To Eat or Not to Eat Meat

Striking at the Root of Global Warming!
  • Satinder Dhiman
Living reference work entry


This chapter explores the vital role each individual can play to improve the state of the planet. It focuses on understanding the economics, ethics, and spirituality of a meat-based vs. plant-based diet – something that concerns everyone and something over which everyone has complete choice and control. It offers a unique perspective that all food is essentially vegetarian (see Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.1.2: Open image in new window Food comes from vegetation), although one can have a meal that is nonvegetarian. This chapter explores three main reasons to turn to a plant-based diet: health, sustainability, and compassion. It offers a perspective that switching to a plant-based diet or reducing the meat and dairy intake represents one of the most effective solutions to global warming. The uniqueness of this approach lies in its humanity and its locus of control: It depends upon each one of us.

Many spiritual traditions recommend a plant-based diet based on moral and compassionate grounds. Nonviolence, ahiṁsā, is the basis for the vegetarianism within Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism though it goes well beyond just being vegetarian. The universal value of harmlessness is a core virtue derived from the Vedic injunction “mā hiṁsyāt sarvabhūtāniOpen image in new window – do no harm to living creatures.


Conscious Consumption Ethics of plant-based diet Sustainable food systems Ecological cost of food Global warming Health hazards of meat-based diet 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessWoodbury UniversityBurbankUSA

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