Guam Buddhist Sangha

American Humanistic Buddhism

FAQ: Do you have to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist? August 7, 2010

Filed under: FAQ,Promoting Vegetarianism with Compassion — memeandbojo @ 11:03 pm

No. It is a personal choice in Buddhism whether you are a vegetarian or not a vegetarian. It makes no difference except to you. There are many Buddhists who are not vegetarians, as well as, many Buddhists who are vegetarians. You are not a better Buddhist by being a vegetarian or by not being a vegetarian. You are a better Buddhist by just discovering and demonstrating to the world your Buddhist’s nature.

We had a small discussion regarding vegetarianism in the English Dharma Study group. I will place some of the discussion here for further insight:

Pramila: Thai and Tibetan Buddhist monks eat meat, fish; Bengali Hindus Brahmins eat fish and rice which is all that is  available to them due to weather and soil conditions in that area.

When one chooses to be a vegetarian or take precepts to do some thing or restrict not to do something, they are practicing yoga.  Literal meaning of yoga is discipline.  When one chooses to be a vegetarian or wear certain clothes, they are practicing yoga.  Just like many forms of meditation.

Benny: Vegetarianism is not a goal. It is one of many forms or way of practice. It is a personal choice in any form of practice.

One most important point (or one can refer to as ‘goal’ ) of Buddhism practice is compassion. Being a vegetarian is one of many forms of practicing compassion. When a practitioner reaches a different level/area, he/she practices in different form/ways of his/her choice.

Susan: I think whatever you want to put into your mouth is a personal choice.  Middle way is the way for me.


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