I'm a yogi as of a couple years ago, yoga has changed my life.
I am vegan as of 6 months ago. Interesting, I also completely gave up alcohol almost unconsciously, around the same time. My diet is rich, with a ton of variety, and I feel and look great.
I have been off and on vegetarian since I was 16 years old, (I'm 34). I have researched, studied, and tried EVERYTHING under the sun to make my vegetarian and even vegan diet meet my needs and what I end up with is blood that is a wreck, no energy, and full-blown depression. I've recently, (past week), accepted that every body is different and part of my yoga practice is to honor who and what I am. I believe it is possible to eat meat and still honor the one soul life that is within all forms.
Although I think a vegetarian diet is healthy and more ethical, I have been wondering long about one question: what would happen to all the animals that are not eaten? as we know, animals reproduce fairly quickly... how would this be sustainable? wouldn't the animals starve and overpopulate?
Use half a teaspoon of ghee (organic clarified butter) every day with your meals. You will loose the taste for meat, without any effort. It may take a few months or a couple years, depending upon the lifestyle you had. Be patient. Bon appetit!
Yoga practice should awaken your consciousness and awareness that animals are sentient beings. Eating meat is no different than cannibalism. How can that be justified? I have been a vegetarian since I started yoga in the early 1970's and it was a natural step for me.
Avonlea: "Life is life, regardless of intelligence level."
Unless, of course, that life is a field mouse or soybean, or any of countless other species killed to fuel your "karma-free" diet. Conscious eating will lead one to that which is best for the spirit, vegetarian or not.
I've been a vegetarian for two years, and a vegan for one. Eliminating animal products from your diet has no negative effects on your health, as long as you find the proper alternatives for the nutrients in them. For example, if protein is your concern, you can always try tofu, soy milk, nuts, beans, quinoa, and peanut butter. Those are just a few vegan protein sources.
There's no excuse to throw your money away to the industry that tortures animals for food. Life is life, regardless of intelligence level.
I'm sorry, I really don't buy into people needing to eat meat "to fuel their practice". If you felt weak and sick from cutting meat out of your diet, please learn about nutrition and how to replace that protein, or see a registered dietitian. I've been a vegetarian (vegan, actually) for quite awhile, and I've yet to collapse from kwashiorkor.
I've been vegetarian for the past 4 years and don't miss meat at all. However, we must note that because of much of the earth's farmlands have depleted the nutrient contents of the soil with pesticides and GMO contamination, the vegetables are not as nutritious so supplementation of organic super foods is in order. Another thing to note for the meat eaters, is that factory farm chickens and cows eat GMO feed which then affects the meat eater. They also feed chickens and cattle meat to fatten them up. This of course is detrimental to their health. If you eat meat, make sure it non factory farm grass fed beef or free range chickens.
Please note, to the best of my knowledge, Swami Vivekananda was a nonvegetarian and used to advocate consumption of meat.