Is Egg A Vegetarian Food Item?
You might have heard that there are eggs, which are lifeless, so technically it is vegetarian to consume them. But the fact is that not only humans but any living being will only consume things that have life. If eggs did not contain life, they would be considered inanimate (without life or energy) and therefore inedible.
We eat only things that have life and as long as they are not spoiled. Even vegetables picked freshly will rot and become inedible in few days. Things that are edible always have expiry date. Anything that is non-living cannot be eaten.
The case of eggs
Egg is non-vegetarian food. Some may argue that there are ‘vegetarian eggs’ which do not develop into a chick. But there is indeed life in them and people are misinformed. Give this some thought. There is no problem if there is no life in it, but you cannot eat anything that is lifeless. Food that does not contain life may satisfy hunger, but it does not have any nutritional value and it will not nourish and sustain the body.
Even an animal will not eat a lifeless thing. Vegetarian animals like cows. Donkeys would not eat meat or egg even if they were experiencing hunger pangs. So, by intuition a pure vegetarian person would not eat egg.
You may think that the egg does not run away, so it’s safe to consume. But the life contained within the egg is in a dormant state of unconsciousness. It does not hatch because the life within it is in a dormant state. The state of life in egg is same as that of the human fetus at four or five weeks, so you must not harm the egg nor eat it.
The Lord has given guidelines to eat one-sense developed living things only. Chicken, seafood, egg or any non-veg food possesses life with all five senses i.e. sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. All vegetarian things like wheat, rice, fruits, vegetables are one-sense beings. One-sense life forms are not developed up to the level of feeling fear. Therefore, we can consume them.
Let’s have a brief understanding below:
- One-sense beings have the senses of touch. All vegetarian things like wheat, rice, fruits, vegetable, etc. are one-sense beings. One-sense life forms are not developed up to the level of feeling fear. Therefore, we can consume them. One may say that there is some violence in eating one-sense developed living beings, but the Lord does not forbid the consumption of single-sense developed organisms because they do not contain pus or meat. In providing benefits to humans, these life forms also reap benefits for themselves. This progression into higher life forms is a natural process in the universe.
- Two-sense beings have the senses of touch and taste. Two or more than two-sense developed life forms are considered trasjivas. Traas means they get frightened and harassed. The whole world is in the form of fear and effects of harassment. The moment we try to touch, they feel fear and run away. Examples are shells, worms, insects, microbes in stale food, termites, etc.
- Three-sense beings have the senses of touch, taste, and smell. Examples are bugs, lice, ants, moths, insects in wheat grains, and centipedes, etc. A three sensory jiva will have a very strong sense of smell. An ant will know where to find a pot of ghee, even if it is on the rooftop. The ant will know how far it is and where it is. It will figure out the shortest way to go and get it.
- Four-sense beings have the senses of touch, taste, smell and sight. Examples are scorpions, crickets, spiders, beetles, locusts, flies, etc. The four sensory jiva will have a very sharp sense of sight.
- The being with intense auditory perception is a five-sensed being. As one evolves, the veils of ignorance (over the soul) decrease and the light of the soul increases, and hence the jiva (embodied soul) is able to perceive more. Five-sense living being examples are human beings, birds, animals, cows, chickens, goats etc. You should be careful not harm them in any way. Be aware to not hurt any human being, even in the slightest degree, through your mind, speech and actions.
When you take time to think through such things, you would understand; otherwise there is so much misinformation out there to mislead a person. All foods contain life, but the Vitrag Lords had drawn limits about which foods are allowed and which are forbidden.
You must not harm or eat things that flee from you for their life. If you cannot stop eating eggs immediately, at least change your opinion. Make a strong determination that you want to be a pure vegetarian, then things will follow.
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