Following is a collection of quotes, scriptures and experiences that may be of interest to vegetarians. The 7 Fold Path of Enlightenment is adhered to at many of the retreats for enlightenment at Satyaloka. While eating meat is not considered to be particularly criminal as many cultures exist in this manner, it is very hard to perfect the physical body, the bliss body and karma body, or karma maya kosha to a degree that can lead to attainment of mukti when blood is shed for ones existence. The seeker must work on the other energy bodies so much harder. It can be likened to a chariot pulled by 6 horses. If three of the horses stop pulling the others must be worked to much harder on the journey. A vegetarian diet is adhered to at Satyaloka and many of the dasas eat only fruit or little if anything at all. The dynamics of diet and consciousness are focused on during intensive retreats. Various herbs and fruits are given to cleanse and purify the body.

"Behold, I have given you every herb bearing see, which is upon the face of all the Earth, and every tree, in that which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be meat."

"And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the Earth wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so."

"But the flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require ; at the hand of every beast will I require it."
God in the book of Genesis

Sayeth the Lord: "I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make money prayers, I will not hear, for your hands are full of blood."
"He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man."
The Book of Isaiah

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it."

Many sages, mystics, and adepts have revealed the insight that war is a karmic repercussion of the killing of other beings for food. Karma is a natural law of cause and effect. Very simply put, one reaps what one sows, only many times over. As long as there are human carnivores, there will be wars.

"In this age the propensity for mercy is almost nil. Consequently there is fighting and wars between men and nations. Men do not understand that because they unrescrictedly kill so many animals, they must also be slaughtered like animals in big wars. This is very much evident in the Western countries. In the West, slaughterhouses are maintained without rescriction, and therefore every fifth or tenth year there is a big war in which countless people are slaughtered even more cruelly than the animals. Sometimes during war, soldiers keep their enemies in concentration camps and kill them in very cruel ways. These are reactions brought about by unrestricted animal killing in the slaughterhouse and by the hunters in the forest."
Srila Prabhupada

We pray on Sundays that we may have light
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread;
We are sick of war, we don't want to fight,
And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
George Bernard Shaw

Following are more quotes and stories reguarding this vast subject:

"To become a vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to Nirvana"

"For my part I rather wonder both by accident and in what state of mind the first man touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, set forth tables of dead, stale bodies, and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How wasit that the pollution did not turn away his tase, which made contact with sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? It is certainly not lions or wolves that we eat out of self defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us. For the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being."

"We are all God's creatures-that we pray to God for mercy and justice while we continue to eat the flesh of animals that are slaughtered on our account is not consistant."
"Various philosophers and religious leaders tried to convince their disciples and followers that animals are nothing more than machines without a soul, without feelings. However, anyone who has ever lived with an animal-be it a dog, a bird, or even a mouse-knows that this theory is a brazen lie, invented to justify cruelty.
Nobel Prize Winning Author,
Issaac Bashevis Singer

"(Flesh eating) is simply immoral, as it involves the performance of an act which is contrary to moral feeling-killing. By killing man supresses in himself, unnecessarily, the highest spiritual capacity-that of sympathy and pity towards living creatures like himself-and by violating his own feelings becomes cruel."
Leo Tolstoy

"I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, it its gradual improvement, to leave off the eating of animals, as surely as savage tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with the more civilized."

"He who does not value life does not deserve it. The bodies of meat eaters are buriel places. Endless numbers of these animals shall have their little children taken from them, ripped open, and barbariously slaughtered."
Leonardo Da Vinci

"Flesh eating is unprovoked murder."
Benjamin Franklin

While held captive as a youth in Babylon, Biblical Prophet, Daniel and his companions refused the king's meat and demanded pulse. The Bible says in Daniel 1:

"And at the end of ten days, their countenences appeared fairer and stronger in flesh than all the youths which did eat the portion of the king's meat."
"And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the learned men in all his realm."
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It takes the skins of about 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with footballs for one year.

"Nothing will benefit human health and increse chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution of a vegetarian diet."
Albert Einstein

"To consider yourself an environmentalist and still eat meat is like saying you're a philanthropist who doesn't give to charity."
Howard Lyman

Many ancient Egyptian priests avoided eggs, refering to them as "liquid flesh". To you, it is just an egg. To the hen it is her child.
There are ancient African legends that tell of a time when garbage was a tremendous problem for early man. So a creature was composed or genetically engineered that was composed of the rat, the dog, and the human being. While most of the specially engineered beings of that day did not survive, such as the mermaid and the minotaur, the ancestors of these original scavengers are with us today. We call them pigs.

It is interesting to note that many times pig body parts such as heart valves are used in human surgery as the DNA is similar. Mystics and sages of India have stated that the pig is the closest in consciousness to a human being, and to kill a pig is like killing a person. The closest substance to pork chemically speaking, is pus.

to put to rest the myth that people are starving in India because they won't eat cows, Stewart Odend'hal of Missouri University conducted an extensive study of cows in Bengal. These cows ate only inedible parts of harvested crops such as rice hulls or tops of sugarcane, and in turn supplied butter, cheese, milk and yogort to the people. The food problems in India have more to do with drought and politics, not cows.

Following a Profound, Divine Mystical Experience, mystic, Sri Dharma Dharini Bhagavad tells:

When I left that place, nothing was ever to be the same. Like a blind pig finding an acorn, I had suddenly an inadvertantly stumbled head-long onto the elusive path of transformation and enlightenment. The ground rocked. Single moments became infinate. The senses were clearer. It didn't matter if I was slicing vegetables or watching the sunset. There was pleasure. I felt very much alive for the first time since childhood. I had somehow been salvaged. I traveled through the following weeks watching an extraordinary course of events unfold before me.

Life had become for me somewhat like the George Burns/John Denver movie, "Oh God." Supreme Consciousness had taken a form that I could hear, see, and touch, and this form appeared from time to time, turning the most mundane event into a mystical experience.

And while some of the experiences are personal, there is one that I will share:

I was in the cereal aisle of the grocery store when I noticed a baby waving and smiling at me. She began to create quite a stir.

"Dada! Dada! Dada! she yelled, reaching her chubby, sticky arms out to me as if for a hug.

At that time I was not fond of children and the feeling was generally mutual. I was confused by her attention and rather annoyed, as earlier in the week a little boy had also called me "daddy." This somehow disturbed me especially as I am a female.

I dodged her sticky reach and she yelled louder.

"That's not Dada, sweetheart, Daddy's at work," her mother cooed.

Just then, I heard a rustling sound and saw a bright flash of Golden Light from the corner of my eye. I turned and there, standing by the Captain Crunch, waving and smiling brightly at the child was the Creator of the Universe!

I really did not know what to do, so I just pushed my cart slowly and kept an eye on Him, wondering what to do and hoping He'd hurry up (thus was my fallen condition-God's in the grocery store and I have somewhere else to be...). He slowly followed, pausing to look at just about everything. The children who passed stared at Him in awe. Some giggled, and others shyly peeked around the corner of the aisle at Him.

I had been a vegetarian for quite some time, however I usually bought bones for my dogs. I was concerned as to what might happen if He saw the meat counter. The monk at the previous weekend's retreat had told of the suffering and the damage that the practice of eating meat inflicts on this planet, not to mention the damge this practice causes to the physical body and the energy bodies.

Now why I did not just forgo the bones that day is anybody's guess, but I didn't. I saw that the Lord was intently studying a cereal box, so I decided to make a dash for it.

I darted over to the meat counter, threw a couple of bones under some lemons, and sailed right back to where I had left Him. He was no where to be seen. I searched up and down the aisles, but did not see Him. He had come and gone like this before, so I was not too concerned.

I went to the check out and began to unload the groceries. While putting the bones on the counter, I remember thinking that at least He did not see the bones, when I realized that He was standing right behind Me.

"Oh!" He said, somewhat wistfully, "He had been such a beautiful cow." Then He vanished. Any thoughts or desire that I might have retained reguarding eating the flesh of animals vanished with Him.

The words pierced my heart as I no longer saw bones, but a cow, the sun, the moon, the stars, the grasses, the water, and the entire Universe that had gone into the making of that once amazing beast. There was such a sense of wonder and amazement as well as tremendous gratitude at the wonder of it all. This vison of the entire universe was happening simultaneously. Tears of wonder and gratitude poured from my eyes, overwhelming me, and I ran from the store.

Diets of some of the adepts are mentioned in ancient and modern texts. Pythagorus paid fishermen to throw the fish they caught back into the sea. He ate bread with honey in the mornings and raw vegetables at night. Gandhi's diet included greens, lemons, honey, almond paste, and wheat sprouts.

The Prophet Isaiah says about the appearance of Christ:"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good."

Ancient Food of Illumination and Wisdom
Retreat For Enlightenment (Vegetarian)