Purified eating

Q. Why do you forbid eating meat, eggs and advocate vegetarianism? When killing animals and eating is bad why is killing plants/vegetables considered acceptable?

A. When we eat the vegetables and fruits or cereals most of the times we do not have to kill the plant rather we are just taking the produce. And it is nonsensical to equate fully sentient animals like cows with vegetables. Besides, we really have to eat plants, fruits, grains, and so on, because the “vitamins and minerals” found only in these vegetarian foods are essential to keep body and soul together. Certainly, plants are as alive as cows; modern experiments prove that plants have feelings, and the Bhagavada -Gita, the essence of all Vedic teachings, confirms that all life forms contain spirit souls qualitatively equal to one another. But still, we have to eat something, and the Vedas also say, jivo jivasya jivanam: one living entity is food for another in the struggle for existence. So from a humane standpoint, the problem in choosing a diet is not how to avoid killing altogether—an impossible proposal—but how to cause the least suffering while meeting the nutritional needs of the body. A well-balanced diet of fruits, grains, vegetables, and milk products meets these criteria, and this diet is recommended in such scriptures as the Bhagavad-Gita as most truly human. Unlike eating meat which actually involves the violent killing of the innocent animal just to satisfy our tongues, therefore it is considered sinful.

Whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian, in the Bhagavad-Gita (3.13) Krishna says that His devotees are freed from sin because they eat only the remnants of food that has been offered to Him. And, He says, those who cook for themselves eat only sin. At home, “offering food for sacrifice” usually means offering food to whatever deities one worships on one’s home altar. But “offering food for sacrifice” especially means offering food to Lord Krishna, since He is called Yajna (“sacrifice”). And Lord Krishna tells us how He will accept our offering: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.”

Therefore, in Krishna consciousness it is not our goal to be vegetarians. We want to make advancement in our desire to love, please and serve Krishna .