Living Ayurveda: Why We Choose to be Vegan
“The Rishis tell us that our most significant task as human beings is to take nothing from life for ourselves, but rather to give of ourselves to life. If we were to align our lives with those of plants and emulate their memory of random, selfless acts of giving, we would know that the most divine action we can perform is one of sacrifices as executed by every tree, plant shrub, grass, and herb.”
- Bri Maya Tiwari
Why is RASA Ayurveda committed to staying 100% vegan and cruelty-free, in all of our apothecary products, offerings, and in our own lives, actions and intentions? Because it aligns us to this natural recognition of interconnectedness with this Earth and all Beings. In the Ayurvedic world it is rare to find a commitment to vegan preparations, and RASA is not promoting “veganISM” (there is no call to take on yet another label), but we do invite you to inquire into the impact your every step has upon your own heart, this planet and those who reside here.
Consider how many animal products are consumed as a by-product of our collective pursuit of fun and indulgence. How many animals suffer for our temporary pleasure? Did you know that even wine relies upon fish bones for its processing, and most cheese is filled with rennet (animal stomach lining)? Ayurveda considers that all of creation, including animals, are expressions of the One Consciousness, living through an awe-inspiring diversity of forms. When we look within in deep meditative inquiry, we see this to be true. We feel the chord of sameness and our inherent unity. So when I hurt another ‘form,’ I am contributing to a collective wounding, which will have direct results in my own life. Statistics show that those who work in slaughterhouses have some of the highest percentages of alcoholism and domestic abuse. We are simply not separate. Touch into that knowing. Our nature is #Ahimsa; longing to live in peace and non-violence towards all beings.
There is however, another reason that Ayurveda recommends a vegetarian life. Plants themselves are seen to be great offerers of #Yajna, meaning divine sacrifice or offering. The entire Universe is founded on Yajna, on giving forward. Certain species of trees give oxygen 24 hours a day! Plants are an inspiring embodiment of this selfless giving. While humans and animals may spend their lives chasing their own individual survival and pleasures, plants come into existence with a much more communitarian intention of offering themselves up to continue and maintain the symbiosis of life. Plants do not worry about their own fate, they do not argue and compete amongst themselves, they are not status-seekers, they do not oppose their superiority or seek to be loved and validated. They are a living masterpiece and anyone who has grown a garden knows the awe we can have for their beauty. They sprout, they grow tall, they spread their seeds across the land, they offer their #Prana and nutrients to whatever creature asks for it, they retreat into the earth, and then when the sun beckons, they repeat this cycle all over again. They are wholeheartedly committed to #Dana, selfless giving. We have so much to learn.
We are not born to endlessly take, but to offer our life to life itself.
If we choose to eat more plants with awareness, we absorb their selfless nature, we start to consider how much we truly need to be alive, and we too find ourselves becoming more and more giving. What was once a health, humane or environmental choice, becomes a joy! And our bodies rejoice as well, happy to be charged with the food that nature intended for them.
We challenge you to start out this week fresh, by cutting down on your meat and animal-product consumption by one meal per day. Replace this meal with an abundance of nature’s bounty. Try new recipes! Visit a vegan restaurant. Get your family involved. Explore what happens if we eat less from conditioning and more from freedom. It is one of the primary actions we engage in in this life. What if 3x per day you ate in the spirit of Presence + Love? Well, that would be simply beautiful.