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Healthy Diet - Vegetarianism
Venerable Wu Shin
Vegetarianism is a form of nourishment that avoids any meat product (including seafood). Nowadays, more and more people become vegetarian in recognition of its various benefits, including health, respect for life, and sustainability of our environment. The benefit of a vegetarian diet extends beyond having a healthy body, it also helps to safeguard our temperament, calm our mind and help us becoming non-violent. This is the reason why some religions discourage the consumption of certain animals, such as pig or canine. It is believed that pigs are indolent and dogs tend to get unsettled. Including them in our diet would affect our disposition. Therefore, one should avoid any meat that would impact on our mood. Apart from respect of life and protecting one’s temperament, Buddhism’s advocacy of vegetarianism emphasizes on safeguarding one’s lovingkindness and compassion.
Modern farming practice uses a cocktail of antibiotics, hormones, and chemical feed to facilitate quick animal growth. The meat is often infused with toxins. Also, most farm animals are confined in cramped cages for their entire life, from birth to death, like life-imprisonment without given any space to move. Since the mind influences the body, how would such depressed animals produce healthy meat? Additionally, when slaughtered, animals would undoubtedly be overwhelmed with resentment and fear, hence excreting toxins. Therefore, all meat products contain harmful substances. Eating meat is equivalent to ingesting poison. Long term meat consumption would result in myriads of health issues, as the saying goes “illness slips in through our mouth”. Thus, one should strive to adopt a vegetarian diet as much as possible knowing the many benefits on our health, mind, and spirit.