Gandhi was a raw food hypocrite too

3 May

I’m in India at the moment and a few days ago visited the Gandhi Smitri museum in Delhi. Here I bought numerous pamphlets which are collations of Gandhi’s various lectures, speeches and articles he presented and wrote on various topics over his life. Reading through them I see that Gandhi is also a raw food hypocrite.

Gandhi advocates a raw diet many times in his writings but as he says in a speech to the London Vegetarian Society in 1931: Man is more than meat. It is the spirit of man for which we are concerned. Therefore vegetarians should have that moral basis – that a man was not born a carnivorous animal, but born to live on the fruits and herbs that the earth grows. I know we all err. I would give up milk if I could, but I cannot.

The pamphlet I refer to in this post is titled; ‘the moral basis of vegetarianism’. In it are these articles Gandhi wrote for the Young India newspaper on the 15th August 1929 such as this one: As a searcher for Truth I deem it necessary to find the perfect food for a man to keep body, mind and soul in sound condition. I believe that the search can only succeed with unfired food and in the limitless vegetable kingdom there is an effective substitute for milk, which every medical man admits, has its drawbacks and which is designed by nature not for man but for babies and young ones of lower animals.

In Young India newspaper a week later, he wrote: If one may take ripe fruit without cooking, I see no reason why one may not take vegetables too in an uncooked state provided one can properly digest them. Dieticians are of the opinion that the inclusion of a small quantity of raw vegetables like cucumber, marrow, pumpkin, gourd etc in one’s menu is more beneficial to health than eating of large quantities of the same cooked. But the digestive systems of most people are very often so impaired through a surfeit of cooked fare that one should not be surprised if at first they fail to do justice to raw greens.

More evidence that if you can at least try to eb raw and aim towards it as a lifestyle – you’re on the right, not only physically but also spiritually and ethically. Reading this inspires me to keep trying.

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