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Readers Respond: Essential to Buddhist Practice?

Responses: 57


From the article: Buddhism and Vegetarianism
The First Precept of Buddhism is do not kill. The Buddha told his followers not to kill, participate in killing or cause to have any living thing killed. To eat meat, some argue, is taking part in killing by proxy. Do you think vegetarianism is essential to Buddhist practice? Why or why not? What Do You Think?

Be a veggie

Everyone has the right to live how they want. However, with all the information available today about the factory farming and cruelty that involves animals, how can humans continue to eat meat? I acknowledge that some people are really unaware about what really happens to them but for those who do know, then all they are doing is feeding their desires and ultimately don't seem to care what they do. In Buddha's time I imagine it was very different and animals were not tortured. Buddha never said not to eat meat except certain animals. The monks had to accept what was given unless they knew it was killed specifically for them. Those people who try to justify what he said are trying to convince themselves. The teachings should be adapted to fit wih the times. Now is a time of cruelty to animals therefore to be compassionate means stop eating animals! You are contributing to the killing indirectly! Wake up! The universe knows what you are doing. It's all about intention!


"I say that if you hesitate to eat those pork chops for even a second, you are no Buddhist." I do not agree with this statement since by agreeing to eat the meat are agreeing to the killing of animals unnecessarily. Instead, is it not better to kindly explain why you do not eat meat and to educate others? To accept the meat you perpetuate the slaughter and suffering.
—Guest shodo

People knew not to give meat

There were these types of buddhist monks in Vietnam and they did eat what was given but people knew not to give meat to em. Says my mom who lived in Vietnam most her life.
—Guest Huy


From what I have read vegitarians and meat earers alike are attacking each other. i have no affiliation with buddhism yet but in my eyes i see no mater what you eat you cause suffering to another being for those who say killing a plant isnt equal to killing an animal...... how do you know? Are you the plant? perhaps your right but then what if you are incorrect. Each living thing on this earth was made to survive in its own way. just because we are able to move and speak doesnt mean that we are higher up then plants. just because they might or might not be able to feel pain doesnt give any excuse for such talk unfortunately we werent gifted abilities like plants who can sit in the sun and collect energy no matter what you eat it causes suffering to someone or something moving or still, conscious or non-conscious.
—Guest Tyler


Makes it even more of a TV version of The Matrix tiglory in a way. It shares alot of qualities, not just the Buddhist connections, but also the obsessed fans delving deep into every frame of every episode formulating theories on whats going on, the website tie-ins that shed background information on the mythology of the story, and the melding of spirituality and science. Its all good
—Guest vecwgNhjvq


As I see it, the question of being a vegan/vegetarian is about where you draw the line between what creatures have awareness and can experience suffering. If one adheres to the concept that all life forms have awareness and can experience suffering, then it becomes impossible to desist in the harm of all things. There is evidence to suggest that even the cells in our body have awareness and purpose. Even bacteria could be considered to experience consciousness. Hence to wash daily is to extinguish multitudes of life forms for the sake of hygiene. To consume fruits or vegetables with pesticide residue harms cells in the body and can cause chromosome damage. So where do we draw the line. In the end, the only recourse, I believe, is to determine what we can do right here, right now to [limit unnecessary] suffering of others. It is a good starting point. Being grateful for the gift that these other life forms have given us is a good practice. Be conscious in eating.
—Guest sbeasley

no hestitation

In response to the the writer, that if one hesitates for a second not eating grandmother's pork chops even though their a vegetarian, that their not a Buddhist, is such BS. Of course Buddhist's are allowed to think. I appreciate people who can do this. But I simple do not eat pork, beef, or other mammals. My grandmother would have understood. And told me to enjoy the vegetables and rice she prepared!
—Guest tom

Animals definitely feel pain

Animals definitely feels pain - even the simplest animals have this capacity. Plants do not appear to have this capacity. To take the life of a creature who is capable of suffering pain and injury is simply not peaceful. I see no way to argue otherwise. Fine, eat your grandmother's pork chop once - the remaining 99.9% of the time, remember that you destroy peace when you eat animal flesh, and act accordingly.
—Guest David

vegetarian buddhist

The fact that a monk ate a finger does not make it easier for me to hurt anyone. I avoid hurting animals as much as I can. When I breathe, I kill microbes..., but I chose not to kill larger animals if I can avoid doing it. That keeps my conscience clean. Furthermore, by not eating meat, I allorw little animal energy enter my system. I fill myself with godly energy inasmuch as I can. I love animals. I avoid hurting them. In tryung and chosing the non violent options, my soul becomes holier. In the North Pole, I would have to eat seals, but I live in México, a country full of vegetables and fruits and legumes, avocados, grains, seeds.... abundance!!!
—Guest Ananda Sai

just my opinion, both are right.

my personal opinion is that if an animal is killed for human consumption, yet its body goes to waste because the human refuses its flesh then that animal died for nothing. I hate the idea of mass produced meat, I would much prefer it if all meat was locally raised and used to feed the local population. The meat industry is more about big bucks and the corporation rather than it being for the health of the people. When people become extremist about their ideals then no one takes their ideas as serious. Vegetarians and Omnivores a like. I have no bias towards either, eating meat has been humanities livelihood since before were were homo sapiens. Its in our blood, but our ancestors revered the animals highly, unlike we do now a days. eating meat is not wrong and neither is being vegetarian. I can understand how both sides feel, but there is a balance in life that people are overlooking. Its great that you dont want to eat meat, continue doing that. but dont push your ideals on others.
—Guest lalabomba

#Guest Bill

Wow, judgmental, much? The historical Buddha himself told his monks to eat meat if it was put in their bowls, unless they believed the animal had been killed to feed monks. This rule probably had a practical purpose, which was to prevent wandering groups of monks from depleting the community's food resources. They were to eat whatever they were given, meaning whatever a family could spare, and not demand to be given any particular kind of food. This is also is compassion.


There is os much nonsense written defending meat eating it is astounding. The first precept is to be followed by all, monks and laypersons. So where is the meat in the alms bowl supposed to come from? Neighborly Christians or Muslims or atheists? The monk should be admonishing anyone who violates the precepts, especially Buddhists. It is so amazing that those who want to follow The Compassionate One can't even give up meat eating. Actually it is sad I suppose. One might wonder what other bad habits they can't let go of will be defended next. Bill
—Guest Bill


Perhaps eating meat is justifiable based on the "conscientious omnivore's" diet - the meat was raised with a happy life and then you killed it to eat it. But I think that today with factory farming, eating (most) meat is indefensibly unethical. Not just because of the harm done to the animals, but also to the environment. In addition, 760 million tons of grain is used to feed animal raised for food each year - that grain could give the 1 billion living in poverty more than twice the amount of calories they need. Meat is a huge waste of resources - grains, water, land, etc, and if everyone ate the SAD, we'd need 67% more land than exists on this earth. I can understand why one would eat meat that would otherwise thrown away, but I think that veganism is the easiest and least expensive way to be ethical (in comparison to eating organic, grass-fed beef...shouldn't that extra money be donated, for example?). Be mindful of all these factors. :)
—Guest Danielle

vegetarian views

i am a child and have just decided to be a buddhist. My grandma would not give me pork chops as i have been a vegetarian for about 8 months now. I think that no animals should be killed for any reasons especially not meat. i am against all culls as it is sad. My view on meat eating is how would we feel if we were shot to be eaten by a giant!
—Guest jess

Buddhist Ethics by Venerable Saadhatissa

People are free to call themselves whatever they like... If you are still having others kill animals for your food you have a ways to go in developing compassion. Unnecessary suffering is not alleviated by prayers of thanks. Fred
—Guest Fred

What Do You Think?

Essential to Buddhist Practice?

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