Talk:Buddhist cuisine

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Ancient India being buddhist[edit]

Ancient India was also buddhist?! acourding to who? Buddhism comes from Hinduism not the other way around! Hindu vegeterians are vegeterians for hindu reasons not because of buddha —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.73.47.107 (talk) 21:34, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Vegetarian diet is not equivalent to a Buddhist diet[edit]

I disagree with what has been posted in the first paragraph, as well as the Chinese Translation (I don't know about the Japanese translation) of the term Buddhist cuisine.

The paragraph imply that the term zhāi cài (Traditional form: 齋菜 ; Simplified form: 斋菜) means a Buddhist diet. However, the term zhāi cài (Traditional form: 齋菜 ; Simplified form: 斋菜) simply means a vegetarian diet and can be used on anyone who follows a vegetarian diet, even if it is for non religious purposes.

As such, I suggest changing the following sentence "It is known as zhāi cài " to "It is a form of zhāi cài".

Silverelf (talk) 10:41, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Poor Structure[edit]

I disagree with the first, second, and third paragraphs. The article, as it stands, is poorly structured. The Chinese/Vietnamese section should be researched more closely, as I believe that the no- garlic/onion tradition may stem from Taoism or other Chinese philosophical, or other religious traditions, and may have been transplanted into Chinese Buddhist belief. Vietnam has been DEEPLY influenced by China (indeed, the Vietnamese migrated from southern China to found their state!)(that is QUITE debatable!) and this would account for some of the differences. Basically, this article needs a more informed rewrite, and I lack the knowledge/resources to do it myself at the moment. --prat 01:58, 2004 Feb 17 (UTC)

Plants are "living beings", too, in many religious traditions. That needs to be disambiguated. Also, technically, there is no such thing as "good" or "bad" karma.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 62.252.128.13 (talkcontribs) 17:08, April 15, 2004.

I agree; the English is badly structured. I have re-written the first paragraph; hopefully the intent has not been altered - I am not certain! MonstaPro 18:07, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite[edit]

11/7/04: Major re-write, especially on order-of-presentation/clarity issues. It looked like the part about 'wu hun' being only in limited regions was corrected sometime in between your Feb 17 note above, Prat, and my editing this page, today -- so although I'm not sure what the 1st 3 paragraphs *were* in Feb (and too lazy to look), I'm assuming some of your concerns might also have been addressed with re: 1st 3 paragraphs, by third parties. But I further modified the wu hun part: There are many more than the 4 vegetables which had been cited which are restricted; also, the author had called wu hun 5 restricted vegetables, then listed only 4 vegetables. ;-) Perhaps more accurate is that there are 5 FAMILIES of restricted, odorous vegetables (?), with e.g. onions, leeks, & shallots being all in 1 family, "onions"... but the consensus I found is that any pungent vegetable is restricted, so I specified that no number, although the term 'wu hun,' when translated, may specify 5 (?). I just used the 4 given (which I confirmed), plus some others listed as forbidden by multiple sources, as examples rather than a definitive list.) I replaced, deleted, or gave the caveats regarding a few minor factual oversights re: Buddhism. Generally agreed with the rest... Also added some info., but it can probably still use more perspectives since, as another author pointed out, there are various practices, and various reasons cited for those practices...

As for plants being living beings, I believe today's Buddhist scholars' theory is that until the Greeks created the two (now 5, so even they weren't fully-aware ;-P ) Kingdoms of plants/animals, ancient man thought of all 'living' things as things which move. Check out Genesis (written, what, 1000-2000 BC?), which speaks of 'living' things this way. Not 100% positive that the Eastern ancients ca. Buddha's lifetime shared that limited perspective of 'life,' though, but this has also been addressed in the article by 1) noting that Buddhist vegetarians cite those reasons (as I've personally seen many do), without a POV judgment of whether they're interpreting Buddha's Five Precepts rightly or wrongly according to what Buddha intended, and 2) avoiding the specifics of the Five Precepts and redirecting to the 'Buddhism' page. ;-)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.170.56.179 (talkcontribs) 05:07, November 8, 2004.

the reason some avoid eggs and milk is because of the suffering[edit]

Of the 10-billion animals who are killed each year in the USA, alone, far more are killed world-wide, especially in the European Union, and also in Asia, 'farming' has been turned into a manufacturing operation, and even the government agencies refer to the farms, now, as "factory farms." It is important to recognise that there are those people who choose not to eat animal products from factory operations.

The vast majority of hens chickens are kept in cages, and the floorspace size for Each hen is less than a standard piece of notebook paper, as per the accepted industry standard for floorspace. McDonalds recently (as of WHEN?!) increased the floorspace for their their egg hens, and it is still smaller than a piece of paper. http://www.upc-online.org/fall2000/mcdonalds.html

For dairy products, cows are artificially inseminated, nowadys, to keep them producing milk (only female animals produce milk when pregnant and immediately afterwards). Their calves are taken from them in less than a week, so the milk from the cows can be collected for sale. The cows are milked (generally mechanically), at least twice a day, and they are impregnanted again 2 months after they give birth. This situation has endured for more than 2,000 years.

The intensive milk production results in the cow's body being less able to produce so much milk, and they are killed after about 5 years, compared to living 25 years naturally. On family farms, such as those farms of the Mennonites and Amish, this is this not necessarily the case. (Comment: In MANY FAMILY farms, see also: MENNONITE, these inhumane conditions are not necessarily followed.) The calves either become dairy cows if female, or veal calves if male. Many people wonder WHY it is considered cruel to tae Milk or Meat from these animals. The calves raised for veal spend their entire lives in a staal so small they cannot turn around. Please, inquiry desired! hens http://www.tryveg.com/cfi/toc/?v=04birds

dairy http://www.tryveg.com/cfi/toc/?v=04cows

Diets without foods that result in the unfortunate cruelty: can provide excellent health, even better than the standard diets. Some world record athletes are vegan (Dave Scott), although that is QUITE uncommon. Diets with fewer animal products also require less water and land and energy, and also create MORE (?) air + water pollution and degrade topsoil less.

http://www.tryveg.com/cfi/toc/ has tons more info

Peace, and Namaste :)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.85.82.129 (talkcontribs) 05:29, July 8, 2004.

Anonymous comments removed to here from the article[edit]

I believe that wu han [sic] refers to garlic, scallions, onions, shallots and leeks, which are all members of the lilly family (http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/beyond/factsheets/herbs/herbs2_prog2.shtml)

(a reply, to the original author) This source says all alliums (which are a type of lily): [1] (and it says Tsang-Tsze was the original source)
This source says chives (which is also an allium), but not shallots: [2] (i.e., there are more than 5 alliums)
This source gives two "accounts," rocamboles and dropwart (not scallion or shallot), and ginger (not shallots): [3]
Confusing...
I wonder if anyone has the time to look for the quote of Tsang-Tsze alleged by the first source, or knows of other "primary sources"...? (because perhaps different ancient philosophers considered a different 5 species to be 'pungent,' since there are obviously more than 5 pungent foods in the world, and even more than 5 pungent alliums; anyway, in the present day, it seems like the childhood game of telephone, where the message gets more and more distorted the further you get from the original source...).

It's not just in Buddhism but from what I remember in Hinduism and some of the many more obscure faiths in India but it's found in many religions.

Yep.

Buddha specifically ruled out vegetarianism for monks to be a precept when Devadatta made a request.

(a reply, to the original author) This quote (or paraphrase, more likely, due to the reasons cited in the current article) of Buddha to Devadatta had many caveats in favor of remaining vegetarian when possible (i.e. when not begging), which the existing wiki article concurs with: For a summary, see[4]; there are 3 numbered ones, and more reasoning approx. 2 paragraphs later.
Plus, as someone mentioned, Buddha can be quoted as saying vegetarianism is necessary for monks (see below), and/or to achieve Enlightenment, one day; but then, another day saying that vegetarianism isn't necessary (e.g. to Devadetta). e.g.:
”...How can a monk, who hopes to become a deliverer of others, himself be living on the flesh of sentient beings?...”-Buddha, in Surangama Sutra
"...Ananda, I permit the monks to eat only the five kinds of pure flesh which are the product of my transcendental power of transformation AND NOT OF ANIMAL SLAUGHTER [emphasis added]."-Buddha, in Surangama Sutra.

"...All monks who live purely and all Bodhisattvas always refrain even from walking on grass; how can they agree to uproot it? How then can those who practise great Compassion feed on the flesh and blood of living beings?..."-Buddha, in Surangama Sutra

“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of GREAT COMPASSION [emphasis added; see above quote's use of this term, 'great Compassion'].”-Buddha, in Mahaparinirvana Sutra.
”...If a man can (control) his body and mind and thereby refrains from eating animal products, I say he will truly be liberated. This teaching of mine is that of the Buddha, whereas any other is that of evil demons..."-Buddha, in Surangama Sutra
”The Bodhisattva, whose nature is Compassion, is not to eat any meat... For fear of causing terror to living beings...let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain Compassion, refrain from eating flesh.” Buddha, in Lankavatara Sutra

Today in the Theavarda sect being vegetarian may be seen by other monks as trying to impress - not good.

(a reply, to the original author) ...and if merely being vegetarian makes judgmental people presume that someone is trying to impress, then doesn't being non-vegetarian mean someone is merely trying to gain acceptance as a 'real' monk in the eyes of these judgmental Theravadans, and thus, 'trying to impress' them? ;) Of course not, because it's a silly argument (and fallacious: Appeal to Ridicule) to try to argue against vegetarians OR non-vegetarians on this basis: The person may be a vegetarian or non-vegetarian for personal reasons which have nothing to do with trying to impress anyone, including these judgmental people. e.g., If someone remains vegetarian despite being openly accused of this vanity, then I'd guess he's not trying to make a good impression on the judgmental people, whereas a non-vegetarian who sees someone else (who is a vegetarian) ridiculed as 'vain,' 'trying to impress,' etc. and decides against vegetarianism because they do not want to be the next person to be ridiculed would probably be 'trying to impress' these self-appointed judges by 'fitting in' with them (and someone who is already vegetarian, but changes after being called 'vain' -- if he is, indeed, doing it simply to gain acceptance from the judgmental anti-vegetarians calling him 'vain' -- would probably, of course, be 'trying to impress,' i.e. trying to fit-in with the judgmental people to stop the ridiculing).
The only thing I can add is that no matter someone's religion, people who jump to conclusions (for or against a vegetarian and the 'real' reason why he became vegetarian) are only pretending to know that which they cannot know, or as a wise Greek said a few millenia ago: "Only a fool imagines that he knows what occurs in the minds of other men". For the decision to become a vegetarian is an internal one and therefore, no matter what the individual says, we cannot see, internally, what his thought-process was (and whether it was due to a genuine belief or 'trying to impress others'). ;)

On the Karma issue.. the previous writer is correct. Karma just means actions, actions have consequencies. The aim for Buddhist is to remove themselves from the endless wheel of life and Karma - not to be reborn again in this realm but to gain nirvana. - Anonymous Nov. 12, 2004

(a reply) True, for Buddhism. But like wu-hun, karma is found in various forms outside of Buddhism; not sure if they all have the elimination of beingness/mortality as a goal.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 172.195.140.209 (talkcontribs) 08:47, August 19, 2005.

stolen article?[edit]

http://www.recipeland.com/encyclopaedia/index.php/Buddhist_cuisine has this exact article. Did we steal it from them or they steal it from us? Neither specifies a source.

Just thought I'd mention that.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mparise (talkcontribs) 18:18, June 20, 2005.

I wrote the original of this article back in Nov 2001. However, the entire text has been rewritten by someone else. It is hard to tell the source of the rewritten text now. Kowloonese 00:55, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)

Vegetarianism??[edit]

Seems everybody is ignoring the fact that most Tibetan buddhist not only DO eat meat, but some religious practices in vajrayana are intended to be done WITH alcohol and meat.

There are many reasons for this, one of them is: To eat the animal's meat is an act of compassion, and to do it compassionately will help this animal to make a connection with the Dharma and thus be on his way to liberation.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 200.106.40.225 (talkcontribs) 05:05, November 8, 2005.

structure[edit]

I think the article should focus primarily on the chinese and japanese cultural ideas expressed in their words for monastic foods; that is to say, food that is primarily vegetarian with many meat analogues that sometimes may not include allium vegetables for their "meat-like" aroma and sensory indulgence. What bhuddhist monastics eat outside of China and Japan, or what some sects eat within those areas is not really the issue. A smaller and clearly dileneated portion of this article should confine the discussion of what some bhuddhists might eat in some other place, mostly just with the disclaimer, "Bhuddhist vegetarian cuising of east Asia does not necessarily imply that all Bhuddhists practice vegetarianism, only that vegetarian monastic cuisine has developed as an instituion in those areas and has, in many cases, expanded beyond temple walls." My point is just that what theravedic bhuddhists do or do not eat is not really an issue, because that's not what a chinese or japanese speaker means when they refer to temple food. If a person in Sichuan province eats corn flakes for breakfast one day, it doesn't mean that corn flakes have become Sichuan chinese food!—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.56.70.127 (talkcontribs) 06:10, February 18, 2006.

Onions, Garlic, Root Crops, Jainism, and Nigoda[edit]

Just a note: in Jainism, the main reason that onions, garlic, and root crops are avoided isn't because harvesting them destroys organisms in the soil. Rather, it's because these vegetables are believed by the Jains to contain infinite numbers of minute organisms called nigoda (or perhaps the plural is "nigodas?" I'm not sure). For this reason, eating these crops is seen by the Jainas as extremely destructive and a huge source of karma, as it involves killing millions of organisms. In light of this, I'm not sure if the logic can really be said to be the same for the Buddhist restriction on these crops, since I don't think Buddhism posits the existence of nigoda.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 67.68.152.15 (talkcontribs) 04:50, March 10, 2006.

I've removed the 3rd and 4th paragraphs from the article completely, for a variety of reasons. Firstly it's undue and irrelevant to dedicate the whole 3rd and 4th paragraph of this generic Buddhism article to Jainism: Buddhism is not Jainism and this is a Buddhist article. Secondly, it's completely unsourced. And my third and final reason, from my understanding it is inaccurate; Jains are strict vegans, who filter all water, and must take many other measures in preparing their cuisine to minimize harm to microscopic organisms, therefore Jainist cuisine cannot be described as "similar" to Buddhist cuisine at all, they are nothing alike! Sorry if I've made any Jains feel excluded, but you've got your own articles on this topic. КĐ 02:16, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Blogpost[edit]

Fails WP:V and WP:RS can't be used as a reference for information. If the text can be referenced from a proper place please do so or it will have to be removed.--Crossmr 02:56, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Blog?
Why is any information here based on a blog? That's ridiculous.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 68.199.67.25 (talkcontribs) 06:21, January 11, 2007.
Verifiable sources would stay much argument! MonstaPro 18:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Please help to expand....[edit]

Whoever has read the book of Going forth: Buddhist vision of vinaya (ISBN-10: 0824827872 and ISBN-13: 978-0824827878), please help to add book review on the topic of buddhist cuisine.

Etymological information[edit]

The etymological information removed here is of crucial importance to the topic (specifically the literal translation of the East Asian terms as "purity" rather than "vegetarian"). Can it be reworked rather than eliminating? Badagnani (talk) 23:30, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Done. (For now :) ) shreevatsa (talk) 23:41, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

The literal meaning of the Chinese still appears to be missing. Badagnani (talk) 00:37, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I've checked both my Chinese-English dictionaries and The New Nelson Kanji Dictionary, and the original meaning of "purity" appears to be more or less lost in this context. The proper modern translation of "齋" in Chinese appears to be "(Buddhist) vegetarian food", not "purity food". Translations are not really particularly well-suited in leads in the first place, and especially not if they also include such an oblique handling of etymology. If you want to explain the origin of a certain character, fine, but don't call it a "literal" translation. That's not what etymology means.
Peter Isotalo 00:43, 9 August 2008 (UTC)