From a Biblical perspective, veganism (a diet free of flesh, dairy, and eggs) was given as the dietary key to spiritual life right at the beginning of the Torah in Genesis 1:29: “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed- bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Ten generations later, when Noah was leaving the ark after the great flood and there was no plant food that Noah could find immediately to eat, God said, “Every swarming creature that lives shall be yours to eat; like grass vegetation I have given you all” (Genesis 9:3). This was not a command to eat meat, but a dispensation for the immediate situation. In Leviticus 3:17, the commandment is given that “it is a statue to time indefinite for your generations, in all your dwelling places; you must not eat any fat or any blood at all”. This is particularly good advice today, since fat from flesh foods has been implicated in so many degenerative diseases and is a major storage site for pesticides, herbicides and other environmental toxins that enter the food chain.
Before Noah, the first ten patriarchs lived an average of 912 years. In the ten generations between Shem (Noah’s son) and Abraham, the average life span dropped to 317 years. Eating flesh cut their life spans by two-thirds. God’s message to Adam was a clear commandment not to kill and eat the animals. At the given of the Ten Speakings, “Thou shalt not kill” was interpreted by some to mean that one should not kill animals for food. Jesus taught vegetarianism and he and all his disciples, as noted in Conscious Eating, were vegetarian.
Yoga teaches that a vegetarian diet is not only essential for the spiritual life, but also for the basis for good health. Animals may be our friends, but they aren’t if we eat them. The science of Ayurveda also teaches that food is the basis of the physical body, which in turn is the support of the mind. Right diet, therefore, is the basis of both physical and mental health and an important foundation for spiritual practice. That is why almost all ashrams, temples, and Yoga centers in india serve only vegetarian food.
The key element in Spiritual nutrition approach is veganism. Flesh food (meat, fish, and poultry) increases the animal frequency in the body and it brings into operation more animal-like tendencies such as the vibrations of anger, lust, fear, aggressiveness, and murderous impulses. The energy of the flesh-food diet adds to the impurities of the mind and the nervous system. It communicates the energy of destruction to the cells and brings the energy of death into our auric fields, reducing the flow of higher prana into the body. The lives of the creatures we’ve eaten weigh down our astral body with their negative feelings of fear and suffering at their time of death.
What we eat, we are bringing into the living planet. What we eat is the consciousness of the living Earth. If our eating process is not based on Love and compassion, all of our other actions are bound to suffer. In the act of eating, we are partaking of the entire universe and demonstrating our Oneness with God or Life. Everything in the universe is food, therefore what we eat is God, and therefore feeds our souls. This awareness that food affects our minds is not owned by Yoga alone. The great Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras once said, “As long as men massacre animals they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sown the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap joy and Love.”
Statistics clearly show that vegetarians suffer less from chronic degenerative disease and cancer and have longer life spans than non-vegetarians. Not only do vegetarians live longer and actually have (according to at least ten research reports) more endurance than meat eaters, they are less subject to the health problems that meat eaters experience. According to Herodotus, the great historian, the longest-lived people in the history were the Pelegasians, who ate a live-food diet of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Their average age was 2000. The eating of flesh foods significantly increases major chronic diseases like heart disease, hypertension, cancer, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. The risk of colon cancer for meat eaters is four times greater than for vegetarians. According to the 1961 Journal of the American Medical Association, heart disease would be reduced by 97 percent if people would switch to vegetarianism. Vegetarian women have one-quarter the rate of breast cancer as meat-eating men.
Plant nutrition, when understood as densified sunlight, is distinctly different from animal nutrition. Sunlight, as a cosmic radiation, stimulates the energetic subtle body of the plant and helps to build its structure out of carbon dioxide (Co2) and water (H2O) to form activated carbon-hydrogen bonds through the process of photosynthesis, which stores sunlight energy as excited electrons. Taken into our systems, plants stimulate a resonant response from the Inner Light of our higher spiritual subtle bodies, which directly receive the pranic transfer of the stored sunlight. When animals eat plants, they benefit directly from this release of light energy into the system. By taking in plant energy indirectly through animal foods, we lose the benefit of this stimulation on our Inner Light and nervous system. This is a major difference between plant and animal nutrition. To digest vegetarian foods requires more inner spiritual Light and digestive power. Over generations of heavy meat eating, some individuals have lost some of this power and may have difficulty assimilating the living plant forces of a vegetarian diet.
In anthroposophical medicine, the relationship of plant light to the stimulation, formation, and maintenance of the nervous system is important for spiritual development. With a vegetarian diet, we avoid the disharmony of killing animals. The vegetables we eat are taken from the ground in their seasonal cycles, in harmony with when they are going to die naturally. Fruits are simply the sunshine gift of the living plant to us. There is a natural harmony between plants and humans. Plants take in carbon dioxide as a product of our respiration and convert it to oxygen and carbohydrates; in this way, we share an important biological life cycle. Each colored plant, as food, is a condensed spectrum band of sunlight color for us to take in for the balancing of our chakras and the physical organ, gland, and nervous systems. When we take in a full spectrum throughout the day, we benefit by having our total chakra system balanced energetically by our plant friends. This is the principle of the Rainbow Diet.
The above article is from Spiritual Nutrition, Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini, Gabriel Cousens, M.D