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Readers Respond: Essential to Buddhist Practice?

Responses: 62


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?

Great Article

This article was very helpful and answered all my questions. I am loving Buddhism more and more as I continue my research. Thank you!
—Guest Samantha

Vegetarian Buddha quote...

...'I don't remember saying that?'... Sidhartha Guatama 575 BC
—Guest Great Exemplar

Vegetarianism? Time to evolve...

I discovered Zen Buddhism quite by accident. I had a spiritual experience sitting by myself, I felt myself getting 'high' for want of a better expression, it was higher than high, the room lit up and sparkled, as the intensity grew and grew I could not not believe what was happening and uttered an expletive, the episode ended with my inner voice commanding me with one word 'WORK'. I asked a priest about this, she offered no rational explanation, I then turned to Zen monastic who quietly smiled and gave me a book to read. I was going through a divorce at the time and was quite emotional, nevertheless 'sane'. I understood this visitation to be that of Kannon. that experience never left me. I have started to practice Buddhism and as a hunter, if I am to eat meat I would prefer to take that karma from killing it myself. Someone has to be left with the Karma of the kill so why should I enjoy the spoils karma free? As we evolve, will we recognise images of Bhudda or Christ in 25000 years?
—Guest Coinneach

Vegetarians do not kill the tree

Hi, I am not a Buddhist, I am a vegetarian, but I was curious about your practices. When I eat fruit it doesn't kill the tree or the pear, plum, etc. When I eat the pumpkins I grow, I replant the seeds and the vine lives on. The fruit and vegetables I eat are the fruit or vegetables that would have eventually fallen from the plant, tree or vine, regardless off eating it or not. It would rot on the ground if I didn't eat it. The trees that give fruit live for years to come and many plants and roots will too. You. An take the carrot tops and the carrot will regrow the tops again. You don't kill the source. It gives off fruit if you care for the tree or plant and will do so for years to come. I believe as long as you aren't killing the plant or tree and you're just eating the food it's giving us, it's fine. And you can live organically by pulling weeds by hand and brushing off the bugs or prevent them in the first place. Just a thought .

Buddhist vegetarianism

I am basically vegetarian, but eat meat occasionally. When I am invited to eat somewhere I know I will be served meat, I can't see making a big fuss about it. CFO meat is out otherwise. This happens maybe twice a year. My objection to meat is that I believe CFO meat is cruelly raised and unhealthy to eat. Nice to hear someone else realize that to live means to kill something or you die. That's just the way it is. Plants are sentient beings in their own way, also. One simply cannot stay alive w/out killing some things, bacteria, viruses, sentient beings, plants. This just must be dealt with.
—Guest Buddhacrone

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

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