VEGETARIANISM


“Moreover, among vegetarians generally occurs much less heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Well planned vegetarianism is suitable throughout the whole life, including pregnancy, lactation, childhood and adolescence.

Vegetarian diet is also beneficial, because it contains a lower proportion of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein. In addition, it contains more carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and E than meaty diet.”

(American Dietetic Association 2003)

ETHICS

For most people the ethical reasons why to be a vegetarian are the most important. Many people begin to understand that other creatures also feel, and hence they do not want to cause pain to them. Moreover, the lives of imprisoned animals intended for slaughter are completely unnatural. Animals are artificially inseminated, inbred, castrated, fattened with hormone ingredients to quickly gain weight, and after a long journey transported to the slaughterhouse where death awaits.

Methods of slaughtering the animals are also shocking. Braying animals are stunned with hammers, electric shocks, or narcotic weapons. Half-dead are lifted into the air by their legs and dragged by mechanical transport systems, so that they could eventually have their necks slitted…

Many people would undoubtedly become vegetarians if they would visit the slaughterhouse, a veritable hell on earth, or if they had to kill the animals personally.

ECONOMICS

Meat serves to feed only a few at the expense of others.Grain that could feed a lot of people are fed to the cattle meant for slaughter. U.S. Department of Agriculture says that for every 16 kg of grain used for fattening cattle we get back only 1 kg of meat.

Developed countries do not waste only its own grain but also imported vegetable forage from poor countries. In developing countries, people consume per year about 200 kg of grain per person. Average American or European, however, consumes annually about 1000 kg of grain from which 900 kg ends up as forage for animals meant for slaughter.

Average American or European consumes about five times more food resources than the average population of India, Colombia and Nigeria.

In other words, the lack of food problem in the world is only artificially created.Today we produce a lot of food, which can easily feed all the people on earth, but we treat these sources very profligately.

Another price that we pay for eating meat is environmental degradation. Water resources are also unnecessarily polluted and depleted. Waste water from slaughterhouses and fattening station seriously pollutes rivers and streams. In addition, one kilogram of corn produce requires only 60 liters of water, while to produce1 kg of meat 2500 to 6000 liters of water is needed.

Moreover, lacto-vegetarian diet is more affordable than buying meat. Just compare in the stores how much more expensive is meat compared to flour, rice, milk, vegetables etc.

THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION

Nonviolence as the ethical foundation of vegetarianism is emphasized in the ancient Vedic scriptures of India. For example, Manu-Samhita (collection of laws) states: “Meat can never be obtained without harming living creatures, so let the person avoid eating meat.”

In the Mahabharata, there are many regulations against killing of the animals. “He who wants to keep his body flesh by eating meat from the bodies of other creatures lives in misery, whether born in any kind of species.”

“Who can be more cruel and selfish than he who keeps his body by eating meat from the bodies of innocent animals.”

“Those who desire to have a good memory, to be beautiful, long lived, to have sound health and physical, moral and spiritual strength, should not eat animals.”

We are situated in different kinds of bodies and we must fulfill a certain time period that we are trapped in such material body. One must complete the period defined to live in that body, and only then can upgrade to another body.

Killing animals or any creatures only disrupts this process. Killing an animal interrupts its evolution of species and the one who kills will have to suffer the consequences of such sinful acts. No one should kill a body for sense gratification, because one just becomes entangled in sinful activities.

BHAGAVAD GITA

„Whatever you do,whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform-do that as an offering to Me.” This verse in Bhagavad-gita (9.27) summarizes the method of bhakti-yoga, the yoga of devotion to the Supreme Lord.

The devotees offer food to Krishna as an expression of love for Him. After all, it is similar to dealings between humans. A man prepares a meal and offers it to his friend as a sign of affection. It’s not just the food itself, but also the mood that this simple type of exchange accompanies. Offering food to Krishna is one of the ways how to develop our relationship with Him.

Krishna describes in Bhagavad-gita (9.26)  the type of sacrifices He accepts: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” Therefore we do not offer Him something He does not want – the meat of killed animals, fish, embryos of unhatched chickens (eggs), intoxicants, including coffee and tea. In addition we do not use garlic, onions, leeks, chives and mushrooms. This is the food of passion and ignorance, and therefore unsuitable for anyone who wants to raise his consciousness to the level of bhakti-yoga.

Vegetarianism for a devotee of Krishna goes above one‘s health, economic and even ethical interests. It is more than avoiding bad karma for killing the innocent animals, it is the way of life which pleases Krishna.

More on harekrsna.cz.

 

QUOTES ABOUT VEGETARIANISM

 

„Vegetarianism is a way of life to which we should all aspire. For our own economic survival,  physical well-being and health, and to protect religious values.“

▪ Thomas Berry

 

 

„Don’t we have food without bloodshed? Doesn’t it mean, that we strengthen people in cruelty, when we allow them to drive a knife into the hearts of animals?“

▪ Denis Diderot (philosopher, writer)

 

 

„If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.“
▪ Paul McCartney

 

 

„I’m a vegetarian and strongly reject alcohol, so that I can make the most of my brain.“

▪ Thomas Alva Edison

 

 

„It is sad to see that the vegetarian way of life by its purely physical effect on the human nature would most positively influence a large part of humanity.“

▪ Albert Einstein

 

 

 

„God wants us to be supportive of animals if they need help. Every creature in distress has the same right to protection.“

▪ Francis of Assisi

 

 

„The greatness and moral progress of a nation can be recognized by the way animals are treated.“

▪ Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

„Religious respect to them that are bellow us, including, of course, animals gives the human kind responsibility to respect the creatures that are entrusted with and must protect them.“

▪ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

„The real moral test of humanity, exam, which is the foundation of everything else is just related to those who depend on our mercy – animals. In this field, humanity has suffered a complete defeat, so great, that all the others come from it.“

▪ Milan Kundera

 

 

„Where did it come that a kind of ferocity and madness in this happy time leads to the fact that you have stained your hands with blood, although you have so many other ways of livelihood? Why do you deny that mother Earth can feed you? …  Aren’t you ashamed to pour to the fruits of the country blood and killing?”

▪ Plutarchos

 

 

„One of the reasons that meat-based diet is not for a man shows the indifference with which children try to taste it, and how much more they like to eat vegetables, dairy products and fruit..“

▪ Jean Jacques Rousseau

 

 

„Why would you have to question the fact of my right living? If I stuffed my self with baked animals, you should ask me the reason why I do it. Animals are my friends … and I do not eat my friends.“

▪ George Bernard Shaw

 

 

„Experts in nutrition are no longer discussing the fact, if the meat is essential for nutrition. They agree that it is not. If they are some people with doubts today that they can not do without meat, these doubts are rooted in ignorance.“

▪ Peter Singer (philosopher)

 

 

„Experts in nutrition are no longer discussing the fact, if the meat is essential for nutrition. They agree that it is not. If they are some people with doubts today that they can not do without meat, these doubts are rooted in ignorance.“

▪ Issac Bashevis Singer