There are certainly many cogent arguments for becoming and
remaining a vegetarian. The argument that appeals to me
the most is that vegetarianism lessens the burden on one’s
soul in this world, and is therefore good in a spiritual sense.
It is an enigma that we must destroy other life in order to
sustain our own. Saints and Holy men, by and large, recommend
that seekers after truth partake of foods only from plant life
(vegetables, grains, fruits & legumes), and to eat only what is
necessary to sustain their life.
This recommendation is based on the law of Karma, as stated in
'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever
a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' (Bible)
'No evil fortune visits you
but which you have yourselves
invited by your deeds,
(and even then)
much is forgiven.' (Koran)
An implication is that we incur a debt when we destroy
other life for any purpose.
The magnitude of the debt is a function of the quality of the
life form destroyed. Life has in it five major attributes
or creative elements called Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.
All elements are present in life, either in an active or a
dormant state. The more elements active in a living entity,
the higher the karmic debt incurred if one destroys it:
Man is the highest life form, having all elements (Earth,
Water, Fire, Air and Ether) in an active state.
Quadrupeds are lower, with Ether (which differentiates
man from the rest of creation) inactive, and the other
Birds are next lower, with only three elements active.
Reptiles, worms and insects are lower still, with only
two creative components in the active state.
Plant life, with only Water active and the others in a
dormant state, is the lowest form.
So I shall continue to eat plants because of the minimal
karmic debt incurred by so doing. In my experience, this
lessening of karmic debt is real and is readily perceived
in one’s inner state after making the change.
Of course, one hears about individuals that sustain their
life from water, air and sunlight; I have yet to meet one
and can’t imagine being one.
The foregoing is based on my recollections from a book that
I just can’t seem to locate amongst my stuff at the moment:
The Wheel of Life
Sant Kirpal Singh Ji
I may be a little mixed up in the particulars, but I am
confident in the essence of the posture.