Why we aren't 100% vegan

While you may find vegan items in Yogi, the box is not exclusively vegan. This can be confusing for some, and it's important to understand why yoga does not require a vegan diet.

When Patañjali wrote his 196 sutras that serve as the foundational text for Raja Yoga, he discussed five Yamas that define our relationship to the external world and those around us. Among those five Yamas is the principle of ahimsa, Sanskrit for "not to injure." Today, some yogis interpret this as requiring not simply a vegetarian diet, but a vegan one, specifically excluding foods like eggs, honey, and milk.

At Yogi Surprise, we do not share this interpretation. This is not uncommon, and many yogis agree that veganism is not inherent in ahimsa.

Ahimsa is about non-violence and non-injury, not about the non-use of animal products. It's clear that taking the life of an animal or isolating it to poor conditions violates ahimsa, but it does not hold that all things that are derived from animals are inherently violent or injurious. This depends on the conditions and sourcing of these ingredients. Thoughtful, conscious, and ethical animal ingredients do exist, and they are perfectly suitable for those who follow yoga and Patañjali's five Yamas.

When including items that contain animal ingredients, we meticulously research the reality behind the product. We require all animal ingredients to be cruelty-free and humanely raised, as well as free from artificial hormones, GMO feed, or restricting cages or environments. Honey and insect ingredients must be sustainably harvested, bee-friendly, and, preferably, wildly collected (many sustainable wild collecting methods help prevent forest fires and support biodiversity by supporting pollinators, but "farmed" honey can also be performed ethically and sustainably).

With this understanding in mind, it becomes possible to both support our animal friends and enjoy and find nourishment in what they produce. There is balance in the concept of mutualism, where two organisms benefit from their shared relationship. In the same way that shrimps remove dead cells and mucous from the gills of fish, or how we rely on bacteria in our guts to maintain proper digestive health, we too can live symbiotically with other animals.

For more information or for questions about ingredients, please feel encouraged to contact us at support@yogisurprise.com

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