What was Yukteshwar Giri's view on meat-eating? Was He a vegetarian?
Yukteshwar believed in strict vegetarianism. Under Chapter 3 Sutras 9-11 of his book "The Holy Science", Yukteshwar argues that the human body is not designed to eat meat. He cites many pieces of evidence for this, for instance the shape of human teeth:
By observation of the teeth we find that in carnivourous animals the incisors are little developed, but the canines are of striking length, smooth and pointed, to seize the prey. The molars also are pointed; these points, however, do not meet, but fit closely side by side to separate the muscular fibers. In the herbivorous animals the incisors are strikingly developed, the canines are stunted (though occasionally developed into weapons, as in elephants), the molars are broad-topped and furnished with enamel on the sides only. In the frugivorous all the teeth are of nearly the same height; the canines are little projected, conical, and blunt (obviously not inteded for seizing prey but for exertion of strenth), The molars are broad-topped and furnished at the top with enamel folds to prevent waste caused by their side motion, but not pointed for chewing flesh. In Omnivorous animals such as bears, on the other hand, the incisors resemble those of the herbivorous, the canines are like those of the carnivorous, and the molars are both pointed and broad-topped to serve a twofold purpose. Now if we observe the formation of the teeth in man we find that they do not resemble those of the carnivores, neither do they resemble the teeth of the herbivorous or the omnivorous. They do resemble, eactly, those of the frugivorous animals. The reasonable inference, therefore, is that man is a frugivorous or fruit-eating animal.
He cites other evidence as well, like the shape of the human digestive canal, humans' instinctual revulsion at killing animals, etc., and then he reaches this conclusion:
Hence from these observations the only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn is that various grains, fruits, roots, and – for beverage – milk, and pure water openly exposed to air and sun are decidedly the best natural food for man. These, being congenial to the system when taken according to the power of the digestive organs, well chewed and mixed with saliva, are always easily assimilated. Other foods are unnatural to man and being uncongenial to the system are necessarily foreign to it; when they enter the stomach, they are not properly assimilated. Mixed with the blood, they accumulate in the excretory and other organs not properly adapted to them. When they cannot find their way out, they subside in tissue crevices by the law of gravitation; and being fermented, produce diseases, mental and physical, and ultimately lead to premature death.
In my opinion swamiji was not advocating vegetarianism with the help of some personal arguments in favour of it. He had revealed a solid scientific concept on the basis of anatomical and physiological observation of the human race with regard to the most appropriate energy source for humans in general. He had not expected all humans to follow suit. Academicians may try to disprove him rather than expressing their likes and dislikes!