Definition of Vegetarian
In ordinary parlance any body who confines himself to a diet which excludes animal flesh or body parts is vegetarian. An extreme form of vegetarianism may involve complete abstinence from animal products i.e. Milk and eggs etc. as well. Not to use dead animal’s skin for footwear or other body wear may also be part of oral vegetarian practice. Vegetarianism is essentially a way of life which involves least violence.
Non-violence and least violence
Non-violence may be nearest translation of the Sanskrit/Hindi word “Ahinsa” (also spelled as Ahimsa) but that is not correct definition any more. In reality it is difficult to find true vegetarian. To understand this dichotomy, we should dwell on “Non-violence”, a little more.
The Non-Violence is of course an English word but it became a translation when Gandhi started Civil Disobedience and Quit India Movement against the English Rule on the principle what he called was Ahimsa. That was a political movement and not religious or spiritual movement. It was the determination of Gandhi, who as a leader would dare the English Police to arrest him, for that he and his followers would not accept foreign rule and thus disobey every order. Even the order to vacate the street. People would sit down or even lie down on the street in support. Now this movement for freedom was non-violent in the sense that Gandhi and people following would suffer injury from the arms of English Police but would not retaliate or attack physically. But as history tells us it had a far worse retaliation on the psyche of the attacker. Now with all due respect, it was not a Non-violence. It was Non-Retaliation. Even if we assume that it was Non-violence, then it had nothing to do with vegetarianism. Wikipedia and everybody got it completely wrong. To understand the ahimsa and true non-violence or vegetarianism, we have to dwell deeper into the matter. Continue reading