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Our Struggle for Moral Consistency

We are all flawed and morally inconsistent, but if our moral authority is based on our moral consistency, then where does each one of us stand? I have been an activist on some level for over 20 years, and I can tell you first hand that the degree of disconnect, or lack of intersectionality, among so many influential people and various social justice movements is stunning. I volunteered for a recent march in Manhattan, and witnessed climate activists literally eating pizza, and cheeseburgers, while holding up signs that read, “There is No Planet B” and “End Fossil Fuels Now!” (as per Oxford University, the single biggest thing that anyone can do to fight the climate crisis, is adopt a vegan diet). I joined an anti-war march last summer and watched as many of the PEACE activists sat down to animal cruelty food later in the day. I attended the 2023 Animal and Vegan Awareness (AVA) Summit and listened while Ukrainian animal rescue activists demonized Russia repeatedly, yet completely ignored how the US provoked Russia, and thwarted peace negotiations again and again. I have even met Trump supporters at an animal rights protest! If compassion for all beings is the goal of veganism, then why do most vegans fall silent on Israel’s US backed genocidal massacre of Palestinians, and on the millions of innocent people who have been killed (and continue to die), due to the illegal US led wars over the last 60 years? US President Joe Biden and the US War Machine are literally committing genocide, and war crimes, on a daily basis, yet you don’t hear a peep from most of the so-called “justice” movements, especially the vegan, and animal rights organizations. Why? Where is the moral consistency? Their collective silence is deafening. How can so many activists be so knowledgeable, compassionate, and even brilliant in one area of injustice, and yet so dangerously ignorant, detached, and even complicit in others?

Adopting a plant-based diet, and a vegan lifestyle, is by far the easiest, and most effective form of action that anyone can take to promote love, human and animal wellness, planetary health, and peace. 🙂

Here are 4 big reasons why you should adopt a plant-based diet, and go vegan today!
(btw, a lot of what is shared below has appeared in other posts on this website).

1. Human Health – The only diet that has been scientifically proven to reverse heart disease (the #1 killer of Americans), early stage prostate cancer, and type 2 diabetes, is a low fat, whole food, plant-based diet. According to Harvard University, adopting a healthy plant-based diet can extend a person’s life by about 12-14 years. In fact, studies show that if a person adopts a plant-based diet, avoids smoking, watches her weight, and exercises, she will reduce her chances of developing a chronic disease by close to 80%! Imagine a world where most people are not sick or on medications because they are eating a healthy plant-based diet. Imagine too how that would impact the 500,000+ Americans who lost their homes in 2020 due to medical debts, or the over 60% of Americans who are today living paycheck to paycheck! The implications of breaking free from the broken and corrupt healthcare (sick-care) industry, an industry that has learned that there is more money to be made in managing disease, rather than in curing or preventing it, would be revolutionary.
Click here to learn more.

2. Animal Welfare – Right now, billions of innocent animals are living lives of misery, and enduring unspeakable horrors, every second, of every day in order to support our current food system (which is toxic, and driven by greed and flavor preferences).
You can help end this abuse by adopting a plant-based diet, and a vegan lifestyle!
Click here to learn more from PETA.
Click here to learn more about animal suffering.

3. Mother Earth – The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a leading cause of the climate crisis, habitat destruction, wildlife extinction, water pollution and water scarcity. Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry facing our planet today.
Click here to learn more from Dr. Sailesh Rao.
Click here to learn more from

4. Peace – We are destined for war, so long as we have a food system that is based on violence and suffering. The United States has killed millions of innocent people in the last 20 years alone, due to its illegal ongoing wars (which is wildly more than any other country). America’s annual military spending is about $920 billion, and exceeds the next 10 countries combined, including both Russia and China. Did you know that 62% of the US federal discretionary budget goes to military programs each year (over $1.2 trillion)? Is it any surprise then, that per capita, the United States also slaughters more innocent animals than any other major power too? Born in the 19th century, Agnes Edna Ryan summed it up well, when she wrote, “Wars will never cease while men still kill other animals for food, for to turn any living creature into a roast, a steak, a chop, or any other type of ‘meat’ takes the same kind of violence, the same kind of bloodshed, and the same kind of mental processes required to change a living man into a dead soldier.”
Click here to learn more about how our funding of militarism compromises our welfare.

“Loving Your Enemies, Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this demand is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes it is love that will save our world and civilization; love even for our enemies.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I still haven’t figured out the “Loving your enemies part”, but Martin Luther King’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, remains inspirational, and loops everything back to moral consistency. I recently learned that Dr. King’s favorite sermon (the one he believed captured the essence of his message and vision), was called, The Drum Major Instinct. Apparently, this powerful sermon was played at his funeral by a lifelong friend.

“There is, deep down within all of us, an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs a whole gamut of life…We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse…this desire for attention…Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it…But there comes a time when the drum major instinct can become destructive. And that’s where I want to move now…Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. Nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. I must be first. I must be supreme. Our nation must rule the world…but let me rush on to my conclusion…Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That’s what I want you to do…” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Need to Be First, and Feel Superior

I grew up in a dysfunctional, white supremacist household where the N-word was sometimes heard, and African American women were labeled as “Aunt Jemimas”. The messaging that I received in my childhood, from seemingly everywhere, was that Black people were lazy, simple-minded, and not to be trusted. Even though I couldn’t fully express it, I somehow knew, even as a young teenager, that the racist people in my life were wrong. Shortly after finishing high school, I think I understood that racism (and any type of discrimination), was mostly born out of fear, ignorance, and an overwhelming need to feel superior. One of the most difficult parts to reconcile however, was that the adults in my life who were saying all of these hateful and outrageous things, were otherwise, mostly loving, hard working, and intelligent people. How could the same kind and generous individuals who on some level, had my back for my entire life, also be so angry and willfully dim-witted, when it came to politics, history, and anyone who was non-white, or different? Despite my distinct differences from most family members and childhood friends, I still consider myself to be one Lucky F*cker! If I have had a positive impact on any level, it is largely thanks to the consistent love and support of my “morally inconsistent” family members, especially during my younger years. And for that, I am forever humbled, and grateful. Needless to say however, it was not too many years later that I started therapy! 🙂

When it comes to racism and white people, I am reminded of this passage from the brilliant book, Cloudsplitter, by Russell Banks:
“Poor, deluded fools. Because their skin’s as white as the rich man’s, they believe that they might someday be rich themselves. But without the Negro, Owen, these men would be forced to see that, in fact, they have no more chance of becoming rich than do the very slaves they despise and trample on. They’d see how close they are to being slaves themselves. Thus, to protect and nurture their dream of becoming someday, somehow, rich, they don’t need actually to own slaves, so much as they need to keep the Negro from ever being free.”

During the late nineties, I worked for a couple of the “Too Big to Fail” financial institutions, and I remember being struck by two homophobic, Black, female colleagues, who were openly saying that gay people should be punished, and sent to a different country, or to their own island! Wow. I was stunned, because I had somehow thought that they should have known better. These women had likely experienced far more discrimination than I ever would, and yet they clearly had no empathy, at that moment in their lives, for another marginalized group (and seemed to have not learned much from their experiences). It was yet another example, I think, of the need that many people have to feel superior, regardless of their background, and history.
Click here to learn more about homophobia and coming out issues for African Americans.

Here are a few credible theories for why so many of us can be knowledgeable, and compassionate champions for justice in one area, and yet completely clueless, disconnected, and even a big part of the problem in others.

Cognitive Dissonance “Cognitive dissonance is defined by Merriam-Webster as “psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.” Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force, but even more powerful is a person’s innate psychological resistance to it. As humans, we work hard to avoid learning about things that may cause us to question our own actions or beliefs or attitudes. It’s more than just resistance to change; it’s also about avoiding a personal identity crisis. Like a kind of proactive ignorance in the interest of psychological self-preservation, which is certainly understandable, if not exactly laudable.” – Faunalytics 
Click here to learn more about cognitive dissonance.

System Justification In A Theory of System Justification, John Jost argues that we are motivated to defend the status quo because doing so serves fundamental psychological needs for certainty, security, and social acceptance. We want to feel good not only about ourselves and the groups to which we belong, but also about the overarching social structure in which we live, even when it hurts others and ourselves.

Carnism – “Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism. “Carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” refers to a belief system. Because carnism is invisible, people rarely realize that eating animals is a choice, rather than a given. In meat-eating cultures around the world, people typically don’t think about why they eat certain animals but not others, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals is not a necessity, which is the case for many people in the world today, then it’s a choice, and choices always stem from beliefs. As long as we remain unaware of how carnism impacts us, we’ll be unable to make our food choices freely—because without awareness, there is no free choice.” Dr. Melanie Joy

Theory of Multiple Intelligences – In order to capture the full range of abilities and talents that people possess, Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, theorizes that people do not have just an intellectual capacity, but have many kinds of intelligence, including musical, interpersonal, spatial-visual, and linguistic intelligences. While a person might be particularly strong in a specific area, such as musical intelligence, they most likely possess a range of abilities. For example, an individual might be weak in verbal, but strong in musical, and naturalistic intelligence. Howard Gardner defined naturalistic intelligence as the ability to appreciate, categorize, classify, explain, and connect the things of everyday life with nature. It is the ability to distinguish between living things, whether plants or animals.

If most people are good, why is it so difficult for so many of us to establish, and maintain moral consistency?

People and Organizations that I Love, Despite their Moral Inconsistency

“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.” – Albert Einstein

Here are a few individuals and organizations that are doing fantastic work in the world of social justice, but are still somehow lacking moral consistency.

Democracy Now! – During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I reached out to Democracy Now! (DN!), on multiple occasions to share a study that was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), that concluded that a plant-based diet lowers the risk for hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 by 73%! Wow, imagine the number of lives that could have been saved had people been armed with that knowledge! Unfortunately, DN! never responded in a meaningful way. I love DN! for the most part, but their continued refusal to report on the BMJ study, and the remarkable power of plant-based nutrition during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, was really unforgivable. I am not sure why DN! continues to champion the mainstream narrative with regards to health, but I suspect that it has something to do with politics, and not wanting to agitate their financial supporters.

CODEPINK – I love the anti-war organization CODEPINK. I have volunteered with them more than a few times over the years, and I have also had the pleasure of meeting CODEPINK co-founders, Jodie Evans, and Medea Benjamin. Unfortunately their entire organization has had no real interest in sharing the power of plant-based nutrition, and a vegan lifestyle, with their supporters. CODEPINK is a leading “PEACE” organization that does an amazing job when it comes to fighting the US War Machine, yet they definitely qualify as being “morally inconsistent” when it comes to our violent and unjust food system, that causes enormous animal & human suffering, and damage to our planet. I have offered to help them with a “Vegan-Peace” page for their website, but so far, they have expressed zero interest (the few times that I have spoken with younger CODEPINK members about veganism, and animal rights, they pretty much rolled their eyes, and looked at me as if I had two heads!). 

Poor People’s Campaign – I am proud to have marched a few times with the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) too, as they also do excellent work (and were founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). Unfortunately, I reached out to them with the data and science of how countless lives could be saved if people were to adopt plant-based diets, but nobody from PPC ever responded. I explained that since the passage of “Medicare for All” in the US may not happen in my lifetime, a workaround that would save millions of lives would be to educate everyone on the power of plant based nutrition (we would also need to figure out a way to provide healthy, affordable plant-based food to food apartheid areas). But again, zero response. Wonderful organizations like Democracy Now!, CODEPINK and the Poor People’s Campaign could take things to another level, and play a decisive role in addressing one of the biggest social justice issues of our lifetime, which is our broken food system. Unfortunately, they continue to have no interest. Dr. T. Colin Campbell has estimated that if everyone in the US were to adopt a whole food plant-based diet, the United States could save $2.5 trillion per year on healthcare costs alone. Can you imagine what could be done with that kind of financial windfall? Goodbye food insecurity, and homelessness! If only these mostly superb organizations were more open minded, and morally consistent!

The CIW, and the Alliance for Fair Food – The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), and the Alliance for Fair Food have created the Fair Food Program (FFP), which ensures fundamental human rights for farmworkers in the corporate supply chains of our food system. Why do farmworkers need protections? At least 6 out of 10 US farmworkers are undocumented immigrants. These farmworkers pick most of America’s food and represent billions of dollars to its economy, yet despite their contributions, most US farmworkers live at the margins of our society and work in a system where wage theft, abuse, sexual assault, humiliation, exploitation, modern day slavery, and a fear of being detected and deported are just a part of every day life. The CIW and the Alliance for Fair Food are doing excellent work and they have had a lot of success, but they are also lacking “moral consistency” and missing a huge opportunity to educate their members and supporters on the suffering and plight of factory animals, the power of plant-based nutrition, and the destructive impact that Big Ag has on our planet, and world peace (I volunteered with them for a couple of days in 2022 and I received more than a chilled response from a few of their “leaders”, when I suggested a shift in emphasis to plant-based foods, while respectfully pointing out their “moral inconsistency”). Despite their soured response, I proudly marched for farmworker justice with the many fine people of CIW, and I was still feeling good up until the end of the protest, where the activists and their children were rewarded (or punished?) with dozens of animal, human, and planet harming Domino’s Pizzas (and all types of junk food), compliments of the CIW & the Alliance for Fair Food! Yikes. Regardless of their disappointing leadership, the farmworkers need our love, help and support.
Click here to learn more.

Climate Healers: Dr. Sailesh Rao does excellent work too, but when I reached out to his organization, Climate Healers, for their thoughts on reports claiming that the US military is the largest institutional greenhouse gas emitter, there was no response. Not even an acknowledgement.

The People’s Forum: Despite the wonderful work of The People’s Forum, they still have a long way to go in making the connections between our catastrophic food system that is based on violence and suffering, and our abilities to achieve peace. Their very own People’s Cafe, which is a part of The People’s Forum space and proudly featured on their website, offers many animal, health, and Earth destroying foods, including chicken dumplings, mozzarella sticks, pigs in a blanket, and steamed cow’s milk. Sigh. You can’t call yourself a “peace activist”, if you are chomping down on cheeseburgers and chicken wings! In a polite way, I tried to point out their hypocrisy, but they looked at me as if I was speaking an unknown language. 🙂

Jewish Voice for Peace: This is a relatively new peace organization (that I have already marched with a few times), who also do phenomenal work. JVP sells t-shirts through their online store with the following message on the back:
– Climate Justice
– Black Lives Matter
– Fighting Anti-Muslim Hate
– Palestinian Human Rights
– Universal Health Care
– Debt Free Education
– Open Borders
– Livable Wage

Obviously, these are all important causes, but again, “moral consistency” appears to be lacking, as there is no mention of “Animal Rights”, and our current unsustainable food system that is based on violence and suffering (the US War Machine is oddly omitted as well). Who would want a shirt that promotes justice for all, yet excludes animal rights? I love your work JVP, but really?
Click here to check out their T-shirt.

Inspiring Individuals who have Taught me a Ton, Despite their “Moral Inconsistency”

“The question used to be, might it be possible that we were on the wrong side in the Vietnamese War, but we weren’t on the wrong side, we are the wrong side.” – Legendary author, whistleblower, and peace activist Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg – I love this man. I have heard Mr. Ellsberg interviewed countless times, and one of his books helped change the way that I see the world. How can you not be inspired, and humbled by a person who was willing to spend 115 years in jail to help end the Vietnam War? Henry Kissinger, a war criminal, and the National Security Advisor under President Nixon, once told his staff that whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was “the most dangerous man in America who must be stopped at all costs.” A badge of honor indeed! I was saddened to learn of Mr. Ellsberg’s terminal illness, and that one of his last requests was a chicken sandwich. Bummer. Mr. Ellsberg died earlier this year. RIP Mr. Ellsberg, and Thank You!
Click here to learn more about the great Daniel Ellsberg.

“Perhaps the most important thing I learned was about democracy, that democracy is not our government, our constitution, our legal structure. Too often they are enemies of democracy.” – Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn – Howard Zinn taught me to question, and then helped to change the way that I see the world. I love Howard Zinn too. I recently learned that Mr. Zinn wrote the introduction to a book that is now on my reading list, Food Not Bombs. Unfortunately, Howard Zinn was not vegan or a vegetarian, and as far as I know, was not involved with the animal rights movement either. 

Introduction from Food Not Bombs: “Hungry for Peace: American people, moving slowly but inexorably towards a livable society. The message of Food Not Bombs is simple and powerful: no one should be without food in a world so richly provided with land, sun, and human ingenuity. No consideration of money, no demand for profit, should stand in the way of any hungry or malnourished child or any adult in need. Here are people who will not be bamboozled by “the laws of the market “ that say only people who can afford to buy something can have it. Even before the recent collapse of the Soviet Union, it was an absurd and immoral policy to spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year to support a nuclear arsenal that, if used, would bring about the greatest genocide in human history and, if not used, would constitute an enormous theft from the American people. Today, with no “Soviet threat,” the policy of spending a trillion dollars over the next few years to maintain a nuclear arsenal, other weapons, and a worldwide network of military bases is even more absurd. The slogan “Food Not Bombs” requires no complicated analysis. Those three words “say it all.” They point unerringly to the double challenge: to feed immediately people who are without adequate food, and to replace a system whose priorities are power and profit with one meeting the needs of all human beings.”     – Howard Zinn
Click here for the entire introduction, and the PDF version of the book, Food Not Bombs.

“The United States is a criminal state that is run by corporate power.” – Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky: Noam Chomsky is a brilliant man who taught millions of us how to think more critically. However, he was in his nineties when he shared the comments below, and unfortunately, his words were more than disappointing as he seems to have never really grasped the significance and power of plant based nutrition, and a vegan lifestyle.
Interview Excerpt:
Curt Jaimungal: “What is your view on animal agriculture? How can one reconcile supporting immoral industries while trying to live a morally good life?”
Noam Chomsky: “Well, that’s a fact about life. We cannot live our lives without carrying out actions which we know are immoral, like talking on this discussion which is using energy, and the use of energy is destroying the environment. Okay, so I talked before about driving to work. I have no other way to get to work. I can’t go by bicycle, can’t walk, can’t take mass transportation because there isn’t any, so I drive to work. Well I know that’s harming the environment. I suppose you have an iphone. I don’t happen to have one but most people do. If you have an iPhone, you’re contributing to the slaughter of millions of people in the eastern Congo, where the basic minerals are. Where warring tribes are killing people to get hold of them, so that the multinationals who are hovering over their shoulders can get the minerals and turn them into your iPhone. Just about every aspect of life, we’re doing something that we know is immoral. That’s a fact and there’s no way to avoid it. Absolutely no way if you want to survive. Well, that means we have to make decisions, to make choices to be as moral as we can be within the limits of maintaining a passable existence. On animal agriculture, I think you could ask the same about plant agriculture. Plant agriculture is not a panacea. It’s destroying agricultural lands, destroying habitats, leading to the development of coronaviruses for example…”

I am guessing that Mr. Chomsky was referencing GMO crops when he suggested that plant agriculture is as harmful as animal agriculture (even then, he is still wrong as carnivores, in addition to the killing of innocent animals, require exponentially more plants (GMO crops) and other resources per calorie, than people who eat plant-based diets). Needless to say, even Noam Chomsky, one of the smartest people on the planet, experiences carnism/cognitive dissonance, especially when he compares the easily avoidable murder of an innocent animal (to satisfy a flavor preference), to the indirect consequences of buying an iPhone! Still, I love Mr. Chomsky, even if he isn’t “morally consistent”. I am forever grateful to him for his honesty and wisdom, and his lifetime dedication to truth and justice.
Click here for the full interview.
*Update: Click here to learn more about how Noam Chomsky envisions a vegetarian future. 

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” – Cornel West

Cornel West – Cornel West is a trusted and valuable resource who continues to do tremendous work both in how he simplifies complicated issues, and with his relentless and inspiring activism. I admire him in many ways. I read that when Cornel West was asked why he was not vegan (considering his unique aptitude for fighting the good fight when it comes to social justice issues), he was left speechless. Apparently, he nodded in agreement when someone next to him explained that there is a difference between the truth, and the journey to the truth, and that they were still on the journey.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Cornel West.

“The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That’s the only difference.” – Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader – How can you not love Ralph Nader? Legendary activist and attorney Ralph Nader is as sharp as ever at the age of 89! I voted for Mr. Nader three times when he ran for president, and the Ralph Nader Radio Hour continues to be a most trusted news source. Unfortunately, Ralph Nader also published a Mediterranean Diet cookbook, which although healthier than most Standard American Diet (SAD) cookbooks, still encourages the consumption of health harming, and animal cruelty foods.
Click here for the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.
Click here to learn more about the Mediterranean diet.

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Dr. King was truly great. How do we know? Although he was flawed like the rest of us, he was one of the few leaders in history who led with his conscience. In the last year of his life he was mostly vilified by the corporate media, the US government, and even by many in the black community (particularly, its middle class). Why? Because unlike the “leaders” of today, he spoke out against racism, militarism, poverty, and “injustice anywhere”, and then backed it up with action. In other words, he ultimately chose to fight for what was right, over what was popular or could provide him with greater financial gain & power. How can you not love him? Dr. King was just 39 years old when he was assassinated.

As per Norman Finkelstein, “When Martin Luther King spoke out against the Vietnam War, fellow Civil Rights Movement leaders denounced him for jeopardizing federal funding of the domestic War on Poverty. “What you’re saying may get you a foundation grant,” he retorted to one, “but it won’t get you into the Kingdom of Truth.” On the night before his assassination, as if he had a premonition that the next day would be his last, King eerily delivered what turned out to be his own eulogy. It was perhaps the greatest political speech in recorded history, arguably surpassing in poignancy Pericles’ oration as immortalized by Thucydides. The only possible rival to King among modern orators is Frederick Douglass, the pages of whose speeches to this day throb from his spoken words. In the last year before his assassination, King’s biographers report, even his closest collaborators deserted him as they mocked his morbidity, while a Harris Poll found that King had a public disapproval rating of nearly 75 percent.”

Reverend King’s wife Coretta, adopted a vegan lifestyle after her son Dexter convinced her that it was the next logical step to living a life of nonviolence. Both family members believe that Dr. King would have converted to a vegan lifestyle too for the same reasons! I have learned from Martin Luther King, and Frederick Douglass, that it is okay when our friends and loved ones disappear or fall silent. Although it can be lonely, being on the right side of history (on the side of truth), is not only sustainable, but comforting too.
Click here to learn more about Dr. King.

“Israel is a Jewish supremacist state…If there were an Oscar for best theatrical performance by a country, Israel would win every year. It’s a country based on theater…It’s a lunatic state – completely insane.” – Norman Finkelstein

Norman Finkelstein – Author and Professor Norman Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust survivors, and is one of the most trusted experts in the world on the Israel–Palestine relationship, and the politics of the Holocaust. I have heard him interviewed countless times, and I have pretty much peppered his book “Gaza, An Inquest into its Martyrdom”, with notes on every page. I love his honesty, and his breadth of knowledge. Although he is not vegan, I was glad to hear that he is a self-described vegetarian. 🙂
Click here to learn more about Norman Finkelstein.

“We hear, since emancipation, much said by our modern colored leaders in commendation of race pride, race love, race effort, race superiority, race men, and the like… [But] I recognize and adopt no narrow basis for my thoughts, feelings, or modes of action. I would place myself, and I would place you, my young friends, upon grounds vastly higher and broader than any founded upon race or color… We should never forget that the ablest and most eloquent voices ever raised in behalf of the black man’s cause, were the voices of white men. Not for the race; not for color, but for man and manhood alone, they labored, fought and died… It is better to be a member of the great human family, than a member of any particular variety of the human family. In regard to men as in regard to things, the whole is more than a part. Away then with the nonsense that a man must be black to be true to the rights of black men. I put my foot upon the effort to draw lines between the white and the black…or to draw race lines anywhere in the domain of liberty.”
– Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass – I am anything but a Frederick Douglass scholar, but he too was a brilliant and gifted man, and it is why his flagrant “moral inconsistency”, may have surprised me the most. The disconnect between his inspiring words above, and the comments he made publicly regarding Native Americans is stunning. According to Professor Alaina E. Roberts, “In a speech to the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1869, Douglass argued that “the negro is more like the white man than the Indian, in his tastes and tendencies, and disposition to accept civilization. The Indian…rejects our civilization…It is not so with the negro. He loves you and remains with you, under all circumstances, in slavery and in freedom.” Douglass used logic similar to that of white Republicans who advocated for Indian freedpeople’s land-development skills above those of Indians, positing that people of African descent were more closely aligned with white America’s march of progress than Native Americans. Douglass joined African Americans’ goals and behavior with whites’ by using the term our civilization…Douglass knew that this land was not “free” and that it had not always been “the national domain,” that rather it had been taken from Indian hands. He also knew that American emigration into the region would change and worsen circumstances for Native peoples and impede tribal sovereignty. Yet he used the language of savagery and civilization to juxtapose what the region was allegedly like in Indian hands and what it might be like after the emigration of African Americans, who, in his imagining, were more similar to whites than were Indians in their ability to tame the land. While Douglass’ two speeches were given four years apart, they represented the sustained belief on the part of one of the most famous Black radicals of his time that African Americans deserved to share in the settler colonial spoils of the Native West.”
Click here to learn more from professor, and author, Alaina E. Roberts.

Morally Inconsistent Individuals, Organizations, and Industries

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

Hospitals (like Memorial Sloan Kettering):
Why do hospitals continue to serve foods that cause disease? If a hospital’s number one concern is to save lives and help people heal, then animal products should be off the menu.
Click here to learn more about how a top cancer hospital continues to reject the power of plant-based nutrition.

“Health” organizations like the American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, American Diabetes Association, and the American Cancer Society, who LIE, and PREY upon sick people:
These organizations are operating in a criminal fashion. According to the excellent film, What the Health, there are plenty of other organizations playing the same lucrative and deadly game too.
– The American Cancer Society has no warning about meat on its site and even suggests recipes that include processed meat (a class 1 carcinogen). The American Cancer Society receives financial support from Tyson Foods, among others.
– There are recipes for disease causing meat and dairy dishes on the American Diabetes Association website. The American Diabetes association receives financial support from Dannon Yogurt, among others.
– There are “heart healthy” recipes for health harming beef dishes on the American Heart Association website. The American Heart Association receives financial support from the Texas Beef Council, among others.
– The Susan G. Komen Foundation denies any links between dairy products and breast cancer, even though they are well known.
– These organizations all receive funding from the pharmaceutical industry.
– It should also be noted that the USDA has a serious conflict of interest because it is tasked with promoting meat and dairy products, while also establishing the US dietary guidelines.
Click here to learn more.   

US Healthcare (US Sick-care) System
The number one cause of death and disability in the United States is diet. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, the Standard American Diet (SAD), now kills hundreds of thousands of more people each year than cigarette smoking. Seventy one percent of Americans are obese or overweight, and our top killers, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, can all be prevented, effectively treated, and often reversed with a low fat, whole food plant-based diet. And it is not just that a healthy plant-based diet is the only diet that can reverse these deadly diseases, it is also the only way to reverse them as well. Americans are sick, and that is right where the US “healthcare” system wants them. The US healthcare or sick-care industry does all it can to keep people in the dark regarding the remarkable healing power of plant-based nutrition, because if people adopted healthy plant-based diets and started to get well, the bulk of the “healthcare” industry’s profits would disappear. In other words, the US “healthcare” industry needs people to be sick in order to maximize profits. And despite the US outspending everyone else on “healthcare”, its so-called healthcare system continues to rank dead last in most quality of care categories. Simply put, US “healthcare” is not just crazy expensive and unavailable to many, it is also horrendous in many other respects too. According to Dr. Will Tuttle, iatrogenic disease is the # 1 cause of death in the US. And what is iatrogenic disease? Iatrogenic disease is an undesired health outcome that is caused by medical care/errors. I knew that medical errors (which include adverse drug reactions), were the 3rd leading cause of death for Americans (according to Johns Hopkins), but I didn’t know that they may now be classified as the # 1 killer too. Wow.
Click here to learn more about how US Health Care is actually US Sick Care.
Click here to learn more about the power of plant-based nutrition and how to avoid the hospital.

“Climate Leaders” who have No Shame, and Downplay Animal Agriculture, and the Food on Our Plates.
Here are just a few eye opening stats on the meat and dairy industries as they relate to the climate crisis (as per
– A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
– Californians use 1,500 gallons of water per person per day. Close to Half is associated with meat and dairy products.
– Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions (this number could be as high as 87% of all greenhouse gas emissions today).
– 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef (1 pound of potatoes requires only 34 gallons of water).
– Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
– Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry facing our planet today.
Click here to learn more about the shameful climate leaders who downplay animal agriculture and the food on their plates.

Author Thom Hartmann, Filmmaker Michael Moore, Dr. Milton Mills, and the independent news site, The Nation – These 3 individuals (and The Nation) have done great work in the past, but are still “morally inconsistent” when it comes to the truth regarding the Democratic Party, and the US War Machine. For example, while they have rightfully railed against the Republican Party, and Donald Trump (who is awful, and a lifetime criminal) for years, they have also refused to criticize the Democratic Party, and hold any of its many criminals like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Antony Blinken accountable too. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Milton Mills at the 2019 Animal Rights National Conference and he seemed like a nice man. He unfriended me on Facebook however, when I could no longer stomach his “moral inconsistency”, and I gently, and respectfully, pointed out his hypocrisy.
Click here for Dr. Milton Mills’ excellent presentation on why humans are not designed to eat animals.

Neurosurgeon, and author James Doty – The only way to true happiness is through love and compassion. Many of us may think, or even say that, but how many of us actually back up those words with actions? This was one of my takeaways from the wonderful book, Into the Magic Shop, by Dr. James Doty. Mr. Doty created the Alphabet of the Heart program, and is the cofounder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. This book made me cry, and was a reminder of how important it is for all of us to try to be kind and compassionate with everyone we meet. Unfortunately, the author is likely not vegan, and I was disappointed to learn too that the CCARE program doesn’t advocate for any specific dietary choices, and that discussions related to veganism or plant-based living are not a part of their curriculum. How can that be? Creating a program called the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, and not endorsing cruelty free lifestyles & plant-based diets, would be like creating a lung cancer support program, and not talking about cigarettes! It is flat out crazy, as the ongoing torture and slaughter of billions of innocent animals in animal factories is arguably the greatest crime in history!

CITY HARVESTCITY HARVEST is a Food Rescue organization that for the most part, does wonderful work. Unfortunately, they also endorse eggs, and dairy products. I volunteered with them for a few months, but once I started to talk about the power of plant-based nutrition, while pointing out the inaccuracies on their website, I no longer felt welcome. As per the recipes page on their website, “Eating or drinking dairy products offers health benefits, like building and maintaining strong bones.” Yikes.

Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson – The often celebrated “intellectual”, Neil Degrasse Tyson, has many bizarre and dangerously ignorant beliefs. Who knew? Kudos to Ed Winters for exposing Neil Degrasse Tyson’s heartless stupidity when it comes to animals, plants, and our food system.
Earthling Ed: “So, look Neil, it’s not hard, it really isn’t. If you care about plants, if you care about animals, if you care about life, then stop supporting an industry that causes more deforestation than any other, that kills more plants than any other, and that kills more animals than any other. If you actually cared about these issues Neil, well then, you would be vegan.”
Click here for the excellent piece from Ed Winters, aka, Earthling Ed.

Marion Nestle – Author Marion Nestle is a Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, at New York University (NYU). Marion Nestle appears to be a classic example of the type of person that my earlier question references: How can someone be so smart and compassionate in some areas, yet so completely wrong and disconnected in other ways, and in other areas? I heard her speak recently at an NYU event honoring Frances Moore Lappe, and despite her impressive credentials, Ms. Nestle made many statements that were simply not true (e.g., “I think animals have a place in the diet.”). She also insulted vegans by claiming that “people who don’t eat animal products, don’t care at all about dairy farmers.” Yikes. I had the feeling that Ms. Nestle has complete disdain for animal rights activists.
Click here to learn more about Frances Moore Lappe, and my encounter with Marion Nestle.

Wall StreetI was saddened to learn that a sweet childhood friend from high school, has left for the dark side (apparently he couldn’t resist the allure of power, and great financial wealth). He is now a big deal with the unconscionable financial juggernaut, BlackRock. If you are unfamiliar, BlackRock is the largest asset manager in the world (controlling more than $8 trillion in assets).
As per CODEPINK: “BlackRock’s investments are making a killing on killing. Weapons manufacturers, military contractors, and civilian firearms manufacturers are investments that fuel war, death, and destruction in our streets and around the world. Investments in weapons companies, both military and civilian, run counter to BlackRock’s statements about holding companies accountable to be good corporate citizens. For example, the top five military contractors in the U.S. – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman – all have numerous counts of waste and abuse of federal tax dollars. These companies have been accused of groundwater contamination, misconduct, labor violations, and overinflated pricing, resulting in overbilling defense contracts issued by the federal government.”
Click here to learn more about the wickedness of BlackRock from CODEPINK.

NYC Public Schools – In mid October, the Chancellor of NYC Public Schools, David Banks, released a statement titled, “In Response to Terrorism and in Response to the War in Israel and Gaza”. The chancellor’s statement encouraged NYC educators to remain neutral, even though the language of his letter was clearly one sided, and implied that Israel was the true victim. The words “Palestine” and “Palestinians” did not appear once in his statement! This was the official position of the City School District of the City of New York, the largest school system in the United States (and the world), that instructs over 1.1 million students, in more than 1,800 schools! According to NYC Educators for Palestine, “In his statement, the Chancellor condemned the attacks on Israeli civilians and children, yet never condemned Israel’s long and current history of violence, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and occupation of the Palestinian people. This mimics the mainstream media’s continued dehumanization of Palestinians as well as U.S. politician’s vocal support for Israeli war crimes. The statement makes one point entirely clear: our current NYCPS administration values some lives at the expense of others.” If teachers cannot talk about the truth, or are encouraged to remain silent, how will the students ever become better leaders and critical thinkers, and unlearn all of the lies that they have been taught in the classroom? Et tu, NYC Public Schools?
Click here for the entire letter from NYC Educators for Palestine.

The Moral Consistency & Inspiring Legacy of Thich Nhat Hanh

I realize after writing this post that the one influential, or historical figure, who perhaps inspires me the most is Thich Nhat Hanh. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called Thich Nhat Hanh “an Apostle for peace and nonviolence”, and nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Thich Nhat Hanh was many things, including a Buddhist Monk, poet, activist, world leader, author, and vegan! He was remarkable in too many ways to count, but I may have admired him the most for his activism, and his ability to inspire and even thrive with a non-violent message of peace, love, and compassion (that continues to impact millions of people around the world today). So yes, I deeply admire, and love Thich Nhat Hanh. I am certain that it would take me at least three lifetimes of constant focus, to be half as “morally consistent” and “cool” as this beautiful man. 🙂
Click here to learn more about Thich Nhat Hanh.

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The bottom line? The Western, or Standard American Diet (SAD), and our current underlying food system that is based on violence, destruction, and suffering, are two of the common denominators for most forms of injustice, both at home, and overseas. I have learned over the last few months that it is not just silence that is our enemy, but the refusal to know too. If you are an American and lucky enough to NOT be living paycheck to paycheck, what is your excuse for CHOOSING to be silent, ignorant, or worse? Whether it’s our corrupt food, and healthcare systems, animal welfare, Mother Earth, the genocidal slaughter of Palestinians by the US & Israel, crimes of the US War Machine, homophobia, racism, sexism, classism, or a number of other abhorrent injustices, why are so many people and organizations “morally inconsistent”, in the most catastrophic ways? We are all flawed, but how do we inspire most people to be more compassionate, and to consistently care about issues that matter? I fear that for many wealthier Americans, their silence and willful ignorance stems from a desire to remain uncontroversial, so as to not hurt their “brand”, or ability to make money, with the goal of one day being a part of the richest tribe. Even if the cost of such a shallow dream is their own lying soul, and the destruction of everything, and everyone we love.

But perhaps I am asking for too much, and our moral inconsistency is simply a reflection of a broken culture, and species.

Until next time…

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Click here to learn more about the US military being the largest institutional oil consumer in the world.
Click here to learn more about Intersectionality as it relates to Veganism.
Click here to learn more about intersectionality.
Click here for Brown University’s Cost of War Project.
Click here to learn how trillions of dollars in subsidies for fossil fuels and animal agriculture are harming people and the planet.
Click here to learn more about how animal agriculture is the leading cause of the climate crisis.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King.
Click here to learn more from Dr. Cornel West on homophobia in the Black community.

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