A guest blog by Paul Graham

“If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess powers without compassion, might without morality and strength without sight.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We often think of a generation in terms like an “older” generation or “younger” generation; “Generation X” or “Generation Y”.  We have the “Baby Boom” generation that are entering the retirement years right now.   Generally speaking, the word “generation” is thought of as approximately 30 years among human beings and is accepted as the average period between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring. I like to think of things in terms of generations of time and it is my assertion that we are entering the most important generation of time in history.  I know that it is a lot to say and lay claim to.  Yet I don’t know of a time in history where we face as much peril as we do now.  I know there have been periods of great conflict when it seemed like the entire world was at war.  Times when plagues cut a deadly swath through humanity.  There have been times of terrible darkness of the human spirit and condition.  Despite our technological successes and improvement of life conditions in many ways, it is in this generation that we also face issues that threaten the very life of the world that we live on.

Today we live on a planet that is full of crisis.  The impact of our decades of polluting our planet and robbing it of its natural resources is catching up with us.  We produce enough food to feed everyone on Earth and yet millions die of hunger and lack of adequate drinking water.  We are in a world health care crisis. Despite spending an unprecedented amount on health care and research each year, we are no closer to stemming the tide of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a wide array of diseases.  We suffer from obesity and food allergies like never before.  Our world food supply has been attacked and is attempting to be controlled by major corporations with both short and long-term effects that can be devastating. Economies around the world are teetering on the brink of collapse. Political tensions seem to be high in almost every country and mass protests are being seen in various countries around the world.  Humans cannot seem to keep from finding ways of killing one another.  We eliminate species of animals to extinction regularly and continue a great holocaust against these creatures in numbers that reach the hundreds of billions each year. In some ways we have learned so much through history, and in other ways we have learned so little and have not evolved nearly enough.

Renowned water scientists speaking through United Nations sounded a great warning bell this past year when they said that we are going to have to change our ways by the year 2050 or we will see unprecedented food and water shortages. They said that we will need to switch to a primarily plant-based diet long before then in order to insure enough food and water for the planet.  Right now, inordinate amounts of food and water are being used to feed our livestock to produce animal-based foods.  This dependence that we have had, especially in the past 50 years, for using animals for our food has also caught up to us and is contributing in major ways to a number of the aforementioned crises.  It is certainly contributing to the health care crisis we face, and now more and more of the medical and scientific community are understanding the devastating effect that eating animals is having upon our health.  The production of livestock contributes more to air pollution than all of our transportation combined while also polluting our ground, rivers and streams.  It leads to deforestation.  These industries are also a part of the corporate power groups that are attempting to control our food supply and much of the genetically-modified food that is being grown is being fed to these animals and is thus entering our food supply.  Perhaps even more importantly, we cannot expect to have peace with other men if we cannot first find peace on our plates.  We need to stop killing animals for our pleasure.  We do not need to kill them for our food or our clothing.  There are alternative and superior ways of eating and living.

The good news to this is that a compassionate force of people is rising up to save the planet. I believe that the future of the world is vegan where we will not hold animals in captivity or use them for our food or pleasure.  The number of people that are not eating or using animals in any way in their lives has doubled in the past couple of years in this country and is growing at an even faster rate in other countries of the world.  This force of people is seeing exponential growth and we will see new industries raised up to meet the demand for new products, thus stimulating the economy and perhaps redistributing some of the wealth that is being hoarded by corporations today.  As people switch to a healthier, plant-based diet we will see less of a dependence on health care and a decrease in diseases. We will take back control of our food supply.  We will make it possible for the people of the world to have food and water. We can see the planet healed and rid of most pollution.  People can dig in their heels and fight this but this is not only the way things are going to go…it is the way that they have to go.  We will see critical mass…I believe we can see a tipping point in this generation and stem the tide of the crisis’s before us.  I am only one, but linked together with other like-minded and compassionate people around this country and around the world…we shall be an unshakeable force that will lead this world into an age of social justice, compassion, health, healing and peace among all creatures. This can be the generation that will change it all.

“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”   The Hopi Elders

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaul Graham was born and raised in Northern California and has lived in Las Vegas since 2004. He is a top wedding officiate, a green Realtor and writer. He has a daily vegan food blog www.eatingveganinvegas.tumblr.com which is 365 days and 365 vegan meals in Las Vegas. He can also be reached at eatingveganlv@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/EatingVeganinVegas. Paul’s e-book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere” is now available at www.sullivanstpress.com.