Towards Freedom


Information, Inspiration, Imagination
truly a site for soaring Is

Sangeeta

Every good action shines in eternity ...

From the depths of our hearts we can hear the cry of countless animals being slaughtered, we can feel the hands of starving children reaching out. In our own dwellings we can taste the toxins in the water, and in our own cities we can smell the pollution in the air. The animals, the children and the earth are calling us. now is the time to put compassion into action and become part of the solution.

At times we may feel lost in a world which is full of such atrocities. We may ask ourselves, "The problems seem so large, what can I do about it?".

When I heard of the injustices in the world in my early teen years, I, as many do, felt confused and overwhelmed but never hopeless. I wanted to make positive changes in society, but how does a teenager go out in to the world and make a difference? I was soon to realize the power I have in me, as we all do.

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"Each man is haunted until his humanity awakens."
William Blake

I became a vegetarian when I was 7 years old. The idea of eating animals was abhorrent to me. I could not believe that people actually ate living creatures. Many people came down on me for my decision, but I persisted and stood up quietly. Nonetheless, this was a wonderful lesson for me and certainly the commitment and will power that I developed during those years has carried me through

When I was 16 years old, I met someone who was to have a lasting affect on my being. He was my high-school teacher. He believed in me and my vision, which was all I needed to believe in myself and in my inner strength. Together we started an animal rights and environmental organization in our school which served to inspire countless individuals.

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"Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life."
Norman Cousins

One experience that had a profound affect on me, happened shortly after I had begun my activism. I was asked to do a presentation on animal rights in front of the whole school! How could I get up and talk to 2000 people! They would surely laugh at me and what I had to say. Despite my fears, I thought that if I could just touch one person in the audience then all my effort would be a success. Before I got on stage I prayed, "May I be the voice of the voiceless, and may the animals spirit speak through me." Immediately I felt a presence with me and I mustered up all the courage I had and walked up on stage. I could not believe that after the presentation I received a standing ovation. People were actually cheering! After that experience crowds of people approached me and told me how they had been inspired and had started to change their lifestyles. I was deeply touched and understood that one person could make a difference!

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"Never doubt that a small group of dedicated individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Thereafter, I have been involved in many organizations for animal rights, environmental, and social reform. I am currently executive director of Compassionate Living, a non-profit organization through which we serve to inspire and motivate people to live a compassionate lifestyle. Our main focus is education. We go into schools, churches and various organizations to teach individuals how to live with ahimsa. We cover everything from what you eat, wear and buy, to how you think, act and communicate in this world.

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"Animals are my friends. I don't eat my friends."
George Bernard Shaw

One of my most favorite pastimes is eating. Consequently, I enjoy teaching people how to cook healthy, organic, vegetarian food. I inform people that one of the most dramatic and positive changes you can make for your health, for all creatures, and for the world is to adopt a plant-based diet. I love doing this because many people want to change their diets, but do not know where to start. When they can see how wonderfully tasty and fun a plant-based diet can be, they inevitably want to eat this way.

Due to the fact that there are so many harmful and toxic detergents and soaps, I also market cruelty-free environmental products. It is so important that as consumers, we use our tremendous buying power to support ethical and environmentally sane companies. Together, we can have a huge global impact.

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"We must become the change we wish to see in this world."
Gandhi

Our thoughts and our actions must be in accordance with how we would like the world to be. In this way we can live in harmony with the planet, the animals and ourselves.

Animal Rights and Wrongs

For centuries people have exploited, mutilated and abused animals in countless ways, oblivious of animal's sentience. Today a new movement rising is questioning societies use and abuse of non-human animals. The animal righton movement states that animal have a right to swim if they have fins, fly if they have wings, and run if they have feet. From killing animals for experimentation or for food, using them to do silly tricks, putting them on display, or hunting them for fun and alleged sport, animals bear the brunt of society's violence.

Environmental Racism

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Columbo 685) The powerful words of The Declaration of Independence were announced some two hundred years ago, yet this country still toils with the problem of racial discrimination. Racism comes in many forms such as employment, wages, housing etc.

Holistic Education

Learning is an important fabric of who we are and what we are able to become. The process of leaning has the ability to change the world- for better or for worse. Throughout history many great thinkers have commented on this subject and have ideas and learning techniques which if applied on a mass scale would revolutionize our educational system as we know it. The following are thoughts and ideas each individual has contributed to the field of education.

Jonathan the Seagull

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a novel by Richard Bach, is a much-loved classic that has touched the hearts of many. A tale of courage, truth and love, this eloquently written story is a rich and vibrant literary work. This book centers on the character development of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, who changes from a quiet and timid young seagull to an enlightened, brave and courageous being. The story begins with Jonathan as a lonesome seagull wants to transcend the boring world of eating, mating and sleeping that most gulls live in order to survive.

Season for Non Violence

This is an article written by the San Diego organizer of the 1998 Season for Non-Violence event. I would like to inform you if you do not know already about an exciting and uplifting time of the year- it is called the Season for Non-Violence. January 30 and April 4, 1998 mark the 50th and 30th anniversaries of the assassinations of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The days between these memorial anniversaries are being hailed as A Season for Non- Violence - a time to raise awareness about the principles and practices of nonviolence, to highlight the local 'heroes' and initiatives that are putting them into practice, and to honor the legacies of two great men who taught the world an alternative means for defusing conflict and transforming communities.

The Myth of the American Dream

Success is what the American Dream is all about. Many people are motivated by the promise of a better life, hence they chase dollar bills all their lives in the hopes of living out the American Dream - a fantasy which only money can buy. The American economic system is designed to meet the needs of the upper class, as it ignores problems of ethnic minorities. The American Dream is a fantasy that has not come true for the millions that are toiling in the system hoping to get a piece of the wealth which America so liberally shares with its rich upper class.

Triumph of Love

Long ago within the Ocean of Frungali there was born a baby whale who was named Prem. He was an exceptionally intelligent child, and indeed his parents were very proud of him. When all his friends swam into the ocean depth to play, he would go on his own exploring the beauties of the ocean. There he would meet many different species. He realized that each one of them had different personalities and acted in different ways.

Vivisection Science or Insanity

Many caring and concerned individuals both from the medical and local communities are asking if animal experimentation is beneficial to human health and medical research. (Ruesch 36) Because animal experimentation focuses on artificially inducing disease in perfectly healthy animals, and is undermined by the vast differences of non-human-animals versus humans anatomically, physiologically and pathologically, "it is inherently an unsound way to investigate the human disease process" (MMC 1) Approximately two hundred years ago the practice of vivisection began when religious leaders prohibited the dissection of human corpses.