To Eat or Not to to Eat. . . . .

Meat.

It's one of the most controversial if not the most controversial topic in the Sikh Religion and to my surprise. . . many other religions as well!

Throughout my life, I've seen and heard Sikhs with completely extreme opposite views on whether we can eat meat or not eat meat. Some Sikhs will not eat meat, or fish, or eggs. They will not even eat cookies or cakes made with eggs. Heck, they won't even eat vegetarian food if it has been cooked on the same stove top as meat! However, some Sikhs on the other end can't go a day without chicken, beef, pork, or fish and their specialties included bacon wrapped steaks with a side of porkchops! And the funny thing is that each side will find a quote from Gurbani to support their cause!

From my limited understanding, it does not directly say whether we can or cannot eat meat in the Guru Granth Sahib. But, the interesting part is that we as people want direct answers. I don't think the Gurus ever intended for religion to become a list of do's and don'ts. But we as people want those do's and don'ts! We purposely turn religion into a list of do's and don'ts. And if the do's support what we want, we are happy, but if the don'ts do not support what we want, we say, "screw it!"

 Hypocrisy!

The Gurus lived by example. Now, as you all may know, many of our Gurus lived a vegetarian lifestyle. However, in the 1600 and 1700's Guru Gobind Singh and his Sikhs had to fight a few wars and battles and kick some ass. They had to hunt and eat meat in order survive. Hence, another reason for why we have some division of thought within the community.

My grandfather's belief was that we shouldn't eat meat unless it is a last resort, that we shouldn't eat meat just for the taste of our tongue, which I get because let's be real. . . .  The Guru and his Sikhs weren't eating chicken tikka masala or butter chicken in the forests!

Guru Gobind Singh forbade his Sikhs from eating halal meat or any meat killed in a ritualistic manner which is why it clearly says we cannot eat this type of meat in the Sikh Rehat Maryada. (Sorry Muslim friends, I know ya'lls kabobs, biryanis, and shwarmas are "slap yo mama" good!)

I've always gone back and fourth. I've gone years without eating meat, and I've gone years without eating vegetables! LOL When I was a vegetarian, I would always cheat. At an Indian buffet, I'd always get the butter chicken sauce and put it all over my vegetables. I'd order a pepperoni pizza and take off the pepperoni and thoroughly enjoy that cheese pizza with the pepperoni juice on it! When I was a meat eater however, the opposite happened. Whenever I went out to a restaurant with my vegetarian sister, I'd always order some meat dish and of course she would order some vegetarian dish and her food ALWAYS tasted better than mine. >:(  And of course she hated sharing with me!

I always wanted both and so nowadays I think I've done a good pretty good job of balancing and eating both. But then a few days ago, something happened that changed me drastically. Three days ago one of my very dear friends told me that she decided to become a vegetarian. I was so excited and happy for her. I called her up and had a wonderful conversation about it and I told her I supported her 100%.  Then, two days ago, another wonderful person in my life (you'll find out about him soon ;) sent me a video. He didn't even know about the conversation that I had the day prior. He randomly sent me a video that he came across showing how animals get treated in slaughter houses. This video was 7 minutes and 52 seconds long. I only made it to 1 minute and 6 seconds. I couldn't take it anymore. I cried and I cried and I cried. My mind was made up in that 1 minute and 6 seconds. I couldn't eat meat anymore. Yes, maybe some slaughter houses are humane. Maybe some of the organic meats are decent and the only place to get those meats is at Whole Foods. But, let's be real. The majority of the meat that we eat come from slaughter houses that torture and abuse animals to a level of grief beyond disbelief.

On day 1 of my vegetarian life, a raw food truck came to work. (Yes, we have food truck Fridays and yes it's awesome :) The barbeque truck, the soul food truck, and all of the other trucks literally have people lining up for them all the time. But for the first time, I walked past these food trucks and approached the all green vegan vessel. I ordered some zucchini pasta and I had a lovely conversation with vegan truck owner. I told her about my new decision and she was very excited and happy. She had adopted a vegan lifestyle years ago so I decided to ask her a question that I knew I was going to  have to answer over and over again while I stay on this new path.

I asked, "How do you respond to people who say, plants have life too!?"

First she laughed. Then she said, "Plants are living organisms but they don't have souls."

Wow. As you all know, anyone who uses the word "soul" automatically becomes my new best friend. :)

Then she said, "The Bible says humans and animals have souls and we weren't put on this Earth to eat animals."

Did she just quote the Bible?! I was shocked. I never heard a Christian use the Bible to support their theory of vegetarianism. (Is that a word? It is now! Plus auto spell correct didn't underline it red. lol) At that moment, I realized that there is probably a division of thought on meat within the Christian religion too. And that's okay. We are all not as different as we think we are.

Some might say that plants have souls too. Everyone is going to have a different belief and/or opinion and that's okay. Do plants have souls? I don't know, but I do know that they have energy. I also know that if you pick an apple from a tree, the tree does not die. It will continue to produce more apples for you. However if you cut off a thigh from a chicken and sell it KFC, the chicken will probably die and if it miraculously survives, no. . . . it will not produce a new leg for you.

I just can't do it anymore. So. . . .tofu, falafels, beans, veggie burgers, and pretty much 90% of all Indian food. . . here I come!


Please note. I am not here trying to turn you into a vegetarian! I was just eating chicken with you last week! I am just explaining why I switched over. At the end of the day, no matter what you eat or how you eat it, you will still be my friend. (That is if you want to be ;)


If you are curious as to what video I saw that sparked all of this, click on this link.
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmazon2015/videos/vb.1460884084222944/1543139755997376/?type=2&theater

Here's another one. . . .
http://www.peta.org/videos/the-real-price-of-meat-one-cows-heartbreaking-trip-to-slaughter/

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