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BUDDHISM

I do not see any reason why animals should be slaughtered to serve as human diet; there are so many substitutes. After all man can live without meat.
(Dali Lama, The Vegetarian Way, 1967)

Pray let us not eat any flesh or meat whatsoever coming from living beings. Anyone who eats flesh is cutting himself off from the great seed of his own merciful and compassionate nature, for which all sentient beings will reject him and flee from him when they see him acting so. . . Someone who eats flesh is defiling himself beyond measure . . .
The Buddha in the Brahmajala Sutra, quoted in Buddhism and Animals: A Buddhist Vision of Humanity's Rightful Relationship with the Animal Kingdom, Dr. Tony Page, UKAVIS Publications, London, 1999, pg. 132.

For fear of causing terror to living beings, Mahamati, let the Bodhisattva [Buddhist practitioner who is striving to become enlightened] who is disciplining himself to attain compassion refrain from eating flesh. . . let the Bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to abide in great compassion, because of its terrifying living beings, refrain from eating meat . . . let the Bodhisattva, whose nature is pity and who regards all beings as his only child, wholly refrain from eating meat. . .
The Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra, quoted in Buddhism and Animals, pg. 134.

If, Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. The Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra, quoted in Buddhism and Animals, pg. 136.Thus, Mahamati, meat eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.
The Buddha in the Lankavatara Sutra, quoted in Buddhism and Animals, pg. 138.

O good man, one who takes flesh kills the seed of great compassion!
The Buddha in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, quoted in Buddhism and Animals, pg. 140.

Whenever I visit a market and see the chickens crowded together in tiny cages that give them no room to move around and spread their wings and the fish slowly drowning in the air, my heart goes out to them. People have to learn to think about animals in a different way, as sentient beings who love life and fear death. I urge everyone who can to adopt a compassionate vegetarian diet.
The Dalai Lama, in an audience granted to Norm Phelps and Heidi Prescott of The Fund for Animals, Washington, D.C., November 10, 1998.

One day I went to visit a small lake to offer food to the fish that we had previously freed there. On my way back someone said, "By the way, did you see the poultry farm?" All of a sudden I had a vision where I saw large groups of chickens marching along carrying banners on which it was written, "The Dalai Lama not only saves fish, but even feeds them. What does he do for us poor chickens?" I felt terribly sad and sorry for the chickens . . . We no longer raise poultry in our settlements.
The Dalai Lama, in Imagine All the People: A Conversation with the Dalai Lama on Money, Politics, and Life as It Could Be, by the Dalai Lama and Fabien Ouaki, Wisdom Publications, Boston, 1999, pg. 30.

In order to satisfy one human stomach, so many lives are taken away. We must promote vegetarianism. It is extremely important.
The Dalai Lama, Live in a Better Way: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness, compiled and edited by Renuka Singh, Viking Compass, New York, 2001, pg. 68.

Feeling unbearable compassion for all animals in the world who are killed for food, I went back before the Jowo Rinpoche [JO-wo RIM-po-shay, a statue of the Buddha in Lhasa], prostrated myself, and made this vow: 'From today on, I give up the negative act that is eating the flesh of beings . . .
Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol (1781-1851), in The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin, translated by Matthieu Ricard, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY, 2001, pg. 232.

Nonviolence against humans cannot take firm hold in a society as long as brutality and violence are practiced toward other animals.
Robert Thurman, Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness, Riverhead Books, New York, 1998, pg. 123.

Zen monasteries donít keep cows or drink their milk for the same reason the Buddha himself didn't drink milk - it deprives the calves of it.
Roshi Philip Kapleau, Zen: Merging of East and West, Anchor Books, New York, 2000, pg. 239.

Most of us are able to obtain an abundance of nonflesh foods that can keep us robustly healthy our whole lives. With such a variety of nonanimal foods available, who would choose to support the slaughter mills and foster the misery involved in factory farming by continuing to eat flesh? . . . It is sad to see how many American Buddhists are managing to find a self-satisfying accommodation to eating meat . . . [In the first Bodhisattva vow of Mahayana Buddhism] we commit our compassion to all beings, not just humans. Eschewing meat is one way to express that commitment to the welfare of other creatures."
Bodhin Kjolhede, Abbot of the Rochester Zen Center and dharma heir of Roshi Philip Kapleau, in "Meat: To Eat It or Not," Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Winter 1994, pg. 58.

In every country in the world, killing human beings is condemned. The Buddhist precept of non-killing extends even further, to include all living beings.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Interbeing: Fourteen Guidelines for Engaged Buddhism, Parallax Press, Berkeley, 1983, pg. 42.

We must look deeply. When we buy something or consume something, we may be participating in an act of killing. This precept [non-killing] reflects our determination not to kill, either directly or indirectly, and also to prevent others from killing.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living, Parallax Press, Berkeley, 1992, pg. 82.

 

 

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