First Precept and Eating Meat

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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First Precept and Eating Meat

Post by DrRPDB » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:04 am

I am sure this question has been asked many times before, but I'm new to this discussion group and could only find a poll on what type of "vore" people were - omnivore, herbivore, etc.,so please excuse my historical ignorance of the group's discussions.

My question is: how is the first precept interpreted so that one may eat meat?

Working from the classic AN 8.39(4) I have a hard time seeing any other interpretation except possibly if meat were given to a Bhikkhu, but even that seems questionable to me. Out of compassion and my health I only eat meat about once or twice a week - when it is offered (if I will offend) or I'm in a tight spot, but like all the 5 precepts I try my best to follow the Dhamma.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: First Precept and Eating Meat

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:30 am

This topic has been thoroughly discussed, boiled, stir-fried, and steamed in The Great Vegetarian Debate Thread

The first precept is broken in four ways:
  1. One kills a living being with one's own hand
  2. One urges another to kill
  3. One permits another to kill when one has the power to prevent it
  4. One approves of killing
In the cases you cited, where you are offered meat, or where there is no other food available, then you have no intention to deprive living beings of life. Meat is well and truly dead already, so eating meat does not break the first precept.
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