During the Buddha’s time, monastics survived on alms offered by lay people. There was no distinction between who they received this from, and what they received. The one thing they relied on was the generosity of others bringing food for them.
However, the monastics had a few exceptions to receiving alms. There are three kinds of meat that one cannot eat: if it is seen; if it is heard; and if there are suspicions about it: Being seen means seeing for oneself that the animal was killed on one’s behalf, Being heard means hearing from reliable sources that the animals was killed on one’s behalf, Having suspicious means one suspects that the animal was killed on one’s behalf. Why? Because it would be contradict to the practice of compassion when “it’s seen, heard and there are suspicious about” the killing of animals. How can one who practises compassion bear to eat the meat if the animals were killed on one’s behalf?
As the Buddhism was spread to China and some other countries, the monastics started to grow and prepare their own meals. They moved away from the practice of alm asking. This means one has the choice on what to prepare for their meals. Adopting a meat free diet would therefore be consistent with the practice of compassion and therefore since then has become a practice of many Buddhists.
Research has shown that a plant-based diet is one of the best things we can do for our body. A meat free diet can give us the following key benefits:
Lower body weight
Reduce risk of some cancers
Reduce risk of heart disease
Reduce risk of diabetes
Lower blood pressure
Need further assurance?
Here's a short video to share the view of Dr. John A. McDougall. Dr John A. McDougall is an American physician and best selling author who claims that degenerative disease can be prevented and treated with a low-fat, whole food and plant-based/vegan diet.
Global meat consumption has almost doubled between 1980 and 2004 and is predicted to double by 2020.
World average meat consumption per person per year: 41.90 kg while Australia average meat consumption per person per year: 116 kg
One third of all fish caught is fed to livestock to produce meat
Australians eat over half a billion chickens a year. Most are factory farmed.
Reduction of impact of climate change & the facts about meat and livestock industry:
Fossil fuel used to produce one hamburger = Fossil used to drive a small car driving 32 km,
Waste generated from a pig factory = Waste from a city of 12,000 people,
80% of corn and 95% of oats is used to feed to livestock,
Cows need to consume 15,400L of water to produce one kilogram of flesh as compared to 100L of water is needed to produce one kilogram of tomatoes