Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping pets in our life from a Buddhist perspective

From the website "Daily Buddhism" comes the subject of what people should feed their companion animals - whether it should be a vegeterian or a meat based diet.

They suggest that it's "karma neutra" - because if the animal was out in the wild, they'd definitely be killing animals - so whatever you're giving it - meat or vegetable, is no worse than what he'd be giving himself in the wild. Here's some more of what they say -

"Many Buddhists believe people with negative karma are reborn as dogs. Dogs are not intelligent enough to raise their karma on their own, so they essentially have to remain dogs until their negative karma has worn off. Eventually, they will get another chance to become human again and can work on reaching Nirvana. I think the important idea to get from that is that karma doesn’t work the same way for animals as it does for people because they are not able to affect their own karma, at least not to any great extent."

They do give out the idea that dogs and cats are carnivores, which is highly contentious - and I'm not going to go into that, because I don't necessarily agree with their theory - but they also put forward the idea that the better you treat your animal - the better it is for your own karma, which to me - is always a good thing - so it's win win - which is always good!

The Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians has an article called "Life as a Vegetarian Tibetan Buddhist Practitioner" that talks about life as a Buddhist, and what they generally eat - specifically Tibetan Buddhists - and it's a great article.

It's by Eileen Weintraub, and she talks about the fact that a lot of Tibetans do eat meat but that according to Tibetan tradition, the The Buddha said, ‘the eating of meat annihilates the seed of compassion.’ There is a big dichotomy in Tibetan culture about eating meat - and their compassion for animals. "The interpretation of Buddha’s teaching was that it was OK to buy and eat meat if the being wasn’t killed directly for you. "

Lama Yeshe has a section of his website devoted to Giving Advice on Practices that benefit animals that are pretty good for helping with day to day activities. It's pretty intersting.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know about whether feeding meat is karma neutral or not...
but I know that reciting suttas is beneficial to the one reciting and to the one hearing it.
So, recite suttas to your pet! :)

Wolfie said...

I realize this is an old post, but I happened to stumble here.

Cats in particular are known as obligate carnivores. In specific, they require meat to survive. Taurine, which is an amino acid that is found in meat tissues, is not produced automatically by a cat, they must receive this from meat and/or supplementation or they will grow quite ill. Also, in cats, to digest carbohydrates the enzyme amylase is required. Cats do not produce this enzyme in great quantities, and so carbohydrates and plant proteins are not well suited for them.

Wolfie said...

I realize this is an old post, but I happened to stumble here.

Cats in particular are known as obligate carnivores. In specific, they require meat to survive. Taurine, which is an amino acid that is found in meat tissues, is not produced automatically by a cat, they must receive this from meat and/or supplementation or they will grow quite ill. Also, in cats, to digest carbohydrates the enzyme amylase is required. Cats do not produce this enzyme in great quantities, and so carbohydrates and plant proteins are not well suited for them.