Misconceptions About Eating Meat
by Sandeep Singh Brar

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Quotes

Meat classifed with good foods such as bread, not bad foods such as wine

"The body is the bottle, self-conceit is the wine, and desire is the company of drinking companions. The glass of the mind’s longing is filled to overflowing with falsehood; the Messenger of Death is the bartender. Drinking in this wine, O Nanak, one takes on countless vices and corruption. So make spiritual wisdom your molasses, and the Praise of God your bread; let the Fear of God be the dish of meat. O Nanak, this is the true food; let the True Name be your only Support." (Baba Mardana, Bihagara, pg. 553)

In the society of the times meat was avoided by Hindus and certain kinds by the Muslims. The Gurus tried to explain to these people that it was not eating meat was not the real sin but:

Taking anothers right is the real thing to be avoided
"Nanak, another's right is swine for him (the Musalman) and cow for him (the Hindu)." (Guru Nanak, pg. 141)

Falsehood is the real thing to avoid
"By uttering falsehood, man eats meat, Yet, he goes to admonish others. Such appears to be the leader, O' Nanak! who himself is beguiled and beguiles his comrades." (Guru Nanak, Slok, pg. 140)
"Falsehood is my dagger and to eat by defrauding is meat." (Guru Nanak, Sri Rag, pg. 24)

Evil intellect, heartlesness, slander and wrath are the real things to avoid
“Evil-intellect is the she drummer, heartlessness is the butcheress, other’s slander in the heart is a sweepress and deceitful wrath is a pariah-woman” (Guru Nanak, Slok, pg. 91)

Avarice, falsehood, cheatings and slander are the real things to avoid
“Avarice is a dog., falsehood the sweeper and cheating the eating of meat. Slandering others solely amounts to puting other’s filth in ones own mouth and fire of wrath is a pariah.” (Guru Nanak, Sri Rag, pg.15)

The Gurus clearly stated what are sins throughout the Guru Granth Sahib, nowhere is eating meat mentioned as being one of these sins.

"Taking halter, men go out at night to strangle others, but the Lord knows all, O mortal. Concealed in places they look at other women. They break into places, difficult to acceess and enjoy wine deeming it sweet. Over their respective misdeeds, they shall themselves afterwards regret. Azrail, the courier of death shall crush them like the mill full of sesame." (Guru Arjan Dev, Pauri, pg. 315)

"Renounce sexual pleasures, wrath, falsehood and calumny, forsake worldly valuables and dispel pride. Put aside the lust for belles and leave worldly love. Then shalt thou obtain the bright Lord amidst the dark world. Eschew self-adoration, egotism and affection for thy sons and wife. Shed thirst and desire for wealth and embrace love for the omnipresent Lord. Nanak, he, in whose mind the True One abides, through the True Gurbani gets absorbed in God's Name." (Guru Ram Das, pg. 141)

"Abandon lust, wrath, avarice and worldly love. Thus be rid of both birth and death. Distress and darkness shall depart from thy home, when, within thee, the Guru implants wisdom and lights the Divine lamp. He, who serves the Lord crosses the sea of life. Through the Guru, O slave Nanak, the entire world is saved." (Guru Arjan Dev, Gauri, pg. 241)

"In the fire of desire, avarice, arrogance and excessive egotism the man is burning. He repeatedly goes, comes and loses his honour. His life he wastes away in vain. Rare is the person who understands Gurbani." ( Guru Amar Das, Majh, pg 120)

The superstitions of the impurity of certain foods such as meat exposed and the real emphasis revealed:

"If the principle of impurity be admitted, then there is impurity everywhere.
In cow-dung and wood there are worms.
As many as are the grains of corn, none is without life.
In the first place there is life in water, by which, all are made green.
How can impurity be warded off? It falls on our own kitchen.
Nanak, impurity is not removed like this. It is washed away by Divine Knowledge.
The mind's impurity is avarice and the tongue's impurity falsehood.
The impurity of the eyes is to behold another's woman, another's wealth and beauty.
The impurity of the ears is to hear the slander of others with ears,
Nanak, mortal's soul goes bout to the city of death.
All impurity consists in doubt and attachment to duality.
Birth and death are subject to Lord's command and through His will mortal comes and goes.
Eating and drinking are pure, for the Lord has given sustenance to all.
Nanak, the Gurmukh who know the Lord, to them impurity sticks not."
(Guru Nanak, Slok, pg. 472)

"What can be achieved by eating and what by dressing, so long as that True Lord abides not in the man's mind? What is fruit, what clarified butter and sweet molasses, what fine flour and what meat? What is rainment and what comfortable couch to enjoy sexual intercourse and revelments? Of what use is an army and of what the mace-bearers, servants and coming and dwelling in mansions? Nanak, without the True Name, the entire paraphernalia is perishable." (Guru Nanak, pg. 142)

"The True food is the Lord's love. So says the True Guru. With the True food I am appeased and with Truth I am delighted." (Guru Angad, Pauri, pg. 146)

"The world-hardened men, who eat poison by repeatedly telling lies, the Lord Himself has led astray. They know not the ultimate reality of departure, and increase the poison of lust and wrath." (Guru Amar Das, Pauri, pg. 145)

"Without the Name all, which man wears and eats is poison. By praising the True Name one merges in the True Master." (Guru Nanak, Pauri, pg.144)

"By reading and reciting men grow weary but they obtain not peace. By desire they are consumed, and they have no knowledge of it. Poison they purchase and for the love of poison they are thirsty. By telling lies they eat poison." (Guru Amrar Das, Majh, pg. 120)

"I have tasted and seen all other relishes but to my mind the God's dainty is the sweetest of all." (Guru Arjan Dev, Majh, pg.100)

"Do thou only that by which filth may not attach to thee, and this soul of thine may remain awake in singing God's praises.

Meditate on the One Lord, and think not duality.
In the guild of saints repeat only the Name.
Rituals, duty, religious rites, fasting and worship are all covered recognising none else in sans the Supreme Lord.
Of him the toil is approved, whose affection is with his own Master.
Infinitely invaluable is that vegetarian (Vishnavite), says Nanak; who renounced sins."
(Guru Arjan Dev, Gauri, pg. 199)

"Let somone sing, someone hear, someone reflect on, someone preach the Name of God and somone fix it in his mind, he shall forthwith be saved. His sins shall be effaced, he shall become pure and his filth of many births shall be washed off. In this world and the next world, his countenance shall be bright, and mammon shall not affect him. He is the man of wisdom, he the vegetarian, he the divine and the man of wealth; He is the hero, and he is of high family, who has meditated on the Fortunate Lord." (Guru Arjan Dev, Pauri, pg. 300)

"Self-conceit and wealth are all poison. Attached therewith, man ever suffers loss in this world. By pondering on the Name, the Guru-ward earns the profit of God's wealth. By placing God and God's elixir in the mind, the poison of the filth of ego is removed." (Guru Ram Das, Slok, pg. 300)

"The attachment of all the visible objects is all impurity. Due to this, the mortal dies and is reborn again and again. Impurity is in fire, air and water. Within all the food, which we eat, there is pollution. Defilement is in mans actions as he performs not God's worship." (Guru Amar Das, Gauri Guareri, pg. 229)

"Without the Name all, which man wears and eats is poison. By praising the True Name one merges in the True Master." (Guru Nanak, Pauri, pg.144)

"The True food is the Lord's love. So says the True Guru. With the True food I am appeased and with Truth I am delighted." (Guru Angad, Pauri, pg. 146)

The vegetable feels pain just as the animal does, there is no difference.

"See, that the sugarcane is sheared. After cleansing and chopping off its plumes, its feet are bound to form it into bundles. Placing it in between the wooden rollers of the press, they crush and award it punishment. Extracting the juice, they put it in the cauldron and it groans as it burns. Even the empty crushed cane is collected and is burnt in the fire. Nanak, how the sweet-leaved sugar-cane is treated, come and see, O’ people!" (Guru Nanak, Slok, pg. 143)

Glorious God is compared not only to the fish and the net but also to a fisherman - a killer of fish for food.

"He Himself is the fisherman and the fish and Himself the water and the net. He Himself is the metal ball of the net and Himself the bait within."(Guru Nanak, Sri Rag, pg. 23)


There is no difference between plants and animals. God in his perfection has designed all living things to eat what they eat. We eat meat as part of the natural order of all living things designed by God. Man has been eating meat and vegetables for millions of years, God has not designed meat eating human beings in error. The only things banned for Sikhs are all unnatural manipulations of natural foods - tobacco, drugs, alcohol all unnatural manipulations of vegetation, and all banned for Sikhs.

"When Thou art true, then all, that flows from Thee is true. Absolutely nothing is false. Talking, seeing, uttering, living, walking and perishing are from Thee, O' Lord! Nanak, the True Lord Himself creates by His order, and in His order He keeps all the beings." (Guru Nanak, Slok, pg. 145)

"The tigers, hawks, kites and falcons, them the Lord causes to eat grass. Who eats grass, them He causes to eat meat. This way of life He can set agoing." (Guru Nanak, Slok, pg. 144)

"God Himself has made the earth and Himself the sky. He of Himself created the beings therein, and of Himself puts morsels (food) in their mouths. All by Himself He pervades everywhere and Himself is the treasure of excellences. Remember Thou God's Name, O slave Nanak, and He shall efface all thine sins." (Guru Ram Das, Slok, pg. 302)

"They walk in a single file, brush the ground before they lay their foot on it all this they do to avoid killing life, but it is God who giveth and taketh life." (Guru Gobind Singh, 33 Swayyas, Dasam Granth)

"There is but one breath, all are identical in matter and among all the entire light is the same. The One Light is contained among all the different and diverse things." (Guru Ram Das, Majh, pg. 96)

"Many millions of beings, the Lord has made of good many descriptions. From the Lord they emanated and into the Lord shall they be absorbed." (Guru Arjan Dev, Ashtpadi, pg. 276)

"In forests, grass blades and mountains, the Supreme Lord is contained. As is His will so are His creatures acts. The Lord is in wind, water and fire. He is permeating the four quarters and ten directions. There is no place without Him." (Guru Arjan Dev, Ashtpadi, pg. 294)

Amongst all the forms, the Lord Himself is contained.
Through all the eyes, He Himself is the beholder.
The whole creation is His Body.
His praises He Himself hears.
He has made coming and going as a play.
He has rendered mammon subservient to Him.
Though amidst everything He remains unattached.
Whatever is to be said, He Himself says.
By His order man comes and by His order he goes.
Nanak, when it pleases Him, He blends the mortal with Himself, than.
Whatever comes from Him, that cannot be bad.
.....All that He does must be accepted. Through Guru's grace, Nanak has come to know this.
(Guru Arjan Dev, Ashtpadi, pg. 294)

"I have heard the One Lord to be the treasure of imperishable peace. God is said to be fully filling the ocean, dry land, sky and every heart. He looks equally adorned amongst all the high and low, an ant and an elephant. The friends, comrades, sons and relatives are all created by Him." (Guru Arjan Dev, Slok, pg. 319)

"His plays, He Himself enacts. Coming and going, visible and invisible and the entire world, He has made obedient to Himself." (Guru Arjan Dev, Ashtpadi, pg. 281)

Meat prepared by the Muslim ritual slaughter is banned for Sikhs

"Yet holding the knife, the world they butcher. Wearing blue the rulers approval they seek; With money derived from mlechhas the Puranas they worship. Goats slaughtered over the unapproved Muslims texts they eat." (Guru Nanak, Raga Asa, pg. 472)