Home Spirituality Meat, Egg, Chicken, Fish or Being Vegetarian?
Spirituality - October 15, 2011

Meat, Egg, Chicken, Fish or Being Vegetarian?

Being Vegetarian

There is a wide debate as to whether it is better to be a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian. Food is no exception and at a subtle level, it too is made up of the Sattva, Raja and Tama subtle components. The proportions of these subtle components vary depending on the type of food. Sattva stands for purity and knowledge while tama denotes ignorance and inertia. Anything that has a higher Sattva component assists our spiritual journey and anything that is Tama predominant has a tendency to diminish or obstruct our spiritual practice. These readings are an average across each food category. Fish is included in non-vegetarian food and has marginally less Tama component than white and red meat. The food within a category differs marginally from each other. For example mutton and chicken in the non-vegetarian category differ marginally from each other in terms of their Sattva, Raja and Tama components.

The reason for the increased Tama in meat after the animal dies is because of the extent of suffering when it is being killed. Also the thoughts of anger and revenge in the animal are far more pronounced as compared to a plant which has a rudimentary mind and intellect. This is the main reason for the increased Tama component.

As you can see from the above table a vegetarian diet would have a higher proportion of the subtle Sattva component. As a result of the Tama predominance in meat, the act of eating non-vegetarian food is a taamasik activity.

But….The Debt

#The *real* essence of being vegetarian is Ahimsa (non-violence). Since you have to survive, you *have* to eat something. The animals have 5 senses and the plants have only 2. So, eating plants is lesser evil than an animal. Please bear that this is *over over over* simplification of what is present in ancient Jain literature.

Some cold countries meats give a the needed warmth. “Vegetarianism” was a concept only in India which is a hot country and there was no need of animal fat. No part of the world is vegetarian except India. I still believe mans (seen as an animal) body is suited for non-vegetarian food cos our body has the necessary enzymes to digest meat. In-fact meat is easily digestible than highly fibrous vegetables. That is why unlike cows we can’t eat grass. Our prehistoric ancestors must definitely have been meat eaters. Though we are “humans” we are animals.

Being an Egalitarian

An egg that has not been fertilized cannot result in birth of a new animal.

Hence, I argue that such eggs are intelligently labelled and considered vegetarian.

It is people who cannot accept this cry foul.

Cruelty is a different issue.

#Try and tell an Indian that drinking mil is cruel and the process results in killing malwe calfs etc. They will not believe you as they refuse to consider any evidence that means they are wrong.

They also could never accept an egg is vegetarian, even though no new life would result.

May be they believe that when a women uses contraception, she is killing life – her eggs have a potential for life. Oh dear if she is not pregnant all her life, has she killed life?

Just for the record, since some people seem to confuse these two, vegetarians *do* drink milk, eat cheese, etc. A vegetarian is one who does not eat *meat*.

Being a Vegan

#A *vegan* on the other hand is one who does not eat anything that comes from the body of an animal.

Either way, we mustn’t become caught up in labels or the fear of betraying the labels we’ve given ourselves. Classifying yourself as something doesn’t make you special; so you shouldn’t be ashamed to contradict your supposed pigeon-hole.

Eat what you want: if that happens to be only veggies except for eggs, or only veggies, or only veggies except for fish – whatever. Just keep it real.

# Now according to my thinking about eggs and after reading some topic on egg I would like to say that one can eat egg if he or she has chicken at home and the egg is an unfertilised one. Also its true about the eggs produced today that is:

In poultry farms, hens are considered no better than egg-producing machines. They are confined to a narrow space of 15″ x 19″ in the midst of several hardships and tensions that are naturally passed on to the blood and system of those who eat their eggs and turn them into imbalance personalities. Chickens are housed in small-congested cages known as chicken havens. Due to shortage of space, they naturally become violent, offensive, obsessed and quarrelsome. They attack one another in a barbarous manner. So they are DE-beaked. Due to DE-beaking, they are unable even to drink water.

But all the cause of this problem is business.The business people wants to earn money and people have more demand then supply so the business people have to produce egg as quickly as possible to meet the demand and in turn the animals like cows and hens have to pay for milk and eggs.

In olden days people used to have cows and hens at their home so at that time it was good that people are getting milk without any pain to cows. But due to this modern world all this is happening and this is the main reason why people are confused about eating egg and milk because now they cant keep cows and hens in their beautiful house or society.

#Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products.The reasons for choosing vegetarianism may be related to morality, religion, culture, ethics, aesthetics, environment, society, economy, politics, taste, or health.

There are several variants of the diet, some of which also exclude eggs and/or some products produced from animal labor such as dairy products and honey. Veganism, for example, excludes all animal products from diet. By some strict definitions, animal products are not used for attire either, whether or not the production of clothing or items has directly involved the actual death of an animal (dairy, eggs, honey, wool, silk, down feathers, etc.).A generic term for both vegetarianism and veganism, as well as for similar diets, is “plant-based diets”.

Properly planned vegetarian diets have been found to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown vegetarianism to significantly lower risks of cancer, ischemic heart disease, and other diseases.

# Do you remember as a child your mother telling you not to eat cakes or pastries that had eggs because you are a vegetarian? Many times I have heard people saying, eggs are vegetarian food and are good for health so we eat it. The myth about vegetarian eggs and its health-promoting qualities are misleading. Its consumption by so many vegetarians is really shocking. The ignorance of such matter has spread so far that people resist believing that an egg has potential life and that an egg has an unborn chick within its shell. Man’s desires for food has made him go to extremes and leading him to eat those foods that are coloured with violence and pain. Nature has its reason for eggs, not by way of food for man but as an important link in the reproductive system of hens. It is the craving for violent food that actually numbs the feeling and thinking capacity of the human being. He ignores going deep into the subject and shuns the truth of the matter. But how long will he remain in darkness? For facts are facts and they will never change whether he accepts it or not. Let us look at some facts about eggs and remove the ignorance that prevails in our mind. The facts you are about to read are taken from the book Hundred Facts about Eggs by Dr. Nemi Chand.

Eggs of all birds are structurally alike (See the McDonald Encyclopaedia of Birds of the World, Page 30-31). Their internal structure is meant for reproduction of progeny and not for human consumption. By eating eggs, man has reverted to the hunting stage of his civilization. He is meddling both with nature and with the reproductive system. The egg is totally forbidden for those who believe in non-violence. Right from the rearing of hens to the hatching of their eggs, there is violence all over. A visit to any poultry farm will support this fact. In poultry farms, hens are considered no better than egg-producing machines. They are confined to a narrow space of 15″ x 19″ in the midst of several hardships and tensions that are naturally passed on to the blood and system of those who eat their eggs and turn them into imbalance personalities. Chickens are housed in small-congested cages known as chickenhavens. Due to shortage of space, they naturally become violent, offensive, obsessed and quarrelsome. They attack one another in a barbarous manner. So they are de-beaked. Due to de-beaking, they are unable even to drink water. Do we not realise the cause of our present widespread complexes, aggressiveness and suffering in the chicken-havens? As mentioned earlier, hens are de-beaked to prevent them from fighting and wounding one another. The de-beaking is done in brown light, especially during the night when hens become almost blind. The lower beak is cut. If any mistake is made, the hen is deprived of food for the rest of her life. The hen has to starve at least for three days due to the wounded beak. Wouldn’t this act of cruelty affect the egg-eater?

Hens are given five kinds of violent-generating foods: bone meal, blood-meal, excreta-food, meat-meal and fish-meal. Can we dare to call eggs vegetarian food even after learning this? The term vegetarian egg is a first-rate misnomer. The purpose of a fertile egg is to animate life, but an infertile egg has no such purpose and as such should be considered totally inedible.

Battery and factory eggs are harmful to health. It is better that we abstain ourselves from eating them. The egg produced without any contact with the male bird (and thus producing an infertile egg) is also animate because it is born out of the hen’s body with its blood and cells. Therefore, its consumption is 100% non-vegetarian. According to the famous American scientist Mr. Philip J. Scamble, no egg is without life in it. The scientists at Michigan University in America have proven it beyond doubt that no egg – fertile or infertile – is without life (inanimate). The hen gives infertile eggs during the absence of the male bird. But it has been observed that she gives an infertile egg before the day of contact with the male bird – and also the next day. In other words, she can give a fertile egg even without contact with a male bird. On the fifth day, again she gives a fertile egg. This means that the semen of the male bird remains lying in her body for a considerable duration. In some cases, this duration has been observed to be as long as even six months. A fertilized egg is a per-birth stage of a chicken; unfertilized eggs are the result of the sexual cycle of a hen and very unnatural. Both are non-vegetarian food. Victoria Moran, the author of the book Compassion: The Ultimate Ethics says, to eat fertilized egg is in fact to consume a chicken before its birth (The Ethic on borderline). I was told that an unfertilized egg is the product of a bird’s sexual cycle and can hardly be regarded as natural food for Man. Whether the egg is fertile or infertile, life is essentially there; and it has all the symptoms of life, such as respiration, brain, feeding ability, etc. There are 15,000 porous-breathing holes on the shell, the cover of the egg. The egg begins to rot at a temperature of less than 8^ Celsius, 00^ Fahrenheit. When it begins this process, its rotting manifests itself through evaporation of the water content. The egg becomes infected by germs and thus becomes diseased. The progress of the rotting soon reaches the shell of the egg.

Eggs contain cholesterol in large quantities. The yellow bulk of the egg is the major source of cholesterol. Cholesterol narrows down the arteries and may eventually lead to a heart attack or to paralysis. Eating eggs may also lead to rheumatism and gout that can cause serious and painful joints in old age.

All the above facts lead to prove that eggs are not vegetarian and so let us re-think about the issue of eggs and realize that a balanced vegetarian diet contains an abundance of health protecting nutrients and fibres without eggs.

Trap: # Even if you eat nothing that comes from an animal, you are still involved in killing animals and native plants from the land that was converted to an agricultural use to produce your vegetarian food. Animal killing continues by spraying pesticides to protect your future salad. You can say it is a lesser evil, but you should never be free of guilt. The debate if eggs are OK or not makes no sense in this context.

Lets Stop the Discussion

veg·e·tar·i·an
noun /ˌvejiˈte(ə)rēən/
vegetarians, plural
A person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, esp. for moral, religious, or health reasons
adjective /ˌvejiˈte(ə)rēən/
Of or relating to the exclusion of meat or other animal products from the diet
– a vegetarian restaurant

There are plenty more definitions for the word on the internet, but the general meaning seems to be “exclusion of meat and fish from the diet”.

So why are eggs included the non-vegetarian section? It is neither meat nor fish. It is an animal product such as milk and honey which are completely acceptable to vegetarians. Eggs being non-vegetarian is blindly accepted without thinking why.

The common reasoning seems to be that eggs are non-vegetarian because it has potential for life.
Chicken eggs are unfertilized when they’re laid. Hens have the ability to lay eggs without any contact with the male bird. Therefore an unfertilized egg contains an embryo which under the right circumstances could generate life. Eggs meant for consumption do not meet these circumstances. No life is killed.

A seed could become a tree, but not every seed gets planted.

When you look at the contents of the egg, the white is 10% proteins in water and the yolk contains fat and cholesterol needed to nourish the embryo. Again, it is like a seed that holds the nutrients needed for a plant to develop.

There may be moral or ethical reasons to not eat eggs (such as inhumane chicken-rearing methods) or you might just not like the taste. But by definition, eating eggs does not make you a non-vegetarian.

15 Comments

  1. People who like their steaks rare are more likely to be taken advantage of or possessed by ghosts (demons, devils, negative energies, etc.). This is because meat that is raw is the meat of preference by the demon type of negative energies. Steaks that are well done have less of the Tama subtle component in it as compared to steaks that are cooked ‘rare’ to ‘medium’.

  2. In our Hindu and Jain, Buddha religions especially, there is a belief that unless one gives up eating non-vegetarian food, one cannot attain emancipation or knowledge of the Supreme Spirit. Sai Baba Himself was an emancipated soul and had full knowledge of the Supreme Spirit and was capable of giving such experiences to others. However, He not only had no objection to non-veg food; but never insisted that His devotees, used to non-veg food, should give it up.
    Actually, in His early days, He used to cook non-veg food Himself in a big pot and after consecrating it through a Moulvi by reciting fatia, used to send as prasad to Mhalsapati and Tatya Kote Patil before distributing to others. (Ch. 38, Shri Sai Satcharita).

    In Bhagwat Gita, the Lord has clearly classified the foods into 3 types, Sattwic, Rajasic & Tamasic. The Lord has also clearly mentioned what is the effect of eating all these three types of food.
    The Lord says, Sattwa must be cultivated, Rajas must be suppressed & Tamas must be eliminated.
    Meat falls under the Rajas & Tamas types & hence one cannot remain untouched by the ill effects after consuming. The only exception is when a person is a Siddha.
    For a Siddha like Sai baba, it does not matter at all, as to whether he eats veg or non-veg, since he is beyond the three Gunas.
    That is why he is called Trigunaateeth or Trigun-Rahitam..
    But for conditioned souls like us, whatever we eat, that is going to get reflected in us.

    Consider the teachings of our scriptures, it will be clear that not to eat Non-veg food is only one of the means to attain emancipation or knowledge of the Supreme Spirit but not a Goal in itself.
    Most of the famous suktas in Vedas have been authored by kshatriya or warrior caste.
    Sages such as Vishwamitra, Kings like Janaka, who were famous as Brahma-jnani or knower of the Supreme Spirit, were also of warrior caste and non-veg food was not taboo for them.
    Some religious principles do allow for eating of meat, when it is first properly sanctified by religion. That is why the Kshatriya kings would go for hunting & would eat animal food, without any apparent fall in purity.

    But, to say that without avoiding non-veg food one cannot achieve emancipation or knowledge of the Supreme Spirit is not correct.
    In fact, as a person progresses in his Spiritual sadhana, his attraction for non-veg and rich food automatically gets dwindled and is ultimately lost permanently but on one hand to give up Non-veg food and on the other if you keep craving for it, Isn’t such vegetarianism useless?

    Sai Baba’s ideas must be on the same lines probably. That is why He never advised His devotees to give up non-veg food. Sometimes jokingly as in Ch. 38, He used to ask an orthodox Brahmin, like Dada Kelkar to go and buy mutton from the market or as in Ch. 23, His order to His great Brahmin devotee Kakasaheb Dixit to kill a goat with a knife.
    But, this was only to test their readiness to execute, whatever order given by Him, their Guru; and, therefore, before the person started acting, He used to stop them. Similarly, to the devotees, in whose religion or caste only veg-food, was in vogue, He never tempted or encouraged to eat non-veg food. Baba’s method of resisting His devotees from eating non-veg food was quite different and unique. He oft and on used to tell His devotees that He was present in every creature, moving about.

    In Ch. 9 to Mrs. Tarkhad He said,
    “The dog, which you saw before meals and to which you gave the piece of bread, is one with Me; so, also the other creatures (cats, pigs, flies, cows etc.) are one with Me. I am roaming in their forms. He, who sees Me in all these creatures, is my beloved. So, abandon the sense of duality and distinction and serve Me as you did today.”
    When surrenders completely to the Lord, all his Gunas fall in place, irrespective of the person’s evolution.
    Sattva becomes dominant & the other 2 gunas take a back seat.
    That is why Sai baba never asked anybody to change his food habits. Instead he asked them to practice devotion. This takes care of the food habits.

    Question : Did Baba distribute vegetable and animal food as prasad alike to all His devotees?”
    The answer is plain and simple. Those who were accustomed to (take) animal food were given food from the Handi as prasad and those who were not so accustomed, were not allowed to touch it. He never created in them any wish or desire to indulge in this food.
    There is a principle well established that when a Guru himself gives anything as prasad, the disciple who thinks and doubts whether it is acceptable or otherwise, goes to perdition.

  3. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
    Non-vegetarian food has Acidic components while most of the vegetarian food has Alkali components.
    A healthy body needs adequate alkaline reserves to neutralize the acidic levels in our body which are the main cause of all diseases & when the human body doesn’t get enough alkalinity from our diet it absorbs our alkaline reserves from our bones/skin/hair & other body organs thus weakening them resulting in hair fall/skin problems/joint pains/ from common cough/cold to cancer.

    An acidic balance will:
    Decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it’s ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it’s ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

    Circulatory system:
    In excessive acid conditions, bacteria, fungi or viruses can attach themselves to the inner wall of the arteries. This can cause plaque to form, narrowing the artery and restricting blood flow, which in turn restricts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to tissues. Heart attack and even cancer can result.

    Nervous system:
    When brain cells are too acidic they dysfunction and communication between brain cells and throughout the spinal cord is cut off, which can result in dysfunction in other body systems. In the nervous system insomnia, anxiety, depression, neurosis, psychosis and impaired memory can result from over acidity.

    THE EFFECTS OF AN ACIDIC BODY ARE:
    • Cardiovascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels and the reduction of oxygen.
    • Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
    • Bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones.
    • Immune deficiency.
    • Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to cancerous mutations.
    • Hormone concerns.
    • Premature aging.
    • Osteoporosis; weak, brittle bones, hip fractures and bone spurs.
    • Joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
    • Low energy and chronic fatigue.
    • Slow digestion and elimination.
    • Yeast/fungal overgrowth.

    Alkalinity creates. . .
    Sense of oneness & harmony
    Allows for friendly bacteria
    Healthy organs & glands
    Decreased body aches
    Diminished illness
    Relaxed behavior
    Mucous less body
    Cellular health
    Well-being
    Happiness

    Acidity creates. . .
    Irritability
    Depression
    Mucous build-up
    Auto intoxication
    Anxious behavior
    Increased diseases
    Cellular degradation
    Increases body aches
    Allows for bad bacteria
    Sense of separation & pain

    SO MAKE SURE NO MATTER WHAT YOU EAT…BALANCE IT WITH ATLEAST 80% ALKALINE AND 20% ACIDIC DIET REGIME.
    Alkaline minerals include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chromium, selenium, and iron.

  4. SAIBABA AND EATING ONIONS
    What applies to non-veg food also applies to onion. Sai Baba, Himself, used to eat onion with bread daily and did not like anybody expressing disgust towards it or not eating it; because of its bad smell. His incidents of teasing and ridiculing Dada Kelkar, Das Ganu and Kusha Bhau are well-known. He also once surprised a student of yoga by eating bread and onion in front of him and later gave a proof to him of His Super Yogic Powers. As if Sai Baba wanted to tell people, that because of baseless customs and beliefs, you are depriving yourself of onion and garlic, which are greatly praised by the ayurveda (Indian medical science) and are excellent health-giving foods. Isn’t the poor and hard-working farmer able to perform laborious task of ploughing his field by eating bread and onion only?

    Short Story –
    A yogi named Premanand was dedicated to practicing of yoga. The real meaning of yoga is melting and merging in the Divine.

    Premanand practiced yoga for the real purpose and found difficulties for the goal.
    Some one advised him to visit Shirdi and meet Sai Baba, who was one with ParaBrahma (Supreme soul) and that He would be the right person to guide him.

    Listening to them the practitioner of yoga visited Shirdi. When he came near Dwarkamai, he saw Sai Baba sitting with devotees and eating. He noticed that Sai Baba took bites of onions with the food. Onions were favorite with Sai Baba. The yogi’s mind immediately rebelled against this. He knew that the yogis have to stay away from the onions due to its tamasic properties. He was still a little far away from Sai Baba.
    Sai Baba did not want him to leave like that, and since he knew everything and every person’s thoughts, he spoke out loudly.

    ‘Onions should be eaten by the ones who can digest them, to those the tamasic properties cannot influence.
    For those getting influenced by the tamasic properties should not eat them, that is also true.’

    This words and the Divine attraction of Sai Baba removed the doubts of the yogi. He remained in Shirdi for a long time and benefited beyond his expectations.
    …..From the Gujarati book Sai Sarovar

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