If we talk about India, people over here have usually been traditionally vegetarian. India is a land of non violence and so do their dietary habits reflect. People prefer here to live in harmony with the nature’s principles. Vegetarian diet is found to be superior than the non vegetarian one, not only from moral point but also from health benefits as well. Even the non vegetarian people cannot leave without praising the richness of taste of vegetarian cuisines. Ayurveda is a science of life originated from India and maybe that’s where from its adherence to vegetarian diet comes. It’s not that Ayurveda says a complete no to non vegetarian diet. Many of the ancient masters have narrated the worth of some animal products in treating certain diseases. However, the vegetarian diet recommendations are much higher than the non-vegetarian. However, changing eating habits suddenly can be really difficult for a person and challenging too. Ayurveda also doesn’t suggest sudden withdrawal but gradual shift is advised. Slow transition to healthy eating habits is recommended. This is morally as well as spiritually wrong. Slowly shift to foods which have less karma reaction and are soft and calm like if you are non-vegetarian than first shift to sea food like fish and then curd, cheese, finally plant foods. Ayurvedic principles and philosophy support dairy and plant products.
It is totally a myth that vegetarian food does not provide sufficient nutrition to the body. Vegetarian food is full of amino acids, proteins and vitamins which a human body requires for healthy functioning. Also the Ayurvedic dishes do not require much time and energy of a person to be cooked. In order to preserve all the minerals and vitamins of the food, it shouldn’t be cooked for too long. Ayurveda also says that it is very important that a person who is cooking the food should have good mood and energy as the food also acquires the same energy from the person cooking it.
You must have heard that line, ‘We are what we eat’. The basic concept behind Ayurveda recommending and supporting vegetarian food is its ability to get digested. Lighter food is easily digested as compared to the heavier ones. Vegetarian food is lighter than non vegetarian food and requires much less energy and time to get digested. The basic concept and law of health is to form and conserve more energy in the body than it requires to digest the food as other activities in the body also needs it. The digestive fire needs more energy and time to get digested which slowly results in indigestion. Indigestion causes deposition of ama, an endotoxin. This ama is the cause of all diseases. Non vegetarian is a tamasic food, i.e. food that dulls mental and digestive power.
Now, not only Ayurveda but modern science has supported this issue. As per modern pathophysiological experiments and studies, it is found that when meat is not digested properly it results in anaerobic bacteria proliferation which eventually leads to formation of toxic substances in the body like pseudo monoamines. Monoamines is a neurotransmitter which helps in transferring of the signals in the brain. Now these pseudo monoamines do not let the real monoamines to bind to the receptors in the brain and get themselves lodged in there ultimately resulting in blockage of the nerve impulses and shut down of brain leading to dullness of brain.
Other than tamasic, non-vegetarian food is also rajasic, i.e. it promotes anger and other negative emotions in a person consuming them. Moreover, if you remember the food chain, animals are at the end of them which a human consumes. Many poisons and unhealthy substances have been transferred to them during this food chain like herbicides and pesticides. Other than this when animals are slaughtered, a stress hormone is released in them. All these negative energies and harmful toxic substances get into your body when you have consume them impacting your health. Food may contain any of the three qualities, sattva (purity), rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance). The qualities of food a person eat is expressed through him. Sattvic food is light and easy to digest unlike tamasic which is complete opposite to it. Sattvic food promotes alertness and evenness while tamasic aggravates anger, aggressive behavior and all bad energies.
Researchers have found association of many non vegetarian foods with certain diseases like excessive fish eating with stomach cancer, animal fats with multiple sclerosis and meat with colon cancer. All this foods lack prana which leads to low digestive fire and diseases. On the other hand, the vegetarian food is full of prana (Life) that fills our heart with happiness and mind with fresh ideas.
Coming to the end just remember few points before choosing your diet.
- Everyone wants to eat things that have good quality, nutrition and low cost. It is a food of choice to have best things at minimum cost. Vegetarian diet costs much more less than non-vegetarian.
- Health! This is one of the most obvious reasons which is explained in detail that how vegetarian food is good for health unlike non vegetarian food which brings diseases and dullness of mind.
- Killing animals is wrong both morally and socially. They are also living beings and have as much right to live as us. Killing them for selfish reasons bring on social injustice and suffering to the animals. So, support vegetarianism, support social justice.
- Compassion for animals is also a big thing which can turn a person to vegan. Thinking about the conditions that animals have to endure in the factories or areas they are kept for slaughtering may be enough to feel compassion for them. Compassion can help a person to remain vegetarian for long term.
Reading all the above things might not turn you to a vegan but only for once just give it a thought. Take your time and do choose good for yourself as well as the surrounding species!!