It may still be debatable whether eating meat is living in accord with the Buddha’s teachings (see Are Buddhists Vegetarian or Vegan?). However, there seems to be a growing sentiment that a vegetarian or vegan diet is more in line with keeping with the Buddhist values of non-violence and wanting to reduce the suffering of the world. Many prominent Buddhist teachers are now actively encouraging their followers to adopt a vegetarian diet. Even Tibetan Buddhist teachers, who have grown up almost exclusively on meat, are inspiring others to eat more vegetarian food.
If you’re considering changing to a vegetarian diet, often the most daunting task is deciding what meals to make to replace your non-vegetarian ones. Most of us have grown up on a non-vegetarian diet, with the meat making up the majority of the meal. So what are we meant to eat if we remove the centerpiece of the meal and the portion that normally fills us up? Being confined to eating only salads for the rest of our life is usually not very appetizing. (more…)
As a Buddhist, a question I often get asked is: Are Buddhists vegetarian? Given the Buddhist teachings focus on compassion and non-violence, it’s not a surprise that many people think all Buddhists must therefore be vegetarian or vegan.
In this video, I explore what the Buddha said about eating meat and how his teachings have affected the landscape of vegetarianism within different Buddhist traditions today. I also discuss healthy attitudes we can embody if we are vegetarian or vegan, and I look at ways we might incorporate the Buddhist teachings of compassion into our eating habits whether we are exclusively vegetarian or not.