Buddhism and vegetarianism

An article from Examiner.com –

Buddhism and Vegetarianism

Is this one area where the west is improving on eastern practice that lacks vegetarianism? Thich Nhat Hanh seems to think so. What do you think?

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Buddhism and vegetarianism

  1. Gary says:

    In both the Theravadan and Mahayana Sutras hunting, fishing and butchering are a violation of the first precept. It is perfectly clear in the Mahayana teachings that Buddha was not in favor of eating animals.

    However the Theravadan Pali Canon make some exceptions. If one does not see, hear or suspect that the animal was specifically killed for oneself. Does one not care about the karma of the person that slaughtered the animal? It’s their karma not mine, so why care? Does one just ignore the suffering of the animal? I did not cause it so I’m not responsible; why should I care?

    Of course this is not what the Buddha meant. What the Buddha did mean was he did not want an animal’s life taken simply because a monk enjoyed the taste of its flesh.

    The All-Compassionate Buddha always included all beings in his compassion. His compassion included the alms givers, the monks and the animals.

    It is important is to acknowledge that a human life always takes precedence over an animal’s life. The Buddha taught that human birth is precious because the conditions are optimal for awakening. In lands where it is not possible to grow enough food, humans need to sacrifice and eat the animals so that they can live.

    Our compassion needs to include ourselves. If one needs to eat animals to feel healthy it is certainly justified to do so. It is breaking the first precept however, it is absolutely necessary to do so. Human health takes precedence over an animal’s life.

    However, to be complacent in the killing of animals simply because one enjoys the taste of the animal’s flesh?

    The Buddha’s teachings on compassion, non-violence and not eating animals are perfectly clear in the Mahayana Sutras. Vegetarianism is as an act of compassion and non-violence.

    Most people are not aware of the extreme cruelty and violence of the factory farms. When people “bear the pain of witnessing” what goes on at factory farms, they naturally feel compassion for the animals and the employees and can more easily understand why Buddha always included all beings.

    Ahimsa,
    Gary

  2. I definetly think this is an area that we are improving on. Compassion does not end where our appetite begins. Any being capable of suffering is capable of receiving compassion. When we have to justify the cruelty of eating animals by explaining / debating the moral implications of this act….we are simply making excuses.

  3. zlyrica says:

    You may be interested in these posters or blogs on vegetarianism and veganism

    🙂

  4. Vinícius Argenta says:

    It is important is to acknowledge that a human life always takes precedence over an animal’s life. The Buddha taught that human birth is precious because the conditions are optimal for awakening. In lands where it is not possible to grow enough food, humans need to sacrifice and eat the animals so that they can live.

    Our compassion needs to include ourselves. If one needs to eat animals to feel healthy it is certainly justified to do so. It is breaking the first precept however, it is absolutely necessary to do so. Human health takes precedence over an animal’s life.

    Do our human lives really have precedence over animals’ lives? I don’t think so. Killing an animal or exploring it in no situation is in accord with what Buddha would do. They feel pain just as we do, and they can’t understand all of the suffering that humans inflict on them.

    Human rebirth is precious, of ecourse, but it doesn’t imply that animals are less. We should be looking for alternatives, rather than simply saying it isn’t possible for some.

    I believe it is our job to cherish all life, especially because we have that gift from human life.

    Metta,
    Vinícius

    • Vinícius Argenta says:

      Sorry, badly quoted. The citation is the following:

      It is important is to acknowledge that a human life always takes precedence over an animal’s life. The Buddha taught that human birth is precious because the conditions are optimal for awakening. In lands where it is not possible to grow enough food, humans need to sacrifice and eat the animals so that they can live.

      Our compassion needs to include ourselves. If one needs to eat animals to feel healthy it is certainly justified to do so. It is breaking the first precept however, it is absolutely necessary to do so. Human health takes precedence over an animal’s life.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Nice post and blog! here I give you a website with a nice selection of documentaries about vegetarianism. Good luck with your blog and stay vegetarian ! :).

  6. Fred says:

    Most of the so-called Buddhists defending meat eating don’t live in lands where food is scarce. Sadly they are Westerners who wish to twist Buddhism to fit their lifestyles (Buddhism is just a hobby to them, something exotic) or teachers seeking as many followers as possible and willing to ignore the texts. For Theravada, read the Dhammapada. For Mahayana, the Lanavatara Sutra or the Surangama Sutra. The Three-Fold rule in the Pali Cannon is for monks (and at the time, nuns), people who eat whatever is put in their alms bowl- with some exceptions. It exempts no one from the first precept so if all the laypersons were good Buddhists who would there be to slay the animal to provide the meat??? A point conveniently ignored by the promoters of meat-eating Buddhism.
    Peace Fred

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s