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Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken's Soul Paperback – June 1, 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Reviewed by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Unitarian minister Gary Kowalski has written: “Finding peace within and bringing peace to the world may start with the capacity to look into another’s eyes and recognize there a kindred soul, whether the eyes belong to a German, a Dutchman, a friend, a chimpanzee, or a wolf.” If you find it natural and pleasurable to look into the eyes of animals, then this is just the book for you.

Judy Carman is founder of the Circle of Compassion Initiative, co-founder of Animal Outreach of Kansas, and co-coordinator of the Universal Prayer Circle for the Animals. This handy little volume is overflowing with insights, prayers, affirmations, and concrete steps individuals can take to reverence and protect the lives of all living creatures.

From the opening dedication page where Carman writes “Let us take a moment each day to breathe deeply, close our eyes, visualize and say: Compassion Encircles the Earth for all Beings Everywhere” to the closing chapter which includes a list of animal advocacy organizations to be prayed for, this resource is a treasure trove of material for animal activists. Anatole France once stated: “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Carman is convinced that this connection with living creatures adds to the growing fund of love and compassion in the world. To prove her point, she finds advocates of this process in all religious traditions. Here is one example:

”The Indian saint Ramana Maharshi showed great reverence for the animals who were drawn to his ashram. One was a cow named Lakshmi who would rest her head on Ramana's feet while he sat with his devotees. When Lakshmi was dying, Ramana sat with her and laid his hands on her heart and head. He told his devotees that her heart was filled with love for God and that she had attained enlightenment before she left this realm.”

But the real hub of Peace to All Beings is Carman’s wonderful prayers for all the animal nations, for the persecutors of animals, Albert Schweitzer’s prayer for animals who are suffering, and prayers for specific situations—such as when passing a factory chicken farm, if you are at an amusement park and see captive dolphins, or when passing places where fur, leather, perfume or other products are sold or made from the bodies of our animal friends. We liked this short blessing for the animals: “May all my sacred brothers and sisters, walk, fly, swim and move in love, peace and freedom.”

Spring 2004

This devotional book by a former therapist and animal rights activist inspires the reader to stay his/her violent course towards animal compassion and reverence. It provides a source of inspiration and words of faith and hope in the face of overwhelming animal suffering.

Famous people share their vision of a world of humans and animals in total harmony with each other and nature including Jesus, Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Albert Schweitzer, John Denver, Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa, just to name a few. This gentle and uplifting book fills the reader with hope. I can tell you that this author not only talks about peace she radiates it. All you have to do is open this wonderful book and let it in.

Reviewed by Norm Phelps, November/December 2003

[excerpted]
I am not a fan for feel-good books filled with inspirational anecdotes, prayers, and meditations. Peace to All Beings is chock-full of inspiring anecdotes; it has nearly a hundred pages of prayers and meditations (many composed by the author); and reading it made me feel good. So I should have hated it. But I didn't. I loved it.

What disappoints me about books like Chicken Soup for the [insert your favorite consumer demographic]'s Soul―besides the fact that you have to kill a chicken to get the eponymous soup―is that all too often they make the reader feel good by ignoring the painful truth that many who suffer will never find solace. They are daydreams that promise peace, but deliver only warm fuzzies.

With the holidays coming up, Peace to All Beings will make a great gift for the vegan who has everything or the activist in danger of burnout, not to mention pastors, rabbis, and spiritual leaders of all traditions who have not yet fully realized the importance of making peace with what Carman respectfully calls "the animal nations."

Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken's Soul is an inspiring guide for animal advocates. Judy Carman, a former therapist and program director for mental health clinics, has created a valuable resource for those seeking to live in harmony with other species. Carman was once an atheist "But in 1979, a whale and a Native America medicine man…opened my eyes to an entirely new way of looking at and being with God, the Great Spirit."

Soup or Friend?

She quotes spiritual leaders from many cultures, and tells how an admirer sent ailing St. Frances, a pheasant to make soup, but the saint befriended the beautiful bird instead. She contrasts stories of cross-species altruism by individual animals with statistics on their exploitation.

The second part of the book contains positive thoughts, prayers, affirmations, visualizations, and more anecdotes, including one about the two beaver kits who led Grey Owl to stop trapping; "Their almost childlike intimacies and murmurings of affection, their rollicking good fellowship not only with each other but ourselves…To kill such creatures seemed monstrous. I would do no more of it."

This visionary book of hope for a world at peace is also an excellent reference for animal rights activists who wish to explore the interconnectedness of animal rights, ecology, world peace, and social justice. Peace to All Beings shows how animal rights and liberation are an essential part of any movement that is working to make the world a better place. It is a valuable aid for anyone seeking to live in harmony with the values of compassion, nonviolence and reverence for all life.

From the Publisher

This visionary book of hope for a world at peace is also an excellent reference for animal activists who wish to explore the interconnectedness of animal rights, ecology, world peace, and social justice. This is a guidebook...full of solid, fact-based reasons that explain why we human beings must make peace with the animal nations if we are ever to find true inner peace, heal our earth, and create authentic world peace.

This is a valuable aid for those seekiing to live in harmony with the values of compassion, nonviolence, and reverence for all life.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590560051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590560051
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By B. Shulman on October 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fellow animal activist carries this book around with him always, and told me it was the single most important book he'd ever read; in fact it lead him towards activism.

I was already an activist, and have read most of the animal activist literature; so I didn't really see the need but I took my friend at his word and bought this on Kindle.

This book is worth every penny and more. I now carry it around with me on my Kindle - and I read passages from it regularly.

When I feel burn-out from the animal suffering I see around me, when I feel angry at the louts who perpetrate cruelty on animals and seemingly get away with it, when I see yet another video of torture in the slaughterhouse - I take out this book and read a few pages.

The author's voice is magical; her prose is zenlike in its sparse precision. Reading her gentle words soothes the soul; and strengthens my determination to continue my course of action to alleviate animal abuse wherever it occurs.

I can only say, this book is a treasure.
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Peace to All Beings is that rare kind of book that leaves the reader uplifted and perhaps even enlightened. While it discusses difficult themes such as widespread factory farming and animal suffering, it never depresses, in fact the reverse is true, as if by just flipping through the pages the reader is made better, somehow purified.

Judy Carman has researched her subject well, offering insight, prayer and wonderfully interesting anecdotes to help the reader on his or her way toward compassion and reverence for all life. Statistics help educate us in areas we might have been ignorant. For instance: "One pound of meat requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce. A pound of wheat takes only 25 gallons. There would be no hungry people in a world of vegans, who consume no animal products of any kind." And medical facts are fascinating and potentially life altering: "The American Dietetic Association reports that vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, kidney tones, gallstones, hypertension, and breast cancer than non-vegetarians. A study of young American soldiers killed in the Korean war showed clear signs of heart disease as compared with the Korean soldiers, who were primarily vegetarians and had no such signs."

Speaking on the popular Law of Attraction: "When we eat meat and buy products that have resulted in animal suffering, we participate in that suffering to such an extent that the anguish of the animals becomes part of us. Much of the depression and anxiety so common in the world today, not to mention the many meat- and dairy-related diseases, are a direct result of eating and wearing someone's pain and death.
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This book saved my life. I was in despair after learning about factory farm details that have been hidden from all of us for decades...and the prayers and support in this book, to help me focus healing energy on all aspects of this horrifying way of life for so many on Earth...well, it is beyond words. I read the Prayer for Atonement daily, and also subscribed to the author's daily prayers and veginspiration. I do believe prayer is the most powerful tool we have and Judy Carman showed me how to use it to help bring love and peace and forgiveness into the atrocities that have been revealed.
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Judy Carman is a brilliant and beautiful voice for the animal kingdom! This book will help you make the soul connection between humans and animals and the interconnectedness of all of life. There are brilliant quotes in the book by famous vegetarians, such as Leo Tolstoy, Gandhi and Paramahansa Yoganada, which I greatly appreciated. Anyone who loves animals and has reverence for all living beings will love this book, thank you Judy!
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I haven't finished reading this yet. It's a little... godlier than I expected, but I still agree with everything the author says. It's a relief to read something from someone who's on my side on the animal rights issue.
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