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Animal welfare begins with what you put on your plate

02/05/2013

Sometime in the 1970’s I became a student of Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden (he died in 2011). The Tibetan Buddhist Society was then situated in East Melbourne and It was a place where I was comfortable until a private discussion. The discussion turned to my vegetarian diet. I explained that eating meat was abhorrent and repulsive. I also said that not eating meat (land, sea, air) would reduce the suffering and misery of animals. I made the point that animals do not want to suffer any more than you and I. I made the point that animals do not want to die anymore than you and I. My point was logical, if the demand for meat is less then less meat would be produced and supplied for consumption and there would be less suffering and misery. His point was that I lacked an understanding of Karma and that I was offering an economic model or theory. Anyway, that conversation drove a wedge between us and our relationship soured and it wasn’t long before I withdrew entirely. I could not abide by this doctrine of individual and collective Karma, and that was that. I continue to dismiss the doctrine to this very day.

People are often surprised to learn that Buddhists eat meat. They are generally viewed as vegetarians. HH The Dali Lama in 2010 went to far by telling his audience of 5,000 people that he eats meat. That was a huge mistake and set-back the cause for animal welfare. Remember that animal welfare begins with what you put on your plate.

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