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Non-veg Food

‘Vegetarianism’ is now a movement the world over. Many even associate it with

animal rights. Indeed, a large number of people consider the consumption of

meat and other non-vegetarian products to be a violation of animal rights.

Islam enjoins mercy and compassion for all living creatures. At the same time

Islam maintains that Allah has created the earth and its wondrous flora and

fauna for the benefit of mankind. It is upto mankind to use every resource in this

world judiciously, as a niyamat (Divine blessing) and amanat (trust) from Allah.

Let us look at various other aspects of this argument.

1. A Muslim can be a pure vegetarian

A Muslim can be a very good Muslim despite being a pure vegetarian. It is not

compulsory for a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food.

2. Qur’an permits Muslims to have non-vegetarian food

The Qur’an, however permits a Muslim to have non-vegetarian food. The

following Qur’anic verses are proof of this fact:

O ye who believe! Fulfil (all) obligations. Lawful unto you (for food) are

all four-footed animals with the exceptions named.” [Al-Qur’an 5:1]

And cattle He has created for you (men): from them Ye derive warmth,

and numerous benefits, And of their (meat) ye eat.” [Al-Qur’an 16:5]

And in cattle (too) ye have an instructive example: From within their

bodies We produce (milk) for you to drink; there are, in them, (besides),

numerous (other) benefits for you; and of their (meat) ye eat.” [Al-Qur’an 23:21]

3. Meat is nutritious and rich in complete protein

Non-vegetarian food is a good source of excellent protein. It contains

biologically complete protein i.e. all the 8 essential amino acid that are not

synthesized by the body and should be supplied in the diet. Meat also contains

iron, vitamin B1 and niacin.

4. Humans have Omnivorous set of teeth

If you observe the teeth of herbivorous animals like the cow, goat and sheep,

you will find something strikingly similar in all of them. All these animals have

a set of flat teeth i.e. suited for herbivorous diet. If you observe the set of teeth

of the carnivorous animals like the lion, tiger, or leopard, they all have a set of

pointed teeth i.e. suited for a carnivorous diet. If you analyze the set of teeth of

humans, you find that they have flat teeth as well as pointed teeth. Thus they

have teeth suited for both herbivorous as well as carnivorous food i.e. they are

omnivorous. One may ask, if Almighty God wanted humans to have only

vegetables, why did He provide us also with pointed teeth? It is logical that He

expected us to need and to have both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian


5. Human beings can digest both vege-tarian and non-vegetarian food

The digestive system of herbivorous animals can digest only vegetables. The

digestive system of carnivorous animals can digest only meat. But the digestive

system of humans can digest both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. If

Almighty God wanted us to have only vegetables then why did He give us a

digestive system that can digest both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian


6. Hindu scriptures give permission to have non-vegetarian food

a. There are many Hindus who are strictly vegetarian. They think it is against

their religion to consume non-vegetarian food. But the true fact is that the

Hindu scriptures permit a person to have meat. The scriptures mention

Hindu sages and saints consuming non-vegetarian food.

b. It is mentioned in Manu Smruti, the law book of Hindus, in chapter 5 verse 30

The eater  who eats the flesh of those to be eaten does nothing bad. Eating meat is right a sacrifice is not killing.

e. Mahabharata Anushashan Parva chapter 88 narrates the discussion

between Dharmaraj Yudhishthira and Pitamah Bhishma about what food

one should offer to Pitris (ancestors) during the Shraddha (ceremony of

dead) to keep them satisfied. Paragraph reads as follows:

“Yudhishthira said, “O thou of great puissance, tell me what that object is

which, if dedicated to the Pitiris (dead ancestors), become inexhaustible!

What Havi, again, (if offered) lasts for all time? What, indeed, is that which

(if presented) becomes eternal?”

“Bhishma said, “Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, what those Havis are which persons conversant with the rituals of the Shraddha (the ceremony of dead) regard as suitable in view of Shraddha and what the fruits are that attach to each. With sesame seeds and rice and barely and Masha and water and roots and fruits, if given at Shraddhas, the pitris, O king, remain gratified for the period of a month. With fishes for three months and with the hare for four months, with the flesh of the goat for five months, with the bacon (meat of pig) for six months, and with them are called Prishata, they remaingratified for eight months, and with thatbeef presented at the Shraddha, their gratification, it is said ,meat of Vadhrinasa (a large bull) flesh of rhinoceros, offered to the pitris obtained from the Ruru for nine months, and with the meat of Gavaya for ten months, With the meat of the bufffalo their gratification lasts for eleven months. With lasts for a full year. Payasa mixed with ghee is as much acceptable to the pitris as beef. With the the gratification of pitris lasts for twelve years…”

7. Hinduism was influenced by other religions

Though Hindu Scriptures permit its followers to have non-vegetarian food, many

Hindus adopted the vegetarian system because they were influenced by other

religions like Jainism.

8. Even plants have life

Certain religions have adopted pure vegetarianism as a dietary law because

they are totally against the killing of living creatures. If a person can survive

without killing any living creature, I would be the first person to adopt such a way

of life. In the past people thought plants were lifeless. Today it is a universal fact

that even plants have life. Thus their logic of not killing living creatures is not

fulfilled even by being a pure vegetarian.

9. Even plants can feel pain

They further argue that plants cannot feel pain, therefore killing a plant is a

lesser crime as compared to killing an animal. Today science tells us that even

plants can feel pain. But the cry of the plant cannot be heard by the human

being. This is due to the inability of the human ear to hear sounds that are not

in the audible range i.e. 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. Anything below and above

this range cannot be heard by a human being. A dog can hear up to 40,000

Hertz. Thus there are silent dog whistles that have a frequency of more than

20,000 Hertz and less than 40,000 Hertz. These whistles are only heard by

dogs and not by human beings. The dog recognizes the masters whistle and

comes to the master. There was research done by a farmer in U.S.A. who

invented an instrument which converted the cry of the plant so that it could be

heard by human beings. He was able to realize immediately when the plant

itself cried for water. Latest researches show that the plants can even feel happy

and sad. It can also cry.

10. Killing a living creature with two senses less is not a lesser crime

Once a vegetarian argued his case by saying that plants only have two or three

senses while the animals have five senses. Therefore killing a plant is a lesser

crime than killing an animal. Suppose your brother is born deaf and dumb and

has two senses less as compared to other human beings. He becomes mature

and someone murders him. Would you ask the judge to give the murderer a

lesser punishment because your brother has two senses less? In fact you would

say that he has killed a masoom, an innocent person, and the judge should give

the murderer a greater punishment.

In fact the Qur’an says:

O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good” [Al-Qur’an 2:168]

11. Over population of cattle

If every human being was a vegetarian, it would lead to overpopulation of cattle

in the world, since their reproduction and multiplication is very swift. Allah (swt)

in His Divine Wisdom knows how to maintain the balance of His creation

appropriately. No wonder He has permitted us to have the meat of the cattle.

12. Cost of meat is reasonable since all aren’t non-vegetarians

I do not mind if some people are pure vegetarians. However they should not

condemn non-vegetarians as ruthless. In fact if all Indians become nonvegetarians

then the present non-vegetarians would be losers since the prices

of meat would rise inexhaustible. The potherb called Kalaska, the petals of kanchana flower,and also, thus offered, prove inexhaustible.

So but natural if you want to keep your ancestors satisfied forever, you should serve them the meat of red goat, flesh of birds for seven. With venison obtained from those deer that offered at Shraddhas, the pitris remain gratified for a period of two months. With the mutton they remain gratified even if he does it day after day, for God himself created some to be eaten and some to be eater.”

c. Again next verse of Manu Smruti, that is, chapter 5 verse 31 say

for the sacrifice, this is traditionally known as a rule of the gods.”

d. Further in Manu Smruti chapter 5 verse 39 and 40 says

“God himself created sacrificial animals for sacrifice…”

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