Lay off meat eating Hindus!

images“How can you call yourself a Hindu?…YOU EAT MEAT!!!” I heard two Hindu boys yelling at a non-vegetarian Hindu girl at a university Hindu Society event.

The discussion was supposed to be on the subject of “Karma and Reincarnation”, and hence quite unrelated to an individual’s dietary habits. But somehow the discussion had sidetracked onto whether a non-vegetarian person can consider him or herself to be a good Hindu.

Now let me state at this point that I’m a vegetarian myself. Vegetarianism is a value that I hold very dear and is closely connected to my personal beliefs.

But witnessing the argument that followed, I really felt that despite being non-vegetarian, the girl in question was a far more decent, humble and composed person compared with her vegetarian detractors. Clearly, being a vegetarian is not a shortcut to being decent, which is far more important in Hinduism compared with what one eats.

Most of Hinduism’s teachings relate to cultivating a virtuous character, full of values such as humility, fearlessness, compassion and truthfulness. All but the most irrational people would agree that being a meat-eater is no bar to try and develop these characteristics.

Hinduism does look highly upon vegetarianism, but teaches that there is more to a person than their dietary habits, and that choosing to refrain from meat is purely a personal choice rather than a religious injunction. So PLEASE do not judge a person’s Hindu-ness by their diet and lay off meat eating Hindus.

Related article: Eggs are NOT vegetarian!

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