Hindus have applauded Council of the District of Columbia (DC) for encouraging vegetarianism in its public schools. According to “Healthy Schools Act” passed by the Council: “Schools are strongly encouraged to consider serving vegetarian food options each week”. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that vegetarianism, besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was good for ethical and health reasons also.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Hinduism promoted strict vegetarianism insisting on ahimsa (not harming living creatures) and non-killing, and renouncing animal slaughter and meat eating. It suggested taking of sattvik (vegetables, fruits, etc.) and avoiding rajasik (eggs, etc.) and tamasik (meat, intoxicants, etc.) foods.
Rajan Zed argued that there was extensive protection of life in Hinduism and ahimsa was a command. All the major religions of the world were opposed to killing, he added.
Zed further said that as eating less meat would help the environment; more school districts across USA should encourage vegetarianism.
According to reports, meat is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport’s 13 per cent.
Vincent C. Gray is DC Mayor while Kwame R. Brown is Council Chairman. DC Public Schools, which believes “Achievement is a function of effort, not innate ability”, has 45,000 students and Kaya Henderson is Acting Chancellor.