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Airplane Food Ain’t What It Used to Be – Thankfully!

Airplane Food Ain’t What It Used to Be – Thankfully!

The array of vegan, vegetarian, and sattvika (sentient) menu offerings is quite remarkable….


In the last 25 years, the world has become much more vegan / vegetarian friendly. For those interested in a plant-based diet, the availability of those types of foods, both in stores and restaurants, has grown exponentially. And this is also reflected in our airlines, at least if you are flying Qatar Airlines. (Note: Qatar Airways has been named the best airline in the world for 2017 by the leading consumer-aviation website Skytrax…It was Qatar Airways’ fourth win for best airline in the past 10 years.)

As you browse through the listing of the 7 types of vegan / vegetarian offerings, most of it should be fairly self-explanatory. However, further down is a more in-depth review contrasting the yogic approach and Jain diet.

Here are the vegan / vegetarian meal options from the Qatar Airways website. The detailed description of each offering is quite impressive. Kudos to Qatar Airways!
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  • Asian Vegetarian Meal (AVML) – This is a vegetarian meal flavoured with spices from the Indian sub-continent. It may contain: Vegetables, fruit, dairy products, spices and aromas associated with the Indian sub-continent. The meal could be mildly spiced. Does not contain: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs.
  • Vegetarian Meal – Vegan (VGML) – This is a vegetarian meal that is completely free of animal products, including honey, eggs, and dairy products. It may contain: Vegetables, grains, and fruit. Does not contain: Meat, poultry, fish, cheese, honey, eggs, milk and dairy products.
  • Fruit Platter (FPML) – This meal only contains seasonal fresh fruit. Does not contain: Vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, caffeinated beverages, highly-processed foods, additives and preservatives.
  • Raw Vegetarian Meal (RVML) – This meal is for customers who prefer only raw vegetables with a variety of fresh fruit. It contains: Raw vegetables and fresh fruit. Does not contain: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, caffeinated beverages, highly-processed foods, additives and preservatives.
  • Vegetarian Lacto-OVO Meal (VLML) – This is a vegetarian meal that includes eggs and dairy products. It may contain: Vegetables, fruit, cheese, eggs, dairy products, and soy products. Does not contain: Meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
  • Vegetarian Oriental Meal (VOML) – This is an oriental style vegetarian meal. It may contain: Vegetables, grains, and fruit. Does not contain: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs,  milk and dairy products.
  • Vegetarian Jain Meal (VJML) – This is an Indian vegetarian meal prepared in accordance to Jain principles. It may contain: Vegetables grown above ground and fruit. Does not contain: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products, root and bulbous vegetables such as onion, garlic, potatoes, ginger, etc.

About Jain Diet & the Yogic Ideal

The last listing in the above section is “Vegetarian Jain Meal.” The Jain religion does not include any root vegetables in their vegetarian diet because by harvesting the root one is killing the plant. The yogic diet does not follow this regimen because yogis do not accept the philosophy of pacifism as an absolute. For instance, every time we breathe we kill millions of protoplasmic cells and microbes. And when we administer medicine that leads to the destruction of disease-causing bacteria. And when we plow the fields countless insects are killed. Pure pacifism would mean that we should not breathe, take medicine, or work the land. That is why pacifism as a philosophy is viewed both as impossible and impractical. So the yogic diet is based on ahimsa, meaning not to inflict harm by thought, word, or deed, and acknowledges that for the maintenance of one’s own existence one will have to subsist off of other living beings. Yet that is done for one’s survival – not to inflict harm per se. In this present era, yogis adhere to a plant-based diet as this allows for the proper maintenance of the human structure and avoids causing harm to sentient (more developed) beings.

So yogis do eat all kinds of root vegetables: beets, carrots, potatoes etc. However, the  yogic diet does not include any type of stimulant; intoxicant; or, fungus; nor onion and garlic as they heat the lower glands / chakras and hence have an adverse effect on the mind. Since onion and garlic are both roots they are also excluded from the Jain diet. So for different reasons both Jains and yogis avoid onion and garlic.

The final tally is that when flying Qatar airlines, the yogi would tend to select the “Vegetarian Jain Meal”, but for reasons different from the philosophical tenets of the Jain religion. In case you were wondering, the “Fruit Platter” would come in second place.


Screenshot from Qatar Airways Website


 

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