So we love yoga, and yoga is about wholeness, health, spirit, and with all that comes the opportunity to put your beliefs where your mouth is. We say we love all creatures of Mother Earth. Then it comes time to socialize around a meal, and this is where many turn a blind eye to Ahimsa—one of the principles of Yoga.
Ahimsa is one of the cardinal virtues of several of the world’s spiritual paths. Ahimsa is a multidimensional concept, inspired by the premise that all living beings have the spark of the divine spiritual energy; therefore, to hurt another being is to hurt oneself.
I am maneuvering around delicate ground here, I know. If this sounds preachy, I apologize. There may be no way around it, but let me try this— What I really want is to let you know that it is relatively easy to commit to a diet that does not include our fellow sentient beings. And once you do, you just learn how to let the snide comments or the misinformed concerned friends and family lectures roll off your back. With a little research and testing you can easily learn to make amazingly great food and get all the nutrition you need, completely from the plant world. Believe me, I’ve been doing it for six decades. It is not hard. It is just a matter of letting go of one habitual way of eating/cooking and learning a new one, and showing Ahimsa to yourself in the learning curve.
Let’s Talk Turkey—I am sure you know what I am about to say, unless you don’t let yourself go there. And if that is the case, feel free to skip this paragraph. At this time of the year, turkeys live their complete lives in cages. They are fattened up with hormones, as well as antibiotics because they are sick from living an unnatural life in cages. And this is what we as a nation are eating. How healthy can that be? Animals also secret uric acid and fear hormones when they are slaughtered. Where do we think this goes? Even if they are free-range, they are grown for one purpose only—to be slaughtered. In my mind, there is a correlation somewhere here about the way women over the world are treated, and the way we treat our animals. I am going to be frank with you–as a woman, it makes me sick to think about it.
If I have any readers left at this point, I am congratulating you for bravely walking through the valley that many will not go…where meat is not meat but animals who have their own lives, loves, families, heartbeats.
You may like to read this talk on Ahimsa by one of the great spiritual masters of all time, Swami Sachidanada, of Integral Yoga. It makes a lot of sense and is written with Ahimsa for all.
And if you are so inspired, some great vegetarian recipes.
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!