This is a question I have been asked most of the time recently. Vegetarianism is catching up these days. A lot of people promote veggie food for various reasons. You would have read articles on carbon foot prints, cholesterol control and weight reduction programs; most of these promote vegetarian food. You may not mind these articles as there is some amount of truth in it. Whether we – the non-vegetarian species of mankind – like it or not, non-veg food has a bad impact on the cholesterol levels though certain types of proteins and HDL can come only from them.
I read somewhere that those who get up early in the morning develop a pride that they are able to get up earlier than other people and they are a bit of arrogant about it. Those who get up early due to their nature are not arrogant and only those who train themselves are. This was a survey result published by one of the reputed universities of the US. If they conduct a similar survey about our vegetarian friends, they would probably come to the same conclusion with a slight variation – almost all of them are same. There is a ray of boasting about the food habit. They fail to understand that it is only a habit and not a virtue. Many of them claim that they do not kill an animal for their taste buds. Yes, they do not kill an animal; but they kill a plant / seed / fruit for their taste buds and there is nothing wrong in it. It is how nature has designed the eco system – one species – be it an animal / plant, it has to depend on other species for food. Though plants produce their own food, they consume the animal bodies buried under them as fertilizer.
When you eat spinach, you have killed a plant; when you eat tomato, you kill more lives as seeds than you would kill when you eat an egg; it is more cruel to eat certain varieties of greens as you would have only plucked the leaves and not killed the plant as such. It is comparable to just cutting a limb of an animal and eating. It is just that you do not hear them screaming. But unfortunately the veggie groups do not understand this and claim that they are more kind than their non-veg counterparts.
Of course non-veg food will affect your blood pressure level and cholesterol level; veg food with a lot of oil/ghee/butter/pannier would do the same thing to you. The spices added to the non-veg dishes affect the mental stability, emotions and your ability to meditate. It is the quality of the spices; it does not matter whether you eat vegetable biriyani or mutton biriyani – it has the same effect on your emotions. So be watchful of what you eat.
Once, someone asked Jesus Christ about food habits. He replied politely that what comes out of the mouth is more important than what goes in to it; and he asked his disciples to be careful about their words more than their food. Who would know about love and kindness more than him!!! He was ready to sacrifice his life for his brotheren!!!
Kannappa nayanar worshipped Shiva with all kinds of raw flush and liquor; but was ready to spare his eyes for curing Shiva’s eyes. Who would know about love and kindness more than him!!!
So friends, before you comment on any one’s food habits, please think for a minute… being kind is different from your food habits…Food habits are only habits and not virtues!!! You are not any greater just because you eat only plants and not animals!!! It is not a sin to eat animals!!!