Social activist and dharma teacher Bob Isaacson speaks with us today about his efforts with the organization, Dharma Voices for Animals.
Hi everyone. Welcome to the new year 2013, and episode one-hundred and fifty of The Secular Buddhist. I’d like to thank everyone for listening, joining us on FaceBook, following us on Twitter, and for participating on the Secular Buddhism.org website’s Discussion forum. If you’re participating in our January Practice Challenge, be sure to say hi on the page we’ve set up to support you in your daily meditation.
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Today we’re going to broaden our view of our practice of compassion to the animal realm, specifically around the topic of the foods we eat. I will admit to being an omnivore. Human beings consumed meat during our evolutionary history, it’s part of our biological makeup. But many people have been questioning whether or not we need to continue with that habit, or even if the limited resources of our little blue planet can sustain such dietary choices.
And, really, that’s the part we often gloss over: that for many of us, what we eat is a choice as it may not have been in humanity’s history. This is not always an easy choice, nor are we dictating that one must make a change. But when we make choices of any kind, we should make them wisely, with compassion and understanding. Our practice, whether one is a traditional Buddhist or more secular, is inclusive of replacing the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge.
Sometimes this light is a harsh one. As fair warning, on the episode page I include two video clips. One, Paul McCartney’s Glass Walls, is extremely graphic in content. Nonetheless, I encourage you to watch it, especially if you’re looking for incentive to make a transition to a less meat based diet. The second video is a more positive inspiration, and what prompted me to give up bacon. The cute little piggy save his buddy baby goat, and I make no apologies for including heartwarming content, too.
Bob Isaacson has practiced the Dharma in the Vipassana/Theravada tradition for seventeen years. He was a civil rights-human rights attorney for twenty-five years, specializing in defending people against the death penalty. Bob currently teaches the Dharma, leads two Sanghas, and leads day-long and weekend retreats in the San Diego area, having been trained in Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader Program.
So, sit back, relax, and have a nice V-8.
Paul McCartney’s “Glass Walls” – Official Video
**** WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT ****
Pig Rescues Baby Goat
**** WARNING: DELIGHTFUL CONTENT ****
Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez
The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “For Two Shakuhachi” from his CD, Traditional and Modern Pieces: Shakuhachi.