Category Archives: Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: “YOGA AND VEGETARIANISM”

I finally finished the book assigned in yoga teacher training called “Yoga and Vegetarianism” by Sharon Gannon. You can read my first thoughts on the book in a post or two below this one. It was less than 150 pages but it took me well over a week to read it because it was so pretentious and I couldn’t stand the author’s “Holier Than Thou” attitude. This book might be good for those who are already vegan, but as a meat eater, it’s just condescending and rude. The author has a very in-your-face all-or-nothing attitude toward veganism. She doesn’t care if you’re against factory farming. She doesn’t care if you are vegetarian but still drink milk and eat eggs. She doesn’t care about any of your efforts to save animals unless you are 100% vegan. The basic premise of this book is – unless you are vegan then you are evil.

Here’s an excerpt from her book:

When you speak to others about vegetarianism or animal rights, you must not view them as stupid, callous, or evil. Instead, see them through your eyes of compassion. See them as holy beings, capable of kindness. If the person eats meat, why not view that as a temporary condition? If you can’t see others as potentially kind and compassionate beings, how can you every expect them to see themselves that way?

Uhhh, thanks for pointing out that I’m CAPABLE of kindness. How big of you.

Eating meat and consuming milk is an addiction: an addiction to violence. To facilitate a lasting positive change, we must view the person who is still eating these foods in the same like as we would view a drug or a sex addict.

Thanks again. Makes my heart all fuzzy. In an earlier chapter she compared women being raped to people eating meat. I would have put down the book at that point but I had to finish it for my assignment.

And lastly in her Q&A section:

Q: If the law of karma is true, then shouldn’t we accept the fact that animals are suffering because of their karmas?

A: It is true that every being is enjoying life or suffering as a direct result of his or her own past actions. The animals in factory farms may have been meat-eating human beings in a previous birth….

Seriously? You just stated the belief of reincarnation as FACT? I’m all for freedom of beliefs, but you can’t state this as fact. How am I supposed to trust that all your other statements are back by science? Congratulations. You lost me and all my faith in everything you have to say. 

She also admits earlier in the book that carrots and vegetables have feelings too but we eat them in order to cause the LEAST amount of damage.

That being said – just because I’m not on board with this particular author, it doesn’t mean that I’m dismissing other beliefs of vegetarianism / veganism. I just realllly disliked her approach. 

What the author needs to realize is that as a society we need baby steps. There’s no way that every person is going to give up their ways instantly. Ways that have been ingrained in our heads since birth and that our culture has practiced for thousands of years. Let’s focus on trying to stop factory farming. In my opinion, that’s the first rung on the ladder we need to get to. Then we can take some more steps. The all-or-nothing approach is just going to get people angry and upset.

So far this past week I’ve been limiting my meat intake to 1-2 meals per day instead of 3 meals a day like I was. And I’ve only bought humanely treated meat. Right now, that’s a good step for me. I have noticed, however, when I eat a vegetarian meal I get hungrier quicker. I used to be able to eat 3 meals a day with no desire to snack. Sometimes I’d even forget about lunch or look at the clock – “oh hey it’s 7:30 maybe I should think about dinner.” Vegetarian meals – at least the ones I’ve been eating – aren’t nearly as filling.

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