able for some people, while six months to a year might be better forothers. Rewards can also help. For a major accomplishment such asa week without meat, treat yourself to a nice vegetarian meal out.One can also take a formal Hindu vow of vegetarianism,
vrata, available on-line atwww.hinduismtoday.com/in-depth_is-sues/veggie_vow/ . The vow maybe taken privately, before elders orparents or as part of a temple cer-emony. It reads in part, “I acceptthe principle of
as themethod by which I may acknowl-edge my compassion, my
,for all living beings. As an act of dedication, I am resolved this dayto begin (or continue) the regularpractice of eating a strict vegetar-ian diet and not eating meat, sh,shellsh, fowl or eggs.”The most common problemwith conversion is not knowingenough about the vegetarian diet.Some people decide to be veg-etarian but have no idea what toeat, and end up with soggy veg-etables and undercooked brownrice for breakfast, lunch and din-ner. They become discouragedand rightly wonder how they will survive. But decent vegetar-ian food isn’t boring. A little research will put your mind at ease.Get some vegetarian cookbooks. Ask restaurant waiters whichmenu items are vegetarian. Search online for vegetarian recipes.
Vegetarians are often asked “Don’t you miss eating meat?” For abouthalf of beginning vegetarians the answer is yes, acording to
. They miss the texture and avor of meat in the earlyweeks and months. Almost everyone though, gets over this within sixmonths to a year and for many it becomes nauseating even to thinkabout eating meat. Eighty-two percent of fully adapted vegetarianssay there is no way they would consider eating esh again.
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyas-wami writes, “Modern meatsare killed by chemical treat-ment of the animals, the hor-mones of fear and chemistry of death before and during slaugh-ter, killed again by refrigeratingthem, killed again by grindingthem, killed again by preservingthem, killed again by packag-ing them, killed again by freez-ing them, killed again by storingand shipping them, and nallyreally killed by cooking them todeath. How can such so-calledfood nourish a human being?
“Why should we ever think of eating meat, sh, foul, eggs, any-thing with eyes or, as some say,with two or more senses. Thecock-a-doodle-doo who wakes usup in the morning is dinner onthe table at night. How gruesome.How ruthless to thus forever close the eyes of an animal, or havesomeone else do it for them in order that they may buy the carcass,closing their eyes to the fact, which is even worse, and keepingtheir own eyes closed to that creature’s suffering to consume itwithout conscience during jovial small talk over the dinner table.How easy in turn for such a person to turn and maim or kill a fel-low human in the same way in times of stress as a natural reaction,in ‘justiable righteousness.’” As the
proclaims, compas-sion cannot be found in the hearts of those who eat meat.
chapter 43: the meat-free life
what is hinduism?
decades of nutritional research data, PCRM addresses these dietaryconcerns head-on:“The fact is, it is very easy to have a well-balanced diet with veg-etarian foods. Vegetarian foods provide plenty of protein. Carefulcombining of foods is not neces-sary. Any normal variety of plantfoods provides more than enoughprotein for the body’s needs. Al-though there is somewhat lessprotein in a vegetarian diet thana meat-eater’s diet, this is actu-ally an advantage. Excess proteinhas been linked to kidney stones,osteoporosis, and possibly heartdisease and some cancers. A dietfocused on beans, whole grainsand vegetables contains adequateamounts of protein without the‘overdose’ most meat-eaters get.”Other concerns are allayed bythe PCRM as follows:1.
is easy to nd in avegetarian diet. Many dark, greenleafy vegetables and beans areloaded with calcium, and someorange juices and cereals are cal-cium-fortied.2.
is plentiful in wholegrains, beans and fruits.3.
There is a misconception that without eating meatone cannot obtain sufcient vitamin B
, which is an essential nutri-ent. This is simply not true. The PCRM advises: “Although cases of B
deciency are very uncommon, it is important to make sure thatone has a reliable source of the vitamin. Good sources include allcommon multiple vitamins (including vegetarian vitamins), fortiedcereals and soy milk.” Vitamin B
is widely available in brewers yeast and other potent dietary supplements.4. Nutritional needs increase during
. The AmericanDietetic Association has found vegan diets adequate for fullling nu-tritional needs during pregnancy, but pregnant women and nursingmothers should supplement their diets with vitamins B
and D.5. Vegetarian
also havehigh nutritional needs, but these,too, are met with a vegetarian diet.A vegetarian menu is “life-extend-ing.” As children, vegetarians maygrow more gradually, reach pu-berty somewhat later, and live sub-stantially longer than meat-eaters.Be sure to include a reliable sourceof vitamin B
.Those interested in supportingor learning more about the workof the Physicians Committee forResponsible Medicine should visit:www.pcrm.org.
Converting to Vegetarianism
Making the transition from carni-vore to herbivore is not as hard as you might think. According to thebook,
, by So-nia Partridge and Paul Amato,
of vegetarian converts stated thatthe transition was not difcult. Itis easier for people who do some homework on the subject and havea bit of cooking skill. The time it takes for people to totally convertvaries greatly. About
of people make the transition gradually,while
stop all at once. Red meat is almost always abandonedwithin the rst year, followed by fowl, sh and eggs.One recommended method for the transition is to set a series of goals for yourself. Start simply with getting through one day withoutmeat. Then, try one weekend, then one week. Make a realistic time-table for reaching each goal. Two to three months might be reason-
Scriptures-of-all-Hindu-denominations- speak-clearly-and-forcefully-on-nonkilling- and-vegetarianism.-The-roots-of-noninjury,- non-killing-and-nonconsumption-of-meat-are- found-in-the-
Vedas, Dharma Shastras, Tiru-murai, Yoga Sutras, Tirukural
-and-dozens- of-other-sacred-texts-of-Hinduism.-Perhaps- nowhere-is-the-principle-of-nonmeateating- so-fully-and-elo- quently-expressed-as-in-the-
One who partakes of human esh, theesh of a horse or of another animal, anddeprives others of milk by slaughteringcows, O King, if such a end does not de-sist by other means, then you should nothesitate to cut off his head.
Protect both our species, two-legged andfour-legged. Both food and water for theirneeds supply. May they with us increasein stature and strength. Save us from hurtall our days, O Powers!
O vegetable, be succulent, wholesome,strengthening; and thus, body, be fullygrown.
Those noble souls who practice meditationand other yogic ways, who are ever carefulabout all beings, who protect all animals,are the ones who are actually seriousabout spiritual practices.
You must not use your God-given body forkilling God’s creatures, whether they arehuman, animal or whatever.
The ignoble ones who eat esh, death’sagents bind them fast and push themquick into the ery jaws of hell (Naraka,lower consciousness).
When mindstuff is rmly based in waves of ahimsa, all living beings cease their enmityin the presence of such a person.
Ahimsa is not causing pain to any livingbeing at any time through the actions of one’s mind, speech or body.
Having well considered the origin of eshand the cruelty of fettering and slaying of corporeal beings, let one entirely abstainfrom eating esh.
The purchaser of esh performs
(violence) by his wealth; he who eats eshdoes so by enjoying its taste; the killerdoes
by actually tying and killingthe animal. Thus, there are three formsof killing: he who brings esh or sends forit, he who cuts off the limbs of an animal,and he who purchases, sells or cooks eshand eats it—all of these are to be consid-ered meat-eaters.
He who desires to augment his own eshby eating the esh of other creatures livesin misery in whatever species he may takehis birth.
Those high-souled persons who desirebeauty, faultlessness of limbs, long life, un-derstanding, mental and physical strengthand memory should abstain from acts of injury.
How can he practice true compassion whoeats the esh of an animal to fatten hisown esh?
Riches cannot be found in the hands of the thriftless. Nor can compassion befound in the hearts of those who eat meat.
Goodness is never one with the minds of these two: one who wields a weapon andone who feasts on a creature’s esh.
If you ask, “What is kindness and what isunkind?” it is not killing and killing. Thus,eating esh is never virtuous.
Life is perpetuated by not eating meat. Theclenched jaws of hell hold those who do.
If the world did not purchase and con-sume meat, there would be none to slaugh-ter and offer meat for sale.
When a man realizes that meat is thebutchered esh of another creature, hemust abstain from eating it.
Greater than a thousand ghee offeringsconsumed in sacricial res is to not sacri-ce and consume any living creature.
All that lives will press palms together inprayerful adoration of those who refuse toslaughter and savor meat.
My opinion is well known. I do not regardesh food as necessary for us at any stageand under any clime in which it is possiblefor human beings ordinarily to live. I holdesh-food to be unsuited to our species.”
Wisdom from Saints and Scriptures
Shastras and Sutras Alike Decry the Killing and Eating of Animals