To Veg or Not to Veg

To Veg or Not to Veg

The question.

Is a vegetarian diet healthier than a meat diet?

I was amused by John’s dissertation on the subject and there is a lot of truth in what he says. From an angle of nutrition and health many meat eaters fare better than the vegetarians.

Here is the main problem with switching to a vegetarian diet. When one goes vegetarian the body misses its regular supply of protein and this causes a starvation for oxygen. This causes many vegetarians or partial vegetarians to overcompensate by eating more starchy food, eggs and cheese. These meat substitutes often are less healthy than the meat they have given up.

On the other hand, if the vegetarian has a high concentration of living foods in his diet he can be healthier than the meat eater – providing he gets a good natural supply of minerals and this is often lacking in the most “living’ diets.

I read about a study some time ago where they analyzed the health and longevity of Seventh Day Adventists who are vegetarians, the Mormons who abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea and compared them to the general population.

It turned out that the Mormons fared a little better than average, but interestingly a later study showed that moderate wine drinkers fared better than the Mormons. – note that word moderate.

The study also revealed that the Seventh Day Adventists did better than the Mormons, but the significance was only a couple percent.

Does it make any difference whether or not one eats meat if he is on he spiritual path?

Kudos goes to Mark for finding a good Alice A. Bailey quote on the importance of a vegetarian diet for the “applicant.” But notice that Cynthia comes back with this:

“According to AAB in The Rays and Initiations re: Rule 6 (p. 124-127), a vegetarian diet is necessary for applicants in the beginning stages for purification and other purposes. However, she points out that life cannot really “be taken.” So once a person has advanced a little further upon the path and stands at the doorway of initiation, then vegetarianism and other physical disciplines are no longer necessary since the person is, at this stage of his development, in no danger of being controlled by his physical appetites.”

Actually, one of the few criticisms made of the AAB books is that DK seems to be that he is inconsistent on his teachings about vegetarianism. What is the real truth here? After all, some of the greatest initiates in our history have been meat eaters.

The fact is that as a seeker approaches the second initiation (and the first to a lesser degree) a lot of new energies come into play that are difficult for the seeker to handle. During this period it is essential that the vibration of the physical body be enhanced through a purificatory diet. This may also be required for the third initiation, but overall the soul will guide the applicant here.

After the initiations are passed and the disciple is between initiations the eating of meat may be permissible and even desirable to aid the disciple in certain types of work among the masses.

So for those of you who feel strongly impressed by your souls to be strict vegetarians this would be a sign that you are preparing for a new initiation.

For others of you who are obviously on the Path, but are not so inclined this would indicate that this is a period of application and hard work for you to accomplish certain goals as directed by your soul.

In my life I have gone the whole spectrum of diet for various purposes and at present I do eat meat to keep the vibration of my body low enough to keep me centered in the practical world so I can achieve success promoting this work. Later, when this type of attention is not required I may switch to a more refined diet.

As far as the morality of eating meat goes DK gives this practical answer.

He states that the killing of an animal for food does not interfere with the purposes of God. When a human life is taken the killer interrupts the path of the soul whereas when an animal life is taken the path of that life is not disturbed.

In other words, the real harm in the murder of a human is that, time is lost and plans from a higher level have to be changed. Because the animal is not self conscious the taking of his life has little effect on goals from his oversoul.

I do not think the animal rights groups realize the negative effect that would be produced within the animal kingdom if we all turned into vegetarians tomorrow. All the cattle, chickens, lamb, pigs, etc. would lose their source of sustenance and would suffer enormous depravation and death.

Overall, their association with the human kingdom is very stimulating to their evolution.

Few realize that there is a correspondence between the humans taking the life of animals and the Christ demanding that we humans be willing to give our lives for the higher good if necessary. In this way the disciples are sacrificed to the kingdom of God just as truly as the animals are sacrificed to the human kingdom.

Overall, a good piece of advice with diet is to avoid judgment and the feeling of superiority that we see evidenced by many. Our fellow seeker may be eating meat or on some vegetarian diet because of the will of his Higher Self. If our associates are at a point where they are to change their diet they will feel it internally. Some will feel and resist and others will follow.

Here is a quote from Alice A. Bailey on the subject:

I am convinced that there comes a phase in the life of all disciples when they must be vegetarians. In the same way, there must come a life in which a man or woman should be a celibate. This they must be in order to demonstrate that they have learned control of the physical nature. Once they have learned that control and once they can no longer be swayed by the appetites of the flesh, they can be married or not married, they can eat meat or not eat meat as seems best to them and as their karma may indicate or their circumstances dictate. Once that has been proven, the situation is altered. The physical disciplines are a phase of training and when the lesson is learnt they are no longer needed.      Unfinished Autobiography, Page153

And here are some words from DK:

No set diet could be entirely correct for a group of people on differing rays, of different temperaments and equipment and at various ages. Individuals are every one of them unlike on some points; they require to find out what it is that they, as individuals, need, in what manner their bodily requirements can best be met, and what type of substances can enable them best to serve. Each person must find this out for himself. There is no group diet. No enforced elimination of meat is required or strict vegetarian diet compulsory. There are phases of life and sometimes entire incarnations wherein an aspirant subjects himself to a discipline of food, just as there may be other phases or an entire life wherein a strict celibacy is temporarily enforced. But there are other life cycles and incarnations wherein the disciple’s interest and his service lie in other directions. There are later incarnations where there is no constant thought about the physical body, and a man works free of the diet complex and lives without concentration upon the form life, eating that food which is available and upon which he can best sustain his life efficiency. In preparation for certain initiations, a vegetable diet has in the past been deemed essential. But this may not always be the case, and many disciples prematurely regard themselves as in preparation for initiation.  Esoteric Healing – Page 334

The moment, however, that an inner orientation towards the world of higher values takes place, then the etheric or vital force is brought into conflict with the lowest aspect of man, the dense physical body, and the battle of the lower pairs of opposites takes place.

It is interesting to note that it is during this stage that the emphasis is laid upon physical disciplines, upon such controlling factors as total abstinence, celibacy, and vegetarianism, and upon physical hygiene and physical exercises. Through these, the control of the life of matter, the lowest expression of the third aspect of divinity can be offset, and the man set free for the true battle of the pairs of opposites. Esoteric Psychology Vol II: Pg 309

March 18, 2000

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Animal Destiny

This entry is part 12 of 40 in the series 2012A

Duane writes:

It has been said that the Spiritual Hierarchy is the saving force and the stewards of the human kingdom Just as man should be the stewards of the animal kingdom who reach their high goal by their interaction and stimulation with the human kingdom. Simply preserving animals so that they can be eaten at some future point somehow does not seem very steward like to me.


Yes, DK did point out our responsibility to the animal kingdom and even said that humanity would turn out to be saviors of them indicating that the time would come that humans would eventually reach a point where they would do much to make their lives more safe and comfortable.

Whereas it is true that there is abuse today I predict this will decline to the point that it is a rarity and animal life will improve in the following ways.

(1) Humans will assist wild animals so they will not suffer so much in the wild from starvation and cold. Forest fires will be more controlled in the future so fewer animals will be burned alive.

(2) People will increasingly become vegetarians so not so many farm animals will be raised.  Those which do continue will be well cared for.

(3) Humans will assist with population control of wild animals to insure species are preserved yet do not overpopulate. They will control natural predators and hunters will be used in this process for some time to come.

(4) As diet shifts away from meat farms and ranches for meat will grow smaller and more personalized.  Those who do eat meat will demand the animals be well cared for.

(5) Humanity has made greater strides than is realized for taking care of their pets and our relationship with them will only improve and the little abuse in this area will continue to decrease.

When I was a kid a lot of people shot stray cats and dogs for sport or even tortured them. Others would tie explosives on a cat’s tail and watch him explode thinking that was funny.

Here’s some of the ways they had fun in Europe several hundred years ago:

“Players with hands tied behind them competed to kill a cat nailed to a post by battering it to death with their heads, at the risk of cheeks ripped open or eyes scratched out by the frantic animal’s claws….

“Or a pig enclosed in a wide pen was chased by men with clubs to the laughter of spectators as he ran squealing from the blows until beaten lifeless.”

“But the practical function of cruel punishments was just a part of their appeal. Spectators enjoyed cruelty, even when it served no judicial purpose. Torturing animals, for example, was good clean fun. In 16th-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to the historian Norman Davies, “The spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized.” Also popular were dogfights, bull runs, cockfights, public executions of “criminal” animals, and bearbaiting, in which a bear would be chained to a post and dogs would tear it apart or be killed in the effort.”

From: The Better Angels Of Our Nature By Steven Pinker

Speaking of cockfights they were very prevalent when I was a kid as my dad took me to them regularly and had his own fighting roosters.

We have made great progress in the treatment of animals and each other over time, especially in the last 50 years. Most would not dream of mistreating animals today as they were in times of old.

That said, hunting will be used as a means to preserve animals but not an end of itself. Some who want to preserve certain species would prefer to not to offer them for hunting but realize that it is better to sacrifice 10% of a population to paying hunters than to allow 99-100% to disappear from the face of the earth.

Slaughterhouses are accused by some of skinning animals alive or beating them with clubs.  I’m sure this claim must be exaggerated. This never happened at the meat-packing plant I worked in.  Wikipedia describes the process as it is today which was similar to what we used:

“Cattle are rendered unconscious by applying an electric shock of 300 volts and 2 amps to the back of the head, effectively stunning the animal, or by use of a captive bolt pistol to the front of the cow’s head (a pneumatic or cartridge-fired captive bolt). “Swine can be rendered unconscious by CO2/inert gas stunning.

“Animals are hung upside down by both of their hind legs on the processing line.

“The carotid artery and jugular vein are severed with a knife, blood drains, causing death through exsanguination.”

We used the cartridge-fired captive bolt system and the animal was instantly rendered unconscious and never regained it. There was little if any physical suffering.  They did seem to have a psychic sense they were going to be slaughtered a few minutes before they were killed.

As far as skinning them alive goes I can’t imagine the people I used to work with doing such a thing.  As it was the Kill Floor was the least desirable place to work and even these employees would have been repulsed if ordered to skin an animal  while consciously alive.

Dean writes:

And he made an unrealistic claim about animals going extinct which just wouldn’t happen, clearly. But I shouldn’t have to repeat myself I already wrote my responses to it.


It is unrealistic to think that farm animals would just be miraculously cared for if we all became vegetarians.  Farmers raise cattle and pigs so they can sell then for meat.  If no one buys the meat then who will care for them – the vegetarians?  I don’ t think so.

“PETA claims that their first priority above all else is animal liberation, however on the most basic level this is clearly not true. With the millions of dollars PETA makes every year, they have a grand total of one animal shelter. As much as PETA advocates an animal’s right to fair and ethical treatment, this is not a no kill shelter. In fact, PETA has killed roughly 85% of the animals its shelter has “rescued.”(Newsweek) In many cases, shelters are forced to euthanize animals because they lack the finances to care for them. This is not the case for PETA, who in 2007 made over $30 million dollars. That’s enough money to finance their no kill shelter, and open multiple other no kill shelters.”

If PETA with lots of money do not take much care for animals then what makes you think the general population would care for cattle if we all turned vegetarians?


Obama has signed a law allowing horses to be killed and slaughtered for consumption now. Horse plants are legal again in the united states. I see this as a backwards step. I can’t imagine your argument that without horse plants horses would go extinct as being a valid thing to say. And I don’t think it is a valid argument because birds, monkeys, zebras, lions, elephants, bears, and how many other animals are living a sustainable lifestyle as a species without being farmed right now?


You must of missed me saying that horses are pets and pets fulfill human need and thus will be preserved whether we eat them or not.

Some of the wild animals you mention are endangered.


Cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens on the road to extinction because of vegetarians? You are mistaken. We keep these animals even when we are not killing them for food. And they wouldn’t go extinct. You seem to go from one extreme to the other.


Who is this “we” you’re taking about?  I know of no one with a pet cow who doesn’t plan to use it for meat or milk.

As far as animal abuse goes I’m sure all of us here are against it and the numbers that do not support it are growing.  It’s only a matter of time before conditions  improve for all farm animals.


Check out my other article:

Why It Is Ethical To Eat Meat

Copyright 2012 by J J Dewey

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