Vegetarian Discussion - Printable Version

+- Forums (
+-- Forum: General Topics (
+--- Forum: General Topics (
+--- Thread: Vegetarian Discussion (/showthread.php?tid=506)

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-26-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A Hindu educationalist has said that monks protecting a "sacred" bullock due for slaughter after a positive TB test have interpreted the religion wrongly.
Jay Lakhani told BBC Radio Wales Shambo should be put down for the "greater good"<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Oh sure! when Mr. Lakhani will get life threating disease, I hope first thing his kids should do, send him to worst slaughter house in UK for greater good.
He is teaching very good lesson to his kids, when you are sick and your utility is over, dump him.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-26-2007

Mr. Jay Lakhani speaks at a news:

Other videos about Shambhu and the Skand Vale:

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-26-2007

They took him away just now 19:16:27

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

webcam shows the pen is empty:

Update at the Guardian:

The door on the pen has been partly removed by men in hard hats and the webcam now shows that Shambo has gone. BBC News 24 says he is being loaded onto the trailer, to the continuing sounds of chanting and bell-ringing in the background. That would appear to be the end of a very long, and somewhat unusual, day of events at Skanda Vale.

The Shambo saga finally appears to be very close to its end. Government officials have entered his pen and police have formed a human corrider to an animal trailer waiting nearby to take the bullock away for slaughter.

Struggling devotees at Skand Vale:

<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

I saw three police man removed wooden planks and let Shamboo move out. They went inside structure. They didn't touched him. I think they were just calling him. Shamboo was calm. before that one man was crying in front of Shambo.
Very sad day.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

Some comments at telegraph.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->TB is a nasty disease, on the increase, with
increasingly drug resistant starins. The control
measures for TB in cattle were not lightly
introduced. There are there for the health and
safety of cattle and humans. Hindus knew the
law of the land when they set up the temple. If
they now say they will only obey those particular
laws they like and ignore the rest, then they will
do themselves irreparable harm in this country.
<b>They are only a religion for goodness sake</b>.

Posted by Robin Marshall <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Shambo's owners appear to put animals and humans on an equal footing. If so, they're barking mad. They should be told the difference between humans and animals. We are their masters and we are entitled to kill them, especially if its for the protection of ourselves and other animals and the livlihood of the farming community among whom these people reside. If I was a local farmer in that part of Wales, I'd want to take a shotgun and despatch the blasted animal myself.

Posted by Don

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I believe this issue is simple. Carry out the slaughter of this bull! Reasons behind my statement are also simple. Religion is a belief! A belief which changes with each individual and in most cases are also tweaked to suit individuals needs etc. With this in mind, and knowing the implications of TB being transmitted into humans or other farm animals I don't see why a new healthy animal wouldn't suffice and be just in this situation. Oviously this bull isn't sacred, or it would never have gotten this disease in the first place! I hope our country and people living within it will see that common sence is a great gift to have. And with that, a simple choice will be made!

Posted by Dean Schmid <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There is nothing to discuss. It is the law and must be applied to all equally. It is for the Govenmental authorities to determine if this bull has TB, not temple-appointed officials. If it has and the law requires its slaughter, it is outrageous that anyone would consider circumventing that law for any religion, <b>let alone a foreign one.</b> Personally I consider it equally outrageous that Halal & Kosher slaughter techniques are currently given special dispensation to operate outside our normal laws that animals must be effectively stunned before cutting their throats.

Posted by Bob Finbow <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Oh!! So maybe there are certain domestic religions of inglistan, while Hindoo is foreign!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You come to our country, you abide by our laws. Simple as that. The law is the same for everyone, what could be fairer than that?

Tolerance of other beliefs is healthy and right. But Britain is the only country I know where it's taken to such a ridiculous extreme, where the "rights" of ethnic minorities seem more important than keeping the law of the land and protecting public health.

Hindus have a responsibility to obey British law while living on British soil - just like everyone else who lives in Britain.
Common sense? Apparently not to our lily-livered government!

Posted by Richard <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This is another example of other religous groups demanding there own way when in this country they should abide by our rules same as everyone else.If we were in a hindu country we would have to abide by there rules without a doubt.
Posted by j caspall <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I'm sorry but the Hindu population of this country should be reminded of where they are. If the animal poses a health threat, it must be destroyed. This is the result when 'foreign' cultures clash with those of the adopted country.
Posted by John Walker <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I am an atheist from a Hindu background. Why do some Hindus create a situation where other Hindus are criticised?

The people who dont want the bull/cow to be culled should take responsibility for the anti-Hindu feelings it evokes, because they are treading many boundaries. Is the cow a Hindu? Why dont the same people protest when other cows are killed?

Posted by Chandrashekar Gangaraju

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If a group of 'Druids'(a very old religion) from the UK settled in India, what do you suppose would happen if they chose to carry out some of their religious beliefs, like:

Publicly slaughtering a lovely great cow on a stone alter in New Delhi.
Yes I can imagine the tolerant, respectful and peaceful Hindus wandering by in multicultural bliss, as the British pagans Slit the cow’s throat, smear the blood over themselves and dance around the fire.

We are not in INDIA this is the UK. As such we get to live by our rules. If you can’t put up with them well that’s tough.

Posted by Ben <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->He would be lovely medium rare with a fresh salad and new potatos.
Posted by col

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jul 26 2007, 11:38 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jul 26 2007, 11:38 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A Hindu educationalist has said that monks protecting a "sacred" bullock due for slaughter after a positive TB test have interpreted the religion wrongly.
Jay Lakhani told BBC Radio Wales Shambo should be put down for the "greater good"<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Oh sure! when Mr. Lakhani will get life threating disease, I hope first thing his kids should do, send him to worst slaughter house in UK for greater good.
He is teaching very good lesson to his kids, when you are sick and your utility is over, dump him.

Mr. Lakhani (whoever he is) seems to be the one twisting the scriptures to suit his own purpose - the purpose of physical and material survival in the society he lives. I wish to goodness that the BBC won't keep referring him to as the 'expert' on hinduism. THe monks at the ashram for sure know the scriptures better than this survivalist Lakhani.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

Video coverage

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->He would be lovely medium rare with a fresh salad and new potatos.
Posted by col<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I hope Mr. Col gets a mad cow disease ASAP. Lets see, how he will feel, six-seven golden years.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

Why are these losers commenting about foreign this and foreign that, majority of those at the temple were white people, born and raised in britain, not any outsiders. As for hinduism being a foreign religion, these brits are no one to talk as they have adopted a foreign semitic religion themselves, christianity.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 07-27-2007

After finishing the first pooja of the day inside the main temple building, more than 100 devotees moved their ceremonies outside to Shambo's cage. Shambo stood munching on bales of hay, oblivious to his impending fate and the furore surrounding his existence.

Supporters said yesterday that the timing of the operation to slaughter Shambo was particularly insensitive because it coincided with the temple's largest annual festival, a two-week devotion to the main presiding deity, Subramanium.

Also more commonly known as Lord Muragan and the Son of Shiva, Hindus believe he is the destroyer of negativity, a weapon against the forces of violence and destruction which the devotees have come to refer to as Defra .

Brother Francis, 38, who became a monk 15 years ago, said: "It's bad enough that they've come to take Shambo but to come during the middle of our most important festival is horrendously insensitive. Despite what the government says when it comes to Shambo there was simply no other way we could have acted. The sanctity of life is absolute."

Those who wanted to protect Shambo from the abattoir yesterday rejected any criticism that the temple authorities were unreasonable in dealing with DEFRA's concerns over public health.

Brother Michael said: "We tried to explore every avenue to resolve the government's concern and instead we came up against bureaucratic intransigence at its worst. The test they use to identify TB is not conclusive. It doesn't show whether Shambo has actually been infected, it just shows he's been exposed to the TB bacteria.

"We suggested further blood tests-we even offered to pay the £30 it costs-but they simply kept saying, 'It's not our policy.'"

Throughout its dispute with the temple, DEFRA had argued that Shambo could infect other animals if he continued to live. The temple, meanwhile, insisted that since the young bull was isolated and had only tested positive to exposure to TB bacteria he posed no risk.

Even though Skanda Vale finally lost its legal battle in court, the judge nonetheless ordered DEFRA to pay the temple's legal costs. The final bill-including the costs of killing Shambo-which ultimately will be footed by the taxpayer, looks set to run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Sister Carol, one of five women to have taken the Franciscan vow of celibacy, poverty and obedience that makes a Skanda Vale devotee a monk or nun, was particularly critical of the money that she believed had been wasted by the government fighting over Shambo.

"They never wanted to negotiate from the beginning," she said. "But what exactly have they managed to achieve? Ultimately it's cost them almost a quarter of a million pounds to kill a bull."

The loss of Shambo is the second significant blow to the Skanda Vale community this year. Earlier this month, as the fight over Shambo first went to court, the temple's founder, a man known to his followers as Guru Sri Subramanium, died.

He had been ill for some time and had been staying in the hospice that the temple provides for both followers and locals.

Brother Francis said: "To lose our guru at such a key time was a big blow. But we still feel his presence."

Born in 1920 to a wealthy Sri Lankan family, Guru Subramanium moved to Europe shortly after the Second World War.

His followers say the young Sri Lankan was so horrified by the violence unleashed in the name of religion and ideology that he decided to create a temple somewhere in Europe that would unify the Western world's faiths with those further east.

Ten years of doing menial jobs in London including-according to his "official" biography-stints as a flower seller, nightclub singer and on the shop floor of Selfridges, Guru Subramanium had finally collected enough cash to found his first temple, which he did so in London. It was free to everyone and open to all faiths.

In 1973 his group bought a small, rundown farmhouse in Carmarthenshire with 115 acres and began building the Skanda Vale temple.

For more than 30 years, deep in the heart of Western Wales, a small but dedicated group of largely Western-born men and women have chosen to forego their societies' materialism in favour of a life of poverty, chastity and worship.

Despite Skanda Vale's isolated location-it lies four miles up a potholed track and mobile phone reception is non-existent-more than 60,000 pilgrims make their way to the temple each year.

Although the gods worshipped there and the form that worship takes is noticeably Hindu, like the first temple in London Skanda Vale is nondenominational.

It is one of the few places in the world where the priests administering pooja are predominantly white. Yesterday's crowd were a typically eclectic collection of believers. Swiss Hindu converts sat next to Asian Hindus from London, who sat singing next to local Christians.

Delyth Howells, who described herself as a Christian but one that had "learned more about Christ in Skanda Vale than from anything taught in church", said she had been visiting the temple for more than 20 years.

"The government have handled this with total disregard for the way things are done here," she said. "I know what's right and wrong and this is wrong. A life is a life."

Linda Salzmann, a Swiss national who arrived two days ago with her husband and five-year-old daughter Celina, was one of the few devotees yesterday to express any sympathy for the authorities.

"I can understand the government's position," she said. "They can't go back. But it must be a difficult decision for them."

Shortly before the police arrived, Brother Michael read out an email from a cow sanctuary in the Indian state of Maharashtra: "A number of cow sanctuaries in India have said they were willing to take Shambo and shipping had been arranged," he said. "But the Welsh Assembly refused the plan."

Although Skanda Vale has received some messages of support from the rural community-many of whom have watched their cattle be slaughtered because of TB -farmers unions have generally been critical of the way the temple refused to let Shambo be slaughtered. If the policy was that their cows were slaughtered because of TB, they argued, Shambo should be no different.

Last night the battle was lost. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>But three other members of the temple's herd of cattle are showing signs of exposure to the TB bacteria. Whether DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly will have the stomach for another fight like yesterday's remains to be seen. </span>

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 08-01-2007

<span style='color:red'>Goodbye, Shambo</span>
Kanchan Gupta

The e-mail I had arrived some days ago but I had not bothered to read it, thinking it was yet another e-flier from the Hindu Council of Britain inviting me to an event in London and looking forward to my presence. Not that there's anything wrong with such gatherings; it's just the Delhi-London-Delhi airfare is killing. Some days later, while clearing out my mailbox, I casually clicked on the e-mail and was soon riveted by its contents. It was about a Friesen bull called Shambo at Skanda Vale Temple in Wales, who had tested positive after a dubious bovine tuberculosis test conducted by officials of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the scourge of Welsh farmers. Shambo (obviously a corruption of Shambhu) had been sentenced to death to prevent him from passing on the infection to others of his tribe. But the monks and nuns of the 'Community of Many Names of God in His Universality', which looks after the temple complex, had contested DEFRA's claim and decided to fight for the sacred bull's life. The e-mail solicited support for this noble mission.

This was in end-April and I forwarded the mail to our correspondent in London, Nandini Jawli, who picked up what later came to be known as the 'Shambo story'. The Pioneer was the first to report Shambo's plight; later, as the story gathered speed, European and American media (Fox and CNN sent crews all the way to Skanda Vale) picked it up, although little or no interest was shown by our 24x7 news channels and 'national' newspapers for whom, perhaps, the sanctity of a temple bull's life is as funny as an SMS joke. The Spectator, which remains aloof from what are described as 'maudlin stories', carried a three-page feature on Shambo and his keepers. Between then and Thursday night, it was a see-saw battle to save Shambo as the monks brought in an internationally reputed vet to conduct a second test and proclaim him perfectly healthy, petitioned the Welsh Assembly and secured a temporary reprieve, went to court and got a favourable order, and then lost the case in a court of appeal. All the while, Shambo was kept in a special, sanitised enclosure within the temple precincts under the watchful eyes of the monks who chanted the Maha Mrityunjay mantra and other life-sustaining prayers to save the bull from his executioners.

Shambo was to have been transported to DEFRA's death chamber on Thursday morning. But the Skanda Vale Temple community and Shambo's supporters formed a protective human shield, forcing officials to call in the police. That didn't work either. Reinforcements were called in and finally the monks, nuns and protesters were forcibly removed, the human shield was breached, Shambo was dragged out of his enclosure and pushed on to the trailer that carried him to his executioner. Late Thursday night, he was put down with a lethal injection. The Welsh Assembly authorities have let it be known that they are now sharpening their knives for the rest of the temple herd - comprising cows, bulls and buffaloes, among them 15-year-old arthritic Mooki who needs constant ministering which the monks happily provide, and Shambo's mother, Shivani, who had been branded for the slaughterhouse but was rescued, while four months pregnant, by the Skanda Vale Temple community eight years ago.

In death, Shambo has highlighted two points that merit elaboration.

<b>First, the amazingly meek and timid response of Britain's seven-and-a-half lakh strong Hindu community</b> which, apart from forwarding appeals put out by the monks of Skanda Vale Temple, did precious little to save the sacred bull. It would be considered politically incorrect by sophisticates and the commentariat here and abroad if I were to quote scriptural text or cite faith tradition to argue why Hindus in Britain should have risen, to the last man, woman and child, in support of Shambo. However, it would be instructive for those who slept while Shambo was slaughtered on Thursday night to recall what Mahatma Gandhi had to say about Hindus' reverence for the cow and its progeny: "If someone were to ask me what the most important outward manifestation of Hinduism was, I would suggest it was the idea of the cow." Hindus in Britain allowed that idea to be butchered along with Shambo on Thursday night.

Of course, we cannot entirely ignore the possibility that Shambo may have been infected by bovine TB and was thus a danger to cattle in the temple complex as well as in adjoining areas. Ever since the outbreak of 'mad cow' disease, which dampened the demand for British beef, officials obsessed with trade and commercial exploitation of cattle as a source of meat refuse to take any chances - better to kill a few than lose an entire lot. But Shambo was not part of what is referred to as the 'food chain' of Britain. He was leading a cloistered life similar to that of his keepers. Moreover, there are rules that provide for an exemption to culling as a means of disease control. Those rules could have been invoked to spare Shambo his life.

The second point pertains to the indifference among Hindus in India to Shambo's sorrowful death. That's not surprising, given how Hindus treat the cow and its progeny in the land of Krishna. Most nights as I drive home from Congress-ruled, Hindu majority Delhi to BSP-ruled, Hindu majority Uttar Pradesh, I see cattle being marched to slaughterhouses. The Constitution calls for a ban on the slaughter of cow and its progeny, but that has not been implemented because it is merely a 'Directive Principle of State Policy' - a state that has few principles to boast of, can't be expected to follow moral directives. Barring West Bengal and Kerala, cow slaughter is legally banned in the other States, yet that has not stopped India from emerging as "a major producer and consumer of beef and leather". Along with bulls, cows that don't give milk any more and calves that are unwanted are <b>illegally transported and butchered in connivance with corrupt Hindu officials in abattoirs often owned by Hindus. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, India butchered 14.5 million cattle in 2003, making it the world's fourth most active cattle killer. Mind you, the BJP was in power those days.</b>

Not that we treat cows and bulls who are spared the journey to slaughterhouses any better. Look at stray cattle feeding on urban waste in garbage dumps, foraging for food in piles of plastic bags, and you will know how we are as bereft of values as those who killed Shambo.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 08-24-2007

<span style='color:red'>Two more temple animals to be killed in Wales </span>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->By ANI
Thursday August 23, 02:43 PM

London, Aug.23 (ANI): Hindu community leaders and monks in the West Welsh village of Skanda Vale in Carmathenshire have been told that two more animals -- a bull and a water buffalo -- have tested positive for bovine TB, and would have to be slaughtered.

According to The Mirror, the Hindu leaders accused the officials of trying to avoid bad publicity by giving such short notice. They were also told that more tests will be done on the 54-strong temple herd over the next two months.

A twenty-year-old bull named Bhakti and an eight-month-old water buffalo named Dakshini tested positive for tuberculosis last month.

In July, attempts by government vets to remove Shambo for slaughter resulted in an all-day stand-off during which monks had to be dragged clear by police as they prayed, and the authorities are desperate to avoid a repeat. Shambo was eventually slaughtered earlier this month.

The community has a menagerie, including an elephant, ten ponies, 13 water buffalo, 12 goats, 40 cows and bulls, two llamas, 20 deer, about 300 poultry and waterfowl, more than 100 fish, five terrapins and more than 20 rabbits.

Apart from the deer, only the cows and water buffalo are thought to be susceptible to bovine tuberculosis.

A further five animals produced results classed as inconclusive, but there are fears that when the entire herd undergo compulsory retests next month, more will have become infected.

A spokesman for the temple said: "We are hoping the Welsh Assembly take a co- operative approach so that we do not get the same outcome as with Shambo."

The monks argue that instead of being slaughtered, infected animals could be kept in isolation or sent to a cow sanctuary in India. (ANI)

Vegetarian Discussion - Shambhu - 08-26-2007

Tenali Raman is being shown on Z TV.

Market place has chicken shops in it. Live chickens are being sold from cages and dead ones are hanging upside down. <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Also, when Tenali is surprised that a potter's daughter composes poetry, the english translation for "Kumbhar ki beti" is given as "girl of the potter caste"..
"Caste" has to be introduced, with all its implications.. <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Damn thing is written by a certain Dave McHale..

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 08-26-2007

<!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo--> Capsules for the veg palate
Sunit Dhawan
Tribune News Service

Rohtak, August 25
Remember the last time you popped in that ubiquitous capsule? Most of us do that, blissfully unaware that the shell is made of gelatin which is derived from the hide and bones of animals.

“As many as 99 per cent of the capsules available in the market have gelatin shells,” says biotechnologist Prof Basant Kumar Behera, who is also the director of the advanced centre for biotechnology at Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) here.

Dr Behera holds an international patent on cellulose-derivative capsules. Talking to The Tribune regarding his invention here today, he said, “Earlier, there was no alternative to the gelatin capsules. Besides, artificial colours were used to make these capsules look distinct and attractive.”

He took it as a challenge and dedicated himself towards making naturally coloured vegetarian capsules.

His efforts bore fruit and he was successful in inventing what he calls vegetarian capsules. While the shell of these capsules is made from a cellulose derivative, these are coloured using natural pigments like chlorophyll and beta-carotene.

After persistent efforts, he was successful in getting an international patent last year. The capsule is being manufactured by Bangalore-based Natural Capsules Ltd. Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies like Dabur, Himalayan Drugs, Hindustan Lever and Alchem are now using capsules made from this technology. Others like Ranbaxy have also expressed interest in using these.

The reason behind the growing demand for these capsules is not hard to understand. “The capsules made from gelatin may lead to certain complications as many a time, there is little quality check over the collection of animal material,” Dr Behera maintains.

On the other hand, the HPMC-based capsule shells have been derived from cellulose extracted from sugarcane and cotton residue. They are coloured using natural pigments derived from carrot, spinach and other such natural sources.

However, while the industry is upbeat over the invention, the government has not shown much enthusiasm. As of now, the high cost of these capsules is a major limiting factor in their large-scale manufacture and use.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 09-03-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Japan, until about a century back, was predominantly Vegetarian<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Hmmm, I did not know this. I believed the longevity of Japanese people was due to their high consumption of sea food. Fish is supposed to be rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which is essential to good health. So, a question to all the Hindu vegetarians here. What is your view of Hindus that eat meat (excluding beef), but are still staunch hindus, because I've been called non-hindu by these militant veggie fascists since I'm a meat eater.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 09-03-2007

In West Bengal fish is considered as something 'shuv' IIRC.

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 09-03-2007

<b>Hindus comprise the great majority of the world's vegetarians</b>
The vast diversity of Hinduism's multifaceted culture shines like gold in the variety of its numerous foods--both vegetarian and not. Geography, occupation, class and economic status play a significant role in determining the diets of modern-day Hindus. So does dedicated religious commitment.

Hindus are unmatched in their development of the art of enjoyable eating for healthy living. Their vegetarian food preparations are among the most varied in the world, and their ability to create a well-rounded nutritional diet without forfeiting taste is legendary. Many Westerners, inspired to be vegetarian but thinking a meatless diet might be boring or nutritionally lacking, derive renewed encouragement and inspiration from the many time-tested vegetarian traditions of India. One source of such wholesome eating dates back thousands of years to the health-care system of ayurveda, the "science of long life, "which utilizes food both as medicine and sustenance.

India's cooking traditions vary greatly from North to South. One typical South Indian vegetarian meal might consist of an ample portion of rice centered on a banana-leaf plate, surrounded by small servings of vegetables prepared as curries, pickles and chutneys. This tasty assortment would be enhanced with soupy sambars and rasam, a few jaggery sweets on the side and a small portion of yogurt to balance the tastes and soothe digestion at the end of the entire meal.

Setting aside extenuating circumstances, most good Hindus would choose to follow a vegetarian way of life. All Hindu scriptures extol nonviolence and a meatless diet as being crucially important in the successful practice of worship and yoga. Most Hindu monastic orders are vegetarian. For centuries, Hindu temples and ashrams have served only vegetarian food. "Hindu dharma generally recommends vegetarianism, " notes Vedacharya Vamadeva Shastri, "but it is not a requirement to be a Hindu."

The earliest scriptural texts show that vegetarianism has always been common throughout India. In the Mahabharata, the great warrior Bhishma explains to Yudhisthira, eldest of the Pandava princes, that the meat of animals is like the flesh of one's own son, and that the foolish person who eats meat must be considered the vilest of human beings. The Manusmriti declares that one should "refrain from eating all kinds of meat " for such eating involves killing and leads to karmic bondage (bandha). The Yajur Veda states, "You must not use your God-given body for killing God's creatures, whether they are human, animal or whatever." The Atharva Veda proclaims, "Those noble souls who practice meditation and other yogic ways, who are ever careful about all beings, who protect all animals, are commited to spiritual practices."

Over 2,000 years ago, Saint Tiruvalluvar wrote in the Tirukural (verse 251): "How can he practice true compassion who eats the flesh of an animal to fatten his own flesh?" and "Greater than a thousand ghee offerings consumed in sacrificial fires is to not sacrifice and consume any living creature." (verse 259)

Vegetarianism, called shakahara in Sanskrit, is an essential virtue in Hindu thought and practice. It is rooted in the spiritual aspiration to maintain a balanced state of mind and body. Hindus also believe that eating meat is not only detrimental to one's spiritual life, but also harmful to one's health and the environment.

Most Hindus strive to live in the consciousness that their choice of foods bears consequences, according to the law of karma. Even the word "meat, " mamsa, implies the karmic law of cause and effect. Mam means "me " and sa means "he, " intimating that the giver of pain will be the receiver of that same pain in equal measure.

Historically, while a large portion of ancient Hindu society lived predominantly on a vegetarian diet for religious reasons, certain communities, like kshatriyas (the Hindu warrior class), consumed at least some meat and fish. Hindu royalty also ate meat. Nomadic Hindus, who did not farm, had to rely on animal flesh for food, because nothing else was available. Agricultural communities were among the best examples of Hindu vegetarianism, for they were not inclined to kill and eat the animals they needed for labor.

All animals are sacred to Hindus, but one stands out among all the rest--the cow. According to an ancient Hindu story, the original cow, Mother Surabhi, was one of the treasures churned from the cosmic ocean. The five products of the cow (pancha-gavya)--milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung--are considered sacramental.

Although no temples have ever been constructed to honor the cow, she is respected as one of the seven mothers--alongside the Earth, one's natural mother, a midwife, the wife of a guru, the wife of a brahman and the wife of the king.

Some controversy exists with regard to the Vedic interpretation of meat-eating. The the earliest of the Vedas, the Rig Veda, mentioned the consumption of meat offered in sacrifice at the altar, but even such ceremonial meat-eating was an exception, rather than a rule. Vedic offerings primarily consisted of plant and dairy products, such as ghee, honey, soma (an intoxicating plant juice), milk, yogurt and grain.

According to Vedacharya Vamadeva Shastri in his book, Eating of Meat and Beef in the Hindu Tradition: "Animal sacrifice (pashu bandhu) is outlined in several Vedic texts as one of many different possible offerings, not as the main offering. Even so, the animal could only be killed while performing certain mantras and rituals."

Today, according to a recent survey, 31 percent of all Indians are vegetarian. Meat is not even sold or allowed in certain famous pilgrimage locations like Haridwar and Varanasi, and many non-vegetarian Hindus abstain from eating meat on holy days or during special religious practices. Most Indian states have a legal ban on the slaughter of cows, and beef is only available in non-Hindu stores and restaurants.


<i>They who are ignorant, though wicked and haughty, kill animals without feelings or remorse or fear of punishment. In their next lives, such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed. Shrimad Bhagavatam, (11.5.14),</i>

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 09-04-2007

Pandyan: <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->but are still staunch hindus, because I've been called non-hindu by these militant veggie fascists since I'm a meat eater. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Don't worry, even Swami Vivekananda ate meat. Saint Kannappa even offered meat to Shiv linga (there's an interesting story on this - some other thread or google it)
Seen too many of these veggie v/s non-veggie fights online - it's toooooo boring. As I think someone put it in one of the threads here at IF - Food's life, not God.

On another note - Laloo Prasad was on ZeeTV couple days ago as a judge for Sa Re Ga Maa music talent show. Said one night (around 4:00 am) Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and told him to give up <i>'maas-machi</i>' (meat and fish). So he did and he's been strict veggie since. Note, that Shivji didn't tell Laloo to give up his goons, corruption, sycophancy, nepotism and improve governance. Who cares as to what Laloo eats, couldn't Shivji have advised him on something that matters?

Vegetarian Discussion - Shambhu - 09-06-2007

NPR late late yesterday:

The number 1 cause of global warming is *the meat industry*
Gases produced by cattle etc (at all times) are the cause.

PETA is going to put a guy in a chicken suit and have him drive a Hummer around DC with the sign "Meat Industry is #1 cause of global warming" on 27th.

PETA also said what everybody should know: that it takes 15-20 pounds of plant-based food to produce 1 pound of meat, and thus is exceedingly wasteful, and that you can help by not supporting meat industry by not eating meat..

(Love that term "meat industry". Like "the target was taken out. Over."
Taken out where? Taken out for lunch? Taken out for a movie? Oh Oh Oh...I mean the guy's intestines, brain, and calf muscles were all arranged more-or-less symmetrically around his left eyeball and right (other) ball? Oh, I get it..Anyway, hope more pure ones get taken out for a dinner and a movie)..

Vegetarian Discussion - Guest - 09-06-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Sep 3 2007, 04:29 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Sep 3 2007, 04:29 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> even Swami Vivekananda ate meat.
virenji, what does Swamiji advise for others? I ask as Sri rkp had taught that one must follow the teachings of gurus and not necessarily imitate their habits and actions, if there is a contradiction between the two. in many cases actions of gurus differ from their prescription for the followers. the rules for siddhas are different than for the sadhaks and public.

also pls clarify - did swamiji eat meat during his sadhana phase, siddha phase, or as Narendra before entering the hertitage of guru, or throughout?

that way even Bhagwan Buddha accepted meat from an ignorant yet devoted village cobbler when He was visiting his village, but at the same time forbade the desciples from accepting the same.