As a lifestyle choice, plant-based diet has increasing number of followers around the world. Reasons are cultural habits, personal preference, health, economic reasons or taste. Habitation in some places of the world necessitate meat-eating for survival. Otherwise being vegetarian is enough for a fuller life, as strict and lifelong followers would know.
Often they have to face counter-arguments and derision from non -vegetarians. Standing up for what one believes in takes some firmness and substantiation by facts. Have you considered a moral and spiritual reason for your choice of food?
Control over Self
Ancient Indian philosophy glorifies Sattvic food (comprising mostly fruits and vegetables) for the pure beings. That was the secret of their vitality, joy and charisma. Over the years, medical philosophies like Ayurveda and Siddha rely on such a dietary regime.
Depending on plants entirely for sustenance certainly refines human nature. Vegetarians are supposed to be stable, patient and non-violent. Consciously or not, you master self-restraint by shunning meat, fish and poultry.
A vegetarian is humane in that he/she cannot relish anything that was obtained by inflicting torturous pain and agony in another innocent being. That is a voluntary act toward animal rights.
If you cannot help, at least do the least harm to other living creatures is their moral principle. Since plants do not have a central nervous system, picking fruits and veggies won’t kill the plant altogether. Resorting to cruelty brings back repercussions of the karma back to oneself.
Constant slaughter of animals, which are born and bred for the same purpose is appalling for the conscience. It is death that you eat in the carcass of killed animals. Vegetarians do not deny the life of animal off-springs nor what belongs rightfully to them.
“But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.” ― Plutarch
As higher order beings on earth, humans should protect other creatures and make space for them too. Abstaining from meat is a small sacrifice compared to the animals sacrificing their life to be on our dining tables. Imagine how many animals we would have devoured in a lifetime.
Matter of Mind
Vegetarianism also transcends the notion that we are our body, we eat for the sake of our bodies. The nature of food determines nature of our mind. A subtler part of food, after digestion, which consists of the emotions involved in cooking, manner in which ingredients were gathered and the thoughts while eating, goes into making of the mind.
Eating animals who in their last minutes had undergone misery instils feelings of insecurity and pain in us, and arouse animal tendencies. Consuming plants transfer the pure energy of sun into us, that inspires service, creativity and strength of will.
Vegetarians care for the health of the planet. They promote greenery, farming and harvesting, less pollution and energy conservation.
Healthy choices of living, in a higher sense, satisfies the real hunger. They eat to live and living true to self comes natural to them. They inspire others by their personal example.