Meat : Speak Against It

An Open Letter to Monastics Who Eat Meat

In the Theravada Buddhist tradition, vegetarianism is relatively less actively encouraged (as compared to the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions), even by monastics, many of whom consume randomly received alms. However, nowadays, alms food which contain meat is often offered deliberately with planning ahead done by devotees. Though they do not see or hear the animals killed, surely, the monastics more than suspect the animals were in/directly purchased or killed for them.

Even the purchase of meat at the market by devotees connects to the supply and demand loop for the murder of animals. As we know, monastics are not supposed to consume animals whom they had seen, heard and/or suspected to be killed for them. As such, every time a monastic eats offered meat that was purposely gotten for his meal, there is at least an indirect but clear link to slaughter in his name. When the consumption of meat reduces, the killing of animals for meat will reduce. This is undeniable.

The main reason most Theravada monastics do not speak up for vegetarianism is because they are not supposed to be choosy over their food, which is not prepared by them anyway. However, these are really weak reasons not to speak up for the vegetarian cause – because it is entirely possible to have a vegetarian diet while consuming only alms food – by gradual but conscientious speaking of the ills of meat-consumption and the advantages of vegetarianism to devotees.

If the above is done well, devotees are likely to not only turn vegetarian, but offer vegetarian food to monastics too. Fortunately, the irrefutable ills of meat-eating are non-religious in nature, and are thus applicable to everyone, be they Buddhist or otherwise. The reduction of meat-consumption can help to save one’s health, the health of countless animals, the health of fellow starving humans, and the health of the planet. For details on how this is so, please see On a “balanced” note, more Theravada monastics are becoming vegetarian these days, though this trend ought to pick up more quickly.

Related Articles:
How some monks rationalise eating of meat
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3 thoughts on “Meat : Speak Against It

  1. Monastic plays a very important role in this society, on Vegetarianism and Veganism too. Even most of the Vegetarian Suppliers follows the standard of Vegetarianism from there too, like the “no egg, milk ok” thingy, if I am not wrong.

  2. Unfortunately, vegetarian suppliers usually do not adhere to the ‘no dairy’ rule – or they would be vegan suppliers. Now, what’s the problem with milk? There are tons of problems… Please see :sick:

  3. Things changes, in modern days, the production of dairy products are terrible.

    There is a need that Monastics be aware of it and set a good role model for the society, it is the responsibility of the Monastic (great talents comes great expectations, great powder comes great responsibilities!).

    Weighing the pros and cons over “choosy over their food” and “at the expense of the lives of animals” is IMPORTANT. They should know about the sufferings of the animals in the factory farms besides just the pain from being killed.

    People respect monks, if they refuse meat, no one will offer meat. At the sametime, it can educate laymen – loving-kindness, compassion and respect. These are the Monastics that I would really respect.

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