Why a Vegetarian Diet?

“The lion is a great meat eater, and he is called the king of the jungle, but no animal can match the elephant, a complete vegetarian, for pure strength.” ~ Yogi Bhajan


Aside from the moral implications of eating meat (which are many), consider meat-eating strictly from a health point of view:

  • In contrast to carnivores like lions and tigers with a short digestive tract, it is difficult for humans, with a long digestive tract, to digest meat.
  • When an animal dies, its proteins coagulate within a few hours releasing various toxins. These toxins can initially be absorbed by the liver, but eventually even the liver can’t handle them and they pollute the body.
  • Meat, fish, and eggs produce acid. If meat is the main element in the diet it will lead to acidic blood. Acidic blood is an ideal environment for the development of cancer.
  • Meat is among the greatest sources of cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease.
  • Animals raised for meat are fed a variety of chemicals and hormones that are ingested by consuming most commercially produced meats.
  • Meat takes three days to pass through the human system. For optimum health, men need to digest food within 24 hours, women in 18 hours.


Sun Foods
Grow more than three feet above the ground.
Quick, lightening effect on the body and nervous system.
Examples: fruits, nuts, avocados, dates, coconuts.

Ground Foods
Grow within three above the ground.
High in nutrients, a great cleanser.
Examples: beans, rice, grains, green vegetables.

Earth Foods
Grow below the ground.
Healing properties, great energy from the earth.
Examples: potatoes, turnips, beets, garlic, ginger, onions.

Matter, including our bodies and our food, falls into three categories or qualities:*

Sattvic: Clarity and lightness.

  • Graceful, peaceful, disciplined, intuitive, sensitive.
  • Most fruit and vegetables, sun foods, and ground foods.

Rajasic: Forcefulness and will-power.

  • Active, positive, demanding.
  • Stimulating herbs and spices, many earth foods.

Tamasic: Functioning from need and instinct.

  • Impulsive, dull, angry, confused.
  • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, alcohol, intoxicating drugs.

You are what you eat. It’s a pretty simple equation. Choose which qualities you would like to have more of in your life and eat foods from that category. This choice of diet is a fundamental tool in leading a meditative and energetic life.

For those free to live a quiet, contemplative life, a sattvic diet is perfect. For those who wish to maintain a meditative mind but also must live and work in the world, a diet consisting of sattvic and some rajasic foods is best. For those who practice demanding disciplines, like Kundalini Yoga or marital arts, rajasic foods are necessary, along with sattvic foods. For all these lifestyles, tamasic food is best avoided.

** References

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