Buddhists allowed to eat meat

Buddhists allowed to eat meat

I refer to the letter by Mr Danny Cheong on the placing of a statue of Buddha in a meat-eating restaurant (Buddha Statue In Wrong Place, Life!, Oct 5).

While I agree that it is inappropriate to place the statue there, I do not think the reason he gave is totally correct. Yes, Buddhists are taught not to kill or destroy lives. However, they are not prohibited from eating meat. Buddhists can consume meat (or any food offered to them) as long as they are not the ones who request the killing of the animals.

The Theravada Buddhists in Sri Lanka and Thailand do consume meat. It is the Mahayana Buddhists, those mainly from China and Taiwan, who refrain from eating meat because they believe that if there is no demand, there will be no supply.

There are also some Theravada Buddhists in Singapore who prefer to keep to the Mahayana practice of being vegetarian.

Steven Lee Thien Poh


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