Thursday, 12 September 2013

Why should I sacrifice my delicious steak?

Although I have been a vegetarian for years, I used to strongly support the rights of meat eaters to freely enjoy their food without the guilt imposed by over-sensitive claims on the suffering of animals. But things have changed on this planet, and for this reason I am now compelled to convince others to stop this tragic addiction. It is not about the animals. It is about love and respect for our human form.     

Our species has dominated the planet and our population is increasing constantly. The increase in human population is beginning to pose dangers for the rest of the beings inhabiting the planet, but also for the earth itself. Since we lost our sense of unity, we believe that this is not our problem and that the battle for our survival is a solitary task. We use animals, the earth, but also our fellow humans, for our survival, and that, in most societies, is morally accepted. Yes, it is ok to imprison and kill animals for our food. We will not pay a fine for it or go to jail. Everyone does it!  
Is this enough for a conscious person? Do we really want to stop our evolution at this level?

Even if you decide not to go through the effort of becoming vegetarian, I invite you to take into consideration the following, whenever you prepare your meal:

1. The myth that without meat we will suffer deficiencies, has finally been disproved. Meat is a concentrated food taken from a being that used to be alive and has now been killed, so that we can take its energy. We take it into our body (and we also take its feelings, thoughts and qualities) so we can break it down to amino acids and restore our body proteins. In yoga the physical body is also called Manomaya – made of food. So we build up our body by breaking down the bodies of animals. But why not take the raw material we need, directly from plants (like cows do, they are mammals too) rather than break down that of others? Everything you require physically is contained in uncooked fruits and vegetables. The idea that plant protein is inferior to animals protein (that it does not contain all amino acids) has been disproved. The body can and knows how to produce what we need from uncooked fruits / vegetables / grains / legumes (sprouted).
Here is some recent research that has been done on the topic:
From the book “Left in the Dark” T. Wright & G. Gynn
The Prisoner of War Diet Is Better Raw
Prisoners of war in Japan during WW II were fed a scanty diet of brown rice, vegetables and fruit, totaling only 729–826 calories per 154 pounds of body weight. In 1950, Dr. Masanore Kuratsune, head of the Medical Department of the University of Kyushu in Japan, thought that this diet might be a remarkable way to validate previous studies comparing raw and cooked food. He and his wife decided to be the guinea pigs. Both followed the raw version of the same diet for three periods: 120 days in winter, 32 days in summer and 81 days in spring. Mrs. Kuratsune was breastfeeding a baby during this time. Both continued to do their usual work. Remarkably, they both continued to enjoy good health. Mrs. Kuratsune
even found that breastfeeding was less of a strain than before eating this raw diet.
Next, they both switched to the same prisoner diet in cooked form. They became as hungry and diseased as the prisoners of war. They quickly came down with edema, vitamin deficiencies and collapse. It became so bad that they were forced to stop the experiment.
This informal empirical study was recounted in a 1967 monograph written by Dr. Ralph Bircher-Benner of Zurich entitled Dr. Bircher-Benner’s Way to Positive Health and Vitality, 1867–1967.

2.  There are too many of us! The earth can no longer feed the animals we eat. The number of animals that die every year for their fur, entertainment and vivisection worldwide is the same number as the number of dead animals in the U.S. meat packing industry in a day! Over half of fresh drinkable water is used for farms! The number one polluter of our water is waste from farmed animals. The number one culprit of deforestation and the displacement of indigenous peoples is the meat industry!
On the other hand, the earth cannot produce huge amounts of the plants that we think can substitute the "completeness" of meat. The number two culprit of deforestation is the huge soy plantations grown for "vegetarians" who think they cannot survive without the high-quality soy protein. This is not true!
3. It is no longer possible for the animals to be fed and maintained properly due to the overwhelming demand for their meat and produce. Two generations ago, in Greece, people ate meat once a week. Now some people cannot feel full or satisfied if their every meal does not include meat. The cues at the supermarkets for meat and cheese are endless and some restaurants and airline flights do not offer vegetarian meals. This means that daily meat consumption is taken for granted by the majority. Which in turn means big money for meat dealers who are forced to then find new ways of increasing production in order to meet the increasing demand. So animals are squeezed into small spaces, eat poor quality food, receive antibiotics (for precautionary reasons!), and most importantly: live a miserable life, more like that of products than living organisms. Misery, fear, and dullness stay in their bodies and through consumption become transferred to our bodies. But beware: the huge demand for animal products (milk, dairy, etc.) has also increased because of "vegetarians" who think that if you also cut out dairy products, you will not receive the necessary nutrients. More recent studies show that meat is just a dietary choice rather than a necessity and in countries where meat and dairy is not a habit, osteoporosis is non-existent. We do not need meat, milk, yogurt and cheese. We neither need them nor can we afford to have them every day for ethical reasons - because of our excessive population.

4.   Another issue that may appear unrelated, is the huge need that rises - if  the majority eventually become vegetarians, to cultivate part of our food ourselves. If we have even a small space, we can plant some vegetables (eg lettuce) which will give us our daily salad instead of forcing the farmers to use pesticides to meet the needs of all people. We will analyze this in another note.

And a fifth point concerning my students in yoga:

5.   It is not possible to have a clean system (body / mind / spirit) while eating meat. Our work in yoga is to refine our system so that the mind has a chance to evolve. Our job is to first get rid of "body memory" and psychosomatic issues, which weigh down the system and do not allow us to see clearly. But how can we get rid of the useless impressions if we then assimilate impressions of other mammals and birds? The system gets confused and yoga is not able to operate to its full potential.

It is possible to practically experience the fact that we do not need this variety of food that is presented to us as “necessary”; neither do we need the quantities imposed on us. We only need them mentally-it is an illusion! A person with a moderate level of physical action, needs only one main meal per day and some fresh fruits and vegetables in between. The rest is for the "entertainment" of the mind.
Remember: eating less would not only help our health but will also contribute to reducing unnatural food production and garbage
“Love responsibility. Say: I, I alone can save the earth, and if it is not saved, I am to blame.”
 - Nikos Kazantzakis.

(check the post "How to become vegan" for a gradual change program from meat eater to vegan) 

Korina Kontaxaki– YogaLife Holistic Yoga Centre. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting comment from an Indian Guru named Shri Devbab (Shri Shakthidarshan Yogashram)who explains why they do not eat cows in India.

    Question: How cows are conducive to meditators?
    Answer: Cow is the most Satvic Animal among all Animals available on the earth. These are the animals which
    give perpetual peace and love. Cow is the only animal in the earth which draws the Soorya shakthi or vibrations from the sun and gives it to all the beings on the earth. Because of this special power of cow, it is always in Aananda & Gowshakthi and Aananda flows throughout its body. He who does gowseva
    automatically receives this Aananda and Gowshakthi. Like this if you serve the
    cows you will be in a position to absorb these vibrations eminated by them. It is learnt that the cow's body absorbs all the 33 crores vibrations coming from the universe. All these vibrations are complimentary as well as necessary for the well being of all the beings in the earth. For reaching the upper stages of meditation, these vibrations are also very powerful.


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