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My Vegan Journey: Reverend Andrew Bear (vegan) - Saving your Soul with Veganism, Part 1 of 2

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On today’s show, we meet with Reverend Andrew Bear (vegan). Besides working as a chaplain at a community hospital, Reverend Bear is also a musician, an animal-people activist, and a practising Buddhist. In Reverend Bear’s case, it was not until a serendipitous meeting with the respected Buddhist teacher, Venerable Thích Nhất Hạnh (vegan), that his journey into veganism began. “And the first mindfulness training, the first precept says, I am determined ‘NOT TO KILL’ - not to let others kill and not to support any active killing in the world in my thinking or in my way of life. And so, in receiving that training, I realized that I needed to start making changes to the way I eat.”

Reverend Bear is the US Chapter Ambassador at Dharma Voices for Animals, an international Buddhist organization devoted to animal advocacy and bringing the vegan lifestyle to other Buddhist centers. Their projects in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand are helping to advance animal-people welfare legislation and educate children, parents, and teachers about the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Not one to turn away the chance to do even more for animal-people, Reverend Bear is also an ambassador for Animal Justice in California, a Search and Rescue responder for the Wildlife Emergency Services, and a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. “I'm drawn to relieve the suffering of any living being. So, whether it's a human being or a cow, or a pig, or any other animal, if there's suffering, I feel called to try to relieve that suffering.”

“Veganism is not just a diet. Veganism is a way of life. It's a moral position against the exploitation and harm of any living being. When you eat a vegan meal, your meal becomes an expression of compassion and love. So, it's not like you're giving up something, it's like you're embracing a more compassionate way of life. Every meal is an offering of compassion, and know that every meal you have you're sending a message to the animals of this world, that you are doing your part to create a better world.”
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