top of page
  • Writer's pictureKarin Ebner

To Be or Not to Be... Vegetarian?

Updated: Jan 14

The Practice of Ahimsa

Today, I wanted to create discourse around a controversial aspect of the teachings. I am not here to preach about a Vegan Planet, and I no longer believe in this notion the way I once did. I have also come to understand that each person is born with a unique constitution, and that no one diet is right for everybody. As a result of my decade-long studies of nutrition along with various healing practices, layered with the teaching of yoga, I would like to offer some food for thought.

The teachings of Yoga invite us to lead our lives with Ahimsa, the practice of Kindness, Compassion & Non-violence, and this is often understood to mean living a Vegetarian or Vegan life. After all, is it really possible to lead a life rooted in non-violence if you eat animals or their products? It doesn’t take but a quick Google search to find out that the majority of the animals whose products you are eating are living a life in suffering and pain. And plenty of studies are now available to show that living a healthy plant-based life can help keep diseases and illnesses at bay.

On the flip side, there is the ancient science of longevity called Ayurveda (Yoga's sister science) - which, to this day, is the most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health system. Today, it has become a buzzword, and many yogis point to this ancient health system when they explain why they choose to eat animal products. I myself have turned to the healing powers of this ancient practice in search of healing imbalance and dis-ease. Ayurveda teaches us that none of us are the same, and that we all have a different constitution - and therefore unique dietary needs. No one diet is right for everybody, and therefore even a Vegan or Vegetarian diet may not be right for everyone - depending on each individual's physical, mental, and emotional state. Which is why some people did not thrive on a plant-based diet and chose to consume animal products once again. Once you spend some time researching the impact of vegan products and a vegan life, you will come to understand that this much defended lifestyle based on Ahima can also also have detrimental effects on the environment and our health. We replace meat with factory made mock meats. The soybean industry pollutes the environment, Tony is laden with chemicals, we replace wool and leather with plastics that contaminate the ocean, and thousands of little animals die when corn, soy and wheat fields are harvested.

Both paths have their positive and negative impacts. And considering that we are all born with a different constitution - how can one diet be the best diet for everyone? The answer, however, is not as simple as it may seem at first. Whether you choose to consume animal products or not, you have to look at where your food is coming from, how it is produced, how it is harvested, and, most importantly, how the animals whose products you are consuming are kept, and ultimately slaughtered.

When we are consuming meat and products of animals from supermarket shelves, we are consuming products full of chemicals, disease, and violence. The animal whose product we eat likely lived its life in suffering and pain. On an energetic level, think about the energy you are absorbing by consuming these products. Is it any surprise that we get sick? So you have to ask yourself - do you really want to consume a product of violence?

This is a decision you are going to have to ask yourself. I am simply inviting you today to contemplate some questions and sit with your emotions for a few days, and to think about the choices you are making when nourishing your body. In an age when fruits and vegetables are sold with a heavy dose of chemicals as well, what are we to eat? Don't plants have feelings and emotions as well? Each of us has to make our own decision about where we are going to draw the line and what feels right to us. Maybe we can begin by only consuming organically/biodynamically produced, non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Maybe we can purchase meat from a local farm where we have verified with our own eyes that the animals are pasture-raised, ethically treated, and humanely slaughtered. Maybe we can research the source of fish we choose to consume and how it being caught affects our fragile environmental (im)balance.

Maybe we can practice Ahimsa by choosing the path that causes the least amount of harm to our animals, our environment, and ultimately ourselves.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page