Thursday, October 18, 2012


MALAYSIANS BECOME VEGETARIANS - Malaysia has one million vegetarians and the numbers are growing, steadily. Most Malaysians who become vegetarians opt either for the lacto (who take dairy products), lacto-ovo (dairy and eggs), vegan (no dairy products, eggs, onions or garlic), raw food or even the fruitarian diet. 
Malaysian Vegetarian Society president Dr P. Vythilingam says many Malaysians are also becoming vegetarian for religious and health reasons. “By going green, Malaysians are realising that they can stay healthy. Vegetarians are also not worried whether they are getting a balanced diet or enough proteins because studies have shown that we can get plant proteins from soy and legumes,” he says. Countries that are seeing a surge in vegetarianism include Taiwan, Singapore, America and Indonesia. Asia's economic powerhouses India and China, combined, have hundreds of millions of vegetarians.

Dr Vythilingam, who is converting to veganism, says compared with 20 years ago, vegetarian food is easily available in Malaysia but more could be done to have eateries serving a good mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. “Eateries should be sensitive to the needs of the vegetarian and must serve a decent variety of vegetarian dishes”, he says.
Mother of three Bina Patel, was born and bred a vegetarian. “My husband who is a vegetarian has become a vegan and we have followed suit. I want my children to grow up healthy and as parents, we want to give them the best, she says. The government also should promote vegetarianism because it is good for the body to consume less meat and eat more greens and fruits. Malaysia has three cabinet ministers who are vegetarians but the awareness is still not up to par as many countries in this region.” The three cabinet ministers are Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.

The South East Asian nation of Malaysia is a haven for vegetarian delicacies. Its inhabitants  have been waving the vegetarian flag for centuries now. Alternative medicine practitioner Dr Happy Tong Chan Wah, who was once a meat lover and now a vegan for 20 years, has no regrets converting to veganism. “I feel a lot lighter and healthier. Of course in the early years it was hard because there were not many places that served vegetarian food but today, it is a different story because even in a restaurant that serves meat and seafood, they will make vegetarian dishes upon request. Vegetarian food is also the healthier choice because it digests fast and is low in fat and calories. As vegan, we eat smaller but regular meals and it is good for our digestive system,” he explains.

All Hindu scriptures extol nonviolence and a meatless diet as being crucially important in the  successful practice of worship and yoga. Most Hindu monastic orders are vegetarian. For centuries,  Hindu temples and ashrams have served only vegetarian food. ... Vegetarianism, called Shakahara in Sanskrit, is an essential virtue in Hindu thought and practice. It is rooted in the spiritual aspiration to maintain a balanced state of mind and body. Hindus also believe that eating meat is not only detrimental to one’s spiritual life, but also harmful to one’s health and the environment. Most Hindus  strive to live in the consciousness that their choice of foods bears consequences, according to the law of karma. Even the word “meat,” mamsa, implies the karmic law of cause and effect. Mam means “me” and Sa means “he,” intimating that the giver of pain will be the receiver of that same pain in equal measure.

Hinduism Today :
“Vegetarianism and Meat-Eating in 8 Religions”
By Jane Srivastava, South Carolina
April/May/June 2007  -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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