|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
2. Five Reasons to Be a VegetarianIn the past fifty years millions of meat-eaters have made the personal decision to stop eating the flesh of other creatures. There are five major motivations for such a decision.
The Dharmic/Scriptural Law Reason
Ahimsa, the law of noninjury, is the Hindu's first duty in fulfillment of his religious obligations to God and God's creation as defined by Vedic scripture.
The Karmic Consequences Reason
All of our actions including our choice of food have karmic consequences. By involving oneself in the cycle of inflicting injury, pain and death, even indirectly by eating other creatures, one must in the future experience in equal measure the suffering caused.
The Spiritual Consciousness Reason
Food is the source of the body's chemistry, and what we ingest affects our consciousness, emotions and experiential patterns. If one wants to live in higher consciousness, in peace and happiness and love for all creatures, then he cannot eat meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs. By ingesting the grosser chemistries of animal foods, one introduces into the body and mind anger, jealousy, fear, anxiety, suspicion and a terrible fear of death, all of which are locked into the flesh of butchered creatures. For these reasons, shakaharis live in higher consciousness and mansaharis abide in lower consciousness.
The Health Reason
Medical studies prove that a vegetarian diet is easier to digest, provides a wider range of nutrients and imposes fewer burdens and impurities on the body. Vegetarians are less susceptible to all the major diseases that afflict contemporary humanity, and thus live longer, healthier, more productive lives. They have fewer physical complaints, less frequent visits to the doctor, fewer dental problems and smaller medical bills. Their immune system is stronger, their bodies are purer, more refined and skin more beautiful.
The Ecological Reason
Planet earth is suffering. In large measure, the escalating loss of species, destruction of ancient rainforests to create pasture lands for livestock, loss of topsoils and the consequent increase of water impurities and air pollution have all been traced to the single fact of meat in the human diet. No single decision that we can make as individuals or as a race can have such a dramatic effect on the improvement of our planetary ecology as the decision to not eat meat. Many seeking to save the planet for future generations have made this decision for this reason and this reason alone.