Most are aware of the cruelty dealt to the animals that we slaughter for meat. They are cramped into crates, medicated with drugs, antibiotics and hormones, and kept perpetually pregnant. The method of slaughtering animals creates a serge of fear in them and this fright triggers toxins to be released into their bodies. If this is not enough to make you question these procedures, you may concentrate on the negative effects that meat has on your own health. Enzymes created to destroy cancer cells are instead utilized to digest the animal protein. Eating fruits, vegetables and dairy products does not poison your system and they give you a feeling of well-being. Reaping the fruits and vegetables does not make us kill the plants that bare them. This is seen as a more harmonious relationship with Nature. Also, our digestive tract and dental makeup is that of a vegetarian and not a meat-eating animal. Animals are sentient beings that have a soul, personality, and intelligence. If we would remember this fact, would we enjoy eating meat? Paramahansa Yogananda told his disciples that if they are sincere in their path towards self-realization, they would make a concerted effort to elliminate meat from their diet; because purifying the blood makes the heart work all that much harder. This effort by our body to purify itself takes away energy that should be directed to the higher centers in the spine and head (chakras). If you feel that you must have animal protein in your diet, it is suggested by Paramahansaji that you also eat a large salad with it. He also indicated that fish or chicken should be substituted for beef and pork. It should be noted that pigs do not have sweat glands and are scavengers. The toxins are stored in the pig's flesh. As you give thanks for the food that you eat, remember to be thankful for the life that was sacrificed for you. Of course, when proceeding to incorporate a more vegetarian diet, you should first seek the advice of your physician. Becoming a vegetarian or vegan can be a gradual change towards eating healthier. But for those who are determined to change, you might want to just eat fruits, vegetables and milk for a month and see how you think and feel during this time. Namaste, Sharon Kattke Tags: Yogananda, animals, diet, health, slaughter, vegetarian, yoga

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