on principle. It is our principles that determine our ethics.
When I am fighting for the greater good, I become my principles.
At 16, I broke away from the whole of the war machine and became part of the whole of the peace movement. I became an individual part of bringing peace to a warring world. This is when my principles started to fall into place, especially the first time I was told, “Meat is Murder.” I was stunned by the inference that one could be thought of as a murderer for killing animals.
I had to consider deeply how my act of contributing to the slaughter of millions of animals a day was affecting peace on the planet and in my soul.
When I was called for military service, it turned my world upside down, because I was being asked to kill my unknown brothers and sisters.
The killing of babies or veal calves or the Holocaust of Jews and the disabled demonstrate a lack of reverence for life. When we lose our respect for the sacredness of life, as in the case of viewing those with disabilities as having less value than other life, we break the link with the holiness of life. Living this honoring of the sacredness of life makes us spiritual beings.
In a public demonstration, activists gathered thousands of baby dolls, poked holes in them and painted them blood red to mimic an aborted baby. They then threw them like garbage onto the lawn of the White House to depict only one hour’s worth of aborted babies.
To add insult to injury, the activists demanded in jest that at least the abortion industry should organize a system to gather the aborted and process the carnage for animal food! This was done to draw a parallel to using the body parts of Holocaust victims for other purposes, such as using their bones for bone china or needles.
When anyone becomes aware of the suffering, it is an opportunity for personal growth. But at the same time we can close our eyes in denial. This is especially true when we experience a level of awareness and compassion for the bloodbath horrors of torture, agony, and suffering of animals, babies in the womb, or those in concentration camps. Our participation, however removed from these acts of abject torment, makes us cogs in the machine of mass murder.
I found solace in the notion that “All Life is Sacred,” bringing me to peace with a respect for all life. So when I was asked to take another person’s life by my country, I knew this was the most significant demand ever placed on me. My answers come from the highest respect for life, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”
So, with that notion in mind, I took a college ecology class to learn how to save the world. I was shocked when the professor told us to go out and kill an overpopulated species to balance out the “ecology.”
Here was the hard and determining test for abortion; when the life of the mother was at peril and an abortion became a medical necessity. This gives perspective on how to decide on the issue of taking life for the greater good.
The underlying guiding morality became clear: all life is sacred, and worthy of respect, even when killing is required. The American Indians honored the animals they killed for survival with great reverence. The word “survival” is the operative word that we must consider in these moral decisions.
We must ask: does our existence depend on the killing and suffering of animals? A soldier, doctor, politician, and butcher, all kill with a level of discernment. There are rules and regulations to our moral ethics of killing that appease our conscience.
One only needs to watch the horrific terror animals go through in a slaughterhouse to see unspeakable horror. Babies are stolen from their mothers, raped to become pregnant, left shaking with fear from the smell of blood and by hearing the cry of other animals. There is nothing more frightening than this holocaust of torture, pain, and suffering. If this living hell had to have glass walls, it would never exist.
Abortion has become as common and acceptable as destroying the environment for hamburgers.
Abortion is the original “Inconvenient Truth.” Without compassion for all life, we limit our spiritual convictions. Just as all things are connected, so is our compassion to every creation of life.
Your level of awareness will dictate your behavior. Your spiritual awareness will dictate your spirituality. It was this awakening that led me to honor the sacredness of life and a non-violent diet. That same awakening from ego, selfishness, lack, and fear turned my heart to the sanctity of the unborn.
There is a time to live and a time to die. As an ethical vegan and person of faith in the sacredness of all life, I find this awareness trumps all other conditions, leading my soul to seek a congruency for the honoring of creation for myself, others, the animals and planet.
For more of our blog posts that include veganism as a concern, see: