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Jacob

Make compassion a reflex!

I am a vegan martial artist and proponent of animal liberation looking to spread the vegan lifestyle by demonstrating its sustainability and potential for athletic performance and overall health.

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Even in the offensive arts, the purpose of true martial practice is defense. We only attack because we must defend, we only do harm to protect those who need it. The Chinese term for martial arts, wushu, actually roughly translates to "the skill of stopping war." The protective philosophies of martial arts and veganism go hand-in-hand.

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I have always enjoyed debating and promoting my ideas through argument. This is another type of combat that can be refined through martial arts strategy. As animal rights advocates, we often find ourselves outnumbered and unable to defeat the overwhelming opposition directly, and so the concepts of Yin and Yang come into play: meeting hardness with softness, anger with compassion, and once we find a weakness, springing into attack from our relaxed and defensive state with counterarguments of our own.

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My family and I have rescued many animals over the years, and the compulsion to do so has been effectively instilled in me to this day. It was never an issue of wanting to add more members to the family, though they were always greeted warmly. It was always simply that they were abandoned and alone, so someone needed to shelter them, and we were willing and able. We do it, because it must be done. I think that this is one of the best lessons I managed to take from my upbringing, and one that I still constantly strive to live up to: to make compassion a reflex!

Martial Arts and Animal Liberation

Preface I think that there is a lot to be said in terms of how martial arts philosophy applies to life in general, and in regards to the animal righton movement it is especially pertinent and beneficial. Many martial arts, such as Okinawan Karate and Capoeira, were developed and practiced so that oppressed people would have a means of defending themselves in lieu of access to arms. Others, such as Tanglang Quan and Aikido, were designed with the explicit intention of giving a smaller or otherwise physically disadvantaged combatant an advantage over larger and stronger adversaries, and even greater numbers of adversaries.

Martial Arts Diversity and Animal Rights Strategy

As a martial artist, I used to wonder if there was one ultimate way to focus one's combat skills, if a style could be developed that took out all the stylistic frills and utilized scientific principles to form a perfect combat system. My reasoning was, if most human bodies are essentially the same, surely there's one specific method of fighting that's superior, and the plethora of styles within martial arts are just culturally-influenced deviations from this hypothetical one-true-way.

Negative Preference Morality

The Golden Rule is the only moral principle that grounds itself in objective observation. The primary three systems of normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, and virtue ethics, all share the common failure to conclusively answer the question "Why should I care?" when they make claims of how individuals ought to behave. The Golden Rule, however, does not even ask that we care about the principle at all, it simply explains that when we act in a manner toward others that is inconsistent with how we would like to be treated, then we are being hypocritical and unfair.