What do you think? Do you have to be vegan to be spiritual?
Ultimately, like so many other complex questions, the answer is both yes and no.
And the question itself is only really viable when talking about wealthy, developed countries where people have the luxury of choice. There are plenty of spiritual people in the world who do not have the option of becoming vegan.
But putting that aside, let’s get back to the question in hand: do you have to be vegan to be spiritual? (Assuming that you’re someone who has the choice.)
Everybody’s born a spiritual being. So the spiritual journey is more about whether you’re awakened to your potential. And if so, how do you choose to nourish your spirituality?
Question 1: Are there spiritual people who aren’t vegan? Answer: Yes.
Question 2: Does being vegan automatically mean you’re spiritual? No.
Question 3: But what about this . . . you’re on a spiritual path and you begin to have a spiritual awakening. In your journey you realise that we’re all connected and that our treatment of the fellow inhabitants of this earth is a direct reflection of our own level of consciousness.
So you wonder, is there a relationship between mindfulness and a vegan diet?
You become aware of the importance of compassion, joy, love . . . and of the effect these emotions have upon the person living them and the individual (or individuals) receiving them.
And as you witness this spiritual dimension you realise that for you, the eating of flesh that comes as a direct product of a greedy commercial industry, is no longer acceptable . . . and so you decide to practise compassion towards animals and become vegan.
Practising what we preach is a giant step forwards. Not everyone wants peace, but for those of us who truly desire to live in harmony, this would be one great spiritual step forwards.
But there’s more to it than just that, and in this article we’ll explore the connection between a vegan diet and spirituality.
Table of Contents
Does Being Vegan Raise Your Vibration?
If you accept that we’re all vibrating at specific energy levels, then you must also acknowledge that certain things will cause our vibrations to rise or fall.
Emotions are one thing which will make our vibrations to go up or down, with joy and love being at the highest end of the spectrum and fear and shame being at the lower end.
When we eat meat from the mass-produced meat industry, we’re eating animals which were raised in stress, fear and misery and died in fear and pain, with cortisol coursing through their bloodstream.
It stands to reason, therefore, that when you’re focussing on raising your own vibrations, you’d want to feed yourself on foods that were not infused with negative energy, and did not come from sentient beings who were suffering.
Much of the question of whether you need to be vegan to be spiritual, has to do with one’s understanding of what’s going on. How connected are we with what we’re actually eating?
The disconnect happens for all of us, just on various topics and to varying degrees on each topic.
We all support things we don’t agree with; things which we’d rather not support. But we fasten our blinkers and we live in ignorance of them.
Because we experience a system overload. There’s simply too much information for us to digest it all. And it’s too far from our comfort zone, so we normalize it.
Nobody’s excluded from this loophole; it’s just a matter of degree. Even someone who does their very best (as most of us do), in the future will be able to look back and see that they could have done differently.
We can’t see it until we’re out of it, so at what stage do we stand up and say ‘no more‘? At what stage are our actions (or lack of action) lowering our vibrations and effecting us on a karmic, energetic or spiritual level?
If you were to witness a horrific crime which you could prevent but you do nothing to stop it, would that not lower your vibrations?
The tangible point when it affects your vibration is when you become aware of inflicting harm on others yet take no action. Because everything has an effect on us, but we can only alter the things as we become aware of them.
When you become aware, spiritually or otherwise, of the suffering which we cause – often for no real need but just for more profit – then you find you can no longer continue to support the suffering without lowering your own vibrations.
And thus being vegan will raise your vibrations.
But also if you decide to be vegan for some other, less altruistic reason, such as thinking you’ll lose weight, or perhaps because you realise that you can cure or prevent chronic disease, then you’ll also raise your vibrations if you feel healthier, less stressed and more vibrant.
How you feel is reflected in your vibrational being.
Compassion Raises Your Vibrations
If we look at it from another point of view, a spiritual journey is a peaceful journey, and at the base of peace is compassion.
You may choose to exercise compassion to those around you in your life and you may pray for world peace. And while you remain ignorant of the suffering you cause, your vibrations can remain intact because you’re acting out of innocence.
But as soon as you know about an extreme suffering and you choose to do nothing about it, that is the turning point.
That’s the moment when your vibrations can no longer be truly high because you’re ignoring the very thing you claim to want to change: you’re no longer promoting peace because you’re turning a blind eye.
What About Eating Meat for Survival?
Do we eat meat to survive?
If we stop and think about it, we know this to be untrue.
If it were true, then this would be a different conversation.
For example, take a family who lives a poor (financial-wise) life, deep in the countryside of a third world country and they raise a chicken in the backyard just as their parents did before them.
They can barely survive from week to week and in the garden they have a prized goat/sheep, which they will kill to feed the family. They treat the animals with respect and give them to the best of their ability, what they need.
These animals still have a life. Yes, they die to feed a human but they are not treated like slaves from the moment they are born until the moment they are killed. And the family may truly have no other choice.
These people are surviving and living to the best of their moral compass. They are not supporting a multi-billion euro/dollar/pound industry which turns living, breathing creatures into products.
They do not have to go to sleep with a bad conscience, because they’re surviving the only way they can, and they’re living in harmony with nature.
(BTW This is a fictitious family who respects life so please don’t tell me how they are actually cruel to the animals too – because if that’s the case, you’re talking about another family.)
But the family described above has nothing to do with the average family in the west, where we buy leather for fashion, eat dairy as though it were created for humans and feed the family on pre-packed supermarket meat (etc.), often knowing full well the suffering we are causing.
In the developed world we have the luxury of choice. We also have the means to educate ourselves on how meat is produced.
We have pet dogs and can see the emotions in their eyes.
We know better.
When we act on this kind of knowledge, we raise our vibrations because we live in alignment with our own inner compass, true to our inner child and to our higher self.
Do You Have to Be Vegan to Be Spiritual?
In this video, Master Shri Akarshana expresses how many people don’t realise the meaning of why they become vegetarian or vegan.
Maybe they join the vegan movement as a trend, without truly understanding that the root of the vegan movement is compassion. Compassion for the animals.
Compassion effects our physical body and our energy body, our soul and our mind; it effects everything we are involved in. He explains that spirituality is about kindness, love and peace.
He also asks the question: Can you eat meat and be spiritual? And his answer is to ask yourself, what is your motivation for eating it? Is it for survival?
If you follow a path of compassion and feel the power resonate within your life, then, maybe, you will also choose to extend that practice of compassion to the fellow animals who share this planet with us.
What Happens Spiritually When You Stop Eating Meat?
The path of spirituality isn’t always easy. The path of stopping eating meat isn’t always easy. But then again, what is easy that promotes true growth?
Have you every considered that? Difficult journeys often produce the most results.
When you stop eating meat, assuming you take care of your body and eat a healthy vegan whole foods plant based diet (so we’re putting aside any food cravings or nutritional issues for now), you begin to feel a sense of joy at your new way of looking at the world.
You may find that the learning curve is such that you’re swamped with new information for a while and this can make you feel extremely satisfied.
Stagnation doesn’t birth inspiration or motivation. Stagnation leads you to nowhere until you can break free of it, but making positive change in your life, despite its inherent difficulties, can uplift your soul and make you soar with joy.
As you start out on a vegan lifestyle or make progress with your journey of giving up meat, you may choose to meditate on compassion. You may find yourself experiencing a greater sense of love for your fellow humans and animals alike.
It is a kind of joy like no other. You are liberated from the slavery to your habits as you create new ones based on love and compassion for the world around you.
And if you think you can’t meditate, or you wonder whether you can meditate in a noisy environment, you can. Everybody can meditate.
Why Meat Should Not Be Eaten from a Spiritual Point of View
The energy of every living thing is different and when you digest an energy you take that energy on to become a part of you and who you are.
In this video, and according to Sadhguru, the more complex the individual the more difficult to convert their energy to match your own.
I Can’t Be Vegan Because My Body Needs Meat
There will be people who say this. Of course.
But it’s a matter of balance. If someone truly abhors the torture and suffering, if they truly experience compassion for the animals, then it wouldn’t be about their body needing meat. Instead they’d say that they haven’t yet found what their body needs to flourish on its new vegan diet.
If they experience a loss of energy, or whatever the symptom they experienced, they’d look at their food and adjust it. Replace things for other things from within a wfpb list of foods which are acceptable to them.
For many people who choose a vegan diet, the brutality of the industry becomes too much to bear on the conscience and therefore not an option. Once someone crosses that line, then they can no longer desire meat. Sure, they’ll still get cravings for the taste, the texture or even the feeling of fullness, but all of that is just the price to pay for being released from supporting so much pain.
And that is the reward. The liberation and the realisation that it isn’t necessary. That we can live perfectly well without leather, meat, fish, dairy even if initially we wonder why vegan cheese is so bad or how to stop craving cheese lol.
Another thing that makes it hard to make such a big lifestyle change is the disconnect we feel. We all experience this about things in our lives, whether it be about dieting, recycling, taking up yoga or whatever.
How many people know, for example, that they want to stop drinking alcohol, but even though it’s making them ill, and even though everybody else can see it as obvious, they can’t quite cross over that line themselves and see the truth.
And that’s what it takes. Seeing the truth.
Even if you’re disgusted by the meat industry, it takes time to switch over, and time to convince your subconscious mind of the truth which you now want to live by. You’ll need to reinforce the belief structure.
And it isn’t an easy fix.
During the time it takes, keep the direction of your journey in mind. The direction you’re travelling in is towards being able to say that you no longer support an industry which doesn’t function within an acceptable set of rules.
And every step in the right direction is a step to be celebrated.
These days everybody in the developed world has the choice to make an ethical choice about their food and experience the spiritually uplifting ripples from that choice as well as the increased health benefits, when done right.
And all it takes is a little thinking outside the box.
Like going vegan when you don’t like vegetables for example, yes even that can be done.
Of course, being vegan doesn’t make you perfect and you may wonder how to be 100% vegan or where to draw the line, but the thing to recognise is that it’s your intention followed by action which raises your vibration.
If you’re a tiny bit motivated to stop eating meat, there’s always a way to get your body on board. But nobody said it would be easy.
It isn’t supposed to be about being easy. It’s about spiritual growth and an uplifting experience of becoming vegan.
Be the change you want to see in the world (quote shortened from Mahatma Gandhi). Be compassionate.
Thich Nhat Hanh on Why Everyone Should Be Vegan
Thich Nhat Hanh speaks in his straightforward and simple way on why people should be vegan.
Final Thoughts on Do You Have to be Vegan to Be Spiritual?
Do you feel ok watching the videos showing how the meat/dairy/leather industry work?
Can you see the horrible images of animal suffering without feeling a twinge of pity, shame, sorrow or pain?
These are the kind of questions to ask yourself in meditation order to answer the question for yourself.
Because we aren’t all the same and everybody has to search inwardly to find the best path for themselves.
You don’t have to do anything to be spiritual, because you are already spiritual. There’s nobody judging you except yourself. The spirit world isn’t holding back from you because you eat meat, just as it isn’t counting your mistakes.
We are humans. We make mistakes.
But as we seek truth, we become aware of the error of our ways, the way we’ve mistreated our planet and those who live upon it, and the fact that it is we, us, who must choose.
It is we who must change.
It isn’t ‘them’. We can’t always blame ‘them’ for making these mistakes, we must look at ourselves and choose to try to do better.
In any small way. We can raise the vibrations of humanity by living a peaceful, compassionate lifestyle and by helping those who cross our path.
Everybody has their own path and their own moment. The important thing is to find yours and be true to it. And to always listen to your heart.
So, tell me, what do you think? Do you have to be vegan to be spiritual?