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Should I become vegetarian?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Kapalika, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Kapalika

    Kapalika EDM dancing gaygirl mystic
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    This is something I've went back and forth on a lot.

    A few years ago, maybe a year or two after exploring Hinduism I decided to stop eating beef. Not out of any requirement or specific theology but out of a very deep seated feeling that doing so was wrong. After a while I expanded it to any mammals and I became better about it. Occasionally I would make exceptions when it was offered to me and I was without adequate nutrition but now I'd rather starve than eat mammal.

    But then comes bird and fish. I know some Hindus consider fish a vegetable of the sea, but I kind of find that a little silly even if convenient. I could give up fish (as better as it may be for me than say bird). but I don't think I can give up chicken.

    I'm trying to find a better balance in my life, and I've at least once tried to become vegetarian but I couldn't give up bird meat. I Kind of feel like I won't be able to at this point, but is it possible that in the future I might? I've considered when I have more money only eating chickens I raising myself so I know they at least had a humane life (I live on an unused ranch in America with lots of space). I feel this is better than eating industry produced meat. Is there anything about that that is against Hindu belief in your opinion? I'm aware that there is many different thoughts on that hence why I invite people to share their thoughts.
     
  2. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    Well we all get eaten in the end...

    What would your reasons be?

    I eat very little meat, and whenever possible I make sure I eat meat only from humanely raised and slaughtered animals. I think a little meat is healthy.

    But I also want to reduce my use of our planet's resources, and even humanely raised animals require a lot of natural resources to raise.
     
  3. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    When it comes to fish, I have to say yes. Have a look
    How the world’s oceans could be running out of fish
    When one catches fish, one is basically asphyxiating the fish to death. So the question is can they suffer. Apparently they can as their mental lives is very rich.
    What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins: Jonathan Balcombe: 9780374288211: Amazon.com: Books
    So it becomes difficult to support eating fish on the principle of ahimsa to the environment and the avoidance if causing deliberate suffering to other beings.
    But changing diet is a difficult thing to do, so no compulsion. Do what you can. :)
     
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  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu pagan and a strong atheist.
    Balance is when one does not pine for it. As you know, I am an atheist Hindu and a non-vegetarian. I feel no less Hindu in spite of these two things. If I were to leave non-vegetarian food (all types), I would pine for it, suffer. That is why I do not ever think of becoming a vegetarian. As they say - 'Never torture your soul'. :)

    So, what you do is solely up to you. You must have heard of the line which says 'the eater is Brahman, the eaten too is Brahman'. Hinduism clearly understands 'Jeevo Jeevasya Bhojanam' (One creature is food for another). I do not mean to praise non-vegeterianism. Be vegetarian (to the extent it comes naturally to you), that is appreciated, you are be better than us non-vegetarians (it is very like a smoker advising another not to smoke); but there is no requirement as such unless you belong to that type of a sects. As far as I know, you are not. In any case, never torture your soul' and feel guilty because of it.

    Hinduism is fulfilling 'dharma'. Being kind to all creatures is 'dharma', but perhaps it does not apply to food. My view but others certainly may differ.
     
    #4 Aupmanyav, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  5. Sw. Vandana Jyothi

    Sw. Vandana Jyothi Truth is One, many are the Names
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    I was taught that, "It matters far less what you put into your mouth than what comes out of it."

    That said, we probably all understand that non-meat eating is a purification principle; the reason for abstaining (meat and other enjoined food/substances) is to stop filling the body temple with toxins which prevent the smooth passage of Shakti up the sushumna nadi. I would say to fasten your mind to your ultimate goal, Mandimaa--the full forest--and don't get too distracted examining the branches, leaves and twigs of individual trees. Whatever you do, whatever you say, whatever you think, whatever you eat... offer unto your God in the moment--the pleasure, the guilt... and the gratitude for having food to eat at all.
     
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  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Mandi, I'll give you the staunch traditional view.
    Absolutely. Without question. It is the traditional Hindu way. Most sampradayas teach it, many require it. Its not all that hard to do either, as you still get to eat, unlike some other habit, like smoking.

    Here's what the Tirukkural, the ancient South Indian ethics book says.

    Chapter 26: Spurning meat

    In India today, only 27% are vegetarian, but that figure includes non-Hindus at about 20% total, so it would be higher amongst Hindus. Also, the rate of consumption amongst Hindus is really low, compared to say, America, or Australia.
     
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  7. Tabu

    Tabu Active Member

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    To make such resolutions , you need to back it up with strong reasoning , as to why you want to give up Non-Veg.
    Once you convince yourself of those reasons , it becomes easy to make such changes.
    I became a vegetarian 2 years back because of Brahmakumari beliefs and my conviction in them.
     
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  8. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Mandi, there are a ton of non-religious reasons to become vegetarian as well, the environment, and your health being the first two that come to mind.
     
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  9. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    There are many Hindu opinions on just about all subjects but I would say the most typical Hindu vegetarian diet is one without animal killing and that includes eggs. Dairy is permitted and is an important nutrient for Hindus.

    I follow the Hindu vegetarian diet myself (with rare cheats) because of my respect for the teachings of the spiritual master I hold most dear. But I think it is all a grey area so I don't condemn others for their eating choices.

    I have also come to believe that vegan (no dairy) in today's society and dairy industry would be best. But that would just be too restrictive for me and my level of discipline so I remain Hindu vegetarian.
     
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  10. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    I particularly like the text qouted by Vinayaka ji , ....

    particularly the last two , ....

    To desist from killing a life and eating it, is better than
    doing a thousand rituals, offering oblation. 259


    To one who doesnt kill and refuses meat, all lives will
    fold their arms and pay obeisance. 260


    to me this says says everything that need be said , ....

    true there are many Hindus who do est meat , this is for tow reasons the first I can understand and forgive , that being that of having no other affordable source of food , some areas in the south where the people have traditionaly lived on fish because it is abundant perhaps more abundant than vegetables , ..if it is from shere poverty or lack of food then this I could not deny any one , ....

    but if it is merely that we are culturaly accustomed to meat eating then this to me is not so forgivable , firstly as meat eaters we commit ahimsa to the animal denying him of his life and the chance to rear his her young naturaly with freedom from fear and sepperation , ..secondly we comit ahimsa to our own jiva .

    I know that the transition is very difficult for some especialy those culturaly accustomed to meat eating , but there are so many wonderfull ways to cook simple vegetarian food stuffs that realy it should be an exciting adventure one that you will never regret ! ......I can only make one simple suggestion , try for one week to eat only the pure vegetarian diet (no meat no eggs) then if you can do this you can do it for life , ...it is just a matter of making that commitment , ..people think that it is hard , ...it isnt it is the most natural thing for a Hindu or a Buddhist , it is a stage on the path that we all take at some point , perhaps we are not quite ready yet , But if we think of it as a performing of a sacrifice , first for one day a week , then on week per month , ...then when you know that you have the control ...one whole year , ..one rest of life , ...I promice you you will feel cleaner , healthier and happier , ....you canot know how wonderfull this feels untill you try , ....

    for any one living as an aspiring Hindu or Buddhist if this path can be taken then it is like clearing a huge obstical on the path , ones consciousness becomes infinatly clearer , ines inteligence sharper , ....this is why the sthe strict hindu follow the satvic diet , ...pure vegetarian and no intoxicants , ..following this recomendation ones sadhana improves what ever ones practice , ..ones meditation , ones chanting , ones consciousness

    to go back to that verse quoted , ...

    To desist from killing a life and eating it, is better than
    doing a thousand rituals, offering oblation. 259

    why do we do these rituals , ...why do we ask for blessings and purification ? ...then only to become un clean again and again , ....one day we will realise that we do have the capacity to control this desirous and impure habit , we will realise that we can break cultural conditioning and will realise that we can be strong and more compassionate .
     
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  11. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    one thought perhaps a little off topic but related so I hope no one minds my sharing it , .....

    reading the below made me reflect on two things that happened this week , ...

    To one who doesnt kill and refuses meat, all lives will
    fold their arms and pay obeisance. 260

    this verse is so beautifull , ....we should all be aware that this complete vegetarianism is not so common even amongst Hindus these days so when we meet one who respects life in this way we should pay our obecances to that person for their commitment to kindness , .... some one did this to me this week and it realy took me back , ...on parting before leaving hot home he said what will you cook this evening , my husband said , ...hmm, ... think we will have tofu and green bean rice with ...... he said you are Vegan ?...then simply with folded hands payed pranams and said good night , ...

    this dosent happen often , ..we should do it more , ..when ever we meet a person whos practice is good we should pay our pranams with great gladness , ....Buddhist do this in one way , ..by saying I rejoice on your good merit , ...this is what I mean when ever I say Jai Jai , I am paying my respects and rejoicing in that which is good , ....

    the second thing which happened this week which left me feeling a little sad , probably because it happens more often than the above , and that is that being vegan seems to be a little bit of a threat to some people , ..as if by being vegan I am making some kind of statment or being some how sanctimonious , ...which I'm not because I dont generaly mention it unless the subject comes up and I know that I am in sympathetic company , ....so why do people tease , ...''are you going to bring us fish and chips ? oh no your vegan, you dont eat things on legs or swimmy swimmy things'' ....so feeling totaly perplexed by this strange behavior and thinking was that supposed to be a joke ? ,,,is it funny ? in reply , ..and I dont know why I even bother ? I said I no I dont eat sentient creatures , .....so of course out comes the same old tired responce ''plants have feelings too!'' .....

    I am so tired of this responce , so what do they want me to do starve completely ? ....why do they do it ? ...is it some sort of defence mecanism that they inadvetantly use to justify their own behavior ? ......or they sit there infront of you and get out the bacon sandwich and say ''yum yum , ....but you wouldnt like this, its lovely fat piggy wiggy '' , ....or ''I cant offer you any '' and then laugh , ....

    contrary to thier beleif Im not looking down my nose at them , unfortunatly its normal , ....but it is sad that they have to keep making thise realy sick jokes about it , ...realy its not funny !

    this just makes me more value the company of those that have taken a compassionate stance they are generaly more gentle and sencitive people , ....this yes in meetng these gentle people we should rejoice , ..Jai Jai @Vinayaka ji and @George-ananda ji for their vegetariansm , and Jai Jai to @Mandi ji for begining to ask and conscidder the question , Jai Jai to any one who trys even if they fail sometimes , ....

    and here's praying that the heckelers get born with a little more consciousness in their next lifetime ;)
     
  12. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    Jai Jai , ....
     
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  13. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Hello Mandi
    In satya-advaita one follows the truth path. This makes one do what comes naturally. If during the course of ones day, vegetarian food comes on the table in ones path, one relishes that. If on the other hand non-vegetarian food comes in ones path, one relishes that. So what is satya-advaita you may ask. It living to reality. See Aghori babas even eat human remains from funeral pyres. It is in their path. For truth is the path to God. God lives in each and every one of us. So we are not distinguishing between animals and plants based on some scientific principles that separate them. We are living to reality, the reality that confronts us in our daily lives. We do not collect pious points by making a hard and fast rule about what we can eat and what we cannot eat. In many parts of the world, eg pastoralists, they only have animal products. It is in their path. When we realise that God is within us and all around us, we are eating God whether in plants or animals. The most important rule is that we must survive and survive with dignity. I therefore eat meat that my wife provides because I must live my life as a good husband doing my dharma. Yet I will not kill any animal, except the real blood sucking mosquitoes that can pass on malaria to kill one. If it is not necessary to kill an animal one respects life as a wondrous creation of God. I do not even like chopping down trees, because that too is life but in order to survive in dignity one may have to do that in gardening or the place will become a jungle. Satya-advaita is truth accommodation.
     
  14. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    whilst I canot denigh that God pervades all , ....if we are to speak of Truth or surviving with Dignity , ....should this not be in the manner that follows the very woeds of Krsna himself

    in chapter 17 of the Bhagavad Gita , Krsna describes foods in the modes of goodness , ....

    Chapter 17, Verse 7
    Even food of which all partake is of three kinds, according to the three modes of material nature. The same is true of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Listen, and I shall tell you of the distinctions of these.......

    Verse 8-10
    Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one's existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such nourishing foods are sweet, juicy, fattening and palatable. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease. Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance.''....

    foods in the mode of goodness include Grains Vegetable and Dairy , as these foods are offerable to Krsna

    Verse 11
    Of sacrifices, that sacrifice performed according to duty and to scriptural rules, and with no expectation of reward, is of the nature of goodness.

    to perform these sacrifices we mst abide by scriptural regulations , ...
    Verse 13-14
    And that sacrifice performed in defiance of scriptural injunctions, in which no spiritual food is distributed, no hymns are chanted and no remunerations are made to the priests, and which is faithless-that sacrifice is of the nature of ignorance.

    The austerity of the body consists in this: worship of the Supreme Lord, the brahmanas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the father and mother. Cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence are also austerities of the body.

    these regulations clearly include Non violence , ....

    Verse 16
    And serenity, simplicity, gravity, self-control and purity of thought are the austerities of the mind.

    Verse 17
    This threefold austerity, practiced by men whose aim is not to benefit themselves materially but to please the Supreme, is of the nature of goodness.

    here it plainly says that we should not seek to benifit our selves but that we should act in a way that pleases the supreme, ....this action is that of goodness .

    Verse 19
    And those penances and austerities which are performed foolishly by means of obstinant self-torture, or to destroy or injure others, are said to be in the mode of ignorance.

    and here that those actions which bring harm to others are in the mode of ignorance


    I agree fully that we must respect all life and not kill needlessly this too includes plant life , ..we should not disrupt the ballance of nature by any thoughtless action , but Krsna has said that we can eat foods which have first been offered then lists these foods as being Satvic , ...

    but we are not in the deserts of Rajanisthan , we are in the west where food is plentifull and we have abundant choice surely we can still eat well form grains vegetable and dairy , Krsna also confirms that this is best , ....

    surely we should strive to please Krsna ?
     
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  15. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    Namaskaram Shantanu ji , ...

    in this instance the Aghori does not commit ahimsa because he does not kill a living being he eats the remains of the dead from which the soul has departed , ...but an Aghori's path is very different so this becomes a very different matter .
     
  16. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Hello Ratikalaji, namaskar
    Yes to we must strive to please Sri Krishna. When we have surrendered to Sri Krishna whole heartedly and carry out His wishes for us we are doing that. But is it possible that He has different things to say to each one of us depending on our individual circumstances, whether we are a baba, a householder with a spouse who has different views that need to be accommodated if one wishes to save one's marriage becuase one feels that marriage should be preserved once one has gone into it. I do not follow Bhagavad Gita as a presribed path by Sri Krishna for all mankind. I follow the truth path which has found God as Sri Krishna and has totally surrendered to Him. Even with my reluctant non-vegetarianism He did not abandon me. I fully agree with you that satvic diet of veganism is best and I would have been quite content with that kind of living except that my wife will not like it. It will put too much pressure on her to be doing her job that sustains us as a family as I am unemployed still waiting for my pension to come in 5 months time. In these circumstances she would have to cook separately for my preferred veganism. I found that Sri Krishna understands that limitation that I have to want to survive in dignity with my marriage intact. That is in my truth path and I sincerely believe that doing so pleases Sri Krishna more than I would have if I imposed myself on my wife to make her cook vegan food for me all the time. I eat what I get on my plate. My wife takes care of me, an unemployed and unemployable 60 year old. I can guarantee you this much. Sri Krishna has never abandoned me through all my life's trials and tribulations because I eat meat when it is provided to me by the charity of my wife on whom I am dependent.

    I respect people like you who have been able to maintain a vegeratian or vegan lifesytle and are simultaneously in the service of Sri Krishna. I believe He loves what you do, but He never once abandoned me because I eat meat products. I believe this is becuase of the simple reason that I am helpless and must survive with dignity. That dignity comes from surrendering to God for He will chart my future, no one else.

    Does this make sense to you?
     
    #16 Shantanu, Mar 6, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  17. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    In my personal belief when one dies God has terminated the life force switch that is part of Consciousness Energy along with the soul force. (here is a write up on this: Consciousness Energy of the Universe). The soul force does not die.

    The Aghori path is highly individualistic and noone really knows what they do.
     
  18. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    in this incidence I am sure Krsna will completly understand your possition , ....what Krsna says in the Gita is what is preferable for all of us , this is the guideline by which we should try to live , ...but for you if your wife is unwilling to give up meat eating and you are feeling that you canot complain because she is kind enought to cook for you then it will be very hard for you to disrupt the household . then Krsna will understand .


    as you have surrendered fully to Sri Krsna then without doubt he will ''cary what you lack'' .....at this moment you lack the capacity to follow the instructions on avoiding meat eating but because of your surrender Krsna will forgive this because of the circumstances but another person eating meat due to laziness or to satisfy the palate this Krsna would not be so happy with , this does not mean that he does not understand Krsna does not frown even on the most ignorant as he is more mercifull than we can possibly understand , in the Gita he is giving recomendations which will be benificial for us and which will help us to break free from ignorance


    Krsna will never abandon you , I am so glad that despite your material dificulties , your unemployment and the tribulations of life , that still you have not forgotten Krsna and that you steadfastly rely upon him .

    yes certainly , Now you have explained I understand your position entirely , ....but may I make a suggestion , ....when we married we took vowes , I am sure you also took similar vowes if you had a hindu wedding ? ...these vowes were carefuly explained , we were agreeing to support each other in both material life and in our progress in our spiritual life , the wife is to serve the husband as her lord and the husband is to protect and serve the entire family , ..you have said that you are un able to work , this will happen to many of us as we grow older , which ever partner this happens to first the whole family will rally to support that person this is everyones Dharma , what ever happens be it sickness or the missfortune of not being able to find work , this is just an obstical in ones material life , but where there is an obstical in ones spiritual life , we must allways feel that we can discuss this with our partners , where it is the problem of meat eating , one partner does not see the harm in meat eating and wants the other to behave as they do then the duty of the one who sees and understands the instructions of Krsna to be benificial to persuede the other to change their ways , ... your wife is a very good wife and takes good care of you even in difficult circumstances , I canot say she is bad , she is doing her very best , but perhaps she does not fully understand the implications of meat eating , it is not so much that it displeases Krsna as Krsna can understand our ignorance , but it is more that we are hurting other Jiva souls , when a person realises this meat eating will become distastefull , we will not want to harm other jivas as we will understand we would not want our loved ones harmed , perhaps you can very gently and lovingly explain this to her ? ...this is also our duty , ...I had to persuede my husband , fortunatly for me it was not so difficult as he had been vegetarian before but because of people arround him he had given up , but my duty as a wife to be was to threaten him that I would not even go out with him if he ate meat and to explain why it was so important , but he was very good in making change quickly , he likes to cook so I taught him to cook many very nice vegetarian meals so I am very lucky he cooks most of the time , ... even some years after we got married I decided that on ethical grounds I could not take any milk or dairy whilst we lived here in UK because of the misstreatment of dairy cattle , I made an imidaite vow , I did not think even to consult him , but after he said to me does that mean me too ? ....I had to say to him no it must be your descision , but if you would follow me I would be very happy , .... kindly he supported me immidaitly .....
    this made me very happy , .....this is what Krsna means when he says in the Gita , ''such a preson is very dear to me'' , ...he means that he is not angry at one who does not follow every injunction , but what he does say is that he is especialy pleased with one who does , ....when a person does the right thing , in this instance it is to behave with compassion for other jivas by not eating meat , then Krsna becomes delighted , ....

    now what I would like to suggest , is .....can you talk to your wife and explain how very important ths is for a devotee of Krsna ? can you explain about the Jiva in the heart of all beings and explain that it is your greatest wish to fullfill this vow and that if she would support you in ths way you would be eternaly greatfull , perhaps even you can offer to help with the cooking to give her some free time , perhaps she will like this ? maybe you can cook one whole meal each week , if this meal is pure vegetarian you can offer it to Krsna then the whole family will recive Krsna prasada , this will be benificial for all the family , then who knows , Krsna may persuade your wife to become vegetarian too, this would be very nice ,
     
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  19. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    I would never impose my views and needs on my wife. Maybe your Krsna and my Sri Krishna are different conceptions of God.

    Let me explain how I came to give the name Sri Krishna to my God. Through my questioning of God and the life that I led with His blessing I decided that the Creator and Preserver God is who Hindus know was Sri Krishna. The evidence that sealed this analysis for me came from the use of the Chaldean Hebrew numerological alphabet in which God’s name acquired the highly spiritual number of 7. The number 7 had great spiritual significance in denoting the presence of God within the universe.

    I tried to follow Gita but found too many things in it that did not make sense to me. I must stick to my truth path of satyadvaita or truth accommodation. That is more important to me than pleasing God, whether He likes it or not. I am a human being and live to the reality that I am confronted with. I cannot afford the luxury of setting rules on my conduct. I must accommodate what happens. I wait for developments, and do not force myself into adopting particular virtues. If God likes that He is welcome to stick by me. If He does not like that, He can go somewhere else to some other devotee.
     
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  20. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    Sanatana Dharma
    Namaskaram Shantanu ji

    there is only one Krsna how one spells it or understands it is immeterial, ....if you think vegetarianism is about your needs then please think again it is more about the needs of the animal to be fairly treated and to be allowed to live a natural life in harmed by man , ...for a mother cow not to suffer the pain of having her calf torn away from her at a tender age so that it can be fattened for the table , ....it is not about individual veiws but about AHIMSA !

    will you let your wife committ murder and not try to stop her , in british law this makes one accessory to the crime , ...why should this be any differnt for an injustice committed against the animal ?

    if we do not understand the Gita then we must take guidance from some one who has been taught the true meaning .we must seek out some one who will explain it to us , but first we must purify our minds , .....we canot make bargans with Krsna and canot concoct a krsna to whom we can surrender leaving out the parts we do not care to understand , ...we canot understand either through the false ego that says ''me'' and ''I'' ...after all who is this I that lives in reality , ...it is the ahamkara that lives in illusion ! .....it is only this false sence of self that perceives a reality which it thinks it is confronted with , and thinks it must accomodate what happens , ...what happens is a test , how we react , this is all important , ....Krsna explains this when he explains the difference between action and in action to Arjuna , ...but if a person is not willing to humble them selves and take instruction on the Gita then they will not understand the nectarian words of Sri Bhagavan , ....how then can He say that he is surrendered ?



    Why ? why must you just accomodate ?
    should we just passivly stand by and watch another do something which we know is wrong or should we try gentle reasoning , ...this is all I suggested , ....

    I will not debate this further as we will derail the thread , that was not my intention .
     
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