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Are We a Vegan Church?

To answer this question, let’s start by examining the meaning of the word, “Veganism.”

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

What is your internal reaction to that statement?  Most people agree completely…up to a point.  Even though most people would probably agree that they do not wish to involve themselves in animal cruelty, they still make unneeded exceptions to not perpetuating cruelty when it comes to their tastes.  Considering there are many alternative foods and clothing to wear which do not involve animal cruelty, it seems there is an emotional disconnect of some kind.

We are a church of holistic healing.  We are a church of healing spirit, mind, body and the world.  Holistic means to be whole.  We work to heal disconnects.  Veganism is healing to the body, mind and spirit of the environment and every creature on earth including mankind.  We serve plant-based foods, we teach about gardening, we tend to the animals and work for their cause.

This is not just for the animals, but for us as well, for to give love is to receive.  Our work helps us to understand love.  We are a church of love.  Love is the only thing, ultimately, we’re called to do.  Cruelty has no place in love, and to love unconditionally, means to love all.

So, yes, in this way our church is vegan.  But are we vegan in the sense that only vegans belong?  To that the answer is undeniably no!  Until very recently I, myself, was the only vegan involved in our church.  Now it seems there are a few, but by no means every person who is involved!  And that is completely okay!  Allow me to further explain.

We teach what we see as being ideal.  We take it back to Genesis 1, when everything was provided to us and was good.  The air, the sky, the water, the earth, the plants, each other, the animals, the herbs, the sun…everything was perfectly good.  Not only was it decreed, but if not, we’d have died out of existence by now!

So, we teach ideals.  And ideally, no, we should not kill.  There is absolutely no need.  But we don’t preach it so much, because we understand that people have been engaging in carnivorous practices for millenniums, and a habit so deeply ingrained can only be broken from the inside out.  In other words, why purposely try and make people feel guilty for something they are subconsciously driven to do, so much so that they don’t even see?  It’s between every individual and God.  We do not, however, hide the facts.  We serve all vegan meals, we operate a farm sanctuary, and we even sometimes march in parades!

What people do at home is their own business.  People smoke at home, too, but we don’t smoke at church, and sometimes we may talk about how bad it is to breathe in and which herbs can help you to stop, like LOBELIA, mullein and skullcap, for instance.  People drink at home, too, even though it may wreak havoc on their health and their whole entire lives!  We may talk about it once in awhile, bringing solutions to light, but not with judgement.  I was an addictions professional for years and I, myself, have been in recovery from alcoholism since 1985, but I don’t preach at church about what others may or may not do at home.  Still, though, we do not serve or allow drinks at our events.  Not even at fundraisers.  Nor will we ever serve or allow meat, eggs, dairy or any product produced at an animals expense at any Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center event.

The Indigo Children’s Program…Is it vegan?  The Indigo Children’s Program (www.indigochildrensprogram.education) is our offering of love and peace to the children who will do the work of healing the earth and its inhabitants long after we’ve fallen away.  Is it vegan?  Well, there you go.  We absolutely do not tell children how to eat or that they’re eating wrong or hurting animals. We do serve them all vegan foods and we do not allow non-vegan foods at our events or on our grounds.  We do have an animal sanctuary and we do present real life facts in order to advocate for the welfare of animals all over the earth.  If children ask questions, we do not lie.

We teach how to grow fruits and vegetables and we talk about how healthy they are and how they meet our needs, together with the nuts and seeds which also grow here on our grounds and all over the earth.  Food is plentiful!  We plan to create a food forest and show how food grows naturally out in the wild without ever having to kill.  We teach about the power of plants, but we do not shame children for what goes on their plates at home, nor do we shame their parents.  Shame is not what we’re about.  Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center and the Indigo Children’s Program are all about LOVE.  That’s what the animals teach!

We like to congratulate the successes and the positive contributions one makes.  For every day a person eats vegan, 1100 gallons of water are saved; 40 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forest; 20 pounds of Co2 and one animal life.  Those numbers can be multiplied by twelve just for coming to our church once a month!  Imagine how much more could be saved when adding in more plant-based days at home!  (Source – www.cowspiracy.com/facts)

Don’t think animals have feelings?  Come visit ours!  Don’t know how to prepare vegan meals?  We’ll gladly help you to learn!  Don’t think you’ll like how it tastes?  Come to one of our meals!  Don’t know if it’s healthy?  We have some literature and films to recommend, but most, you can see for yourself how it feels!

Everyone’s welcome to take part in our church.  I think deep down we’re all vegans at heart.  That’s what I’d like to believe.  I’d like to believe that no one would needlessly hurt an innocent creature.  But people do every day.  That doesn’t mean that it’s right.  That just means that people do not yet understand the true meaning of Love.

Not all of us here at our church are vegans.  Not everyone in my own family is vegan!  I love them all, just the same. So, wherever a person is on their journey, if it is Love that they seek, they are absolutely welcome to be part of our group!  We are not exclusive like that, so if that’s what is meant by the question of whether or not we’re a “vegan” church, then no, we are not.  But in our basic ideals, yes we are, because veganism represents unconditional love.

Through our online presence we represent people all over the world, of many religions, cultures, beliefs and practices.  What we all know is that we are all ONE.  Different viewpoints of love.  Different experiences.  Different responses.  But ONE.  We are one with the animals, too.  We are one with all Life.  When we learn to love ourselves and each other, we will love the animals, too; and the same works in reverse.  Love.  That’s all we’re called to do.

As to healing, Love heals all things.  Food is our medicine.  How can a person eat of death and expect the result to be life?  Life begets life.  There is life in the plant.  The dead animal is merely a corpse.  The animals takes life in through the plant.

Strip away all preconceived notions of God and consider only that God is Life, God is Love, God is Good.  God as Life, as Love, as Goodness, can and does heals all things.  God is Principle, and in principle, how can we be healed by stealing the life of another?  How is this Good?  How is this Love?  How can we be healed through violence and death?  It may give the appearance of health and strength, but in the long run, it will drain you of these.  We are attempting to steal that which isn’t ours.  We need to get our own nutrients, from the same source as the animals do.  In the beginning and still today, all it takes to grow food is the sun, the soil, the rain and a seed.  The animal is not the source, any more than we would be should someone decide to partake of our flesh.  We’d be a victim at that point, just as the animals are.

Vibrant life is what we are seeking!  Vegetation provides vibrancy.  Color should be on our plate, not the color of deceased rotting carcasses.  Nature was designed with a purpose for everything.  The colors in the food, the minerals that give them their hue, the leaves which can also be used as medicine…everywhere in nature you look there’s what’s needed for us to heal.  We do not need to kill.  To say it is necessary would be incorrect, considering how many thriving and healthy vegans there are in the world.

We cannot and will not deny the truth just because people are not comfortable with it, but to say that it is our pleasure to cause discomfort to people is not correct.  We just choose not to be blind.  We are Essentials of LIFE Holistic Enrichment Center, and to support the enrichment of life is to support life.  However, we do believe it’s everyone’s choice.  The same could be said of our stance on other issues.  We support life, but we also support choice.  We just hope people learn to make wise, compassionate choices.  That’s all.

To us, being a church, in part, means sharing spiritual principles such as to live and let live, to express unconditional love and to treat others how we wish to be treated.

Imagine a world where we all seek to exclude ALL forms of exploitation and cruelty.  Just imagine the peace, love and joy!

Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful meals we prepare at our church and we hope you’ll make some at home.  Enjoy the animals we share with you in person (please volunteer!) and also through our pages online.  (Join our Facebook group Evans Heaven Farm Animal Sanctuary!)  We also hope you’ll want to become involved in our program, The Learning Garden, and learn and teach others how to grow their own food…real food…from the earth!  Look through the eyes of Love in all that you do.  If you promise just to do that, we promise you we won’t harp on this topic, but still, it is embedded within our very core.  Veganism is Love.

We seek to exclude all forms of exploitation and cruelty.

Peace,

“Vibraceous, ND”

Rev. Dr. Jody Evans, ND, CTN, CNHP, D.D.

Founder, Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center

www.essentials-of-life.org

 

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