Wednesday, August 29, 2007
village of Kurala in the district of Hoshiarpur. His mother’s
name was Dhan Kaur and his father’s name was Bhagwan
Singh. In his early years he was educated at Moolak Kula
primary school. His father was in the army and due to his
bravery was awarded land in the village of Mintgomary in
Pakistan, and so the whole family moved there. He completed
his secondary education there and was married to Bibi
Gurbachan Kaur. Bhai Avtar Singh was involved in agricultural
work there until Pakistan was formed in 1947. He then
returned back to his old village of Kurala and continued
He came to meet Bhai Harnam Singh and Bhai Pritam Singh
from Dasuha, and with their Sangat started to read Bhai Sahib
Bhai Randhir Singh’s inspirational books. Upon reading he felt a
strong urge to take Amrit and lead a Gursikh way of life, and
he also began going to Gurmat Smagams around Talwara and
Dasuha with other Gursikhs. He also went to Model Town
Ludhiana and met Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh.
Bhai Avtar Singh finally took Amrit with his wife on 13th
April 1961, at the Vaisakhi Smagam in Ludhiana. He started
wearing the Khalsa uniform (Bana) and also took up the strict
Rehat of eating in Sarbloh (iron utensils), which he carried on
until the end of his life. Many families were influenced by his
high standards of Rehat-Rehni and were inspired to take
Bhai Avtar Singh used to visit all the places where the
Akhand Kirtani Jatha Smagams were held to enjoy the Kirtan
and Naam-Bani. In 1969 the Akhand Kirtani Jatha organised a
Yatra to Patna Sahib and Hazoor Sahib by buses and Kirtan
was performed at Gurdwaras along the route. Bhai Avtar Singh
also took part in that Yatra and also took part in the Sewa of
the Panj Pyare in the Smagams.
He had such a desire to do Bhagti that he left the
accommodation of his village and erected a hut on his
farmland far away from his village, where he performed Guru
Granth Sahib’s Parkash and started living there until his last
days. He would get up at 12 o’clock in the night and after
having Ishnaan would start doing Naam-Abyass and continue
this until daylight.
He started making arrangement to go to the Vaisakhi
Smagam being held in Amritsar by the Akhand Kirtani Jatha.
He said farewell to his family and told them to always follow a
Gursikh way of life and to love one another and that he was
not going to return. Bhai Sahib had decided to leave his home
and to stay at the Khalsa farm in Gurdaspur and to accompany
the Jatha to do Sikhi Parchar in the nearby villages. He arrived
at the Vaisakhi Smagam at Amritsar and was the first person to
The Gurmukhs who eye-witnessed his Shaheedi say that
when a bullet from the Nirankaris stuck him he immediately
fell on the floor. But he quickly regained his composure and sat
up cross-legged and started doing Nam-Abyass very loudly and
then went into a deep meditative state. As he was sitting there,
the Nirankaris smashed lathis on his bare head. Bhai Sahib
remained sitting there upright and motionless until his last
Shaheed Avtar Singh Ji has five sons and one daughter whose
names are: Bhai Kirpal Singh, Bhai Harbaksh Singh, Bhai Iqbal
Singh, Bhai Rattan Singh, Bhai Harbhajan Singh and Bibi Surjeet
Kaur. A spear and a bullet also injured Bhai Iqbal Singh in one
of his legs.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Bhai Rama Singh Ji
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Saturday 25th August 7.30pm till late Singh Sabha Gurdwara,
Park Avenue, Southall. Bhai Sahib Rama Singh Ji (saint of southall) had the true
light of Waheguru shining brightly in him and was a true Khalsa.
Sangat never thought of him as old , he was forever young , always smiling.
He started the Waheguru kirtan programmes at 4am in southall and 5.30 am and Wednesday evening simran programmes at hounslow (Now at Sikh Missionary Society, Southall).
He got up in the early hours and did his amritvela, then made his way to southall and hounslow every morning.
Just to see him in the sangat was SO inspiring.
He was always at the kids camps - a beacon of light to all that were in darkness.
Bhai Sahib Rama Singh Ji would always recommend to everyone he met
to do ‘joria dee seva’ to clean the sangats shoes, to be humble.
If anyone wants to show love for Bhai Sahib Rama Singh Ji, then that would
have been his request - do joria dee seva , find humility and naam
simran , make your life successful, have the true light of the Khalsa
shining bright in you.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The essential five external Sikh-Symbols (5 Ks) are a unique gift to a Sikh from the Great Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and a baptised Amritdhari Sikh should, under no circumstances, willingly part company with any of them. Among four prohibitions (Kurehet) removal of Kesh (hair) is the most significant. To keep hair intact is the first and the foremost duty of a Sikh. The Guru gave paramount importance to Kesh as is apparent from the fact that in the sweet memory of First Sikh Amrit (Baptism) Ceremony of Five Beloved Ones, the relevant place at Anandpur Sahib was named Kesh-Garh.
The Sikh Panth are proud of one of their great sons, Bhai Sahib Bhai Randhir Singh Jee, who lived a life of a true Gursikh and suffered every hardship in the true sense of a determined and completely dedicated Sikh of modern times in treading the path shown by the Gurus. He sang Akhand Kirtan and loved Gurbani from the inner depths of his heart. His viewpoint on the basic and fundamental question of Kesh (uncut hair) is best described in the dialogue between him (Bhai Sahib) and the prison Superintendent at Nagpur Prison, where he spent 7 ½ years out of his life-imprisonment because he had taken active part in the Freedom Movement during the first quarter of the 20th century. The dialogue makes an interesting reading strictly from a religious point of view. It reveals the deep faith Bhai Sahib held and sustained in the supreme Will of the Karta Purakh (God, the Creator) and the acceptance of God’s gift of Kesh, without meddling with it in any form.
What I have done in this respect, is an attempt to translate in English Bhai Sahib's writing on the subject from his book entitled "Letters from Prison", I have every hope that our younger Sikhs will, by reading through this, further strengthen their faith in one of the most prominent symbols of Sikh Dharma. This brochure is being printed with the concurrence of the Central Office of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha.
Kirpal Singh M.A.
7th September 1979
Importance of Hair
Is it necessary to keep a full-length hair intact?
(A Dialogue between Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji and the Prison-Superintendent Mr. Gupta at Nagpur prison.)
One day, it so happened that the Prison Officer bought a poor quality and a cheap brand of hair oil for our use while in prison. I refused to accept it, and asked him to get a better quality hair oil instead. I had already washed my hair with a strong soap, which had made my hair very rough and dry. I was to comb my hair only after it had been softened with hair oil in order to avoid damage to it. Without combing my hair, I was not going to take my meals. The Prison Officer, jailer and other staff with the exception of the new Prison-Superintendent, knew well about my problem.
I had washed my hair in the early morning, then midday came and passed and it was now late afternoon yet nobody bothered to supply me requisite hair oil. As a result of their negligence, I had to go without lunch and supper as well. Next morning it was Sunday and the Prison-Officer did not turn up for duty while the Prison-Superintendent usually stayed away on Sundays. On the third day, the Superintendent kept himself busy inspecting another section of the jail and nobody bothered to enquire about me. Everybody, perhaps, took it as a trifling matter and nobody brought me good quality hair oil. The prison superintendent knew nothing about it at all.
On the fourth day, when the Superintendent was on a round to our ward, the prison officer and others joined hands to complain against me telling him that, under protest, I had been on a hunger strike for the last four days. The helpless yet kind Superintendent came to see me and the succeeding dialogue commenced between us.
Prison Superintendent: Well, Randhir Singh! Ever since I have taken over here in this prison, this is the first time that someone has bothered and harassed me with a protest in the form of a hunger strike. Why haven’t you taken anything for so many days and why have you made me carry the burden of it all?
On hearing this, the kindhearted Superintendent got very much displeased with his prisonstaff and asked them why he was not informed of this problem earlier. He immediately ordered for a good quality hair oil. Within half an hour, good quality oil was brought and the Superintendent himself came and while handing it over to me he said very humbly, "Please forgive me, you had to suffer this trouble undeservedly because of my unawareness and absence. I should have respected your religious sentiments. I am sorry for what has happened this time. I promise it won't happen again."
Myself: Thank you very much. The fact is that both in the prison department and in other government departments, the sense of responsibility and integrity have vanished and the employees in general have become selfish and dishonest. The prison storemen buy the cheapest items for prisoners and charge the highest price from the government. Nobody bothers to investigate, especially in a prison. The poor prisoners do not dare make a complaint, and even if they do, no one listens to them. I have had a bitter experience during my prison sentence. There is a lot of meanness going on. There are only eight political and criminal Sikh prisoners in this prison. They would need hardly one large bottle of coconut oil for their use throughout the month, but these people depict such meanness that they bring the poorest quality oil and in this way, they cheat the government and exploit the poor prisoners.
The prison Superintendent listened to this all and accepted the criticism of the misdeeds of prison management. He assured me that he’d be taking steps to remedy these shortcomings. Then, all of a sudden, he raised a question and asked me, 'IS IT NECESSARY TO KEEP LONG HAIR?’
Myself: Is it necessary to keep the head on the human body?
Supdt: The body cannot survive without the head.
Myself: If, however, it could survive, would you be willing to get rid of it? (If the body could survive without the head, would you remove the head?)
Supdt: The head is more important and is an integral part of the body. With the head the body becomes complete and without the head, body cannot survive at all.
Myself: Have you placed the head on your body yourself?
Supdt: No, God has placed it there.
Myself: Undoubtedly God has placed the head on your body. If, however, it were placed by you, perhaps, you could afford to remove it as an unwanted burden.
Supdt: Of course. But how can we remove or afford to get rid of something given to us by God?
Myself: Well, suppose, if someone removes that God-given head from the body, what would you call that person?
Supdt: Undoubtedly, he would be called a tyrant, oppressor, murderer and an assassin.
Myself: If someone asks you questions as to why you have kept a head on your body, what will you think of him?
Supdt: It would be a sheer stupidity on the part of the questioner.
Myself: Just the way, our heads are placed on our bodies by the Creator Himself, the same way, the hair on my head and yours as well, have been grown by the same God, the Creator. Therefore, your question regarding keeping of long hair is irrelevant in itself, because it is not I who has grown it there, but the hair is God's gift. Just as the head on the body is God's special gift, so is the hair given by Him. It is our first and foremost duty to look after the hair (God's gift) as we would like to look after and protect our head. Those who do not maintain God-given gift on the head, (cut off or completely shave off their hair), are, in my well-considered view, ungrateful and disloyal to the supreme will of God. I consider them murderers.
Supdt: No, they cannot be called so, you can give them some other name, because in cutting hair no blood is spilt.
Myself: You mean if blood is spilt, then alone it can be called a murder or assassination. What if someone is strangled to death? Would you still not declare it a murder, because in strangling a person, no blood is spilt, though death does occur? It is no use indulging in verbal arguments. You know very well that in certain methods of murder, not even a drop of blood is allowed to spill. Would you not call perpetrators of these crimes as murderers? If not, what else will you call them?
Supdt: Excuse me, the head when once chopped off renders the body dead and the head does not grow again. But on the other hand the hair completely shorn off or hair cut short start growing again. There is a world of difference between the two instances.
Myself: Do you believe in reincarnation or transmigration of the soul?
Supdt: Yes, I do.
Myself: Nobody dies even after death, because the soul migrates. Those who kill others cannot kill their souls. The soul cannot die and it continues to take new births. The attempt to kill a soul goes in vain. There can be no success in doing this. In the same way, the effort of those who cut or shave their hair time and again, goes futile because the shaven or cut hair continue to grow again and again, the same way as the soul of a killed or dead person takes birth again and again. The difference, however, is only this that the soul moves on from one life to another and the killer or the murderer does not realise it, but the hair continue to grow until death of the person.
Persistent growth of hair acts as a rebuff to the efforts of the shaver. The way in which the life-spark of a soul exists in the total life-spark of God, the same way, the life-spark in the hair continues to exist in the life-spark of the human body until its (body's) complete destruction. It is very important that each hair on the human head and on the entire body be kept intact, because these are created there by God - our Creator. The hair on our head and body grow to such length as is needed by the physiology and biology of each individual body according to God's plan. The hair grows to certain length and then stops growing further naturally. Any attempt to undo the Creator's work by either trying to artificially make hair grow thicker and longer or get rid of it is our folly and also against the Law of God. Women do not have hair on the face. Any human attempt to grow it there would not succeed. Similarly, to cut hair from the head is also sheer folly. God - the Creator, has given beards to men but they shave them every day and try to look like women. But Nature does not let them do so. They shave but Nature administers a snub to them every morning by letting it grow again. The shavers receive double blow, one from the shaving blade and the other from Nature when every morning new beard comes out in defiance of their intentions. But they do not wake up to the ultimate Reality. Women as well suffer humility when they try to cut their hair and look like men by imitating them in this mad pursuit. Both male and female have gained absolutely nothing from this pursuit.
The question should have been "Why Nature's gift (Hair) should not be left intact on the head and elsewhere and why should it be cropped?" But, surprisingly, questions are asked the other way. The stark reality is that there is an overwhelming majority of people who defy the Divine because of this habit inherited from others through centuries and have mistaken the shaven face and shorn hair as a natural form. The reason is that, in the world, there are so few and so rare people who stick to and are consistent with the Eternal Law of Nature. When any person from powerful nations of the world chances to have a glance at a Sikh in natural form, he wonders at the latter's completely natural face and asks the question: "Is it necessary to keep hair intact?" In his ignorance he forgets that hair like other limbs of the body is part and parcel of the human body. A Sikh would never allow a single hair to be removed from his body because he bows to God's Law, he understands that hair growth has a purpose behind it and believes it a sin to do otherwise; just as a doctor would not advise to close a pore on the body.
This is a very complex question you have raised. Volumes can be written on this topic. We do not have enough time at our disposal to do full justice to the discussion on the sanctity of our hair. Those who raise such objections are usually Arya Samajists. Are you not prejudiced like them?
Supdt: (Smiling) No, I am not that much of an Arya Samajist, though, to some extent I am inclined towards Arya Samaj beliefs and practices. But I have asked this question to you just spontaneously. Even though you have used some very blunt epithets but I have, all the same, liked the line of your argument. A lot of my misconceptions and suspicions have vanished now.
When you leave jail, I wish you would write a detailed book on the philosophy of hair and propagate it throughout the world in all languages. Your argument that in cropping hair or shaving beards people just follow suit, like the movement of an individual sheep in a flock, has impressed me. All of our rishies, sages and prophets in the ancient times, were kesbadharis (with natural unshorn hair), which means they kept their hair intact. There is evidence that up to Mahabharat times all Khatries, Brahmins and religious leaders used to have long hair intact. In old Hindu books and scriptures it is written down how ignoble it was to cut hair and it was, in fact one of the seven punishments under the then state law. Lord Krishna, our Avtar, substituted cutting off hair of Rukmani's brother Rukman for death sentence in pursuance of her appeal to save his life. Rukman was so angry with this. He was so much grieved that he called his sister his enemy, because it was she who had recommended the cutting off his hair. Rukman himself thought that this punishment was worse than the death sentence.
I value your viewpoint, you are really a Singh with high ideals, Sardar Randhir Singh! No other Singh has ever convinced me like this. A grain of cogent argument is more than sufficient for a seeker after truth. Well, time has passed so quickly. Let us leave it there. Namaste. We will see to the rest later on.
Myself: Sat Sri Akal. 'Later on', surely does not so easily.
To be honest, the occasion to continue that dialogue 'later on’ never arrived again, but that prison Superintendent struck me as a very kind and a thoughtful person
Monday, August 20, 2007
sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force
its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any
progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could
go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small,
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any
moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body,
which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the
restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get
through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of
the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it
achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.
We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!
I asked for Strength.........
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom.........
And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity.........
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage.........
And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love.........
And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors.........
And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ........
I received everything I needed!
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I was just blogging and found this article. WOW is one word that comes to mind :)
Make Sure you read it!
Translated from Soan ChiRee ChRee GaiN by Bhai Sahib Jodh Singh (Delhi)
Amrit Da Bata
In order to prepare the bata of Amrit the Panj Piare did ardas. The Iron vessel, Khanda, Water and sugar pellets were already present. A blanket was layed in front of Guru Sahib, on top of a large rock the iron vessel was steadily placed. In the attendance of Guru Granth Sahib sat one Singh and the jathedar arrived in the panj. They (the panj) all sat in Bir asaN (warrior position) and became the Sanmukhs of the Guru. Together the Panj poured the water into the vessel and then put in the sugar pellets. Turn by tuen the Panj bania, Jap, Jaap, Sodha Swaiye, Chaupai and full Anand Sahib were read. Whilst doing paaT the Singh held the Khanda in his right hand, whilst the bata was held with the left with complete concentration. The other Singhs held the bata with both hands and everyone focussed their conciousness into the nectar being prepared. Once the five prayers were over the Jathedar did ardas. In order to give the candidates Amrit the jathedar asked the Singh in attendance of Guru Sahib to seek permission. After this the Panj piare again sat in Bir AsaN (warrior position) ready to bless the abhilakis with Amrit. There were approximately 8-10 people getting initiated into the Khalsa brotherhood, my turn came after the 2nd or 3rd person.
This was an unforgettable experience which occured after complete Sodh Sudhayee. My inner state was uncontrallable, I was half concious and was completely mesmerized; my body was just shaking. It is extremely difficult to describe in detail. As Sanmukh I went to humbly bow my head before Guru Granth Sahib Ji, as I was about to do so Guru Gobind Singh Ji in all his glory gave me his Partakh darshan (in real body) on Guru Granth Sahib Ji's throne. It was as if there was a mirror and behind it Guru Gobind Singh Ji sat in Bir AsaN. It seemed as if it was happening for a long time, but it was only a second or so. After bowing my head I drank the Amrit, then Amrit was splashed in the Kesh (hair), then in the eyes. The Jathedar then proceeded to teach the method of reciting the Gurmantar, at that time my hands just clasped together in prayer and I suddenly received Guru Gobind Singh Ji's darshan once again on the throne of Guru Granth Sahib, my eyes shut and I placed my head in the holy feet of the Guru. The Jathedar Ji then tapped me on my back as if to say 'be aware!'. (Saavdhan!) He also had to physically wake one Singh up from this state of Vismadh. Everyone started doing Abhyas and the Amrit ceremony ended quiet quickly.
The time was 1-2am. In the hall upstairs a Rehnsbhai Keertan was in progress. I can clearly remember that the Panj Piare came into the Darbar Sahib along with us without the formal dress for the Panj, but on the other hand I do not know whether they came in with us or came in after. What I do know is that after Degh (parshad) was distributed after the Amrit Sanchar they went into a separate room in order to get changed. This I know for sure. Just like normal members of the Sangat they bowed their heads in front of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and took a seat in Sat Sang. I was coloured in the divine colours at that time, but when I did come to full conciousness I found myself sitting right behind Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh Ji. Only the Guru knows how that happened! On Bhai Sahibs dastar was the Chakar (iron quoit) and whenever he swayed back and forth I felt a pull towards him as he was a divinely imbued soul. My mouth just filled with unbearable taste. Bhai Sahib was singing the following Shabad on the Vaja: “Poota Mata Kee Asees”. Keertan was taking place with an ecstatic atmosphere which is hard to forget.
Bhai Sahibs eyes were closed, but they were rolled up towards the sky. The sound of his voice was as though a child is screaming. After 2am, abhyas started in the hall for 2 or so hours. I do not know who turned the main lights off and put on a dim one. The beautiful Jaap of ‘Vaheguru’ was being meditated upon. At that moment it seemed as though no one was present there and I myself was not present there, all that was being heard was the Vaheguru Gurmantar. My spiritual state rose to such a height that I was not conscious of my body or anything else that was happening around me. Only the beautiful name was heard all around, it can be compared to the ticking of a watch, no one was at a higher or lower pitch than anyone else, everyone was reciting with exactly the same tone and rhythm. When my eyes were closed, at times I would experience ecstatic light through my inner eyes. Sometimes I would get a divine glimpse of ‘Ik Oankar’ and it looked as though it was an electric Halogen light shaped like the symbol, whereas sometimes I would get vision of the word ‘Vaheguru’. Then, after about 2 and a half hours the Keertan kicked off again. After some minutes, we started to hear the Vaheguru dhunni resounding everywhere, even though the keertan continued. When I came down from this avastha I noticed that I was still in the same hall as before and the sangat was joined with the keertan enjoying the ecstacy of his name.
Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh and Baoo Mal Singh were sitting infront of me. Some keertani bibia were doing keertan. Some sangat were sitting behind me, some infront of me, all in total bliss. Bhai Sahibs chakar (iron quoit) was continuing to mesmerize me and had a magnetic glow. “Vaho Vaho Gursikh dhan hai”. To tell you the truth, I did not understand what kautak was taking place, nor did I know what this ras was, otherwise I would have grabbed the holy feet of that Sant (bhai sahib) and never let go. When I did get some knowledge the true king (Guru ji) made me into good friends with Bhai Sahib, he bought this Ant into his holy shade.
In the morning, after Bhai Sahib had sung many shabads, the ceremony came to an end.
After this we went home and ate langar, we then went straight back to the Gurdwara Sahib. (In them times langar was made for sangat that had come from outside). Sangat was getting ready to go. Bapoo ji (bhai sahib) and another Singh were trying to get accommodation for the sangat to stay. I kept on gazing into their lovelorn eyes and enjoying ras and they also kept looking at me. The Singhs who were coloured in divine colours were hugging each other and leaving. Initially Bapoo ji was very sad, all the Singhs had tears in their eyes. Everyone was yearning for the same thing as I was – that the Keertan never stopped along with the Naam and Bani. But everything happens in the will of Vaheguru.
“Sanjog vijog doe kaar chalave lekhe avai bhaag”
One God: Waheguru
One Guru : Sahib Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
One Group : Guru Khalsa Panth!
This should be the Motto of Our Generation
Thursday, August 16, 2007
O man you have been tormented by a nightmare and you have passed your life in sleep.
You did not wake to hear the Word of the True Guru’s Shabad;
you have no inspiration within yourself.
That body burns which has no virtue and which does not serve the Guru.
I have seen that the world is burning in egotism and the love of duality.
O Nanak those who seek the Guru’s Sanctuary are saved;
within their minds they meditate on the True Word of the Shabad.
|| 1 ||
Attuned to the Word of the Shabad the soul-bride is rid of egotism and she is glorified.
If she walks steadily in the way of His Will then she is adorned with decorations.
Her couch becomes beautiful and she constantly enjoys her Husband Lord;
she obtains the Lord as her Husband.
The Lord does not die and she never suffers pain;
she is a happy soul-bride forever.
O Nanak the Lord God unites her with Himself;
she enshrines love and affection for the Guru.
|| 2 ||
Those who conceal and deny their Guru are the most evil people.
O Dear Lord let me not even see them;
they are the worst sinners and murderers.
They wander from house to house with impure minds like wicked forsaken women.
But by great good fortune they may meet the Company of the Holy;
as Gurmukhs they are reformed.
O Lord please be kind and let me meet the True Guru;
I am a sacrifice to the Guru.
|| 23 ||
(This HukamNama occurs on Ang: 651 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.)
|vIrvwr, 1 BwdNo (sMmq 539 nwnkSwhI)||(AMg : 651)|
just one to remember :)
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Benefits of being a veggie now include cheap life insurance, who would have thought it. lol
Veggie lives 'cost less to protect'
31 July 2007
The health benefits of vegetarianism are being recognised by a new insurance policy.
Animal Friends Insurance is offering non-meat-eaters a discount of up to six per cent on its life insurance.
Elaine Fairfax, spokesperson for Animal Friends, said the company liked to be a "bit radical".
She said: "We're not here to preach to people about what they should eat but we just want people to know about the effects on their health of not eating meat and we think they should be rewarded just as non smokers are."
Vegetarians and vegans are 40 per cent less likely to contract serious cancer, and have a 30 per cent lower risk of developing heart disease, according to statistics from the Vegetarian Society.
The product will be available to all, but meat-eaters will not receive a discount.
Animal Friends Insurance is a not-for-profit organisation and the only UK pet insurance provider to donate 100 per cent of its net profits to animal charities worldwide.