When having finished his academic law study in 1974, the then future founder of Vivism, Nicolas Pleumekers, had not yet finished searching for the answer of several life-questions, which activity had become very important to him.
Because he always planned to add another field section to his study, he did, which also gave him the opportunity to go on ‘digging’ in the philosophical field.
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,
- 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.
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 decide to stop eating plants as well.
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, meanwhile supplemented with preventing to kill plants also in other fields than nutrition (e.g. by using as little paper as possible), as well as more and more sparing their well-being (e.g. by not cutting off their flowers) suddenly there was the moment, that it was fantastic to see and be near 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’s about the best place to be. More like home than anything else.
About four years later (1989) his first aquaintance with Veganism was made. 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 (for instance milk)”, it said.
“What can be wrong with drinking cow-milk?”, was the question that he posed immediately to a Vegan organisation.
After a written dispute that took several months, he was delighted to let the mentioned organisation know that he was convinced; this also on their points of leaving animals their natural freedom, which implies not exploiting them (e.g. as means of transport) and not using materials derived from their body (e.g. down, natural silk, genuine leather, etc.).
(In return he could assure its board, that in his vision it’s even better not to kill and eat plants either). —
Of course he immediately started adapting his feeding pattern and further behaviour to this new insight.
No more cheese (which also meant no more (favorite) cheese-soufflé’s), no more eggs (which also meant no more (favorite) mayonaise), no more milk-shakes, pudding and yoghurt, no more down pillow and quilts, that kind of things.
And once again this turned out to be not at all the expected extremely difficult effort to get rid of an addiction to these matters, but on the contrary bring an immediate big relief and both physical and mental loftiness.
From then on, the acquaintance with this vegan far-reaching respect for life and well-being of animals started functioning as a key that more and more made him able to open a very heavy (‘squeaking and grinding’) door towards the answer on the big question that always had bothered him: “What is it, that makes man have to undergo all the punishments he usually has to?”.
As he knew already what a big relief and loftiness it brings to stop eating plants and remembered what a considerable approval earlier changings in his behaviour, like becoming 100% honest, had brought, one and other made him start realising that in fact it all were 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 surely 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. So he also started to prevent killing plants (both directly and indirectly) in other fields than nutrition. Furthermore he began to take care (more than before) not to harm well-being of animals, plants and humans one way or another; (e.g. by respectively waiving use of wool, avoiding consumption of tea and preventing to (both directly and indirectly) violate natural territory of other human (sub-)races by not going there any more (e.g. on vacation) and in principle not buying products from there any more (further elaborated in a separate behavioral approach that was named “Climativism” xx ).
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 philosophy was communicated in 1991. No objections were made known against: “Vivism”.
Some 25 years later (2016) by the way both the philosophical aspect of Vivism and the behavioral (practical) one were developed that far, that the time had come to designate them separately.
“Vivism” was assigned for the behavioral aspect, as a result of which it arrived in the same catagory of principal food- and other behavioral patterns as Vegetarianism, Veganism, Raw-Foodism and Fructarianism, whereas the philosophical aspect (the conviction that total respect for life and well-being of all kinds of creatures can save mankind from its impending doom and at the same time guide it to a paradisal existance on Earth) was named “Paradisionism”.
More or less by coïncidence early 1998 his attention was strongly directed to a further elaboration of the Vivistic principle.
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 naturally invisible for humans), 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 practisation could take place.
This situation changed thoroughly after in a bookstore a booklet about several kinds of animals came across, in which there was also a chapter called: “The Bacterium”.
Having read this chapter, it was as if a world came tumbling down. These microbes 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 implies fire being made, soap being used, or that kills microbes in another way !
Once again it took some two years to realise what all the consequences were of this new found information. Integrating microbes in the vivstic theory led to a that long lasting more or less dismayed resignation. Especcially realising what the consequences of this would be for all-day life was a rather disconcerting activity. What all that one was so used to was to be left behind henceforth? And what if this principle would obtain more or less general adherence?
At the same time with this theorizing a start was made with practising it’s results (e.g. by washing shirts in just cold water and without use of soap). This was a very interesting aspect and here as well the relief was considerable. Indeed it turned out to be 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.