Author Topic: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?  (Read 30189 times)


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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2013, 08:00:21 AM »
I do not know if vegetarianism is a Buddhist practice or not, and if it is, is it compulsory. I do know that the Theravaden Buddhist do eat meat , it is choice that they have.

Buddhism believes in reincarnation and there is always the possibility that the piece of meat for your dinner is the flesh of one' own mother in a previous life.

There is a school of thought that when we eat meat, it takes longer for our food to digest because, not only are we consuming the flesh of a once living being, we are also ingesting the utter fear and trauma that the animal went through just before it was killed.
Our bodies need to 'clear' that fear away first, before working on digesting the food. Imagine how terrified that poor animal was before it was slaughtered and the energies of fear is imprinted into the very flesh we are swallowing into ourselves.
Sharks die a terrible death when their fins are cut off and then the still alive shark is thrown back into the sea. The shark eventually drowns as it does not have the fin to navigate around in the sea. This is supposed to be a delicacy but i am glad that people are being made more aware of the plight of the shark
and in some restaurants, it has been taken off the menu.

Vegetarianism stems from Compassion - a virtue that is one of the core of Buddhist teachings and the teachings of many other religions in the world.


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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2013, 09:34:12 AM »

Vegetarianism is something that people adopt if they empathize towards animals, or if they believe in karma. If you believe in karma, you would have no choice but to stop eating animals. Any living being has once been our mother - how can we continue eating our mothers?

I agree with what you said, we don't just consume the flesh but the fear and trauma that the animal went through before it was killed. In countries where they eat dog meat, it is believed that the more the dog suffers before they die the tastier it'll be coz of the adrenaline that rushes through the body. How gross!

There are many monks and nuns who still eat meat, but it really is out of the lack of option. They live in high mountainous areas, or in remote areas and only only meat available to sustain themselves. There are also monks, like in Thailand, where the only source of food for them are via their begging bowl. It is also against their vows to reject any food from those who give. On a similar note, for high lamas, it is a blessing for the deceased animals if they ingest animals.

So if the question is "Is Vegetarianism a Buddhist practice?", I would have to reply yes - but with exceptions!

Jessie Fong

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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2013, 11:30:56 AM »
Vegetarianism is all about abstaining from consumption of meat from our diet.

Many object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life.
Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic or economic.

In Buddhism, the views on vegetarianism vary from school to school. According to Theravada, the Buddha allowed his monks to eat pork, chicken and beef if the animal was not killed for the purpose of providing food for monks. Theravada also believes that the Buddha allowed the monks to choose a vegetarian diet, but only prohibited against eating human, elephant, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, bear, leopard, and hyena flesh. The Buddha did not prohibit any kind of meat-eating for his lay followers.

from :

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2013, 09:59:16 AM »
Vegetarianism- A Buddhist practice? I would say it is. If one practices compassion for all beings, it would mean not creating a demand for animals to be slaughtered for consumption. In these modern day and time, there is so much more choice of food we can consume besides meat. Personally, I am opting to not eat meat after watching a video on how animals are breed in extreme bad condition for the sole purpose of being slaughtered for their meat. And to watch in horror the fear of the animals the moments before being slaughtered certainly stopped all the craving for eating any meat. :)


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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2013, 02:53:46 PM »
The only reason why vegetarianism are practiced in Buddhism is because Buddhists do not kill another being. I have friend who are not meat eaters and they are not Buddhists either.for health reason or compassion reason, one should go for vegetarianism and of course vegetarianism is the practice of real Buddhism. We should never take another being's life to satisfy our own attachment for taste. I guess it is too selfish to do that and makes us look like animals.

Positive Change

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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2013, 09:01:16 PM »
Being vegetarian does not constitute being a good Buddhist however, if one is Buddhist and is a vegetarian it is important as it helps us develop true compassion for all sentient beings especially what we put into our stomachs to pleasure or taste buds. I believe eating meat does create negative karma for sure... however can anyone explain to me with no disrespect to HHDL or any other attained Lamas, why is it that they can eat meat and benefit the very being that they ingest?


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Re: Vegetarianism - A Buddhist practice?
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2013, 07:37:54 AM »
As long as we remain in samsara, killing is unavoidable. Understanding this should increase our determination to abandon samsara; increase our bodhichitta; and thereby energize our efforts to realize the correct view of emptiness.

We would go mad trying to figure out how to completely avoid killing. Mainly, we need to abandon the intention to kill, and strive to minimize our relationship to killing. We kill by moving; by not moving; by eating; by not eating. Millions of living beings are killed in farming vegetables; millions are killed when one animal is slaughtered; the delivery planes and trucks kill many living beings delivering the food; we kill many living beings driving to the grocery store. You see? Samsara is the real problem here, and escape is the only way to really abandon killing or liberate others from suffering. Changing our intentions is the main practice.

Whether we are vegetarian or not, whether we purchase meat or vegetables, death has occurred so that we may have sustenance.

However, however, that said, it seems to me after much consideration over the years that with respect to eating, the best way to avoid killing or excessive deaths would be to only eat nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits that we grow in our own gardens, and to try to purchase products that have the least negative impact on mother living beings. If we take the time to do the research, we could come up with this kind of meal plan/diet, and following it would become second nature.

We do not need to eat meat. We also do not need to eat vegetables and fruits that have been farmed as it involves excessive killing. Anyone who's gone to the sink to wash a head of organically farmed lettuce will see how much suffering there is. Sometimes there are still many living beings crawling around on it or disabled in some way due to the processing!

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful posts. Time to realize emptiness eh!