FAQ on Meat Eating and Vegetarianism

Hari Om

On what grounds do you prohibit meat-eating ?

According to Swami Sivananda, on medical, psychological, moral and spiritual grounds:

The mind is made up of the essence of the food that a man takes. Tamasic food results in a Tamasic mind (inert, dull). Meat is Tamasic and hence should be avoided.

When an animal is killed or butchered, a contraction of its nervous system takes place on account of fear. (And you might have felt certain disturbances in your own stomach when you have experienced fear.) This leads to the secretion of certain poisons in the liver, etc., of the animal. These poisons are cumulative in their nature and are never removed or lost during the process of boiling or cooking meat. Hence, meat-eating is poisonous and dangerous in the long run.

There is no difference between you and an animal when both are considered as souls inhabiting the bodies. From whichever source you derive the right to live and enjoy in this material body, from that very same source, the souls of these animals have derived equal rights to live and enjoy in their material bodies. Hence, you do not possess the moral right to kill a single living being, however small it may be.

Last, but not least, there is One Consciousness which has expressed itself in the form of the various beings, animate and inanimate. And this makes you one with all beings. Can you willingly and joyously cut your own fingers and cook them and eat them ? Not knowing this oneness alone is the purpose of your coming again and again into the mundane plane. You can know, feel and experience this oneness only when you stop injuring and hurting others and begin to love all as your own Self. Verily, the animals are thy own Self. Thou alone art residing in these animals as the individual souls and thou alone art manifest in the form of the material bodies in which these souls reside. Hence, wake up; stop meat-eating and butchering the animals. Develop love for them and promote oneness.

Should it not be considered as Himsa (injury) when we cut vegetables and fruits ?

Cutting vegetables is not Himsa. There is no real consciousness in plants and trees, although there is life in them. There is life in plants, sensation in animals, mentality in human beings and spirituality in sages. There is no Visesha Ahankara (ego) and reflection of Chaitanya (pure consciousness) in plants and trees. Hence they cannot experience pain. The tree will not say, “I am experiencing pain”. The mind in plants and trees is not developed. It is quite rudimentary. It is Jada (inert) and insentient. Life on earth will be impossible if we take cutting vegetables also as Himsa. This is only splitting the hairs. This is the idle philosophy of those who take interest in vain discussions and arguments. Ignore trifles. Become a practical man.

GF’ Blessings.