Honoring Life: The Principle of Vegetarianism in Sanatana Dharma
By Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya
"One of the central tenets of Sanatana Dharma philosophy is the concept of ahimsa, or non-violence. While many ethical systems espouse some form of non-violent ethic or another, what makes the Vedic practice of ahimsa radically unique from other systems is the universal scope of its concern. For most ethical schools of thought, the concept of ethical concern extends no further than the human race. The criteria for whether or not a being is worthy of being the object of compassion is determined by the species of the being involved. For Dharmis (followers of Sanatana Dharma), on the other hand, all living creatures are worthy of respect, compassion and ethical concern, regardless of whether they are human or non-human. The entire realm of living beings thus falls within the scope of moral concern. It is in keeping with this ethic of valuing all life that thoughtful Dharmis follow a strict vegetarian diet, a diet which seeks to reduce suffering to its minimal level...."
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