By Trish Mikkelson, Founder, and Director
Fulfilling the vision of a vegan utopia-a world where all of life can thrive--we maximize our efforts when we live in healthy vegan communities.
Right now, we are living in a "vystopia." Living in a close-knit community can help us to overcome the effects of this difficult situation.
Clare Mann, a vegan psychologist, coined this word.
"The existential angst for the vegan is something I call vystopia, the “existential crisis experienced by vegans which arises out of an awareness of the trance-like collusion with a dystopian world. It’s the awareness of the greed, ubiquitous animal exploitation and speciesism in a modern dystopia”.
"The cure for vystopia is a vegan world that extends beyond the non-exploitation of animals to encompass the non-exploitation of humans.
Exploitation of humans will always exist whilst we are part of a machinery that maintains us in a state of trance where we don’t even question the abuse. This may sound like an unachievable Utopia. However, all positive steps in human history arise out of people coming together and holding a vision which is very different from their current reality.
It takes leaders to share this vision and ‘walk the talk” of their conviction so others say, “We can indeed do better than this and we will!” Vegans are the new leaders in creation of this brave new world and each of us must rise to the challenge and be on the right side of history. Together we can create a world in which we all wish to belong and in which all sentient creatures are respected and honoured."
Here are some more inspiring quotes that inspire us to live in community:
"Spiritual community gives a sense of meaning and direction, and of life that's bigger than one's own. It's healing without therapy."
— Rabbi Omer-Man in Working on God by Winifred Gallagher
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
― Dorothy Day,
Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.
(pg.99, "The Body and the Earth")”
― Wendell Berry,
“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don't need a lot of money to be happy--in fact, the opposite.”
― Jean Vanier,
“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”
― Idowu Koyenikan,
“A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
― Desmond Tutu
“To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.”
― bell hooks,