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Vegetables have more health benefits than meat

Diet: That meat is an integral part of the Bhutanese diet is indicated from the amount the country imports annually.

bhutanese kuensel1According to the Royal Monetary Authority’s annual report, published early this year, import of meat increased from Nu 642M in 2011 to Nu 1B in 2012.

This means, Bhutanese on an average consume around 70 kilograms of meat a year. To reduce dependence on imports, the agriculture ministry plans to establish farms and abattoirs in the country.

While Bhutanese feel that consuming imported meat is a less sin than slaughtering animals, eating meat is like slaughtering the animal according to His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche.

“If there are no consumers there would not be butchers,” said His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche during an oral transmission of Awalokiteshvara, the compassionate Buddha to more than 1,000, Buddhist devotees who are attending the 6th Annual Drukpa Council in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Recollecting the Bhutanese culture of not killing, His Holiness said people should continue with the culture for both spiritual and health benefits.

“Some 30 to 40 years ago, Bhutanese would only eat the meat of animals that died from falling off the cliffs,” His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa said.

The prevalence of more meat shops in towns, His Holiness, said is an indication of the society consuming more meat. “Keeping in mind the essence of compassion in Buddhism one should not eat meat,” he said. “The more we consume meat, the more diseases we get.”

When people consume meat, it’s believed that the five elements are gradually disturbed and could result in disharmony.

A veteran vegetarian Dr Julia Jus who spoke on the benefits of being vegetarian at the ADC said 26 percent of meat eaters manifest high blood pressure, compared to two percent of vegetarians.

According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1961, heart disease would be reduced by 97 percent if people switched to a vegetarian diet.

She said adopting a vegetarian diet also helps the planet. A vegetarian diet according to her consumes 1/10 -1/20 the energy and natural resources of a flesh food diet creating more food to feed the hungry.

Evidence gathered and shared in a 20 year research by T. Colin Campbell in The China Study concluded that whole foods, plant based diet is best for the heart, cancer and cancer prevention, diabetes, kidney disease, mental health and more.

“Diseases can only thrive in a body that is in an acidic state and lacks both oxygen and enzymes,” Dr Julia said. “A vegetarian diet that consists of mostly fruits and vegetables ensures that the body remains alkaline.”

By  Tenzin Namgyel, Kathmandu