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Words of Wisdom

The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress, Part 26 of a Multi-part Series, Dec. 7, 2010

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“Mahatma Gandhiji, the father of India and my moral guru said, ‘Truth and nonviolence are as old as mountains. I have nothing new to tell the world.’”

“The original concept of vegetarianism, or the essence of vegetarianism, doesn’t allow any animal products, at least in diet.” “So, vegan is one who doesn’t consume any animal products, including honey, and he doesn’t use any animal products also – leather, silk or wool, or going into a circus, like services of animals, going on animals for a ride or entertainment or experimentation. Animals are as good as his own family members. There is no exploitation, no use of animals, being a vegan, an Indian vegan.”

“So, veganism is promoted for these three reasons: one is for prevention of cruelty to animals; second one is for human health; third one is for protection or promotion of better environmental conditions.” “Second thing is, just eating plant food is not enough. We have to be happy so that food has to make us happier. It has to induce some good feelings in us. So that is another part of our Indian veganism. And part of this, you have to be healthy. You have to be healthy physically.”

“The very important part of veganism for me, derived from Mahatma Gandhi’s life, derived from many other people, and derived from our own ancient teachings like Bhagavad Gita, (are) these moral qualities. A vegan, not eating any animal products but stealing from someone, or hurting someone physically, doesn’t qualify to be a vegan just because he doesn’t eat animal products. No, that cannot be, then he or she cannot be vegan. You have to develop these kinds of moral qualities which are part of Indian ethos, Indian culture over thousands of years.”

“Nonviolence, or ahimsa, is the foundation of all principles. So, ahimsa is another one, is a part of veganism. ‘Akrod,’ freedom from anger: if you get anger for valid reasons, sometimes we feel we are very angry because there is a reason to be angry, but you have to control anger. If you have a satvik (pure) food, satvik food which gives sobering effect on your body and mind, you cannot get anger.”
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Part  26 / 51
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