If you wonder about spiritual reasons to pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you only have to watch the documentary Food, Inc. The producers aim to inform and reform how animals are processed to provide food for modern humans, and you can’t watch this program and not feel spiritually moved. Do vegan and vegetarian lifestyles – plant-based eating – have an undeniable spiritual benefit?
Our presence here on Earth requires that we revere and respect all living things. Some believe animals were created, or evolved, to serve and sustain mankind, and no one can condemn a person or call them unenlightened because they consume animal products. Humans once hunted for survival. Animals were killed quickly, when necessary to family sustenance. Every part of the animal was used. The animal benefactor was respected, even revered – and sometimes worshiped. The gods, a creator or the Earth were thanked and the meat, furs and by-products reverently shared among neighbors.
However, we have devolved our ways of using animals into a cruel, torturous and indefensible big business. Every religion and spiritual philosophy through the ages has taught that we’re here to share the earth.
1. The Bible speaks of vegetarian eating in Daniel 1:3-16: “Daniel and his friends refuse to eat from the king’s table which has meat on it, but eat vegetables instead. After ten days they are found to be healthier than those who eat at the king’s table.”
2. Eastern-based Food for Life says: “Veganism is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle… to animals… to the ecological integrity of our environment, and to ourselves…”
3. The Torah, says JewishVeg.com, demands humane treatment of animals and reflects concern for the land and ecology. The Torah places grave importance on protecting human health.
As we grow spiritually, we may struggle to help bring peace to our planet. We may advocate for the well-being of our fellow creatures. We may recognize the holiness in all life. It’s pretty hard to see modern animal-based eating fitting in with this type of spiritual growth, isn’t it? We can’t grow and evolve if we refuse to nurture bodily health, decline compassion to animals, fail to safeguard the planet, ignore world hunger and turn our backs on peace and nonviolence. Can we balance spiritual growth with today’s big-business food production?
If you’re curious about modern spiritual benefits of vegetarianism and veganism, do some homework and determine your own truth. Consult the words of sages like Leonardo da Vinci, Confucius, Kafka, Einstein or Plato. Ask your medical practitioner or talk with a psychic advisor. Study how we obtain both plant and animal-based foods. Let go of excuses and, with an open mind and heart, look inside yourself and see where your own spiritual path leads.