Talk:Buddhist vegetarianism

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I removed this

"The Mahayana Buddha"?[edit]

I hate to just remove this, because I'm sure the author must have meant something, but "the Mahayana buddha" doesn't make any sense. I'd love to know what they meant originally. --- Charlie (Colorado) 03:15, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, in point of fact, I believe that phrasing originates with Tony Page who is a published author on this subject. So, I wouldn't agree that it doesn't make any sense. I don't have any strong opinion on whether this is the best wording we can come up with.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 03:18, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Hallo Charlie and Nat (thanks, Nat, for the support!). Well, I know what you mean, in a way, about the phrase "the Mahayana Buddha" - it is not very elegant; it is a bit clumsy. The problem is that there are people on Wikipedia who object if one simply says "the Buddha" when speaking of the Buddha in the Mahayana sutras, because they think that only the Buddha as presented in the Pali scriptures is the "real" Buddha - and that the Buddha found in the Mahayana sutras is bogus. So I coined the phrase, "the Mahayana Buddha", to try to satisfy this segment of Wiki editors. But of course the fact is that nobody knows for sure what the Buddha taught in detail - this ultimately rests on faith and one's own convictions - so I would prefer simply to say in all cases, "the Buddha". "The Mahayana Buddha" certainly has a meaning - which could also be expressed as "the Buddha in the Mahayana sutras" - but I can understand some people's not finding it very pleasing to the ear! I'll perhaps change it to "the Buddha in the Mahayana sutras" or something similar. All the best to you both. From Tony. TonyMPNS 19:41, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Not sure this is the place to write, however: The shurangama sutra, is quite clear on the point of killing, eating meat, milk, butter etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

Some Questions with the Term and information[edit]

"Chinese Mahayanists often do not accept the Pali suttas as definitive when they conflict with the Mahayana sutras and consequently do not accept that Gautama Buddha, being a Boddhisattva Buddha, ever ate meat."

From my knowledge, Boddhisattva is different from Buddha, and hence, the merging of two terms seem to be an error. Furthermore, from my knowledge, Mahayana does accept that Buddha eat meat, though i am unable to cite any evidence for that. I did not edit the page due to my lack of reliable sources and supporting evidence. However, i hope that someone can clear this article up, thanks. 16:41, 12 May 2007 (UTC)Lim Suang

  • Hallo! I agree with you that the term Bodhisattva Buddha is odd: I've never heard it before. It seems superfluous, because every full, complete Buddha was at one time a Bodhisattva!

On the other point: what Mahayana Buddhists believe is one thing; what the Mahayana sutras teach - is another. There are a number of major Mahayana sutras that expressly portray the Buddha as saying meat consumption is wrong. I don't know of any Mahayana sutras in which the Buddha says that it is good to eat meat - or that he himself is a meat-eater. Of course, there may be such sutras - but I have never encountered them! Best wishes. From Tony. TonyMPNS 16:51, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Western Buddhists?[edit]

I know we're few in number, but should a note about buddhist practitioners in the west be added, since a very high number of us are vegetarian? This is english language wikipedia after all. Rupa zero 15:47, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Hallo Rupa zero. Thank you for your interesting comments. I have some sympathy with what you say. I think the difficulty is that Western Buddhists include lots of meat-eaters as well as vegetarians! Unless we have statistics that show that "most" Western Buddhists are vegetarians - it might just add to the general confusion! But of course you may well be right that a good many Western Buddhists are in fact vegetarian. Best wishes to you. From Tony. TonyMPNS 19:44, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Majority of Buddhists in the West are immigrants from Asia. Very small number of Westerners convert to Chinese Buddhism, which is the only sect which explicitly endorse vegetarianism.
  • Whoever wrote the above (dubious) comments, beginning, "the majority of Buddhists ...": would you please sign and date your posting here. Thanks! TonyMPNS 16:18, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Structure of the article[edit]

The present structure of this article is very unsatisfactory. The first section, "Views of different schools", and the second one, "Eating meat versus killing", do not deal with different aspects of the topic. There is no real difference between their contents, so the structure looks arbitrary and is not helpful. There is no good reason to keep them as separate sections. Instead I suggest four sections for this article: The first one on the Buddha's own diet as seen by neutral historians, and the other three on Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana diet rules and teachings, respectively. 16:56, 11 August 2007 (UTC)


For a change, I came to a Wikipedia article as a consumer, rather than a producer. I didn't get much. This article is repetitive, insufficiently cited, and seems NPOV, and to have an axe to grind *against* vegetarianism.

I am not myself vegetarian, but was having a conversation with a friend who considers herself Buddhist, and asserts that Buddhism requires vegetarianism.

This article doesn't add as much to that discussion as I'd like to see.
--Baylink 22:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Hallo Baylink. Ha ha!! I agree with you! I sense that certain Buddhists have a bad conscience about eating murdered animals and are desperate to make people believe that even Mahayana Buddhism does not require vegetarianism (whereas the Buddha in certain key Mahayana scriptures insists that vegetarianism is in fact necessary). So I think your instincts about this article are right. Others will, of course, disagree with us! Best wishes to you. From Tony. TonyMPNS 23:54, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  • What about discussing Dzogchen in the article? My impression is that Dzogchen practitioners are positively encouraged to eat meat! (talk) 06:23, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Four years later, this article still reads like a distinctly defensive, anti-vegetarian tract. The overall tone seems to be one of justifying the eating of meat by Buddhists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:14, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

That's exactly what's happening! Tony is right that Theravada Buddhists, or followers of the Pali Canon, see the Mahayana Sutras as forgeries. And yes, they attempt to subtly discredit Mahayana, and justify their meat eating. Even followers of Mahayana attempt to alter the teachings to suit themselves! That is not what Buddhism should be, the Buddha taught the Hinayana, then the Mahayana when his followers were prepared, and finally revealed the Truth in the Lotus and Nirvana Sutras. This is explained in the sutras themselves. Unfortunately, people prefer to cling to certain teachings that suit them. Until they drop their arrogance, however, they will not attain Buddhahood. - Steve Milburn (I have an account here, but I don't know how to link it here, and I don't think I'm logged in ATM) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Korean monks[edit]

All Korean monks and nuns who observe the Vinaya, that is to say, all those monks who are not part of such sects as the Cheon Tae Jong, will have received their Bodhisattva vows as will which strictly forbids the consumption of meat and the five pungent vegetables. It is wrong to say that most eat meat when outside of their monasteries. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jmlee369 (talkcontribs) 07:21, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Engaged Buddhism NPOV discussion[edit]

This section appears to present opinion as fact, specifically the phrase "Therefore, consumers who are following the Buddha's Dhamma will now be vegans." This is not necessarily incorrect, but it is a matter of debate and its presentation in this section in my opinion contravenes the NPOV policy. A rewording of the section may help it, but it is arguable that the section is culturally imperialist by giving undue influence to the views of Western Buddhist vegans (veganism being a practice that is almost exclusively undertaken in the West). (talk) 01:21, 11 August 2008 (UTC)cara

It's also partly written in the first person ("Some Buddhists feel that for those of us who are consumers and purchase our own food...") and it shouldn't be.Steve3742 (talk) 10:59, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Lack of Citations[edit]

This whole article has a lack of citations. I've marked some of them, but there's many more. Given the huge size of the Pali Canon, I don't think you can just say "in the Pali Canon..." and leave it at that. To be a proper citation, the sutra needs to referenced at the very least. In fact, you should be more specific, if possible, but the sutra at least. A lot of the Pali is on line, so a web reference might also be included. In particular, the oft mentioned time when Buddha refused to institute vegetarianism when asked to do so really needs to referenced as it's a key argument.Steve3742 (talk) 10:32, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

It's in Book of the Discipline, Pali Text Society, vol V, chapter VII. Peter jackson (talk) 16:06, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


Someone posted this above incorrectly (so that comments could not be added). I'm reposting it here:

""According to a blog post at - , Buddhist scriptures contain the following statements relating to vegetarianism:

from The Dedication of Merit—8th century

Let the animals be free from the fear of being devoured… Let the bodhisattvas' wishes for the well-being of the world become reality. May everything that these protectors intend be realized for all sentient beings… Let all the sufferings of the world come to an end in me…

from Against Animal Sacrifice—Dated Between Year 964 to 1032

What need to destroy so many lives in quest of rich and exotic flavors? People gorge themselves from cup and tray to the music of reed pipe and song, as butchered animals scream on the chopping block. Alas! Could anyone with a human heart be so insensitive as this? That the whole world engages in this without realizing its error, surely this is [an] example of something so painful that one weeps endlessly with grief?

When you know that the creatures on your tray come, struggling and squealing, from the chopping block, then you are making their extreme anguish your greatest delight. You would never be able to get them down, even if you tried to eat them. Is it not the height of insensitivity? It is not appropriate to take life in order to make one's living. In the quest for food and clothing, some people may take up hunting, others fishing, others the slaughtering of oxen, sheep, pigs, dogs in order to make food and clothing, all with the thought of obtaining a regular livelihood. And yet, I find that persons who do not engage in such professions still have clothing and still have food to eat. By no means are they fated to die of exposure or starvation. To make one's living by taking life is something that in principle is condemned by the gods...There is no more certain means than this when it comes to planting the seeds for rebirth in the hells and evil retribution in lives to come. How could you face such pain and not seek a different livelihood?

I tell you people that, if you have no other means to make a living, it is far better to beg for your meals. To live by killing is no match for bearing your hunger and dying of starvation. How could you not restrain yourself?

I pray that all will refrain from taking life, and that household after household will observe vegetarian fasts. The buddhas will be filled with joy, and the myriad gods and spirits will extend their protection to you. Armed conflict will for ever cease; punishments may never need be applied; the hells will be emptied; and people will for ever depart from the causes that produce the ocean of miseries. "

It could be integrated in the article, but this was not the proper way to do it. -- 17:48, 3 September 2006 (UTC)"

I'm going to have to say that this should NOT be included in the article. Firstly, the source is inherently biased. We are looking for Buddhist views on vegetarianism, not vegetarian's views on Buddhism in support of their lifestyle choices.

The supposed "Buddhist scriptures" they quote I've certainly never heard of. A quick Google search reveals that, in fact, only SuperVegan seems to have access to them?

It's strange that a scripture apparently on the subject of "animal sacrifice" instead specifically refers to killing animals for meat, out of greed and for self-satisfaction. The Buddha discouraged any actions that caused suffering and were motivated out of pure greed. But when it comes to simply sustaining your own life while trying to cause as little suffering as possible, this is another story. Either way, Animal Sacrifice is not the subject here.

Quotations such as "Let the animals be free from the fear of being devoured…" that are cherry-picked without the entire original source being available are of no use. You cannot take this quote and say that it means the Buddha promoted only vegetarianism. By eating anything, including vegetarian meals, killing results, directly and indirectly. What's important is to be mindful of this fact, and try to reduce suffering as much as possible within our means, without sacrificing ourselves... the Middle Path... even Buddha stopped practicing asceticism.

--Somnilocus (talk) 16:03, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 July 2012[edit]

Under the section on Japanese Buddhism it says: "The Shingon sect founded by Kūkai also does not prescribe a vegetarian diet for its monks." However, I am a Shingon Buddhist nun and this is not accurate. During any religious observations, ceremonies and rituals, and whilst undertaking any form of religious training, Shingon Buddhist monks and nuns observe a strict vegetarian diet. Furthermore, there is a strong emphasis on vegetarian cuisine, shojin ryori, within Shingon temples, particularly in Koyasan, the monastic town founded by Kukai. However, the choice to maintain a vegetarian diet or not in everyday life is left up to the individual monk or nun. Reference: "Koyasan no Shojin Ryori" (The Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine of Mt Koya) by Koyasan Shingonshu Sohonzan Kongobuji (Kongobuji, the Headquarters of the Koyasan Shingon Sect), published by Gakushu Kenkyusha, ISBN 10 405402775X, ISBN 13 978-4054027756

Catekodo (talk) 23:21, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for letting us know about this. I am unable to read this source in Japanese, but I will start looking into English sources and hopefully make changes if the original statement is incorrect. Tengu800 23:43, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
I closed the request to clear the backlog.--Canoe1967 (talk) 03:13, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

The Subject Name Should be Changed[edit]

Since this article is about "Diet in Buddism" and differeing views on diet this should be renamed this. Thanks SH 16:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I think that this article attracts the interest it was designed to attract. Leave it as it is. MaynardClark (talk) 20:43, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


I couldn't find slugs listed as a prohibited food in the citation given. I didn't want to change it because maybe I missed it and I am not knowledgeable on the subject to know where to look next. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

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