Is it possible to be spiritual and eat animals

Acharya Prashant
8 min readMay 3, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Is it possible to be spiritual and eat animals?

Acharya Prashant: No, it is not at all possible.

It is just not possible.

The spiritual one would know who he is and what is happening through him. He would not be blind to what is kept on his plate. To be spiritual is to be non-fragmented. One would then really know, what is this thing called hunger, what is this thing called food, and what is thing called food-chain.

One would just not open the can, take the flesh and munch it. One would know where the whole thing is coming from, both in a physical way and in a mental way.

When you know where the entire thing is coming from, it simply does not happen. You see, a spiritual man does not relate to the other in terms of body. It is something of the eye.

I often ask those who consume meat, instead of proceeding with a packaged product like meat, why don’t you slaughter the thing yourself, and when you slaughter the animal yourself, why don’t you know it fully?

Even as you slaughter it from a perspective of self-interest, if something is going into your body it makes sense to know it fully.

Why don’t you look into its eyes as you slaughter it?

And when you look into the eyes of an animal, and if you are really awake, you will only see your own deep innocence, which might be hidden from you. It is impossible to see anything or anybody else when you really look around. And that thing that you look at, and that which looks back at you is most prominently visible in the eyes.

It is visible everywhere, it is visible even in the leaves, in the soil, in the sand, in the stone, everywhere, but given the limits of our identification and consciousness, it is most visible in the eyes, so, look at the animal, pause and meditate for a while, and then go ahead and slaughter it, if you can.

You’ll only be slaughtering yourself.

I repeat, those eyes are your own primitive eyes and when I say your own primitive eyes that brings us to another interesting way of looking at it: