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A Prayer for Compassion: An Interview with Filmmaker Thomas Wade Jackson (vegan), Part 1 of 4

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Mr. Thomas Wade Jackson is an award-winning American filmmaker, photographer and musician. “I pray and meditate before all the interviews. I just say, ‘I’m here, whatever You need, use me like that force of love and life. Use me to make a better world.’ And I encourage us all to just be open to being vessels. Like the prayer of Saint Francis: Let me be an instrument of love and peace and compassion. And what I've discovered, which is a spoiler alert for the film, but all of the traditions I interviewed are in total alignment with a vegan lifestyle. Not only that, a vegan lifestyle exemplifies their teachings of compassion. One of the things I really have become very excited about is interfaith. We created an Interfaith Vegan Coalition in 2016. You see us create it in the film, because when I first had the idea, I just knew it’d be about spirituality and veganism. Now, my first interview was with Victoria Moran, who is our producer connecting me with everybody. She says, ‘You know, all religions have compassion as one of their base things. Can’t we all agree, despite whatever your religion is, that we should be compassionate to each other, and to all of life?’ That’s the thing that really connects all religions. So, I believe compassion is the door into bringing peace between the religions, because I’ll tell you, interviewing people from all these walks [of life], they all have similar things in common. They all share that we have a body temple, that there’s a spirit that resides in that body temple, that you should take care of that body temple, that’s very clear. That goes right with a plant-based diet. It goes right along. They all say, ‘You should take care of the environment, be stewards of creation.’ We should be concerned that we are polluting our water, and that we’re using our water. Each of us, if we are spiritual, we are stewards here and we have a responsibility to take care of this planet. Every path that I studied tells us that, and that goes along with a vegan diet, a lot less of a footprint. And the third thing they have in common is that they tell us, ‘We should take care of each other.’ And the fourth thing I would say is that all the paths tell us we should be taking care of animals; we should be loving animals. So they’re our companions. That animals are not here to be eaten, that they are our companions, and that we should only eat healthy plants. When it comes to compassion, doing the least harm to all of creation is the tenet of all these paths. I would say compassion is not only leading us down to a vegan path, but it’s also our connection with the inner faith of bringing us together, giving us something that we can work on together.”
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Veganism - Selected Programs  12 / 16
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