All Buddhists are NOT vegetarians.
The Buddha was not a vegetarian. He did not teach his disciples to be vegetarians and even today, there are many Buddhists who are not vegetarians
* Some Buddhists are vegetarians, but some are not.
Attitudes about vegetarianism vary from sect to sect as well as from individual to individual.
On the whole, *Theravada Buddhists do not kill animals themselves but consider vegetarianism to be a personal choice.
* The Vajrayana schools, which include Tibetan and Japanese Shingon Buddhism, encourage vegetarianism but do not consider it to be absolutely necessary to Buddhist practice.
*Mahayana schools are more often vegetarian, but even within many Mahayana sects there is diversity of practice.
In keeping with the original rules, some Buddhists might not purchase meat for themselves, or choose a live lobster out of the tank and have it boiled, but might eat a meat dish offered them at a friend's dinner party..
According to *Theravada, the Buddha allowed his monks to eat pork, chicken and beef if the animal was not killed for the purpose of providing food for monks.
Theravada also believes that the Buddha allowed the monks to choose a vegetarian diet, but only prohibited against eating human, elephant, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyena flesh.
Buddha did not prohibit any kind of meat-eating for his lay followers.
In Vajrayana, the act of eating meat is not always prohibited.
The Mahayana schools generally recommend a vegetarian diet, for they believe that the Buddha insisted that his followers should not eat meat or fish.
*** Since the very beginning of Buddhism over 2500 years ago, Buddhist monks and nuns have depended on almsfood. They were, and still are, prohibited from growing their own food, storing their own provisions or cooking their own meals. Instead, every morning they would make their day's meal out of whatever was freely given to them by lay supporters. Whether it was rich food or coarse food, delicious or awful tasting it was to be accepted with gratitude and eaten regarding it as medicine.
The Buddha laid down several rules forbidding monks from asking for the food that they liked. As a result, they would receive just the sort of meals that ordinary people ate - and that was often meat.
Some Buddhists say :
when you eat meat, you are indirectly and partially responsible for killing a creature but the same is true when you eat vegetables.
The farmer has to spray his crop with insecticides and poisons so that the vegetables arrive on your dinner plates without holes in them. And once again, animals have been killed to provide the leather for your belt or handbag, oil for the soap you use and a thousand other products as well.
It is impossible to live without, in some way, being indirectly responsible for the death of some other beings, and this is just another example of the First Noble Truth, ordinary existence is suffering and unsatisfactory.
When you take the First Precept, you try to avoid being directly responsible for killing beings.
One who eats meat can have a pure heart just as one who does not eat meat can have an impure heart.
In the Buddha's teachings, the important thing is the quality of your heart, not the contents of your diet.
Many Buddhists take great care never to eat meat but they are not concerned about being selfish, dishonest, cruel or jealous.
They change their diet which is easy to do, while neglecting to change their hearts which is a difficult thing to do.
So whether you are a vegetarian or not, remember that the purification of the mind is the most important thing in Buddhism.
***For me the purification of the mind starts by the compassion about our choice of food .
Without neglecting to change our feelings .
Every day we have to work being not : cruel , selfish , dishonest
He who destroys life, who utters lies, who takes what is not given to him, who goes to the wife of another, who gets drunk with strong drinks --
he digs up the very roots of his life. (Dhammapada, 246-247)
The injunction against destroying life is known as the First Buddhist Precept.
A man is not a great man because he is a warrior and kills other men; but because he hurts not any living being he in truth is called a great man. (Dhammapada, 405. Emphasis added.)
All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. (Dhammapada, 129-130.)
Since the Buddha's time, there have been enormous changes in the relationship between human and nonhuman animals. Practices such as vivisection and factory farming would have been unknown to the Buddha, and so of course they are not explicitly mentioned in the Dhammapada. Moreover, the Dhammapada is very concise, and does not catalogue all the possible misdeeds which could be committed against animals
However, although the myriad harms to animals are not all explicitly mentioned in the Dhammapada, we can infer a great deal merely from the First Precept and the teachings against hurting other beings.
It is clear that the Buddha does not want us to kill or hurt animals ourselves.
***Therefore, Buddhists cannot be hunters, fisherpeople, trappers, slaughterhouse workers, vivisectors, etc., nor can we "euthanize" homeless animals in so-called animal "shelters."
What about eating meat?
Some might claim that, as long as people don't kill animals themselves, it is not a problem to eat meat.
However, note that passages 129 and 130 in the Dhammapada specify that we should not "kill or cause to kill.
" When people buy products made from the bodies of dead animals, they must necessarily cause someone to kill those animals. Therefore, meat, leather, and fur are off limits.
It is probably true that, in order to be economically viable, killing older,"" less productive animals is necessary to produce milk and eggs"" -- certainly this is one claim of the egg and milk industries in justifying this practice.
If so, then buying milk and eggs also necessarily causes killing, and thus should be avoided under the First Precept.
Some claim that the contents of their stomach do not matter, only the contents of their mind. However,
the Buddha points out that we should give thought to what we eat:
Not to hurt by deeds or words, self-control as taught in the Rules, moderation in food, the practice of the highest consciousness: this is the teaching of the Buddhas who are awake. (Dhammapada, 185. .)
It is sufficient merely to tell the truth about what is happening to animals and to make a choice , the right one about compassion :
for me VEGANISM is the way .