This summer coming out of a Wal-Mart in Southern California, I saw a rack of books set-up outside that appeared to be Hindu texts. I struck up a conversation with the lady manning the booth and found out that she was a Hare Krishna. I’m sure that she gathered that I was a Christian from the questions I asked her, because she wanted to ensure me that she did not deny Jesus, but that she believed Jesus was God. She told me that Krishna and Jesus are both God, that they both are the same.
I asked her how they were the same. She told me that they both had the same teachings. I asked what teachings those were. “They both taught to love another, to not kill, to not even kill animals, that you shouldn’t eat meat,” she ensured me.
At that point, I told her, “You are mistaken. You are right that Jesus taught that we should love everyone, to even love your enemies and to bless those who persecute you, but he did not teach that we shouldn’t eat meat. Jesus was a Jew and he observed Passover, which involved the killing of and eating of lambs! He definitely cooked and ate fish and approved of others to do the same and some of his closest disciples were fisherman and he never rebuked their profession. Instead he aided them when they weren’t able to catch any fish. So they can’t have taught the same thing based on this point alone.”
At this, she dismissed me saying, “I don’t know about that. Wait for my partner to return. He knows more than me.” And she began to seek others to speak with, and I waited for the guy to come. He acknowledge that they didn’t teach the same thing and that they weren’t the same person, but that we all are still one in essence. The conversation didn’t go much further, but I did share that I believe Jesus is God and that he alone can save us from death. I got his business card and was invited to their temple for a vegetarian meal. Maybe I’ll take him up on this offer one of these days.
Commonly linked to religions that believe we are all one in nature, that we all divine, and born again and again through reincarnation, is the believe that all life is sacred and animals should not be killed, but cared for and respected for the divine soul within them. This means that if you go India, don’t expect to find many meat dishes, and especially don’t look for beef products, because cows are considered to be sacred, since they are “next to mother” due to their milk giving capabilities. McDonald’s is even catching on the religious beliefs in the area and changing their product to meet the market’s demands. McDonald’s is now opening vegetarian only restaurants in India, especially in regions near religious shrines or pilgrimage sites, and even though they sell chicken patties and fish meals at most of their stores in India; they certainly don’t sell their Big Mac American style.
Check out the article, “McDonald’s Is Opening Vegetarian Only Restaurants”: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mcdonalds-opening-first-ever-vegetarian-134839878.html