Here Are Some Reasons For Being A Vegetarian. Which One(s) Are Yours?
- Health: Consume more vegetables and fresh fruit. Stay away from diseases using animals as media.
- Environment: Help reduce possible pollutions coming from big scale livestock farms, such as chemical use on land and greenhouse gases emissions from animals.
- Religion: Stop producing causes in the chain of causation (Nidana). Made amends for past wrongdoings. Liberate oneself from the cycle of death and rebirth.
What The Books Said
- Three-Character Classic: “Rice, spiked millet, pulse, wheat, glutinous millet, and common millet are the six kinds of grains humans eat. The horses, oxen, sheep, poultry, dogs, and pigs are the six kinds of animals humans keep.”
- The Works of Mencius: “A gentleman shows compassion towards animals. Having seen them alive, he bears not seeing them killed. Should he hear their dying cries, he cannot endure eating their flesh.”
- Nirvana Sutra: “Mahā Kāśyapa asked Buddha, ‘why are you afraid of eating meat?’ Buddha replied, ‘whoever eats meat is slashing at the roots of his kindness.’”
- Proverbs (15:17): Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
Three Levels of Vegetarian Deeds
- Manners: What one does when being with other people and when alone
- Act and dress properly according to the occasions.
- Stay away from dangerous zones.
- Be aware of what comes in & out of our mouth
- Not to eat fowls, beasts, or fish.
- Not to consume onions of any kinds, garlics, and tobacco and products made from them.
Śūraṅgama Sūtra, “To those who are seeking Samādhi (a state of meditative consciousness), stop eating these five kinds of vegetables. Eating them cooked would enhance your sexual desire, while the raw ones would elevate your temper. Even if one could interpret 12 different sutras beautifully, the saints and sages from heaven would not get close to him because of the strong smell from those vegetables.”
Proverbs (23:20): Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh.
- Watch what you say: Do not say what you don’t know, gossip, swear, or flatter others too much.
- Keep your mind/heart cleansed
- Be aware what you think and do when alone.
- Don’t let the thoughts of greed, anger, desire, doubt, and proud occupy you. Stay with Dao.
Conclusion: Advantages of Keeping A Vegetarian Diet
- Be healthier: The less the artificial additives, the less burdens to the organs, and better to the health.
- Put a stop to Nidana (the chain of causation). Eliminate the causes and comes no effect.
“Listen to me and make yourself a vegetarian. From one origin are the humans and animals. So cruel to kill and eat the flesh of your kind! How sad would it be if your places are swapped? (Guanyin Bodhisattva)
- Recovery of your pure self: “Men at their birth are naturally good. Their natures are much the same; their habits become widely different.” Reduce the material desires, rid of the muddle thoughts and keep your mind clear. Thus regain your true and pure soul.
- Let kindness become you.