Starting a Vegetarian Diet
It was actually a non-Buddhist friend who called me out on the fact that I was calling myself a Buddhist but still ate meat.We decided to eat out and I went to meet up with my friend. I ordered a dish of prawns. My non-Buddhist friend called me out and my order selection. A non-Buddhist might argue that fish don’t have feelings. They might put shellfish in the same category as the ‘venus fly trap’ plant. From a Buddhist perspective, a prawn is a sentient being. It may lack intelligence and sophisticated thought processes, but it wants to be happy and avoid suffering. Basically my dish of prawns was a massacre in a bowl.
I had just finished a Buddhist retreat at the time, and so my friend’s words really struck a note. While on retreat, I had been meditating on things like humans and animals being similar types of consciousnesses / minds at different stages of their own journey. In Buddhism there is also a close relationship between consciousnesses / minds as we have different interactions with each other, in life after life (reincarnation). There are more Buddhist explanations about these relationships, but the main point is the way that we interact with each other.
Two friends in Melbourne who are vegan and vegetarian showed me this documentary that had been broadcast around that time. This was shown on ABC in Australian TV. It’s very upsetting to watch, please think twice before watching it.
Warning: Graphic content.
I won’t forget some of the images for a very long time it’s really nightmarish, so do think twice before watching it. Seeing the documentary got me thinking that if you killed an animal the “halal way”, in the western “humane way”, or even with hugs and kisses, an animal still dies at the end and somebody is responsible for that death (ie. somebody has just accumulated negative karma).