There is a significant portion of the world’s population who subscribes to vegetarianism in various forms, and for a variety of reasons. Chief among the reasons, in my experience working with vegetarians from around the world, is their desire not to be cruel to animals.
Although this is an admirable motive, there is much more to the issue of vegetarianism, and what does and does not constitute cruelty.
Many people become vegetarian for religious reasons, such as Rastafarians, Seventh Day Adventists (Christian), some sects of Buddhism, various branches of Hinduism, the Self-Realization Fellowship of Paramahansa Yogananda and a large percentage of those following the teachings of Rudolph Steiner, to name a few. Many new age gurus, such as Tony Robbins heavily sell and encourage vegetarianism as well.
Unfortunately, most religiously motivated vegetarianism is based on the practice of dogma. Often, there is no consistent agreement within the leadership or followers of most of these faiths for these philosophies.
I have seen no case of vegetarianism in my life in which the individual was adequately informed of the conflict within their own religious beliefs on this issue.
For example, many Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama is a vegetarian, but he is not. Nor have I met a vegetarian (in person) who understood or was consciously awareness of the fact that the plants they were eating are often carnivorous and always sentient.
I have no bias whatsoever against vegetarianism, and have lived as a vegetarian at two different periods in my life for different reasons. I felt it was my duty to explore this issue personally so I would have visceral knowledge of the practice.
I do feel, through spiritual growth, it is possible for people to alter their biological needs and make a healthy, natural transition into vegetarianism. However, from extensive clinical experience, I know making that transition before it is natural invites a wide variety of body-mind health challenges.
Those who stick to any “ism” at the expense of their own health and well-being are, by definition, acting violently in relationship to the animal aspects of the human body-soul construct we typically refer to as our “self.”
This sad fact means that they are willing to protect some animals, but not the animal aspect of their humanity. This has always concerned me.
For those of you who are interested in investigating this important, often highly charged topic further, I thought my recent response to a question on my YouTube channel and the resources I shared there could be very enlightening, and helpful to CHEK Professionals working with people who aren’t able to balance their physiology or psychology through vegetarianism.
Question: I have watched you for a long time now. Can you please comment on how can you justify eating other living beings? You say here that by saying thanks and inviting the food in yourself you have not killed the chicken, because it will live on within you. Isn’t this just a denial? I am not the person who will now hate on everything you say and do, but I just wanted to see your thoughts, because to me and many others breeding animals just for food and whatever the quality of their lives before slaughter is like going out on a date, the best date, having all your expectations met and even more just to realize that at the end of the day you will be killed and the person who cared about you will eat you and go out with another tomorrow.
My answer: Hello.
These are the kind of issues I teach my students to understand in my Holistic Lifestyle Coach programs because there is a lot of ignorance about essential facts of nature and religious biases, as well as spiritual misunderstandings behind things like vegetarianism.
I have had to rehabilitate so many sick vegetarians (who tout the health benefits of their philosophy!!) that years ago, I wrote a two-part article series, titled Vegetarianism Inside-Out, in which I address both the religious issues, and physiological/biological issues of vegetarianism. I can’t write a 5,000-word answer, which is really needed for most people with your concerns so they actually understand the facts. You can read the articles at this link.
In brief, I’ll share some things that may help you understand this issue more holistically:
1. Life cannot exist without “eating life.” That is a fact of nature, and we are all created within the confines and context of the laws of nature.
A small, and very rare exception are the handful of highly spiritually evolved people who have evolved to be able to sustain themselves on breathing alone.
If you are not familiar with Pueblo holy man Joseph Rael, his teachings are AWESOME, and he is one of the few people you can still talk to (though he’s very old now) who did achieve that level of development.
He did the Pueblo Sun Dance many times. It occurs once every four years and is a very sacred ceremony. The Sun Dancers have to be very evolved to do it because they must dance non-stop for four days WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER!
There is a very beautiful DVD set of his Native American teachings you can find on Amazon.com, as well as many of his very good books. In his videos, he explains a lot about true spirituality and spiritual development.
Even though he reached a level in which he didn’t need food any longer, he chose to keep eating because of the enjoyment of eating, and the important social bonding created by eating.
2. If you study The Secret Life Of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, you will find hard evidence that “plants are alive, are conscious, and much more!” If you study the works of Rudolph Steiner, he explains that plants do feel pain and are sentient beings. If you study The Secret Life Of Nature by Peter Tompkins, you will learn how the spiritual world works, and get a good summary of some of Steiner’s teachings.
3. Most of the research presented in The Secret Life Of Plants is based on the research of Cleve Backster, whom I knew and studied with when he was alive. His book, titled Primary Perception: Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods, and Human Cells, gives a synthesis of his profound research.
4. The Secret Life Of Your Cells by Robert B. Stone will take you deeper into understanding the interconnections of the web of life.
5. There is a MOUNTAIN of soil science research showing that 85 percent of all plants are mycorrhiza formers, which means they share a symbiotic relationship with the fungi in the soil. The research shows — I hope you are ready for this — that the fungi capture and kill parasites, eat them and feed them to the plants! (Remember, parasites are animals in the kingdom of nature.) Therefore, hard science shows very clearly that most plants are carnivorous!
Additionally, there are something like 140 species of carnivorous plants, like the Venus Fly Catcher, that eat flesh foods directly.
6. God eats God! If you understand the world “God” to mean the Absolute, described regularly with the prefix “omni,” which means ALL, then one must realize there can be no existence “outside of God.” This ultimately means that God can only eat God. This is the basis of the ancient teachings, and symbol of the Ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail.
7. Finally, in my offering to you and all who read this is the fundamental truth and understanding that each human being’s dietary needs are based on their genetic needs, which are a product of the region on the planet they emerged and are emerging.
If either of your parents’ gene lines emerges from a region where the ground froze in the winter, they would’ve survived by eating animals. All such people are very unlikely to be able to maintain a healthy, vital body if they don’t eat flesh foods.
Their biochemistry can’t be maintained without flesh sources of key hormone building blocks, and they can’t effectively digest and extract them from plant sources either.
If you haven’t studied Weston A. Price’s book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, it is a very well documented expose of these issues. In his book, Price shares his quest to find a healthy vegetarian tribe somewhere in the world, and what he found in his investigations.
The whole point of vegetarianism is to be fair and friendly to nature and supposedly each other, but that is frequently not the case. There are many instances of violence among them and toward others with different views. I’ve personally been abusively attacked by many of them for sharing my teachings. They often see themselves as “protectors of nature.”
Well, I have a very important question for all vegetarians who can’t maintain optimal health while living their dogma: How can you contribute to the world or protect nature if you are always run down, have burned out adrenals, hormonal imbalances, and all that goes with it, including being sick far more often, than when eating correctly for one’s individual needs?
If you are “harming a human to protect a cow,” you are enacting violence against yourself, and we must remember, cows, sheep, pigs and chickens DON’T VOTE.
The whole point of caring for yourself and caring for plants and animals is to have a spiritual relationship with them, which includes raising them humanely. I have direct knowledge of this as I was raised on a working farm. Honoring their lives through sacrifice to conscious humans makes the world a better place for all living beings.
If you study shamanism and native tribal life around the world, you will find numerous accounts of how the shaman would communicate with the over-soul of the animal, be it the deer or buffalo, and ask for support to sustain their tribe.
The over-soul of the animal would show them where to hunt. They would just wait and, almost always, that animal would simply “show up” and they would kill it and eat it with conscious awareness of what their offering of reciprocity was to the animal species that supported them.
We are at a time now, when we all must educate and care for ourselves so we have the energy and consciousness to stand up for ourselves and the planet, or the large corporate interests will destroy the planet, and all of us with it! Watch Noam Chomsky’s documentary Requiem For The American Dream and that will make this issue very clear to you, and all others.
I hope you enjoy looking deeply into these issues for yourself and coming up with your own conclusions. I have given you enough resources to be well informed and make your own intelligent decisions, which is exactly what I do with all of my students.
Through regular commitment to the kinds of spiritual practices I teach, you can grow your consciousness to the point that you can ask these questions of the earth, sun, galaxy, universe, your soul, or God directly, so you don’t need to rely on the opinions of others.
Love and chi,