Going back and forth on the question of whether or not to eat meat? For a spiritual practitioner, it’s something to chew on. In recognition of today’s status as World Vegetarian Day, we re-present this exploration by Noa Jones (and a host of commenters).
Recently I was invited to spend the weekend at a family dairy farm in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. My hosts greeted me with a banquet-prepackaged sweet n’ sour tofu with boiled carrots for me, burgers and steaks for them. Like many people, they assumed that since I am a student of Buddhism I must be a vegetarian, which I am for the most part. But I was tempted by those steaks, and the next morning when the house filled with the smell of bacon, much to their amusement, I found myself unable to resist. Pigs are gentle, smart, and proud, and they have an alarming similarity to humans when it comes to DNA. But I decided to eat that crispy piece of pig, thinking I was doing it as part of my Buddhist practice, not in spite of it.
I’m doing my best to walk Siddhartha’s path with my vision firmly fixed on defeating dualistic thinking such as happy and sad, heaven and hell, us and them. Continued