12th April, 2016

Vegetarianism and Occultism

A Critique of Leadbeater’s pamphlet

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat – red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal; it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin.” Wikipedia

Many vegetarians object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, along with the concept of animal rights.Ref: Wikipedia.

Some of these vegetarians are completely unaware that a lot of cheeses use rennet, a product of a calve or lamb’s stomach or other (milk fed) animal (exception being for example Nimbin Natural ) or Jelly Beans made using gelatine (collagen obtained from various animal by-products. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing.)

Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related. There are varieties of the diet as well: an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products.

A vegan, or strict vegetarian, diet excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, beeswax and honey. Vegans also avoid animal products such as leather for clothing and goose-fat for shoe polish.Wikipedia.

Notable figure who is not Vegetarian

Extract of Transcript of Barkha Dutt’s Interview of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for NDTV

7th July 2010

The Dalai Lama’s Attitude to Meat Eating

NDTV: Your Holiness, do you still think that meat eating and watches are your only 2 flaws? And as flaws go they are pretty innocent. Text edited for space HBG

The Dalai Lama: No, this watch came recently in a parcel from America. Then about taking meat, There are some contradictions but in vinaya no prohibition in eating meat, so monks in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, they take both veg and non veg food. One time I asked, discussed this subject with a monk from Sri Lanka about 40 years ago, he said Buddhist monks are neither veg nor non veg… he should accept whatever he gets, so that’s the principle. But vinaya clearly mentions that meat which was purposely killed for you was not to be eaten but in general was not prohibited, some books like langaavatarasutra prohibited any kind of meat

And the reason the Dalai Lama eats meat

The Dalai Lama: Better. Philosophical reason. For 20 months I remained strict vegetarian. At that time I took advice from some of my Indian friends about the substitutes of meat. of milk, cream and …then in 1967 I developed gall bladder, hepatitis. So my whole body became yellow. So at that time I become like living Buddha. Whole body yellow. Nails also yellow. It remained I think for about 3 weeks. So Tibetan physician, as well as allopathic physician advised me to take meat. So back to original diet. Meantime, all our monasteries in south , also Namgyal monastery, common kitchen, serve only vegetarian food. In south monasteries, population 300-400, all vegetarian food. Also in foreign countries when I visit Buddhist centers I always ask them. Now it is up to the individual.

The Occult

When there a total solar eclipse of the sun by the moon; the sun is said to be occulted (hidden) by the moon. This astronomical term always caused great excitement amongst astronomers because it used to be the only time the corona of the sun could be studied. This then is a physical property that can be readily apprehended.


In 1913, when Charles W. Leadbeater wrote the pamphlet “Vegetarianism an Occultism” nothing was known of the concept of vitamin called later B12.  For Leadbeater, this concept was occulted (hidden).  The chemistry of the 1920’s right up to the present day (2013) has delineated it.  There is now a branch of chemistry called Bio-Chemistry

Here is a practical use of the word “occult”. (quotation from Wikipedia)

Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is one of the eight B vitamins. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production. Neither fungi, plants, nor animals are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes required for its synthesis, although many foods are a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis. The vitamin is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through bacterial fermentation-synthesis.”

… “Vitamin B12 was discovered from its relationship to the disease pernicious anemia, which is an autoimmune disease in which parietal cells of the stomach responsible for secreting intrinsic factor are destroyed. Intrinsic factor is crucial for the normal absorption of B12, so a lack of intrinsic factor, as seen in pernicious anemia, causes a vitamin B12 deficiency. Many other subtler kinds of vitamin B12 deficiency and their biochemical effects have since been elucidated

…”Vitamin B12 deficiency can potentially cause severe and irreversible damage, especially to the brain and nervous system. At levels only slightly lower than normal, a range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and poor memory may be experienced”