- Diet & Weight Loss
Vegetarian or Meat-Eater: Proper Nourishment & the Ethical Dilemma
There are many misconceptions and untruths out there about diet, health, and nutrition. There seems to be an unending cornucopia of supplements, nutritional advice from myriad viewpoints, and abundant food choices; yet there are many people in the West that are obese, malnourished, and plagued by countless diseases of the body and mind. Our food choices affect not only ourselves, but more importantly the world that we live in and share with countless forms of life. We are animals to a certain extent, but inhabited by a consciousness that gives us a choice to choose what we eat. What we eat plays a major role as to the health of our bodies and minds, and not consuming the necessary nutrients in our diet can lead to a host of problems.
Proper nutrition means going back to the basics. It’s a fundamental truth that your body will be properly nourished on the foods that your ancestors consumed; this is your genetic predisposition. Essentially what your body has become accustomed to breaking down, and utilizing for energy and support of your bodily systems for thousands of years. Your blood type also says a lot about what you might choose to eat. If you are a Type O, then this is the oldest blood type and the ancestry of this bloodline was purportedly hunter-and-gatherers. This means that they ate meat, berries, roots, and nuts as the staple of their diet, and the regions that they evolved and lived in were a factor in their food choices. The concept of a diet based on blood type originated with Dr. Peter D'Adamo and his book "Eat Right 4 Your Type."
The ethical dilemma in our diet is whether we choose to eat meat or be vegetarian, thereby reducing the suffering of animals and devastation of the world that we live in. This is a loaded subject for understandable reasons, and your food choices also branch out into the ethical world of spirituality where many traditions consider eating meat a sin. This quote from world-renowned yoga instructor Ana Forrest, during an interview for the Yoga Journal magazine, is an example of someone who cannot tolerate a vegetarian diet: “I’m so not a vegetarian anymore! Pretty much everything that you eat as a veggie I am allergic to. My real loyalty is to the truth, and the truth is that I prosper on meat. When I was healing from bulimia, I would pray over my food and still do. Whether it was a piece of broccoli or a deer, I give thanks that it has given its life so that I could live. ” She’s allergic to most grains, nuts and soybeans, and if a person is sick and wasting away from malnourishment trying to be a vegan or vegetarian, then that would seem much worse than eating meat with mindfulness. Eating meat with mindfulness means choosing animal products from sources that are cage-free, organic and ethically raised, free of antibiotics and steroids in their diet. You can also say a prayer before you eat meat, or any meal for that matter, and offer thanks and gratitude for this animal/souls journey so that you could prosper.
We do have the choice to choose what we eat, but choosing a vegetarian diet and not eating properly can have dire health consequences. Some people simply cannot eat and/or are allergic to certain grains, beans, and nuts; this limits their food choices. For the spiritual enthusiasts that are vegetarian because of an ethical problem with eating animal products, but are unhealthy and lack vital energy, even the Dalai Lama has revealed that he eats meat every other day for health reasons. Additionally, the Buddha was reported to be a meat-eater, and one story states that he died from eating a piece of bad pork!
So do not be hard on yourself if you follow a spiritual path and need to eat meat and/or animal products to sustain your body and mind. If vegetarianism doesn’t agree with your individual constitution, then do the best you can to bless the food that you eat, and choose wisely where the meat/animal product was farmed and produced.