How to reserve a place in Hell- Veg-vs Non veg


Growing up in a middle class Hindu family, there was never a choice. For the first 18 years of my life three meals used to be strict vegetarian with occasional eggs.

The first day I landed in Engineering college I had Mutton Curry. I still remember that taste of  succulent pieces of Mutton on a some rich onion-tomato gravy. I don’t know whether it was animal protein or mutton masala gravy but I was instantly hooked. Since then there has been no turning back.

When I look back, I reckon that in the last 20 years of so  I must have eaten at least 200 chickens, 50-60 goats. That is a lot of stuff.  I almost feel guilty as I write this.

Growing up in Hindu Brahmin family you often hear that one should not take someone’s life to eat. Its a sin to kill and eat. But countless vegetables and fruits and grains that I consumed and how their lives were prematurely cut short never crosses my mind.

I feel this is conditioning. We are made to believe that its okay to pluck mangoes from the trees, or take milk from cow. But somehow to kill chicken to eat is your ride to hell.  And I believed it for a very large part of my life .

I recently came to know that one of the ancient Hindu Scriptures say- “Jivo jivasya jivanam” This is translated as one has to live by eating another living entity. Basically you can’t live if you were to eat for instance stones.

So in a way this whole distinction of vegetarian vs non-vegetarian is very artificial.The vegetarian is also eating another living entity. Why make all this fuss.

The key question that is yet to be resolved in mind is around which one is more healthy to consume. But even that question goes out of the window when I see a plate of “Mutton Stew”

I guess there is no choice to be made- I should just go with the flow.


6 thoughts on “How to reserve a place in Hell- Veg-vs Non veg

  1. We feel that there is a clearly a difference between a sentient, conscious being, and a non-sentient, non-conscious plant.

    1. I partly agree to what you said. Eating animal and animal is right on your face, there is no ambiguity but I feel plants are conscious too. We humans don’t know how to see or feel that. Every time I see a seed sprout I know how alive and conscious it is.

  2. The shloka you have quote is out of context, incomplete and is not applicable to human being who are gifted with thinking power and sensibilities.

    1. Dear Kailash, Thanks for your point of view. Would be great if you can complete the Shloka and provide the correct context.All of us can learn from that. However I strongly feel that both plant and animals have “pran” and this veg-non veg distinction is human constructed and not universal.

      1. Dear Nainwal – Apologies for coming out so rude and terse, perhaps trying to reply on blackberry was a not a good idea after all :-).
        I am just a novice in my understand of Geeta, but whatever i know so far points out the fact that, most of what is stated in this shloka is indeed law of nature where might is right and weak become the food for strong, but it is more meant for a natural life cycle in Animal kingdom. What differentiates a Human from Animal (both are Jeevas) is the ability to think and act and understand right from wrong. The full shloka as explained by Swami Prabupada can be found below. Regarding your “pran” argument in plants, most of the time (if not all), we dont completely kill the plant to get the food, but it is merely harvested in a manner where we can get enough for our survival, the plant goes on doing what it does as dictated by laws of nature i.e produce more fruits.

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