Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Being a vegetarian – the supreme virtue


How often have we seen people claiming that God is not with them and always testing them, they add that they are very righteous men and had not done any crime or inflicted suffering on anyone. They also add that God is helping those murderers and people who do a lot of corruption.

Let us talk about the corruption part later and stick to the other part of inflicting pain on others and murders. “Mr. X, has done 10 murders and beaten up 20 people but he is a MLA today. Look how God is supporting these inhuman people. I have not done any harm to anyone around and yet God is not giving me anything and testing me”. How many time have you heard such words from self sympathizers?

The optimistic people of this lot might say “God may test me, but he will not give up on me, and God may give everything to that killer, but will eventually give up on him”. They say these soothing words to themselves to feel comfortable. Is there any logic behind it?

VegetarianismHow many times these people eaten chicken? How many times they want it to cooked better with spices and flavors? Have you not harmed a living being there? Those people consider the life of a rooster as insignificant, just like the powerful mafia which considers the life of others as insignificant. If someone justifies killing a rooster to have better food and lifestyle, then a mafia can justify killing by saying a similar reason (for money and lifestyle).

People stand in a queue on a Sunday to buy freshly cut mutton? Yet, they call themselves as virtuous. The powerful and affluent people who commits murder for power they are treating the powerless and weak, just like the way non-vegetarians treat cattle and animals.

They don’t give a damn to the weaklings, but they expect the powerful people to be merciful.

Now some self proclaimed intellects may come out and ask some great questions like

  • If you are a vegetarian, then why do you consume milk and dairy products? are they not animal products?
  • If you are against killing, then why do you eat plants? do they don’t have life?

These two are the most popular questions put forward by the pseudo intelligentsia in India.

The answer to this is, you do no have a right to inflict death. You should not kill any living being, be it animal or a plant. So, you need to make sure your food habits don’t promote killing of living things.

So, the first point is answered here. By consuming milk products you are not killing any animal. (Ideally after milking the cow, the calf is given sufficient milk and other fodder to keep it healthy, so you are not depriving a living being).

About the second point, aren’t we killing plants? No, the most consumed vegetarian food is rice, followed by wheat. The paddy or wheat plant dies and becomes brown after that cycle, only then they are cut and the rice is taken from it, so is the case with all cereals. The vegetables and fruits that we take from plants don’t kill the plant, and also it is important to remove them, if not assume the case of any plant which is full of fruits, if you don’t remove them then they all will fall at the same place and will start to sprout, and this is neither healthy for the parent tree or the offspring.

And that exactly is the reason why the plants evolved in such a way that their fruits are edible, so that the animals including men will eat the fruit and throw away the seed in a different place so that the species can proliferate without killing itself. Else a self destruction pattern will creep in.

This exactly is the reason why some saivas ask people not to eat roots and underground plants like potato (an under ground stem) and other underground stems.

So by consuming fruits and other vegetables we are actually helping the plant and not killing them. Though during vedic period, flesh eating was not abolished (neither was consuming alcohol). But the ancient shaivism and even Jainism are against eating flesh.

I think vegetarianism put forward a remarkable concept, of non violence, so it became great. every thing in this world have life. “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”- Hippocrates. So how can killing an animal be different from killing a man?

As said in a jain text- “All the living beings wish to live and not to die; that is why unattached saints prohibit the killing of living beings. Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others” Knowing this principle will help mortals to treat others equally with respect and compassion. this attitude of compassion is the growth of one’s mind.. so thats why great Buddha said- “vegetarianism is a step into the stream which leads to nirvana”.

I believe one can eat meat only when he degrade himself to the level of animals. Just to satisfy his taste buds he is doing more harm to the world than Hitler did. One have to understand that- the taste buds gives you happiness only a fraction of second, and once it reaches the stomach, taste leaves you along with that, health, kindness and morality also leaves you forever. When brutality is the order of the day then how can you imagine a clean world with peace? Its a shame to ears and disgrace to heart, when it hears- people speaking about the cruelty of killing people when they themselves don’t have any problem in slaughtering fellow creatures which don’t have a human body! I believe the kindness of such people are just acting. Only foolish people believe that God created world only for man and the creatures for becoming their food (Christians and Muslims sorry for hurting your sentiments, but this is my feeling). Famous writer Mohammad Basheer from Kerala  once said in his Novels a beautiful concept. he was trying to destroy a few holes and other places where animal’s used to live in his yard which he newly bought. Suddenly he got an insight that every one is gods creation so as a man have the right to live in this world, same is the right given to animals. Realizing that truth he refrained from destroying them. Man is not the center of the universe, he is just an insignificant part of it.

There are another sect of people who justify killing animals by saying that we all kill germs even while we brush. The whole debate We only have the same right as an animal have. Let me conclude my words with this wonderful quote of Pythagoras which clearly make one understand why should one become veggie.
“So long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

Few Quotes
  • We all love animals. Why do we call some “pets” and others “dinner?” – K.D. lang
  • A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. – Leo Tolstoy
  • “In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis” – Isaac Bashevis Singer.
  • “Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President
  • I think there will come a time, and this is down the road a great many years, when civilized people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that have preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say, meat-eaters in disgust and regard us in the same way that we regard cannibals and cannibalism. – Dennis Weaver
  • The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”- Leonardo da Vinci.
  • I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals. – Henry David Thoreau
  • Thou shalt not kill does not apply to murder of one’s own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai. - Leo Tolstoy
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian. -Paul McCartney
  • “Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?” – Plutarch

To conclude, our body (especially alimentary canal) is designed to be a vegetarian. If you see the differences between carnivores and herbivores one thing stands out; herbivores and human beings have lengthy intestine but other animals (carnivorous and omnivorous) have short intestine. Assimilation of vegetarian food is slow and it takes time, which prevents spike in blood sugar levels, the fibers in vegetarian food which contains peptids and long chain cellulose are difficult to digest. Whereas animal protein and fats are easy to digest.

One who is speaking about mass massacre, and killing of innocent people, should also think about killing an animal. Killing an animal is no less an act of crime than killing a human. So like Einstein said ‘being a vegetarian is the real civilization’.

Do Share your opinions.


About Ajithkumar

I am Ajithkumar. An entrepreneur and a karma yogi, who lives by the principles of Mark Twain; who said "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do". So I do Whatever I feel like with a willingness to accept responsibility for my actions. Connect with me on Google+
  • Harihar

    Hi.. That is a gr8 passage by u Ajith. BTW I’m a vegetarian.. Now I’ve got the answers to all non-vegetarians..

  • Anila

    Nicely written. Thank you. I am a vegetarian and I have a question. In a debate between veg and non veg people, I couldn’t answer to the mentioned question.
    You said we consume fruits to help the plant, in the same way nonveg people ask “if we don’t eat some chicken or beef, their population will increase uncontrollably so we are helping to control their population. Aren’t we? ” Ajith, could you help to get an answer?

    • Ajithkumar

      Thanks. Controlling the population of chicken and cows in the planet is not the reason why we eat them. That is a very wrong way of looking at things. We breed them in millions, use immense amount of antibiotics to prevent diseases, create genetically modified variety for higher body mass and then eat them. The nature has every thing in balance, we created the imbalance by breeding them in huge numbers and then justify it by eating them. Where is sustainability in this?

      • Vijaya Lakshmi L

        I guess am quite late to the discussion but really well said and gave strong answers for supporting my stand of being veg:)

  • Tolstunka

    I think at some point, people will just feel that they simply cannot intake meat… As they evolve spiritually, eating that kind of food will just feel too heavy… it’s like breathing air with poisonus fumes–one can’t really nourish a body with the energy of pain and suffering.

    I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, then more recently have also been avoiding dairy and eggs & eating as much raw/fresh fruits and veggies as possible… and I feel so much lighter (spiritually) and more peaceful.

    • ajithkumar


      it is really good to know that you have given up meat. However in our culture we don’t denounce milk. We consider cow (along with many other animals) as a God. We have a set procedure of taking care of the cow and the calf and we take only little of the cow’s milk for our purpose and the rest is left for the calf. No cow will ever be harmed. The thousands of temple in india will all have a separate place to take care of stray cows. Cows are an integral part of our life.

      However coming to your case, it is good that you gave up milk as well, but be careful to add some extra calcium in your food like almonds and other nuts and whole grains like finger millet and so on. Thanks again for taking your time to comment.

  • Ashwin

    Nice one buddy… Good thoughts on Vegetarian food and the mind. Thanks for sharing and a nice reference for Vegan debaters :)

  • Jasmine Singh

    I am now trying to be a vegetarian. I recently saw a video of bruce lee’s daughter saying that he was vegetarian and wanted her and brandon lee to be vegetarians. Its amazing how strong he was inspite of a vegan diet

    • ajithkumar

      Bruce Lee was a vegetarian, he became vegan as he had milk allergy. Another great vegetarian personality is carl lewis, He reached the top strictly on a vegan diet.

  • Alok Mishra

    Beautiful. Thanks Ajith. Now I have a Reference/Answer for repling to non-vegetarians queries.

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