Is Ayurveda Completely Vegan?


| 9/27/2018 11:51:00 AM


Eating meat is always a personal decision, based on your morals, religious practices, individual needs, and health status.

What might be the reason for the popular belief that Ayurveda is vegan? The reason might be linking Ayurveda and yogic, or saatvik, diet together. If you check the ancient Indian scriptures like the Vedas and Puranas, the description and explanation of meat has been given.

Do you know what Ayurveda says about food?

Ancient classic ‘Charaka Samhita’ says, “The life of all living things is food; the entire world seeks food, complexion, clarity, good voice, long life, understanding, happiness, satisfaction, growth, intelligence etc. are all because of food.”

Like plants and grains, Ayurveda also accepts meat as a form of food. Emphasizing upon it Charaka says, no other food excels meat in producing a nourishing effect in the body (mamsam brimhananam). And Ayurveda also gives detailed explanations on meat in eight different categories which include animals, birds and fish.

Here are the eight categories of non-vegetarian food mentioned in the ancient classics.



  1. Prasaha (animals and birds who eat by snatching)
  2. Bhumisaya (animals who live in burrows in earth)
  3. Anupa (animals inhabiting marshy land)
  4. Varisaya (aquatic animals)
  5. Varicara (birds moving in water)
  6. Jangala (animals dwelling in dry land forests)
  7. Viskira (gallinaceous birds)
  8. Pratuda (pecker birds)

assorted grilled meats with rice and veggies
Photo by Eiliv Aceron on Unsplash



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