Most Indian religions have philosophical schools that forbid consumption of meat and Jainism institutes an outright ban on the same. Consequently, India is home to more vegetarians than any other country. About 30% of India's 1.2 billion population practices lacto vegetarianism, with overall meat consumption increasing. The per capita meat consumption in India in 2002 was 5.2 kg, while it was 24 times more in the United States at 124.8 kg. Meat consumption in the United States and India grew at about 40% over the last 50 years. In 1961 Indian per capita meat consumption was 3.7 kg, while the US consumption was 89.2 kg. (1 kg = 2.205 lb)
The First Precept prohibits Buddhists from killing people or animals. The matter of whether this forbids Buddhists from eating meat has long been a matter of debate.
The first Buddhist monks and nuns were forbidden from growing, storing, or cooking their own food; they relied entirely on the generosity of alms to feed themselves, and were not allowed to accept money to buy their own food. They could not make special dietary requests, and had to accept whatever food almsgivers had available, including meat. Monks and nuns of the Theravada school of Buddhism, which predominates in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and Laos, still follow these strictures today.
These strictures were relaxed in China, Korea, Japan, and other countries that follow Mahayana Buddhism, where monasteries were situated in remote mountain areas and the distance to the nearest towns made daily almsrounds impractical. There, Buddhist monks and nuns could cultivate their own crops, store their own harvests, cook their own meals, and accept money to buy anything else they needed in terms of food in the market.
According to the Vinaya Pitaka, when Devadatta urged him to make complete abstinence from meat compulsory, the Buddha refused, maintaining that "monks would have to accept whatever they found in their begging bowls, including meat, provided that they had not seen, had not heard, and had no reason to suspect that the animal had been killed so that the meat could be given to them". There were prohibitions on specific kinds of meat: meat from humans, meat from royal animals such as elephants or horses, meat from dogs, and meat from dangerous animals like snakes, lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas.
On the other hand, certain Mahayana sutras strongly denounce the eating of meat. According to the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Buddha revoked this permission to eat meat and warned of a dark age when false monks would claim that they were allowed meat. In the Lankavatara Sutra, a disciple of the Buddha named Mahamati asks "[Y]ou teach a doctrine that is flavoured with compassion. It is the teaching of the perfect Buddhas. And yet we eat meat nonetheless; we have not put an end to it." An entire chapter is devoted to the Buddha's response, wherein he lists a litany of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional reasons why meat-eating should be abjured. However, according to Suzuki (2004:211), this chapter on meat-eating is a "later addition to the text....It is quite likely that meat-eating was practiced more or less among the earlier Buddhists, which was made a subject of severe criticism by their opponents. The Buddhists at the time of the Laṅkāvatāra did not like it, hence this addition in which an apologetic tone is noticeable." Phelps (2004:64–65) points to a passage in the Surangama Sutra which implies advocacy of "not just a vegetarian, but a vegan lifestyle"; however, numerous scholars over the centuries have concluded that the Śūraṅgama Sūtra is a forgery. Moreover, in the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the same sutra which records his retraction of permission to eat meat, the Buddha explicitly identifies as "beautiful foods" honey, milk, and cream, all of which are eschewed by vegans.
In the modern Buddhist world, attitudes toward vegetarianism vary by location. In China and Vietnam, monks typically eat no meat (and with other restrictions as well—see Buddhist cuisine). In Japan or Korea some schools do not eat meat, while most do. Theravadins in Sri Lanka and South-east Asia do not practice vegetarianism. All Buddhists however, including monks, are allowed to practice vegetarianism if they wish to do so. Phelps (2004:147) states that "There are no accurate statistics, but I would guess—and it is only a guess—that worldwide about half of all Buddhists are vegetarian".
lyndon taylor wrote:Vegetarian food can kill you, just ask this poor deceased woman!!
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/05/ ... =sec&or=tn
lyndon taylor wrote:I just found it ironic that we keep hearing repeated on these forums how much more reasonable meat eaters are than vegetarians and vegans in particular, this article would argue otherwise!!!
Spiny Norman wrote:lyndon taylor wrote:
I guess nobody likes having their lifestyle choices challenged.
lyndon taylor wrote:It seems you have all kinds of selfish compassion for yourself and your health, but no compassion for the poor animals being killed for your plate, let alone any compassion for those that choose not to kill any more animals than is absolutely necessary, which as Ron quoted above may be up to as much as 50% of Buddhists.
lyndon taylor wrote:its people like you that give meat eaters a bad name, devadattu ended up becoming an arahant according to another poster, don't know if that's true, any way vegetarianism is a moral decision, just not part of your morality, if you want to accumulate your karma the way you want that's your business, I suggest you stay out of other people's business like mine.
Whether you want to be guilty or not is your prerogative.mahat wrote:Millions of animals/sentient beings are killed in farming to save crops from "pests" -- do vegetarians feel guilt about them?
Why should meat eaters feel guilty about animals being raised for actual food?
Fiber is good for us. It helps prevent diseases and is part of a healthy diet. Meat has no fiber. So if all you eat is meat you will raise your risk of contracting many diseases.mahat wrote:It's a relationship mankind has developed due to his losing his ability to digest plant food (see Aganna Sutta when plants started defending themselves from our greed by evolving husks) real vegetarian animals can digest cellulose, humans can't which is why it's fiber for us.
What did you do, hit him over the head with a T-bone steak?mahat wrote:Beef also helped me overpower an autistic teenager twice my size and weight who scares the heck out of his teachers due to his aggressive behavior -- he can literally bite your skin off.
mahat wrote:So meat does give you the physical strength to fight of what can only be described as "demonic forces".
You're forgetting delusion. Freudian slip methinks.mahat wrote:Buddha loved us all and as long as we do plenty of good deeds, and meditate everyday, he couldn't care less about what we ate as long as we are free of aversion, lust and greed... the Vinaya clearly states killing of an animal is a relatively minor offense compared to killing a human. The human birth can redeem everyone, so let's not waste it.
How about if meat eaters have aversion? Would they be like Devadatta as well or are only vegetarians allowed that dubious honor?mahat wrote:If vegetarians have aversion, they are not doing The Lord's teaching and are like unto Devdatta who never even became a stream enterer and will be trapped in this merciless world -- Buddha called this world the slaughter house.
Mckoll wrote:Sheesh, I've read radical vegans online but this is the first radical meat eater I've ever encountered.
Aloka wrote:Sheesh, I've read radical vegans online but this is the first radical meat eater I've ever encountered.
Its not the first for me, unfortunately, which is why I've decided to try not to waste my time by having discussions with them.
Mkoll wrote:What I find peculiar is that he thinks vegetarians will go to hell. I mean, that's just really out there.
"How strange! How very strange indeed!
The grandson marries the grandmother.
The daughter is eating her mother's flesh,
And the son is beating on a drum stretched with his father's skin.
Pigs and sheep are sitting on the couch,
And the six kinds of relatives are cooking in the pots.
People have come to offer congratulations,
But I see that it is truly suffering!"
mahat wrote: The animal is fed, protected and in turn it provides us with meat.
Buddha loved us all and as long as we do plenty of good deeds, and meditate everyday, he couldn't care less about what we ate as long as we are free of aversion, lust and greed...
If vegetarians have aversion, they are not doing The Lord's teaching and are like unto Devdatta who never even became a stream enterer and will be trapped in this merciless world -- Buddha called this world the slaughter house.
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