David N. Snyder wrote:There is no arguing (or at least there shouldn't be, imo) that if the whole world were Buddhist there wouldn't and couldn't be any slaughter houses (no one to do the killing or to be the butchers). So it is at least an ideal state and perhaps a goal, but the Buddha was interested in including as many as possible on the Path from suffering, so used skillful means in my opinion and also knowing that the majority of the people in Buddhism's infancy were practicing Brahmanism (precursor to Hinduism) and still ate meat. Therefore, there is no requirement to be vegetarian, but from one perspective it can be seen as a 'goal' of practice to eventually eliminate flesh foods from purchase and then as you say, the bhikkhus would become de facto vegetarians (by default).
Certainly in an ideal world all would be practicing Buddhists, but then how many Buddhists do actually work in wrong livelihood establishments in Buddhist countries (fishing, slagughter...)? (and yes I know that is a fallacy argument as I do not know of any statistics)
it is one of those things which can not be forced on people, they will kill if they do not have a good enough reason not to, just look at so called Christian countries and Christian who keep the precept not to murder, the Catholic Church is a fine example of that sentencing people to death then getting the state to do the dirty work so on the surface their hands are clean.