Do Hindu's eat meat?

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by iBrian, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Was watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom last night (oh, dear - bit of a turkey, isn't it?).

    However, I distinctly remember when watching it as a kid, that, when at the dinner involving eyeball soup and chill monkey brains, Indiana Jones turns aside at some point at says something on the lines of "this is all wrong - Hindu's don't eat meat."

    I'm distinctly sure the italicised part is a quote from the original film - but it's not on the DVD release.

    Question is, if it was removed (and not simply my not paying proper attention), then was it because it is factually incorrect?

    Do Hindu's traditionally avoid meat entirely? Or is vegetarianism simply a powerful force within Hinduism?
     
  2. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    I'm no Hindu and I'm no expert looking from the outside, but it was probably taken out because it was a generalization. I'm pretty sure many Hindus do in fact eat meat. In fact, I'm positive. Whether that makes them 'bad Hindus' is another question. I think the vegetarian Indian stereotype is kind of an American myth. But cleansing the Temple of Doom of PC infractions is kinda silly. LOL
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Well, George Lucas also cleaned up the PC infraction in Star Wars - in the coming DVD "special edition" releases, in the Cantina bar at MOs Eisley, Han Solo only shoots Greedo after being fired at - rather than making a pre-emptive strike, as was shown in the original release.

    But you're probably right about the statement on "meat-eating" being too general, and implying that Hindu's who do eat meat are either not proper Hindus, or simply bad people.

    "Hinduism" is a very generalised word for a wide number of belief systems, as no doubt the Diamond Thunderbolt may remind us. :)
     
  4. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Spielberg fiddled with my all time favorite ET, changing the guns into walkie-talkies, etc. LOL That's just obscene. I just hope they don't edit out the deformed retarded guy from The Goonies.
     
  5. Mus Zibii

    Mus Zibii QUID EST VERITAS

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    Although... Jar Jar Binks might be better edited out.
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste all,


    the long and the short of it is thus: if you feel that eating meat is wrong, be a vegetarian.

    there is no particular proscription regarding the consumption of meat, per se.

    and, you are of course, correct Brian ;) the term Hinduism is a term coined by Europeans to describe the vast array of religious praxis in the Santana Dharma.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    If there is no particular perscription against eating meat within Hinduism (Sanatama Dharma), then should there be any particular reason for Hinduism to be particular vegeterian? Is it possibly nothing more than the close promixity (in various ways) to Buddhism and Jainism?
     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Brian,


    thank you for the post.

    as i've had it explained to me, if a being were to veiw the consumption of flesh to be negative, then they should refrain from it. if they do not have that view, then they can indulge.

    of course, some particular sects may have rules for themselves which are not generally applicable.

    the teaching of Ahisma is certainly the basis of the Jain vegetarian requirement, in my view.

    in the Buddhist tradition, it is also not required that one be a vegetarian in general. some particular sects may require this type of discipline, but, again, this is one of those things that if you feel the consumption of flesh to be negative, then you should refrain from it.

    the Buddha, when talking to his disciples, laid out some pretty specific rules regarding the consumption of food. the most important of which, in my view, is to treat food like medicine. take what you are offered and do not complain, whether it is rice gruel or a sumptous feast, the mendicant monk/nun is relying upon alms for their subsistence.
     
  9. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

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    I can't give definitive scriptural references on this subject, but I can give you my cultural observations as a Hindu in India. In general, there are more non-vegetarian Hindus than vegetarians. Some families are traditionally vegetarian, while others are traditionally non-vegetarian.

    From ancient times Hindu society was divided into 4 classifications or castes, based on one's profession: (a) priests, teachers, (b) warriors, kings, (c) businessfolk, (d) agricultural labour. Some people (even Hindus) have a misconception that you can tell from the caste of a family whether they are traditionally vegetarian or non-vegetarian. For example, the generalisation is that the priestly caste and the businessfolk are vegetarians, while the warrior castes and the agricultural labour are non-vegetarian. This generalisation is true to some extent, but there are exceptions to the rule as you travel from one part of India to another. Beef is the one form of meat that Hindus are not supposed to eat, since the cow is considered a sacred animal and should not be killed; but beef of a cow that died of natural causes is eaten by families of the agricultural labour caste.

    Before I explain the exceptions to the rule, let me set the definition of a vegetarian as one who does not eat meat, poultry or fish products. Dairy products like milk, butter, ghee, cheese are acceptable as vegetarian food.

    In certain coastal parts of India you will find the families of the priestly caste will not eat meat or poultry but will eat fish - so they are not entirely vegetarian by definition. The Hindus from Kashmir who all belong to the priestly caste even eat meat (excepting beef). I have also come across exceptions to the rule that families of the warrior caste are non-vegetarian. There are some sub-sects of this caste who are totally vegetarian.

    Is this getting very confusing? In some places, it appears that Hindu society has had to evolve a different set of rules about food, depending on the environment. The above example of Kashmir is indicative of how Hindus who lived in an environment that gets snow-bound for several months in the year, had to subsist on a diet of meat, even though many families of the priestly caste in India are vegetarian traditionally.

    Non-vegetarian Hindus also make vegetarian dishes - so they can swing both ways! Non-vegetarian food and ingredients are more expensive in India than vegetarian ingredients. So, many non-vegetarians in India are not able to afford that lifestyle on a daily basis. Today, you will find a few non-vegetarian Hindus turning vegetarian and many vegetarian Hindus trying out non-vegetarian food. So Hindy society may be evolving, unwittingly, to another new set of rules regarding food!

    But, whichever way you look at it, I haven't heard of any Hindu recipe involving eyeball soup or monkey's brains!
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Thanks for the information, Indogenes! Much appreciated. :)
     
  11. PersonaNonGrata

    PersonaNonGrata CODinside

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    selam all,

    Id like to take this topic further and take he matter regarding whole religious beliefs. As a personna who enjoys good food, surrounded by jews, catholics and muslims i have quite a lot information on food here ))

    Christianity :
    What we have is mainstream Christianity has no dietary laws to speak of as far as ive known. Also ive read that there was a time when meat was forbidden to Catholics on Fridays, and many Christians refrain from meat during Lent, but these are more in the nature of "special occasion" meals, rather than everyday dietary rules.

    Islam:
    Any food that is not explicitly forbidden (haram) is permitted (halal). Only pigs are explicitly prohibited in the Quran, and related by-products (such as lard, gelatin, etc.). Animals with claws and fangs (predators and carrion eaters) are prohibited implicitly but not explicitly. Some foods are considered disgusting even though not expressly prohibited (makruh). This can vary by region for animals such as donkeys, pelicans, weasels, foxes, ravens, and crocodiles, for instance.
    Also birds of prey and carrion-eaters are considered to be prohibited.

    Jewish:
    Only cloven-hoofed animals that chew their cud can be eaten. Thus, cows, sheep, and goats are OK among domesticated animals, plus the deer family. Pigs (cloven hoofs but don’t chew their cud) are forbidden. By-products made from prohibited animals are also prohibited.

    Basically, the common domesticated birds are OK, such as chicken, turkeys, ducks, geese, and pigeons. Birds of prey are prohibited. Only eggs from kosher birds are permitted.

    It seems nearly all the religions one way or another provided dietary culture.
    So it made me wonder ... why would deity consider what its vassals are eating? I didnt see any people died of eating a pig, or eating meat?
    So what is the reasonable explanation for these? Any ideas?
     
  12. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

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    Thanks for the information on dietary restrictions of Jews, Christians and Muslims. I knew a little about it, but not to this level of detail. I wonder what guided the classifications/restrictions that you mentioned in Jewish and Muslim diet.

    In Hinduism, there is a concept regarding the nature (or 'guna') of different types of food and their impact on the functioning of the mind, body and human nature. Basically, all food is classified by 3 types of nature or 'gunas': (1) Sattvic, (2) Rajasic and (3) Tamasic.

    (1) Sattvic nature is defined by spirituality, calmness, purity. Sattvic food is recommended for the people who use their brains or mind more - like priests, teachers, philosophers, etc. It nourishes the body and calms and purifies the mind, enabling it to function at its maximum potential. Sattvic foods include freshly prepared or unprocessed food including cereals, fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, butter and cheese, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds, honey. Basically this is a vegetarian diet. That is why many Hindu families of the priestly or business castes were traditionally vegetarian. The priestly families used to even avoid garlic, onion, radish and some other vegetables you find in India which are pungent in flavour and so considered to make the mind restless.

    (2) Rajasic nature is an expression of physical activity, passion. Anyone who leads a predominantly physically active lifestyle has a rajasic nature - like soldiers, warriors, labourers, etc., since this type of food nourishes the body more than the mind. It is considered that too much of Rajasic food will overstimulate the body and excite the passions, making the mind restless and uncontrollable. Rajasic foods include spicy foods, stimulants like coffee and tea, eggs, garlic, onion, meat, fish and chocolate, as well as most processed food. Eating too fast or with a disturbed mind is also considered rajasic. Some spices are good for digestion, and may still be included in Sattvic diet in limited quantities (e.g., ginger, pepper, etc.)

    (3) Tamasic nature is qualified by darkness, sluggishness or inertia. A tamasic diet is considered the least beneficial because it does not strengthen either the mind nor the body. Tamasic items include foods that are slowly digested like heavy meat, or alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods, such as vinegar, and stale or overripe substances. Overeating is also regarded as tamasic.

    Though there are rules like the above which have influenced Hindu diet, I feel that what types of food were locally available have modified it from region to region. Maybe the local environment had some impact on the dietary restrictions/inclusions in some of the other religions?
     
  13. PersonaNonGrata

    PersonaNonGrata CODinside

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    I have just noticed today that eating meat simply raises the temper, and thats the logic behind it.. hmmmmm strange, i guess i'll go on a meat diet for a while and see what the effects will be...



    Eating and love the others are light motives...
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Indogenes, and welcome to CR!
    Leviticus 11 (in the Bible) holds a great part of the dietary restrictions for the Jews. I was taught there are reasons for the restrictions, like not eating scavengers because we are not meant to act like scavengers, not to eat carnivorous animals because we are not meant to act like the carnivores. The reasoning sounds to me similar to the reasons you brought to light. Thanks.
     
  15. Indogenes

    Indogenes New Member

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    Greetings Persona and Juantoo3!

    I would be curious to know what you find with this experiment.

    Juantoo3, thanks for providing the source of the Jewish reasons for the dietary rules.
     
  16. tatvamasi

    tatvamasi idol worshipping advaitin

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    This question can be answered by answering another question:

    "Do Americans believe in Christ?"

    My intention is not to try to act too smart. IMHO, the answer to both the questions would be "Not all".
     
  17. brijesh

    brijesh New Member

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    Well...Dhamma has nothing to do with veg / Nonveg. I will not justify any one. The best answer i can give is "All human being is made of Meat"

    www.royalmonk.in Your personal tour guide in india
     
  18. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Well, we were known to Zoroaster as residents of Hapta-Hendu (Sapta-Sindhu) - Vendidad. Actually, Zoroaster's people had migrated to Hapta-Hendu (North-Western region of the sub-continent) but returned back because of heat and fever.

    Vendidad, First Fargard, Para 19 (72-73):

    "I, Ahur-Mazda, created as the best country, Hapta-Hendu (from the Eastern to Western Hendu). In opposition, Angra Mainyu, created untimely evils, and pernicious heat (or fever)."

    Aup adds: By untimely evils, perhaps they meant floods. The sixteenth and the final land created by Ahur-Mazda was 'Rangha' (geographical position not known. My guess Bactria, since Zoroaster lived there).

    Zoroaster is currently dated to have lived in 2nd millenium BC. (Wikipedia)
     
  19. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    There is no particular prescription against eating meat in hinduism, not even for Brahmins. I am a Kashmiri Brahmain, and we are known to be lovers of non-vegetarian food. Flesh is offered to Shiva and Mother Goddess in our religious rituals.

    Hindu scriptures accept non-vegeterian food by saying 'Jeevo Jeevasya Bhojanam' (One living being is food for another living being). As for buddhism and jainism, why do not you say that they learnt non-violence from hinduism? After all, that was the milieu from which they arose.

    The fact is that although non-vegetarianism is accepted, being vegetarian and non-violence is appreciated. And it is considered an aid for spiritual development. Many non-vegetarians turn to vegetarianism in their old age for this reason.
     
  20. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    What???????????????????????????????

    The July 2012 "In your face Satanic Statement of the Century" 3rd Place winner goes to ... Aupmanyav.

    Aupmanyav has won this award before . . . he's one of Beeleezabab's favorite emissaries!
    Let's have a round of improvised yelps.

    And the second place winner . . . after a word from our sponsors . . .
     

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