Sharon Gannon

American yoga teacher

Sharon Gannon (born July 4, 1951) is an American yoga teacher, animal rights advocate, musician and author. Along with David Life, she is the co-founder of the Jivamukti Yoga Method which contributed to the exponential rise in popularity of yoga in the west during the late 20th century.

Sharon Gannon in 2006


  • Some people, many who profess to be yogis, argue that vegetarianism is not a healthful diet for everyone. We agree that vegetarianism is not for everybody; it is only for those who desire happiness and peace. It is definitely a must for those who are interested in enlightenment.
    • Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul, coauthored with David Life (New York: Ballantine Books, 2002), p. 65.
  • If yogis are to come to the realization of the interconnectedness of life, then we must free ourselves from the conditioning that has caused us to think it is all right to exclude all the other animals from our own goals of peace, freedom, and happiness. … By working to alleviate the suffering of animals you are working at the cause level of human suffering.

Simple Recipes for Joy (2014)

Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes, New York: Penguin, 2014. ISBN 978-0-69817-011-7
  • Yoga teaches that whatever we want in life we can have if we are willing to provide it for others. So if yogis want to be free, they understand that to deprive others of freedom will ultimately not benefit their project—to be free themselves. Following that logic, yogis abhor slavery and examine their own lives to find ways that they themselves might be condoning slavery and then eradicate those ways of acting. The fact is that animals who are raised for food are slaves. Making kind choices when it comes to the food we eat is one of the most basic ways to begin to ensure our own happiness and freedom. The cause for our own happiness, health, and freedom lies in how happy and free we can make the lives of others. The definition of others includes other animals.
  • Jivamukti Yoga is a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings. Jivamukti is a Sanskrit word that means to live liberated in joyful, musical harmony with the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us—we belong to the Earth. Let us celebrate our connection to life by not enslaving animals and exploiting the Earth, and attain freedom and happiness for ourselves in the process. For surely, the best way to uplift our own lives is to do all we can to uplift the lives of others. Go vegan!
  • To be a joyful vegan in the world today is to become involved in the most radical, positive, political revolution ever. A fork can be a weapon of mass destruction or an instrument of peace. Everything a vegan eats or consumes reflects a choice that takes into account the well-being of others rather than just ourselves—and that is a big difference. Each one of us can make a huge difference by choosing not to eat animals. By choosing kindness over cruelty, we contribute to the sustainability of our planet Earth and can even change the destiny of our species and all the species on Earth.
  • To become a vegan is by far the best way we have at this time in history to contribute to peace on Earth. Being a vegan in the world today is to be involved in a nonviolent, direct-action protest against cruelty and an affirmation of kindness.
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