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Vegetarian Discussion
Column in Pioneer, 25 March 2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Go green, go vegetarian

<b>Swami Dayananda Saraswati</b>

Raising animals for meat adds to global warming in a big way.We owe it to Mother Earth to save her from the terrible consequences of climate change

The Himalayan glaciers have been the perennial source of water for our rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra and Sindhu. Now the disturbing news is that the glaciers are receding due to global warming. This problem of increase in global temperature is real and in India it will cause irredeemable damage in more than one way if it is not addressed. One will find it difficult to believe the contention of some ecologists that Ganga would cease to be perennial in six to 40 years, that the other rivers of Himalayan origin would suffer the same fate.

As a human being I have a custodial relationship to Mother Earth. Global warming testifies how indifferent and careless we have been in fulfilling our care-taking responsibilities. Now that we see the seriousness of this problem we need to take certain ameliorating measures. A 2006 report from the United Nations reveals the surprising fact that "raising animals for food generates more green house gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined." Tens of billions of animals farmed for food release gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide through their massive amounts of manure. Animals such as cows and sheep, being ruminant, emit huge amount of methane due to flatulence and burping.

"The released methane", the report says, "has 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide." It is very alarming to note that the livestock industry alone is responsible for 37 per cent of human induced methane emissions. To make room for these animals to graze, virgin forests are being cleared. The livestock industry also needs vast stretches of land to raise mono-crops to feed the animals. The carbon dioxide that the trees and plants store escapes back into the air when they are destroyed.

Growing fodder for farmed animals implies heavy use of synthetic fertilisers produced with fossil fuels. While this process emits a huge amount of carbon dioxide, fertiliser itself releases nitrous oxide - a green house gas that is 296 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Alarming though these facts are, I see in them a reason for hope. All that people all the world over have to do is to avoid eating meat. In the absence of demand for meat there will no more be any need for breeding millions of animals for daily slaughter. If this happens, the reversal of global warming is a certainty.

The meat lobby cannot do anything if the change is from the individuals. A single individual by simply not consuming meat prevents the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year. This is more than the one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions prevented by switching from a large sedan to a small car.

One needs to have an honest commitment to save Mother Earth, who has been relentlessly patient and magnanimous since she began bearing life. There are a number of reasons for one to be a vegetarian. People given to eating meat think that a pure vegetarian diet is optional. But now they have no choice if they are alive to what is happening to this life-bearing planet. There is no justification whatsoever for one to continue to be a non-vegetarian, knowing the devastating consequences of eating meat.

Promotion of vegetarianism does not require any legislation by the state. It does require a change of heart on the part of those who eat meat anywhere on this planet. I cannot appeal to the tigers and wolves. They are programmed to be what they are. Being endowed with freewill, only a human being can make a difference by exercising responsibly his or her choice.

The threatening inundation from the melting icebergs in the North Pole is avoidable and the perennial flow of the holy Ganga and Yamuna would continue if only there is a change of heart on the part of every meat eater. If it is too much for one to become a total vegetarian, one needs to give up at least red meat. This is the only option one has.

Add following points to above report:

- Approximately 4 to 7 pounds of grains is required to create 1 pound of meat. In addition to avoiding pollution of producing meat, world can support 4 to 7 times the population if they all switch to vegetarian.
- You need more energy to preserve meat than vegitarian food

I have always felt that without promoting vegerianism, the green movement is a big sham.
I thought it was 16..16 pounds of grain goes to produce 1 lb of beef


--The amount of grain used as animal feed in US per day can feed the population of the entire world 5 times (Hare Krishna booklet)

--If just 2 seconds of the cruelty that a hog/duck/chicken/calf/cow has to endure 24/7 is somehow applied to a puppy, the owner of said puppy would sue the **** out of the person who applied the cruelty. Just 2 seconds. But the great white man has spoken: "Livestock animals can be made to endure any kind of pain, since the ballmighty Gawd has told us that He created all those animals for us to eat".

--Cancers and cardiovascular problems would go way way down if the US gave up (even cut down on) meat. Europeans eat meat, but not in the massive quantities that the Land of the Free does. And Europeans get cancers and CV problems to a much lesser degree.
The example of sage kausika having learnt the lessons of dharma from a saintly and pious butcher of mithilA known as dharmavyAdha - has been often quoted (or misquoted as I now find) by the supporters of meatism.

So it happened a few days back that in an idle-argument this gentleman quoted the same example which prompted me to look up the original source.

The episode is from vana-parva the third book of mahAbharata.

Led by some strange incidents, Sage kausika in his youth was inspired by a housewife to travel to mithila and look for a certain butcher, and take him as his teacher. So he did, and located a butcher known as dharma-vyAdha. Finally a lengthy discourse follows and kausika stays for a few days in the house of this virtuous dharma-vyAdha and learns the lessons on dharma, ethics, morality, virtue and so on.

a few parts of the lengthy tale, which are relevant to what this great saintly butcher says about he himself eating meat.

(KM Ganguly's translationSmile

Continually reflecting upon that wonderful discourse
of the woman, Kausika ... said to himself, 'I should
accept with reverence what the lady hath said and should, therefore,
repair to Mithila.

And he traversed many forests and villages and towns and at last
reached Mithila that was ruled over by Janaka and he beheld the city
to be adorned with the flags of various creeds.

And there the Brahmana enquired about the virtuous fowler and was
answered by some twice-born persons. And repairing to the place indicated
by those regenerate ones, the Brahmana beheld the fowler seated in a
butcher's yard and the ascetic fowler was then selling venison and
buffalo meat and in consequence of the large concourse of buyers gathered
round that fowler, Kausika stood at a distance.

But the fowler, apprehending that the Brahmana had come to him,
suddenly rose from his seat and went to that secluded spot where the
Brahmana was staying and having approached him there,
the fowler said, 'I salute thee, O holy one!...Thou art now standing in
place that is scarcely proper for thee, O sinless one. If it pleasest
thee, let us go to my abode, O holy one!...

'So be it,' said the Brahmana unto him, gladly....

And thereupon, the fowler proceeded towards his home with the Brahmana
walking before him. And entering his abode that looked delightful, the
fowler reverenced his guest by offering him a seat. And he also gave him
water to wash his feet and face.

And accepting these, that best of
Brahmanas sat at his ease And he then addressed the fowler, saying, 'It
seems to me that this profession doth not befit thee. O fowler, I deeply
regret that thou shouldst follow such a cruel trade.'

At these words of the Brahmana the fowler said,
'This profession is that of my family, myself having inherited it from my
sires and grandsires. O regenerate one, grieve not for me owing to my
adhering to the duties that belong to me by birth. Discharging the duties
ordained for me beforehand by the Creator, I carefully serve my superiors
and the old. O thou best of Brahmanas! I always speak the truth, never
envy others; and give to the best of my power. I live upon what remaineth
after serving the gods, guests, and those that depend on me.
I never speak ill of anything, small or great.

O thou best of Brahmanas, the actions of a former life always
follow the doer.

<span style='color:red'>As regards myself, O Brahmana, I always
sell pork and buffalo meat without slaying those animals myself. I sell
meat of animals, O regenerate Rishi, that have been slain by others. I
never eat meat myself;</span> ...

...Even though the behaviour of his order is bad, a person may yet be
himself of good behaviour. So also a person may become virtuous,
although he may be slayer of animals by profession.


(after this there are many other very complex points of discussion about morality and ethics too - including dharma-vyAdha defending meat-eaters although he himself is not one of them.)
Bodhi, Where can we get the full translation by Sri KM Ganguly?
Vana Parva: http://sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/index.htm

The topic of dharma-vyAdha is under Markandeya-Samasya Parva.

About Jewish vegetarians

..animal industry produces more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. Animal farming is going to double over next 50 yrs

3-4 months ago I had posted that PETA drove a Hummer (with the driver in a chicken suit)thru DC to highlight that animal farming is a leading producer of greenhouse gases. US, as usual, hardly noticed.
chaturdasha hi varShANi vatsyAmi vijane vane
madhu mUla phalaiH jIvan hitvA munivad AmiSham

(vAlmIki rAmAyana, ayodhyA kANDa:2-20-29)

(Says rAma to his mother while bidding a farewell, before departing for the exileSmile

For fourteen years, I shall live in a lonely forest, quitting meat like a sage and living by (only eating) roots, fruits and honey.

above shows that a) rAma, a kshatriya, must have been a non-vegetarian, and b) prohibition to eat meat for sannyAsI-s.
Found on Haindava Keralam (on the right side where it displays different quotations each time):
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"How can he practice true compassion Who eats the flesh of an animal to fatten his own flesh?"

Thirukural<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Thirukural is sacred Tamizh Hindu literature.
x-post, Ramana's link:
Antiquity of the Cultivation and Use of Brinjal in India
<b>CDC Says 1 in 200 Kids Is Vegetarian </b>
Source Peta - they are requesting those who want to save Earth e.g. Pelosi, Al Gore etc should stop eating Meat

<b>Did You Know?</b>
A 2006 U.N. report concluded that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.

Producing one calorie of animal protein requires more than 10 times as much fossil fuel input—releasing more than 10 times the amount of greenhouse gasses—than it takes to produce one calorie of plant protein.

Being vegetarian is more effective in the fight against global warming than trading in your “regular” car for a Toyota Prius.

Original links given in an earlier post (#52) expired, so here are the archived link and relevant contents:

1. http://web.archive.org/web/20061018133609/...es/20011212.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dainik Hindustan 12th December 2001

<b>Did Vedic Hindus really eat cow?</b>

By Sandhya Jain

Under the pretext of disseminating true knowledge about the past to young, impressionable school children, a perverse assault has been launched upon the religious sensitivities of the Hindu community. Marxist historians allege that ancient Hindus ate beef, that this is recorded in their sacred scriptures, and that this should be taught to school children. The Hindu prohibition on cow slaughter, they say, is a more recent development and Hindus are shying away from this truth because it is intimately linked with their sense of identity.

A Marxist specialist on ancient India, ignorant in both Vedic and Panini’s Sanskrit, claims that the Shatapatha Brahmana and Vasistha Dharmasutra clearly state that guests were honoured by serving beef. She also cites archaeological evidence as reported by H.D. Sankalia and B.B. Lal. While the lady thinks her evidence is irrefutable, I have decided to pick up the gauntlet.

To begin with, the Shatapatha Brahmana is Yajnavalkya’s commentary on the Yajur Veda, and not a revealed text. As for the Vasistha Dharmasutra, the legendary Sanskritist, late P.V. Kane, said, “beyond the name Vasistha there is hardly anything special in the dharmasutra to connect it with the Rgveda.” Kane also added, “grave doubts have been entertained about the authenticity of the whole of the text of the Vas.Dh.S. as the mss. (manuscripts) contain varying numbers of chapters from 6 to 30, and as the text is hopelessly corrupt in several places… many verses…bear the impress of a comparatively late age.” Kane tentatively places this text between 300-100 B.C., that is, long after the end of the Vedic age.

According to archaeologists, the early Vedic age tentatively falls between the fourteen century BC to the first millennium BC. The later Vedic period lies between 1000 BC to 600-700 BC. But if we go by astronomical dating of some of the hymns, we get a period of 7000 BC for a portion of the Vedas.

The honest question, however, is whether the Vedas offer evidence about cow slaughter and beef-eating, and if not, how the controversy arose in the first place. A few clarifications are in order before we proceed. The word ‘cow’ (gau), for instance, is used throughout the Vedas in diverse senses, and, depending on the context of the verse, could mean the animal cow, waters, sun-rays, learned persons, Vedic verses, or Prithvi (earth as Divine Mother).

Then, Vedic society was heterogeneous, pluralistic, and non-vegetarian. In theory, it is possible that the cow was killed and eaten. The fact, however, is that throughout the Vedas the cow is called a non-killable animal, or “aghnya.” According to “An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit on Historical Principles” (Vol. I, Deccan College, Poona), “aghnya” means “not to be killed or violated” and is used for cows and for waters in the presence of which oaths were taken.

The Rig and Sama Veda call the cow “aghnya” and “Aditi”, ie. not to be murdered (Rig 1-64-27; 5-83-8; 7-68-9; 1-164-40; 8-69-2; 9-1-9; 9-93-3; 10-6-11; 10-87-16). They extol the cow as un-killable, un-murderable, whose milk purifies the mind and keeps it free from sin. Verse 10-87-16 prescribes severe punishment for the person who kills a cow. The Atharva Veda recommends beheading (8-3-16) for such a crime; the Rig Veda advocates expulsion from the kingdom (8-101-15).

Hence, it seems unlikely that the cow would be slaughtered to entertain guests, as claimed by Marxist historians. But before coming to any conclusion, the archaeological evidence should also be examined. Archaeologists have excavated bones of cattle in huge quantity, “cattle” is a collective noun which includes the cow, bull, buffalo, nilgai and all other bovine animals. Nowhere in the world can experts differentiate between the bones of cows and other cattle recovered from excavations.

There are good reasons for this difficulty. Most of the bones found are not whole carcasses, but large pieces of limbs. Experts feel that these could be the remains of animals that died naturally and were skinned for their hide and bones. Ancient man used bones to make knives and other tools; the splintered bones found could be part of the tool-making exercise. In all honesty, therefore, cattle bone finds do not prove cow slaughter or the eating of cow meat, especially when all literary evidence points in the opposite direction.

There has been talk about cut-marks on the bones. But apart from tool-making, even if a tanner skins dead cattle for the hide, he will inflict cut marks on the carcass. Scientifically, it is not possible to say if the marks on the bones are ante-mortem or post-mortem. This can be determined only where the body is intact (animal or human), by analyzing blood vessels, tissue, rigor mortis and other factors.

Fortunately, there is now clinching evidence why the Marxist claim on cow-flesh rests on false premises. As already stated, the allegation rests mainly on literary sources and their interpretation, and we are in a position to trace the source of the mischief – the Vachaspatyam of Pandit Taranath and his British mentors.

Pandit Taranath, a professor of grammar at the Calcutta Sanskrit College, compiled a six-volume Sanskrit-to-Sanskrit dictionary, which is used by scholars to this day. The Vachaspatyam is a valuable guide for scholars because there are certain words in the samhita (mantra) section of the Vedas that are not found later in the Puranas.

What most Sanskrit scholars have failed to notice is that Taranath artfully corrupted the meanings of a few crucial words of the Vedic samhita to endorse the meaning given by Max Muller in his translation of the Vedas. Swami Prakashanand Saraswati has exposed this beautifully in “The True History and the Religion of India, A Concise Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism” (Motilal Banarsidass).

The British idea was that Max Muller would translate the Rig Veda “in such a scornful manner that Hindus themselves should begin to reproach their own religion of the Vedas,” while a Hindu pandit would “compile an elaborate Sanskrit dictionary that should exhibit disgraceful meanings of certain words of the Vedic mantras.” As Hindus would not question a dictionary by a Hindu pandit, the British would be able to claim that whatever Max Muller wrote about the Vedas was according to the dictionary of the Hindus.

Swami Prakashanand Saraswati focuses on two words – goghn and ashvamedh. “Goghn” means a guest who receives a cow as gift. Panini created a special sutra to establish the rule that goghn will only mean the receiver of a cow (and will not be used in any other sense). But Taranath ignored Panini’s injunction and wrote that “goghn” means “the killer of a cow.” He similarly converted the ashvamedh yagna from ‘ritual worship of the horse’ to the “killing of the horse.”

The Swami proves the British hand in this mischief through the patronage given to Taranath by the Government of Bengal in 1866, when Lt. Governor Sir Cecil Beadon sanctioned ten thousand rupees for two hundred copies of his dictionary. This was a king’s ransom in those days, as even in the 1930s the headmaster of a vernacular primary school received a salary of twenty rupees a month. Today, ten thousand rupees is the equivalent of two million rupees.

When the basic premise upon which all modern translations rest is thus knocked off its pedestal, what beef is left in the theory that Vedic Hindus enjoyed the flesh of the cow? I rest my case.

End of Matter<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

2. http://web.archive.org/web/20061018133545/...es/20040727.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pioneer 27th July 2004
The lion and the historian
By Sandhya Jain

Of course, our Marxist friends have had no compunctions in shocking young school students with the claim that our Vedic ancestors, particularly the wily Brahmins, were voracious eaters of cow meat. Undeterred by inconvenient facts like the veneration of the cow in the Vedas and the prohibition on its slaughter, they have continued to perpetuate a colonial falsehood that was invented to facilitate the conversion agenda of Christian missionaries. Discerning readers would have realized that the sudden vehemence with which Marxists are now propagating that Vedic Hindus ate beef is nothing but a crude attempt to de-sacralize the cow and assist the conversion agenda of evangelizing faiths.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Sad that the only place to discuss animals here is in a food thread. (I never think of food when I consider animals or am stalking them with my eyes. I don't know that I think at all then. Hmm, I think all I feel is wonder then. Yes, that was it. Wonder at how such excruciating beauty is possible at all. Wonder at how they are so free of me, in a way that I am not free of them, nor can be: I must look at them until they wander out of sight, while they do not heed me; I must know they are there and exist, they do not care. This freedom, independence of theirs is itself a part of the nature of their beauty.)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by a complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge, seeing thereby a feather magnified, the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man.

In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

They are not brethren. They are not underlings. They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."
— Henry Beston<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> Always beautiful.
Good to know there are people that have such sentiments (there are many in the world). And he expresses himself beautifully.

I differ in that they <i>are</i> my brethren. I claim that kinship. Because I <i>am</i> part of it, and will not be severed. It is one of the oldest memories of feeling I have.
I was an occasional non-vegetarian some 5-6 years ago. Except my mother (a strict vegetarian) everyone else was an occasional non-vegetarian. But since then my whole family is vegetarian now.

Here are my reasons to choose vegetarianism over non-vegetarianism.

1) One creature is the food of other creature but we as human have conscience to cause least amount of violence. I follow principle of least violence. Plants have least number of sense organs and further when you pluck the fruits then it does not kill them (though there are exceptions).

2) Already explained in this thread is that amount of resources required to create certain amount of meat is far greater than creating same nutritious value vegetarian food. If people switch to vegetarianism then millions of people will not sleep with hungry stomach.

3) There is always a risk of great number of ailments from eating meats.

4) Raising animals for food do have severe negative effects on environment.

[quote name='Bodhi' date='27 May 2007 - 01:32 PM' timestamp='1180290282' post='69414']

<b>Questions to Bajwa ji</b>. What is the precise scriptural position on meat-eating in Sri Guru Granth? (I am not asking about common understanding or practice, but actual scriptural reference.) You had mentioned in another thread (DSS) that Langars used to serve meat at one time? Is that backed up by any historic documentation? Also what is it about Jhatka killing being sanctioned? Also any records about the eating preferances of the 10 Gurus?[/quote]

Bodhi I came across this post of yours while searching for something.

This is the Sanatan Sikh position:


In this instance, a goat is being decapitated - the meat served is known as 'Mahaparshad' (great blessed food). The meat was served at the 'Langar' (public kitchen) during the festivities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the 'Aad Guru Durbar' (the first of three sacred scripture of the Sikhs). The practice of Chatka is also seen as a sacrfice to appease the 'Bir Ras' (warrior spirit) and 'Chandi' (the warrior goddess often seen in Indian mythological imagery as riding a tiger/leopard/lion).

Many modern/orthodox/reformist Sikhs believe eating meat/eggs/fish is considered to be a punishable "sin" and find the practice of 'Chatka' as being 'anti-Sikh'. However, amongst 'Sanatan' (traditional) Sikhs, diet is a concept that is dependent upon one's personality, character, spiritual path, goals and duties. For example, Akali Nihang Singhs, being warriors with dynamic lifestyles, eat meat - while 'Udasis' (traditional pacifist missionaries) abstain from harming animals in any way, and are strict lacto-vegans.


Quote:'Chatka' is essential, if one is to survive the horrors of the battlefield.On the field of battle,the foremost Sikh historian of the 'Missal' (confederacy) period (1735-1770's), Shaheed Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu, states that there is NO place for vegetarianism:

'How can vegetarianism work where there is constant war? How can a Vegetarian Panth survive there? How can vegetarians survive there, where there is daily war, daily bloodshed? There you might have to survive by drinking the enemy's blood. There are such difficult circumstances. In Banda Bahadur Bairagi's Panth were Sadhus. How could they know of this?'

('Pracheen Panth Prakash - Stik', Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu, Translated by Akali Nihang Baba Santa Singh, Pa. 377-378)

Chatka is an ancient 'Kyshatriya' term known even to other Indian martial races aside from the Akali Nihang Singhs, such as the Rajputs, Nagas, Sanyasis, Gurkhas, etc.

In the Sanatan world, however, only the non-martial Udasi, Nirmala and Seva Panthi Sikhs are vegetarians, not the warrior Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa Sikhs. To learn more about these and other religious orders, please visit www.sarbloh.info.

This tradition of 'Chatka' has carried on throughout Indian culture and is practiced widely throughout India by both warriors and non-warriors.


Quote:One may ask the question: ‘What if the British Raj did not establish itself in India?’

What would the present day, original Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa Sikhism be like? The answer to this is that it would be very like the Sikhism found in modern day Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib (in Nanded, Maharastra). Here, a Sikhism unaffected by the Tat Khalsa Singh Sabhias, or S.G.P.C. Gurdwara reform movement flourishes. Like the Akali Nihang Dals, the traditions of Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib remain, as far as possible today, in their pristine state. It is the Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib who are known as ‘Hazoori Sikhs’...

Modern day Tat Khalsa mentality Sikhs have great problems accepting the traditions of Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib. It smacks in the face of mainstream modern Sikhism of S.G.P.C., Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Baba Kartar Singh Samparda (popularly known as 'Dam Dami Taksal’), self-made ‘Sants’ etc.

They would dearly love to have it under their control. Hazoori Sikhs such as Bhai Madan Singh, Bhai Bhupinder Singh, Nihang Dilbagh Singh, etc., spoke of how many ‘Sants’ and S.G.P.C. preachers have come from Punjab trying to preach to the Hazoori Sikhs. Nihang Dilbagh Singh spoke of one such Sant:

‘It was time for ‘Chatka’ at the Takht. The Singhs had all gathered to watch. Then just as the final portion of scripture was being read and the Singh settling the goat was about to decapitate it. A so-called ‘Sant’ began howling “Why kill this innocent in the house of God why do this sin here if you must kill me kill me instead”. He came rushing towards the goat unsettling it. The congregation told him to be silent Tried to explain to him it is our ancient Khalsa tradition. Again he unsettled the goat, as the Khalsa was about to despatch it. Shouting “Kill me kill me!” instead. Suddenly a young man from behind smacked him hard with a stick between the shoulder blades. Another smack and the idiot was running. The man who had said “Kill me”, was now running away screaming after just a stick blow. He then brought the local police claiming he had been assaulted. The police stood outside the temple and wanted the young man who attacked the Punjabi. The people gathered and explained to them he was interfering in our religion. He got what he deserved. Police left the fool went away moaning back to the Punjab.’

Nihang Dilbagh Singh, transcript of interview on 17-03-01

Hazoori Khalsa, insist that the Punjabis, who have forsaken their Khalsa traditions, will never be allowed to corrupt their pure Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa faith.


Quote:Sant Baba Jaginder Singh, the Jathedar of the Takht Sach Khand Hazoor Sahib, comments as follows with regards to the Budha Dal being considered the ‘Panjvah Takht’ and the tradition of Chatka at the Takhts:

‘A doubting person [asks] – Here goats are slaughtered and with their blood weapons anointed what tradition is this? Brother doubter, I cannot say about this personally, but author of ‘Dharm Shashtar’ writes that before Shiromani Committee, the traditions of the four Takhts were one. Then Shiromani Committee took charge of Golden Temple and Akal Takht. At that time, Shiromani Committee, lacking in knowledge of Dasam Granth, they stopped many old traditions - that is why at present the traditions of four Takhts are not the same. This difference is the doing of Shiromani Committee.’

‘Siri Hazoori Maryada Prabodh’, Sant Baba Jaginder Singh, Pa.248-249


You can find more info at:




Vegetarian thread is the closest to "animal thread" I can find here


Quote:Monday, November 29th, 2010 | Posted by Editor

How Hinduism Continues to Save Dolphins in India

A Ganges River Dolphin aka Gangetic Dolphin

Karnavas, Uttar Pradesh (CHAKRA)— Karnavas street plays make reverent references to the Ganga river dolphins.

One of the play performers states the importance of dolphins and the harm that humanity is putting towards them. Dolphins are significant for the surrounding ecosystem in India.

[color="#0000FF"]The religious and mythological plays are helping to bring awareness to the harming of the Ganges River Dolphin in India. They populate a 165 km stretch along the Ganga river in UP. The numerous plays are making a difference because the dolphin population has fortunately doubled since the start of the conservation efforts in 1990.

Many of the plays are performed on street corners in Uttar Pradesh by children who chant verses from epic religious texts such as the Ramayan. One of the lines being versed from Valimiki’s Ramayan, highlighted the force by which the Ganga emerged from Lord Shivji’s locks and along with this force came many species such as animals, fish and the Shishumaar—the dolphin.[/color]

[color="#800080"](Hindoos are so cute. So heathen. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />)[/color]

Another type of dolphin from the same family that also swims along the same river is the Baburnama.

Dr. Sandeep Bahera, Senior Coordinator of the Fresh Water Programme for the World Wildlife Fund in India stated that there are about 60 dolphins in the Ganga river right now compared to 20 in 1990 when the initial conservation effort had started.

The Uttar Pradesh government is bringing up ancient Hindu texts in hopes of raising the community support to save the dolphins from disappearing.
Vegetarians and vegetarianism in Hellenismos

Next to the well-known vegetarian Orphics and of course Pythagoras many centuries BCE, and Porphyrius (famously wrote a book on the Why of vegetarianism), and the vegetarians Plotinus of Neoplatonism and Seneca (both state the Why beautifully - will try to locate something),

Plato (Republic) seems to imply that Socrates -- the one who's famous for declaring at his trial that "I believe there are *Gods* more than any one of my accusers", or so Plato tells us -- is a vegetarian. It is often considered that Platon was himself a vegetarian (not merely for being the shishya of Socrates) but from his own statements as well.

Following bits (in order of my arranging) are from:

- advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2010/08/the-hidden-history-of-greco-roman-vegetarianism/

- www.think-differently-about-sheep.com/Why_Animals_Matter_A%20Religious_Philosophical_Perspective_Philosophy_Quotations.htm

Quote:After Plutarch, the Greek philosopher Plotinus (205-270 CE) combined Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and Stoicism into a school of philosophy called Neoplatonism. He taught that all animals feel pain and pleasure, not just humans. According to Jon Gregerson, author of Vegetarianism: A History, Plotinus believed in order for humans to unite with the Supreme Reality, humans had to treat all animals with compassion. Seeking to practice what he preached, Plotinus avoided medicine made from animals. He allowed for the wearing of wool and the use of animals for farm labor, but he mandated humane treatment.

Continuing the work of Plotinus was the great Phoenician author and philosopher Porphyry (c. 232-c. 305 CE). He argued with observational and historical evidence in defense of vegetarianism and the rationality of animals. According to Spencer, in On the Impropriety of Killing Living Beings for Food, Porphyry argued meat eating encouraged violence, demonstrated the ability of animals to reason, and argued that justice should be extended to them.

(The title of Porphyry's book keeps getting translated differently into English each time, meaning seems to be consistent though.)


C.5 - C.E.65

Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero.

"But for the sake of some little mouthful of meat,

[color="#0000FF"]we deprive a soul of the sun and light,

and of that proportion of life and time it had been

born into the world to enjoy.[/color]

[color="#800080"](Well said. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> How did he read my mind backwards in time? I've been plagiarised: those are *my* lines - except I couldn't form them.)[/color]

If true, the Pythagorean principles as to abstain from flesh, foster innocence; if ill-founded they at least teach us frugality, and what loss have you in losing your cruelty? It merely deprives you of the food of lions and vultures…let us ask what is best - not what is customary. Let us love temperance - let us be just - let us refrain from bloodshed."

Another Greek philosopher who argued on behalf of animals was the biographer and philosopher Plutarch (46-c. 120 CE). Influenced by Pythagorean philosophy, Plutarch adopted a vegetarian diet and wrote several essays in favor of vegetarianism as well as arguing that animals were rational and deserving of consideration. In particular, his essay On the Eating of Flesh is noteworthy for some arguments familiar to today’s vegetarians, such as the inefficiency of the human digestive system to handle flesh or the fact that humans lack the claws and fangs necessary for to the satisfaction of a carnivorous appetite. For these reasons, Plutarch is truly noteworthy as one of the earliest advocates of animal issues.

- "Socrates: Would this habit of eating animals not require that we slaughter animals that we knew as individuals, and in whose eyes we could gaze and see ourselves reflected, only a few hours before our meal?" [etc. Part of dialogue]

- Plato: "The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies... they are the trees and the plants and the seeds."

Hippocrates ("Hippocratic Oath" Hippocrates)

460 BC – ca. 370 BC was an ancient Greek physician and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the " father of medicine"

"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."

Bion of Borysthenes,

325-c. 250 BC

was a Greek philosopher. After being sold into slavery, and then released, he moved to Athens, where he studied in almost every school of philosophy available.

Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest.

Bion, Water and Land Animals,"


Quote:Before diving into the teachings of the Greek and Roman philosophers, it is important that the Greek and Roman diet be understood. For the Greeks and Romans, cereals, vegetables, and fruit composed much of their diet. The meat that was consumed was usually fish, fowl, or pigs, which were the cheapest and most convenient animals people could kill for their flesh. However, only the wealthiest citizens could afford to eat large amounts of meat on a regular basis.

The first philosopher in the West (uh, not West at all, only GrecoRomans are covered in the article, but magically claimed for all the 'west' somehow) to create a lasting vegetarian legacy was the Greek teacher Pythagoras. He was born on the island of Samos in 580 BCE and studied in what are now the countries of Greece, Egypt, and Iraq before establishing his school in southern Italy at the city of Croton. While Pythagoras is famous for his contributions to math, music, science, and philosophy, it is his philosophy that is of particular interest. He taught that all animals, not just humans, had souls, which were immortal and reincarnated after death. Since a human might become an animal at death, and an animal might become a human, Pythagoras believed that killing and eating non-human animals sullied the soul and prevented union with a higher form of reality. Additionally, he felt that eating meat was unhealthy and made humans wage war against one another. For these reasons, he abstained from meat and encouraged others to do likewise, perhaps making him one of the earliest campaigners for ethical vegetarianism.
what Pythagoras said on animals and the Why of his vegetarianism


Quote:Orphic Communities (c540 BC - ?)

Extract from Orpheus and Greek Religion, by Prof. W.K.C. Guthrie, first published 1935, text from the 2nd revised edition, 1952. p.196:

. . . the doctrine of transmigration . . .The reasoning was this. If the soul of a man may be reborn in a beast, and rise again from beast to man, it follows that soul is one, and all life akin. Hence the most important Orphic commandment . . . to abstain from meat, since all meat-eating is virtually cannibalism. . . .

Even earlier than Pythagoras and the Orphics: the vegetarian Hesiod, writing on the "Yugas" of the Hellenes (c.f. the "Yugas" of the Daoists) -


Quote:Hesiod (c. 8th century BC)

Greek poet and the earliest author of didactic verse. His two complete extant works are the Works and Days dealing with the agricultural seasons, and the Theogony, concerning the origin of the world and the genealogies of the gods.

Extract from The Penguin History of Greece by A.R.Burn, © 1969-85:

Hesiod also, in his Works and Days has a theory of human history.

. . The Golden Age was in the time of Kronos, when men were innocent food-gatherers and there was neither work nor war.

- from the 1957 IVU Congress souvenir book:

HESIOD : (8th century B.C.) - one of the earliest of the prophet poets of Greece who in old age left a populous city, retiring to a mountain to subsist on grains, berries, and fruits.

(Like many "rishis"/"ascetics" in the Far East did as well.)

The Golden Age:


The Silver Age, though less transcendentally pure, still preserved much of the primitive innocence, cultivated friendliness with the lower creatures, and wholly abstained from the slaughter of animals in the preparation of their food; nor did they offer sacrifices. But the feast of blood was inaugurated with

The Brazen Age:


But it is oft stated that Romans didn't sacrifice animals until later (until Ceres).

IIRC Numa - first King of Rome - had instituted vegetarian sacrifices in Romans' Temple worship.

Don't know why there's a page for Julian. (All those interested already knew he was very frugal and usually ate vegetarian fare. But this does not imply he was vegetarian, i.e. at all times.) Also, he deliberately made the all-important specified animal sacrifices to the Gods at times, for the good of his nation and its future.


Note: this page quotes from some (clearly) highly anti-Julian/anti-Hellenistic author.

But it does refer to a statement from Gibbon's Decline And Fall for something honest:

Quote:"he [Emperor Julian] was heard to declare, with the enthusiasm of a missionary, that if he could render each individual richer than Midas and every city greater than Babylon, he should not esteem himself the benefactor of mankind, unless at the same time he could reclaim his subjects from their impious revolt against the immortal gods."
<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> How very Julian. (Declared his aim of reverting the entire empire back to its Gods, and that this would be true service to mankind.) Good stuff.
^ Vegetarianism in Hellenismos (Very cool)

Apparently the next is not as common knowledge as you'd have thought, though it would be at IF I suspect:

1. Buddhism didn't invent Indian vegetarianism (let alone global vegetarianism) despite modern claims about this that have been posted even on Indian fora/blogs that no reader knows/cares to correct;

2. Buddhism isn't actually vegetarian per se. Only the (later) Mahayana branch of Buddhism has text insisting on it. (And of course, it got its vegetarianism as a *reaction* to the vegetarianism pre-existing in India.)

But as it's not admissible to point to earlier Hindu texts to prove that vegetarianism (among other things) pre-existed in Hindu religion, one must instead point to what's known of Buddhism itself.

The following link is mainly on the postulations of whether the Buddha did or did not in fact die from eating poisoned pork, as per the semi-ambiguous statements about his death that have been handed down by tradition (the quite plausible alternative being poisoned mushrooms - my random opinion favours the latter*, but western scholars and even some surprisingly Buddhist Chinese ones have been more than merely divided about it.

* However, pork being a part of Buddha's diet is not at all an impossibility, since Theravada claims that the Buddha himself - with proviso - allowed pork and beef, among other meat. And it is only the later Mahayana Buddhist branch that has Buddha himself insist on a more vegetarian diet. But don't ask illegal questions like "So which one is it, since the two sets of statements attributed to him are mutually exclusive?", because scholars on Buddhism - western at least - will tell you that IIRC *everything* the Buddha is to have said was written down after his passing. So I think the Theravadins may have the better memory, being the earlier branch).

But the speculation on the food item that caused Shakyamuni Buddha's death is - or so you thought - general knowledge and therefore not the interesting bit in the following. Note that I'm not saying it -



Waley doesn't discount the possibility the word meant pork, but indicates it could have had other meanings. The sutra is not definite as to which is meant. See Did Buddha Die of Eating Pork?

The significance of a single word to the later doctrine cannot be overlooked, however. Taken one way, it allows Buddhists leeway to eat meat (Shakyamuni leading by example - if the Buddha did it, it must be right), regardless of some contradictions to this in other texts. Taken another, it fortifies the argument for vegetarianism in Buddhism.

Fifth century Chinese translations of the sutras (and the subsequent canon in Chinese) do not include the "death by pork" comment, but instead indicate the last meal was a vegetarian dish that included a fungus grown on a sandalwood tree (rather than meat).

The early Mahayana texts had strict prohibitions against eating flesh and that has continued to be part of the Mahayana practice since the line was founded. The first Mahayana reference to a meatless diet is found in the Mahaaparinirvaana Sutra. However, these prohibitions are not found in the earlier Theravadin works, which can claim doctrinal precedence.

Hence the centuries-old argument about whether vegetarianism is doctrine, or optional, in Buddhism. It depends in part on whether you belong to a Theravadin or Mayahanin school. But the practice of vegetarianism has not been strictly applied in Mahayana schools, and some Theravadin schools have taken it up as accepted practice. The lines are blurred.

Waley makes an educated guess that vegetarianism arose among Hindu followers of Vishnu a century or two before the Mahayana movement took root (the Vishnu cult was the rising movement in Hindu culture at that time).

(Actually, vegetarianism among Hindu communities - at times as something distinct from ritual sacrifices involving animals - has existed much longer than even that and goes back to old Hindu religious texts, but saying so could invite trouble. Hence one strikes such a statement from the official record. As in, I didn't say anything.)

Cultural and social pressures from the Hindu majority may have pushed the minority Buddhists to accepting their neighbours' vegetarian lifestyle in order to reduce friction in their communities. This became doctrinal when the Mahayana texts were being written, somewhat later.
(In an earlier era, Mahayana Buddhism in Chinese lands was generally strictly vegetarian. But "apparently" Buddhists weren't the first vegetarian ascetics there either. This should not come as a surprise.)

The writer of the above ends his piece well, with a decent argument for why Buddhists can choose to be vegetarian *regardless* of whether the Shakyamuni Buddha was vegetarian or not.

This next is better than I anticipated: I'd expected Wacky to say the very opposite. Instead, Wacky factually indicates that Mahayana Buddhism adopted vegetarianism reactively, instead of claiming M/B innovated it (maybe one should save the wacky page before the crucial para disappears?):


Quote:In Buddhism, the views on vegetarianism vary from school to school. According to Theravada, the Buddha allowed his monks to eat pork, chicken and beef if the animal was not killed for the purpose of providing food for monks. Theravada also believes that the Buddha allowed the monks to choose a vegetarian diet, but only prohibited against eating human, elephant, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, bear, leopard, and hyena flesh.[1] Buddha did not prohibit any kind of meat-eating for his lay followers. In Vajrayana, the act of eating meat is not always prohibited. The Mahayana schools generally recommend a vegetarian diet, for they believe that the Buddha insisted that his followers should not eat meat or fish.




A long passage in the Lankavatara Sutra shows the Buddha speaking out very forcefully against meat consumption and unequivocally in favor of vegetarianism, since the eating of the flesh of fellow sentient beings is said by him to be incompatible with the compassion that a Bodhisattva should strive to cultivate. This passage has been seen as questionable.[11] In a translation by D. T. Suzuki, a note is made that this section:

Quote:This chapter on meat-eating is another later addition to the text, which was probably done earlier than the RāvaNa chapter....[b]It is quite likely that meat-eating was practised more or less among the earlier Buddhists, which was made a subject of severe criticism by their opponents. The Buddhists at the time of the La~Nkāvatāra did not like it, hence this addition in which an apologetic tone is noticeable.[b][11]

"Amazing" that Buddhism didn't invent "compassion and egalitarianism" but that such things as vegetarianism pre-existed in (gasp) Hindu religion hence society. Truly, "amazing."

(Actually amazing is the scale of the collective amnesia among Hindus today on what should be common knowledge to them.)

And so ends another claim from superiority. (India's neo-'Buddhists' claimed - and it's reposted on an international Buddhist site - that Buddhism invented vegetarianism and that Hindus got it from Buddhism, and moreover made vituperative accusations concerning the latter. And when such assertions get dumped on Indian sites frequented by presumably Hindu readers, no one sets the story straight.)

Not that anyone would suppose it (but ya never know - I'm just pre-empting silly declarations to the effect):

Since the Mahayana branch of Buddhism came to exist long after Pythagoras, and MB's vegetarian tenets after that, one can work out that Buddhism did *not* influence Pythagoras' vegetarianism either.

(The above is a reference to the frequent mention in the west that Pythagoras had been influenced in his teachings by some unspecified "Indian" religion. Whether this claim included Pythagoras' view of *vegetarianism* or not, I can't recall. But if at all it did, then Buddhism at least could certainly not have influenced it).

But whatever. Hesiod predates known Indian contact with GR, so vegetarianism in the Hellenistic space doesn't require any Indian (Hindu or otherwise) precedent.

Even though Buddhism didn't devise vegetarianism, many ancient (religious) traditions around the world have - on their own - come up with:

1. individual (i.e. conscious) vegetarians,

2. frugal ascetic vegetarians and

3. communities of vegetarians.
This is not a post on vegetarianism. In an introductory chapter of a work which is otherwise on a rather different matter, there is a passing reference to "The 64 Skills" to be studied by all Hindu wo/men (to which list the author wants to add his own work's topic). One of the 64 listed skills is the following:


(The print was such that I can't make out whether it's lAbaka or lAvaka or something... It's probably some animal, I think.)

It seems to me to mean one of either:

(a) a reference to the sports of cock-, ram- and lAb/vaka-fighting (i.e. spectator sports)

(b ) or I guess it could turn out to be technical terms for some fighting techniques named after animals (as exist in Chinese martial arts)

I actually suspect it may be (a), since the study of our own martial arts was already listed elsewhere in the same list of 64 skills.

IIRC the work itself - and it's probably not the first to mention it, plus it wasn't written in TN to my limited knowledge - was dated by the Brits to around 2 millennia ago (give or take some centuries). I guess that makes it ancient enough for the following argument:

Ancient Indian (Hindu) cultured society was expected to learn some/all of the 64 skills. Therefore, if (a) is the approximate meaning, then it's not exclusively Tamizh Hindus who hold cock-fighting events. They're merely those continuing an ancient event in pan-Indian/Hindu society. (<- Can use that argument - again, only if (a) is the case - to tell snobbish Hindus looking down on "barbarians" in their midst to get off one's back: if it is barbaric, then it was no less barbaric centuries ago as well, when more than just Tamizh Nadu's Hindus engaged in it and when it was moreover considered a feature of cultured society.)

Disclaimer: This post is not a recommendation of cock-/ram-/fighting, just as it is not a condemnation of the same. It's just a post on: if you're being hassled about this very topic and declared a "barbarian" on account of it, look up a listing of "the 64 skills" (or however you translate it) and see whether it is indeed relevant.

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