Letter To A Buddhist Centre For Kinder Offerings

Hello Venerable Sirs & Committee Members, 

It would be great if we can encourage all to make and take vegan meal offerings (free of meat and other animal products, as they all come from continual animal exploitation and eventual killing) on major events like Kathina (Robe-Offering) Day, when many Venerables and laypeople gather. If there is request for making of only vegan offerings, that we all eat together, our merits will be even greater, as we will be avoiding adding of demand for more killing through our purchases.

As a basic requirement of Threefold ‘Pure’ Meat, meat eaten must not be suspected to be killed for oneself. But if anyone buys meat from supermarkets and such, they are already the direct suspects of who the animals were killed for – because they cannot be killed for vegetarians and vegans, who will never buy meat and their products. Where there is demand, there will be supply. Thus we should not offer any Venerable or devotee meat as they are not considered ‘pure’. As mentioned at https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2016/05/you-animals-and-the-buddha :

‘Bhikkhu Bodhi (the famous Pali sutta translator) gave this simple example to explain how the individual consumer’s purchases sustain demand for murder – ‘… if somebody goes into a market, say on a Tuesday, and orders a piece of chicken at the sales counter, somebody [there] will click some kind of calculator, which will determine on Tuesday, that a piece of chicken was sold, which will send out a message for next Tuesday, that we have to meet the same quantity of chickens to satisfy our customer base. Even though you order the chicken on Tuesday, you are not responsible for the death of the chicken that is providing that meal on [that] Tuesday, but in an indirect way, you can be sending a signal that next Tuesday, a chicken should be killed to provide food for the customers…’ Note that even if one buys animal products in a more ‘random’ manner, in terms of place and time, one’s ongoing purchases still contributes to the overall demand for killing. Every buy is a functioning vote for more murders.

He also taught the following – ‘It has always been my preference to be vegetarian since I became a Buddhist. Compassion has always been defined very simply with the same fixed expression… It is the quality of the heart…. of a good person [that] trembles with the suffering of others, and it is the wish to alleviate the suffering of others. So, it would seem to me, sort of intuitively, that if one has this deep quality of compassion, that one doesn’t want others to suffer, and one knows that either ordering meat or consuming meat is going to, through some chain of causation [cause and effect], bring about even the cruel upbringing, [imprisonment, exploitation] and slaughter of animals, that out of compassion, one would adopt vegetarianism. So that is why it seems to me that if one takes up the ethical principles of Buddhism, in my own reflection, and tries to be strictly consistent with them, it would seem to entail an obligation to observe vegetarianism [and even veganism], at least in countries where one has an option [which is largely every nation these days, due to ease of food transport, even for highlands like Tibet].’”

May Venerable Sirs and fellow committee members help us lessen creating of suffering for more beings, and to increase the creating of more merits for everyone. Thank you for listening to this feedback, for the welfare of all sentient beings big and small.

May all animals be free from fear and pain.

May all beings be well and happy.
On behalf of many concerned Buddhist friends

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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