In 19th century, around 80 percent of people in Bharat were vegetarians. Today, nearly 71 percent are non-vegetarians, 28 percent are vegetarians and 1 percent vegans. In this blog we’ll try to figure out that which of them is most suitable and healthy for body. We’ll be discussing it with references of modern science researches and Ayurvedic scriptures. Of course, there is a lot more than just facts including societal issues, history of hunting from Ramayan era, logics presented in debates by all three of them, impact on environment, cow slaughtering etc. So, make sure to read it till end and get educated on this topic completely.
If animal consumption is stopped then their population will rise rampantly. Trees also have life in them but we’re bound to eat them so even ethically non-veg consumption is not wrong. Milk products, honey, other animal products or even while breathing air we’re consuming lots of micro-organism then how can be consumption of other life forms be unethical. All doctors recommend to eat non-veg so it’s completely healthy.
These were some points or logics which non-vegetarians present in a debate. Let us dig deeper and understand the views of modern and ancient science on it.
Modern science says that meat is a complete source of protein because all 9 amino acids are present in it. RDI (Reference Daily Intake) says that a person who sits idle for most of the time should consume 0.8g per kg (body weight) of protein daily and the one who has to build muscles needs to consume 1.5g per kg (body weight) of protein every day.
Many researches claim that processed meat causes cancer and red meat is safe. After some time, researches claimed that red meat also causes cancer and white meat extracted from calves is safe. Gradually, these claims also got questioned and new researches claimed that all sort of meat may cause heart disease and cancer. Dr. T. Colin Campbell said that protein derived from animal causes cancer. It was also found that animal protein doesn’t get absorbed in the body properly and is thrown out as it is.
The views of modern science on non-veg keeps on changing, so, its not reliable.
Ayurved on the other hand says that food doesn’t only provide nourishment to the body but mind also gets affected. On its basis food has classified into three categories i.e. Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.
- Sattvic food is positive pranic or increases prana into the body leading to positive thoughts, emotions, energy etc. These foods include fresh organic fruits, vegetables, grains, millets, dairy products etc.
- Rajasic food is zero pranic leading to dullness within the system. These foods include potatoes, tomatoes and over-spicy food.
- Tamasic food is negative pranic or has negative impact on body, mind and energy levels. Such food leads to anger, lust, fear, lethargy or procrastination etc. These foods include onion, garlic, asafetida or heeng, nervous stimulants (like tea, coffee, alcohol), stale or over-cooked items(includes all cooked packed items of market) and all sort of non-veg including egg.
Each and every emotion of ours is just a by-product of the chemicals being produced by the body. Animal knows that it will be killed so same reverberation is spread along its whole body. They are kept in congested packed rooms due to which stress hormones are released within them. When someone eats it, he/she feels anger, lethargy, depression, ignorance etc.
Though, Ayurved never recommends to eat flesh of any animal and is also strictly against violence under normal situations still Maharshi Vagbhatta in his Ashtanga Hridayam(Ch.-6) describes about different types of meat and their usage as medicines in different diseases. He also describes that meat should be wild and fresh.
Vegetarian food is considered excellent by both modern science and Ayurved. Though, Ayurved recommends that every person should eat according to their body type. In a separate blog we’ll discuss about identifying your body type and creating a diet plan accordingly.
The concept of vegan food was first proposed in 1944 but in recent times it has gained popularity in our nation too. Vegan diet includes only plant-based food. Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals including dairy products and egg.
Modern science considers it to be healthy but we must understand that this concept arose in west because most of their food is derived from animals which is hard to digest. Overtime, their body started showing side-effects because of it and they had to adapt a diet which was easy to digest yet nutritious and i.e., plant-based diet. So, it is not necessary that whatever comes from west is suitable for us too.
Consuming food items in raw form or oil-less diet causes Vata imbalance in the body which may cause hundred types of different diseases.
Ayurved has a different system for intoxicating the body and that is fasting. It says “LANGHANAM PARAM AUSHADHAM” which means fasting is the best medicine. Modern science also emphasizes on it and the most popular fasting is intermittent fasting which nothing but a type of Ekadashi fasting.
Milk products are considered heavy to digest in Ayurved. Yet it is considered sattvic and extremely nutritious.
Few absolute facts are that 80 percent of farmlands are used to feed the animals, nearly 15-25 percent of greenhouse emissions (which is more than the emissions by automobiles) are because of slaughter houses, to get one kg of beef 70kgs of carbon dioxide is released into the environment, for getting one kg of lamb meat 40kgs of carbon dioxide is released and for poultry contributes 10kg of CO2 per kg of meat. So, clearly meat consumption is a major contributor in climate change leading to natural calamities. Moreover, farming on one acre land can complete all needs of twenty two people round the year but this much land can only feed two animals.
On the other hand, vegan and vegetarian diet is much more mild on the environment
Common logics in a debate
By flesh eaters
If animal consumption is stopped then their population will rise rapidly.
Nature knows how to balance itself. If the scientifically intelligent creatures disappear from the world today, then the nature will flourish. It is because of the human intervention; nature loses its balance. Today the animals are forced to breed to fulfill human demand. Even after that the demand for meat is so high that poultry and livestock industries have started giving injections for the fast growth of the babies. So, its absolutely absurd if someone claims that flesh consumption is for population control because in reality it’s called farming.
We eat plants despite knowing that they are also alive. Then how is it different from eating any another creature.
This is another illogical statement. Just ask them few things. Do plants scream or try to run away when we cut them? Do they show any intention of not getting killed? Do animals shed some of the organs every year as trees do with their fruits and leaves?
It is true that plants have life but the level of consciousness is almost negligible. Trees don’t have nervous system like other creatures, so they cannot feel pain. Moreover, if we don’t pluck the fruits from the trees at the right time then it will rot and simply fall on the ground. It clearly indicates that nature has made it for our consumption. It is the least possible violence we can do to keep us alive.
Micro-organisms are present in curd, honey etc. So, directly or indirectly everyone is non-vegetarian.
Such logics emerge out of half-baked knowledge. There are trillions of micro-organisms present inside our body at this very moment. They live in harmony with us and because of them we are alive. This is called symbiosis in biological language.
We must ensure few things before consuming honey. Bees are very crucial for pollination of food crops. They collect nectar from flowers and turn it into honey. While extracting honey it must be ensured that only that part should be cut from the hive in which there are no eggs. Moreover, bees have the habit of collecting more than they’ll ever consume. So, the white part of the hive which is that reserve honey should be left for them and rest can be used by humans. It is extremely sattvic in its properties and honey extracted out of such cruelty free process is like the icing on the cake
Doctors say that body needs it and its suitable for our body.
We must understand that Allopathy is just two hundred years old. In the past it has done horrible things to the mankind. One of those was blood-letting. In this process the veins of the patient were cut off and the blood was allowed to come out of it. This prominent practice was used to fix common diseases like fever, smallpox etc. George Washington who was the first US president died because of this bloodletting practice. No doubt modern medical science has evolved a lot since then and the major contributor to it is technology. Still, it has a long way to go as you may know that modern surgeries and medicines have a lot of serious side-effects. It clearly indicates that the words of people practicing it may not necessarily be absolute facts.
Our body is designed to digest vegetarian food only. Our teeth structure is incapable of tearing flesh. We have long intestines like vegetarian animals. Whereas, carnivores have small intestines because the flesh rots faster. Our nails are flat and incapable of tearing flesh. Carnivores lick water whereas herbivores sip it. Carnivores have night vision but we don’t because we are not designed to hunt animals.
By vegans (some already discussed)
Cow’s milk is only meant for the calf and it is barbaric if humans extract it.
The people who make such statements are from cities and have never seen a cow mulching. There are many breeds of cows which produce more than 25 liters of milk each day. Out of which the care-taker of cow allows the calf to drink around 2-5 liters considering multiple health and age factors. If the calf drinks 25 liters then most probably, it won’t survive the next day or at least it will fall seriously ill. Though it must be ensured that the first right on the milk is of the calf. It must be fed with one teat completely or even two (two times a day) under special medical conditions.
The way we feel the urge to urinate, similarly, the cow also can’t hold the milk. They can’t help themselves with it. Some even start to scream if there is a delay on someday. Hence, human intervention is important. If the cattle are not mulched then gradually the cow will either stop producing milk permanently or produce very less milk thereafter.
Some people may still argue that how the cows in the jungle tackle this situation. One must know that the wild breeds of cows and buffalos produce very less amount of milk and their udder is so small that humans can’t milk it.
Milk is not good for us.
It is true to some extent. Many people are found injecting steroids into cattle for more milk production. The milk sold in the market in plastic packets is A1 milk/extracted from foreign breeds like jersey. Ghee available in the market by major brands is not actually ghee because the traditional process is not followed. Such milk and ghee is definitely disastrous for health.
One must drink A2 milk or milk extracted from local breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Kankrej etc. All the glorification of milk in Ayurved is for this milk produced by cows having hump (Suryaketu Nadi). Such milk is now available around the major cities of our nation by the efforts of many people. Link to purchase such milk and traditional Ayurvedic ghee will be provided in the end of the blog, otherwise, it can be found on the web easily.
Dairy is now an industry and hence cruel on animals considering the living conditions, artificial insemination, male calves are sold to butchers, old cows are left on roads etc.
Unfortunately, people all across the world have developed an “extracting mindset”. Robert Frost, a famous poet calls trees as woods. It is just an example to show how we have started seeing the world. In our culture, cows are revered as mothers and the Nandi(bull) is always seen with Shiv ji but gradually all this have become a thing of past. They see cows as a business model. That is the main reason of all the atrocities on these innocent animals.
If you think that boycotting milk will be a solution to all this then you’re not looking at it optimistically. If we start doing so then the greedy people will sell their cattle to butchers and a new industry will emerge.Milk products are essential for proper nutrition of a vegetarian being. So, the only solution to it is that we must purchase milk and milk products from a person or farm which is not cruel on them i.e., provides proper meal to them, nurture calves properly irrespective of gender, allow cattle to roam freely etc. One must take the initiative and support such farms and get health in return.
The use of organic products will also prove as a life saver for them because the fertilizers used in it is made out of dung is itself sufficient to fulfill all their individual expenses.
Is meat holy?
There are many rituals all across the globe in which animals are be-headed in the name of supreme creator like Eid, Bali pratha (sacrifice) etc. I don’t know much about foreign cultures like Christianity and Islam, so let’s talk in Indian context. Bali pratha or any such ritual is nothing but an influence of these foreign cultures like Islam. Before Islamic invasion nothing like bali pratha ever existed
Once upon a time, Islamic invaders forced people in some parts of Kerala to eat beef. Now the descendants of those people are screaming out loud that beef consumption is their constitutional right.
Many Hindu nationalists on the other hand claim that cow slaughtering is against their religious belief and it must be banned. Majority of such Hindus enjoy flesh of a chicken in his/her house.
Both of the categories are far away from our culture. Advait philosophy says that there is no difference between a dog’s hunger and human’s hunger. So, how can be the pain of a cow be different from any other creature. Let us discuss it in the next segment.
Did Shri Ram consume meat?
We might have heard or read about the Marich incident from Ramayan that Shri Ram when saw a golden deer, he decided to go behind it and kill it. If we refer to the Aranya Kand of original Valmiki Ramayan then it is clearly mentioned that Prabhu Ram said to Lakshman that he doubts that deer’s appearance looks like an attempt of disguise by the demon Marich. If it’ll be Marich then he’ll kill him or else come back. Till that time, he asked Lakshman to stay with Mata Sita. This clearly indicates that he was not a hunter.
During the exile of 14 years, ruler Nishadraj ji asked Shri Ram that what should he serve him then Prabhu Ram replied that fruits and vegetables are his only diet.
Vishwamitra seeks help from Maharaja Dashrath when some demons threw animal flesh during agnihotra yagya.
Manu smriti which was the constitution in the Ramayan era. It clearly states in the chapter five, verse 10-24 that human should only eat sattvic vegetarian food. Eating flesh was considered among the five paap or bad karma. Here I would also mention about the later added shlokas in the chapter which promotes non-veg. Manusmriti was highly doctored after foreign invasions and that is why it has become a very debatable book. Though, the hypocrisy created by later added shlokas can easily be identified.
In Bhagavad Geeta, Shri Krishna in chapter 17, verse 10 mentions the importance of sattvic food and call tamasic food as the food of an ignorant.
Buddha, Sikh gurus and all our ancestors have advised not to eat meat.
We already discussed that animal protein doesn’t get absorbed in the body properly. Our nation has a great history of warriors and common people who have built muscles with immense strength like Maharana Pratap, All the warriors of Mahabharat era, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Neeraj Chopra(initially),Professor Ram Murti etc. Kuldeep Aryaveer who is a complete vegetarian has set a record of ten thousand pushups recently. You can visit his YouTube channel for further guidance. Here it was important to burst the myth that body building can’t be done without non-veg.
All the facts presented above are sufficient to empower you to form a strong opinion. So, grow over the little influences, infatuation of taste and see everything a little more consciously. Next time you see a piece of flesh in front of you, see the pain of the animal while it was getting beheaded, see the reverberation of fear in its body, see it screaming for life, see that dead rotten piece of flesh covered with spices or see the life which could have emerged out of that egg or see it playing all across the pond, see the effect it will cause in your body and then it’ll be completely your call to take it inside your mouth or not. It is not a moral or religious issue; it is just about how much conscious or ignorant you are towards life.
For the conscious beings, here is a link to my previous blog which will teach you about food and lifestyle with the help of Ayurvedam.
BONUS TIP FOR VEGETARIANS
Many companies in the market claim their product to be vegetarian but add an additive i.e., E-631 which is derived from non-veg sources. This is common in some packed items like chips, marshmallows, gelatin, salad dressings, gummy bears etc. CHECK THE INGREDIENTS AND AVOID THEM IF FOUND BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW THE SOURCE.
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