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.
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.
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!