There is little that separates humans from other sentient beings—we all feel pain, we all feel joy, we all deeply crave to be alive and to live freely, and we all share this planet together. The water, air, earth, and plants belong to no one except the community of life which connects us all.
If there is anything that differentiates humans from other living beings it may simply be the factor of choice. We have the option to heal or harm, nurture or destroy, respect or rape, protect or kill. The ability to choose does not necessarily elevate the human species, nor should one infer that it is a trait unique to humans. The capacity to choose should perhaps oblige us to be more responsible for our actions toward others. It is our duty to choose wisely, both collectively and individually, if we are ever again to find peace at any level.
Veganism advocates harmony, justice, and empathic living by acknowledging and respecting the interconnectedness of all life. It is an ethical beacon which can illuminate our moral path and steer us back toward reuniting with our global family. Its tenets can teach us how to live at peace with our world by becoming an integral part and defender of it.
~ Jo Stepaniak (1998)