The Flaming Vegan

A Vegan and Vegetarian Blogging Extravaganza

Hinduism, Vegetarianism and Veganism
Facebook Tweet Google+ Pinterest Email More Sharing Options

Hinduism, Vegetarianism and Veganism

Being born in a Hindu family, some things always confused me. As children, we were always taught that there is one God but I never understood why there are so many religions. If it is fine for Muslims and Christians to consume meat on their festivals, why is it such a taboo for Hindus? I have seen many kitchens that have different knives for cooking our food and cooking God's food. Why can't we offer God what we eat and if it is not good enough, why do we eat it in the first place? And what about the fact that God is inside each one of us? If we can't offer meat to the idol, how can we offer it to ourselves?

A few years ago, I adopted vegetarianism and there was enough room for that in my religion. It is absolutely fine for a Hindu to be vegetarian, no conflicts in any of the rituals. But what about veganism? If I choose to go one step ahead, can I still follow the same religious practices? One of the most common ingredients in any kind of worship during festivals is cow ghee. It is considered to be pure and a must to burn the lamps while praying.

We often use cow milk and cow dung cakes in different rituals. Milk is considered to be very pure and also allowed in fasts where onion and garlic are not recommended. I am in attempts to understand these things better before I can make a decision. The traditions are very old and I need to know what is valid today and what isn't. A question to all you vegans and vegetarians here..what do you think of using cow dung and gomutra (cow urine)? They are used as disinfectants and also have innumerable scientifically proven medicinal properties and other benefits. And they are collected after the cow has helped itself, so it doesn't affect them negatively.

Hoping to get some interesting views on this....

Loved this post? To keep yourself updated with my latest posts follow me here.

Don't forget to vote for me and leave a comment. I love starting conversations!

Healthy Snacks Delivered Monthly

Leave a Comment

  1. Veganara
    Veganara
    Vote no 3. Very interesting article Akanksha. I haven't been to India (yet! But I hope to visit in the future) but I gather that it is different being a vegetarian there to here in the Western world; I think you pointed out in a former article that cows are revered and treated well in India, so to use their products, like milk, isn't exploiting them cruelly. Whereas here in the UK and other Western countries, the dairy industry, is, as the name suggests, a huge, completely commercial, cut-throat industry, which treats the animals as machines, and causes them huge suffering (and kills them in the end anyway, when they are too old to produce milk any more). So in all conscience I had to make the step from vegetarianism to veganism, and give up dairy. Although I do not now follow any organised religjon, I still have spiritual beliefs, and I always feel that the heart of any true religion would be compassion for all living creatures, and not taking life if you do not absolutely have to. So any religion that endorses killing has, in my view, moved away from its core principles.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      You are absolutely right Maggie. I need to find out more about these things before I decide to go vegan. Though I have cut down milk consumption, I don't mind a spoon of butter or cream ocassionally.
      Log in to reply.
      1. SnakeWitch
        It depends why you're going vegan. We all have different reasons for it. In your case, you were talking about how you felt different after a vegan meal than with animal products. So, really, if this is why, a spoonful every now and then won't harm you physically. If you wish to extend your religious belief beyond the religion you grew up with, you could eventually break away from the traditions that require non-vegan products and replace them with another spritiual ritual of your choosing. I chose a different religion than the one I was brought up with - I was catholic and now am pagan - and neither directly support veganism. Paganism just doesn' t say anything more than to learn to live with nature, which could mean veganism if we wish to interpret it that way. Anyhow, going vegan, in my opinion, would not make you a bad hindu practitioner. You would just need to adapt yourself a bit and see how you could replace some things with others. It's up to you.
        Log in to reply.
  2. dianabart
    dianabart
    Haha.. You know I love you girl and all your love and wisdom you poor into your writings, however, I would probably never eat anything made with or drink cows urine, however I do realize and believe that urine it'self has many scientifically proven medicinal properties and other benefits, as you have stated. Dr. Morris Keller (a doctor and holistic health coach from Belize) drinks his own urine as a part of his own health regimen. He healed himself of pancreatic and colon cancer all naturally through holistic heal practices. If we had to survive off of just water and our own urine for some time we actually could. -Strange but true fact! I don't drink milk from an animal simply because I am a human and weened. ;) Plus I don't like how the animals are mistreated in America for milk, and organic raw milk does not interest me either, like I said I am weened. I simply enjoy and prefer to drink milk from the land.. almonds, rice, coconut, hemp etc. YUM! I also do know and believe that milk also has healing proponents ...and it is the morphine for comfort and bonding and Human alpha-lactalbumin in humans and Bovine- alpha lactalbumin in animals. These are the healing purposes that we should be getting as a human or an animal in our infant years because it is our building foundation of our future health. The first three days of a babies life (animal or human) is the most critical to the rest of the infants life and is when the mother produces colostrum - which builds the immune system and growth factors that help us fight off disease and heal damaged body tissue. Colostrum is the only natural source of these life-giving components. Research has shown that colostrum not only supports immune function, but can help enhance fat utilization for fuel and optimize cellular reproduction. As usual I love your post, and you have my vote! :)
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks for the appreciation..you always motivate me Diana to 'poor' more into my writings :) I am planning another post about it, backed with some good research..
      Log in to reply.
      1. dianabart
        dianabart
        haha.. just noticed that.. I meant "Pour" not "Poor" your post are anything but "poor" they are Rich with life, compassion, LOVE and desire to do better & be better. You are awesome! can't wait to read more! :)
        Log in to reply.
  3. parneesha211
    thought provoking article akanksha..vote#6!
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks Parneesha211
      Log in to reply.
  4. kristo
    kristo
    voted! I actually fell into some cow dung the other day and I could have done without it... not because I'm a vegetarian, but because it is poo.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Lolz...well falling into it is one thing and burning a product made from it is different. We don't eat and drink the excretions but there are so many other uses to it..your comment actually inspired me to write more about it. Thanks for reading and commenting..
      Log in to reply.
  5. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Know what.........in my childhood, a BIG question that alwayz used to bother my little mind was why can't we offer God the stuff we've tasted already?? Shall we not give Him the best or the perfect?? Well....as per me....anything that is derived from animals without harming them is ok to be used for meaningful purposes.....may b that's one reason I still could not be turned a vegan! nice post anywayz....voted #9! :)
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Lots of questions...It is good to have a confused mind :) It is said that only Arjun got the Geeta because only he was confused! Thanks for reading..
      Log in to reply.
    2. SnakeWitch
      I accept using wool, as long as it is totally ethical. I know a lot of vegans would be screaming at me for this, but cutting their wool is like cutting our own hair. Who cares, it grows right back!!! And I'm sure some of them are happy about it when it's too warm outside!!!
      Log in to reply.
  6. riteshsahu1981
    riteshsahu1981
    nice article Voted #9
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Thanks Ritesh! I didn't know you read my posts :)
      Log in to reply.
      1. riteshsahu1981
        riteshsahu1981
        Believe me I have read your post :)
        Log in to reply.
  7. Skip Stein
    Skip Stein
    Hi Akanksha and all. I don't often have time to read all the posts on this site, but pick/choose from my daily email which ones spark my interest; this one did. I applaud your question(s) as it shows you are thinking! I have always been interested in various religious belief systems and find them fascinating. Personally I would guess you could call me an Agnostic <smile!> I have great respect for religions as they hold the foundations of our human morality and are the basis of civilization. Religions are the formal rules and regulations of an organized society and must be viewed (IMHO) in conjunction with the environment from which they were spawned. When it comes to food and religion there are vast cultural/social/environmental variables that contribute to the many rules regarding the consumption (and offerings to the gods) of this necessity of life. In addition, the medicinal properties of many 'foods' are also rooted in the cultural/historical/environmental roots of the religion. The medicinal and health properties of our food vary around our little Planet based on the historical availability and environment from which they developed as humans developed over the past eons. None of this was a stand alone function but a human/animal/plant/environment evolutionary system that co-developed with inter-dependencies. Food and it's benefits evolved with humans, much on a trial and error basis. Try it and survive or die was one way to determine whether a plant was healthy or not. Our taste buds provide the first indication but oftentimes things that don't taste so good, when taken in moderation have marvelous health benefits. How this developed over the eons is anyone's guess and there have been many novels and books describing how this might have happened (read the Jean Auel's 'Clan of the Cave Bear' and her Earth's Children's series!). No matter how, various civilizations have developed various and intriguing concoctions that seem to provide extraordinary health benefits in appropriate dosages (again determined by trial/error?). Now we have the Internet with the capabilities that we see in this forum and others that allow US as humans to communicate and exchange ideas, retrieve information and post questions like this one to which many will respond. It is a wondrous communication tool that has the potential to truly unite our Planet in a common bond of mutual benefit to humanity and possibly hold the last best hope for human survival! Each of US must strive to keep the Internet Free and Open! But back to the original question of food and religious beliefs. Given the historical basis and environmental availability of select foods and animals, every region has a diverse and overlapping mixture to offer others while they continue to consume, as they have for centuries, the ethnic and cultural dietary bounty that the Planet has to offer. It is a truly amazing mix of variety and complexity. Now sharable amongst the Planetary population we have the opportunity to share and exchange and mold a new direction for Planetary health and wellness. While respecting historical religious basis for certain use of food/medicinal combinations I think we must view the gestalt of the Planetary supply of nutrients and develop those which best suit and benefit humanity. It is truly unfortunate that the greed and seekers of power have corrupted so many of our traditional food sources. Multi-national corporations have developed genetically modified plant and animal organisms and used national governments and their rules/regulations/enforcement agencies to promote and distribute some most detrimental environmental toxins to our Planetary populations. Mono-farming techniques, developed to maximize output, have created a self-limiting restriction on plant/animal diversity. We have and are loosing thousands of plant and animal species to this centralized controlled approach to food production and processing. We have lost thousands of independent and diverse farm operations to the massive takeover by multi-national corporations who seek to control and profit from the control and restrictive supply of the Planetary food chain. From the unnatural genetic modifications, that hold a potentially disastrous planetary impact of uncontrollable propagation, to the abuse of animals, forced feeding, chemical additives/injections and other biologicals that are unnatural, to a host of other alterations to the naturally evolved Planetary foods we now face a potential Planetary disaster. A combination of adulterated and unhealthy food sources (for humans and animals) combined with private corporate control over our Planetary food sources (seed patents and control of seed supplies) we face a world domination of a few major multi-national corporate controllers that supersede even the regional/local governments that our civilization relays upon for organization and the common good. In the end, left unchecked, we as a population will loose much of our diversity and freedom to express our individual and religious beliefs founded in our very cultural nutrition as developed over the centuries. This lack of freedom of food consumption with potential control by a few of our food sources can only lead to power and corruption of the few over the many. This was not how we or our Planet evolved but is an artificial paradigm that may be the cause of our ultimate destruction. In order to continue to develop and share our abundance we must resist this global take-over of our food supplies that restriction of our diversity. Continuing to practice but more importantly to SHARE our wonderful, tasty, nutritious and medicinal foods is necessary for us the Thrive! (The Thrive Movement at: http://www.thrivemovement.com/). We all must do our best to promote the diversity and Planetary benefits that our food supply and historical/religious practices offer, that are the foundation of our Planetary civilizations. The ultimate sharing and merging of our knowledge and resources can only benefit humanity. While not forcing or intimidating others to follow the tenants of a specific religion we can all benefit from the information stored in the vast variety of cultural/religious belief systems as they are the foundation of our societies and will ultimately be the source of our very humanity and whether we just survive or Thrive! Blessings, Skip Stein
    Log in to reply.
    1. Veganara
      Veganara
      Wow Skip, that comment is an article in itself! Why don't you ever write blogs for this site? Your views are very interesting, I agree with much of what you say.
      Log in to reply.
      1. Skip Stein
        Skip Stein
        To be honest, I have my plate pretty full. I write for a variety of sites, many of them my own <smile>! I was pretty busy with the USA elections until recently so will be devoting more time back to Health & Wellness. Sometimes I will see an article or comment that just spurs my juices, so to speak and it just comes out <grin>! I have never really been able to schedule anything so a regular blog has never worked for me. I post mostly on Google+ in the streams. For something like I generated today, I will probably make some adjustments and post it in the comments/blog on one or more of my sites. Then I reference it with Scoop It or other posting mechanisms. If you have some specific areas you would like me to comment on, I'd be happy to put it in the old hopper and see what spews forth! Sometimes I surprise myself!! One of these days (New Year's Resolution?) I plan to actually write a novel or something. Always have wanted to but have difficulty figuring out just how to go about it. I am fine with short pieces but stringing together a real story may be more than I can handle. Never know until I try. After the Holidays maybe I can focus on that. Thanks for your comments. Sometimes, it is difficult to 'walk the line' and not offend someone's belief systems. I am definitely not shy about it but don't want to offend unless it is a matter of importance or I see someone going off in a wrong direction. Cheers, Skip Stein
        Log in to reply.
  8. Fifi Leigh
    Fifi Leigh
    i think eating vegetarian or vegan is a personal experience in one's lifestyle. it has nothing to do with religion. all religions have people who eat either vegetarian or vegan food. religion is more of a cultural experience, where people associate with others of similar characteristics in a particular society, whether race, sociological characteristics, personality, lifestyle, etc. i got into vegetarian and vegan food because i never cared for meat to begin with as well as i always liked animals, anyway. i have heard of hindus drinking cow urine as well as other stuff for health person. i think it is just cultural for that spiritual religion.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Yes, I have heard of that too, though never seen it happen. Cow urine and dung are proven to be good disinfectants with many other medicinal uses as well. I guess it is harmless to collect cow urine and cow dung as long as cows are allowed to pass them naturally. I have seen it happen in India and cows are treated really well in some places. Burning of cow dung cakes is also considered good for the atmosphere and known to have positive effect on the mind. I have noticed that myself but don't have the scientific explanation with me right now. I am looking and will share as soon as I know better.
      Log in to reply.
  9. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    #16. I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to vote earlier because I'm working disaster relief. You write good blogs. This one peaked my interest. In the end, the decision is yours to go from vegetarian to veganism. In Arizona, in the US, the Indian culture has tribes. In the community, the members are removed when they don't follow the rules of the tribe. Most feel dishonored or disowned when they are kicked out of the tribe. The tribe is runned by Hindu beliefs, food preparation included. Inside the tribes, they operate the cast system. Now I am wondering in India,if any of this type of thing would put a barrier up for you to cross going from vegetarian to vegan? Hopefully not.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Akanksha
      Akanksha
      Hinduism is most misunderstood even by its followers. From what I know most other religions in the world have a process of getting in and getting out (eg sacrament) except Hinduism. We are born into it, so we cannot be kicked out. The cultural differences in tribes is due to the regional influences and India is a very diverse country. Caste system is only a disorientation based on incorrect and incomplete information. The basic teaching of Hinduism as far as I know it, is taking everyone along together. It does not discriminate between people. Anyways, I guess that is the crux of every religion. I have very limited knowledge right now but I will surely find out more and share!
      Log in to reply.

Explore

Connect with The Flaming Vegan

Sign Up to Vote!

10 second sign-up with Facebook or Google

Already a member? Log in to vote.