Why Buddhists Should be Vegetarian
Posted on May 6th, 2012

Sujato’s Blog Buddhism for a small world: views and opinions

Matha yatha niyarn puttarn
Ayusa ekaputtam anurakkhe
Evam pi sabbabhutesu
Manasarn bhavaye aparimanam
(Even as a mother protects with her life, Her child, her only child, So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings.) – The Buddha In Metta Sutta  -Translated from Pali by the Amaravati Sangha.
Please consider becoming a vegan or a vegetarian to reduce the unnecessary killing of animals and reduce their suffering.

The Buddha ate meat. This is a fairly well attested fact. The issue of vegetarianism is addressed a few times in the Suttas, notably the Jivaka Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya. The Buddha consistently affirmed that monastics were permitted to eat meat, as long as it was not killed intentionally for them. There are numerous passages in the Vinaya that refer to the Buddha or the monastics eating meat, and meat is regularly mentioned as one of the standard foods.

For these reasons, the standard position in Theravada Buddhism is that there is no ethical problem with eating meat. If you want to be vegetarian, that is a purely optional choice. Most Theravadins, whether lay or monastic, eat meat, and claim to be acting within the ethical guidelines of the Buddha’s teachings.

This position sits squarely within a straightforward application of the law of kamma, understood as intention. Eating meat involves no intention to do harm. As there is no intention, there is no kamma. As there is no kamma, there is no ethical problem.

The situation in Mahayana is more complicated. Mahayanists, especially in East Asia, embrace vegetarianism, often as a temporary measure for religious events, although the monastics are typically vegetarian all the time. The motivation is, at least in part, an expression of the greater emphasis on compassion in Mahayana. In practice, however, Mahayanists often adopt vegetarianism (as do Hindus) as a rite of purification. This is despite such texts as the Amagandha Sutta of the Sutta Nipata, where the Buddha insists that eating meat is not a source of spiritual impurity. Tibetan monastics, on the other hand, usually eat meat.

Despite the apparently straightforward situation in Theravada, the problem does not go away. For obvious reasons: eating meat requires the killing of animals, and this directly violates the first precept. Eating meat is the direct cause of an immense quantity of suffering for sentient beings. Many people, myself included, struggle with the notion that a religion as categorically opposed to violence as Buddhism can so blithely wave away the suffering inherent in eating meat.

Let’s have a closer look and see if we can discern the roots of this problem. There are a few considerations that I would like to begin with. We live in a very different world today than the Buddha lived in, and Buddhist ethics, whatever else they may be, must always be a pragmatic response to real world conditions.

Animals suffer much more today than they did 2500 years ago. In the Buddha’s time, and indeed everywhere up until the invention of modern farming, animals had a much better life. Chickens would wander round the village, or were kept in a coop. Cows roamed the fields. The invention of the factory farm changed all this. Today, the life of most meat animals is unimaginable suffering. I won’t go into this in detail, but if you are not aware of the conditions in factory farms, you should be. Factory farms get away with it, not because they are actually humane, but because they are so mind-bendingly horrific that most people just don’t want to know. We turn away, and our inattention allows the horror to continue.

The other huge change since the Buddha’s time is the destruction of the environment. We are all aware of the damage caused by energy production and wasteful consumerism. But one of the largest, yet least known, contributors to global warming and environmental destruction generally is eating meat. The basic problem is that meat is higher on the food chain as compared with plants, so more resources are required to produce nutrition in the form of meat. In the past this was not an issue, as food animals typically ate things that were not food for humans, like grass. Today, however, most food animals live on grains and other resource-intensive products. This means that meat requires more energy, water, space, and all other resources. In addition to the general burden on the environment, this creates a range of localised problems, due to the use of fertilisers, the disposal of vast amounts of animal waste, and so on.

One entirely predictable outcome of factory farming is the emergence of virulent new diseases. We have all heard of “ƒ”¹…”swine flu’ and “ƒ”¹…”bird flu’; but the media rarely raises the question: why are these two new threats derived from the two types of animals that are most used in factory farming? The answer is obvious, and has been predicted by opponents of factory farming for decades. In order to force animals to live together in such overcrowded, unnatural conditions, they must be fed a regular diet of antibiotics, as any disease is immediately spread through the whole facility. The outcome of this, as inevitable as the immutable principles of natural selection, is the emergence of virulent new strains of antibiotic resistant diseases. In coming years, as the limited varieties of antibiotics gradually lose their efficacy, this threat will recur in more and more devastating forms.

So, as compared with the Buddha’s day, eating meat involves far more cruelty, it damages the environment, and it creates diseases. If we approach this question as one of weights and balance, then the scales have tipped drastically to the side of not eating meat.

Sometimes in Theravada vegetarianism is slighted, as it is traditionally associated with the “ƒ”¹…”5 points’ of Devadatta. Devadatta wanted to prove he was better than the Buddha, so he asked the Buddha to enforce five ascetic practices, such as only accepting alms food, live all their lives in the forest, and so on. These practices are regarded as praiseworthy, and Devadatta’s fault was not in promoting these as such, but in seeking to make them compulsory. Stories of the Buddha’s childhood emphasize how compassionate he was compared to Devadatta’s cruelty to animals, perhaps because of Devadatta’s asscoiation with vegetarianism. So rather than deprecating the vegetarians as “ƒ”¹…”followers of Devadatta’, one could infer from this passage that vegetarianism, like the other practices, was praiseworthy, but the Buddha did not wish to make it compulsory.

To argue in such a way, however, is clutching at straws. There is a wider problem, and I think the discussions of the issue among Buddhists generally avoid this. And the wider issue is this: meat eating is clearly harmful. That harm is a direct but unintended consequence of eating meat. Since there is no intention to cause harm, eating meat is not bad kamma. There are therefore two logical possibilities: eating meat is ethical; or kamma is not a complete account of ethics.

Let us look more closely at this second possibility. The notion that actions should not be done, even when they involve no harmful intention, is found constantly in the Vinaya. For example, a monk is criticised for baking bricks that have small creatures in them, even though he was unaware of them and did not intend any harm. The Buddha laid down a rule forbidding this.

In another case, the Buddha laid down a rule that a monastic must inquire about the source of meat before accepting it. The context of this rule was that someone had offered human flesh (their own “”…” it’s a long story!) and this rule is usually said to only apply if one has doubts as to whether the food is human flesh. But that is not what the rule states “”…” it simply says that one should inquire as the the source of the meat, and that it is an offence to eat meat without doing so. Needless to say, this rule is ignored throughout Theravada.

These are a couple of examples in the context of causing harm to beings. There are many others. Indeed, there are several Vinaya rules that were laid down in response to the actions of arahants. An arahant cannot act in an intentionally harmful manner, so these rules cannot be taken to imply that the motivation behind the acts was wrong. The acts have unintended harmful consequences, and this is why they are prohibited.

In this sense, if the Vinaya pertains to sila, or ethics, then the scope of sila is broader than the scope of kamma. This is, when you think about it, common sense. Kamma deals only with intention and the consequences of intentional action. This is critical because of its place in the path to liberation. We can change our intentions, and thereby purify our minds and eventually find release from rebirth. That is the significance of kamma to us as individuals.

But ethics is not just a matter of individual personal development. It is also a social question, or even wider, an environmental question in the broad sense. How do we relate to our human and natural context in the most positive and constructive way?

I am suggesting that, while kamma deals with the personal, ethics includes both the personal and the environmental.

As well as broadening ethics in this way, I would suggest we should deepen it. Ethics is not just what is allowable. Sure, you can argue that eating meat is allowable. You can get away with it. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. What if we ask, not what can I get away with, but what can I aspire to?

When we recite the first precept, we say, “ƒ”¹…”I undertake the training to refrain from killing living beings’. This is a challenge, and in itself is a powerful ethics. Yet it is merely a short summary of a principle. It was never meant to fully describe the virtue of harmlessness. When the Buddha spoke of this precept in more detail, this is what he had to say:

Having abandoned the taking of life, refraining from the taking of life, one dwells without violence, with the knife laid down, scrupulous, full of mercy, trembling with compassion for all sentient beings.

This is not just an ethic of allowability. It doesn’t merely set a minimum standard. It calls us out, asking us to aspire to a higher sense of compassion, an ethic that deeply feels for the welfare of all beings. More than just asking, “ƒ”¹…”Does this act come from an intention to harm’, we ask ourselves, “ƒ”¹…”Is this act the best I can possibly do to promote the welfare of all?’ Rather than simply escaping bad kamma, we create good kamma.

One obvious criticism of this approach is that being vegetarian does not mean you don’t cause harm. We hurt beings in many unintentional way, driving cars, buying products, almost everything we do. If we follow this principle to its logical conclusion, we end up with Jainism, and will have to walk everywhere with a cloth over our mouth to keep the flies from dying, and a soft broom to brush the creatures away. (Note, though, that even the Jains have a complex relationship with vegetarianism.) It is simply arbitrary to identify meat eating as the cause of harm. This is, after all, the point of the well-known (though apocryphal) story of Siddhattha as a young boy, seeing the plough turning up the soil, killing some worms, and leaving the others to be picked off by the crows. Even eating rice involves the unintentional destruction of life. The only solution is to get off the wheel.

The problem with this argument is that it confuses the existential with the ethical. On an existential level, quite right, any form of life, even the most scrupulous, will inevitably cause harm to some beings. This is one of the reasons why the only final solution is escape from rebirth altogether. Yet meanwhile, we are still here. Ethics is not concerned with the ultimate escape from all suffering, but with minimising the harm and maximising the benefit we can do right here. It is relative and contextual. Sure, being vegetarian or vegan we will still cause harm. And sure, there are boundary issues as to what is really vegetarian (Honey? Bees are killed. Sugar? Animal bones are used for the purification process”¦ )

But the fact that we can’t do everything does not imply that we shouldn’t do this thing. The simple fact is that eating meat cause massive and direct harm to many creatures. That harm is, almost always, easily avoidable. Becoming vegetarian does not involve any huge sacrifices or moral courage. It just takes a little restraint and care. This is even more so today, when there is a wide range of delicious, cheap, nutritious vegetarian foods available. The choice of becoming vegetarian is, of all moral choices we can make, one of the most beneficial, at the smallest cost to ourselves.

To return to the basic problem. As Buddhists, we expect that the Buddha kept the highest possible ethical conduct. And for the most part, he did. So if the Buddha allowed something, we feel there can’t be anything wrong with it. There is nothing dogmatic or unreasonable about such an expectation. When we read the Suttas and the Vinaya, we find again and again that the Buddha’s conduct was, indeed, of the highest order.

How then, if meat eating is an inferior ethical standard, can it be that the Buddha did it? This is the crux of the matter. And I don’t have an easy answer.

Part of it is to do with the nature of the mendicant life. The Buddha and his disciples wandered from house to house, simply accepting whatever was offered. It’s hard to refuse offerings given in such a spirit. Yet this answer is incomplete, as there are many foods, including several types of meat, that are prohibited in the Vinaya. Clearly the monastics were expected to have some say over what went into their bowls.

There are other considerations I could raise. But I don’t want to press the textual argument too far. In the end, we have a partial, and partially understood record of the Buddha’s life and teachings. For those of us who have been blessed enough to have encountered the Dhamma, we have found it to be an uplifting and wise guide to life.

And yet: we cannot let our ethical choices be dictated by ancient texts. Right and wrong are too important. The scriptures do not contain everything, and do not answer every question. As Buddhists, we take the texts seriously, and do not lightly discard their lessons. Yet there is a difference between learning from scripture and submitting to it.

There are some things that the scriptures simply get wrong. The Suttas make no critique of slavery, for example, and yet for us this is one of the most heinous of all crimes.

Why are these things as they are? I don’t know. I have devoted a considerable portion of my life to studying and understanding the Buddhist scriptures, and in almost all things of importance I find them to be impeccable. But my study has also shown me the limits of study. We cannot access the truth through scripture. We can only access certain ideas. Our understanding and application of those ideas is of necessity imperfect. There is always something left over.

This being so, it is unethical to cite scripture as a justification for doing harm. If eating meat is harmful and unnecessary, it remains so whatever the texts say. Our sacred texts are sacred, not because they determine what is right and wrong, but because they inform our choices and help us to do better.

The principle of harmlessness underlies the very fabric of the Dhamma, and if its application in this context is problematic, the principle itself is not in question. It simply means our scriptures are imperfect, and the practice of ethics is complex and messy. But we knew that already. It is not out of disrespect that we make our choice, but out of respect for the deeper principles of compassion and harmlessness.

 

11 Responses to “Why Buddhists Should be Vegetarian”

  1. Wickrama Says:

    ” …..eating meat requires the killing of animals, and this directly violates the first precept. Eating meat is the direct cause of an immense quantity of suffering for sentient beings.”

    Similarly, growing vegetables involves using pesticides, and tilling the ground invariably involves killing lots of worms and other small creatures living in the soil. So this means in order to avoid indirectly killing these living beings people will have to resort to eating vegetables and fruits grown naturally in the wild !

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    Wickrama. Don’t eat at all like the INDIAN YOGIYA he does not drink water as well. This is what GOTAMA BUDDHA said. Eat what a person gives to you regard less what it is composed of. Gothama Buddha died by eating contaminated Pork, given by a pig farmer. That is the karumaya he explained it clearly.

  3. Shan9 Says:

    SIMPLY it is the INTENTION that gives rise to KAMMA.

    When you grow vegetables the INTENTION is to grow vegetables.

    When you kill animals to eat the INTENTION is to kill and then eat. So the effect of UNSKILFUL KAMMA is MORE when you kill and eat.

    It is like driving a car. When you drive other beings such as insects get killed UNINTENTIONALLY. But iy you drive THINKING thta you want to kill insects etc. by driving then the effect of bad kamma takes place immediately.

    As the article states we are in a different era to when the Buddha lived. We can find enough food items to lead a vegetarian/Vegan life than harming animals and the environment.

    People who eat meat give EXCUSES and are in DENIAL to accept these truths.

    What ever said or done it is BETTER to be a VEGAN/VEGETARIN than to eat meat and kill animals.

    pls refer to these to get more INSIGHT into the subject and to be a better person!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uTJsZrX2wI

    Gary Yourofsky’s entire inspirational speech on animal rights and veganism held at Georgia Tech in summer of 2010. Listen to this amazing speaker who will blow away the myths, fill your mind with interesting facts, and help you make ethical choices for a healthy heart and soul. His charismatic and straightforward style is one of a kind – a must-see for anyone who cares about nonhuman animals or wishes to make the world a better place

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uTJsZrX2wI

  4. Dham Says:

    “Gothama Buddha died by eating contaminated Pork”

    Buddhas are not born and do not die. Only the body dies. But the above statement is uttered usually by non-Buddhist.
    Please show respect to Buddha.

  5. Shan9 Says:

    Gary Yourofsky’s entire inspirational speech on animal rights and veganism held at Georgia Tech in summer of 2010. Listen to this amazing speaker who will blow away the myths, fill your mind with interesting facts, and help you make ethical choices for a healthy heart and soul. His charismatic and straightforward style is one of a kind – a must-see for anyone who cares about nonhuman animals or wishes to make the world a better place.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4

  6. charithsls Says:

    True Buddhists should be complete vegetarians without a doubt;eating meat requires the killing of animals, and this directly violates the first precept though most buddhists eat meat on flimsy grounds though having a guilty conscience.
    Times are different,eating a dead animal as Buddha might have said is quite opposite to commercial killing going on now;scriptures sometimes get wrong;Buddha always said to use your wisdom and not to faithfully beleive;who can deny cruelty and barbarism in animal killing for consumption;fear and fright you creat in the animal mind is undescribable,knowing all these but continuing to eat meat is eye washing;then what about the greed/tanha that goes to eat these;if you are really following a path in buddhism you are required to eat the minimum to keep alive and healthy which is fully provided by vegetarian food contrary to opposite propoganda;it is like buddhists worshipping wild gods with multiple heads and limbs, saibabas;Silabbatha paramasa’;pure pathway has to be found oneself using one’s wisdom.That what Great Lord preached!
    CL

  7. Dham Says:

    Charith,
    Remember vegetarianism is not discouraged in Buddhism unlike other religions.
    But one cannot stress too much on “eating” , whether vege of meat. Just forget about eating and carry on with practice.
    A praticioner cannot demand, dislike or like anything, even Mushrooms.

  8. charithsls Says:

    Dham,
    Right pathway is not ‘carry on with practice’.It should be done with wisdom;Eight fold path depends on ethical conduct (Seela) as the base on which Samadhi and Wisdom develop.A practitioner is two fold ,a lay or ordained one;while the ordained one cannot demand or cook for himself as you say, the lay one like us chooses to consume;there the problem lies.Pathway is clear but anybody can choose to differ to suit his greed.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dham,

    We were taught in school that the Buddha fell ill after eating “sukaramaddava” some type of mushroom. Mushrooms are ‘meaty’ fungi, considered as a meat substitute even today.

    —————

    It is the reality of feeding huge numbers (7 plus BILLION PEOPLE) all over the world that is the problem. People eat what is available to get their Protein needs for the day. Thus the battery farms for beef, chicken, etc. We need to address population growth as well as new ways to find our Protein needs.

    In USA, the ‘mad cow’ disease has reappeared. Some upbeat restaurants in the west coast (California) have started serving INSECTS (mealworms, grasshoppers etc.) served up as palatable as possible in burghers & taco shells. Ugh ! we might say.
    But, insects have more protein, mineral & vitamin value, pound for pound, more than beef. Since insects are the most plentiful and cheapest source of protein, this may be the new food in the world. The Far East indulged in such food a long time ago, out of sheer necessity. Necessity is the mother of invention. So don’t be surprised at a McRoach burgher …I hope I am only kidding.

    However, I am all for the soy burghers. Wonderful flavors & textures, you cannot tell the difference from the real thing. Soy
    mik is great tasting & nourishing too, and I for one cannot tell the difference from the real thing. But, pure vegetarians must take Amino supplements as well as yoghurt.

    With FOOD, it is best not bring too much religion into it. But, it is definitely healthier to be vegetarian.

  10. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Human beings are the only only species to consume the milk of another species. There is no human requirement for milk from a cow. The majority of the world’s peoples do not come from cultures that have a history of dairy consumption. These people often have problems digesting it. And with the advent of modern mechanized dairy production, milk may not be as pure as it once was.
    Lactose(the carbohydrate found in milk) intolerance which causes a range of unpleasant abdominal symptoms, including stomach cramps, flatulence and diarrhea, is a reality for 75% of the world’s population. Even though consuming dairy is unnatural and problematic for many people the US Food Guide Pyramid recommends 2 to 3 servings. One serving is defined as 1 cup of milk, 2 slices of cheese or 3/4 cup of yogurt.
    Whole cow’s milk is a high-fat fluid, designed by nature to turn a 60 lb (30 kg) calf into a 600 lb (275 kg) cow in one year. The consumption of high-fat dairy products has also been found to cause atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. Finland which has a death rate from heart disease that is among the highest in the world, also has one of the highest rates of dairy product consumption.
    The African Bantu woman provides an excellent example of good health. Her diet is free of milk and still provides 250–400 mg of calcium from plant sources, which is half the amount consumed by Western women. Bantu women commonly have 10 babies during their life and breast feed each of them for about ten months. But even with this huge calcium drain and relatively low calcium intake, osteoporosis is relatively unknown among these women.
    Low-fat milk and cheese products are still significantly high in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. For example, 2% milk has become much more popular than homogenized milk, yet it still derives one third of its total calories from fat. Skim milk mozzarella with approximately 15% milk-fat is considered a low-fat cheese, yet a 1-ounce slice contains 5 grams of fat, totaling 56% calories from fat! So don’t be fooled by the “skim milk” label.
    The wide range of skimmed milk products available in grocery stores reflects health concerns over high-fat dairy products. But for many people, low-fat dairy products may still be an unacceptable alternative. Low-fat dairy products linked to heightened allergies
    The high protein content of low-fat dairy products is actually more allergenic than dairy products with a high-fat content. 3 Dairy products are one of the leading causes of food allergies and food sensitivities causing allergic responses in people of all ages, especially infants and young children. It is estimated that about 7% of infants are allergic to cow’s milk protein. Infants who react to milk also have a greater likelihood of developing allergies to other foods.
    Allergies to dairy products can cause a wide range of symptoms including irritability, restlessness, hyperactivity, depression, abdominal pain, cramps or bloating, gas, diarrhea, bad breath, headaches, lack of energy, constipation, poor appetite, mal-absorption of nutrients, nasal stuffiness, runny nose sinusitis, asthma, shortness of breath, rashes, and eczema

    North America has one of the highest consumptions of dairy products, and also the highest incidence of osteoporosis – a disease of brittle bones formed through the loss of calcium. The dairy lobby has many campaigns and advertisements encouraging people to consume large quantities of dairy products to ward off this dreaded disease later in life.
    Regardless of how much calcium you take in, the amount your body can actually absorb and retain matters more.
    The high animal protein intake typical of North American diets can make it difficult to retain calcium. Digesting animal protein creates an acidic environment in the body. To neutralize the acid, the body may rob calcium from the bones. Years of this pattern can contribute in osteoporosis later in life.
    Elderly women with a high dietary ratio of animal to vegetable protein intake have more rapid neck bone loss and a greater risk of hip fracture than do those with a low ratio. This suggests that an increase in vegetable protein intake and a decrease in animal protein intake may decrease bone loss.
    Several studies have found that in comparison with animal protein, soy protein decreases calcium excretion, a result of the lower sulfur amino acid content of soy protein.
    To prevent osteoporosis it is also important to get enough Vitamin D, avoid smoking and limit coffee and alcohol. Weight-bearing exercise such as running, dancing and walking is especially helpful.
    Drinking large quantities of cow’s milk has long been recognized to produce iron-deficiency anemia in infants. Cow’s milk contains less than 1 mg of iron per quart. Very little of this iron is absorbed from the intestinal tract because other constituents of the milk bind with the iron. Many infants drink 2 Litres of milk per day. This tends to satisfy their hunger and they are left with very little appetite for the necessary iron-containing foods. Breast milk is the best source of iron for infants.
    Ovarian cancer is more common in Northern Europe than in Asian populations and the consumption of milk products may be the reason. Studies have found that there is a higher risk of ovarian cancer in women who consume lactose. This was the conclusion of a study published in 2004, that tracked 80,326 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study. A Swedish study of 61,084 women found that high intakes of lactose and dairy products, particularly milk, are associated with an increased risk of serious ovarian cancer but not other subtypes of ovarian cancer.
    Several studies have linked cow’s milk to diabetes in children. Something in milk may cause an immune reaction in diabetic children leading to the destruction of the body’s insulin-producing cells. Breast-fed infants who are not fed cow’s milk seem to have a measure of protection against diabetes. Avoiding cow’s milk may delay or prevent diabetes in susceptible individuals. A 2003 study of 4,701 ten to sixteen year-old adolescents from 11 European countries found that cow’s milk and animal product consumption were associated with higher rates of type 1 diabetes when Icelandic data was excluded.
    Stopping dairy food often improves menstrual cramps, endometriosis pain, allergies, sinusitis and even recurrent vaginitis. Other problems associated with dairy food may include: benign breast conditions, chronic vaginal discharge, acne, fibroids, and chronic intestinal upset. There might be some correlation between over stimulation of the cow’s mammary glands and subsequent over stimulation of our own, resulting in benign breast conditions.
    People who regard milk as “the perfect food” rarely think about milk as a commercial product – prone to the hazards of mass-production. The modern-day cow is bred, fed, medicated, inseminated, and manipulated for a single purpose – maximum milk production at a minimum cost.
    In order to produce milk, a dairy cow must give birth. To maximize their milk supply they are artificially inseminated every year, meaning they are pregnant for a physically demanding 9 months out of every 12. Their calves are traumatically taken from them shortly after birth. The resulting surplus of calves feeds the veal industry.
    With genetic manipulation and intensive production technologies, cows produce an average of 9,500 kg of milk per year — seven times more than they would produce naturally. When their milk production wanes after about four years, dairy cows are sent to slaughter where their worn out bodies are ground up into hamburger.
    These unnatural conditions make the modern dairy cow highly prone to stress and disease.
    The most damaging stress-related disease is mastitis (an inflammation of the udders). It reduces milk yield and directly affects milk quality by altering composition and increasing the somatic cell count (pus). The National Mastitis Council estimates that it costs about $200 per cow per year on the average dairy farm. Mastitis is one of the leading cause of culling.
    Antibiotics, mostly common penicillin, are given to cows for treatment of mastitis. Cows are not supposed to be milked for 48 hours after receiving penicillin. When this precaution is not followed the penicillin appears in the milk in small amounts.
    In 1993, Food and Drug Administration in the United States approved the use of a synthetic growth hormone, rBGH (also known as rBST). This genetically engineered hormone, so far banned in Canada and Europe, has no therapeutic value but to boost milk production. This can cause additional stress, and more frequent bouts of mastitis.
    Foods rich in calcium include dark green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and kale, beans, tofu (made with calcium), tahini, sesame seeds, almonds, figs, seaweeds, and fortified soymilks.
    Since the consumption of animal protein increases calcium requirements, a person following a vegetarian diet may have much lower needs. Although some plant foods contain oxalates and phytate that can inhibit calcium absorption, the calcium in plant foods is generally well absorbed.
    Soymilk is loaded with phytochemicals: particularly isoflavones, genistein and daidzein. Studies have found that these substances reduce the risk of cancer.Most soy milk today is fortified with calcium, B12 and other nutrients that make it as vitamin-rich as its cow’s milk counterpart. Soy protein consumption has been shown to reduce the levels of cholesterol and lessen the incidences of atherosclerosis. Soy also has beneficial effects on obesity and diabetes.

  11. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Cancer is less a disease than a condition existing in the whole human body. Cancer would be almost unheard of if no devitalized food or meats were eaten since cancer cannot exist where there is a pure bloodstream. Avoid meat in all forms including dairy. Meat is a dead matter, low in minerals, and produces uric acid in excess which is a waste product. The incidence of cancer is in direct proportion to the amount of meat and meat products in the diet. Regular meat eaters (especially red meat) have a higher probability of getting cancers, such as colon cancer and prostate cancer. Digestion of meat uses trypsin and chymotrypsin, which are two critical enzymes in the human body to allow the immune system to kill cancer cells. Vegetable proteins do not use up those enzymes. Cancer patient should not eat anything that is not building the immunity system or killing cancer cells. Meat does not contribute to curing the cancer, so meat is should be avoided by cancer patients. There are plenty of foods that help cure cancer, so there is no need to eat meat. Pancreatin enzymes can be destroyed by contact with acids. Diet comprised mostly of processed refined foods and meats may result in lower pH that depletes these enzymes in the human body. Cancer cells metabolize foods very inefficiently and produce acidic wastes. This extra acidity can further lower the pH levels in an already acidic environment for pancreatin enzymes. The lower pH level also enables the cancer to spread by using acid dissolved normal cells as its food source. This strongly acidic lower pH environment, especially local to the cancer is the primary reason that cancer does not normally heal on its own. The colon should be relatively clear during a cancer treatment so that the body can absorb as many nutrients as possible. All foods like meat which ferment in the bowel should be avoided to prevent the accumulation of fecal matter in the colon. The hormones in meat like artificial sex hormone widely used in cattle – Diethylstilbestrol cause cancer of the uterus, breast and other reproductive organs. Dangerous residues of stilbestrol are in 85% of all the meat sold in North America. This is the main reason why fifteen countries around the world now refuse to import meat produced in the US; and twenty one countries have a total ban on the use of stilbestrol in food production or processing. When chemical preservatives and color enhancers are ingested, they cause the body to produce nitrosamines which cause cancer of the liver, stomach, brain, bladder, kidneys and several other organs. Nitrates and nitrites are heavily added to meat during processing. Runoff of nitrates and nitrites from fields sprayed with chemical fertilizers get into drinking water and cause cancer. can lead to cancer. If the digestive system is weak, digestion of meat could produce toxins in blood.

    Though devitalized, processed, and sugared food can also cause cancer even in vegetarians. People, communities and groups who consume less meat have less cancer. Seventh-day Adventists, who eat little or no meat, suffer far less from cancer than the average meat-eating American. High protein diet of Americans is linked to the high incidence of cancer in the US. Anyone who does not eat meat, eats only good food, and does all he can to protect his liver, may never get cancer.
    The second solution is to introduce the appropriate calciums into the body since the body uses calcium as the chief alkalinizer of all body fluids including the intra-cellular fluids. Cancers and tumors can only exist in a predominantly lower pH (acidic) environment caused by a diet rich in dairy foods, meats, grain products, sweets and strong condiments such as black pepper. This is always accompanied by an acute lack of living fruits and vegetables. High acidity destroys bones, because the body has to use alkalizing minerals from bones to keep the blood pH from dropping into the acid range.
    Lactobacillus acidophilus is a friendly organism which helps the body fight disease and restores health. Acidophilus kills the harmful bacteria strain of E. coli in the intestinal tract. Acidophilus breaks milk sugar down into lactic acid. Bacteria which produce putrefaction and gas in the intestines cannot live in lactic acid. Acidophilus also has the unique ability to help the body synthesize, or manufacture all of the ‘B’ vitamins in the system. This makes it especially valuable since there is literally a host of agents which destroy B vitamins. A few are antibiotics, birth control pills, eating sugar and refined foods and drinking coffee. A diet high in red meat will destroy the beneficial bacteria, due to the concentration of antibiotics and steroids given to the animals before they are slaughtered.
    Cancer is fundamentally involved with mal-utilization of protein. Oncologists generally agree that the actual cause of death in cancer patients is cachexia, a condition of severe weight loss and wasting associated with protein mal-absorption. In fact cancer cells are able to grow by making the amino acids of protein available for their growth at the expense of the body as a whole. Meat, especially red meat, being the most readily assimilable protein, becomes a banquet for cancer cells. Emphasizing the use of plant sources of vegetable protein such as legumes and beans that contain cancer-fighting compounds should be a prominent part of an anti-cancer diet.
    The most damaging evidence that meat is a major cause of cancer are studies of people who went into spontaneous remission solely because of a change in their diet. These people almost universally went from a cooked food, meat-centered diet and gave up their meat, their dairy products and their refined sugar and switched to a raw food vegetarian diet, and by simply changing diets their bodies were able to cure their cancer.

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