Are human beings permitted to eat meat? Please explain.

According to our scriptures, eating meat is permitted for some sections of people on the basis of their work and lifestyle. Even here, the scriptures do not compel or enforce meat intake.

If life form is present in everything we eat, isn’t eating equal to killing that very life?

For sustenance, we need to consume food, don’t we? So we do only the minimum harm in order to fetch the food that is needed for sustenance.
If we merely eat without performing bhajan, the harm is not at all justified. It is very much wrong. That is why it is said that don’t live without chanting.

According to our scriptures, why is alcohol consumption prohibited? My friend argues with me that taking a little bit of it, once in a while is harmless!

The food you eat and mind are directly related. The nature of your food directly affects the mind, positively or negatively as the case might be. Alcohol has a ‘tamasic’ nature and hence induces ‘tamasic’ thoughts in your mind. That is why it is to be avoided. Isn’t it just foolishness and adamancy to indulge in something knowing very well that it is not good for you? The little quantities are no more ‘little’ once a person is addicted. We see consequences of addiction to habits like alcohol, smoking and drugs everyday right in front of our eyes, don’t we?