The summer has been great for vegans to meet and make friends. The Vegan Camp in North Wales, the Vegan Summer Gathering in East Devon, and the National Vegan Festival in London, were all successful - evidence that veganism is strong and growing.
This pleasant picture was overshadowed by the horrific attacks on the USA. In the immediate reaction, the saying arose that this was a defining moment in history, that the world now has to change, and to establish more justice in the world order. In the face of the brutal way humans treat each other, it would seem that asking people to show more consideration to other animals would appear almost irrelevant.
Violence appears everywhere in today's society, in films and fiction, in the streets and the football stadiums. Self-interest and greed seem more important than looking after the poor and needy. And yet, we have to admit that society as a whole has moved on in the last half century, to a gentler level: abolition of the death penalty, benefits to the poor, etc, and that individual people do devote energy and money to relieving victims of catastrophes, whether natural or man-made.
Veganism is all about questioning established ideas and developing compassion and justice not only for humans but also for the other animals living on the planet. It results in benefits for the whole environment and better health for the individual, Both sides of the present conflict seem focused on a narrow view of society, a view that needs a fresh insight.
Veganism looks forwards to a 'widening of the circle of compassion'. Yes, the world does need to change, and veganism will help promote the peace, the caring and the sharing that the world craves for.
It is a message that makes sense and that, more than ever before, the world needs to learn.