Re: history questions: meat, siberian land bridge, horses in the Americas

A.L.Sriram (
18 Dec 1996 10:53:28 GMT

J. Clarke" <> wrote
>Actually, to Hindus the taking of animal life is wrong, regardless of


>Miche <> wrote in article
>> In article <591jfa$>
>> writes:
>> > >In hot climates (like India), this unnatural habit of vegetarianISM is
>> > >easier to get away with.
>> >
>> > Well that and cows are sacred animals there.
>> Only to the Hindus. Oh, and it may have escaped your notice, but
>> humans eat other animals than cattle.
>> Miche

As a Hindu myself, let me offer a couple of clarifications ...

Hindus do not in general regard killing of animals as wrong, and in fact
vegetarians form only around 15 to 20% of the Hindu population.

However, many Indians have traditionally believed that a vegetarian diet,
together with a lifestyle based on non-killing and compassion, contributes to
the spiritual development of an individual. Vegetarianism is said to help a
person cultivate qualities like tranquility and mental awareness and also
leads to physical health and longevity.

Consuming animal flesh, eating excesively fried or highly spiced foods and
overeating are considered to lead to qualities like dullness, stupidity and
bad temper.

Thus, vegetarianism is practiced in Hinduism as a means to clease and purify
the body and mind, and not mainly because it is morally wrong to kill for food.

Cows are not considered "sacred". However, they are not eaten because they are
highly domesticated and traditionally have been considered as almost a part of
one's family. To give an analogy, if you had a pet dog or cat which you were
highly emotionally attached to, you would not kill it and eat it's flesh.

And, coming back to the main topic of the thread ... it would certainly be very
interesting to know what our prehistoric ancestors ate, but that doesn't need
to influence our food habits today. After all, if men 1000000 years ago lived
in caves or swung from trees, it is hardly any reason for us to do the same.