Judy Carman, author of Peace to All Beings, has written a review of Disciples which appeared in the summer 2014 issue of American Vegan, the publication of The American Vegan Society. Here’s what she has to say.
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Keith Akers’ new book, Disciples, gives evidence to show that Jesus, his Ebionite community, and his disciples were fighting for the rights of animals 2,000 years ago. It is one of those books to use as a reference and a hope for years to come.
“Vegan,” now a household word, is seventy years old, but the ethic behind veganism is ancient. Akers, the scholarly detective, keeps his readers fascinated as he unravels contradictory ancient texts. With charts, graphs, maps, and illuminating logic, he helps us to understand the many belief systems that existed around the time of Jesus. Through Akers’ impeccable research, we discover that the concepts of nonviolence, pacifsm, and veganism were being taught for centuries as the ideal way of life. The evidence Keith uncovers makes it very difficult to claim that Jesus himself was not vegan.
Jesus was born into a family and community who opposed the animal sacrifices in which many other Jewish factions participated. of Ebionites. Jesus’ own demonstration in the temple against the sale of sacrificial animals and the priests who demanded it, may well have been the primary factor in his crucifixion.
Jesus and the Ebionites were looked upon as dangerous by those who depended on violence for their profits. Following Jesus’ death, his disciples continued to oppose the temple sacrifices and consequently several were killed.
This consciousness-raising book is a valuable and inspirational resource for activists. It will be especially useful when we get an opportunity with people of faith to imagine “What would Jesus Do?”
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Judy Carman, author of Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul, introduced the concept of Homo ahimsa. She is co-author with Tina Volpe of The Missing Peace: The Hidden Power of Our Kinship with Animals. Join Judy with Will Tuttle online in weekly prayers and daily inspirations at CircleofCompassion.org. Read the prayer for animals being spoken around the world. Judy assists at Vegan Spirituality events and is on the Sustainable Activism Council of In Defense of Animals.