Vegetarianism is not a condition for liberation or enlightenment, which is the purpose of Buddhist practice. And so it seems that Buddhist vegetarians are doing something unnecessary. Because if different Buddhist disciplines are able to practice without the necessity of being vegetarian, what do we have to do to become vegetarian? Although generally speaking, the number of vegetarians is on the rise for a variety of reasons, but only in terms of the majority of Buddhists’ awareness of vegetarianism, the number of vegetarians not much.
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On the contrary, such skepticisms and arguments against the vegetarian diet seem to be more and more apparent, even appearing at some of the monks in the Theravada tradition. In fact, the number of vegetarian Buddhists is still very modest, if not very low, compared to the overwhelming majority of vegetarians only on certain days of the month, or even not vegetarian This does not seem to be appropriate with the teachings of compassion as well as the teachings of cause and effect that all Buddhists believe and follow.
First of all, Buddhists have two reasons for being vegetarian. The first is compassion. If you do not have compassion, or at least do not agree with the compassion of others, you have not had a good sympathy for Buddhism, let alone become a Buddhist. Therefore, all Buddhists are in the process of cultivating compassion or at least supporting, agreeing with the compassionate practice of others. If you have doubts about your own compassion, you can self-verify through a few simple questions. Watching the news every day on television, each time a disaster occurs somewhere in the world that hundreds of people die, thousands of people lost their homes, living miserably and in need, you will feel how? Can you be cold-hearted? Will, there be a throbbing heart in your heart, it makes you or your tears, or the urge to do something to share with others? Or do you sometimes go out on the street and accidentally witness a tragic accident, you can indifferently walk without hesitation? Or will you stop by and help if needed? Even if you cannot help, there is no compassion in your heart. Emotions emanating from suffering are completely natural in almost every human being, not just Buddhists. However, Buddhists who follow the Buddha’s teachings should always cultivate compassion and turn those emotions into thoughts, words, and actions according to two specific goals: rescuing suffering and bringing joy to others. Suffering and joy is the meaning of compassion.
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