Wednesday, November 2, 2011


United States (CNN) - Niki Gianni was 11 or 12 when she found a video on YouTube called “Meet Your Meat.”  Saddened and disgusted by the footage from a slaughterhouse, the Chicago girl announced she was no longer going to eat meat. Her parents were less than thrilled.   While many parents worry whether their vegetarian or vegan children will receive adequate nutrition for their growing bodies, the American Dietetic Association says such diets, as long as they are well-planned, are appropriate for all phases of life, including childhood and adolescence. “Appropriately planned” vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, the dietetic association says.  “You can really feel the difference when you are eating something from the ground and something from a factory,” said Niki Gianni, an animal activist who became a vegan shortly after embracing the vegetarian lifestyle. 

Now an 18-year-old college freshman, Niki Gianni said her eating habits expanded her palate and turned her away from processed foods. Her food choices also influenced her family: Her mother is now a vegan and her father and sister are vegetarians.  They have done research about meeting their nutritional needs through an array of fresh foods. The number of vegetarians in the United States is expected to increase over the next decade, according to the dietetic association.  A vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease, and vegetarians also appear to have lower overall cancer rates, lower blood pressure and lower rates of hypertension than non-vegetarians.  “I think the reason why veganism is getting more and more popular is there are more celebrities like President Clinton,” embracing the lifestyle, said Cheung, editorial director of the department’s nutrition website, The Nutrition Source.

Mother and daughter have encountered a lot of people who had misconceptions about vegans and vegetarians, including that they are weak or that they are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need.  “(People) asked, ‘How are you going to get your protein?’ They just look at you like you are abusing your children,” the mother said.  People must learn to eat healthily and naturally.  Beans, legumes, nuts, tofu and seeds all are excellent protein sources.  However, beyond the protein requirement, one must be grateful to God and offer Him the food.

Question :  I’m a vegan so I don’t eat any animal products. I question the need to offer milk products to Krishna because of the horrendous things modern factory farming does to cows in order to make them produce more milk. ... My question is does one have to drink milk or offer milk to Krishna in order to be a devotee?
Answer :  Scripture says that Krishna is fond of milk products. Still, one does not have to drink milk or offer milk to Krishna in order to be a devotee. Bhagavad-gita says, patram puspam phalam toyam, that if one offers to Krishna with devotion a leaf, flower, water, or fruit, then He will accept it. The main ingredient mentioned in this verse is devotion, bhaktya prayacchati. It is the bhakti in the offering that satisfies Krishna. ... A person can be vegan and still be a devotee of Krishna, but he or she should aspire to be a bhakta first and foremost, and a vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, or whatever second. A bhakta is a person who values devotion above all else.

Śrīla Bhakti Vedanta Tripurari Mahārāja :
“Krishna’s Diet is Bhakti”
Sri Caitanya Sanga - April 22, 2005, Vol. VII, No. 6

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