Dispelling fictitious myths about 'Hindu vegetarianism'

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Rage, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    I found this thread necessary after browsing certain unmentioned (and unmentionable) pakisthanie forums and discovering its patrons all had this appallingly fictitious, unreal and high falutin' notion about "all Hindus" being "vegetarian" LMAO, or that even that most Hindus were.

    Please treat this as a scientific discussion, intended to dispel wide-ranging myths about the associated 'vegetarianism' and all its antecedents of a nation and the majority of its people.

    Here are some FACTS for the uninitiated, which seem to be most middle-class 'educated' pakisthanies:



    Hinduism: Is there a rule about Hindus eating meat?

    By Gurudeva Sivaya Subramuniyaswami


    Introduction


    This is a very touchy subject.

    Basically, there is a rule, an overlying rule, which gives the Hindu answer to this query. It is called 'ahimsa', refraining from injuring - physically, mentally or emotionally - anyone or any living creature. The Hindu who wishes to strictly follow the path of non-injury to all creatures naturally adopts a vegetarian diet.

    We have collected many scriptural quotes which counsel Hindus not to eat meat. There are references in the Vedas and Manu Dharma Shastras to this effect, as well. As in other matters, Hinduism has very few rigid "do's and don'ts." Rather, its injunctions are called restraints and observances. The ultimate authority for answers to such questions is one's own guru, or our religious community and sampradaya and our own understanding of the spiritual benefits from abstaining from eating meat. Let me put it this way. There are good Hindus who eat meat, and there are bad Hindus who are vegetarians.

    Today in America and Europe there are literally millions of vegetarians. This is because they want to live a long time and be healthy. Many feel a certain moral obligation to their own conscience which they wish to fulfill. There are some good new books on vegetarianism, such as Diet for a New America by John Robbins. If you want to know about vegetarianism from the American perspective, write to us and we can refer you to some excellent books. Perhaps at your next meeting you can invite some of these authorities to come and speak to your group. There is also a fine magazine dedicated to the subject, "Vegetarian Times," which comes out monthly.

    Now to some answers to common misconceptions about vegetarianism and its relationship to Hinduism:


    Answer #1: Simply put, vegetarians are more numerous in the south of India than in the north. This is because of climactic conditions and the Islamic influence within the north of our country. Our religion does not lay down rigid "do's and don'ts." There are no commandments. Our religion gives us the wisdom to make up our own mind on what we put in our body, for it is the only one we have, in this life at least.


    Answer #2: All of our priests and religious leaders are definitely vegetarian, because they have to awaken the more refined areas of their nature in order to perform their work. Our soldiers and law-enforcement people are generally not vegetarians. This is because they have to keep alive their aggressive forces in order to perform their work. To practice yoga and be successful in spiritual life it is advisable to become a vegetarian. It is a matter of wisdom. Wisdom is the application of knowledge at any given moment.


    Answer #3: Today, about twenty or thirty percent of all Hindus are vegetarians and the rest are not.


    http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Eating_Meat_in_Hinduism/id/51476


    The percentage of Hindus nationwide estimated to be purely vegetarian is about 23%. On the other hand, Buddhism is estimated to have nearly 50% of its adherents as vegetarian. In addition, small but notable percentages of non-Hindu and non-Buddhist Muslim and Christian religious communities also observe vegetarian eating habits for health, economic or other reasons throughout the subcontinent.


    Most Hindus therefore are meat-eaters. The fallacy acquired arises from selective exposure on the internet or in cyberspace, in antiquated, fictitious British literature or to a small demographic section of Hindus that is not necessarily representative of the entirety of Hinduism - typically the "upper caste" or 'priestly class'. Hinduism infact originated as a meat-eating religion, with subsequent 'vegetarianism' being attributed to a protuberance of the social stratification of the caste-system, and necessitated only for the highest caste (priests and spiritual counselors) so as to maintain a high level of 'purity' (defined in Hindu terms as sadhana) and spiritual consciousness. 'Vegetarianism' therefore is NOT mandatory for the vast majority of Hindus.


    From Jeniffer Polan for About.com"

    "Though vegetarianism is associated with Hinduism, it is not true that even a majority of Hindus are vegetarian nor is it a condition of Hinduism to be vegetarian. In fact, it is stated in the “Manusmriti” (5:56), “There is no sin in eating meat… but abstention brings great rewards.” So, one cannot state, “I am a vegetarian because I am a Hindu.” Stating this may also imply that all Hindus are vegetarian, which is not true."


    The following provide links for various discussions about Hinduism and vegetarianism:

    http://ask.metafilter.com/81087/What-percentage-of-Hindus-are-vegetarian

    http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070925082504AA9OEyc


    And in addendum: 10 Questions About Hinduism and 10 terrific answers

    http://www.slideshare.net/bhavanikumar/10-questions-on-hinduism-with-10-terrific-answers
     
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Meh! I eat meat like I was born for it.

    PS: I am a Brahmin. Perhaps that dispels the myth. Some members of my family, especially the older members avoid eating meat only due to health reasons.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I have never had a veg Hindu friend most of them being Brahmins. In fact they relish meat.
    I have seen Marwari community members who are usually veg, eat non veg and that includes one of my best friend.

    Wonder where all this comes from. I have read somewhere that even Lord Ram had meat. That should quell any religion based reasons for not eating meat.
     
  5. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    even though vegetarian or non veg but none of the Hindus will eat non vegetarian on festivals and some important days unlike Christian and Muslim festivals are celebrated with non vegetarian,there is no stringent law in Hinduism to follow anything so ultimately it is in the hands of individual
    just my 2 cents
     
  6. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    They should first understand the meaning of "Annam parabrahma swaroopam" in hinduism. And before posting google search results on "Ram ate meat" and Rig veda considering meat-eating as sin should read both Mahabharata and Rig-veda, understand each and very aspect of it.
     
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    That is the prerogative of the individual. As every major Hindu Guru or ShikShak will tell you: there are no steadfast rules in Hinduism. And readings and "understandings" of the Rig Veda and Mahabharata are subject to a wide range of interpretations, as Guru Sivaya himself holds.
     
  8. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    me too was an non-veg, but converted to veg.
    as per what man should do and not to do?
    basically man is vegitarian, like our jaws are of veg type like cow, not carnivorous type of Tiger.
    a read lot of things about Human system and vedas and ayurveda and even stoped eating salt too.
     
  9. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    The Vegetarian Culture varies from place for place, for eg: In Southern and Middle Kerala, People have only Vegetarian Dishes on "ONAM Festival". But when you go towards Northern Kerala, The Hindus there Relish Fish and Meat On Onam!

    I have had a Brahmin friend in 1st Grade, and he never used to Eat meat, but when we reached 5th grade, he used to only eat meat!!! Now a days, Even the strictest of the strict vegetarians are turning to non veg, and the Muslims/Christians turning towards Veg food. This has nothing to do with Religion, its just Taste of the individuals.

    In my Home, My Grandparents (passed away) were Vegetarians, even though my mother and her brothers and sisters used to have meat. You can never tag all this with religions.
     
  10. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    I think the thing about our Teeth etc being only fit to eat vegetables is a Myth, I mean, we have Some teeth which are used for meat and the others for vegetables, and we use this combination. I maybe wrong, maybe someone can shed some light on our teeth.
     
  11. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    Yes, I was trying to answer two types of debates that go on in virtual world. 1) Hindus are vegetarians or more harshly grass. and 2) Hindus don't respect their religion and eat meat. which is usually debated by either side by giving examples from Mahabharatha & Rig-veda even though they never read that. Correct me if its out of this topics context.

    Thanks,
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    In school we were taught that humans are omnivorous species.
     
  13. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Non Veg Upper caste Hindus,including Brahmans, are not uncommon,but are by and large an exceptions.Even then they are mostly what you could call as occasional non- vegetarians.

    The scriptures however are pretty clear on this,you cannot eat any meat without killing a living being and that alone disqualifies you from moksha. :)
     
  14. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    Did the vedas give definition of food?
     
  15. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    There is no rule in either Hinduism or Islam or Christianity to celebrate Festivals with Meat or without meat.
     
  16. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    yes brahmos little bit wrong i think as the man in stone age first didt cook vegetables or plants but hunted animals and survived on it,there is one story in which a hunter used to keep meat before the god and pray,we have carnivorous teeth which is on either side of our front two teeth and in the evolution of human being ,carnivorous teeth become almost like a normal teeth but still you can see it will be sharp like a knife on both lower and upper jaws(4)
     
  17. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    I have a doubt, I mean we have learnt that Plants identify with Music, Plants feel our touch, and they can feel Pain too and are Living beings just like us, except that they are stationary. So when we kill a Plant for food, isnt it a sin too?
     
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Hmmm this thread seems to be moving towards the direction of a thread that was closed a couple of months ago. Let it not go that way.
     
  19. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    this is too much ahmed :blum3: i think you can see the suffering of animals and once died they cant get back unlike in veg they are not going to take the whole plant but just they are going to use vegetables ,fruits from it and even plant can regrow even if you cut it unless you pour acid on it
    ps:Am a non vegetarian and i used to eat atleast 5 days a week as i am aiming to become like my avatar
     
  20. ahmedsid

    ahmedsid Top Gun Senior Member

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    Yes, an animal dying is gross, and despicable, I cant stand it personally. When I see an animal taken to be slaughtered, it ruins my day. I dont eat non veg much, just moderate.

    I wanted to ask that question so that if someone who knows the real aspect of the Vedas mentioning it can explain it to me. But frankly, If given a choice to Kill a Chicken personally and eat, or cut a few plants and eat, I would go for the plants! I cannot kill the chicken!
     
  21. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    its not a sin,each and every being and life is created for some purpose, they have been created to help other beings to live,
    this means tyaag like giving your life to live someone or some cause,
    you and i were born for some reason or cause, we will have to fullfil it.
    when u fullfiled it ur life gets value for what you have been born on this earth.
     

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