Diet in Sikhism
In Sikhism, only vegetarian food is served in the Gurdwara (Sikh temple), but Sikhs are not bound to be meat-free. The general consensus is that Sikhs are free to choose whether to adopt a meat diet or not. Once Amrit is taken Sikhs are prohibited from eating Kutha or ritually-slaughtered (Halal, Kosher) meat.
Akal Takht ruling 
The Akal Takht (Central Body for Sikh Temporal Affairs) represents the final authority on controversial issues concerning the Sikh Panth (community or collective), and in this regard the issue of meat eating has been settled. The Hukamnama (edict or clarification) issued by Akal Takht Jathedar (head priest or head caretaker) Sadhu Singh Bhaura dated February 15, 1980, states that Amritdhari Sikhs can eat meat as long as it is Jhatka meat and that eating meat does not go against the code of conduct (Kurehit) of the Sikhs. Thus a Sikh cannot be excommunicated for eating meat.
Disagreement with the Ruling 
Some of the religious educational organizations and sects of Sikhism—Damdami Taksal, Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Namdharis, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha and the 3HO—believe that a Sikh should be meat-free.
Guru Granth Sahib 
First Mehl:They are produced from the blood of their mothers and fathers, but they do not eat fish or meat.
The fools argue about flesh and meat, but they know nothing about meditation and spiritual wisdom.
What is called meat, and what is called green vegetables? What leads to sin?
It was the habit of the gods to kill the rhinoceros, and make a feast of the burnt offering.
Those who renounce meat, and hold their noses when sitting near it, devour men at night.
They practice hypocrisy, and make a show before other people, but they do not understand anything about meditation or spiritual wisdom.
O Nanak, what can be said to the blind people? They cannot answer, or even understand what is said.
They alone are blind, who act blindly. They have no eyes in their hearts.
On the view that eating vegetation would be eating flesh, first Sikh Guru Nanak states:
AGGS, M 1, p 1290.—
Punjabi: ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਥਹੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਉਪੰਨਾ ॥ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਅੰਨੁ ਕਮਾਦੁ ਕਪਾਹਾਂ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਗੰਨਾ ॥
O Pandit, you do not know where did flesh originate! It is water where life originated and it is water that sustains all life. It is water that produces grains, sugarcane, cotton and all forms of life.
On vegetation, the Guru Granth Sahib described it as living and experiencing pain:
First Mehl:Nanak: come, people, and see how the sweet sugar-cane is treated!
Look, and see how the sugar-cane is cut down. After cutting away its branches, its feet are bound together into bundles,
and then, it is placed between the wooden rollers and crushed.
What punishment is inflicted upon it! Its juice is extracted and placed in the cauldron; as it is heated, it groans and cries out.
And then, the crushed cane is collected and burnt in the fire below.
The first Sikh Guru—Nanak Dev—said it was pointless to debate the merits of either not eating or eating meat in the context of religion, as maintaining a strict diet does not make one blessed or elevate one to a superior status, spiritually or otherwise, over another. Being a member of a religion incorporates not merely one's dietary customs but the entire way in which devotees govern their lifestyle. He advocated a lifestyle consisting of honest, hard work and humility, focus and remembrance of God, and compassion for all of humanity and God's creation all around. These three key principles take precedence over one's dietary habits.
Within the gurdwara, the Guru ka Langar (Guru's community kitchen) serves purely lacto-vegetarian food. This is because the Langar is open to all. Since people of many faiths and having varying dietary taboos, and since Sikhs accept these restrictions and accommodate people no matter their faith or culture, the Sikh Gurus adopt vegetarian food for Langar. Meat was included in langar at the time of Guru Angad, but then discontinued to accommodate Vashnavites. The exception to vegetarian langar today is when Nihangs serve meat on the occasion of Holla Mohalla, and call it Maha Prashad.
Sikhism argues that the soul can possibly undergo millions of transformations as various forms of life before ultimately becoming human. These life forms could be a rock, vegetation or an animal.Sikhism does not see a difference between mineral, vegetation and animal. The only distinction made is that between these and a human.[discuss]In terms of the Sikh view of karma, human life is seen as being most precious, and animal, vegetable and mineral, all equally below human life. Therefore, in terms of the Sikh view, eating an animal is the same as eating a plant or mineral.
Sikh intellectual views 
I. J. Singh states that throughout Sikh history, there have been many subsects of Sikhism that have espoused vegetarianism. However, this was rejected by the Sikh Gurus. The Sikh thinking being that vegetarianism and meat-eating was unimportant in the realm of spirituality. Surinder Singh Kohli links vegetarianism to Vashnavite behaviour. Gopal Singh commenting on meat being served in the langar during the time of Guru Angad Gyani Sher Singh—who was the head priest at the Darbar Sahib—comments that ahimsa does not fit in with Sikh doctrine. W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi comment that if the Sikh Guru's had made an issue on vegetarianism, it would have distracted from the main emphasis of Sikh spirituality. H. S. Singha and Satwant Kaur comment on how ritually-slaughtered meat is considered a sin for initiated Sikhs. Surinder Singh Kohli comments on the "fools wrangle over flesh" quotation from the Guru Granth Sahib by noting how Guru Nanak mocked hypocritical vegetarian priests. Gobind Singh Mansukhani states how vegetarianism and meat-eating has been left to the individual Sikh. G. S. Sidhu comments again on how ritually-slaughtered meat is taboo for a Sikh. Gurbakhsh Singh comments on how non-Kutha meat is acceptable for the Sikhs. Devinder Singh Chahal comments on the difficulties of distinguishing between plant and animal in Sikh philosophy. H. S. Singha comments in his book how the Sikh Gurus ate meat.Khushwant Singh also notes that most Sikhs are meat-eaters and decry vegetarians as daal khorey (lentil-eaters).
The Sikh code of conduct on the Sikh diet 
Leading Sikh intellectuals ruled on this issue in the 1920s—as some Sikh sects attempted to get all Sikhs to be vegetarian—and came up with the following rule or code of conduct for baptised Sikhs with regards to meat and vegetarianism:
Sikh Rehat Maryada
There are groups such as the Akhand Kirtani Jatha that dispute the meaning of the word "kutha", claiming it means all meat, however, in mainstream Sikhism this word has been accepted to mean, as that which is sacrificed.
Historical dietary behaviour of Sikhs 
There are a number of eyewitness accounts from European travelers as to the eating habits of Sikhs. Although there is no prohibition on Sikhs eating beef, it is clear that Sikhs as a mark of respect for their Hindu neighbours did not partake in eating beef. To initiate Muslims into their mysteries, one traveler said the Sikhs would prepare a dish of hog's legs.
According to Dabistan e Mazhib (a contemporary Persian chronology of the Sikh Gurus) Guru Nanak did not eat meat, and Guru Arjan thought that meat eating was not in accordance with Nanak's wishes. This differs from I. J. Singh's research that states that Guru Nanak ate meat on the way to Kurukshetra. Guru Hargobind (the 6th Guru) according to Persian records, ate meat and hunted and his practice was adopted by most Sikhs.
The proud elephant is inedible and none eats the mighty lion.
Goat is humble and hence it is respected everywhere.
On occasions of death, joy, marriage, yajna, etc only its meat is accepted.
Among the householders its meat is acknowledged as sacred and with its gut stringed instruments are made.
From its leather the shoes are made to be used by the saints merged in their meditation upon the Lord.
Drums are mounted by its skin and then in the holy congregation the delight-giving kirtan, eulogy of the Lord, is sung.
In fact, going to the holy congregation is the same as going to the shelter of the true Guru.
Sarbloh Bibek 
Many Sikhs keep Sarbloh Bibek. Sarbloh meaning All-Iron and Bibek meaning conscious principles. Sikhs thus eat strictly in Iron bowls and Iron plates. According to Sarbloh Bibek food must be cooked in Iron cauldrons or other Iron utensils while reciting Gurbani or Simran (meditating).  Sikhs usually clean the Iron utensils after use with Sand.
Another key aspect to maintaining Sarbloh Bibek is that Sikhs must only eat food prepared by other Amritdhari (Baptized) Sikhs. Amritdhari Sikhs are also issued to not eat Jootha food (previously eaten food) form other Non Amritdhari’s. 
Sarbloh was used by Guru Gobind Singh Ji to prepare Amrit during the Khalsa initiation ceremony in 1699. The Khanda (a double edged knife or sword) was also made of Sarbloh. To this day all Amrit Sanchaars are conducted using a bata and Khanda made of sarbloh.
See also 
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- Punjabi-English Dictionary, Punjabi University, Dept. of Punjabi Lexicography, ISBN 81-7380-095-2; Hardcover; 2002-10-01
- Mosher, Lucinda (1 June 2005). "4 Distance". Belonging (Faith in the Neighbourhood) [Paperback]. Church Publishing Inc. p. 108. ISBN 1-59627-010-1. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- Sekhon, Devinder Singh; Singh; Devinder (2005-01-01). "10 Gurmat and Meat". Philosophy of Guru Granth Sahib. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. pp. 143 to 172. ISBN 978-81-261-2357-5. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- Takhar, Opinderjit Kaur (2005). "2 Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha". Sikh identity: an exploration of groups among Sikhs. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7546-5202-1. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
- Gabriel Cousens. Conscious Eating. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Surjit Singh Gandhi. History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469–1606 C.E. p. 95. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Guru Granth Sahib". Sri Granth. p. 1289. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Guru Granth Sahib". Sri Granth. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Guru Granth Sahib". pp. 142–143. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
- S. R. Bakshi, Rashmi Pathak,, ed. (2007). "12". Punjab Through the Ages 4 (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup and Sons. p. 241. ISBN 81-7625-738-9. Retrieved 201-02-07.
- "Guru Granth Sahib". Srigranth.org. p. 1289. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Singh, Prithi Pal (2006). "3 Guru Amar Das". The History of Sikh Gurus. New Delhi: Lotus Press. p. 38. ISBN 81-8382-075-1. Retrieved 201-02-07.
- "Holla Mohalla". Singhsabha.com. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Myrvold, Kristina (15 October 2005). "8 Sikhism and Death". In Kathleen Garces-Foley. Death and Religion in a Changing World (Paperback). M.E. Sharpe. p. 187. ISBN 0-7656-1222-4. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
- "Guru Granth Sahib". Srigranth.org. p. 176. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Sikh Philosophy Network (15th May 2012). "THE 84 MILLION INCARNATION ARGUMENT – ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MINERAL.". Randip Singh and Others. The Sikh Philosophy Network. p. 1. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- Morgan, Peggy; Clive Lawton. "6. Questions of Right and Wrong". Ethical issues in Six Religious Traditions (2nd ed.). 22 George Square, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7486-2329-7. Retrieved 201-02-07.
- I. J. Singh. Sikhs and Sikhism. Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 978-81-7304-058-0.
- Surindar Singh Kohli, Guru Granth Sahib, An Analytical Study, Amritsar: Singh Bros., ISBN 81-7205-060-7
- Gopal Singh. A History of the Sikh People. Delhi: World Sikh University Press. ISBN 978-81-7023-139-4.
- Gyani Sher Singh, Philosophy of Sikhism, Amritsar: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee
- W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi, A Popular Dictionary of Sikhism, England, ISBN 978-0-8442-0424-6
- H. S. Singha and Satwant Kaur, Sikhism, A Complete Introduction, Delhi: Hemkunt Press, ISBN 81-7010-245-6
- Surinder Singh Kohli, Real Sikhism, New Delhi: Harman Publishing, ISBN 81-85151-64-4
- Gobind Singh Mansukhani, Introduction to Sikhism, Delhi: Hemkunt Press, ISBN 81-7010-181-6
- G. S. Sidhu, Introduction to Sikhism, Toronto: Shromini Sikh Sangat, ISBN 0-900692-07-3
- Gurbakhsh Singh, The Sikh Faith, Vancouver: Canadian Sikh Study and Teaching Society, ISBN 978-81-7205-188-4
- Devinder Singh Chahal, Scientific Interpretation of Gurbani
- H. S. Singha, Mini Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, Delhi: Hemkunt Press, ISBN 81-7010-200-6
- Khushwant Singh (2009-11-07). "An Ancient Brotherhood". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- H. S. Singha & Satwant Kaur Hemkunt (1994). Sikhism, A Complete Introduction (Limited preview digitized online by Google books). New Delhi: Hemkunt Press. ISBN 81-7010-245-6. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Sandeep Singh Brar. "Misconceptions About Eating Meat — Comments of Sikh Scholars". Sikhs.org. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Faithandfood Fact Files — Sikhism". Faithandfood.com. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- [W. H.] (2003). "6 The Singh Sabha and the Years After". Sikhs of the Khalsa: a history of the Khalsa rahit (Hardcover ed.). Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-19-565916-0. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- Siques, Tigers or Thieves Parmjit Singh & Amandeep Singh Madra ISBN 1-4039-6202-2
- William Francklin in his writing about Mr George Thomas 1805: "The Seiks receive Proselytes of almost every Cast, a point in which they differ most materially from the Hindoos. To initiate Mohammedans into their mysteries, they prepare a Dish of Hogs legs, which the Converts are obliged to partake of, previous to admission... They are not prohibited the use of Animal food of any kind, excepting Beef, which they are rigidly scrupulous in abstaining from."
- Extract from an officer in the Bengal Army and is taken from the Asiatic Annual Register 1809: "The seiks are remarkably fond of the flesh of the jungle hog, which they kill in chase: this food is allowable by their law. They likewise eat of mutton and fish; but these being unlawful the Brahmins will not partake, leaving those who chose to transgress their institutes to answer for themselves."
- John Griffiths writes on 17 February 1794: Now become a Singh, he is a heterodox, and distinct from the Hindoos by whom he is considered an apostate. He is not restricted in his diet, but is allowed, by the tenets of his new religion, to devour whatever food his appetite may prompt, excepting beef."
- I. J. Singh. Sikhs and Sikhism. Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 978-81-7304-058-0.
- J.S. Grewal, Sikh History from Persian Sources: Translations of Major Texts, ISBN 978-81-85229-17-1
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- "Eating With SikhiStore Sarbloh Bata". Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Eating Jooth". Retrieved 2013-01-09.