Vegetarianism: The religion

Essay by lazy73College, Undergraduate February 2006

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The moral issues surrounding the consumption of meat has been the definitive motivating factor for many vegetarians. Religious beliefs are at the center of these

moral issues since diet has long been a topic of religious teachings. Though guidelines and characteristics are modified a connection between the spiritual self and the physical state remains constant. Physical purity, associated by many religions with vegetarianism, to a certain magnitude has meant spiritual growth.

Dietary guidelines for Hebraic tradition begin when all foods except fruits, nuts, and seeds were forbidden by God. Judaism keeps the preparation, consumption, and even storage of food to be of utmost spiritual concern. Cooking utensils must be kept separate along with a carefully arranged kitchen out of demand that specific objects such as meat and dairy products are not to be cooked or even eaten together. Animals and poultry are made to pass an inspection before slaughter, if the animal is flawed then it is rejected.

Otherwise the animal is slaughtered in accordance to strict guidelines in which the blood is strained of any impurities as this in return would impair spiritual clarity.

Jewish peoples are taught through Talmudic teachings that, "danger to life nullifies all religious obligation." It is this principle that invokes the long standing Jewish preference for vegetarianism. Judaism speaks out against anything that poses a threat to well being or diminishes one's ability to worship fully. This outlook along with a great reverence for life makes vegetarianism ,which provokes balance and harmony, a likely choice.

Furthermore, many eastern religions believe that it is ignorant to make a division between

human life and animal life. These religions have especially taught the idea of unity between all living things. By categorizing life into appearances we miss the deeper connection. That all life is essentially one...