YOUR STOMACH IS NOT A BURIAL GROUND! YOU ARE ASKING WHY SO MANY DISEASES ARE THERE LIKE BIRD FLU AND SWINE FLU BUT THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS ALSO THERE. MAN HAS BROUGHT THIS ONTO HIMSELF. DON'T EAT IT." - HER HOLINESS SWAMINI JAI SATHYA I was doing some research on Vegetarianism and I have decided to browse the Hindu Scriptures to see what the great Saints and sages have written about vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is the key to good health and happiness. The Hindu view is multi-dimensional, including the ecological, medical and spiritual, as is evident in the following excerpts: Besides being an expression of compassion for animals, vegetarianism is followed for ecological, religious and health rationales A well-planned vegetarian diet provides essential nutrients including protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, iodine and essential fatty acids, and is suitable for all ages, including infants and children, and also breastfeeding and pregnant women. HINDUISM AND VEGETARIANISM 1. The Dharmic Law Reason - Ahimsa, the law of noninjury, is the Hindu's first duty in fulfilling religious obligations to God and God's creation as defined by Vedic scripture. 2. The Karmic Consequences Reason - All of our actions, including our choice of food, have Karmic consequences. By involving oneself in the cycle of inflicting injury, pain and death, even indirectly by eating other creatures, one must in the future experience in equal measure the suffering caused. 3. The Spiritual Reason - Food is the source of the body's chemistry, and what we ingest affects our consciousness, emotions and experiential patterns. If one wants to live in higher consciousness, in peace and happiness and love for all creatures, then he cannot eat meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs. By ingesting the grosser chemistries of animal foods, one introduces into the body and mind anger, jealousy, anxiety, suspicion and a terrible fear of death, all of which are locked into the the flesh of the butchered creatures. For these reasons, vegetarians live in higher consciousness and meat-eaters abide in lower consciousness. OUR HINDU SCRIPTURES STATES: 1. He who desires to augment his own flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures lives in misery in whatever species he may take his birth. Mahabharat 115.47 2. Those high-souled persons who desire beauty, faultlessness of limbs, long life, understanding, mental and physical strength and memory should abstain fromacts of injury. Mahabharat 18.115.8 3. The very name of cow is Aghnya ["not to be killed"], indicating that they should never be slaughtered. Who, then could slay them? Surely, one who kills a cow or abull commits a heinous crime. Mahabharat Shantiparv 262.47 4. The purchaser of flesh performs Hinsa (violence) by his wealth; he who eats flesh does so by enjoying its taste; the killer does Hinsa by actually tying and killing the animal. Thus, there are three forms of killing: he who brings flesh or sends for it, he who cuts off the limbs of an animal, and he who purchases, sells or cooks flesh and eats it -- all of these are to be considered meat-eaters. Mahabharat Anu 115.40 5. He who sees that the Lord of all is ever the same in all that is -- immortal in the field of mortality -- he sees the truth. And when a man sees that the God in himself is the same God in all that is, he hurts not himself by hurting others. Then he goes, indeed, to the highest path. Bhagavad Geeta 13.27-28 6. Ahinsa is the highest Dharm. Ahinsa is the best Tapas. Ahinsa is the greatest gift. Ahinsa is the highest self-control. Ahinsa is the highest sacrifice. Ahinsa is the highest power. Ahinsa is the highest friend. Ahinsa is the highest truth. Ahinsa is the highest teaching. Mahabharat 18.116.37-41 What is the good way? It is the path that reflects on how it may avoid killing any creature. Tirukural 324 7. All that lives will press palms together in prayerful adoration of those who refuse to slaughter and savor meat. Tirukural 260 What is virtuous conduct? It is never destroying life, for killing leads to every other sin. Tirukural 312, 321 8. Goodness is never one with the minds of these two: one who wields a weapon and one who feasts on a creature's flesh. Tirukural 253 PUTTING THE SPIRITUAL FACTS ASIDE: ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH REASONS: 1. Numerous scientific studies have shown that people who eat a healthy vegetarian diet are less likely to develop: -Obesity or be overweight -Heart disease -Type II Diabetes -Some forms of cancer 2. Scientific studies show vegetarians, on average, are thinner and have a lower body mass index than non-vegetarians. 3. Vegetarians have a lower risk of developing heart disease and are 24 per cent less likely to die from heart disease compared with non-vegetarians (Heart Disease is our number 1 Killer!) 4. Vegetarians are twice as likely to have lower blood pressure compared to non-vegetarians. 5. Non-vegetarians have a 54 per cent increased risk of developing prostate cancer and an 88 per cent increased risk of developing bowel cancer. 6. The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that the incidence of cancer can be reduced by 30-40 per cent if people consume plant-based diets, are physically active and maintain a healthy body weight. (Cancer is our Number 2 Killer!) 7. Vegetarians enjoying a plant-based diet have a higher fiber intake, between 50% and 100% more fiber than non-vegetarians, helping to reduce constipation and the risk of developing diverticular disease. It is caused by small pouches (called diverticula) that can form anywhere in your digestive tract, but usually form in the last part of the large intestine (called the colon). 8. Vegetarians may be half as likely to develop gallstones as non-vegetarians. 9. A high animal protein intake has been linked with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Growing evidence suggests higher intakes of potassium, magnesium and fruit and vegetables are associated with a beneficial impact on bone strength. 10. Eating Meat Supports Cruelty to Animals- animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates, and other confinement systems. These animals will never raise families, root in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that is natural and important to them. They won't even get to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. 11. Eating Meat Is Bad for the Environment A recent United Nations report entitled Livestock's Long Shadow concludes that eating meat is "one of the ... most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." In just one example, eating meat causes almost 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined. The report concludes that the meat industry "should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity." 12. Planet Earth is suffering. In large measure, the escalating loss of species, destruction of ancient rainforests to create pasture lands for live stock, loss of topsoils and the consequent increase of water impurities and air pollution have all been traced to the single fact of meat in the human diet. No decision that we can make as individuals or as a race can have such a dramatic effect on the improvement of our planetary ecology as the decision not to eat meat.