Emergence of Vivism
and further developements
When having finished his academic law study in 1974, the later founder of Vivism, Nicolas Pleumekers, had
not yet finished searching for the answer to several life-questions, which activity had become very important to him.
But because he always planned to add another field section to his study, notwithstanding much opposition against this in his direct environment and the accompanying obstruction, he did, which also gave him the opportunity to go on 'digging' in the philosophical field.
As a matter of fact the mentioned opposition in his direct environment turned out to be that strong, that without the usual support both studying and taking a job were as good as impossible, so that his main activity became learning how to become completely self-supporting, which also had most interesting philosophical aspects.
As for philosophying
After having concluded earlier during his study:
- that astrology can be a very good guide in understanding other people and a lot of what happens in the world,
- that it's very much worth while, to be 100% honest,
- that it's important, to leave behind as much as possible of what is polluting environment, like driving car,
and after 1974:
- that animals shouldn't be eaten at all, as well as
- that it's very much worth while, to stop common activities like using alcoholic drinks and tabacco-products as well as watching moving cameraproducts,
in 1985 he found out, how great it is, to stop eating plants (and killing them otherwise).
After often having thought, that it's not consequent, to on one hand refuse eating animals, because they have to be killed for that, but on the other hand eat plants unlimited, although they also have to be killed for that, in the mentioned year circumstances gave him the cause to stop eating plants as well.
So from then on no more spinach, lettuce, dandelion salad, leek, endive, cauliflower, red cabbage, white cabbage, savoy, brussels sprouts, nor chicory figured on his menu.
It immediately turned out to bring a big difference in positive sense.
In a way it was like having stepped into a lift, up to higher floors; (later on it turned out to be from underground floors, back to the (natural) ground-floor).
After some ten years of this abstinance of plants as foodstuff, plus more and more saving plant lifes in other ways as well (for instance by no longer removing nethels or thistles, that where in his way), suddenly there was the moment, that it was fantastic to see and be near the trees and other plants in his neighbourhood.
It was as if plant world (Flora) had forgiven him what he once had done to her and given him back his natural place, close to her.
Since then it is about the best place to be; more like home, than anything else.
About two years later he came to know of and learned Veganism.
Reading the introduction-leaflet of a Vegetarian Union, he saw the word "veganism" for the first time. "Veganists also don't consume animal products, that don't take the killing of the animal (such as milk)", it said.
"What the hell can be wrong with drinking cow-milk?", was the question he immediately posed to a Vegan organisation.
After a written dispute, that took several months, he was delighted to let this organisation know that he agreed with their vision; this also on their point of leaving animals their natural freedom --- .
(In return he could point out, that in his vision it's even better not to kill and eat plants either).
Now, the gained knowledge of this vegan total respect for life and well-being of animals later on functioned as a key, that made him able to open a very heavy door towards the answer to the big question, that always had bothered him: "What is it, that makes man have to undergo all the unpleasant experiences (punishments), he usually has to?"
He immediately started adapting his feeding pattern and his further behaviour to this new insight.
So no more cheese (which also meant no more of his favorite cheese-soufflé's), no more eggs (which also meant no more of his favorite mayonaise), no more milk-shakes, choclate pudding, yoghurt, etcetera on his menu either.
Further more he replaced his down pillow and quilts with other ones, that were free from the very animal unfriendly aspects that down has.
Like earlier was the case after he stopped eating plants, once again it turned out to be not at all as extremely difficult as he expected to stop eating these more or less favorite kinds of food, but on the contrary brought an immediate big relieve as well as a both physical and mental loftiness.
As he moreover remembered what a conciderable approval earlier changings in his behaviour, (like becoming 100% honest), had brought, one and other made him start realising, that in fact it were all ways of treating other living beings more respectfull and gentle*, that resulted in a much more pleasant and easy personal way of living. *(being dishonest for instance often leads to detriment or some confusion with other persons and therefore in principle must be regarded to be a way of treating others rudely).
From here, slowly but sure thoughts heavily moved in the direction of the big and in this context decisive step to the conclusion, that apart from animals also the other kinds of living beings could and maybe should be treaten in a perfectly respectfull and gentle way.
In this way during some two years the peaces of the puzzle, that were available then, were put together to a vague image of what the result eventualy might be: a new filosophy of life, based on the conviction, that Earth can be paradise, on condition that man treats all kinds of living beings as urbane as possible.
To several organisations the proposed name of this new filosophy was communicated in 1991. No objections were made known against: "Vivism".
Alarming newspaper report
Practising this new found principle as far as possible under the circumstances then given leaded to a few years of enjoying life more then ever before.
This lasted untill medio 1994, when he read a newspaper report about a professor, who in his university farewell speech stated, that mankind will have only a few more decades to go, when it doesn't change its way of life significantly and as soon as possible in a much more environment friendly one. (Report is on this page: --- ).
One of the consequences reading this had, was, that he realised, that evidently all existing philosophies and religons had not prevented and been able to stop this developement.
So it was very important that an alternating one would be found or made.
"What about Vivism?", he not long afterwards asked himself; could this for instance stop the catastrophic growth of world population?
After thinking this over for a few months, he was delighted to conclude, that very likely it could; (among other things because following its food rules leads to a significantly reduced libido, which in its turn makes family-planning much more realisable in practice, also in the booming continents Asia and Afrika).
Another consequence reading this issue had, was, that he felt he had to start doing all he can, to help saving the planet from disaster.
That meant good-bye to the nice life of the past years, of which interest in sustainability was only a more or less marginal aspect.
In december of that year he called the Nature Protection Foundation into existance and from then on he was a full time nature (and environment) protector, who in principle spends every available minute to that activity.
More or less by coïncidence early 1998 his attention was strongly directed to further elaboration of Vivism again.
Untill then, in its description, under "all kinds of living beings" were understood: "humans, animals and plants". But in the awareness of the fact, that there's another category of living beings, although they naturally are invisible, once and a while the thought occurred to him, that maybe the vivistic principle could and should be practised in relation to them as well. Personal knowledge about these beings however was rather small, so that as good as no imagination could be made of the way(s), in which this could take place.
This situation changed thoroughly after in a bookstore a booklet about several kinds of animals came across, in which there also was a chapter called: "The Bacterium".
Having read this chapter, it was as if a world came tumbling down. These bacteria are real living beings and they die in a probably very cruel way any time that fire is made or soap-products are used. So sticking to the Vivistic principle would mean: leaving all behind, that includes fire being made, soap being used, or that kills
bacteria in another way !!!!!
Once again it took some two years, to this time realise, what all the consequences were of this new found information and to integrate microbes in the vivistic theory. Both activities took place in a more or less dismayed resignation, for especcially realising, what the consequences of this would be for his all-day life,
was a rather disconcerting activity. Also he realised what very big changes it would bring to nowadays kind of society, when this newfound aspect of the Vivistic principle sooner or later would be adopted more or less generally together with its other aspects.
Nevertheless, apart from these theorising activities a start was made with practising this new part of Vivistic theory.
This in itself was very interesting and here as well relief was conciderably. (For instance no longer doing the laundry in hot water with a detergent, but instead in just cold water (after one day or so of soaking) all by all turned out to have quite a refreshing effect).
It indeed evidently was another big step forward to the fully nature- (= life-) friendly way of behaviour, that doesn't give any cause to any kind of punishment any more.
For it also lead to changes like using as little electricity as possible, (directly as well as indirectly) using as little fuel (like gas and gasoline) as possible, buying and using as little as possible of what is made by use of fire (like plastics, steel, etc.), (including buying it in principle only second hand, when it is really needed).
Later on, after these two years of mainly taking leave from many (often pleasant) habits (like making trips and journeys by train) because they imply the killing of big numbers of microbes, as well as starting to find out in how far they could be replaced by other ways, that don't have this unwanted implication, it became more and more clear to him, that this new part of Vivistic theory had the potention in it, to completely eliminate several main global problems, like the environmental one, as for instance chemistry, which all by all is the main cause of this problem and as good as impossible without fire being made, is incompatible with it.
Apart from that it became more and more clear, that having to take leave of the mentioned before habits in fact was not something to really regret, as the found alternatives (like making trips and not too long journeys in principle only by bicycle) turned out to have that much more superb aspects (including peace of mind as a result of knowing to act a lot more nature friendly in this way), that a possible forced return to former habits would be regarded as a considerable setback.
Since the beginning of the 21th century
elaboration of the then largely complete Vivistic theory has led to
several additional drastic changes in more or less essential fields of behaviour.
- 1) In the feeding field a move to Raw-foodism;
- 2) Abstination of microbe killing food additions like salt and vinager;
- 3) A basical rejection of non-organic foodstuff;
- 4) A strongly reduced peronal use of energy;
- 5) A strongly reduced use of plastics and other chemically produced materials.
More about one and other on the following special page:
© Copyright Nicolas Pleumekers --- (Nature Protection Foundation htt natubico @ mail.com