Vegetarianism and religion
Vegetarianism is strongly linked with a number of religions that originated in ancient India (Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism). In Jainism, vegetarianism is mandatory for everyone; in Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, it is advocated by some influential scriptures and religious authorities. Comparatively, in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the Bahá'í Faith and Dharmic religions such as Sikhism, vegetarianism is less commonly viewed as a religious obligation, although in all these faiths there are groups actively promoting vegetarianism on religious grounds.
India is a strange country. People do not kill
any living creatures, do not keep pigs and fowl,
and do not sell live cattle.
Most Indian religions have philosophical schools that forbid consumption of meat and Jainism institutes an outright ban on the same. Consequently, India is home to more vegetarians than any other country. About 30% of India's 1.2 billion population practices lacto vegetarianism, with overall meat consumption increasing. The per capita meat consumption in India in 2002 was 5.2 kg, while it was 24 times more in the United States at 124.8 kg. Meat consumption in the United States and India grew at about 40% over the last 50 years. In 1961 Indian per capita meat consumption was 3.7 kg, while the US consumption was 89.2 kg.
Vegetarianism in Jainism is based on the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa, literally "non-injuring"). Vegetarianism is considered mandatory for everyone. Jains are either lacto-vegetarians or vegans. No use or consumption of products obtained from dead animals is allowed. Moreover, Jains try to avoid unnecessary injury to plants and suksma jiva (Sanskrit for subtle life forms; minuscule organisms). The goal is to cause as little violence to living things as possible, hence they avoid eating roots, tubers such as potatoes, garlic and anything that involves uprooting (and thus eventually killing) a plant to obtain food.
Every act by which a person directly or indirectly supports killing or injury is seen as violence (hinsa), which creates harmful karma. The aim of ahimsa is to prevent the accumulation of such karma. Jains consider nonviolence to be the most essential religious duty for everyone (ahinsā paramo dharmaḥ, a statement often inscribed on Jain temples). Their scrupulous and thorough way of applying nonviolence to everyday activities, and especially to food, shapes their entire lives and is the most significant hallmark of Jain identity. A side effect of this strict discipline is the exercise of asceticism, which is strongly encouraged in Jainism for lay people as well as for monks and nuns.
Jains do not practice animal sacrifice as they consider all sentient beings to be equal.
Vegetarianism is an integral part of most schools of Hinduism although there are a wide variety of practices and beliefs that have changed over time. An estimated 33% of all Hindus are vegetarians. Some sects of Hindus do not observe vegetarianism.
The principle of nonviolence (Ahimsa) applied to animals is connected with the intention to avoid negative karmic influences which result from violence. The suffering of all beings is believed to arise from craving and desire, conditioned by the karmic effects of both animal and human action. The violence of slaughtering animals for food, and its source in craving, reveal flesh eating as one mode in which humans enslave themselves to suffering. Hinduism holds that such influences affect the person who permits the slaughter of an animal, the person who kills it, the person who cuts it up, the person who buys or sells meat, the person who cooks it, the person who serves it up, and the person who eats it. They must all be considered the slayers of the animal. The question of religious duties towards the animals and of negative Karma incurred from violence (himsa) against them is discussed in detail in Hindu scriptures and religious law books.
Hindu scriptures belong or refer to the Vedic period which lasted till about 500 BCE according to the chronological division by modern historians. In the historical Vedic religion, the predecessor of Hinduism, meat eating was not banned in principle, but was restricted by specific rules. Several highly authoritative scriptures bar violence against domestic animals except in the case of ritual sacrifice. This view is clearly expressed in the Mahabharata (3.199.11-12; 13.115; 13.116.26; 13.148.17), the Bhagavata Purana (11.5.13-14), and the Chandogya Upanishad (8.15.1). For instance, many Hindus point to the Mahabharata's maxim that "Nonviolence is the highest duty and the highest teaching," as advocating a vegetarian diet. The Mahabharata also states that adharma (sin) was born when creatures started to devour one another from want of food and that adharma always destroys every creature " It is also reflected in the Manu Smriti (5.27-44), a particularly renowned traditional Hindu law book (Dharmaśāstra). These texts strongly condemn the slaughter of animals and meat eating.
The Mahabharata (12.260; 13.115-116; 14.28) and the Manu Smriti (5.27-55) contain lengthy discussions about the legitimacy of ritual slaughter and subsequent consumption of the meat. In the Mahabharata both meat eaters and vegetarians present various arguments to substantiate their viewpoints. Apart from the debates about domestic animals, there is also a long discourse by a hunter in defence of hunting and meat eating. These texts show that both ritual slaughter and hunting were challenged by advocates of universal non-violence and their acceptability was doubtful and a matter of dispute.
In modern India the food habits of Hindus vary according to their community or caste and according to regional traditions. Hindu vegetarians usually eschew eggs but consume milk and dairy products, so they are lacto-vegetarians.
According to a survey of 2006, vegetarianism is weak in coastal states and strong in landlocked northern and western states and among Brahmins in general, 55 percent of whom are vegetarians. In 2018, a study from Economic and Political Weekly shows that in facts only a third of the upper-caste Indians could be vegetarian.
Animal sacrifice in Hinduism
The ritual sacrifice normally forms part of a festival to honour a Hindu god. For example, in Nepal the Hindu goddess Gadhimai, is honoured every 5 years with the slaughter of 250,000 animals.However this practise was banned from 2015. Bali sacrifice today is common at the Sakta shrines of the Goddess Kali. However, animal sacrifice is illegal in India.
The first Buddhist monks and nuns were forbidden from growing, storing, or cooking their own food. They relied entirely on the generosity of alms to feed themselves, and were not allowed to accept money to buy their own food. They could not make special dietary requests, and had to accept whatever food alms givers had available, including meat. Monks and nuns of the Theravada school of Buddhism, which predominates in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Laos, still follow these strictures today.
These strictures were relaxed in China, Korea, Japan, and other countries that follow Mahayana Buddhism, where monasteries were in remote mountain areas and the distance to the nearest towns made daily alms rounds impractical. There, Buddhist monks and nuns could cultivate their own crops, store their own harvests, cook their own meals, and accept money to buy anything else they needed in terms of food in the market.
According to the Vinaya Pitaka, when Devadatta urged him to make complete abstinence from meat compulsory, the Buddha refused, maintaining that "monks would have to accept whatever they found in their begging bowls, including meat, provided that they had not seen, had not heard, and had no reason to suspect that the animal had been killed so that the meat could be given to them". There were prohibitions on specific kinds of meat: meat from humans, meat from royal animals such as elephants or horses, meat from dogs, and meat from dangerous animals like snakes, lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas.
On the other hand, certain Mahayana sutras strongly denounce the eating of meat. According to the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Buddha revoked this permission to eat meat and warned of a dark age when false monks would claim that they were allowed meat. In the Lankavatara Sutra, a disciple of the Buddha named Mahamati asks "[Y]ou teach a doctrine that is flavoured with compassion. It is the teaching of the perfect Buddhas. And yet we eat meat nonetheless; we have not put an end to it." An entire chapter is devoted to the Buddha's response, wherein he lists a litany of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional reasons why meat eating should be abjured. However, according to Suzuki (2004:211), this chapter on meat eating is a "later addition to the text....It is quite likely that meat-eating was practiced more or less among the earlier Buddhists, which was made a subject of severe criticism by their opponents. The Buddhists at the time of the Laṅkāvatāra did not like it, hence this addition in which an apologetic tone is noticeable." Phelps (2004:64–65) points to a passage in the Surangama Sutra which implies advocacy of "not just a vegetarian, but a vegan lifestyle"; however, numerous scholars over the centuries have concluded that the Śūraṅgama Sūtra is a forgery. Moreover, in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the same sutra which records his retraction of permission to eat meat, the Buddha explicitly identifies as "beautiful foods" honey, milk, and cream, all of which are eschewed by vegans.
In the modern Buddhist world, attitudes toward vegetarianism vary by location. In China and Vietnam, monks typically eat no meat, with other restrictions as well. In Japan or Korea some schools do not eat meat, while most do. Theravadins in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia do not practice vegetarianism. All Buddhists however, including monks, are allowed to practice vegetarianism if they wish to do so. Phelps (2004:147) states that "There are no accurate statistics, but I would guess—and it is only a guess—that worldwide about half of all Buddhists are vegetarian".
Followers of Sikhism do not have a preference for meat or vegetarian consumption. There are two views on initiated or "Amritdhari Sikhs" and meat consumption. "Amritdhari" Sikhs (i.e. those that follow the Sikh Rehat Maryada - the Official Sikh Code of Conduct) can eat meat (provided it is not Kutha meat)."Amritdharis" that belong to some Sikh sects (e.g. Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Damdami Taksal, Namdhari, Rarionwalay, etc.) are vehemently against the consumption of meat and eggs.
In the case of meat, the Sikh Gurus have indicated their preference for a simple diet, which could include meat or be vegetarian. Passages from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) say that fools argue over this issue. Guru Nanak said that overconsumption of food (Lobh, Greed) involves a drain on the Earth's resources and thus on life. The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, prohibited the Sikhs from the consumption of halal or Kutha (any ritually slaughtered meat) meat because of the Sikh belief that sacrificing an animal in the name of God is mere ritualism (something to be avoided).
On the views that eating vegetation would be eating flesh, first Sikh Guru Nanak states:
ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਥਹੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਉਪੰਨਾ ॥ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਅੰਨੁ ਕਮਾਦੁ ਕਪਾਹਾਂ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਗੰਨਾ ॥ O Pandit, you do not know where did flesh originate! It is water where life originated and it is water that sustains all life. It is water that produces grains, sugarcane, cotton and all forms of life.
On Vegetation, the Guru described it as living and experiencing pain:
Page 143 of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Look, and see how the sugar-cane is cut down. After cutting away its branches, its feet are bound together into bundles,
and then, it is placed between the wooden rollers and crushed.
What punishment is inflicted upon it! Its juice is extracted and placed in the cauldron; as it is heated, it groans and cries out.
And then, the crushed cane is collected and burnt in the fire below.
Nanak: come, people, and see how the sweet sugar-cane is treated!— First Mehl, Page 143 Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Sikhs who eat meat, eat Jhatka meat.
Judaic, Christian, and Muslim traditions (Abrahamic religions) all have strong connections to the Biblical ideal of the Garden of Eden, which includes references to a herbivore diet.[Genesis 1:29-31, Isaiah 11:6-9] However, only minorities within those populations actually practice and advocate such diets.
Medieval rabbis such as Joseph Albo and Isaac Arama regarded vegetarianism as a moral ideal, and a number of modern Jewish groups and Jewish religious and cultural authorities have promoted vegetarianism. Groups advocating for Jewish vegetarianism include Jewish Veg, a contemporary grassroots organization promoting veganism as "God's ideal diet", and the Shamayim V'Aretz Institute, which promotes a vegan diet in the Jewish community through animal welfare activism, kosher veganism, and Jewish spirituality. One source of advocacy for Jewish vegetarianism in Israel is Amirim, a vegetarian moshav (village).
Jewish Veg has named 75 contemporary rabbis who encourage veganism for all Jews, including Jonathan Wittenberg, Daniel Sperber, David Wolpe, Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Kerry Olitzky, Shmuly Yanklowitz, Aryeh Cohen, Geoffrey Claussen, Rami M. Shapiro, David Rosen, Raysh Weiss, Elyse Goldstein, Shefa Gold, and Yonassan Gershom. Other rabbis who have promoted vegetarianism have included David Cohen, Shlomo Goren, Irving Greenberg, Asa Keisar, Jonathan Sacks, She'ar Yashuv Cohen, and Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. Other notable advocates of Jewish vegetarianism include Franz Kafka, Roberta Kalechofsky, Richard H. Schwartz, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Aaron S. Gross.
Jewish vegetarians often cite Jewish principles regarding animal welfare, environmental ethics, moral character, and health as reasons for adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. Some Jews point to legal principles including Bal tashkhit (the law which prohibits waste) and Tza'ar ba'alei hayyim (the injunction not to cause ‘pain to living creatures’). Many Jewish vegetarians are particularly concerned about cruel practices in factory farms and high-speed, mechanized slaughterhouses. Jonathan Safran Foer has raised these concerns in the short documentary film If This Is Kosher..., responding to what he considers abuses within the kosher meat industry.
Some Jewish vegetarians have pointed out that Adam and Eve were not allowed to eat meat. Genesis 1:29 states "And God said: Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit—to you it shall be for food," indicating that God's original plan was for mankind to be vegan.· According to some opinions, the whole world will again be vegetarian in the Messianic era, and not eating meat brings the world closer to that ideal. As the ideal images of the Torah are vegetarian, one may see the laws of kashrut as actually designed to wean Jews away from meat eating and to move them toward the vegetarian ideal.
Several Christian monastic groups, including the Desert Fathers, Trappists, Benedictines, Cistercians and Carthusians, all of the Orthodox monks and also Christian esoteric groups, such as the Rosicrucian Fellowship, have encouraged vegetarianism.
The Bible Christian Church, a Christian vegetarian sect founded by Reverend William Cowherd in 1809, were one of the philosophical forerunners of the Vegetarian Society. Cowherd encouraged members to abstain from eating of meat as a form of temperance.
Some Christian groups, such as Seventh-day Adventists, the Christian Vegetarian Association and Christian anarchists, take a literal interpretation of the Biblical prophecies of universal veg(etari)anism[Genesis 1:29-1:31, Isaiah 11:6-11:9, Isaiah 65:25] and encourage veg(etari)anism as preferred lifestyles or as a tool to reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, although some of them say it is not required. Other groups point instead to allegedly explicit prophecies of temple sacrifices in the Messianic Kingdom, e.g. Ezekiel 46:12, where so-called peace offerings and so-called freewill offerings are said that will be offered, and Leviticus 7:15-20 where it states that such offerings are eaten, what may contradict the very purpose of Jesus' purportedly sufficient atonement.
Some Christian vegetarians, such as Keith Akers, argue that Jesus himself was a vegetarian. Akers argues that Jesus was influenced by the Essenes, an ascetic Jewish sect. The present academic consensus is that Jesus was not an Essene. There is no historical record of Jesus’ precise attitudes to animals, but there is a strand in his ethical teaching about the primacy of mercy to the weak, the powerless and the oppressed, which Walters and Portmess argue can also refer to captive animals.
Other, more recent Christians movements, such as Sarx and CreatureKind, do not maintain that Jesus himself was a vegetarian, but instead argue that many practices which occur in the contemporary industrialized farming system, such as the mass culling of day-old male-chicks in the egg industry, are incompatible with the life of peace and love to which Jesus called his followers.
Within Eastern Christianity, Vegetarianism is practiced as part of fasting during the Great Lent (although shellfish and other non-vertebrate products are generally considered acceptable during some periods of this time); vegan fasting is particularly common in Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodox Churches, such as the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which generally fasts 210 days out of the year.
Islam explicitly prohibits eating of some kinds of meat, especially pork. However, one of the most important Islamic celebrations, Eid al-Adha, involves animal sacrifices. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice a domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows, and goats). According to the Quran, a large portion of the meat has to be given towards the poor and hungry, and every effort is to be made to see that no impoverished Muslim is left without sacrificial food during days of feast like Eid-ul-Adha. Certain Islamic orders are mainly vegetarian; many Sufis maintain a vegetarian diet. Some Muslims think that being a vegetarian for reasons other than health is un-Islamic and it is a form of emulation of the infidels (tashabbuh bil kuffar).
Rastafari generally follow a diet called "I-tal", which eschews the eating of food that has been artificially preserved, flavoured, or chemically altered in any way. Some Rastafari consider it to also forbid the eating of meat but the majority will not eat pork at the very least, considering it unclean.
While there are no dietary restrictions in the Bahá'í Faith, `Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, noted that a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits and grains was desirable, except for people with a weak constitution or those that are sick. He stated that there are no requirements that Bahá'ís become vegetarian, but that a future society would gradually become vegetarian. `Abdu'l-Bahá also stated that killing animals was somewhat contrary to compassion. While Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Bahá'í Faith in the first half of the 20th century, stated that a purely vegetarian diet would be preferable since it avoided killing animals, both he and the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the Bahá'ís have stated that these teachings do not constitute a Bahá'í practice and that Bahá'ís can choose to eat whatever they wish, but to be respectful of others beliefs.
One of the main precepts in Zoroastrianism is respect and kindness towards all living things and condemnation of cruelty against animals
The Shahnameh states that the evil king of Iran, Zohak was first taught eating meat by the evil one who came to him in the guise of a cook. This was the start of an age of great evil for Iran. Prior to this, in the Golden age of mankind in the days of the great Aryan Kings, man did not eat meat.
The Pahlavi scriptures state that in the final stages of the world, when the final Saviour Saoshyant arrives, man will become more spiritual and gradually give up meat eating.
Vegetarianism is stated to be the future state of the world in Pahlavi scriptures - Atrupat-e Emetan in Iran in Denkard Book VI requested all Zoroastrians to be vegetarians:
"ku.san enez a-on ku urwar xwarishn bawed shmah mardoman ku derziwishn bawed, ud az tan i gospand pahrezed, ce amar was, eg Ohrmaz i xwaday hay.yarih i gospand ray urwar was dad."
Meaning: They hold this also: Be plant eaters (urwar xwarishn) (i.e. vegetarian), O you, men, so that you may live long. Keep away from the body of cattle (tan i gospand), and deeply reckon that Ohrmazd, the Lord has created plants in great number for helping cattle (and men)."
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam promotes vegetarianism deeming it the "most healthful and virtuous way to eat".
In Chinese societies, "simple eating" (素食 Mandarin: sù shí) refers to a particular restricted diet associated with Taoist monks, and sometimes practiced by members of the general population during Taoist festivals and fasting days. It is similar to Chinese Buddhist vegetarianism. Varying levels of abstinence among Taoists and Taoist-influenced people include veganism, veganism without root vegetables, lacto-ovo vegetarianism, and pescetarianism. Taoist vegetarians also tend to abstain from alcohol and pungent vegetables such as garlic and onions during lenten days. Non-vegetarian Taoists sometimes abstain from beef and water buffalo meat for many cultural reasons.
Vegetarianism in the Taoist tradition is similar to that of Lent in the Christian tradition. While highly religious people such as monks may be vegetarian, vegan or pescetarian on a permanent basis, lay practitioners often eat vegetarian on the 1st (new moon), 8th, 14th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 28th, 29th and 30th days of the lunar calendar. In accordance with their Buddhist peers, and because many people are both Taoist and Buddhist, they often also eat lenten on the 15th day (full moon). Taoist vegetarianism is similar to Chinese Buddhist vegetarianism, however, its roots reach to pre-Buddhist times. Believers historically abstained from animal products and alcohol before practicing Confucian, Taoist and Chinese folk religion rites.
It is referred to by the English word "vegetarian"; however, though it rejects meat, eggs, and milk, this diet may include oysters and oyster products or otherwise be pescetarian for some believers. Many lay Taoists who follow modern sects such as that of Yi Guan Dao or Master Ching Hai are vegan or strictly vegetarian.
Oahspe (Meaning Sky, Earth and Spirit) is the doctrinal book of those who follow Faithism. The precepts for behavior can be found throughout the book which include" a herbivorous diet (vegan, vegetable food only), peaceful living (no warring or violence; pacifism), living a life of virtue, service to others, angelic assistance, spiritual communion, and communal living when it is feasible to do so. Freedom and responsibility are two themes reiterated throughout the text of Oahspe.
There is no set teaching on vegetarianism within the diverse neopagan communities, however many do follow a vegetarian diet often connected to ecological concerns as well as the welfare and rights of animals. Vegetarian practitioners of Wicca will often see their standpoint as a natural extension of the Wiccan Rede. Organizations like SERV refer to the historic figures of Porphyry, Pythagoras and Iamblichus as sources for the Pagan view of vegetarianism. During the 1970s the publication Earth Religion News, focused on articles related to neopaganism and vegetarianism, it was edited by the author Herman Slater.
Meher Baba's teachings
The spiritual teacher Meher Baba recommended a vegetarian diet for his followers because he held that it helps one to avoid certain impurities: "Killing an animal for sport, pleasure or food means catching all its bad impressions, since the motive is selfish....Impressions are contagious. Eating meat is prohibited in many spiritual disciplines because therein the person catches the impressions of the animal, thus rendering himself more susceptible to lust and anger."
The Creativity religion promotes a form of fruitinarian raw food diet in its "Salubrious Living" health program named after the third text of the faith written by Arnold DeVries and Ben Klassen, which encourages the consumption of only raw foods in their "natural state, basically fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts," getting plenty of physical exercise as well as abstinence from alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, preservatives, insecticides, narcotics and other drugs whether prescription or non-prescription. Salubrious Living is considered mandatory to "fully practice" Creativity and a lawsuit is currently in place against the Bureau of Prisons to get it recognized as a religious dietary preference for incarcerated adherents of the religious movement.
- Tähtinen, Unto (1976). Ahimsa: Non-Violence in Indian Tradition. London. pp. 107–111.
- Walters, Kerry S.; Lisa Portmess (2001). Religious Vegetarianism From Hesiod to the Dalai Lama. Albany. pp. 37–91.
- "What Do You Know of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha?". Sikhism 101. UniversalFaith.net. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- "Sikhism: A Universal Message". 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
- Walters, Kerry S.; Lisa Portmess (2001). Religious Vegetarianism From Hesiod to the Dalai Lama. Albany. pp. 123–167.
- Iacobbo, Karen; Michael Iacobbo (2004). Vegetarian America. A History. Westport. pp. 3–14, 97–99, 232–233.
- Anand M. Saxena (2013). The Vegetarian Imperative. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 201–202. ISBN 978-14214-02-420.
- Nelson, Dean (20 November 2009). "India tells West to stop eating beef". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Increased meat consumption in India, China driving global food prices: EU". Archived from the original on 25 July 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
- Brown, Felicity (2 September 2009). "Meat consumption per capita". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Dietary code of practice amongst Jains". International Vegetarian Union (IVU). Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Laidlaw, James: Riches and Renunciation. Religion, economy, and society among the Jains, Oxford 1995, p. 26-30, 191-195.
- Disclaimer: "The meaning of asceticism discourses is complex." The word, however, is frequently used in a derogatory way against the veg(etari)an movement. Characterizing veganism as asceticism, pp. 141–142. In: Matthew Cole, Karen Morgan (2011). "Vegaphobia: derogatory discourses of veganism and the reproduction of speciesism in UK national newspapers". The British Journal of Sociology. 62 (1): 134–153. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2010.01348.x. PMID 21361905.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Simoons, Frederick (1994). Eat not this flesh: food avoidances from prehistory to the present. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-299-14254-4.
- Klostermaier, Klaus K. (1994). A survey of Hinduism (Edition: 2 ed.). SUNY Press. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7914-2109-3.
- Schmidt, Arno; Fieldhouse, Paul (2007). The world religions cookbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-313-33504-4.
- Badlani, Dr. Hiro G. (23 September 2008). "48". HINDUISM PATH OF THE ANCIENT WISDOM. Global Authors Publishers. p. 260. ISBN 978-0-595-70183-4. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
- Antoine Dubois, Jean; Carrie Chapman Catt (2002). Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies: The Classic First Hand Account of India in the Early Nineteenth Century. Henry K. Beauchamp. Courier Dover Publications. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-486-42115-5.
- Walters, Kerry S. and Portmess, Lisa. Religious Vegetarianism: From Hesiod to the Dalai Lama. State University of New York Press. New York, 2001. pp. 41, 42, 61, 62, 187, 191. ISBN 0-7914-4972-6.
- Mahabharata 3.199 is 3.207 according to another count.
- Mahabharata 13.116.37-41
- Mahabharata section LXVI"
- Mahabharata 12.260 Archived 10 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Mahabharata 12.260 s 12.268 according to another count.
- Mahabharata 3.199 Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Mahabharata 3.199 is 3.207 according to another count.
- Alsdorf pp. 572–577 (for the Manu Smriti) and pp. 585-597 (for the Mahabharata).
- Yadav, Y.; Kumar, S (14 August 2006). "The food habits of a nation". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 October 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
- Biswas, Soutik (4 April 2018). "The myth of the Indian vegetarian nation". BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
- "The Hindu - Changes in the Indian menu over the ages". Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- Das, Veena (13 February 2003). The Oxford India companion to sociology and social anthropology, Volume 1. 1. OUP India. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-19-564582-8.
- O.P. Radhan (September 2002). Encyclopaedia of Political Parties. 33 to 50. Anmol, India. p. 854. ISBN 978-81-7488-865-5.
- Lang, Olivia (24 November 2009). "Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals begins". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Julius J. Lipner (23 July 1998). "9". Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices) [Paperback]. Routledge; New edition. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-415-05182-8.
- "Leading a Buddhist Life and the Five Precepts". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- "What the Buddha Said About Eating Meat". Archived from the original on 15 August 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- "Nirvana Sutra: Appreciation of the "Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra"". Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Phelps 2004:76
- "Lankavatara Sutra – The Faults of Eating Meat". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- Phelps 2004:61–63
- Suzuki, D. T. (1999). The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra: A Mahāyāna Text. Buddhist Tradition Series. 40. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1655-8.
This chapter on meat-eating is another later addition to the text, which was probably done earlier than the Rāvaṇa chapter. It already appears in the Sung, but of the three Chinese versions it appears here in its shortest form, the proportion being S = 1, T = 2, W = 3. It is quite likely that meat-eating was practised more or less among the earlier Buddhists, which was made a subject of severe criticism by their opponents. The Buddhists at the time of the Laṅkāvatāra did not like it, hence this addition in which an apologetic tone is noticeable.
- Hurvitz, Leon (1967), The Surangama Sutra. Review in Journal of Asian Studies, Vol.26, issue 3, May 1967, pp. 482-484
- Faure, Bernard (1991), The Rhetoric of Imeediacy. A Cultural Critique of Chan/Zen Buddhism, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press
- "Misconceptions About Eating Meat - Comments of Sikh Scholars," Archived 28 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine at The Sikhism Home Page Archived 17 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Sikhs and Sikhism, by I.J. Singh, Manohar, Delhi ISBN 978-81-7304-058-0: Throughout Sikh history, there have been movements or subsects of Sikhism which have espoused vegetarianism. I think there is no basis for such dogma or practice in Sikhism. Certainly Sikhs do not think that a vegetarian's achievements in spirituality are easier or higher. It is surprising to see that vegetarianism is such an important facet of Hindu practice in light of the fact that animal sacrifice was a significant and much valued Hindu Vedic ritual for ages. Guru Nanak in his writings clearly rejected both sides of the arguments—on the virtues of vegetarianism or meat eating—as banal and so much nonsense, nor did he accept the idea that a cow was somehow more sacred than a horse or a chicken. He also refused to be drawn into a contention on the differences between flesh and greens, for instance. History tells us that to impart this message, Nanak cooked meat at an important Hindu festival in Kurukshetra. Having cooked it he certainly did not waste it, but probably served it to his followers and ate himself. History is quite clear that Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh were accomplished and avid hunters. The game was cooked and put to good use, to throw it away would have been an awful waste.
- Guru Granth Sahib, An Analytical Study by Surindar Singh Kohli, Singh Bros. Amritsar ISBN 81-7205-060-7: The ideas of devotion and service in Vaishnavism have been accepted by Adi Granth, but the insistence of Vaishnavas on vegetarian diet has been rejected.
- A History of the Sikh People by Dr. Gopal Singh, World Sikh University Press, Delhi ISBN 978-81-7023-139-4: However, it is strange that now-a-days in the Community-Kitchen attached to the Sikh temples, and called the Guru's Kitchen (or, Guru-ka-langar) meat-dishes are not served at all. May be, it is on account of its being, perhaps, expensive, or not easy to keep for long. Or, perhaps the Vaishnava tradition is too strong to be shaken off.
- "Sikh Reht Maryada, The Definition of Sikh, Sikh Conduct & Conventions, Sikh Religion Living, India". www.sgpc.net. Archived from the original on 20 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- Vegetarianism and Meat-Eating in 8 Religions Archived 26 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine April/May/June, 2007 Hinduism Today
- Philosophy of Sikhism by Gyani Sher Singh (Ph. D), Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Amritsar: As a true Vaisnavite Kabir remained a strict vegetarian. Kabir far from defying Brahmanical tradition as to the eating of meat, would not permit so much, as the plucking of a flower (G.G.S. p. 479), whereas Nanak deemed all such scruples to be superstitions, Kabir held the doctrine of Ahinsa or the non-destruction of life, which extended even to that of flowers. The Sikh Gurus, on the contrary, allowed and even encouraged, the use of animal flesh as food. Nanak has exposed this Ahinsa superstition in Asa Ki War (G.G.S. p. 472) and Malar Ke War (G.G.S. p. 1288)
- "Langar," Archived 2 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine at http://www.sikhwomen.com Archived 27 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Singh, Prithi Pal (2006). "3 Guru Amar Das". The History of Sikh Gurus. New Delhi: Lotus Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-81-8382-075-2.
- "The Sikhism Home Page". Sikhs.org. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
- "Sri Guru Granth Sahib". Sri Granth. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
- Sikh Gurus. "Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji". pp. 142 to 143. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
- Eric Baratay, l'anthropocentrisme du christianisme occidental, Si les lions pouvaient parler, essais sur la condition animale, sous la direction de Boris Cyrulnik, Gallimard, ISBN 2-07-073709-8
- Rabbi J. David Bleich, https://web.archive.org/web/20120518014142/http://www.innernet.org.il/article.php?aid=107, Reprinted with permission from "Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Volume III", KTAV Publishers.
- "What's Jewish About Being Veg". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute | מכון שמים וארץ". The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute | מכון שמים וארץ. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "Ohn-Bar Guesthouse in Amirim - About the village and hikes". Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- "Rabbinic Statement". Archived from the original on 17 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- "74 Rabbis Urge Jewish Community to Go Vegan". VegNews.com. Archived from the original on 2 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- "Animal Welfare - Hazon". Hazon. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- Mary L. Zamore, ed. The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic (New York, NY: CCAR Press, 2011).
- Kalechofsky, Roberta. Rabbis and Vegetarianism: An Evolving Tradition. Micah Publications. Massachusetts, 1995. pp. 16, 54, 55, 65, 66, 68, 70, 71. ISBN 0-916288-42-0.
- Mary L. Zamore, ed. The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic (New York, NY: CCAR Press, 2011).
- Foer, Jonathan Safran. "If This Is Kosher…". Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Schwartz, Richard H. Judaism and Vegetarianism. Lantern Books. New York, 2001. pp. 1, 12, 16, 19, 188. ISBN 1-930051-24-7.
- Article The Wisdom of the Vegetarian Diet Archived 1 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine by The Rosicrucian Fellowship (Esoteric Christians)
- Max Heindel (1910s), New Age Vegetarian Cookbook, The Rosicrucian Fellowship (publisher), 492 pages
- "The Bible Christian Church". International Vegetarian Union. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012.
- "History of Vegetarianism - Early Ideas". The Vegetarian Society. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2008.; Gregory, James (2007) Of Victorians and Vegetarians. London: I. B. Tauris pp. 30–35.
- "William Cowherd (brief information)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
- Keith Akers. "Was Jesus a vegetarian?". Archived from the original on 27 October 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- Young, Richard Alan. Is God a Vegetarian?. Carus Publishing Company. Chicago, 1999. pp. 4, 7, 56, 117. ISBN 0-8126-9393-0.
- "Quran Surah Al-Hajj ( Verse 28 )". Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Quran Surah Al-Hajj ( Verse 36 )". Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- Arzenjani, Mohd. Almamoon (1957). "Sufism". 15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957. International Vegetarian Union. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
- Smith, Peter (2000). "Diet". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 121–122. ISBN 978-1-85168-184-6.
- Esslemont, J.E. (1980). Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era (5th ed.). Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 978-0-87743-160-2. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
- `Abdu'l-Bahá (1912). MacNutt (ed.). The Promulgation of Universal Peace. Wilmette, Illinois, US: Bahá'í Publishing Trust (published 1982). ISBN 978-0-87743-172-5. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
- The Research Department of the Universal House of Justice. "Extracts from The Writings Concerning Health, Healing, and Nutrition". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2009.
- "MANICHEISM i. GENERAL SURVEY – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Mazdak Mazdakism. Zoroastrian Sects". Archived from the original on 31 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "How to Eat to Live". Archived from the original on 4 December 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Paganism and Native Religions". Archived from the original on 22 May 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2006.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 April 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "False Beliefs, Book Two: Meat Eating." Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Baba, Meher (1988). Sparks of the Truth: From the Dissertations of Meher Baba Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Myrtle Beach: Sheriar Press. pp. 24-25. ISBN 0-913078-02-6.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Creativity Religion". Archived from the original on 27 November 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 October 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Salubrious Living – Creativity Alliance". Archived from the original on 11 February 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "World Church of the Creator".
- Little White Book – 07 Three Short Rules for Maintaining Excellent Health
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 November 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Religious Vegetarianism: From Hesiod to the Dalai Lama (2001) edited by: Kerry Walters; Lisa Portmess
- Lisa Kemmerer, Animals and World Religions (2012) ISBN 978-0199790685
- Phelps, Norm (2004). The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights. New York: Lantern Books. ISBN 978-1590560693.
- Roberta Kalechofsky, Rabbis and Vegetarianism: An Evolving Tradition. (Micah Publications. Massachusetts, 1995. ISBN 0-916288-42-0.)
- Richard H. Schwartz, Judaism and Vegetarianism. (Lantern Books. New York, 2001. ISBN 1-930051-24-7.)
- Richard Alan Young, Is God a Vegetarian? (Carus Publishing Company. Chicago, 1999. ISBN 0-8126-9393-0.)
- Rynn Berry, Food for the Gods: Vegetarianism & the World's Religions (Pythagorean Publishers. May 1998. 978-096261692.1)
- Steven J. Rosen, Diet for Transcendence (formerly published as Food for the Spirit): Vegetarianism and the World Religions, foreword by Isaac Bashevis Singer (Badger, California: Torchlight Books, 1997)
- Steven J. Rosen, Holy Cow: The Hare Krishna Contribution to Vegetarianism and Animal Rights (New York: Lantern Books, 2004)
- Buddhist Resources on Vegetarianism and Animal Welfare
- Rennets and religion The use of rennet in Abrahamic religions
- The Fellowship of Life archive of British activism since the 1970s
- The Word of Wisdom: the Forgotten Verses A discussion of Latter-day Saint (LDS or Mormon) beliefs and vegetarian principles
- What Gives Us the Right to Kill Animals? - A Jewish view on Vegetarianism chabad.org
- Fools Who Wrangle Over Flesh for a technical Sikh perspective
- Sikh History on Diet