Vegetarian Food and Jain Conduct - Meat
Some persons may put up this plea that talking about abdication of meat eating is
not proper before a community which is purely vegetarian.
To persons who put up such a plea, our modest submission is 'Have the Jain Saints
(Acharyas) not discussed the abdication of meat, wine and honey in the context
In the celebrated treatise like Purusharthsidhyupaya and Ratnakarand Shrawakachar
also the blemishes described in meat eating etc. are discussed in detail and
their abdication has been given impetus.
The point worth noting is this that the discus-sion of abdication of meat eating
etc. is found in the context of real-conduct after the discussion of Right-belief
and Right-knowledge. In the context of the vow of non-injury, Acharya Amritchandra
has at length and with forceful logic emphasized renunciation of meat eating.
There total prohibition of uncooked as well as cooked meat of naturally died beasts,
meat obtained after killing, meat of vegetarian beasts, meat of non-vegetarian beasts,
etc. is described at length.
A few original verses of Purusharthsidhyupaya, throwing light on the above topic
are as follows
"Without killing creatures, production of meat is not possible. Therefore, injury
is inevitable for meat-eaters. Although it is true that meat can be obtained from
naturally died bullock and buffalo but there in too incessantly creatures of the
same genus are born and by their churning and destroying injury takes place. He
who eats, even touches, cooked, uncooked or any other kind of meat-piece,
annihilates many genuses of the mass of Jivas."
This does not mean that the readers and listeners of Acharya Amritchandra and
Samantbhadra might have been even of the lower standard than our readers and listeners ? Assuredly, the community of those times must have been more virtuous, righteous and non-meat-eater as compared to the community of today. Even then, they prohibited meat-eating at length.
In fact, it is certain that whenever Jain-conduct is described, it is bound to
contain prohibition of wine-meat-honey. Our revered Acharyas have dealt at length on
this topic in their treatise concerning Jain-conduct. This is the reason why today
our community is purely vegetarian.
Even today its discussion is as necessary as it was in olden days, because it is
essential to maintain the environment against meat eating and wine drinking in the
Although there might not be the prevalence of direct meat eating in our community
but the killing of innumerable mobile beings is found in our life knowingly or
unknowingly. Therefore, the propagation of negation of meat eating and wine drinking
is not only necessary but also inevitable.
According to Jain definition, flesh of the body of mobile beings is termed meat.
Right from two sensed beings up to five sensed beings all are called mobile beings.
The production of meat takes place not only on killing of mobile beings but
incessantly innumerable mobile beings are born in meat. Therefore, by eating meat
not only the vice of injury to that particular Jiva is involved who has been killed,
but the crime of killing those innumerable creatures is also committed who are
continuously born in it. Assuredly meat eating is the cause of several diseases also.
Some people say that if one wishes to gain strength, he will have to eat meat because
meat is the storehouse of strength. How could people eating vegetables only can get
strength? Our argument for such persons is that meat eaters eat the meat of
vegetarian beasts only and not of carnivorous animals. who eats the meat of dogs
and lions ? The poor vegetarian cows and goats only are slaughtered. Where from
these beasts get strength, whose meat is believed by you as the storehouse of strength ? Have you ever thought over this ?
In fact, carnivorous beasts are not so potent as are vegetarian beasts.
Who has strength equal to the vegetarian elephant ? Though the lion may kill it
by power of cunningness, but it can never be matched with the strength of the
elephant. Even if a foot of the elephant is put on it, then it will be crushed
into pieces, but even if the lion rides over the elephant, it can do no harm to it.
The vegetarian horse is even today the symbol of strength. Even today the capacity
of machines is measured by horse power.
Vegetarian animals are social creatures; they live together in herds; flesh eaters
do not live in herds. One dog starts barking only seeing the other dog. Similar to
vegetarian animals, man is also a social creature; he has to live together with other
human beings. The well-being of the whole human race lies in living together.
The races of flesh eating lions are gradually coming to an end. Their races need
protection; but in spite of being slaughtered in thousands, the race of vegetarian
animals is not going to end. Vegetarians have strong living power.
The structure of the teeth and intestines of human beings is like those of vegetarian
animals, and not like those of meat eaters. Man is by nature vegetarian only. Man by
disposition is a kind hearted creature. If he himself were to kill and eat meat,
then even ten per cent persons shall not be found to be meat eaters. If those who eat
meat are shown the slaughter houses in which beasts are butchered brutally, then they
will not even touch meat in their whole life time. Meat eating has been given a
fillip by large scale slaughter house industries. If the scenes of slaughter house
are shown on TV, then the sale of meat would not remain even half of its present sale.
Carnivorous animals take rest in the day and are in search of prey in the night,
and indulge in prey; but vegetarians take rest in the night and eat in the
daytime. When even vegetarian animals by nature forsake food in the night then
to what extent is the taking of food by human beings in the night maintainable?