A Prayer for Compassion
"Compassion: A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." ~ Dictionary.reference.com
The Compassion Project is a feature length documentary that strives to inspire and encourage those already on a religious or spiritual path, to expand their circle of compassion to embrace all life, regardless of species, and make choices in alignment with this value.
The film follows Thomas Jackson on a quest that crisscrosses America and takes him to Morocco for the UN Climate Conference and throughout the Indian subcontinent to ask the question, “Can compassion grow to include all beings? Can people who identify as religious or spiritual come to embrace the call to include all human and nonhuman beings in our circle of respect and caring and love?”
Drawing on traditions including Christianity — evangelical, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Friends (Quakers), Seventh Day Adventism, Unity, and more; Judaism; Islam; Hinduism; Buddhism; Jainism; the Native American tradition; Unitarian Universalism; Zoroastrianism; and the “spiritual but not religious” point of view — A Prayer for Compassion calls on people of faith and spiritual seekers of every stripe to come together to bring about a world in which “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them…They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6 and 11:9)
Why Support The Compassion Project?
It's time that the 80 percent of the population who consider themselves spiritual or religious, begin to live the true unconditional compassion at the heart of every faith. It's time they take responsibility for the repercussions of their actions, and expand their circle of compassion to include all creation: the planet, the people, the animals and themselves.
By choosing to support The Compassion Project, you're adding your voice and your compassionate spirit to a powerful project that has the potential to affect millions. It’s been said that contemporary veganism is a movement of documentaries, and all of us at The Compassion Project are proud to add this contribution to the laudable list of vegan films that have preceded us. Thank you for being part of a growing global community of individuals dedicated to the freedom and universal rights of all beings. It's in uniting our voices that we can get this message heard and begin an honest dialogue that can help move us ever closer to a compassionate world of peace, equality, sustainability and genuine justice for all.
Check Out Our Thank You Gifts in the right column -------------------------------------------------------->
Video Sneak Peaks
India's Holy Cow
Thomas Wade Jackson ~ Director
Thomas is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer and musician. He received his Masters from Florida State University's prestigious College of Motion Picture Arts, where his thesis film, "Slow Dancin’ Down the Aisles of the QuickCheck" won both the Student Academy Award and the Student Emy Award, as well as 20 other awards and honors. The film's screenplay, and an interview with Thomas, are included in the fourth edition of the book, Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect, published by Focal Press.
Thomas has lived and worked in New York, Nashville and LA, and currently resides in North Florida. He began his vegan journey in 2005 while living in Manhattan. It wasn't until after the birth of his daughter in 2012, however, that he became “activated,” and found his passion and purpose in helping to create a more compassionate, peaceful world to leave his daughter and the children of all earthlings, no matter their species.
Victoria Moran & Main Street Vegan Productions ~ Producer
While earning an undergraduate degree in religious studies at North Central College in suburban Chicago, Victoria Moran received a Richter Fellowship for Foreign Study, leading to the 1985 publication of one of the first books ever written on veganism, Compassion the Ultimate Ethic.
Since then, Victoria (www.mainstreetvegan.net) has become a sought-after speaker and the bestselling author of twelve books including Main Street Vegan, Creating a Charmed Life, and The Love-Powered Diet. Fans of her work range from Michael Moore to Ellen Degeneres, and she was featured twice on Oprah.
Known for combining the ethical, spiritual, and health aspects of enlightened vegan living, Moran hosts of the weekly Main Street Vegan podcast; directs Main Street Vegan Academy, an in-person program in NYC to train and certify vegan lifestyle coaches; and she’s president of Main Street Vegan Productions, backing films and events that promote a kinder, gentler world.
Pramoda Chitrabhanu is the Director of Jain Meditation International Center in New York and on the Board of Directors of PETA India. She also works for the Vegetarian Society of Mumbai by promoting vegetarianism and veganism. Pramoda teaches meditation and lectures in different cities on Jain philosophy and reverence for life, exposing seekers to the pure vision, high ideals and loving vibrations of compassionate living. In this way she has turned her interests into a commitment to living both the introspective and compassionate life, personalizing the universal and universalizing the personal. She is the author of several books including Foods of Earth, Tastes of Heaven; Jain Symbols: The Book of Compassion; and Rainbow Food for the Vegan Palate.
Linda G Fisher is an artist, author and animal intuitive. She is Ojibway and Cherokee and a tribal member of the Ojibway Nation. Her paintings can be found in galleries and private homes worldwide, and her greeting cards have been purchased by the Smithsonian Institute, Macy's, Natural Wonders, Fred Meyers, Whole Foods, and retailers across the nation.
Fisher is also an accredited animal behavior specialist and consultant, and uses positive reinforcement and the science of Applied Behavior Analysis, which is a force- free, compassionate form of behavior modification. The combination of her psychic skills and state-of-the-art animal behavior modification techniques enable her to help her clients and their caretakers on both levels. She is a vegan and shares her home with an adopted dog and six rescued parrots. You can see her art work and find out more at LindaGFisher.com.
Bruce Friedrich is executive director of The Good Food Institute (GFI). By assisting the most promising plant-based and cultured meat alternatives and companies, GFI is creating a healthy, humane, and sustainable food supply. Bruce previously served as director of policy and advocacy at Farm Sanctuary, as vice president for campaigns at PETA, as a public school teacher in inner city Baltimore through Teach for America (where he was Teacher of the Year for his school), and at a Catholic Worker homeless shelter and soup kitchen in inner city Washington, D.C. He has been a progressive activist for more than 25 years, and he is a practicing Roman Catholic.
Frank L. Hoffman, along with his wife Mary, founded their charitable organization, The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation, in 1997, and began their web site, all-creatures.org, in January 1998. As a full-time volunteer, Frank manages the Foundation and web site. Frank and Mary have been married for over 54 years and have been vegan animal rights activists for more than 30 years. Frank is a retired businessman, pilot, and Protestant pastor.
Bob Isaacson has practiced the Dharma in the Vipassana/Theravada tradition for twenty years. He was a civil rights/human rights attorney for twenty-five years, specializing in defending people against the death penalty. Bob currently teaches the Dharma, leads two Sanghas, and leads day-long and weekend retreats in the San Diego area, having been trained in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Program. Bob is a co-founder and president of Dharma Voices for Animals, a Buddhist animal rights organization .
Lisa Levinson is the director of In Defense of Animals’ Sustainable Activism Campaign, as well as a trained movement therapist, museum exhibit designer, and mosaic artist. She uses her therapeutic skills to promote self-care for animal activists. Lisa is the co-chair of IDA’s Council of Sustainable Activism and develops exhibits as a volunteer for the National Museum of Animals and Society. She organizes Vegan Spirituality Meetups and Retreats across the country to explore veganism as a spiritual practice. She co-founded “Public Eye: Artists for Animals” to teach compassion for animals through the arts and founded the Toad Detour to help migrating toads safely cross the road in Philadelphia.
Milton Mills, MD, practices urgent care medicine in the Washington DC area, and is a member of the National Advisory Board for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Dr. Mills earned his medical degree at Stanford University School of Medicine, and completed an Internal Medicine residency at Georgetown University Hospital. He has published several research journal articles dealing with racial bias in federal nutrition policy. In addition, Dr. Mills is a practicing member of the Seventh Day Adventist church, a Protestant denomination which recommends a plant-based diet to its members, and he is an authority on the Biblical basis for this.
Imam Sohaib Sultan is the first full-time Muslim chaplain at Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life. Sultan is the author of two books on the Qur'an: The Koran for Dummies (Wiley 2004) and The Qur'an and the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad: Selections Annotated & Explained (Skylight Paths 2007). He is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and TIME Ideas online.
Dr. Will Tuttle, an award-winning writer, educator, pianist and composer, has presented widely throughout America, Europe and Asia. Author of the international bestseller, The World Peace Diet, he has also taught college courses in mythology, philosophy, humanities, comparative religion, and creativity.
His Ph.D dissertation in education from the University of California, Berkeley, focused on educating intuition in adults. A Dharma Master in the Zen tradition, he has done intensive training in Korea, and has practiced meditation and vegan living for over 30 years. He is devoted to promoting world peace through educating compassion and spiritual awareness through writing, music, and presentations. He lives with his spouse Madeleine in a solar-powered rolling home.
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash, President and CEO of Uri L’Tzedek, and Founder of The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute. Twice chosen as one of America’s top rabbis by Newsweek, Rabbi Yanklowitz’s writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post, among many others. He is a social justice activist, a sought-after educational and motivational speaker, and the author of seven books on Jewish spirituality and ethics. A graduate of Harvard and Columbia, his newest book is titled SPARKS! Bringing Light Back to the World.
Where We're At Today
Thanks in large part to the colleagues and contacts of producer Victoria Moran, we’ve already gathered the impressive array of experts you just met, who are very excited about sharing their message of compassion. And there’ll be a surprise guest or two not yet listed!
We've already completed interviews with both Victoria and Dr. Will Tuttle, as well as gathering B-roll footage at farm sanctuaries, spiritual events and vegfests. We'll be attending FARM's National Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles this July, where we will be able to conduct several of our interviews in one place. This summer we're also scheduling interviews in the New York City area and hope to have the rest of the interviews completed by August. We’ll begin interviewing the spiritual and religious non-vegans in September. After those are complete we'll have four months of post-production, and if everything stays on schedule we'll begin entering the film in festivals by mid-2017 -- although those who donate $25 or more will have an opportunity to see the film as soon as it's complete.
Where Your Support Goes
Your contribution will go toward everything necessary to complete the film and have it ready to screen in theaters. That includes travel expense and equipment expenses, post-production costs (editing, color correction, sound design, a few small animations, and more), music and stock footage rights, as well as our crowd-funding fees and perks. The equipment will be added to that we already own and will allow us to continue to generate video content for The Compassion Project and other animal rights video projects.
After the Film Is Completed
Once we've finished post-production, we'll enter the film in festivals and submit it to various cable networks, as well as making it available for community screenings at places of worship, yoga studios and anywhere spiritual people – or animal people! -- gather. Along with screenings of the film, we'll offer an online version of our Compassionate Living Starter Kit and The 30 Day Compassionate Living Challenge, as well as other resources to prepare our friends and supporters to share this important message. We'll also continue to generate video content, such as extended interviews, and a few short ongoing web documentaries that focus on compassion and animal liberation. Whatever it takes to encourage an open and honest dialogue about truly living the all-encompassing compassion that is foundational to all spiritual traditions.
Other Ways You Can Support
If you're not able to make a financial contribution at this time, you can help us build awareness about The Compassion Project in any or all of the following ways:
1. Contribute Frequent Flyer Miles.
2. Send this GoFundMe link to your friends and colleagues.
3. Join our Facebook page .
4. Sign up for our mailing list at The Compassion Project's website and receive periodic updates.
5. Follow us on YouTube & Twitter
6. Become a social media ambassador by retweeting, reposting, and encouraging your online community to get excited about The Compassion Project, too.
7. Talk about the project with everyone you know.
8. Think ahead: would you like to host a screening in your area? Check out venues and details, and be in touch with us.
Thank You & Namaste