Today, many people argue that eggs are vegetarian since they have no life in it. However, is it possible to eat something that is lifeless like wood or plastic? Everything that we eat has had life in it. Vegetarian food is spiritually acceptable only because it is derived from a single sense life forms. While eggs that humans eat come from life forms that have five senses. Param Pujya Dadashri has given a logical explanation about how eggs indeed have life and are considered non-vegetarian.
Find out by reading the section below from Param Pujya Dadashri’s book on "Non-Violence":
Questioner: Some people even argue that there are two types of eggs. Eggs with life and eggs without life, so can we eat the latter?
Dadashri: Yes, they argue that there are eggs, which are lifeless, so technically it is non-violent to consume them. I tell them that it is impossible to eat anything that is non-living. You cannot eat anything that is lifeless. If eggs did not contain life, they would be considered inanimate and therefore inedible. Only living things can be eaten as long as they are not spoilt. Even vegetables will rot and become inedible a few days after being freshly picked. One can only eat living things. There is no truth in the statement that an egg has no life in it. It is a wonder that people have created such a concept. Anything that is non-living cannot be eaten.
Questioner: But these 'vegetarian eggs' do not develop into a chick.
Dadashri: That is a different matter, but there is indeed life in them.
People are being misinformed. This issue has become a difficult one for Jain children to accept. So many of them argue with me about this and I simply tell them that they should give this more thought. There is no problem if there is no life in it, but you cannot eat anything that is lifeless. If you are eating an egg with the idea that it does not contain life, then you should also stop eating grains and only eat food that does not contain any life. Food that does not contain life may satisfy hunger but it does not have any nutritional value and it will not nourish and sustain the body. The children accepted this and agreed to stop eating eggs altogether. People will listen if one takes the time to explain things to them; otherwise there is so much misinformation out there to lead a person's intellect astray.
All foods contain life, but the Lord tells humans to consume only certain foods. He has drawn limits about which foods are allowed and which are forbidden. You must not harm or eat things that flee from you for their life.
Questioner: An egg does not run away from us in fear, so are we allowed to eat it?
Dadashri: The egg does not run away, but the life contained within the egg is in a dormant state of unconsciousness. Will you not discover the life within when it begins to hatch?
Questioner: Yes, we will see that immediately. But what if it does not hatch?
Dadashri: That is because the life within it is in a dormant state. Whether or not it hatches into a chicken is a different matter. Even the human fetus at four or five weeks, is in the same state as the egg, so you must not harm the egg. We humans know what happens to the egg after it hatches.
Book Name: Non-Violence (Page #52 Last Line, Entire Page #53, Page #54 - Paragraph #1 to #5)