Vegetarians always act “holier than thou,” while non-vegetarians always claim they are more robust and fit for the world, as they treat all species on the planet as part of their menu. Many philosophies have evolved based on the choice of food. But one must remember there is nothing religious, philosophical, spiritual or moral about the food we eat. It is only a question of whether the food is compatible with the kind of body we have.
This compatibility can be towards various ends. If you just want to grow like a bull, if being big is your highest aspiration, then certain types of foods have to be consumed. If you want a body that supports a high level of intelligence, or a body with a certain level of alertness, awareness and agility, other types of foods must be consumed.
If you want a body that is highly perceptive – if you are not someone who will settle just for health and pleasure, but want to download the cosmos – you will need to eat in a very different way. For every aspiration that a human being has, accordingly he will have to manage his food; or if your aspirations involve all these dimensions, you will have to find a suitable balance.
If it was just a question of basic survival, eat whatever you want. But once survival is taken care of and there is a choice about what to eat, it is very important that this choice is conscious – not simply led by the compulsion of the tongue but by the essential design of our bodies. If you listen to your body, your body will clearly tell you what kind of food it is happy with. But right now, you are listening to your mind. Your mind keeps lying to you all the time.
Hasn’t it lied to you before? Today it tells you “this is it!” Tomorrow it makes you feel like a fool for what you believed yesterday. So don’t go by your mind. You just have to learn to listen to your body. It takes a certain mindfulness and attention to do this. Once you have that, you know what to eat and what not to eat.
Veg or Non-Veg?
In terms of the quality of food entering you, vegetarian food is definitely far better for the system than non vegetarian. We are not looking at it from a moral standpoint. We are looking at what is suitable for the system and is comfortable for the body. When you eat food, you are taking another life – either plant or animal – and making it your life. Essentially, all life on the planet is coming from the earth. Whether it is a human being or an earthworm, it is the same soil. But if I eat a mango, the mango becomes a man in me. If a cow eats a mango, the same mango becomes a cow. This is happening because there is a certain information – or in modern terminology – a software in you that transforms what you eat into a man or a woman. Every life is happening the way it is happening because of a certain dimension of information.
The idea is to eat that kind of life, which is a very simple software. Then, your ability to override that software and make it entirely a part of you is very good. As that software gets more complex, your ability to integrate it goes down. Especially if it is a creature that has some sense of thought and emotion, it will not integrate, and that animal nature will start manifesting itself in you. In other words, we are incapable of complete integration of the more evolved, intelligent, and emotionally endowed creatures.
Experiment and see…
Try different foods and see how your body feels after eating the food. If it feels very agile, energetic and nice, that means the body is happy. If it feels lethargic and needs to be pumped up with caffeine or nicotine to stay awake, the body is not happy. Whether you want to conduct your business effectively or study well or do any activity properly, it is extremely important that your body is at ease. So, you should eat the kind of food your body would be most at ease with, and not struggle to get nourishment from.
Food is not a moral issue. It is a question of life sense. Every individual must arrive at one’s own balance of diet, not by taking vows, but by observation and awareness. It is important that you do not turn into a food freak. Food should never become an all-consuming affair. Every creature on the planet knows what to eat and what not to. What is your problem? Your problem is not enough attention but too much information.
Views expressed by the author are personal