We are just being slaughtered and slaughtered
one lifetime after another —
don’t let your wisdom, compassion and power be so weak!
— Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol
(in the voice of old ewes)
As for the argument sometimes put forward by Mahayana meat eaters — that one should eat meat out of compassion, since eating the flesh of a slaughtered animal creates a connection with this animal in favor of whom one can direct the full power of one’s compassionate prayers — Shabkar points out that if an advanced practitioner has the power the affect the fate of others through prayer alone, he or she may as well pray for the sake of the animals free and alive rather than over the flesh of their corpses killed for one’s consumption. If one genuinely cares about animals, rather than praying over their dead bodies, it is more effective to buy them from butchers and set them free in their natural environment after praying for them.
One of my teachers, Pema Wangyal Rinpoche (1945- ), often says that if a practitioner is able to bring back a slaughtered animal to life simply by snapping his fingers — as Tilopa (988-1069) is said to have done with the remnants of fish he had caught and eaten, and as Do Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800-1866) did with the leftovers of a sheep after eating it — then he should joyfully eat as much meat as he pleases. Otherwise, he’d better beware of dreadful karmic karmic consequences of unnecessarily killing a sentient being.
(Above: Foreword By Matthieu Ricard)
The Faults Of Meat: Tibetan Buddhist Writings On Vegetarianism
Edited By Geoffrey Barstow
(Also with Foreword By Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro)