12 Jun, 2020
Since Covid-19 was spread through eating infected pork, a lot of people are practicing caution when it comes to eating any kind of meat. So that got us thinking, is vegetarianism going to become mainstream?
A vegetarian diet is a perfect way to stay healthy. A balanced vegetarian diet is high on fiber, vitamins C and E, folic acid, magnesium, unsaturated fat, and numerous phytochemicals. Vegetarians have lower cholesterol level, healthy blood pressure and reduced risk of heart diseases. In addition, vegetarian food is easy for the body to digest andtand lesser time to cook. Vegetarianism is vital not just for our healthy living but also for co-existing harmoniously with nature.
Ankur Rupani is a strong advocate of vegetarianism and a life coach, Law of Attraction Coach, a Spiritual Counsellor and a Meditation Practitioner. Rupani elucidates the importance of vegetarianism and is confident that people will have a gradual change of heart and turn vegetarian as a probable effect of Covid-19. Rupani is a vegetarian since birth. For two years, he had experimented with non-vegetarian fare until his conscience took him back to his vegetarian roots.
Animal abuse is dangerous
Rupani states that when we cause harm to animals, we are disturbing the fabric of universal consciousness. When we kill animals for the purpose of consumption or resort to poaching for making and selling leather bags, shoes, antique items etc. sold at a very high price for profits, illegal trade etc., the same consciousness is reflected back to us by nature in the form of karma. The present Covid-19 situation is a result of an imbalance with the environment, especially the animal kingdom.
Soul calling creates a stir to change food habits to improve climatic conditions
Over nearly three months, people have observed that due to no vehicular pollution, countries across the globe witnessed a rise in sighting of birds and animals who used to keep away from tourist attraction spots out of fear of being encroached by humans. Wild animals were even sighted on the streets in metropolitan cities. The Air Quality Index in Mumbai, and a lot of other cities world over, has drastically changed.
People want to aid the climate change too by changing their food habits after noticing rapid changes in the environment over the last two and a half months.
Satvik food is recommended
People are getting more inclined to take care of their health. According to Rupani, the Covid-19 situation has brought forth the problems caused by non-vegetarian food. Satvik meals are designed to help balance the three mental energies called the Maha Gunas. The essential energy of the mind is sattva, or a pure and content state, while tamas (the Maha Guna of rest, inertia, and stagnation) and Rajas (the Maha Guna of movement, creativity and passion) disturb sattva. Tamas and Rajas are not bad per se; they have a tendency towards imbalance. Tamas slows down our mind, while Rajas speeds it up. Too much Tamas can make us feel unmotivated and tired. The quality of our thoughts can change often, so we may have too much Tamas one day and too much Rajas on other days. Hence, it is recommended to stick to a satvik diet.
The expert’s experience with vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet
Rupani noticed the difference when he temporarily switched to non-vegetarianism. Since his childhood, for around 20 years, he consumed only vegetarian food. For two years, he experimented with non-vegetarian diet. Practicing meditation and simultaneously eating non-veg food felt off to him. After two years, he completely gave up non-vegetarianism and turned vegetarian again. The switch made him feel more calmer, relaxed and his productivity increased too.
Animal consciousness v/s. Plant consciousness
Fruits and vegetables are healthy. They energise our body completely. Although plants have a consciousness, we simply pluck fruits and vegetables. We don’t uproot them or kill them. The level of biological development is less in plants as compared to animals since the brain and other receptors are not present. Since animals have a brain, receptors etc, the level of pain is much more enhanced in animals just as in human beings. This is also the reason why most of us are not cannibals by nature since we are taught not to harm other human beings.
Different religions have different tenets and approach towards non-vegetarian food.
Rupani states that religion was initiated by prophets who experienced divinity. The guidelines for eating habits were framed as per the time and circumstances then. Perhaps, at that time, it was not possible to be a vegetarian. But, in the present day, it is completely possible to become a vegetarian, if one desires to do so. Being vegetarian is only a part of dharma and non-violence. Being truthful, honest and kind to everybody is a part of dharma.
Lessons unlearned arelare to be repeated
There were news articles published and documentaries shot which highlighted that the business in wet markets in China was back to normal, once the lockdown was lifted. Rupani emphasises that if we at an individual level or as nations don’t learn our lessons over abusing animals, nature will keep hitting us back with catastrophes.
The World Health Organisation’s perspective on Covid-19 and consumption of non-vegetarian food
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread like wildfire all over the globe, infecting millions of people and the death toll touching lakhs, there were various myths and misconceptions doing the rounds daily, often triggering the panic button. Since, it is strongly believed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for causing this deadly pandemic has originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China, many staunch non-vegetarians too turned to be strict vegetarians in the last couple of months. However, so far there is no clear evidence supported by WHO to prove that the novel strain of the SARS-Cov-2 virus lives on chicken, eggs, meat, or seafood and can make non-vegetarian food unsafe for consumption. The SARS-CoV-2 viruses in fact needs a host to grow and as far as food is concerned, currently, there is no evidence that food can be a route of transmission of the infection. At a press conference, the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Director, Prof. Randeep Guleria categorically stated that consumption of non-vegetarian foods or eggs does not cause infection. He further said that as a preventive measure meat should be thoroughly washed and cooked at the right temperature. Currently, there is no evidence to prove that any particular food or diet pattern can prevent or treat COVID-19.