Some say that freegans — a person who only consumes discarded goods — should be, by practice, vegetarians; other’s say that anything goes. If the Dalai Lama was king of the freegans, he’d probably side with the latter group.
Over the years, the Dalai Lama has been criticized for promoting compassion towards all creatures yet still continuing to consume meat. Even Paul McCartney gave him a stern talking to. In a recent conversation with NDTV, the Dalai Lama explained his dietary habits and philosophy.
“In vinaya no prohibition in eating meat,” said the spiritual leader. “So monks in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, they take both veg and non veg food. One time I asked, discussed this subject with a monk from Sri Lanka about 40 years ago, he said Buddhist monks are neither veg nor non veg… he should accept whatever he gets, so that’s the principle. But vinaya clearly mentions that meat which was purposely killed for you was not to be eaten but in general was not prohibited, some books like langaavatarasutra prohibited any kind of meat, including fish etc but some other texts not prohibiting, so different case, I think practically in northern part of Tibet, no vegetables. Very difficult. So that’s practical reason.”
We hear what the wise man is saying, but we’re still a little confused about the whole thing. What do you think? Should monks consume animals products if given to them as offerings, or should they just buy a V is for Vegan shirt and call it a day? Chime in and share your thoughts!