How veg & Non-veg diets fit with ‘dharma’

What ‘allows and supports evolution’ is Dharma. What ‘does not’ is adharma.

Disclaimer: This is my interpretation of dharma (a term used in indian philosophy) and is not meant to hurt anybody’s sentiments. Also, I do not claim this to be my concept. It most probably is an idea formed from the many books I have read and conversations I have had with many people…

I hope all of us would agree that evolution is probably the one single goal that mankind has. Each of us strive towards the same in some way. Some of us knowingly, some of us unknowingly. If one were to think whether our humanity has a purpose, the only sensible one which stands the test of all questioning seems to be evolution. A look back at history would help.. Not of history written by humans. But deciphered to some extent by some great scientists. As is generally agreed, life started in very simple forms, say like an amoeba, a single celled organism which we cant even see with our naked eyes. As we understand, it then developed further and further to form the various plants and animals. Monkeys came, evolved to apes and chimpanzees and gorillas and then probably to us humans.

We stand today as humans at the assumed summit of biological evolution. Many studies have gone in to see why humans rule this earth as no other living being does. Of course, we should surrender to our mother nature whose fury we can only try and cope with later. We still cant control Tsunamis or earthquakes or volcanoes. But we can practically control most plant and animal species. We can let them grow and survive or make then extinct.

So, are we at the summit of evolution really? Do we have no further to go? Oh. Yes. We got to go and capture and inhabit other planets and then other galaxies and find out aliens and Extra terrestrial species. We all hope though that they are not more intelligent and powerful than us. If they do exist and turn out to be so, we would probably then take more time (hundreds of centuries probably) to reach the summit of biological evolution.

But for the present, if we assume that we are at the summit of biological evolution, then what do we do? Do we have anything to evolve into? This is the question that haunted many many ppl. Many came with many answers. But the common thread in all of them is that there is an evolution that needs to happen further. Some say we need to become superhumans by manipulating our own genes, some talk of reaching god, some talk of attaining to heaven, some of reaching the infinite bliss etc etc… But overall, the common thread is that we still need to evolve.

Having understood the need for evolution, let us now focus on our topic. If we have evolved till now to become humans, it has generally been by the one generally accepted rule. We all would easily understand that we never mind giving ourselves an injection to kill viruses and bacteria so that we can be saved. This goes to say that a lower form of evolution is less valuable than a higher form. Same goes with killing mosquitoes to safeguard our health. This is also followed by all animals eating and living on other lower forms of evolution which cannot defend themselves.

This brings us to diet. At last !!! Obviously, as humans, we have in our quest to survive, looked upon all growing species as food. Each has taken to eating what was more available in that area. Coastal people relishing on seafood, others on land animals, others on crops including cereals, vegetables etc. This all again follows the fact that we higher forms of living are eating lower forms of living to let us survive. What are we going to do by survinging? Well, at least in theory, we are going to go higher and hit the peak of evolution once we all find it in our own way.

So, we do have reason to eat either plants or animals which are lower forms of being than us. But given a choice between these, what should we eat? Of course, choice comes only when there is availability. It would be foolish to tell an eskimo to eat rice. He eats what he gets there. But for the many of us who live in places where we get all that we want, there exists a choice. Technically speaking, eating a plant which is a lower form of being than an animal works better with evolution. Extremes teach us most. And that is the precise reason I used the arguement of killing mosquitoes to save ourselves. Using that logic, we can say that It would be better to make a few species of lower development index extinct rather than make higher ones extinct by eating into them.

So, there develops the logic above of choice between a vegetarian diet and a non-vegetarian diet. So, we understand that both of these certainly go along with ‘dharma’. Just that one is a little better than the other for the end goal of human evolution into ‘God knows what’.

Let me clinch the arguement here though with one last example. If say for example a person used to a vegetarian diet is left by some means in an island with no other plants growing and has just one cow (which also landed there by mistake, say from a ship), then it would be in accordance with ‘dharma’ and evolution that he eats the cow to survive. To hope that he would be alive when that saviour ship would come and he would be saved. He certainly has the better chance of finding the secret of the universe or this great evolution secret than the cow.

Happy Evolving !!!!

If you have come this far, please do spare me your valuable comment. Thanks… Have a nice day..

One thought on “How veg & Non-veg diets fit with ‘dharma’

  1. Sandeep September 29, 2008 at 5:37 am Reply

    Hi Amru,
    Good to see u blogging again. Just one thought and may be you can help me understand is that like how ppl cultivate and raise crops, even the animals are grown to be consumed as where are we stopping their evolution out here ?

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