Food can shape human consciousness ?

Posted on October 2, 2013
Location: London
Food can shape human consciousness ?

Its 144 years to the day (2nd October) since Gandhi was born, more than 65 years since he died. What delights me most about Gandhi is that he was an ethical vegetarian.

Sure, he was born in a vegetarian family, but that wasn't why he embraced vegetarianism. In fact, he started eating meat as a very young man on the advice of a friend who told him that the British were stronger and could take over India because they ate meat. Gandhi returned to vegetarianism both because of a promise he gave his mother when he left to study in England, and because he realized that the concept of non-violence had to include every sentient creature.

Mahatma Gandhi did not look at food as something that just satisfied hunger. For him, it was an essential part that shaped human consciousness. He tested and experimented with a number of diets to find the perfect one.

Unknown to many, Mahatma Gandhi believed in following a strict dietary regiment. He preferred foods like brown rice, goat's milk, cereals and veggies. He believed fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables should be eaten raw and preferred jiggery over sugar. He penned a number of books, including books on food and diet. Some of his works include - Diet and Diet Reforms, The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism and Key to Health.

Talking about the moral basis of vegetarianism, he said "Man was not born a carnivorous animal, but born to live on fruits and herbs that the earth grows." According to Gandhi, "when food submerses the body, and through the body the soul, its relish disappears, and then alone does it begin to function in the way nature intended it to."

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