Introduction

Influenced by factors ranging from health and economics to ethics and religion, millions of people around the world are turning to a vegetarian diet. In America alone, ten million people now consider themselves vegetarian.

Among those who have renounced meat are many celebrities:
Film stars Gloria Swanson, William Shatner, Dennis Weaver, Samantha Eggar, Candace Bergen, and Sandy Dennis;
Recording artist Michael Jackson, Paul and Linda McCartney, George Harrison, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Jeff Beck, Chubby Checker, Graham Nash, David Cassidy, Johnny Rivers, Captain and Tennille, Alice Coltrane, Annie Lennox, Chrissie Hynde, Donovan, Stevie Wonder, and Todd Rundgren;
Models Brooke Shields and Christine Brinkley.
In sports, the list includes Chris Campbell (1981 world wrestling champion), Aaron Pryor (welterweight world boxing champion), Edward Moses (world record holder for 400 meter hurdles), Robert DiCostella (Olympic marathon champion), Anton Innaver (Olympic ski champion), Killer Kowalski (wrestler), and the entire Seibu Lions (Japanese) baseball team (who won the Pacific League championship two years in a row after switching to a vegetarian diet).

The Higher Taste clearly explains the many reasons why people stop eating meat. But beyond that it contains over sixty gourmet vegetarian recipes that are guaranteed to carry you beyond the pleasures of ordinary food into new realm of Epicurean delight. If you ever thought that being a vegetarian means eating only limp steamed vegetables and cold salads - you're in for a big surprise. In The Higher Taste you'll learn how to prepare complete, nourishing, taste-tempting meals. How about an evening in Italy, with savory minestrone soup, a hearty spaghetti main course complete with veggie-balls in tomato sauce, breaded zucchini sticks, hot ricotta-stuffed calzone, and a Neapolitan cheesecake for dessert? The Higher Taste will show you how. You'll also find equally delicious Chinese, Indian, French, Mexican, and Middle Eastern dinners. And best of all, these tested recipes have all been chosen for their simplicity, quickness, and ease of preparation.

Just as important as the ingredients we use in cooking is our consciousness. The Higher Taste shows how anyone can turn a daily chore into a blissful , enlightening experience. Preparing Karma-free vegetarian food is an integral part of the topmost system of yoga and meditation Described in the timeless teachings of India's Vedic literature. In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says, "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it." One who prepares pure, natural vegetarian food and then offers it to the Supreme will automatically feel an awakening of sublime spiritual pleasure in the heart.

The Supreme Lord is described in the Vedas as the reservoir of all pleasure, and to increase His pleasure He expands Himself by His pleasure energy into uncounted millions of living beings who are all meant to share in His enjoyment. We are all part of that eternal pleasure potency, and by the simple act of preparing food for the pleasure of God we can experience transcendental enjoyment. You'll notice that as soon as you taste the food you've offered. As George Harrison said in a recent interview, " When you know someone has begrudgingly cooked something, it doesn't taste as nice as when someone has done it to try and please God, to offer it to Him first. Just that in itself makes all the food taste so much nicer." That's what we mean by "a higher taste."

Along with trying the recipes, be sure to have a look at the opening chapters of The Higher Taste. They explain the whole philosophy behind spiritual vegetarianism, and reading them will help you prepare food in the best possible state of mind.

Chapter One reveals how modern medical research has shown links between meat-eating and killer diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Chapter Two exposes the myth of a worldwide food scarcity and explains the economic advantages of a vegetarian diet for society and the individual. In Chapter Three, the ethical foundations of vegetarianism are set forth , focusing on the writings of some of the world's greatest philosophers, authors, and religious leaders, among them Pythagoras, Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Rousseau, Franklin, Shelley, Tolstoy, Thoreau, Gandhi, and others. The principle of nonviolence , as found in the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, is also examined. An analysis of how the laws of karma and reincarnation are related to vegetarianism forms the basis of Chapter Four. Chapter Five explains in detail the rationale and procedures for offering vegetarian food to the Supreme Lord as part of the Bhakti-yoga system. In Chapter Six, excerpts from the writings of Srila Prabhupada, India's greatest authority on Vedic culture, provide a concise, highly readable summary of the philosophy underlying the spiritual vegetarian diet outlined in The Higher Taste.

An appendix provides an overview of the Krishna consciousness movement's varied food-related activities - Vegetarian restaurants, self-sufficient farm communities, food-relief programs for the unemployed and underprivileged, and more.

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