About Vegetarianism

“[ ….. that book] also gives an idea about the kind of food that was popular in old days. For example, if someone is very weak, he used to be suggested different kinds of meat-soups. Like with some medicines use goat-meat etc. Some things make immediate change in man’s strength.”
“Then why is eating meat prohibited or considered inappropriate by Hindus?”

“It is prohibited because dead body is considered impure or unholy. Meat comes from a dead body, a corpse. It has medicinal use, and offered to ancestral spirits, but is prohibited in daily use. For mortal offering to ancestral spirits it is considered appropriate – even different kinds of meats are prescribed in different situations. You can find these descriptions in Kurma Purana, Manu Smriti etc. Meats were used for after-death rites and medicinal purposes. It wasn’t considered necessary for healthy people as eating dead things would destroy the purity/holiness of body and give rise to impure thoughts in mind.”

“What about the common argument that plants also live?”

“Understood that plants also die, but there’s obviously a difference between plants and those in which the life-blood flows. There’s no end to arguing, you can argue either way. There was a movie we were watching. Was a comedy – the hero would become a werewolf at night.. in one scene, the girlfriend asked “Do you trust me?”. The man replied “Are you a vegetarian? I only trust vegetarians”. [laugh]

In-fact, vegetarianism is getting popular, though slowly; this is very encouraging. Doctors also suggest to go off meat – like avoid eating red meat etc. Diseases like arthritis, weakening of digestive juices even cancer are more common in those who eat meat. Those whose staple diet consists of grains etc usually don’t suffer from arthritis. They are healthier on an average. Heart problems are not very common among them. Take even cancer, number of cancer patients you’ll find among meat eaters will be much more compared to vegetarians. Well, people must have started noticing this. There could be one or two coincidences, not hundreds or thousands!”

“I guess ultimately it all comes down to taste.”

“That’s true. But imagine two kinds of meals – one from an Indian feast where you’ll have tens of kinds of Dals, rice, puddings, salads, curries, snacks and vegetables etc and just next to it another one with a tandoori chicken or steak or beef leg etc. Which one would appeal to our taste buds? Of course, for us, its the first one. With the second one you can immediately sense the sighs or curses of the chicken or the dying pig [laugh]. Well, its bound to affect your mood too. At least the first meal doesn’t have the curse of a dying being! [laugh] Nobody can say that the rice pudding is cursed or there’s a cold sigh coming out of vegetable curry [laugh]. Mood after eating the meal should be good. There’s another point. If you are making potato curry, you won’t feel bad or revulsion at the idea of cutting or peeling a potato. On the other hand, if you are making a chicken dish, imagine what you have to go through. First, you’ll have to remove feathers, then take the guts out, clean it up boil it etc. Compared to peeling a potato and frying it there’s a huge difference! The atmosphere will be complete different. Go to a meat market in the US, you’ll see hundred of cows skinned and cut and on the other hand go to a vegetable stall to buy tomatoes. There’s a big difference and makes a lot of difference. Even most of the non-vegetarians can’t actually kill and prepare the meat of the animal by themselves!”

“Now, the concept of hunting in olden times was a different.”

“How so?”

“Well, they didn’t have anything to eat so they hunted an animal and ate it – that can be understood. It could be considered natural as many animals do that too. However, this industry built around selling meat is not right. If you have the guts, hunt for yourself! I’m pretty sure that 90% of people will give up eating meat if they had to hunt and kill the animal for their own food!”
“No one can watch killing an animal”.
“That’s true. Now there’s talk about compassion and love and on the other hand their mouths will water at the sight of a lamb! What kind of compassion is this? Jesus Christ is also shown in pictures with a sweet smile and carrying a lamb in hands. Who knows whether the smile on his face is of real compassion towards the small animal or due to the anticipation of pleasure of devouring a tasty meal of it? [laugh]. Its still an unanswered question! This question should be raised – it is known that he was not a vegetarian – was he taking that lamb to the kitchen or was he just carrying it with love? [laugh] Probably no one can answer that. This should really be found out [laugh].”

“This world is very fascination, interesting. Important thing is that the observations should be unbiased and independent, then only it becomes interesting. Otherwise, what’s the point.”

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