Buddha Said, One Should Not Kill A Living Being
"One should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world."
"Eating meat destroys the attitude of great compassion."
"All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?"
Buddha said, “One should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.”
Buddha asks, “All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?”
Buddha said, “Eating meat destroys the attitude of great compassion.”
The overwhelming majority of Buddhist writings and teachings support universal compassion between non-humans and humans in Buddhist philosophy. There is no clear distinction between non-humans and humans in Buddhist philosophy and all species are subject to the same Karmic process. Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “A human being is an animal, a part of nature. But we single ourselves out from the rest of nature. We classify other animals and living beings as nature, as if we ourselves are not part of it. Then we pose the question, ‘How should I deal with Nature?’ We should deal with nature the way we deal with ourselves. . . ! Harming nature is harming ourselves, and vice versa.” (Hanh 41)
Basic Buddhist Tenets With Regard to Non-Human Animals
- Buddhists try to do no harm (or as little harm as possible) to animals
- Buddhists try to show loving-kindness to all beings, including animals
- The doctrine of right livelihood teaches Buddhists to avoid any work connected with the killing of animals
- The doctrine of karma teaches that any wrong behaviour will have to be paid for in a future life – so cruel acts to animals should be avoided (including eating of meat)
- Buddhists treat the lives of human and non-human animals with equal respect
Buddhists See Human and Non-Human Animals as Closely Related
- Both have Buddha-nature
- Both have the possibility of becoming perfectly enlightened
- A soul may be reborn either in a human body or in the body of a non-human animal
Buddhists believe that is wrong to hurt or kill animals, because all beings are afraid of injury and death:
- One must not deliberately kill any living creature either by committing the act oneself, instructing others to kill, or approving of or participating in acts of killing.
- To completely abstain from the act of killing directly and indirectly, eat only pure vegetarian food.
Experimenting on Animals
In Buddhism, it is morally wrong to cause harm to any non-human animal. So in experimenting using animals a Buddhist approach may require:
- Accept the karma of carrying out the experiment
- the experimenter will acquire bad karma through experimenting on an animal
- Experiment only for a good purpose
- Experiment only on animals where there is no alternative
- Design the experiment to do as little harm as possible
- Avoid killing the animal unless it is absolutely necessary
- Treat the animals concerned kindly and respectfully
Good Buddhist conduct requires the “putting away the killing of living things” and not destroying life in any way:
- 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.
- He who for the sake of happiness hurts others who also want happiness, shall not hereafter find happiness.
- He who for the sake of happiness does not hurt others who also want happiness, shall hereafter find happiness.
– Dhammapada 54
Buddhism and Vegetarianism
- The Mahayana tradition was (and is) more strictly vegetarian than other Buddhist traditions. The Buddha does not seem to have issued an overall prohibition on meat-eating.
- The early Buddhist monastic code banned monks from eating meat if the animal had been killed specifically to feed them, but otherwise instructed them to eat anything they were given.
Quote image from the VeganRabbit.com
Animal image courtesy of Pixabay, at www.pixabay.com
Buddhism Tenets from BBC/Ethics/Animals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/.