It is well understood and accepted that the diet of a Yogi is a vegetarian diet. Not necessarily a vegan diet, but a vegetarian diet. This is for many reasons but one of those reasons it because meat is very heavy in the body. It takes a lot of energy to digest. Meat is also the result of bringing harm to another creature and for those of you who are familiar with patanjali's yoga sutras, you would know that a non violence is a very important part of yoga.
So why am I vegan?
Well, in all honesty it has absolutely nothing to do with yoga. I have been a vegetarian from most of my life and at the time of writing this, I have been vegan for about 6 or 7 years. My decision to be vegan was not to better my practice although it certainly has helped in many regards. My decision to become vegan was purely a moral and ethical decision. Many of you who have gotten to know me over the years would already know just how special animals are to me. The idea of bringing harm to anything or anyone is extremely disturbing to me on so many levels.
I believe as human beings we have a responsibility to take care of other creatures. I don't know why but for whatever reason so many of us have used our intelligence as a means of taking advantage. An abuse of power if you will. I don't care what people say about us being the greater species, and that we as humans have the right to kill and eat other animals. For one, humans are not meant to eat meat. We don't have the teeth for it, nor do we have the digestive system for it. Our bodies find it extremely difficult to digest. This is going to get a few people up in arms but the reality is, and when you start looking into the research even deeper, you will find that our bodies are absolutely not meant to eat meat or other animals products.
But regardless of whether we are or are not meant to eat animal products, which is a huge discussion in itself, I personally cannot be responsible for inflicting harm on another creature. Simple. And just because meat comes nicely wrapped in plastics in the supermarket, does not mean that the process of it reaching the supermarket was in any way a nice process. In fact it was no doubt horrific.
So this is why I choose to be vegan. I want no part of that industry. In saying that however, as I've gotten older and a little wiser, and let's be honest a little less judgemental, I have come to accept other people's decisions to eat meat and other animal products. Whilst I do not agree with that decision, I accept those decisions. Of course my dream would be for the world to be vegan l, which we all know would lead to a much kinder world, but if I remain in a place of judgement then I am constantly harming myself. Rather, my hope is that those people who do decide to eat animal products are making kinder choices around where they get those products from.
So whilst in the yoga world a vegetarian diet is recommended for many reasons, it is not a requirement of the practice. If you eat meat, it should not be a reason not to practice. Of course the more consistent you are with your practice the more in tune you will become with what your body does and does not want (and so your diet may change), but no it is not necessary to be vegetarian/vegan to practice yoga.
Sending love and warm hugs to you all,