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View Full Version : Is there a true vegetarian/vegan?



realdemigod
02 May 2013, 07:36 AM
I'm reading Paramahansa Yogananada talks and he mentions there is no true vegetarian as there are lots of germs who will be feeding on the foods we consume (of course not visible to naked eye). This sounds silly but very profound.. never thought on this line.

Then who exactly is a vegetarian/vegan?

Sahasranama
02 May 2013, 08:57 AM
What a silly question.

Germs are bacteria and technically not animals. There are four groups of organisms: bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. A vegetarian does not eat the flesh of animals.

It is always possible for little insects to slip into our food, but they are not eaten intentionally.

Eastern Mind
02 May 2013, 10:18 AM
Vannakkam: Yes, we're also all natural carnivores. Saliva and much more is part of us, and has cells, and each time we swallow we are eating ourselves. If we eat with our fingers, some skin cells fall off, and we eat them. Oh woe is us.:)

Aum Namasivaya

realdemigod
02 May 2013, 11:15 AM
What a silly question.

Germs are bacteria and technically not animals. There are four groups of organisms: bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. A vegetarian does not eat the flesh of animals.

It is always possible for little insects to slip into our food, but they are not eaten intentionally.

The reason I asked because germs have life, and I think many vegetarians as I have come across have the notion that being non-vegetarian is inhuman..killing animals.. so how is it different from killing germs which have life just like animals?

Ganeshprasad
02 May 2013, 12:30 PM
Pranam

jivo jivasya jivanam meaning one living entity is food for another. That is what shastra says.

So what is the difference, why vegan or vegetarian?

Power of discrimination. Karuna, compassion are moral guidance that shastra enjoy us to follow.
eating flesh, inflict wanton violence and suffering, should be avoided and can be avoided, if we are to progress in following dharma.

Jai Shree Krishna

ShivaFan
02 May 2013, 04:37 PM
Namaste... This is actually an interesting post. As EM points out, we are eating ourselves.

You know, it actually points out how advanced was and is the thinking of Indian Yogis, only in the recent decades have most Westerners even thought about all the things in food.

I am a friend of Jains, but I am not yet ready to cover my mouth with a white mouth scarf and carry a broom to brush away small life forms.

Like Ganeshprasad say, use power of discrimination.

We must outlaw cow killing. Honestly, this would be the first step to saving the world.

Om Namah Sivaya

Sahasranama
02 May 2013, 06:15 PM
The reason I asked because germs have life, and I think many vegetarians as I have come across have the notion that being non-vegetarian is inhuman..killing animals.. so how is it different from killing germs which have life just like animals?

Not all germs are killed when eaten, the good bacteria live in a symbiotic relationship with the human being on their skin, saliva and in the colon. Pathogenic bacteria need to be killed in the stomach to prevent illness and death. Everything we eat was once alive, plants included. Everyone has to draw a line somewhere, most people are not cannibals and don't eat other people. Most people also don't eat cats or dogs, but the Chinese do. Hindus do not eat cows. Vegetarians do not eat any animal or products of animal slaughter and vegans do not eat or use any animal by-products.

Next question, what is the difference between eating babies and tomatoes.

TrikonaBindu
02 May 2013, 06:44 PM
Namaskaram to all.

I happen to be vegetarian, but without any particular pride about it. The thing is, I know people who are not vegetarian, but who far surpass me in virtue. They are kinder, more patient, more generous, more self-controlled, more thoughtful, more sensitive to the needs of others. Even though they eat beef, they are better persons than I will ever be.

I became vegetarian mainly because I was born tenderheartedójust as I was born introverted. Itís due to a trait of temperament, not to a cultivated virtue. Simply because of my temperament I flinch at the very idea of killing. Sometimes I even flinch at killing plants, knowing that they, too, experience painóbut regardless, I have to kill and eat them. Itís Natureís law.

Although a determined vegetarian, I donít believe the mere practice of vegetarianism necessarily makes a person more compassionate. Historically there were vegetarian communities that did not hesitate to cruelly oppress and disrespect other human beings not belonging to their community. In contrast to this, there have been great saints and humanitarians who did in fact eat meat.

Moreover, I am personally acquainted with two people who had to abandon the vegetarian diet, because their health suffered. The fact is, human physiology has subtle variants, such that adaptability to a vegetarian diet is not equal in all persons.

As for Parameshwara, what shall I say? It is He alone who created this system where life feeds on life.

All in all, itís a knotty situation, but this much is clear to me: By whatever path it is achieved, spiritual evolution tends to result in greater empathy and a greater sense of oneness with all beings. In such a state of mind, we seek to reduce as far possible to reduce the harm we cause to others. Vegetarianism is one way to reduce harm, not only to animals that would be slaughtered for food, but also to the planet in general which suffers significant damage from the meat-producing industry.

Pranam.

realdemigod
03 May 2013, 03:33 AM
Next question, what is the difference between eating babies and tomatoes.

May be..if only tomatoes had small limbs

Believer
03 May 2013, 03:50 PM
Namaskar,

Some comments on your thoughtful writeup:

The thing is, I know people who are not vegetarian, but who far surpass me in virtue. They are kinder, more patient, more generous, more self-controlled, more thoughtful, more sensitive to the needs of others. Even though they eat beef, they are better persons than I will ever be.


....I donít believe the mere practice of vegetarianism necessarily makes a person more compassionate......
Vegetarianism by itself is not the all encompassing seed of virtuosity, but one essential component of the great mix.


Moreover, I am personally acquainted with two people who had to abandon the vegetarian diet, because their health suffered. The fact is, human physiology has subtle variants, such that adaptability to a vegetarian diet is not equal in all persons.
I beg to differ and tend to believe that lot of it is culturally based and not physiological. True, that the essential nutrients are easier to obtain from a meat based diet, but making sure that all components of a good nutritious vegetarian diet consisting of legumes, grains, greens (different vegetables and fruits) and dairy products are religiously included in the diet does equate to a meat based diet in terms of the essential nutrients. I understand that it takes a greater effort to ensure proper nutrition with a vegetarian diet but it is when we become lazy and skip some of the things in the mix (and survive on snacks/junk food) that we suffer and blame it on physiology.


As for Parameshwara, what shall I say? It is He alone who created this system where life feeds on life.
How convenient to transfer the blame to Him? :)
Isn't the assumption that His system necessitates life feeding on life for all species a bit too simplistic?
He made the earth, but for different countries/cultures to compete for and even go to war over the material resources - was that mandated by Him?.


By whatever path it is achieved, spiritual evolution tends to result in greater empathy and a greater sense of oneness with all beings. In such a state of mind, we seek to reduce as far possible to reduce the harm we cause to others. Vegetarianism is one way to reduce harm, not only to animals that would be slaughtered for food, but also to the planet in general which suffers significant damage from the meat-producing industry.
If the path of spiritual evolution includes vegetarianism as a starting point, you get on the fast track, else the path is slower.

Having said all that, I am not advocating that every one should become a vegetarian, and I don't mean to disrespect non-vegetarians. It is just that claiming health reasons to rationalize alternate diet plans is questionable. Some areas of the world however may have severe shortage of items for a vegetarian diet forcing people to seek alternate solutions and some people may have special dietary needs for whatever reasons. But under normal circumstances, knowing that I am doing something that I should improve upon will at least get me to make an effort to achieve that goal. Denying that it is an impediment to spiritual growth will not leave any incentive for me to alter my dietary habits. So everyone, be at peace with whatever you have to or wish to eat, but please be mindful of the need to be a vegetarian for faster spiritual growth.

Pranam.

charitra
04 May 2013, 10:43 AM
Historically there were vegetarian communities that did not hesitate to cruelly oppress and disrespect other human beings not belonging to their community.

That happens even today, although I must say thankfully it is confined to a small number of people belonging to very large communities. Eight hundred years of repeated invasions by marauders has eroded the hindu psych to a very alarmingly degenerate levels and as a result some type of mutual hatred has seeped in. They all lived on a survival mode for a longtime. This is the main reason why hindus remain very critical of abrahamic faiths.

However, once the hindus have restored their self rule and are convinced that the self rule is firmly in place , they didnt lose time to put in place some very effective remedial measures, which indeed are paying off rich dividends. The fragmentation among the hindus is fast disappearing. I personally encourage vegetarianism for all, at least one must voluntarily reduce ones love of food, but at the same time I must clarify that it is NOT a requirement to be a hindu. It simply is leaning towards satva and moving away from Tamas essentially. Namaste.