Spiritual Benefits of Vegetarianism and Veganism

If you wonder about spiritual reasons to pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you only have to watch the documentary Food, Inc. The producers aim to inform and reform how animals are processed to provide food for modern humans, and you can’t watch this program and not feel spiritually moved. Do vegan and vegetarian lifestyles – plant-based eating – have an undeniable spiritual benefit?

Our presence here on Earth requires that we revere and respect all living things. Some believe animals were created, or evolved, to serve and sustain mankind, and no one can condemn a person or call them unenlightened because they consume animal products. Humans once hunted for survival. Animals were killed quickly, when necessary to family sustenance. Every part of the animal was used. The animal benefactor was respected, even revered – and sometimes worshiped. The gods, a creator or the Earth were thanked and the meat, furs and by-products reverently shared among neighbors.

However, we have devolved our ways of using animals into a cruel, torturous and indefensible big business. Every religion and spiritual philosophy through the ages has taught that we’re here to share the earth.

1. The Bible speaks of vegetarian eating in Daniel 1:3-16: “Daniel and his friends refuse to eat from the king’s table which has meat on it, but eat vegetables instead. After ten days they are found to be healthier than those who eat at the king’s table.”

2. Eastern-based Food for Life says: “Veganism is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle… to animals… to the ecological integrity of our environment, and to ourselves…”

3. The Torah, says JewishVeg.com, demands humane treatment of animals and reflects concern for the land and ecology. The Torah places grave importance on protecting human health.

As we grow spiritually, we may struggle to help bring peace to our planet. We may advocate for the well-being of our fellow creatures. We may recognize the holiness in all life. It’s pretty hard to see modern animal-based eating fitting in with this type of spiritual growth, isn’t it? We can’t grow and evolve if we refuse to nurture bodily health, decline compassion to animals, fail to safeguard the planet, ignore world hunger and turn our backs on peace and nonviolence. Can we balance spiritual growth with today’s big-business food production?

If you’re curious about modern spiritual benefits of vegetarianism and veganism, do some homework and determine your own truth. Consult the words of sages like Leonardo da Vinci, Confucius, Kafka, Einstein or Plato. Ask your medical practitioner or talk with a psychic advisor. Study how we obtain both plant and animal-based foods. Let go of excuses and, with an open mind and heart, look inside yourself and see where your own spiritual path leads.

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6 thoughts on “Spiritual Benefits of Vegetarianism and Veganism

  1. angel williams

    i just wanted to know i’m trying to find good spirtuallity if your a vegan like i am could that be a form of spirtuallity please let me know thanks

  2. Emka

    A lot of this (i.e. Sagan’s comment) prpepsuoses that vegetarianism is more socially acceptable than disordered eating, and I don’t believe that is true. I think it is more socially acceptable for a girl to pick at plain iceberg lettuce and say she just isn’t hungry than to say that she is vegetarian. Being a trim woman is a social positive in most American social circles, rejecting one’s place in the food chain in favor of some kind of loony toon belief that meat equates with murder is certainly not. I’ve been on both sides of this and I can vouch for it personally.I just don’t get this whole discussion. I know dozens and dozens of vegetarians and none of them are unhealthily thin or appear to have eating disorders. Just like non-vegetarians, some of them eat healthy and have healthy habits, and others don’t. Some, like myself, are pretty much in the middle. I’m sure there is a small percentage that have eating disorders I know vegetarians aren’t immune from it. But if some girls try to hide their EDs by calling themselves vegetarian, I don’t think that has anything to do with vegetarianism, that is about the sickness that is ED.Also, not to be nitpicky but strictly speaking there is no such thing as being vegan to be thin or for health purposes. Veganism is an ethical system. If someone doesn’t eat animal products because they think it will make them skinny, that person isn’t vegan. Perhaps strict vegetarian would be a better term, although admittedly the lack of a good word for anti-ovo lacto vegetarian means that the word vegan gets thrown around inappropriately all the time.

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  5. diadriel

    You speak of the reverence and honor of the animals, and forget, that the plants were/are also revered, honored and thanked. Plants are no-less living, breathing, feeling organisms which share this earth and sacrifice for the well-being of other living entities. A Cree shaman refused to do ceremony where the participants were proudly stating they would enjoy a vegetarian feast afterwards because of the lack of respect and honor shown to those beings (plants) which helped to form his medicine. Just because plants ‘bleed’ and ‘breath’ differently from mammals or sea creatures, in no way reduces their equality as a living being, to be respected, honored and thanked for their contribution to the cycle of life.

    Brightest Blessings!

  6. chrissiem

    I always feel that whatever you use or eat that has once been a living entity, even vegetables should be thanked for giving of itself, in this world of industrial scale farming whether the food you eat is vegetarian or carnivorous, unless you produce it yourself or buy it from a known source it may not have been produced with respect to either it, nor the environment so when I prepare food I always say a simple “I thank you for giving of yourself to become part of me/us” in the case of herbs or teas taken for healing or strength I amend it to “to heal me and make me strong”, somehow things do taste better after doing that and even said mentally if eating out seems that I rarely get problems with food related illnesses I found that in a book on Native American Crystal Healing by Luc Bourgault and it works for me
    Love and Light
    Blessed Be )O(


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