Why is ethical eating important at this time?
SATTVIC VEGETARIANS ARE POTENTIALLY MORE:
- WATER CONSCIOUS – Being vegetarian is far less impactful on the world’s urgent need for water conservation. Whereas, a UN world water report states that it takes up to 15 000 liters of water to produce 1 kg of meat. http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/food_security.shtml
- HEATH CONSCIOUS – New Zealand is in the grip of an obesity epidemic. More than half of New Zealand adults are now overweight or obese. Eating more vegetables is an important step to increasing good health. Around 1 in 5 cancers are linked to eating diets high in meat. http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz
- ECO CONSCIOUS – Meat eaters have a large ecological footprint. The impacts of monocrops like corn and grain, grown to feed cattle, impact on climate change through greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation. A UN Environment Program’s (UNEP) states that a diet without meat is crucial for easing global issues of food and fuel shortages. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002154/215492e
- MONEY CONSCIOUS – Western diets high in saturated fats costs public health systems through negative health effects. The estimated cost of obesity in New Zealand is $135 million per year. Vegetarianism is less costly for the tax payer.
- BODY CONSCIOUS – Meat has chemicals (such as hypoxanthine, inosinic acid and guanylic acid) that stimulate the central nervous system with chemical structures comparable to caffeine in coffee or cocoa. This means that meat may have similar addictive affects as coffee.
- ANIMAL CONSCIOUS – The yogic principle of nonviolence (ahimsa) directly applies to the non-harming of animals. Eating meat involves eating dead animals.
- GENDER CONSCIOUS – For millions of families in Australasia the daily habit of eating meat has been presented as inherently patriarchal and imperialist. The ‘feed the man meat’ advertising campaigns of the 80’s and 90’s reinforced the apparent ‘right’ of traditional Western men to be served ‘meat and 2 vege’ by amenable wives. This in turn reinforced gender stereotypes.
- COSMIC CONSCIOUS – You can offer sattvic vegetarian food to a deity and receive it back as prasad (a blessed offering infused with good karma). Although, in some religions people ritually sacrifice animals as sacraments, this idea seems to disgust many Western people who prefer to buy their meat innocuously presented in a plastic coated tray at the local supermarket.
If you eat meat and practice yoga, sit quietly and ask yourself if are you ok with contributing more to global droughts, cultural obesity, bowel cancer, food shortages, soil degradation, higher taxes, hyper-active children, privileged patriarchy, and animal violence than your vegetarian colleagues?
If the answer is no, then a sattvic vegetarian diet has numerous benefits and can be satisfying, delicious and nutritious. The proof is in the pudding!
For our potluck tonight we had vegetarian pizzas with wholemeal pizza dough. Maree also made an incredible vegan chocolate torte decorated with flowers from the Three Kings Vine