Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are all Buddhists vegetarian?

No. In fact, many Buddhists, including myself, eat meat from time to time. The Dalai Lama, who despite his exile, is the political leader of the Tibetan people, eats meat, which I have read is for health reasons. Finally, even the Buddha himself ate meat, although his death at age 80 has by some scholars been attributed to food poisoning, but this remains controversial. The main concern during the Buddha's time was that slaughtering animals in order to provide monks with a special meal was equated to animal sacrifice, which the Buddha was against. Therefore, any meat that was provided to a monk begging for alms must not be from an animal that was killed specifically for that purpose. This of course meshes well with the First Moral Precept, that one should not kill, nor encourage others to do so.

Since there are many more details about this issue, and I am by no means a Buddhist scholar, I will leave the rest of the explanation to the following article and Wikipedia.

I hope this helps. For more information about my personal perspective on vegetarianism (which has been influenced by Buddhist concepts) stay tuned for my next post.

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