The things that are written in this introduction and other parts of the book are important to be said at this time of the earth’s history and the author’s journey. They may have different importance to you the reader because you have come to this point in life along another path. It is not so much the contrast that our individual lives may have to one another, rather the (maybe subconscious) attraction to a mutual destiny that strongly influences the things we share along the way. What may be common between us is a mutual respect for life and a yearning for a gentle world. If this is the case, then this book may be of assistance to explore a lifestyle that embraces and engages practice of this respect and gentleness. This is a recipe book intended for thoughts, words and deeds - not excluding diet.
The vegetarian dishes presented in this book range across many world cultures and are in most cases derived from religious dietary observations. This point alone emphasises that diet is only an expression of a much deeper psyche within the soul of humanity. Although there appear to be considerable differences between the Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu and Buddhist religions from which many of these dishes directly and indirectly come, they all observe at least periodic animal abstinence for the same reasons - respect for life and in most cases recognition that killing and eating animals is an expression of a self-broken and lamed humanity.
hristians, Jews and Moslems acknowledge that God permitted the eating of flesh to Noah after the settling of the ark (Gen.8.20-9.11), but in a sense of lamenting concession rather than as a gesture of praise, or as a tribute to human progress. An important observation to make of this event is that since permission is specifically given to eat meat, it is reasonable to assume that prior to this it was forbidden or at least unacceptable. It is here that religious observation of animal abstinence serves as an act of respect and remembrance that were it not for human malicious behaviour (sin), all subjugation to death and suffering would be absent from our universe. Importantly also, periodic animal abstinence (such as during lent) is an expression of hope - that humanity will eventually have victory over death and suffering and that gentleness wilol prevail over the world.
he wolf and lamb name and symbol in this book portray in part the hope and prophesy of Isaiah in which he describes the universe re-established in harmony where once again the child can play with the asp, the wolf lie down with the lamb, the lion eat straw with the ox - where there is no hurt and no harm (Is.11.6-9). The wolf and lamb symbol in another sense represents the peaceful meeting of opposites which is the fulfilment of universal peace. This type of prophesy can appear to be illusion or fantasy if it is considered without sufficient reference of the extent to which life forms can diversify and morphose given unlimited time and physical conditions. In such a panorama, million-year cycles are merely ticks of a clock. The extent of change or morphosis during these time spans can be so immense as to create perceptual horizons of diversity. An example of this can be a caterpillar becoming a butterfly and then a caterpillar again. These horizons become borders separating dimensions or
realities. If we stand on a horizon with this (past, present and future) panorama before us and observe a particular creature traverse the ages and eons by way of its generations, its forms and characteristics at any particular stages are merely expose to its adaptation in concurrent prevailing conditions. From this same panorama we can watch a single creature at some point in the unfolding ages morphose into multiple species; we can also observe multiple species revert to a single originating creature. In other words humans, the creatures and general life-forms of this reality are all at least partly hybrids which have adapted from their original ‘essence-form’ in response to the variations in prevailing conditions. The form and characteristics of creatures such as the wolf and lamb, even humans, of this reality are likely to be barely recognisable if compared to their original form. The wolf as we perceive it in this reality is, somewhat latently, all the forms it has been (including its original form) and all the forms it can be. It is possible it was created a herbivorous creature, so Isaiah merely foresaw and understood its original form re-established in a future time where prevailing conditions allowed and invited origination.
he Middle Eastern range of dishes presented in this book are widely known as the Lenten Dishes from which all animal products are intentionally omitted. They are an example of the diet observed by regional Christians as well as those in Greece for the whole period of lent - not just the Fridays as is done in the West under Rome‘s influence. These dishes are also found in the Jewish and Moslem dietary codes where they traditionally have the same standard of being free from all animal products. Jewish tradition however finds no moral contradiction in the use of certain species chicken eggs so these or their derivatives may be found in some dishes or products like Jewish halva regarded by Jews as ‘kosher’, but not strictly devoid of intentional death and suffering.
nce someone begins adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, they are consequently confronted with decisions to previous trivia and non-issues like milk, eggs, honey, animal shortening or animal sourced emulsifiers in a whole range of grocery items. Even non-dietary issues like leather use, cosmetics, sexual practices, abortion, attitudes to death etc. inevitably arise and demand increasingly precise assessment and conformance by the individual. For those interested only in the ‘health’ aspects of vegetarianism these latter decisions hold a different importance than they do for those with a philosophical base where an all-or-nothing approach to specific issues is the only course available. The ‘health’ approach is more a diet than an applied philosophy and discipline and allows for moderation and even convenience-guided consumption of meat and other animal products.
hose who are philosophically inclined to vegetarianism from a sense of justice and compassion have to be prepared to modify a considerable part of their life so as to live under guidance of their conscience. ‘The spirit being willing but the flesh being weak’ is a generations-old adage describing the struggle with the arena of applied philosophy and discipline. Often, compromises can be used to delay (some) definitive decisions, but some issues are never available to compromise without the annihilation of the discipline. Unless the ‘affordable’ compromises are undertaken as very essentially temporary measures, the discipline will be threatened with destruction by way of the weakness which compromise always instils. The strength of any discipline is weakened and even destroyed by the neglect of, or indefinite delays in dealing with the inconsistency which compromise inevitably brings. This obviously applies to other applied disciplines and not just vegetarianism.
here are numerous philosophical variations of vegetarianism. For the sake of example, an outline of the standard which the author has adopted and found arguable and practical is as follows:
ny life forms which clearly indicate they are trying to avoid being taken, or if allowed the freedom would do so, are not taken. In short, anything which tries to get away is let go. This includes oysters and other immobile life forms which clearly signal their sense of danger by closing their shell (or some other protective action). In more recent times technology has made it necessary to address issues such as tissue culture where organs and flesh could feasibly be grown in artificial wombs or hydroponic farms. On first glance there would appear to be no killing or suffering because creatures could be grown without heads or apparent consciousness. Vegetable produce engineered with animal genes which is now being prepared for market demands similar attention. The answer is relatively simple in terms of understanding, but its application in the real world may have difficulties. A creature is not necessarily only that which is confined to the form we visually perceive it in. It is its molecular, cellular and embryonic forms also. We are capable of planting six ears on its nose, its eyes somewhere else, and so on. It can appear as a completely different creature, but it is merely re-arranged. This re-arrangement can be any combination of molecular, microscopic or macroscopic, but the creature remains the same. What we are looking at is the spirit of the creature contained within the (so-far) observable base of its physical (biological) form - its DNA or any fragment of its DNA. An artificially cultured organ, an entire clone, or piece of flesh grown from a part of a creature is still the original creature. Its spirit is continuous within whatever living component is taken from it and reconstructed, re-engineered or implanted elsewhere. In the case where animal genes have been attached to plant genes, it is the animal that takes precedence irrespective of the proportions in which the genetic material is mixed. The amount of animal spirit contained in a plant is of little significance. This is an all or nothing principle although the issue becomes more complex with consideration of animal and human components in the soil being taken up as vegetable nutrition. Organ transplants are another area of consideration. There is more discussion of these issues in VEGANICS OR BUST at the rear of this book (page 164). A discipline such as vegetarianism should be consistent and continuous across all aspects of this reality. The discipline above is consistent to conditions described in Eden (Gen.1.28-31) and is fundamentally pacifist.
t unilaterally extends to all creatures the protocol ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ and thereby actively (re/) instills that quality of justice into our own human virtue and characteristic and also (re/) instills it as a permanent ingredient of unfolding reality. We do not have a pair of faculties tasked to guide us to be just - one for animals and one for humans. We have only one. If we compromise or over-ride justice for animals, we create the inclination to uniformly behave unjustly towards humans. So we create the need to implement laws and regulations to protect ourselves from ourselves. But in doing this we create or compound an unnecessary source of problematic and insidious characteristics such as duplicity, inconsistency and hardness which inevitably and mostly subconsciously find their expression within the varying panorama of human behavior including the violation of justice.
o temper our traditionally conditioned behaviour by responding to the sense of compassion is often, if not always, an act of love. Reason and logic are cold and ruthless procedures unless their application is humanised by the power of compassion and sense of justice.
Adjustment of diet to this attitude is relatively simple, but the discipline probes and reaches into non-diet issues like war, capital punishment, some areas of scientific research, abortifacient and contraceptive use and abortion. It is this latter issue which demands profound individual and social attention.
hen an emotive discipline like vegetarianism is applied as a way of life it inevitably engages the attention of people who are deeply entrenched in old tradition and custom and so have a tendency to resist and variously discredit the disciplinarians. This is often a subconscious resistance but may effect itself with anger and antagonism because the vegetarian ethos has the power to stir individual and social conscience. Those in the process of adapting their lifestyle to pacifism and vegetarianism, or to any minority discipline, will likely find the need to fine-tune their social diplomacy skills so as to be least antagonistic in their lifestyle. One guideline which should assist this process is to maintain the attitude that the task is to establish and consolidate the right to live within one’s conscience and discipline rather than change the world. The world adjusts to goodness in its own time and so change is wrought in more appropriate timing.
ost people are trapped within their behavioural circumstances by generations of conditioning. They are victims, like we all are in various ways and extents, to the behaviour of our individual and multiple past generations - we are all members of the community-of- humanity which spans across the ages and so we carry the personalised yoke of our responsibility in past behaviour. We are each the representative of the thoughts, words and deeds of our past ancestry – not just our parents. However crushed and broken we may be by the burden of the past (our own and our ancestors’), hope of liberation from our prevailing destitution still resides in most of us. It is this hope that we should nurture in ourselves, in others and in society. One way to nurture hope is to do works which promote realisation of the hope. When we discover ways to better ourselves and then initiate change to adjust to those ways, we make steps towards realising the hopes we share with the world. The world becomes richer.
ome of the things we see around us are ugly or obscene in their own nature, but others are not so apparent - latent qualities exist within them. These are the ‘hidden costs’ some products may have because of the way they were produced. Becoming sensitive to the suffering and injustice inherent within certain products or conditions is a sign of justice informing us about the ‘hidden cost’ in those items or conditions. Cosmetics that have been tested on animals are an example of products that contain these costs. Pharmaceutical drugs are also products that have been part of, and in many cases continue to inflict, immense injustice and suffering on animals as well as humans.
any of us do not have problems connecting the obscenity of the abattoir to the innocent looking slices of meat cleanly packaged on the supermarket shelves. Such products have a ‘more than you want to pay price tag’ for people who are sensitive to and have chosen to exclude cruel and exploitative procedures from their life. Commercial honey for example carries with it the ‘cost’ of the apiarist killing the natural queen of the hive and enthroning a designer queen which organises the activities of the hive in a way more suited for commercial production. The queen of a hive ultimately has the say on the population and proportion of bee types, how much honey to store, how hard to work, and so on.
nother less obvious area of concern is whether the hive’s work-load to produce each drop of honey is out of proportion to what we ‘pay’ the bees for it. A condition of slavery is enforced. If we approve this exploitation of bees, we create a precedent which is difficult to disengage from our relationship with other creatures, with humans and with the environment. This precedent will subtly express itself in everything we do. We will become that much more selfish; we will not understand other peoples’ pleas when we hurt them; in some ways we will become insensitive. The direct consequences of such endorsements may be relatively small compared with those arising from killing animals and may be regarded as ‘affordable’ by some people. For others however, the encumbrance of having to make rules designed to control the acquired enslavement traits and the discomfort of endorsing an exploitative attitude makes it easier to exclude the use of honey.
ggs are another product which appear to contain a variation of ‘hidden costs’. Many people are aware of and reject the ‘cost’ of battery hen eggs because of the oppressive production methods, but then wonder why not accept free-range eggs. One point is that the hen wouldn’t be laying eggs which were unfertilised unless she was trapped in a ‘genetic cage’, of human design, to be a super-ovulator. She is exploited through enslavement in this way at least. This in turn encumbers the consumer with the precedent of endorsing enslavement similarly as with the use of honey. If on the other hand the eggs she produces are already fertilised, which will happen if a rooster is put with the hens as part of the free-range theme, then why not incubate the eggs and eat the chickens which hatch as well? The incubation of eggs is merely the procedure by which the creature is enlarged to some more desirable or functional size. Some people have a further problem of how to deal with the hunter instinct which the egg imparts. The chicken is an omnivore but quite a voracious hunter within that lifestyle. Even if infertile, their eggs are the product of the insects and other creatures which the chicken consumed. Consumption of these eggs is felt by some people to induce some sense of the chicken’s undesirable behavioural traits. Rather than trying to cope with these undesirable inducements and precedents it becomes much easier to exclude the egg as another un-affordable food item.
he concern which brings some of us to become active towards helping heal ourselves and the present state of the world is likely a motivation arising from the same centre as does justice and compassion. Compassion, often akin to the sense of justice, has the power to temper - humanise - reason and logic which in themselves are mechanistic and ruthless procedures. The social, environmental and ecological catastrophes looming before us today arise from the hardened heart of humanity. These are all insidious and potentially lethal symptoms which must be treated as already critical if we are to survive in a reality even remotely likened to our present one. Death awaits most of the world otherwise. If we were successful in saving all the remaining vegetation on the earth, reversing the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming, if we managed to remove all nuclear weapons, but did not heal the heart of humanity, these problems would simply manifest in another form. We would only delay the outcome. Since we have eternity to deal with, how long it takes for the insidious manifestations to occur is of little importance - even if we manage to stall the destruction of the earth for another million years. Millions of years are less than a tick of the clock in the eternal panorama.
his is not a claim that our problems would essentially be over if all the world turned vegetarian. The nature of the motive behind the vegetarian ethos determines the nature of the over-all outcome of its
practice. There are historic accounts of vegetarian societies which appear to have self-destructed or were destroyed because they justified and used death in some non-dietary procedures - they kept open a channel for death, eventually and inevitably being drawn in themselves. One must eventually come face to face with what one condones and uses even if only in minute proportions. What one sows, one must reap. Becoming vegetarian is a therapeutic action which for many people opens the way to deal with deeper conditions in the soul of their humanity. It is also a therapeutic action for the world; each vegetarian meal is one less animal produced for you and 20 less trees chopped down to graze it. Animal sustenance requires about ten times more energy resources than does vegetable sustenance by the time it is produced and delivered to you. You would certainly - at least - do the earth a favour if you became vegetarian. These issues are some of the wider parameters. There are many others, not to mention those concerning the treatment of the creatures we rear and kill. For many, maybe most people, vegetarianism is an essential step to become aware of the spirit of life. It is not always a simple step. The relentless pressure from society to conform finds its way into the variety of individual weaknesses. This in turn often results in compromise - an inconsistent practice of the discipline, which slowly but surely undermines the discipline. Possibly one of the most important senses we should allow to guide us is emotion. There is a tendency to become over legalistic when converting to a strict discipline and this may obscure sensitivity to our nutritional needs. We need to balance our mind’s influence with emotional sense which compassion usually enhances. We can become extremely aware of the things we want to exclude from our life, but at the price of becoming insensitive to the things we need to include in our diet and activities. This can lead to a too narrow diet and to nutritional deficiencies such as B12, iron and other essential nutrients.
here seems to be a starting point for every kind of event in this world. The condition of the world itself has to have a base somewhere within human nature because we can see human responsibility in what is happening. The form in which we find ourselves, the world and the universe is not necessarily the way we and the universe actually are - it is only the way we ‘sculpture’ everything according to the quality of our consciousness, and importantly also according to the darkness that still prevails in us. In other words, the cosmos can be described as what actually is, the universe is what human perception and conception has carved out of it; we have inflicted the shape and form of the universe with our own limitations - our own self-acquired defects. While, and for as long as we allow our limitations to remain, the universe will reflect those limitations within its ‘nature’ and perpetually threaten us with them. We remain fugitives to the forces of the universe we ourselves unleash because we procrastinate dealing with our acquired weaknesses and in some cases exacerbate them. While we sow death - even if in minute quantities or through tacit endorsement of others - death must ultimately be reaped. The seeds of death may appear small and insignificant, but when they grow we reap fields - killing fields.
he status of all material reality stems from the psyche of humanity, but especially from the status of human love. At the nexus where spirit manifests into the material world, human love defines and colours the substance of matter. From this vantage point there are panoramas in both directions. Into the spirit, God and the cosmos in one direction, the material reality in the other.
an and woman express the diversity of humanity - together they portray the ‘rainbow’ of human existence; together they comprise holistic humanity. The purity with which man and woman love, influences proportional stability and invincibility of themselves, their society and their environment. Their abuse of one another manifests proportional corruption in society and the environment. Every detail of human relations, however small, which does not promote love, manifests into or contributes towards the surrounding reality in the form of left-overs, undesirable and unexpected events, waste products, accidents and so on.
ny human transaction or activity which is not actively progressing the status of human love is a tyranny. In other words we abuse one another unless we love one another. We abuse the world - the universe - from this basis. Tyranny is the exploitation of each others’ and the world’s lameness and weakness. We trade each other lies, false relationships and useless items which fit through the human inflicted holes of ignorance and deceit still residing in our consciousness. We produce exploitative ideologies, politics, economics, business procedures while we falsely proclaim love as our motive. Ultimately we must confront the (human created) thresholds of our world and experience the affliction of elemental forces from the planetary, galactic and universal environment. This threshold has to be close to the end of the road for us - our affordable or tolerable margins of error approach zero here. The Tower of Babel collapsed due to residual human error at this point.
e have put ourselves into a situation in which catastrophe may be the only force convincing enough to induce us to take remedial procedures in ourselves and our world. We are fugitives to the forces we unleash in the world because many of our activities are unjust. Without love we cannot hear justice or compassion. Without compassion we are mechanical robots.
ompassion allows us to become sensitive to the suffering of other things besides ourselves - other destitute or impoverished humans, the creatures of the world and the earth itself. Once we are sensitive to and aware of this suffering its a much shorter step to moderate or cease the activities which bring suffering to all things. Our alternative at this point is to reveal ourselves as tyrants of the earth and the universe. The tower of Babel - in this epoch of human history it is represented as the tower of knowledge and technology - is teetering. It is dangerous if not lethal to assume that a collapse of modern civilisation will lead simply to a renewal and continuity in some future liberating golden age. That we merely begin a new page in our journey across the dimensions of the cosmos. We invest our faith in perpetual death – death chain reaction - with such an attitude.
People are lured to trust reincarnation, but if it is available, what assurance is there that you pick up where you left off? Instead, it is just as likely that another discontinuity – a shadow of ignorance - results in your consciousness through which you again can be manipulated and controlled. Through which you become a more desperate fugitive to the forces you unleash by your activities in this or another world.; through which you compound the precedent for more death. Indeed, reincarnation does not logically add up for this reality. What is presumed to be reincarnation memory, if it is not genealogical, is more likely to be ‘invasive incarnation’ memory. Any conceived being already has its soul from his or her mother and father, so the only option available is to parasitically invade (incarnate) and dominate a being who is predisposed to such parasitic opportunism. Many beings are likely to be predisposed to multiple inhabitation by foreign spirits and to complicate matters even further, these invasive incarnations are genetically transferable. In other words many of us may already have multiple spirits residing within our being which invaded our ancestors or were willingly hosted by them.
t may therefore be more prudent to deal with what we have left, of ourselves and our world, as though another (acceptable) civilisation collapse will lock in and eternalise the cyclic state of life and death. This would be hell. Humanity has frolicked with evil for so long and so carelessly it has become deeply entwined with it. So much so, it sees a lot of what is evil to be good and natural. Death is one of these processes. Once assumed natural, death will avail itself as a solution to human problems. This is clearly evident today.
vil’s main source of power is death. “There is no death!” is one of the poisonous sales’ pitches circulating the new-age market place implying a message that reincarnation avails you to finish your mission later. It is not so much the energy liberated by disintegration of the body through death that provides power. Rather it is the power liberated from the splitting of body and spirit that evil harnesses and profiteers with. The power in this union is greater than anything humanity has yet unleashed through it recent activities. Atomic power is only an indication of the immensity of power bonding body and spirit – the soul
ach assent to death also deepens the momentum to more death by way of the path of least resistance and so enhances the likelihood of death-chain-reaction - the crescendo of the universe. Humans become the fuel-rods within their disintegrating universe and de-volve into a multiplicity of lost and diversely deformed beings. Fodder for future archaeologists and geologists.
umanity’s current behaviour is ‘conveniently’ providing a deluge of death mainly across a range of the microcosm where it is almost out of sight, and therefore largely out of mind - for the masses. This is the microcosmic dimension of the embryo and foetus where we have learned to kill without the slightest concern - not just through procured abortions but mostly through the pill and the I.U.D. which are abortifacient and kill unknown millions every year. These drugs and gadgets are the social-thalidomides which deform human love and drive human hopes asunder. This is the dimension where the hippie dream of peace and love was lamed and where most of those who campaign for animal and human rights are either in nullifying compromise or in applied tyranny.
he heart of society has become so hardened that it no longer feels the suffering of creatures in the slaughter house or in its own womb.
The killing and oppression must stop in every corner of our reality before we can realistically long to be free. More importantly, we must transform those characteristics which originally led humanity to its current predisposition.
Until man and woman can embrace in purity and see as one, the universe will remain increasingly - and eventually fatally - divided.