David N. Snyder wrote:I have read or heard two reasons:
2. They are considered "royal" / higher animals by custom and to adapt to the culture, the bhikkhu should not eat their flesh, even if it is offered.
Luke wrote:Weren't cows also "holy" and "royal" animals in ancient India? And if so, why didn't the Buddha forbid people from eating the meat of cows, as well?
David N. Snyder wrote:Cows were venerated in the Vedas, this is true. However, I think cows may have elevated to the much higher status at a later date. The brahmanism 'religion' (not Hinduism, but perhaps a precursor) engaged in animal sacrifices, which included cows and bulls.
Luke wrote:David N. Snyder wrote:Cows were venerated in the Vedas, this is true. However, I think cows may have elevated to the much higher status at a later date. The brahmanism 'religion' (not Hinduism, but perhaps a precursor) engaged in animal sacrifices, which included cows and bulls.
Ah, very interesting! Were any animals sacred to ancient Hindus or were they willing to sacrifice all animals?
chownah wrote:I think the Buddha disallowed any food that the culture of the times considered to be repulsive to eat.....the monks were after all representatives of the dhamma so the Buddha did not want them to do things considered to be repulsive by the people of the time. People were likely to not want to take refuge in a group of people who ate hyenas, snakes, and elephants for example. My view is that the posters here have given some of the reasons why certain meats were considered repulsive.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:In Burma, Beef is also not often eaten by monks, largely due to the influence of Venerable Ledi Sayādaw.
It's not prohibited by the Vinaya rule, as long as it is free from the three defects, but the Suttanta clearly show the debt of gratitude owed to cows who provide milk, and labour to till the land, thresh the crop, and transport the crop to market. When the Sayādaw was teaching (and in the Buddha's time of course), there were no diesel tractors or petrol vehicles. All the hard work was done by domestic draught animals.