Buddhists must become vegetarians in the month of Vesak
Posted on May 8th, 2017

Mrs. M. Weeraratna Colombo 05

The practice of religion requires effort. It calls for personal sacrifice, self – restraint and discipline. Above all such practice must be overarched by compassion and kindness based on a clear moral footing. Then the practice becomes noble in character.

When we look around our society we see Muslims conduct an annual fast during the month of Ramadan. Not even a drop of water is taken during the time of fasting. The purpose is to simulate the pain and suffering and develop an insight into the plight of the poor who do not have enough food to eat and drink and therefore are forced to go hungry and thirsty regularly. Fasting helps one to better equip himself / herself morally and generate empathy for the disadvantaged.

The celebration of Vesak is not meant to make one indulgent. Vesak is the day that commemorates the themagula – Birth, Enlightenment and Parinirvana of the Buddha. It is a day for observance of Sil (meditation and quiet reflection on a disciplined footing). If Islam can promote empathy for the poor through fasting, likewise Buddhists can show compassion and loving kindness for all those beautiful innocent animals who are slaughtered, by becoming vegetarian at least for the month of May.

The consumption of flesh food invariably results in the slaughter of innocent animals. Buddhists can lessen the number of animals killed by not partaking flesh food at least during the month of Vesak i.e. May. There is enough Vegetarian and Vegan related food in the market today. No can go hungry by not eating meat.

The First Precept – Reverence for life including that of non – human sentient beings must be inculcated in every child in school. Life is dear to all (Dhammapada). Peace and Reconciliation should not be confined to only one (human) species.

Mrs. M. Weeraratna
Colombo 05
May 8, 2017

4 Responses to “Buddhists must become vegetarians in the month of Vesak”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Not just one month. Be vegetarian every day.

    There is NO NEED to eat meat. You can get ALL NUTRIENTS from vegan food.

    Only barbarians and carnivores creatures should eat meat to survive. Humans have to LEAVE their CANIBALISTIC past and move on.

    DROP meat, fish, eggs and milk for a week and see how energetic you become. You will NOT want to go back.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    I ENTHUSIASTICALLY agree with Mrs Weerawansa’s proposal,

    Let Buddhists become vegetarians for AT LEAST the Wesak Month of May every year!

    Who knows, once more people are WEAND away from meat in this way, they may choose the continue the practice for the whole year!

    At the very least, it will FOCUS OUR MINDS on PRESERVING this INESTIMABLE gift of Buddhism that we are fortunate enough to freely enjoy in our resplendent Motherland!

  3. Hiranthe Says:

    I quite agree with Mrs Weerawansa.

    Also I agree with Lorenzo on his comment. We do not need meat to be strong. Look at the Elephant, the Strongest animal who lives only with green leaves.

    Thank you Ananda for your contribution. Not only lay people, the Buddhist monks consume meat. They should set an example to ordinary people by not eating flesh of another living being at least during this Wesak month to start with.

    It is enough… Please stop killing and eating innocent and harmless animals…

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    By eating meat, we break three precepts out of the Five we Buddhist must refrain from:
    1. harming living things.
    2. taking what is not given.
    3. sexual misconduct.
    4. lying or gossip.
    5. taking intoxicating substances eg drugs or drink.

    No. 1 harming living things – understandable – (Paanathipatha)
    No. 2 we are taking their life and flesh which was not given to us – (Adhinnadhana)
    No. 4 lying – We say that we do not harm living things and not stealing but doing them under above 1 and 2 which is lying – (Musawaada)

    So why not protect ourselves with the risk of breaking these key precepts.

    When Lord Buddhas preache something, they never do it just for the sake of it. These Five Precepts has a deep meaning and if you refrain from them, our Lord Buddha guaranteed that you won’t be ending up in the hell “Sathara Apaya”. And many more to that…

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