Vegan or Vegetarian?


#1

What’s a real “Yoga Diet” to you guys? Vegan? Vegetarian? Everything in moderation? Ayurveda?

And if you care to share - why?


#2

I’m vegetarian. I find the idea of eating something raised for mass consumption repulsive. I also believe that if you’re going to eat meat you should raise/hunt it yourself, and as I find myself unable to do such emotionally I refrain from partaking in meat. I tend to eat a lot of rice, pasta, jams, nut products, eggs, and berries.

While I would love to be a vegan, I’ve had concern from doctors over my weight in the past and I think they would go ballistic if I were to drop dairy (not that it stopped me from becoming a vegetarian). However, in the future I plan on raising my own chickens for eggs and making milk from rice, with the occasional milk from sheep that I also plan on having (and I say occasional as milk would not be their purpose).


#3

None of the above. I eat what’s healthy for me. “Anything in moderation” doesn’t cover my view because many things in moderation are extremely unhealthy.[QUOTE=Mystic-Spiritus;77938]I’m vegetarian. I find the idea of eating something raised for mass consumption repulsive[/QUOTE]
Would you eat mass produced lettuce grown hydroponically?


#4

Thanks for your input, guys.

I am also vegetarian - which I choose not only because it’s the diet recommended in classic texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, but because that is what is healthy for me. I found Yoga in Rishikesh - where you HAVE to be vegetarian to live there because of city ordinance (you just can’t get meat) -and that’s what turned me. It really changed my relationship with food. I had stopped eating beef prior to that for health reason, but not other meat and fish. I felt so different in my body afterwards, and it wasn’t really a conscious choice after I left there. It simply became the way it was.

But now the blogosphere is busy with chatter that to honor ahimsa you have to be vegan. It’s the mark of “good” person and there’s no middle ground to dairy according to some modern teachers.

What about ahimsa when it comes to eating “what’s healthy for me?”


#5

The whole argument of ahimsa that some vegetarians and vegans make is misguided unless what they consume is local and organic and produced utilizing sustainable principles. If you’re eating food shipped long distances utilizing fossil fuels then the embodied energy of that food is high and every time you see a dying pelican covered in oil on TV or us bombing someone in the middle east, look in the mirror and practice satya.

Or what about the massive over use of ammonium nitrate fertilizer by vegetable farmers that leaches into our ground water and waterways. What about the use of pesticides and herbicides? What about what about what about.

I could go on all day long.

It’s quite simple. Unless it’s local, organic, and sustainable, it’s not ahimsa. And even then it’s not really ahimsa as the maintenance of homeostasis in nature is very violent. I purposely plant a variety of insect attracting plants in my garden so that beneficial insects come in and wage war against the bad ones. Just the other day I saw a horn worm covered in eggs from a predatory (beneficial) wasp. When those eggs hatch they will eat the worm from the inside out, avoiding the primary organs until the last minute so that their food source stays alive and fresh. I didn’t put that worm out of his soon to be extreme misery because I want more of those wasps around.

More power to vegetarians and vegans eating that way if that’s what is right for their body, mind, and spirit. But ditch the spiritual narcissism that accompanies it. Please note that’s not aimed at you Kathleen, I don’t get that vibe from you.

But now the blogosphere is busy with chatter that to honor ahimsa you have to be vegan. It’s the mark of “good” person and there’s no middle ground to dairy according to some modern teachers
They’re spiritual narcissists who are disconnected from the reality of our modern food supply. I’d destroy them in a debate. Oops, that’s violent. I would lovingly correct their misguided ways in a debate.


#6

Oh, my gosh, David! I love that answer!

Thanks for that.

Reminds me of Gandhi. He spent years eating only nuts and fruit because to him that was the only way to not violate ahimsa. I suppose it was mostly organic and local at that time, too. He wouldn’t eat root vegetables because that destroyed the plant. That’s a really limited diet - only local fruits and nuts!


#7

[QUOTE=David;77941]None of the above. I eat what’s healthy for me. “Anything in moderation” doesn’t cover my view because many things in moderation are extremely unhealthy.
Would you eat mass produced lettuce grown hydroponically?[/QUOTE]

I would prefer not to. I don’t know much about growing food hydroponically, but I prefer food to grown on a local, community scale and be distributed that way. Of course that cuts me off of a lot of great fruits and veggies that don’t grow around here, but I’m still working out how I see the issue. It’s not set in stone.

I have a friend that runs an organic community farm and during the summers I will trade volunteer hours working there for some of the harvest food. There’s also a local farmers market where I go to college.


#8

[QUOTE=Mystic-Spiritus;78026]I would prefer not to. I don’t know much about growing food hydroponically, but I prefer food to grown on a local, community scale and be distributed that way. Of course that cuts me off of a lot of great fruits and veggies that don’t grow around here, but I’m still working out how I see the issue. It’s not set in stone.[/QUOTE]
Good for you :slight_smile: Kudos.

The hydroponic question was a trap. Lettuce grown hydroponically invariably has extremely high nitrate levels and is unhealthy. Most “organic” lettuce we get in the stores these days is hydroponically grown.


#9

Also where can you find clothes made locally or the fabrics used for it? Its Quite hard to live this way in this time. The native people killed animals so that they could dress them selves. No one is perfect but what little effort we can contribute to will make a difference later on.


#10

[QUOTE=fakeyogis;78149]Also where can you find clothes made locally or the fabrics used for it? Its Quite hard to live this way in this time. The native people killed animals so that they could dress them selves. No one is perfect but what little effort we can contribute to will make a difference later on.[/QUOTE]

Most of my clothing is from Goodwill, Salvation Army, or hand me downs. I’m currently constructing a quilt with a close friend of mine made from clothing that was too worn to be donated or worn. Available fabric to make clothing and such is everywhere. Personally, I see it as better to reuse fabric and clothing than take resources to make new fabrics or clothing.

I don’t have one, but if one wished to make the fabric/cloth oneself there are looms available on ebay and amazon for $150-$400. I’m assuming it’s also possible to make a frame yourself for much cheaper. So no, not that hard to live this way. One just has to have it high on their priorities to lower their impact.


#11

Even if its second hand does not mean they were produced locally so someone had to suffer with minimum wage to produce in the first place. The biggest reason is that most companies pay minimum wage and wants maximum profit. Some say this is business but i think in general some more humanity could exist.

But i agree with you that you minimize the problem in one way. The other would be if no one bought new clothes many would be without food in those poor countries.

So stopping one problem could make another. There is always 2 sides of the coin.

Sharing the happiness with others is what really makes us happy and it is a stable solution.


#12

[QUOTE=fakeyogis;78169]Even if its second hand does not mean they were produced locally so someone had to suffer with minimum wage to produce in the first place. The biggest reason is that most companies pay minimum wage and wants maximum profit. Some say this is business but i think in general some more humanity could exist.

But i agree with you that you minimize the problem in one way. The other would be if no one bought new clothes many would be without food in those poor countries.

So stopping one problem could make another. There is always 2 sides of the coin.

Sharing the happiness with others is what really makes us happy and it is a stable solution.[/QUOTE]

It’s not more sustainable to make new clothes locally than it is to use clothes that have already been made and would go to waste otherwise.

If no one bought new clothing imported from countries where the industry paid minimum wage then the population would be adjusted until it reached a different carrying capacity where the majority of people would not required to work minimum wage in the textile industry to eat. I would prefer myself if the money that went into can drives and such were actually spent on finding ways for people to learn to be self-sufficient rather than relying on corporation to earn what little cash these corporations allow them to make. Local agriculture and foraging methods, for example. Or perhaps training locals in areas that foster what are viewed to be “exotic” animals to protect them (paid work) so that there is initiative to protect and earn a living rather than poach?

As you said, there are two sides to a problem, and even my suggested solutions have their faults. Agriculture can be a huge drawback ecologically. In the past people who have “protected” native species have secretly killed and sold them. Getting rid of the cheap overseas clothing industries would have a negative impact on several country’s economies. However, the US only has such a high demand for clothing because of our consumerism. If we were never so focused on buying mass amounts of clothing, these poorly-paid, unsafe jobs would not exist in this quantity to begin with.

edit:
I would also like to add that I’m not claiming to be perfectly sustainable, in case this comes off as elitist. I have a computer, a phone, and with my living situation currently I can’t afford to grow my own food for the entire year. Where I can, with my computer as such, I buy as green as possible, though even ‘green’ is subject to misuse. I just try to cut back as much as possible, where and when possible.


#13

As i said even what little effort we contribute to will make a huge different.

IF everyone just made a little change the outcome would be huge and it is difficult to be perfect. We all are imperfect.


#14

I eat shi chinmoy’ s diet


#15

When it comes to other forms of exercise and fitness (especially bodybuilding and virtually any form of ?competitive sports?) it is so common to hear people say, ?I?m an athlete and I work out so I have to eat lots of protein and I could never become a vegan or a vegetarian… But I have never heard anyone say, ?I do yoga so I have to eat meat to get enough protein.?

I got into yoga and became a vegan around the same time and looking back I don?t actually remember which one I got into first, but I do think that they natually attract one another, or at the very least go very well together. Sure, not everyone who does yoga is a vegetarian or a vegan, but I don?t think that you will find many people who have been doing yoga on a regular basis for years who still eats Big Macs and hot dogs and if they don?t give up meat completely they probably eat far less of it than the average person. I think that when a person does yoga they are VERY likely to find themselves gravitating towards more of a plant based diet.


#16

Hi, I’m new here. Haven’t introduced myself yet but this topic caught my eye. The argument from ahimsa is something I’ve been thinking about alot lately. My take on ahimsa is multifaceted. The concept has a few layers to me. One of them is not that unlike the sin nature in Christianity, and this applies to all the aspects of yama not just ahimsa: you can’t do it. Unless you are totally “in” the true self it can’t be done with 100% effectiveness. If you could, you wouldn’t need yoga at all. Only people who still have egos to work on need yoga, hence why we are all here. But the benefits of yama as are the benefits of all the limbs are that they are rungs that get you to that place. The more you do, as you do, the more you gain from it and the more the world gains. You can’t live a life where you cause no suffering to anything. What is life? Does it need to be conscious for “nonharming” to apply? Is a fruit therefore more moral than a root vegetable like a potato because you don’t have to kill the plant to eat it? What about the organisms living inside you? What about a virus?

You have two options. Say these things don’t count, or aknoladge that your ahimsa can’t be perfect…But it can be better. And being better at it does improve you. Many text describe an aura of peacefulness that comes from ahimsa that has an almost super natural (if not literally super natural) effect on others and the world around them. Ahimsa is just one rung. You can’t do it perfect - but you can do it well and reduce suffering. So anything you do that reduces suffering is a good step to take when you can take it. So to me, the ahimsa argument for not consuming meat holds up even if it is not an end all. This is coming from a very recent meat eater by the way. But this is only my take on it.

Another issue I’ve been writing about personally is that a major aspect of ahimsa seems to include not harming yourself. Something that is bad for you would itself neglect ahimsa and this may apply to diet in many ways.


#17

[QUOTE=Richard1986;85534]Hi, I’m new here. Haven’t introduced myself yet but this topic caught my eye. The argument from ahimsa is something I’ve been thinking about alot lately. My take on ahimsa is multifaceted. The concept has a few layers to me. One of them is not that unlike the sin nature in Christianity, and this applies to all the aspects of yama not just ahimsa: you can’t do it. Unless you are totally “in” the true self it can’t be done with 100% effectiveness. If you could, you wouldn’t need yoga at all. Only people who still have egos to work on need yoga, hence why we are all here. But the benefits of yama as are the benefits of all the limbs are that they are rungs that get you to that place. The more you do, as you do, the more you gain from it and the more the world gains. You can’t live a life where you cause no suffering to anything. What is life? Does it need to be conscious for “nonharming” to apply? Is a fruit therefore more moral than a root vegetable like a potato because you don’t have to kill the plant to eat it? What about the organisms living inside you? What about a virus?[/QUOTE]

The entire planet is a war zone of death and dying including your very body, life feeding on life, it?s impossible to exist without causing irreparable harm, everything and nothing you perceive is absolute perfection else it would not happen, the only chaos in the world are the illusions your mind creates, what?s normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

[QUOTE=Richard1986;85534]You have two options. Say these things don’t count, or aknoladge that your ahimsa can’t be perfect…But it can be better. And being better at it does improve you. Many text describe an aura of peacefulness that comes from ahimsa that has an almost super natural (if not literally super natural) effect on others and the world around them. Ahimsa is just one rung. You can’t do it perfect - but you can do it well and reduce suffering. So anything you do that reduces suffering is a good step to take when you can take it. So to me, the ahimsa argument for not consuming meat holds up even if it is not an end all. This is coming from a very recent meat eater by the way. But this is only my take on it.

Another issue I’ve been writing about personally is that a major aspect of ahimsa seems to include not harming yourself. Something that is bad for you would itself neglect ahimsa and this may apply to diet in many ways.[/QUOTE]

Are there really options, are you anything but perfect; if you feel compelled to do something by all means get out of the way and do it. Misidentify yourself to be the food body and suffering is inevitable, calamity creating more calamities, cause and effect. My responses do not hit home with most; realize they are simply attempts of spontaneity in this dance of consciousness, nothing personal is happening here.

[I]?That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love yourself absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self- knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.? ~Nisargadatta[/I]


#18

I understand you. It sounds tantric left hand a bit which isn’t something I’ve tackled, but I understand. By no means do I think abstaining from meat is the end all - I just think it could be a useful signpost on the journey. But this too is something I’m debating about, really all my thoughts on ahimsa boil down to this question: Is ahimsa non-harming or the intent to do no harm?

What do you think of that question, given your insight on spontaneity (which is another topic I’m only starting to wrap my head around)?


#19

Fundamentally; ?don?t hurt? ?non-violence? do not add to suffering.


#20

Vegetarian all the way baby!