Question: Does Hinduism speak in favour of vegetarianism?



Answer: Hinduism speaks in favour of vegetarianism or lacto-vegetarianism indirectly. The roots of vegetarianism in Sanatan Hindu community are found in the Vedas, Upanishads, Dharma Shastras, Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad-gita and most sacred scriptures. But those scriptures do not advocate the way of vegetarianism directly. A Hindu devotee who follows strictly the principles of his/her religious views tries to minimize hurting other life forms. Being vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian, he/she can avoid hurting or killing of other animals that are also creations of God. Besides a Hindu devotee always takes prasadam ( material substance of food that is first offered to a Hindu deity and then consumed) as his/her meal. So he/she cannot eat such a food that is not liked by gods or goddesses. In Bhagavad-gita Lord says-
patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya
tadaham bhaktyupahritam ashnami
prayatatmanah[BG 9.26]
[If one offers to me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water with devotion, I delightfully receive that article offered with pure consciousness.]

From the brief discussion above we can realize that vegetarianism is always liked by Lord. So a Hindu devotee should be vegetarian as early as possible.

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