From a spiritual perspective, how important is it to be vegetarian?

It is important to be vegetarian only if it is your path.  To force oneself to be in one way is not proper on any path. To adopt a value or another person’s belief because it seems beneficial to that person does not mean that it will be beneficial to you. It is true that some are vegetarians out of respect for life.  And this is a very beautiful understanding of nature and a very beautiful balance.  There are others for whom the service they need to offer to this planet and the work that they need to do require that they be nourished in a strong and healthy way and it is for this reason they are able to eat meat.  Both paths are spiritual depending on the person who would walk them. There are many vegetarians who live with hatred in their heart by being apart from their own brother.  This is not killing but in its own way is responding to the lower self and is akin to meat eating.  It is for this reason neither one is considered spiritual in itself. But for the individual to be true to the practice of his/her own heart and to follow his/her own nature should be the one to determine what the right path is.  Both can be spiritual and yet neither is in itself spiritual and so there are no rules.
You must follow what you need.

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