1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Vegetarianism for Buddhists

Discussion in 'Buddhism DIR' started by Cathy Hrusa, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. Cathy Hrusa

    Cathy Hrusa New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3
    Religion:
    None, but Buddhism is the closest I come to religion
    Hi all! I'm somewhat familiar with some Buddhist principals and have been more and more interested in it over the past 2 or so years. I want to learn more obviously, but I'm open to following the 5 precepts at least. Anyhow, I've read so many conflicting things about following a vegetarian diet. I'm open to trying it, but want others' thoughts. I've read things like how the Dalai Lama isn't vegetarian and the Buddha wasn't either, but they encouraged it. What are everyone's opinions on it? My train of thought to go even further than not killing any sentient beings is that of the thought of reincarnation. This may be a stretch, but I don't like the thought of potentially eating someone's dead relative, if that makes sense. Disclaimer: I'm extremely new to all of this so please forgive me if my info is inaccurate. I look forward to your replies. Thanks for reading!
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  2. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    29,091
    Ratings:
    +14,863
    Religion:
    Beyond the Light
    I do not identity as a Buddhist, but I certainly have been deeply influenced by Buddhist thought. For me, I see it more as an admonition to simply pay attention to what you put in your body and have a healthy diet of fresh foods with an emphasis on quality.

    I will defer to our resident Buddhists however and a warm welcome to RF. :)
     
    #2 YmirGF, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  3. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    10,317
    Ratings:
    +3,445
    Religion:
    ☿ Mercuræn Buddhist & Ordained Pastafarian
    I would start with meditation rather than diet.

    Welcome to RF. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    2,384
    Ratings:
    +1,484
    Religion:
    Bhedabheda Vedanta
    Hi and welcome!

    Vegtarianism is not incumbent on laymen, but it is on monks. The reason it is not total vegetarianism, is monks are allowed to accept meat given as a gift, not having asked for it. The Dalai Lama would not just eat meat on a whim. Only if it is given spontaneously in goodwill. This is because Buddhists shouldn't snuff out the virtue of generosity, or let the animal's life be wasted- since it has been offered to us.

    The monks are default vegetarians. They are not to slaughter animals, or have animals slaughtered for them.

    Now on to the laymen. Laymen were not compelled by our Lord Buddha to be vegetarian, but I have my own insights about why we should be. The first being that the Buddha did not think eating animals was ideal. He idealized Ahimsa. He thought violence against even mirco-life living in water was destructive. He prohibits monks to dump out water with larvae in it and other such instances- per the Vinaya (the monastic rules).

    Therefore, it isn't hard to infer the Buddha preferred vegetarianism in his community. It's what he wanted us to bring about, but he was realistic about the world we live in. Sometimes other people in his culture, and our culture now- were quite fond of meat. They will eat it regardless, and it is not our karma if they do so. We also cannot compel them through force to stop, or that is destructive.

    The layman should be vegetarian for a few reasons. The first being that when we give food to the monks- we won't be giving them the flesh of animals, which ideally they should not be eating. We also will be living as the Buddha thought most ideal and virtuous. We'll be stopping the slaughter of sentient beings on our parts.

    The Buddha definitely believed vegetarianism was best. His words make that clear. I am a vegetarian because I believe him. I recognize he wanted slaughter of sentient life/animals to cease. As a layman choosing vegetarianism, I have voluntarily done what the Buddha wished for his community.

    I only take meat under the conditions a monk would- if I did not buy, prepare, or ask for it in any way. That is the Buddha's ruling on when meat is not destructive karma on our parts. I think laymen need to be seriously reflecting and asking ourselves what our place is in society. We are the society. We effect the changes in it for better or worse.

    My PERSONAL OPINION is that Buddhists- monks and lay, ought to be vegetarians. Except for the exception allowed by the Buddha for the monks. I cannot make anyone do so, however.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  5. Cathy Hrusa

    Cathy Hrusa New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3
    Religion:
    None, but Buddhism is the closest I come to religion
    I have started meditation. I've been doing it for months now. I guess I just want to go deeper into Buddhism. I'm still very much a newbie though and appreciate your advice. Thank you.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  6. Cathy Hrusa

    Cathy Hrusa New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3
    Religion:
    None, but Buddhism is the closest I come to religion
    Thank you so much for your insight. This was kind of along the lines of what I was thinking of how to proceed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    2,384
    Ratings:
    +1,484
    Religion:
    Bhedabheda Vedanta
    I hope it is helpful to you, and if I can answer any of your questions, don't hesitate to ask. I am happy to hear you have found the Buddha's Dharma, and are exploring it. May it be a help and a blessing for you. I wish you will have success in your investigations and endeavors.

    The Buddha said that even a little Dharma is meritorious beyond measure and produces good benefits and karmic fields when practiced. I offer that thought for your consideration.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  8. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Messages:
    6,514
    Ratings:
    +3,034
    Religion:
    Theism+Jesus(pbuh) influenced by....... Taoism and Buddhism
    Certainly vegetarianism is the ideal for a Buddhist.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. von bek

    von bek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,463
    Ratings:
    +919
    Vegetarianism is not a requirement. In the Theravada tradition monks can eat meat, too. The most important thing is to be moderate and mindful in your eating.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    45,503
    Ratings:
    +14,121
    Religion:
    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    From a practical standpoint, not everyone feels confortable with a vegetarian diet (although I stand surprised at the variety of reasons people offer for not attempting it), and there is no upside to pretending that they do, nor to pressuring unwilling people into conforming to one's expectations in such a personal matter.

    Encouragement to such a diet can and IMO should take the form of gently reminding those around us that it can be rewarding to minimize the meat intake and remiding ourselves that it may help in easing up cattle killing and mistreatment.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    2,384
    Ratings:
    +1,484
    Religion:
    Bhedabheda Vedanta
    The monks can voluntarily eat meat in the Theravada tradition? That is- they can go out and make the circumstances favorable to receive meat in their alms rounds? They can suggest to people that meat ought to be slaughtered on their behalf? Indeed, that would be an interesting difference in how the vehicles approach monasticism, if that's so.
     
  12. von bek

    von bek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    1,463
    Ratings:
    +919
    Monks may eat meat if it is offered to them, as long as the animal was not specifically slaughtered for them. Interestingly, what I have noticed about the monks I have witnessed eating is that those who are American tend to avoid meat while the Burmese monks seem to not mind at all. In the monastic rules the Theravada monks follow, the Buddha Himself allows for monks and nuns to eat meat, provided the animal was not slaughtered specifically for them. (Oh yeah, human flesh is always forbidden. Just in case you were wondering. :))
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    23,381
    Ratings:
    +8,684
    Religion:
    Zen Buddhism
    If you like vegetables, eat vegetables.

    There's no cosmic scorecard that awards you demerit points you if you eat meat. ;0)

    Just keep things in moderation and don't overdo things. Keep in mind the middle way.
     
  14. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Messages:
    6,514
    Ratings:
    +3,034
    Religion:
    Theism+Jesus(pbuh) influenced by....... Taoism and Buddhism
    Actually there is a cosmic scorecard, its called karma.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  15. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2017
    Messages:
    2,384
    Ratings:
    +1,484
    Religion:
    Bhedabheda Vedanta
    Yep and I don't know how much some modern Buddhists take seriously the historical ideas about destructive karma. I also would like to know why some of these Buddhists think they can reject the Blessed One's teachings about karma.

    In history, Buddhists took so extremely seriously the reality of generating negative karma. The founder of my school encouraged a hermit lifestyle for those that couldn't control themselves, he took it so seriously.

    As far as I can tell, karma is an undeniable aspect of Buddhist cosmology. It is among the most important defining features of it.
     
    #15 Buddha Dharma, Feb 16, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
Loading...