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B.K.S. Iyengar Goes Veg for PETA in New Ad

in Public Display of Yoga, YD News

‘Energize your mind, body and spirit. Go vegetarian’.

No, there’s no nakedness! sheesh. Not even one of those green leafy get-ups, which, frankly, we’re only just a tad disappointed about.

At 92, B.K.S. Iyengar is the latest in a line of PETA supporting yogis.

“If animals died to fill my plate, my head and my heart would become heavy with sadness”, says Guruji. “Becoming a vegetarian is the way to live in harmony with animals and the planet.”

More info at PETA.org.uk.



48 comments… add one
  • That is an awesome poster! Makes me think of all the celebrity posters for reading….

  • HAHA I love the oratorical finger in the air. “I want YOU to go vegetarian! “

  • LOL I thought the pointer finger meant: “only one prop needed to save the animals”

  • Chris

    Thank-you, Guruji !

    Yoga is all about finding the path to that higher-place within oneself, and the killing and eating of animals only serves as a detour on that noble path.

    So, anybody out there who is practising Yoga, while continuing to eat animal-flesh, just doesn’t get it at all.

    There is no such thing as a meat-eating-Yogi, just as there is no such thing as Christian-Yoga. Also, there is no such thing as cruelty-free-meat.

    The Yoga begins when the meat-eating stops.
    The Yoga ends when the meat-eating begins.

    • Sam


      Well, well. Someone took their absolutist/dogmatic pill today!!

      • Chris


        Better a dogmatic-pill anyday than any meat-dish, right ?

        You can’t have your meat AND your yoga-mat. So, choose well.

        • Well, chris, I’ve got both meat and mat and am doing just fine! Terriffic, in fact. If you believe that humans need meat to be healthy (as I and many others do) then it would be against ahisma to not eat it. Saying you can’t eat meat and practice yoga is like saying you can’t drive a car and practice yoga (because emissions are bad) or you can’t have a jealous thought and practice yoga, etc. etc. It’s very self-righteous to condemn a practice you think is bad as something that makes yoga “end”.

          • Chris

            Sarah, you don’t got no Yoga, cos you got blood on your hands – animal blood.

            You may get all bendy on your mat, but it ain’t yoga.

            The Yoga begins, when the meat-eating ends.

            Yoga DEMANDS Vegetarianism.

            There has never been a carnivorous Yogi or Yogini.

            And, there is no such thing as cruelty-free meat.

            And, there is no such thing as Christian-Yoga.

          • Chris,
            Let me get this straight. Nothing you have ever done has ever caused any harm to any living thing? And noone who’s life causes any harm to anything can “have” yoga? Well then I guess yoga doesn’t exist.

          • Sam

            Hi Sarah,
            Don’t worry, Chris is just one of the many yoga fundamentalists that run around telling people who’s “in” and whose “out” of the club. They are so similar to religious zealots that try to define what being a “good Christian/Muslim, etc” is. Chris is strikingly similar to right-wing Christian fundamentalists who say that only those that believe each word in the bible is the Word of God (without error!) are really Christian. Catholics who say only those opposed to birth control and women’s ordination are “real Catholics”. Only those women who cover themselves from head to toe are “real Muslims”.

            Chris has much to learn about the complexity of life.

          • thank you Sam! I was trying to find a way to say exactly what you just said. It wasn’t coming out right!

          • Louis Delmar

            Right on Sara. I have been teaching yoga and mantra-based meditation for 40 years! Just had a delicious “Sirloin steak sandwich” I refuse to buy into this “nonsense do not eat meat ” tell this to the oldest living culture on the planet “the Australian Aboriginals ” See what there response would be!!!!

    • Zloduska

      That is a very wise comment, Chris, thank you. Although I am into health and fitness, I am a total yoga newbie– however, I have been studying nutrition for many years and after awhile it becomes quite evident that vegetarianism is a superior diet for many reasons, especially in this modern world, given the sedentary lifestyle that most people lead. Sure, the carnivores will say that since cavemen ate meat we should too, but they fail to acknowledge the fact that the difference between the wild game and fish that our ancestors consumed and the modified/drugged/chemically-altered/pesticide-and-pus-ridden/fatty/infected/dirty/disease-laden farm animals that modern humans choke down on a daily basis in insanely greater quantities is the difference between night and day. There is no comparison; it is a moot point.

  • What a great advert for being Vegetarian – Go Guruji!! J x

  • bhaskar patgiri

    Yoga and vegetarian diet both complement each other

    • Ginaji

      I’ve been practising yoga for 11 years and teaching for 9 years, I’ve never been a big meat lover, but did eat it and poultry, after a couple of years Yoga practice I found I no longer wanted meat or poultry, it kinda crept up on me, now I do very occaisionally eat fish( maybe once a month) but have no craving for it. I think if you practice asana and pranayama, regularly, yama and niyama become part of your life automatically , I feel so much healthier and peaceful overall than before. Yoga is wonderful when you embrace the whole philosopy.

  • Sara

    It’s too bad he didn’t do his research first… PETA is full of liars and hypocrites. I’m sure he meant well though.

    • Sam

      Yes, you are so right, Sara. There are many wonderful animal rights groups in existence today. I am presently following the work of Japan Earthquake Animal Relief (and have donated) as they help to find and save animals left behind in the earthquake a few weeks ago. PETA however, is a group of opportunistic radical zealots. Some of their actions make me sick to my stomach.

      • Chris

        I’m not a Yoga fundamentalist.

        But you see, Yoga is not like an all-you-can-eat salad-bar, where you can pick and choose what you like, and discard what you don’t like.

        Vegetarianism is indeed REQUIRED of all Yoga-practioners. The Yoga-instructors in the West pretend that its OK for their students to eat meat, so as to not scare away potential customers.

        The West has been trying to appropriate the ancient Hindu wisdom of Yoga, and in doing so they have adopted a pick-and-choose approach.

        The West loves the enormous physical benefits that it dervies from doing the various Yoga-Asanas. But infortunately, the West likes its dead-animal-flesh too. So, the West gets all bendy on the Yoga-mats, in the best traditions of Patanjali himself, but continues to stuff its face with animal-flesh, once off the Yoga-mat.

        “What’s that ? That’s not Yoga, you say ? Ok, no problem, we’ll just call it Christian-Yoga, and keep on truckin’ “, says the West.

        And that’s a rather cynical, opportunistic way to go about practising Yoga.

        • Sam

          Well Chris, you certainly sound like one. In fact, if one were to substitute certain words in your post with things that particular Christians/Catholics have said one wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
          Example: You say :But you see, Yoga is not like an all-you-can-eat salad-bar, where you can pick and choose what you like, and discard what you don’t like.” Put the word CATHOLICISM in place of YOGA in that sentence and there you have it. A long running debate on who is and isn’t Catholic based on what people believe and/or do (ie. use artificial birth control, sex outside marriage, etc).

          I suggest you examine why you feel the need to build up walls around what is and isn’t yoga. The “us” vs “them” thinking you engage in does more to separate people and cause huge fissures in relationships (in people, countries, cultures) than anything else.

  • Yordan

    “The difference between yoga and bodybuilders is that bodybuilders have a body of a bull and the heart of gazela and yogis heart of a bull and body of gazela.” Sri Kartakeya

  • Yordan

    “… Disgusting animal the beast in man, but when in pure form, from the heights of his spiritual life, you see it and despise, if you fell, or resist, you remain what you were, but when the same animal behind seeming aesthetic, poetic shell and invoking reverence, then you all sink in and worshiped animal, no longer from wrong. Then this is terrible.”
    L.N. Tolstoy

  • nini

    it seems to me yoga teaches compassion towards all living beings. Branding people as true yogis and untrue ones on whatever basis says more, i reckon, about the person doing the branding than anybody else.

    • Chris

      Nini, it’s like this.

      You love Yogasanas. You love your meat. You’d love to be able to continue eating meat, and also do your Yogasanas.

      But, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t have your Yoga-mat and your meat.

      Maybe, someday in the future, when the scientists figure out how to grow animal-protein artificially, there WILL indeed be cruelty-free-meat. However, currently, cruelty-free-meat does NOT exist.

      You are CORRECT. Yoga teaches compassion towards all living beings. That is PRECISELY my point. Killing animals just so that mankind might devour their flesh is NOT quite compassion-at-work, and meat-eating is therefore anathema to all that Yoga stands for.

      When the vegetarian option clearly does exist (600 Million Vegetarians in India alone), why continue to depend on cruel-meat ?

      • becky

        i am a vegetarian and you are disgusting. yoga is about acceptance. it’s not a religion or a dogma and it shouldn’t be. my teacher and all the teachers i’ve had (who are all quite advanced and have traveled to india, some have lived on ashrams, etc) say it’s okay to eat meat in moderation as long as it is humane and organic.

        but even if someone i knew was eating factory farmed meat i wouldn’t tell them they couldn’t do yoga. that is ridiculous. if you want to completely turn people off to a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle, you’re doing it right.

        • Chris

          “It’s okay to eat meat in moderation as long as it is humane and organic” ?

          Becky, do you even hear yourself ?

          Which part of the killing of an intelligent, sentient mammal is “humane” ? The slicing of its jugular vein and its vertebrae as the poor creature writhes in fear and agony, or the shooting of a bolt through its forehead ? And animals can sense their impending death long before it actually happens, so they live their last few hours in terrible torment.
          And just which part of that is humane, Becky ? Get real, there is no such thing as compassionate-meat, or cruelty-free-meat.

          It’s time to face the truth. Yoga demands vegetarianism from its students. This has to do with Ahimsa (non-violence), which is an integral part of Yoga. The wise and compassionate Hindu Brahmins of India, who invented Yoga, have been vegetarian for the last 5000 years, and with good reason.

          Every discipline makes certain demands of its students.
          Practitioners of Karate, Tae-kwan-do, Kung-fu are required to adhere to certain rules, peculiar to their respective discipline. Just so does Yoga demand vegetarianism of its students.

          • Louis Delmar

            Yes Chris another example of “Authoritarian B.S” Man do you reek of it!!!!

  • Georgina

    So good to see BKS Iyengar promoting Vegetarianism. It has to be the way forward for mankind, being respectful to ourselves and to the animals with whom we share nthis planet. Yoga can heal the world

  • Lina

    BKS Iyengar is not “going” Veg for Peta.

    Guruji was born Veg, and has stayed Veg his entire life. Not surprising, given that his ancestors ( wise Hindu Brahmins, I believe) have been vegetarian for the last 5000 years.

  • Georgina

    I have found that through yoga practice and teaching I have become a vegetarian, not realising at the time that I was. I just found myself gradually not wanting to eat meat, I think yoga changes you so much , making you mindful of your body and mind and its needs. It’s a gentle life changing thing. It brings awareness , joy and enlightenment.

  • I think everyone commenting on this thread would be interested in this article:


    • Sam

      Thank you so much for posting this. Beautiful.

      • You’re welcome! I thought it was a good illustration of what we were trying to say.

  • Chris


    Nice, except that there has never been a carnivorous Yogi.

    There might exist a ‘Carnivorous-Bendy-Person”, but never, ever, a Carnivorous Yogi.

    Being carnivorous is a violation of the Principle of “Ahimsa” (Non-violence), and Ahimsa is an Integral Part of Yoga.

    I’d love to draw you guys a diagram to explain the whole thing.
    Maybe, this will explain my point : ” There has never been a non-Catholic Pope, because being Catholic is an integral part of being a Pope”.

    I suspect that you guys do indeed understand the connection between between Yoga and Vegetarianism, but you’re so in love with your dose of dead-animal-flesh, that you are in denial, and want to continue having your cake and eating it too.

    Oh well, may it happen soon enough for you !

    • Nick

      Hello Chris,

      if ahimsa is an ABSOLUTE principle and killing means violence, are plants living beeings as well?
      do you kill a living carrot just because it cannot show the pain, as it is beiing eaten alive?
      and can you tell me one more thing? Why is it mentioned in the Hathayogapradipika that you should not eat meat, not even that of goats as a yogi? Either there where yogis of the opinion, that eating a goat is quite fine, and the author was of another opinion, or he meant that a goat is not fine, but chicken is.
      Either way: some of the old yogis seems to have been NOT vegetarians. Or are all these strange Hatha-Yogis no REAL yogis at all? because they do all these strange postures and call it yoga, whereas Patanjali sayd clearly that it is ALL about as stable and not-disturbed seated position. So following your argument: you cannot practice all these strange contortions AND be a yogi. So sorry for you: you are not a yogi as well.

      • Chris


        I do not understand your points at all.

        You’re saying that Patanjali calls for Yogis to NOT get into various “strange postures” ?

        There are no strange postures in Yoga. There are only Asanas.

        Any long-term practioner of Yoga will tell you that even the most difficult of Asanas gradually become easier to perform, with practice and dedication.

        So much so, that Shirs-asana and Sarvanag-asana, dreaded by Yoga-novices (and perhaps considered “strange-postures” by you) actually become, with some practice, Asanas, in which the mature Yogi is able to relax for extended periods, and also find great peace and contentment. These “strange postures” actually become Asanas that the Yogi looks forward to, as the initial dread is replaced by delight.

        You say ” some of the old yogis seems to have been NOT vegetarians”. I’m not sure where you get this, but, we can be sure that any Yogi would have eschewed all meat, in accordance with the sacred Principle of Ahimsa.

        As for the tired and specious argument that you advance about plants too feeling pain, it’s like this :

        The apple-tree does not die when you pluck an apple from it, but the cow and the chicken do indeed die a painful death, when you pluck their head. Will you still continue to equate the eating of plants with the eating of animals ? No, I didn’t think so !

  • Chris,
    It is a violation of ahisma to tell people they aren’t yogis because they don’t believe the way you do.

  • Chris

    All right, Sarah,

    You can be the first-ever Carnivorous-Yogi, if I get to be the first-ever non-Catholic Pope.

    Do we have ourselves a deal ?

    • Sam

      So you’re back yelling at people again are you, Chris?? How very “ahimsa” of you.

  • Chris

    Ah, Sam, there you are !

    No, I’m not yelling.

    Erudite Yogis do not yell. Or eat animals. Ever.

  • (needlesstosay, yoga practice is somewhat dogmatic: otherwise one would invent new postures everyday!)
    Chris is not yelling, he is trying to state the truth regarding the constituents of yogic practice, and the nature of participation in animal consumption. However, Chris could be excused for venting anger towards participants in a global Holocaust unlike any other. Is it ok to forcefully condemn Nazis? Or child molesters? Violent criminals? Ahh, you say! – Animals are not human?! Racist.
    The planet may be able to sustain animal consumption a few times a week per individual. The practice is not only morally indefensible, it is also unsustainable given the resources of the planet. All the best.

  • Becky

    Wow! You go, Guruji ! You tell ’em !
    Glad I came across this.

    Guruji is laying it out for us. He is spelling it out, in black-and-white. He is clearing-up any confusion that might have remained.

    Do we still need to be having this pointless debate about whether or not, a Yogi is required to be vegetarian ?

    How can people, on the one hand, delve into Yoga, with its exhortations and admonishments to uphold Ahimsa, and on the other hand, sink their teeth into meat !

    An open-and-shut-case, it seems to me.

  • John Mooter

    True, eating animals is not compatible with yoga. The healthiest diet is all plant based. Please see the movie “Forks Over Knives”. This is a no brainer.

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