Anjali: That means non-vegetarians are safe from cannibals!
Swamiji: Ha! Ha!
Anjali: Seriously, this is as far as the body goes, and what one eats is between the doctor and the person who wants to remain healthy. But in what way does vegetarian food help a person's mind? Did people discover that it affects mental temperament?
Swamiji: The food that we take in and the thoughts and actions that spring forth from us have a distinct relationship. Garbage in, garbage out, is the great saying of the computer language, and it seems to be true that if you put garbage within your system, in the long run, the texture of your thoughts and actions have a tendency to become more unreconciling, extremely selfish, less concerned for others, lusty, and therefore dangerous to the social order.
Now if you use a common social argument and say that if we don't eat animals, they will multiply to such an extent that they will have to be curtailed by man-eating them, I ask you to apply this argument to the human level also and then you will understand the absurdity of it. Let all the people who are sick be killed by you and eaten. Young ones who have not yet started life, you kill and eat thereby the food problem will be solved, population problem will also be solved in one and the same stroke. This is not fair. Nature has various other methods of keeping the balance. Man need not struggle with his tiny little mouth to keep nature in balance. Toxins in the system bring about a lot of mental disturbances. The same principle applies to drinks. Since our culture is essentially geared for the life of meditation, the mind that is constantly agitated and wandering finds it difficult to plunge into meditation. To such an individual, the toxin is a danger to reach his goal. Probably this must have been the reason why the rishis in the jungles ate only fruits, roots, leaves, and water. Those who take non-vegetarian food, because of the toxins, are very uncontrolled. Watch a non-vegetarian and a vegetarian animal. All herbivorous animals are available for eating; the non-vegetarian or carnivorous animals are never eaten even by a professional non-vegetarian! Because carnivorous animals have so much toxin in them that it means almost death if not sickness or a serious illness.