Friday, February 8, 2008

Eating Habits

Earlier tonight I made the decision to do something unusual. I'm going to try to go vegetarian for a reason that is very important to me. I hope the reason isn't too selfish. I'm sure I'll learn more about the reason with time.

If I do this and pray, I could get what I've been looking for for so long.

I don't know if I should make an easy slow transition or if I should just cut meat completely at once. I'll see what happens.

Please God don't let me become weak and fail at this.

12 comments:

Alexander M Zoltai said...

My experience says to ease into any major dietary changes. There are cases of people adopting a healthier diet suddenly and just as suddenly dying...

Here's an interesting site:

http://www.vegblog.org/resources/

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Ya got me goin' ...

I'm not a Veg but want to be...

Did a bit more research:

http://bahai-library.com/books/gandhi/node88.html

Vegetarianism and Nonviolence

Both Gandhi and `Abdu'l-Bahá felt that the killing of animals for food is somewhat contrary to nonviolence and compassion, and suggested alternatives to meat.

`Abdu'l-Bahá writes,

Truly, the killing of animals and the eating of their meat is somewhat contrary to pity and compassion, and if one can content oneself with cereals, fruit, oil and nuts, such as pistachios, almonds and so on, it would undoubtedly be better and more pleasing.[4]

Gandhi writes,

I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow-creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.[6]

Vegetarian diet, besides grains, pulses, edible roots, tubers and leaves, includes fruits, both fresh and dry. Dry fruit includes nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnut, etc.[3]

While both Gandhi and the Bahá'ís agree that the killing of animals for food may be somewhat immoral, they both emphasize the importance of not blowing the issue out of proportion. Gandhi writes,

It is wrong to over-estimate the importance of food in the formation of character or in subjugating the flesh. Diet is a powerful factor not to be neglected. But to sum up all religion in terms of diet, as is often done in India, is as wrong as it is to disregard all restraint in regard to diet and to give full reins to one's appetite.[7]

Perhaps for this same reason, vegetarianism has not been made a central teaching of the Bahá'í Faith, even though it is very much encouraged.

Vincent said...

I note you are praying not to fail. Why is it so important not to fail? I'm not asking out of curiosity, not asking you to tell the world. Isn't it enough to have a go, and see if it suits you?

xoxoxo said...

I've been a veggie for almost 2 years and I cannot see myself ever eating meat again. send me an email if you'd like to chat about it.

Sophia said...

Alex,

You're always so resourceful. I love it!

As I didn't really watch the nutrients I was getting as an omnivore, I'll have to be extra careful as an herbivore. Since I don't cook, it will be extra difficult for me to eat healthy meals, so I may find myself taking in vitamin supplements. For instance, I don't think today's meals of danish, cereal and ramen noodles counts as healthy meals. If I'm going to do this vegetarian thing, I suppose I'm going to have to educate myself once and for all on nutrition.

Thank you for the helpful resources that you have provided.

As you know, I have six pets. Also, my cubicle walls at work are just plastered with pictures of wildlife and animals and wildlife advocacy bumper stickers. I've defined myself as an "animal lover". Perhaps now I need to start practicing compassion at dinnertime, as well.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

I'd say that's what I'm trying to do, to see if it suits me. I don't want to fail because I feel that if I want to learn about the universe and its secrets, and become closer to the divine, I have to give something in return, a sort of energy exchange. If I fail at this, it means I'm not capable of giving back or earning wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps if I do this, I'll be rewarded with a spiritual teacher.

Sophia said...

xoxoxo,

I'd be interested to know what trials you had to go through to become a vegetarian, and also what your reasons were for doing so.

I sent you an email.

Thanks.

Vincent said...

Sophia, if you read your comment in reply to mine you may see how you are setting yourself up superstitiously.

Who will reward you with spiritual teacher? Let us suppose it is God. Does God thus reward those who set themselves challenges?

You are not alone to think so. Others have worn hair-shirts and flagellated themselves. I hope you won't do anything like that.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

Good luck with your change of diet.

I have not eaten meat in decades -however I eat fish. It takes a while to get the hang of vegetarian food in my opinion.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

I might get a little superstitious when I'm most desperate or hopeful.

Either God would reward me or a spiritual teacher would reward me. Perhaps, if a spiritual teacher saw I was working hard at making changes, he/she might come forward.

I had never heard of a hairshirt before. I just looked it up and it made me want to cringe. I could never do something like that!

Well, the good news is, I haven't flagellated myself yet. :)

Sophia said...

Rob,

Thanks. I'm still a vegetarian as of tonight. Today, I had pistachios when I awoke at 1:30pm, then I had a bowl of cereal. Tonight, I had a salad and some mashed potatoes. Yesterday, my husband went grocery shopping and only bought himself a steak. :( This is not easy.

I'm trying to go all the way - no fish or eggs. Tonight I find myself craving a big hearty meal. I don't know if I can make it.

:(