Call me one of those disaffected, real-world muggles, but I’ve never been a devoted fan of the Harry Potter series. Don’t get me wrong—I think it’s great for fantasy, but I’m just not a fantasy person. That said, I adore fans of Harry Potter. Some of my best friends are obsessed—and I admire and envy their faithfulness to the series. So whenever I read something about Harry Potter, I simply imagine that I’m connecting with those friends of mine.
But you don’t need to have any relationship with the world of HP to deeply appreciate the moving sentiments of Evanna Lynch, the ethereal Irish actress who plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies. Her ideas about veganism—and the role of love in the world—could cast a melting spell on even the hardest of hearts.
The actress told Vegan Food and Living that the desire to be vegan stems from a compassionate inner voice: “I’ve always abhorred violence and am highly sensitized to it. I do not think it benefits society or indeed any individual to become tolerant of violence,” she explains. “And I have this small but sure voice deep inside me that says ‘NO’ every time I witness violence and I don’t ever want to stifle that voice with apathy. Supporting animal abuse in any way quiets that voice. To hurt animals is to disconnect me from that most caring, compassionate voice.”
Compassion is an important theme in Lynch’s philosophy: “I think the root of this whole lifestyle is Compassion. It’s a daily reminder that we are all one. I believe veganism is what will heal this planet.” Her compassion doesn’t apply only to animals, however. Rather, Lynch believes compassion is what’s missing from the world of human relationships, and her remarks, while applicable to any era in human history, are especially needed today.
“The lack of compassion and respect for anyone who is a few degrees too different from us, anything that is foreign or weird or a little bit unfathomable to the human psyche is what separates us all and what causes suffering.” Amen.
If you’ve been a vegan for a while, especially if your veganism is driven by ethics and animal welfare, you’ve probably heard that it’s futile to try to save animals when humans can’t even save themselves from each other. But as Lynch points out—veganism is just one manifestation of compassion. Can you imagine if we all cared so deeply about animals that we refused to hurt them? It would be hard to argue that some of that caring wouldn’t translate to our fellow man. “Mankind already has such a hard time respecting fellow humans of different races, cultures, beliefs…” Lynch says, “Imagine what society will be like when we all open our circle of compassion to include beings with whiskers and fur and tails!!”
Of course, getting people to see the light about animal welfare is no simple feat. But you better believe Lynch has a plan for that!
When talking about sharing veganism with her loved one’s she posits a theory that I just love: “I’ve really had to be a living example to them of how one can be healthy, happy and (relatively) normal as a vegan. Victoria Moran has a phrase she uses called ‘Attractivism’ (aka. attract people to the cause by being so stinking lovely and vibrant) which I simply love and is something I practice.” (Yes, attractivism!!) “And this way of being the best vegan I possibly can, learning every day, always reading and watching has helped show my family that it’s not an offbeat trend for radical hippies.”
Indeed, veganism can be for everyone—and that’s no fantasy.
How do you attract people to veganism?
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Photo: @msevylynch via Instagram