Beef?

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Beef?

Postby SamKR » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:43 am

Followers of Hinduism are prohibited to eat beef (they may eat chicken or lamb etc.). But is it forbidden to eat beef in Buddhism, especially Theravada? Is there any source that talks about this issue?
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Re: Beef?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:59 am

don't think that beef is prohibited but there are rules regarding meat consumption!

BMC1 wrote:The following types of meat are unallowable: that of human beings, elephants,
horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and hyenas.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beef?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:04 am

A slightly peripheral observation to add to Manapa's excellent post is that in my experience many Thai people simply don't like red meat, and I guess that may also be the case in other countries such as Sri Lanka...

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Re: Beef?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:27 am

This question naturally leads into the debate over vegetarianism vs. non-vegetarian diets, discussed here:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=805

The prohibition on certain meats are in regard to what a monastic cannot accept as alms food. Otherwise they abide by the 3 fold rule, accepting what is offered to them. Lay people must choose what to eat.
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Re: Beef?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:31 am

good point David
:anjali:
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Re: Beef?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:40 am

mikenz66 wrote:A slightly peripheral observation to add to Manapa's excellent post is that in my experience many Thai people simply don't like red meat, and I guess that may also be the case in other countries such as Sri Lanka...

Mike

also mae kwan im (kwan yin) plays a part in why a lot of thai people dont eat beef.
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Re: Beef?

Postby suanck » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:53 am

jcsuperstar wrote:also mae kwan im (kwan yin) plays a part in why a lot of thai people dont eat beef.


I agree. I've met some Thais who don't eat beef (cow, buffalo meat), and I believe they're originally from the Chinese ethnic group, and are influenced by the Kwan-Yin sect.

You may like to read an interesting article on the Wikipedia "Taboo food and drink", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo_food_and_drink

Extract:
"... Some ethnic Chinese may also refrain from eating cow meat, because many of them feel that it is wrong to eat an animal that was so useful in agriculture. Some Chinese Buddhists discourage the consumption of beef, although it is not considered taboo. A similar taboo can be seen among Sinhalese Buddhists, who consider it to be ungrateful to kill the animal whose milk and labour provides livelihoods to many Sinhalese people."

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Re: Beef?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:57 am

suanck wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:also mae kwan im (kwan yin) plays a part in why a lot of thai people dont eat beef.


I agree. I've met some Thais who don't eat beef (cow, buffalo meat), and I believe they're originally from the Chinese ethnic group, and are influenced by the Kwan-Yin sect.


Thanks for the info on Avalokitesvara in Thailand, many often overlook all these sorts of teachings and beliefs in SE asia, on a text book assumption that they are "Theravada countries". Things are seldom so simple.

You may like to read an interesting article on the Wikipedia "Taboo food and drink", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo_food_and_drink

Extract:
"... Some ethnic Chinese may also refrain from eating cow meat, because many of them feel that it is wrong to eat an animal that was so useful in agriculture. Some Chinese Buddhists discourage the consumption of beef, although it is not considered taboo. A similar taboo can be seen among Sinhalese Buddhists, who consider it to be ungrateful to kill the animal whose milk and labour provides livelihoods to many Sinhalese people."

Suan


The general point about Chinese is basically correct. In trad Chinese culture, the ox if for plowing the fields, you don't around killing and eating your only tractor! The consumption of dairy produce and red meats, which are becoming more and more popular in modern PRoC, are strongly influenced from the west. It is "food affluence". McD and KFC being classic examples - they are regarded as kind of high class eating! :blink:

However, in that Wiki quote, I quite disagree that "Some Chinese Buddhists discourage the consumption of beef, although it is not considered taboo." Chinese Buddhists place a very high value on vegetarianism. Although not all lay buddhists eat meat, all the monastics do, and thus almost all Chinese lay Buddhists consider that being vegetarian is definitely what should be done. It has kind of become de facto as important as the five precepts for maybe half the Chinese buddhist population. So, yes, they basically "forbid the consumption of beef, and any other animal flesh, and also consider it a kind of taboo".

Regards the Thais and Sri Lankans, I wonder if also, despite the fact that they are Buddhist and not Hindu, the sheer force and influence of general Indian culture on the entirety of SE Asia (from Afghanistan all the way down to Indonesia) plays a major factor here? Not to mention the situation as per the Chinese - the ox is the traditional family farm tractor, not a produce animal.
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Re: Beef?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:36 am

Although the vast majority of Burmese are not vegetarians, in general they do not eat beef. The reasons are that cattle are used in agriculture for ploughing, for transporting goods, and for threshing grain. It is regarded as despicable ingratitude to kill and eat your own benefactor.

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Re: Beef?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:45 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Although the vast majority of Burmese are not vegetarians, in general they do not eat beef. The reasons are that cattle are used in agriculture for ploughing, for transporting goods, and for threshing grain. It is regarded as despicable ingratitude to kill and eat your own benefactor.

See Cow Dhamma by the late Venerable Ledi Sayādaw.


Great link, Bhante!, much appreciated. :)
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Re: Beef?

Postby Bankei » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:17 pm

Thai people generally love eating beef. Korean BBQ restaurants are very popular now! Pork and Chicken are more common because of the price, but beef is still up there.

I haven't heard of anyone avoiding beef except those kwanyin followers and vegetarians.

I've also had a few beef curries in Myanmar.

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