Vegetarianism in Mazdayasni Zarathushti Religion

Vegetarianism in Mazdayasni Zarathushti Religion:

Does the religion enjoin eating flesh foods?

Written especially for the Month of Bahman

Pervin J. Mistry


“The concept of vegetarianism since long has been an interesting subject for discussion in the Parsi community and the Zoroastrian Religion. As a majority of the members of the Parsi community are non-vegetarians, the general belief therefore prevails among several members of the community, as well as among the members of other communities, that the tenets of the Zoroastrian Religion themselves might be in support of the concept of non-vegetarianism. But this belief is then a serious blunder. In the past as well as in the present times, it has been explained threadbare, that even though the majority of the members of the community may be having non-vegetarian food, but according to the tenets of the Zoroastrian Religion, vegetarian is the only natural food for mankind.” Ervad Dr. Rooyintan Peshotan Peer writes these memorable words in the Preface of the book, “Vegetarianism – From Zoroastrian Religious Point of View”, written by – Ervad Dr. Peshotan Framarz Peer.


There is irrefutable proof that in the beginning, mankind only subsisted on vegetarian food. The Immortal Shayeran–e Shayer of Iran, Firdowsi Tusi, writes in the Shahnameh that it was Ahriman, disguised as a cook named Iblis, who first served the tyrannical King Zohak, dishes made of the flesh of birds and animals. Ahriman’s evil intent was to destroy all life on earth so the Divine Event of Frashogard will not be achieved. He started by killing animals and birds but then he proceeded to the killing of human beings to feed the two serpents that grew on both the shoulders of Zohak. The two snakes were fed two human brains daily. According to Firdowsi, this is the beginning of eating non-vegetarian food. Subsequently, humanity became habituated to eating animal flesh.

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Courtesy: Hushang Vakil


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