How Meditation Led Russell Simmons to a Vegan Diet

Author and Entrepreneur
Being awake and aware means you're unlikely to participate in "the biggest karmic disaster in the world," says legendary music producer Russell Simmons, by which he means eating meat.
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TRANSCRIPT

Russell Simmons:  Yoga and meditation inform your diet because it’s mindfulness. And when you are awake and aware of what’s going on you obviously make better choices. And certainly you can feel if you’re sensitive. I mean your physical asana to the practice or the entire spiritual yoga practice informs how you relate to the world. I mean the first thing in yoga in the eight parts of yoga is the ahimsa, non-harming. And no one with good sense or no one who’s aware of their footprint would ever eat an animal under these circumstances. They would not contribute to the abuse of 100 billion animals, you know, per year – 100 billion. That’s the worst karmic disaster in the world. I mean absolute abuse. I mean born into a life, a short life of extreme suffering only to poison the individual and destroy the planet. No one who practiced their ahimsa which is the first of the yamas would ever participate in that if he was aware. And then meditation because mindfulness as well. Mindfulness comes from the physical asana or the yoga practice overall. But no one is aware and gave any thought to or just came from what’s etched inside of them this spiritual or this piece of God that’s etched inside them, this thing, would inform them if they sat still it’s made their own decisions they wouldn’t do it. So your diet would change.

Do you know that 50 percent of African American women over 20 have some form of heart disease? That all the bad cholesterol, every single bit of it comes from animal product. I mean why, you know, when there’s so many alternatives that are better, that are cheaper. It just makes good sense to move away from animal product to a plant based diet.

And talk about climate change right and everybody’s discussion climate change and never mentioned the greatest cause of global warming, the abuse of these animals. The destruction of all the resources on the planet and the planet itself. The cows alone are more destructive to the planet than all the trains, planes and automobiles and boats put together almost times two. So why not mention that when we discuss climate change.

And I think people just have to make a choice. But also it’s why we go back to the meditation thing. You meditate so you can be present and aware, you know. You don’t have to have the past inform your future since the past and the future will never be here. All you have to do is just the second in the presence and you can change on a dime. The past and the future, just the imagination that never comes. So if you are present even in the second of presence you can shift your life. You don’t have to carry the weight or the burden of what’s been forced on you or what mistakes you’ve made or you can just be present and operate from a really free space.