7 Reasons for becoming vegetarian:
1. It cost more to purchase meat than it does to buy vegetarian foods.
2. Meat is associated with a higher rate of heart ailments, deadly brain diseases, etc.
3. There are so many chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, etc. in animals
4. There are so many animals with diseases – living under poor conditions
5. Mad cow and foot & mouth diseases
6. The vast environmental and food used to produce a tiny amount of beef.
7. Its bad karma – to kill an animal if you don’t need it to survive causes such harsh actions to come back to you at some point.
How to become a vegetarian:
1. First go slow! Rushing into anything – even healthy things – can cause more harm than good. For example an abrupt and complete switch to vegetarianism can cause the toxins to be expelled too quickly, thus causing great discomfort and possible illness or harm.
2. Start with red meat and pork: If you eat either or both of these each week, eat one meal less a week. So for example if you eat beef 3 times a week, have it twice a week. Substitute a high protein vegetarian meal. If you eat these products only one a month, then reduce to once in two months. Next look to your poultry, eggs and fish and follow the same formula. Eat poultry, eggs and fish portions according to your dosha.
3. At the end of a month if you feel better or the same, repeat step #2. If you feel weaker during the month, make sure you
A) Have enough vegetarian protein.
B) Are not overextending yourself at work, in exercise or in your overall lifestyle.
C) Are doing some form of exercise, yoga, etc.
D) If all else fails, add poultry meals until you feel strong again. Then remain at that limit.
4. This way you gradually reduce meat intake and let the body adjust. Further, your mind and body will tell you if you are going too fast.
FYI: The environmental cost of a burger (source: Time Magazine)
To make 1 4-oz. hamburger it takes:
A) 2 lbs of grain feed
B) 55 sq. feet of grazing land (depleting tropical rain forests)
C) 210 gal. water
To Veg or Not to Veg
All said, Ayurveda does not insist or force anything. The above information is “food” for thought (pardon the pun). Vegetarianism is an ideal theory and lifestyle, but one should not force anything. Ayurveda recognizes that it is more important to develop one’s spiritual life. Gradually in time, harmful activities and habits will naturally fall away.
This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. It in no way is intended to substitute for care from duly licensed health professionals.
Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, D.Sc., may be contacted through the International Vedic Institute – School of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda Encyclopedia Natural Secrets For Healing, Prevention & Longevity by Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha, D.Sc.
An exhaustive and in-depth presentation of all aspects of Ayurveda.
* Much information available for the first time in a book published outside of India
* 85 herb materia medica with photos
* 100 page chapter on Ayurvedic Yoga postures with photos of asanas
* Modern scientific research on Ayurvedic herbs
* Parallels and differences between Ayurveda and modern medicine
-anatomical and physiological discussions and diagrams/modern application of ancient practices
* Pancha karma therapies: complete discussion (traditional/Kerala styles)
* Pulse analysis determining dosha & vikriti