Understanding of Diet
An Understanding of Diet
1. Concern with the possibility of living a harmonious life, free from anxiety and tension, inevitably leads one to a consideration of diet, specifically the issue of vegetarianism. The virtues of flesh consumption are continually extolled by spokesman for public schools and state, and federal agricultural departments. From childhood one is instilled with the belief that meat is essential, one of the ‘four pillars’ of the balanced diet, necessary for good health and well-being. And yet there are millions who apparently live full and vigorous lives without ever tasting a morsel of it. One who is considering this basic dietary question, soon encounters a welter of conflicting claims and counterclaims. When condensed to essential form, the arguments in favour of meat consumption rest on the issue of ‘dietary necessity’, while the counterarguments are based on the harmfulness of toxins found in meat and the emotional resistance to killing another animate being for food.
2. The first question which must be raised in any consideration of diet is: “Why to eat?” The answer appears obvious at first: One eats in order to live. But witness the well documented cases of yogis who have not touched any food or drink for years. In fairness one must add that these rare individuals spend all of their time immobile, sitting in state of deep meditation. Eating provides fuel for the active system. As long as one has to perform physical actions in the world, food is necessary to replenish the energy consumed in the process of enacting the karmic role. Movements expends energy, and food is energy. Specifically food is chemical energy taken into the system to provide cell-nurturing glucose and to provide the specific chemicals needed for building and sustaining the vital tissues. And because no single food is available on a year round basis which provides all the nutrients required by the system, one must select from a variety of foods those which meet the needs of one’s own unique system.
3. Flesh is a dead food, often days old by the time it reaches the supermarket meat counter. In most cases, preservatives, (a euphemism for chemicals which kill the micro organism which would otherwise develop on the surface of the dead flesh) and dyes (to mask the brown colour meat assumes with the onset of decay) are added. Additionally, vital energy leaves the organism at death, leaving in its wake only inert chemicals. Dead food from whatever source is of tamasic nature – and this includes all canned fruits and vegetables. Conversely, fresh fruits and vegetables contain living energy. The seeds from such foods will germinate and grow. Food remains in the human system for about one day before being eliminated. Thus, with the consumption of meat and canned food, inert energy already days old, is added to the system, where it must remain an additional day. The implication of this simple fact can be readily comprehended by performing an easily-arranged experiment. Fill two glasses with room-temperature tap water. To the one, add a slice of fresh vegetable, to the other, a bit of steak of the same size. Keep both at room-temperature and observe the condition of their contents at the end of the third day.
4. Carnivorous animals possess powerful stomachs and short, simple intestines, allowing foods to be processed and expelled within a 24 hours cycle. This short digestive cycle minimizes both decay and the absorption of toxic chemicals. Even so, most carnivores sleep from 10 to 24 hours following a full meal, so that all energy may be concentrated on the food processing. For the most part, carnivores eat only fresh-killed meat. Western medical science has long known that meat-eating causes a drastic increase of toxic chemicals in the human bloodstream. Patients of severe kidney disorders are routinely placed on meatless diets. (The kidneys are the blood purifying mechanism which filter poisons present in the blood.) This step is taken because the increase in uric acid in the blood soars after meat intake (from cow, pig, fish or fowl) and may trigger severe coma and death. This same chemical has been indicated as a casual factor and major irritant in arteriosclerosis and other circulatory ailments. But uric acid is not the only chemical detrimental to physical and mental well-being.
5. From a ranch farm, the cow, the sheep or the pig is trucked off to a slaughterhouse to be killed and butchered. The animal is suddenly yanked out of the familiar environment where its whole life has been spent, shoved into the dark, cramped quarters, where it must remain for hours on end – continually exposed to jarring vibrations, sudden starts and tops, radical temperature changes and disturbing sounds as it travels by truck or train. Then, destination reached, men armed with electric prods unload the animal and more it through a bewildering maze of ramps, chutes and chemical baths. Finally, the animal arrives at the slaughterhouse itself, full of smell of blood and the sounds of hundreds of terrified animals.
6. Animals have emotions, as any pet owner can verify, and can experience the state of fear and panic, which are produced by the process of shipping and slaughter. What physiological states accompany these emotions? Fear is the psycho-physiological response of the organism to threatening situations. Panic is fear carried to the extreme. Physiologically presentation of a strong fear stimulus, triggers a complex chain of events beginning in the brain and reaching finally every cell and fibre of the organism. Once the threat is recognized, the hypothalamus of the brain transmits a series of commands through the spinal column to the nerve centres throughout the body. In the throat, large quantities of thyrotropic hormone are released into the system, while the kidneys pour out a flood of adrenocorticotropic hormones. These, in turn, trigger a programmed series of responses throughout the body. Facial and limb muscles gorge with blood drawn from the now constricted vessels of skin and digestive system. The spleen contracts, pouring out a flood of white corpuscles and platelets into the bloodstream. Heartbeat, blood pressure and breath-rate soar, and every muscle stands tensed. The liver forces out a stream of blood sugar to feed the extreme demands made by the aroused system. Nostrils expand to take in the widest possible range of visual stimuli. The abdominal gasses move downward, forcing stool and urine from the system and lightening the organism.
7. The chemicals which produce these reactions in animals, produce the same reactions in the human beings. The adrenalin from horses is used medicinally to produce the same results in man as does the human adrenalin. In the state of hyper-arousal, every cell of the body is filled with these chemicals, which remain after the rendering process. Regular consumption of the flesh of animals increases the presence of these same chemicals in the human system, where they produce exactly the same results – though on a modified scale. The body of a meat-eating individual is continually in tension, anxiety and feelings of insecurity and confusion. With the chemicals of arousal already present in excess in the system, natural arousal is masked. One is no longer capable of responding naturally to different situations. The excess energy present in the system demands release – whether through sex, drugs or the sublimated violence of television, films and print. One simply becomes perplexed, confounded and out of touch with his true inner feelings and urges. The ever-present subtle sensation of fear created by the chemicals, creates fear-of-self and psychological repression.
8. In no other era has meat been so plentifully available. With the increased abundance brought on with the age of electricity and refrigeration, has come a corresponding increase in heart disorders, cancer, untimely deaths, and a host of other ailments. Meat was consumed previously, but never in such quantity. Also, whatever flesh was eaten before refrigeration, was generally locally grown and fresh, except in major urban areas. When animals are slaughtered on the farm, the level of fear-related chemicals is considerably reduced because there is no prolonged disruption of lifestyle before death.
9. Even the most casual observation of the fundamental differences between meat-eating and herbivorous animals provides valuable insight into the effects of the two dietary patterns. First, consider the smell produced by carnivores. Compare the difference in breath smells of a cow and a cat. An attentive visit to a local zoo yields a broader sample – with the same results. The breath of meat-eating animals smells bad, far worse than that of any herbivore. The smell of the breath is produced not only by residual particles in the mouth, but also by waste products discharged into the lungs by the incoming flow from the veins. The breath reveals the inner workings of body chemistry. The bad breath of the alcoholic emanates not from alcohol in the mouth but from the alcohol in gaseous form expelled by the lungs, indicating that the system is saturated with the drug. Similarly, the breath of the carnivorous animals exude that odours of the chemicals present in the system. The sense of smell can readily detect another difference as well – there is a marked difference between the smells of the faeces of the two groups. Cat stool is probably the most unpleasant, and cats are the strictest carnivores of all. Cow dung, on the other hand, has been burned for millennia by members of many cultures in holy rites – and forms the basic binding material in most of the forms of incense. In the same vein, one can detect a major difference in the natural body odours given off by meat-eating and vegetarian humans. Provided a daily bath is taken, a vegetarian (meaning no eggs or fish) needs not use deodorants or mouthwashes.
10. The breath rate of carnivores is fast and shallow, while herbivores breath is deep and slow. Fast, shallow breath in humans is associated with anxiety, tension and pain; deep, slow breath, with peace, tranquillity and relaxation. Adrenalin stimulates breath and has been prescribed by physicians for decades to stimulate heart and breath cycles – and, as noted above, adrenalin permeates the meat of animals which have been killed. In the normal individual, adrenalin over-excites and leads to chronic tension, accelerated heartbeat and rapid breath. None of these conditions is conducive to good physical and mental health. As a group, carnivores are largely nocturnal, while vegetarians are generally diurnal – the list of possible comparisons would fill volumes. But all of these differences culminate in one fundamental understanding. The harmonious, even-paced lifestyle sought by man coincides far more closely with the nature of the herbivorous animals than with that of the flesh-eaters.
11. Carnivorous animals evolved specifically to fill a niche in the ecological chain. As a general practice, they prey almost exclusively on herbivores due to the operation of two primary forces: the ability of other carnivores to defend themselves and the low level of energy available from the flesh of other meat-eaters. Ecologists realised long ago that carnivores hold direct responsibility for maintaining the good health and well-being of the herbivores, as the animals killed by predators are almost invariably young, weak, sick of old. Only the healthiest adults survive. Hunting animals insure the process of natural selection, by which only the fittest and best adapted members survive, thus preserving the best genetic line. Very few people have tasted the flesh of a predatory animal. The meat proves tough, stingy and difficult to digest, as well as producing unpleasant odours and tastes.
12. Carnivorous animals, because of their specialisation, have no choice with regard to their diet. They must either eat flesh or perish – such is their lot. Man, however, can survive quite well without consuming flesh. The fact that millions do, should be an ample evidence. And if man can survive without meat, why then should he have to kill his fellow creatures for food? By eating flesh, one directly participates in the killing of a living being which, if given the choice, would certainly resist and run. In the case of plant food, one consumes a fruit designed for consumption by animals. Plants become suitable food for man in two basic circumstances: at the end of the reproductive cycle or at the end of the life cycle. Plants rely on the consumption of their fruits for perpetuation of the species. For instance, when a tomato is eaten, the seeds are not broken down by the digestive system, but pass out intact with the stool – which then becomes the source of nutrition for the seeds during the most crucial phase of growth. Most fruits and seed pods are accordingly brightly coloured and give off pleasing smells, both of which serve to attract the attention of herbivores. This is the perfect symbiosis, a biological relationship in which both sides “win”. And as for most other vegetable foods, these are taken usually only when “ripe” – that is, at the end of the life cycle. Many self-styled “vegetarians” eat eggs to provide more protein for their diet. Eggs, like all forms of flesh, are considerably less efficient energy forms than plant food – and they are embryonic life forms as well. Most eggs available in the supermarkets are infertile, lacking in vital energy. These products have been created by chemical stimulations of the hens and will not produce a life animal. Eggs also produce foul smells and in the lower tract, gases.