Are Yoga Festivals Evolving into Mindless Meat Fests? ~ Kim Amlong

Via elephant journal
on Jul 11, 2012
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Ahimsa or non-harming, the fundamental keystone of a yoga practice, is being abandoned by modern-day practitioners without any reflection.

Is it apathy, disconnection, laziness or priorities that prevents people from caring?

I am extremely disappointed that yoga teachers that I respect would actually take part in festivals offering meat and fish and every other type of animal secretion. It would be wonderful if all yoga teachers would unify and pledge to not participate in any festival unless it is cruelty-free or at least vegetarian.

Although, the majority of people practicing yoga are not vegetarians, if we feed them meat and fish at a yoga festivals, we will miss the perfect opportunity to inform them of the benefits for themselves, for the planet and for the animals.

In addition, they will miss the opportunity to enjoy incredible vegetarian food. People can survive on a vegetarian diet for a few days, and many would probably be surprised how much they enjoy it.

I posted a petition at Care2.com: “Say No To Meat at Yoga Festivals,” after I read the mission statement of Wanderlust. The organizers of Wanderlust are not aligned with their mission statement. They portray themselves as the most green, sensitive, conscious festival when instead, they are more interested in their pocketbooks.

The research proves that to be the most green, sensitive, conscious festival, it would have to be vegan. I believe the organizers are hypocrites. I even received this comment from a woman who signed my petition:

 “I am a certified Organic Farmer who has a farm 10 minutes from Stratton and I wanted to vend food from my farm, I specialize in Vegan and vegetarian food and I was turned away from them. I was quite upset that they didn’t give preference to local folks and that someone such as myself was shut out, so they could make money from other vendors. I even heard that there was no good food again this year—Shame on them! Their Farm to Plate dinner also consisted of the largest local growers who use so many pestisides in their food, I feel bad for who ever ate at that over priced dinner. The funny thing is I would have been serving Farm to Table all weekend, at affordable prices!”

I was inspired to write this poem for the organizers:

Is Yoga Meat the New Happy Meat?

The inhumanity of our society embraces meat as a necessity; even occluding meat from yoga festivals has become an impossibility.

Disconnected from all pain and suffering and insensitivity, we perpetuate the atrocities afflicting billions of lonely, terrorized, unseen beings living in constant agony.

Ignoring the facts of the scientific community, we continue to hopelessly destroy our health and our environment to the utmost degree.

We want to believe: heart disease, cancer, starving children, animal suffering and global warming are only myths propagated by crazy extremists.

Speciously Green and Conscious mission statements abound, but animal welfare ethics are nowhere to be found.

Hypocrites escape discovery when the masses are not awake, or are too afraid or too lazy to speak up for another’s sake.

The power of money squelches compassion, leaving only cruelty to reign, in a kingdom where everyone feigns awareness and no one is to blame.

Westernized yoga is becoming more a part of the American dream of Capitalism and greed than a sincere intention to help others evolve spiritually.

Do I have to bend and weaken my ideals till they crumble into irreparable pieces of another elusive dream? How can I transform this chimera into reality?

Yoga practice expands our abilities to empathize and connect with all sentient beings, and to profoundly care for and respect the fragile, earth and universe we share.

Yoga provides us with the one and only guiding principle we need in life: Ahimsa or non-harming.

We create the world of heavens or hells in which we live. Every dollar we spend molds our lives and the lives of countless other precious beings.

I beseech you to responsibly tune into the cries and not turn away and shun the possibility of a world where Meat and all the horrendous death and destruction it inflicts no longer exists.

Finally, we will live in a free world where an all-inclusive community of peace and love and mindfulness releases us from our separateness.

I am not trying to force veganism on anyone. I understand and respect everyone’s free will; however, I do feel, at the core of my being, that I must speak up for those innocent victims who cannot speak for themselves. Yoga and meat don’t mix. Yoga is an inclusive philosophy based on ahimsa. Meat and fish are the antithesis of yoga and need to be excluded from all yoga festivals.

Yoga is not about sculpting our physical bodies. Yoga is about expanding our consciousness to include all sentient beings, the earth and the universe we share. Yoga is about awareness of how our every thought, every word and every action affects countless others. Yoga is about love, respect and gratitude for the diversity of all life.

I would like to ensure that ahimsa is not abandoned, lost or destroyed by modern-day yoga practitioners. We need to stop making excuses from outdated ideas, mistaking desires for essential needs, and bending philosophy to support our hedonistic lifestyles. Only ahimsa can pull automatons out of the eternal abyss of unconsciousness.

I embrace all that is empowering, loving, and respectful to all sentient beings. I support everyone in maintaining their ideals in a harsh, disconnected world of materialism, narcissism  and superficiality. I invite everyone to create a positive environment of constructive discussion to help everyone open their hearts to compassionately connect with the diversity of all creation.

I pray that we may all be happy, healthy and free…and live in a pristine world of peace and harmony.

However, to materialize this goal, we must wake up to the murder, the resistance, the apathy, and the ignorance of the tenebrous masses and take action.

We are powerful and we can create a beautiful world with every thought and every word, every action and every dollar we spend.

The founders say they are open to ideas to improve their festival; however, I spent eight to 10 hours a day for a month posting everywhere and sending numerous messages before I received a response from Sean Hoess, one of the co-founders of Wanderlust.

Sean stated, “If we can get to a place where even a majority of our consumers are educated enough to forego all meat, then I will happily convert Wanderlust to a vegetarian event.”

Be a force of positive change for the world. Help create the world’s greenest, most consciousness-awakening festival. Ask Wanderlust to go vegetarian today or sign the petition to say no to meat at yoga festivals.

Countless sentient beings will thank you.

Sign the petition here: Thepetitionsite.com

 

 Kim Amlong has a Masters of Physical Therapy degree and practiced physical therapy for five years.  A  devoted practitioner of yoga since 1997, she  completed the Iyengar yoga teacher-training program with Patricia Walden (her primary teacher) and assisted Patricia Walden in her classes for 2 and a half years. Kim has been an avid practitioner of qigong since 1999 and has completed courses in Kripalu and Para yoga giving her a keen interest in energy awareness and its health benefits. Kim served as the Director of Teachers for five years at Karma Yoga Studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts. During that time, she studied with Jesse Winder (owner of Karma Yoga Studio), and acted as a consultant, as he developed his own style of yoga, PhysioYoga.  Kim teaches an eclectic style that emphasizes proper body mechanics, anatomical alignment, safety, breath and body awareness in a relaxed, inspiring  atmosphere. Kim encourages students to question everything and to feel confident in exploring postures  best-suited to their individual needs and goals. She enjoys sharing the transformative benefits of yoga and  qigong with everyone who is interested, and follows a vegan diet for her health, the animals and the planet.

~

Editor: Hayley Samuelson.

 

 

 


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Comments

113 Responses to “Are Yoga Festivals Evolving into Mindless Meat Fests? ~ Kim Amlong”

  1. Bravo Kim.

    Check out our truly green not-for-profit Yoga and Peace conference happening in Harvard, Mass in just a few weeks.
    We have a great speaker, Will Tuttle, Some great Music/Kirtan, an amazing meal planned, oh, and some
    Asana too. We are striving for a zero waste conference. All utensils and plates will be compostable, and
    the veg-meal will be as local as possible.
    http://www.beingthechange.us

    Namaskar,

    john Calabria – Co-founder Being the Change Yoga and Peace festival.

  2. cathywaveyoga says:

    We are powerful.
    We can create change.

    I am saddened because this morning when I was reading the Wanderlust site you reposted continuously your message below peoples' blogs. I felt insulted by the continuous posting.
    Unfair use of internet time and space dilutes your message and offends others.

  3. doadeer says:

    I am saddened in return by your insensitive take on Kim's action. It's not about YOU reading the Wanderlust site and feeling good about it; it's about standing up for those who are voiceless and unseen except as body parts on your yoga dinner plate.

    Additionally, tactics such as these are called civil disobedience — I bet you support the Occupy movement, don't you? When the ones in power won't listen to a minority message, tactics are needed to get them to pay attention.

    Open your heart instead of wasting your time putting down people who are doing good things for this world.

  4. cathywaveyoga says:

    Yes, my comment is about my perception and experience.. I would be fine if she had posted one comment on a few blogs, but she posted 5 or more on the few I looked at.
    Civil disobedience- you may call it that. Or I call it being over the top with a need/thought/ movement in a way which is unfair, rude, disrespectful and offends in such a way as to want disassociation.

    I am stating my opinion about her choice to spam. It's rude, out of place and sets up more division rather than opening doors for cooperation, listening and sharing. As do personal attacks.

  5. Kayleigh says:

    Here’s the only vegan yoga conference I’m aware of… http://www.worldpeaceinc.com/

  6. mindfuladoptees says:

    I am more than thrilled to sign Kim's petition!!!!!!!! I think Kim is a hero for courageously starting the petition and for expressing so much of her compassion, despite Wanderlust's denial and Sean's outright irrational response. I'll reiterate what he stated, “If we can get to a place where even a majority of our consumers are educated enough to forego all meat, then I will happily convert Wanderlust to a vegetarian event.” I'm confused by his response because I was under the impression that the larger yoga providers, such as the founders of Wanderlust, are the ones to educate practitioners about the many harmful, unethical, and disgusting reasons not to eat meat? Not the other way around. Huh?

    Lastly, it's rather disgusting that the picture I just stumbled upon with hundreds of pigs=food with a face, housed in a large, windowless room, each in their own gestation crates, largely resembles the picture Kim posted of a large group of people doing yoga=Wanderlust consumers. Unfortunately, I can't find the link to the pic right now.

  7. mindfuladoptees says:

    Thanks Kayleigh for posting this. Although I can't make it this time (too short a notice and I'm in California), I'll certainly keep it in mind for next year.

  8. Jesse says:

    what is so offensive about someone trying to help save some poor animals–not to mention peoples and the planets health–and helping to educate people about the core principle of yoga on a yoga festival website?. I sure many people found it offensive to read your post–like me–and you make me wonder if civil rights, human rights and gender rights offend you too. As much as I find you to be small minded and self centered, I would never tell you that it is unfair to post as many of your silly commnets as you want. It seems so funny that you are suffering from just reading a few posts and you seem to care nothing about the real suffering Kim is trying to stop.

  9. Emily says:

    As a person who is considering a change to vegetarianism, I was extremely put off by this piece. It is mercilessly judgmental of others' choices and to call people whom you don't even know lazy and careless is in itself both of those things. Why not take your zeal and try to organize a vegan festival of your own, instead of cruelly imposing your views on those who may not be ready to hear them? That would be a progressive action.

  10. kim says:

    Your opportunity to decrease cancer and heart disease, and to end animal suffering, global warming and world famine is only a click away. Please help to create a better world for all of us now before it is too late. Please take a minute to sign the petition or to write Wanderlust directly. Every signature or comment is crucial to everyone’s future.

  11. kim says:

    The piece is not meant to be judgmental. It is meant to wake people up. Wanderlust is a hugely popular and growing festival that could influence countless people to take better care of themselves, the planet and All Sentient Beings. As for the vegan festival, I would love it. Can you provide the financial support???
    “George Bush was Wrong. The Axis of Evil Does Not Run Through Iran, Iraq or North Korea. It Runs Through our Dining Tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and Forks” Philip Wollen: Animals Should Be Off The Menu. Please Watch This eye opening 10 minute video and Ask Wanderlust to Take Meat off the Menu Today!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQCe4qEexjc&fe

  12. kim amlong says:

    “Every Morsel of Meat we Eat is Slapping the Tear-stained Face of a Hungry Child.” Philip Wollen: Watch This 10 Minute speech and Ask Wanderlust to Take Meat off the Menu Today!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQCe4qEexjc&fe

  13. GymTanLecture says:

    Do the yoga festivals in question really serve every kind of animal secretion? I think that in itself would prevent a lot of attendance. Obviously the author is trying to denigrate dairy products, which I get, but her sweeping generalization is as bad as the things the meat industry says about vegans.

    Let's not kid ourselves here. Wánderlüst and the other festivals out there are about the bottom line. If they weren't, they'd be free, and would be 100% volunteer-run. I love the idea, but frankly people are making money hand over fist off of us. It's probably important to keep that fact in sight before our feet leave the ground.

  14. mindfuladoptees says:

    Found the picture I previously mentioned here:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=465174070

    Hope people can see it.

  15. Jesse says:

    Emily, do you really think that freely reading Kim's article is as "merciless and cruel" as breeding billions of lives to live under some of the most cruel, brutal and confined conditions found on earth and then killing them without anesthesia? Being kind to these tortured and desperate animals will only make us healthy and begin the process of restoring our planets forests, oceans, and the the air that WE humans depend upon. Vegetarianism is about the rights of all life and based on the love of all life–the love that YOU seem to be unable to give to KIm. Kim is writing about a yoga festival and one can not practice yoga while eating meat–you might do some reading on the subject and the true meaning of the word–and the Wanderlust people claim to want to have "the greenist yoga festival", so what is so imposing about a consumer asking for truth in advertising? Good night and good luck!

  16. I signed the petition. I agree with the writer. Surely it is acceptable to create an alignment of conscious eating with conscious movement and conscious thought toward the vague goal of an enlightened society or at least one that is being asked to be aware as the requiste to participating in something called yoga.

    I have never been to a yoga festival. The idea does not appeal to me. But if I chose to go to a festival or conference where I was asked to eat or drink what my hosts thought was an honorable and kind offering in agreeance with the program I would either sign on wholeheartedly or not go. Or pack my own lunch.

  17. Diana says:

    Amen!!!!

  18. Emily says:

    Well it is judgmental, whether you meant it or not. And it's exactly this kind of rigid dogmatism that turns most people off of what could be a very good message. You're right that the way animals are bred and butchered for meat in this day and age is brutal and cruel, but your statements imply that even kosher butchery (which is done with the utmost respect and thanks to the animals providing the food) is unacceptable and that all meat eaters should be pilloried. And I just agree with that.

    It makes me want to know, is Wanderlust (which I have never been to and don't plan to attend) using kosher companies.

  19. and the one we just founded here in Mass: http://www.beingthechange.us

    We can be the antidote. Just create amazing and non-violent alternatives… .along with asking the
    mainstream to open their hearts. and then we can meet in the middle.

    peace.

    -john

  20. clare says:

    thank you for giving a voice to.the voiceless. the wonderful thing abojt practicing ahimsa in this regard is that by imprisoning, killing, and eating animals we are also not harming the animals,the planet, and our bodies and souls. 8it is thw opposite of a vicious ckrlcle,as my sister said last night, it is a benign circle.thank you for your defense of animals.w

  21. clare says:

    sorry,not imprisoning killing…danger phone!

  22. john says:

    With all due respect. Kosher murder is murder. even if you thank the being for it's like. Local murder is murder. They fight till their last gasp for their precious life…. and we call it humane… because we like how their bodies taste. There is another way… We don't have to live like this. especially if we claim to be practicing 'Yoga'

    om shanti.

    -j

  23. john says:

    Yes, this is a big party/concert/feel good fest. it is heavily promoted as a 'Yoga' festival. Where the appropriate word
    to use would be Asana. peace.

    -j

  24. Chris says:

    I feel like this article is incredibly hypocritical. On one hand, it's stated that it is not your intention to impose your beliefs on others, but on the other it's create this inclusive niche of what yoga is to you, and only you.
    What yoga is, is what it is to those who practice. If event organizers want to have meat at their yoga events, it's not because they're lazy, or whatever insensitive notion you have used to judge them, it's because that's the yoga which they believe and practice.
    You stand on no moral ground or footing to legitimately hold this argument, and I will not respond to a strawman argument about the morality of vegetarianism, as my issue is the hypocritical nature of your judgemental attitude. Yoga is not yours. The spirit and idea of yoga is not owned, and is not unified. You and your morality have no domain over it, and dogmantic views like this anger me, as it's completely against why I practice and love yoga.

  25. kim amlong says:

    I am not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone. I am trying to wake everyone up to the Truth of our unconsciousness. The problem is with the transformation of yoga to a mere physical, narcissistic exercise. The problem is with the yoga teachers who are more concerned about the ability to make a living than upholding the philosophy. You only need to learn and understand one word in life–AHIMSA. If yoga teachers would commit to not teaching at festivals that are not al least vegetarian, this whole issue would not exist. I agree with John, we need to clarify what is being practiced and taught as Asana as Ahimsa seems to be lost by the masses. As for the spirit and idea of yoga. Yoga is the path to unify everything and everyone. I leave you with a quote by Sri Aurobindo: "Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage."

  26. yogi tobye says:

    The article is opinion only and although we need to respect each other's opinions, trying to push your opinion on others is not the way of yoga. It is a controlling attitude.

    The wise realise that a vegetarian diet is one of the healthiest options, but they also realise that people are going to still eat meat and there are many species of animals that haven't been truly wild for millennia and would, as the way things stand, have no place in the wild.

    The only real issue is ethics. How do we treat those beings that give their lives, so that meat eaters can live. Once all humans are vegetarians, do we then turn to the Wolves, Lions and Tigers and try to turn them into vegetarians?

    No. It is wrong to push your views on others and try to make decent people feel guilty because they don't live life the way you do.

    Herbivores, Carnivores and Omnivores all have there set place in nature.

    Ahimsa is a rule of non-violence. Does not mean don't kill. I have seen authentic gypsies massage goats into a trance so that they feel nothing of their passing. This is what Ahimsa means… treat with respect, understand the sacrifice and act accordingly.

    Everything lives and just because we have no awareness of sentience, doesn't mean that sentience does not exist. Plants breathe the same air, need the same nutrients and react to pleasure as well as pain and yet we consider it better to eat plants than animals.

    A healthy respect for everything and the differences that exist.

  27. kat says:

    I applaud Kim for taking a stand on this issue. I believe eliminating animal products from the diet opens us up to higher consciousness and enlightenment, and certainly, at the very least, a more ethical and moral lifestyle. Farmed animals and the waste they produce are polluting the planet, contributing to climate change, and widespread world starvation. Consuming animals causes health problems and disease. Finally, by choosing to not eat animals, we are choosing to abstain from harming others, from causing suffering, and from killing. Every burger, grilled chicken sandwich, scrambled egg with bacon breakfast, or chocolate ice-cream cone comes into existence because those who eat these food items are willing to turn a blind eye to cruelty. Yoga or no yoga, a diet that is based on others suffering is just plain wrong. If you don't know what I am referring to, please watch 'Gary Yourofsky's Greatest Speech' on You Tube in it's entirety. It opened my eyes to the change in diet I now adhere to.

  28. Philip says:

    wow yogi Tobye bye bye, your comment is filled with so much non sense I'm imagining it must be a joke.

  29. Philip says:

    Emily you're getting defensive over someone expressing her opinion to bring more compassion into the yoga world. What's wrong with having a yoga festival without dead animals served? isn't there enough death in the rest of the world for you?

  30. Philip says:

    Thank you Kim. By the way the Tadasana yoga and music festival in Santa Monica had no dead animals served it was totally vegan. Thank you for writing this.

  31. Philip says:

    Yoga is not yours either Chris ….and Kim is not being hypocritical she is merely suggesting yoga community come together and not serve dead animals at yoga festivals. Big deal. There is enough violence and killing everywhere else in society and I think a yoga festival is a great place to be different and compassionate and support an idea like this.

  32. philip says:

    Tadasana yoga and music Festival in Santa Monica served and sold only vegan food.

  33. Emily says:

    Nicely put, Chris. I agree wholeheartedly, as I wrote above. Unfortunately, we're not going to get anywhere with this crowd, same as you won't make any headway in the pro vs. anti-choice debate. To them, it's murder.

  34. doadeer says:

    Read their mission statement. They are hypocritical: they CLAIM to be about "yoga" and everything that is progressive. I wouldn't care if they said let's have a party and eat meat. Just don't lie about it in your mission statement!!! I'm not kidding myself–you are, when you accept it's OK to claim one thing and deliver another.

  35. gphase says:

    Emily, Kim is not trying to force everyone to go vegan in their everyday lives, but she opposes the fact that yoga festivals can't forgo meat for three days. Even those who choose to eat meat can abstain from it for the duration of a festival, which is supposed to promote ahimsa and sustainability after all.

  36. yogi tobye says:

    Well, it's my opinion that I've come to through educating myself and listening to the opinions of my peers.

    But hey, I guess as well as some people trying to control the attitudes of others, there are also those that try to ridicule different opinions and the people they disagree with.

    Better it would have been, to present the counter argument with well researched citations.

  37. yogi tobye says:

    "The less information you have to back up an opinion, the greater your emotional attachment to that opinion."

  38. […] and white lady. She coined the phrase “Shanti Shanti My Ass” as a sideways teaching aid for yogis who eat meat. We keep meaning to make bumper stickers. I love and admire her convictions, even while seeking out […]

  39. kim amlong says:

    DRIVING A PRIUS DOESN'T EVEN APPROACH THE IMPACT OF EATING LESS MEAT!!

    Care2 Earth Month: Back to Basics.

    This year, Care2 decided to expand Earth Day into Earth Month, since there is so much to explore when it comes to the environment. Every day in April, we’ll have a post about some of the most important topics for the environment, exploring and explaining the basics. It’s a great tool to help you get started with helping the environment — or help explain it to others. See the whole series here.

    What if you could make one immediate change in your life that would significantly decrease global warming and other damage to the environment? Great news: you can. Stop eating meat.

    Perhaps the best thing you can do to save the environment is eat a plant-based diet, according to the United Nations, Sierra Club, Worldwatch Institute, Al Gore’s Live Earth, and many others. Even replacing just some of the meat you eat with grains, vegetables, legumes, fruit, and other plant-based foods can make a big difference.

    Just changing the source of your meat won’t do much. As a recent New York Times op-ed by James E. McWilliams explained, there is no such thing as ecologically sustainable meat. Local, organic, free-range — all of it takes or will lead to a surprisingly large toll on the environment.

    Meat production may be the most important reason for global warming, which results almost entirely from a combination of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Raising animals for food is a major source of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of the other two gases: 37% of methane and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions, as Kathy Freston reports in The Huffington Post. The United Nations has concluded that eating a vegan diet “is vital to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change,” according to The Guardian.

    The livestock industry is largely responsible for deforestation, which obliterates ecosystems that would otherwise absorb carbon dioxide. According to Freston, “Animal agriculture takes up an incredible 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the total land surface of the planet. As a result, farmed animals are probably the biggest cause of slashing and burning the world’s forests. Today, 70% of former Amazon rainforest is used for pastureland, and feed crops cover much of the remainder.” Clearing all this land for pasture and feed crops also shrinks or eliminates the habitats for countless species of wildlife.

    Just cutting back on your meat consumption has an impact. Al Gore’s Live Earth organization reports that “If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save: 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months and 70 million gallons of gas, enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare.” Joining the “Meatless Monday” movement, which encourages people to eat no meat for one day every week, could go a long way.

    Driving a Prius doesn’t even approach the impact of eating less meat. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, “if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” A University of Chicago study confirms that in terms of fossil fuel consumption, there is “an order of magnitude” difference “between dietary and personal transportation choices.” What is on your plate matters much more than what is in your garage.

    Climate change isn’t the only ill that the meat industry generates. Freston notes that “raising animals for food is a primary cause of land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution [including the ammonia that causes acid rain, and] loss of biodiversity.” The livestock industry alone is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global,” according to the U.N.’s report.

    We don’t need to eat all this meat. We’d actually be healthier without it, as meat consumption plays a role in causing our three biggest killers: heart disease, cancer and stroke. To help protect the environment and your health, visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine for a free Vegetarian Starter Kit. The earth will thank you.

    Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/save-the-planet-eat-l….

  40. Shelly Prosko says:

    I recommend reading “The Yoga of Eating” by Charles Eistenstein. He does not preach what one should or shouldn’t eat or a specific diet or anything like that, rather he speaks more about the spirituality, ethics, and philosophy of eating..and, well, what the YOGA of eating really means.

    Remember, we are KILLING living beings for nourishment even when we are VEGAN. Plant based foods were once living and we sacrifice their lives to nourish our bodies.

    He talks about how, as humans, we don’t respect death…even our own death. And how each being has a role in this world. So, if the tomato plant that you are growing is ultimately for you to eat, the plant has to accept that that is its fate..and WE must HONOUR and respect the plant’s life, and then when we kill it to nourish ourselves, we thank it deeply for serving its purpose.

    In turn, we also need to respect our own death…by accepting it and embracing it fully when our time comes.

    Most people, including vegans, don’t even realize how their food is being gathered, prepared, and distributed.

    I feel (just my humble opinion) it’s not about focusing all of our time/energy/efforts on serving “meatless” dishes–it’s much much more than that. It’s about how ethically it’s been grown, raised, gathered, harvested, sacrificed, and distributed. This is important for all vegan products as well as animal products.

    And if we authentically honour, with sincere gratitude, each and every plant and animal for our nourishment, perhaps we can still honour ahimsa and eat once living plants and animals ethically and in a non-harming way?

    I highly recommend adding the book to your library….it really made me think differently 🙂

    How about we sign a petition for the world, including yoga conferences, to serve only ethical food?!!

    Namaste and love to all

  41. M Lori says:

    May all beings everywhere be happy & free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to the happiness and freedom of all. http://www.worldpeaceinc.com/home/jubilee.html

  42. Laura says:

    Kim, thank you for bring this major issue to light! As a Vegan and a yoga practicner who attended a class and practiced next to a woman with UGG boots. After the class I just asked her polietly if she knew how those boots come to be…she had to tell me that they were a 'gift' and that no, she didn't. Even after explaining the horrific reality of them she got devensive and left. Yoga festivals ESPECIALLY need to be cognisant of what a mixed up message allowing meat vendors/sponsors to an event that teaches about kindness, compassion, harmony. Murdered animal products are the exact opposite of the teaches. I sincerely hope that the event organizer himself sees the hypocrisy of certain aspects of the Wanderlust festival and encourages VEGAN vendors. After all, we have all the very same enjoyable products without the pain and suffering or cholesterol and trans fats for that matter. Tell him personally that my partner and I, along with the Vegan Activists of London would love to 'vend' some tasty treats there and I know a community full of Vegan owned bakery's, restaurants and sustainable companies that I'm sure would vend too…seriously, I think we have something big in front of us…POWERFUL MESSAGE…impactful. Thank you Kim for all that you do, and inspire. And just on a note to previous comments…MURDER IS MURDER…There is NO SUCH THING as ethically grown and killed, there is no dividing line between family owned local and factory farmed, none from the compassionate stand point that yoga attains.

  43. Laura says:

    Oh and btw…I read a few comments from narcissistic meat eaters. Folks, the reality is you're taking issue with the wrong point entirely. Kim is simply writing the truth about animals, their torment, their horrors and how it should not be apart of any yoga festival, period. The fact that you are 'offended' or 'put off' by Kim's comments of seeming 'dogma' and 'judgement' is immature, insensitive and down right SELFISH. But guess what, I used to be just like you too…I was a meat eater, just like most Vegans. I used to argue with others who 'attacked' my way of eating. I see now they were just trying to connect me with reality, suffering, compassion and one-ness. I see now too that Yoga itself embodies everything about these messages. They cannot be intertwined. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot have 'the right' to dine on animals while practicing 'harmoniously' with nature. There is a big black line that runs down your argument, it's tough to get close too, but it's an easy one to jump over…it's called Veganism. The lifestyle in which you will cause the LEAST amount of harm on your bodies, the animals, our planet. Stop being angry with 'people like us'…you should be angry with yourselves for not being fucking pissed off at what's happening to us, the world and it's animals.

  44. kim amlong says:

    Please have the courage to face the cruelty and suffering we perpetuate everyday with every dollar we spend by watching this informative video. Then, ask Wanderlust to take Meat off the menu today! http://www.documentarywire.com/earthlings

  45. Kelley says:

    Yogi tobye, I saw your comment and felt the need to reply in an intelligent but respectful manner.

    First of all, the vegan movement is not just about compassion, but social justice. Kim is not pushing her "opinion" on others, but even if she was, I would argue that all social justice movements required people "pushing their opinions" on others. When it comes to matters of extreme cruelty and injustice, people can't just sit back and be 'polite', or nothing would ever get accomplished. Blacks would still be slaves in America, women would still be considered property, etc. If I was a slave being beaten, or an animal being tortured in a factory farm, I wouldn't care who got offended. I would want someone to do whatever it took to save me.

    Let me also point out that it is not more ethical to give the animals a good life before murdering them, or murdering them quickly so they "don't feel it". There is no such thing as humane murder. Just like there is no such thing as humane rape or humane child molestation. If someone kidnapped a little girl and held her in his possession for years giving her the best life possible with good food, plenty of water, toys, etc, and THEN killed her, do you think people would be like "Oh, it's okay, he gave her a good life, said a blessing, and killed her quickly"? No. People would be upset that her life was taken against her will. Animals don't willingly give us their lives. We take it by force. That is the very definition of murder. And since humans (unlike other omnivorous animals) have absolutely NO NEED for animal products anymore, we are killing them by the billions for nothing but taste and tradition. THAT seems more than a little inhumane to me. You said Ahimsa is a rule of non-violence, but killing IS violence. It's stopping the beating heart of a creature who wanted to live. That is not respecting them. It's not respecting their basic desire to live.

    Veganism/vegetarianism is not about making people feel guilty, it's about trying to wake people up. Because most people actually care about animals. People will go OUT OF THEIR WAY to save dogs, cats, birds, any helpless animal that is in danger, but don't realize that by eating meat and animal secretions, they are supporting the most torturous, cruel industry to animals EVER. You can't call yourself an animal lover if you support their enslavement and slaughter. It's backwards. Incidentally, even though I don't *try* to make people feel guilty for not being vegan, I don't feel bad if people do. Why? Because people feel guilt for a reason. If there was no reason to feel guilty, then nobody would feel guilty. Guilt only happens if somewhere deep down, people know that what they're doing is wrong.

    Our mission, as vegans, is NOT to turn wolves, lions, and tigers into herbivores. Indeed, that would be wrong, as these animals' bodies are actually designed to consume meat and they need it to survive in the wild. Predator animals also help keep the natural population in balance. Humans, however, are a different story. Not only do we not need animal products to get any of our necessary nutrients, there is actually SIGNIFICANT amounts of research now showing that animal protein is indisputably linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and much more. We also specifically breed animals for the sake of food, not catch ones that already exist in the wild. Because we brand these animals as "food" animals, they are seen as nothing but a commodity. How would you feel if the day you were born, somebody else had already planned the day of your execution? Not to mention our mass breeding of "livestock" animals has a significant impact on the environment. Animal agriculture is the #1 agent of global air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, and climate change. Even the United Nations is now urging people to switch to vegan diets to halt the detriment to our planet. Our oceans are massively over-fished too, not just to satisfy peoples' demands for it, but also because 40% of the fish we catch is being fed to livestock animals. Many marine species will be extinct in a few years if this continues. Billions of the world's starving people could also be fed with the crops saved if they weren't used to fatten "livestock". So you can see why supporting animal products is not just unethical to animals, but human beings too. I suggest you read this article. It is quick, easy reading and reports startling statistics issued by the UN, USDA, and more: http://aella.org/2012/06/why-should-humans-turn-t

    (Please read part 2 of comment on the next post)

  46. Kelley says:

    But the main reason we don't waste our time trying to turn lions, tigers, and bears into vegans is because these animals don't know the difference between right and wrong. One of the things that's unique about humans is that we have a well-developed conscience. We have a sense of morals. We are supposed to know better. Why do we believe it's wrong to kill some sentient beings, but not others? I always laugh at how humans fancy themselves superior to other animals, but still look to the beasts and assume that because THEY eat meat, it's also right and morally justifiable to do it ourselves. There will never be True Peace until humans stop murdering ALL sentient beings (unless in self-defense or absolute necessity).

    As for the whole plant thing, I'm tired of meat-eaters using the "plants feel pain" line simply because they want to stump vegans and find an excuse to keep eating meat. It was scientifically proven years ago that the animals we eat have central nervous systems. And you don't even need science to clearly prove that animals feel pain. They scream when they are being hurt. They release stress hormones. They also feel emotional pain. They cry when their babies are taken from them. Plants don't scream. Plants don't cry. Yes, they are living things that also die, but there is no evidence that they feel pain. Think about it. The whole point of pain biologically is to signal damage to the body and urge the creature to WITHDRAW from the pain stimulus. Plants can't do that because they are stationary beings. Also, plants technically don't breathe because they don't have lungs, but even still, they don't breathe the same air we do. They "breathe" carbon dioxide. They do not react to pleasure or pain. They only have chemical responses to external stimuli. As soon as I see reputable evidence (and lots of it) showing that plants feel pain, then maybe I'll start to worry. But I doubt that's gonna happen.

    Sorry for the essay, but I get really passionate about the truth. Thanks for reading and have a great day. Peace to all beings.

  47. Kelley says:

    It's true that plants are also living beings that die. However, vegans generally draw the line at pain. And there is no reputable evidence showing plants feel pain. Because of that, we do not feel it is cruel to eat them. (Though I agree with you that we should be more conscious of death in general). Still, let me also point out that we enslave many animals for their meat or secretions. You cannot enslave a carrot.

    Also, let me repeat what I said in a different post: It is not more ethical to give the animals a good life before murdering them, or murdering them quickly so they "don't feel it". There is no such thing as humane murder. Just like there is no such thing as humane rape or humane child molestation. If someone kidnapped a little girl and held her in his possession for years giving her the best life possible with good food, plenty of water, toys, etc, and THEN killed her, do you think people would be like "Oh, it's okay, he gave her a good life, said a blessing, and killed her quickly"? No. People would be upset that her life was taken against her will. Animals don't willingly give us their lives. We take it by force. That is the very definition of murder. And since humans (unlike other omnivorous animals) have absolutely NO NEED for animal products anymore, we are killing them by the billions for nothing but taste and tradition. THAT seems more than a little unethical to me.

  48. yogi tobye says:

    Yes indeed, but you did't get that conscience by eating veggies http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2008/04/eat

    And you're still not taking into consideration that you're a natural part of the food chain and as an apex predator that has conscience, our job is to conscientiously keep animal numbers in balance. We've gradually exterminated the majority of all the other apex predators that we used to live next to. It's our job to learn how to maintain balance, now that the damage has been done. And we're not going to maintain balalnce by just eating vegetables!

    I agree that there is a serious issue with how we eat meat that needs to be addressed and, unless we are going to live in a fascist dictatorship where everyone is made to be vegan, you are not going to stop people eating meat by guilt tripping them. It just isn't going to work like that!.

    Krisna's argument to Arjuna about going into battle and killing his brothers, works exactly the same way in this argument about eating meat.

    This totalitarian BS from vegans and vegetarians has got to stop! You have your view and you're welcome to them. I have my views and I don't need you trying to make me feel guilty about having them.

    Everything is living. Everything has conscience. Just because you don't have the ability to fathom that, doesn't make my opinion invalid.

    You live life your way and I'll live it mine, but, unless you can let it go, your hate and anger for meat-eaters is going to eat away at your liver. I understand how you feel. Really, I do. But there's a vast majority of people out there, that just couldn't give a shit about the way you feel and you're not going to change them… you'll just get angrier and angrier because you can't and THAT my friend, is not ahimsa.

  49. glenn62 says:

    Thank you for this great article! Yes, one wonders how those who want to become enlightened would suddenly divert from the road of enlightenment by choosing to consume flesh, many times fully knowing what the implications are of using flesh and animal products. Is enlightenment then at all important to them, or is it simply a vehicle to earn money or fame?

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