Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I often forget that not all Pagans are Vegan, and not all Vegans are Pagan. For me, the two fit together so naturally that part of me is always shocked to be reminded of this fact. Veganism fits so closely in with the basic beliefs of most if not all of the different traditions of Paganism because we are taught to do what we want as long as we harm none.

 Leslie and I recently went to Salem, Mass for a long weekend with a detour back to Maine on Saturday. It was a fun way to celebrate my Birthday and the annual Maine Vegetarian Festival as well. As we browsed the many shops, I was saddened by the amount of leather, feathers and other animal parts on magical tools that we saw in these shops. As part of our weekend, we took a tour through the Witch Village Museum. The tour guide stated that this number one belief that we we are ok as long as we harm none, and she even said that she participates in a little bit of dog and cat rescue in her spare time.  What struck me is that how she like most people clearly only considered not harming  pets, and did not include animals that are commonly exploited for "food" in with those animals that we should not harm.

This made me really wonder why Pagans don't see the connection between "Harm None"  and eating animal products. Harm none means harm nothing, not just don't harm the cute and cuddly pets but continue to take part in the meat and dairy industry that exploits, harms and kills animals because they "taste good". To me, Harm none means simply that. I believe in living a lifestyle that truly does not harm animals or humans. The feathers that I do have were gifted (shed) by birds and were not killed to obtain them. And I believe there are more beautiful ways to decorate my magical tools than to cover them with materials that were obtained by harming a living being.


  1. I disagree as a pagan myself. Though i am not wiccan i am still Asatru. But if that's how you feel power to you. :)

  2. I thought this post was lovely, and I agree with you. I think there are two big reasons you see so many Pagans who aren't Vegans.

    One is that the diversity of Pagan belief means that not all follow the Rede. "Harm None" is simply not a required tenet of Pagan belief. Most (not all) Wiccans believe in it, and some Pagans that do not identify with a tradition believe in it, but Recons of all stripes have their own theologies, Druids, Asatruar (as Dominic said), and many other types of Witches do not have the Rede as part of their thought.

    The second, is that even among the Pagans that do believe in "Harm None," there is a great variety of definitions as to what harm means. It seems clear to you and I that the destruction of life through animals is "harm" but other Pagans don't. Since we don't have any Pagan theocratic police forcing us to all believe the same thing, we just have to let go and allow people to learn on their journeys what their supposed to learn.

    I do wish I could find more Vegan Pagans to hang around with, to share my ritual food, and to enlighten me with their wisdom. We'll just have to keep living peacefully and be witnesses when we can.