Does Non-Vegetarianism Lead To A Wrong Path?
By Vaishali Bhatt
Is it wrong to be a carnivore? Does Non-Vegetarianism Lead To A Wrong Path? This question must have arisen in the minds of many people and has always been a part of endless discussions. Many people try to influence others to adopt their eating habits. But does the thinking of others change our habits or our behavior unless we ourselves want to? No. Just as humans evolved, so did their habits. The foundation of eating non-vegetarian food was laid long ago. It all started from Ice and Stone Age i.e. 2.6 million back. At that time, hunting and fishing were the main sources of food for them. They thought of nothing else, just wondered how they could survive.
Plants and fruits introduced later on when people realized that they could eat these things as well. Only then people changed their eating habits. As they developed more understanding, they began to define their lives and started searching for the purpose of life.
We have been hearing since childhood that eating meat or any other non-vegetarian food is a sin. This turns us away from God and at the same time, it is not good for our health. But this thinking differs from place to place just like our habits. In some areas, you may even find priests consuming meat or offering it to their God, whereas in some areas, you may find it strictly prohibited. We developed these understandings by looking at the situation around us or the people we met. Here, no one is wrong. We understood what the situation taught us.
You tell by yourself that how a country with a large population will be able to serve food to all its citizens? And even though the government succeeds in it, then for how long will they be able to continue this activity? After some time, people have to become dependent on different sources. And maybe what we are thinking today will change into something else as man is evolving. Therefore, what we think is never stationary. We change. We bring changes in ourselves after seeing the situation. So, as we did with our food habits.
God never made these rules for us. All he needs is true devotion and a pure heart. The Bhagavad Geeta does not directly talk about vegetarianism or non-vegetarianism, but it is the analyzer who analyzed the verses and presented it to the world. I do agree that Satvik food has its benefits but this doesn’t mean that eating non-vegetarian food is a sin. If there is no non-vegetarianism, then the balance of society will deteriorate. Then there will be many more animals, almost triple that are present today, than humans on this earth and the same case with the plants. There should be a balance in society. Nothing too much or too little is good for us and even not for other human beings.
If we take as much from the world as we want, then there is no harm in it. Being a non-vegetarian is equally important because we do not know what will happen in the future. It is very important to mould ourselves according to the situation because only then we will be able to survive on this planet. And as we are harming nature, if we look at it accordingly, then in the coming years, it is likely that people run after these things.
We can still teach humans to solely depend on fruits and plants, but what about animals? We cannot stop a lion hunting a deer, or a snake hunting a rat. Apart from this, plants are also living organisms and if we are thinking of saving animals then why not plants? Why we are discriminating at this point? We should look at them with the same perspective.
So, Therefore, being a non-vegetarian is probably your choice, or sometimes you have developed this habit due to the conditions around you. It is a habit, not a sin.
If you really want to impress God then there is no need to leave non-vegetarian food or to eat it. If your heart is clean, then even with your little efforts, God becomes happy. You just need to be like Kannapa, the devotee of Shiva, who was a hunter. Being a hunter, he did not know how to worship Lord Shiva. It is believed that he offered water from his mouth which he collected from the nearby river Swarnamukhi and pork (a pig’s flesh) to Shiva Lingam. Rather than disrespecting his offerings, Lord Shiva accepted his love wholeheartedly. This all happened due to Kannappa’s true devotion to Lord Shiva.
There are many such examples stated in our ancient books. All of these don’t define that you have to sacrifice all this in search of God. God is in everyone’s heart. We just need to know ourselves properly and for this, we only need to be a strong devotee and nothing else.