Anatomical and physiological studies point to the fact that civilised, evolved man is meant to be a vegetarian. The way our entire digestive system, including our teeth, stomach and intestines are structured prove that even nature meant us to be vegetarian.
A vegetarian diet includes grains, fruits and an abundant supply of vegetables that God has blessed the Earth with! There are some who claim that milk is an animal product and should not be included in a strictly vegetarian diet. But the fact remains that we do not kill a cow to obtain its milk.
Mahatma Gandhi and vegetarianism
Mahatma Gandhi who was an advocate of a vegan diet, excluded milk totally from his diet for about six years or so. Then in 1917, he fell ill, and in his own words, “was reduced to a skeleton”. The doctors warned him that he would not be able to build up enough strength, if milk and milk products were not included in his diet. However, he had made a vow that he would not take milk. A doctor then tactfully suggested to him that when he had made the vow, he could only have had in mind the milk of the cow and the buffalo— so the vow should not prevent him from taking goat’s milk! That was how Gandhiji began to take goat’s milk. He himself admitted, it seemed to bring him new life. He was soon able to leave his sickbed. On account of several similar experiences, he writes, “I have been forced to admit the necessity of adding milk to the strict vegetarian diet, however, I am convinced that in the vast vegetable kingdom there must be something, which, while supplying those necessary substances which we derive from milk, is free from its ethical drawbacks.” Now, nutrition experts feel that soya products can indeed provide such an alternative.
Millions of individuals the world over subsist entirely on a vegetarian diet; and they have remained in good health. In an interesting book which I read years ago, Dr. Edwin Flatto argues that those who eat meats are only eating grains and vegetables second hand. The animals which they eat receive their nutrition from vegetables and grains. These animals pass on the nutrition they have received to the meat-eaters. How much better it would be if they got this nutrition directly.
Another factor we must consider while evaluating the health aspects of non-vegetarian diet is the high amount of toxic wastes present in the flesh of a dead animal. Thus, when we eat the flesh of animals, we are not only consuming so-called ‘nutritive portions’, but also these poisonous waste-products. Is it any surprise then that countless health faddists and fitness freaks are switching over to a vegetarian diet every year? Give it a thought.
This was first published in the November 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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