www . compassionatespirit . com

 

 

Home
Articles
About Keith Akers
Books, etc.
Links
What's New

Nourishing Ourselves, Nourishing Others

How Mindful Food Choices Reduce Suffering

From Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism, edited by Allan Hunt Badiner (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2002)

By Kate Lawrence

The choices we make regarding the foods we eat, particularly choices to consume meat and other animal foods, have considerably more profound consequences than may be apparent on the surface. These consequences are felt in our own bodies and those of our children, by other people--especially the poor, by animals, plants and the earth herself. What guidance can we find in Buddhist teachings to assist us in making these choices?

Among core teachings accepted by virtually all Buddhist traditions, we can begin with the Noble Eightfold Path by looking at Right (Wise) Action, and specifically at three of the Five Precepts or Mindfulness Trainings. These statements illuminate the kinds of behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and others, that lead to anger, violence, hatred, despair, and destruction.

The First Precept

The First Precept (as stated in the Pali Canon) is to refrain from destroying living creatures. The most immediate way that we participate every day in taking the lives of living creatures is through our diet; some life forms must be destroyed in order for us to eat. We cannot hope to attain perfection, to avoid all killing for food. Even a conscientious vegetarian organic gardener growing food cannot completely avoid killing insects and other small creatures in the soil, as well as some of the wild plants (weeds) that compete with the vegetable plantings. But although we cannot avoid these kinds of killing, how can we eat so as to reduce to a minimum the pain that we inflict?

Views on the sentience (ability to feel; in this case, to feel pain) of other beings include these: 1) that plants are not sentient beings; 2) that plants and animals are both sentient, but animals suffer more than plants when injured or killed; and 3) that plants and animals are both sentient, and they suffer equally.

The first view, that plants do not count as sentient beings at all, makes our food choice clear: we can eat plants with impunity, whereas animals suffer, so we would want to eat plant foods and avoid injuring and killing animals.

The second view seems to be the most commonly held; many people have an instinctive feeling that although a plant may suffer a little, an animal suffers much more than a plant when it is killed. Picture a cutting board in front of you and a knife in one hand. In your other hand you have a fistful of sprouts--live, whole plants. Consider how you would feel if you placed the sprouts on the cutting board and began to chop them up. Now imagine that, instead of the sprouts, you have a baby chick--a live, whole animal--on the cutting board, and consider your feelings if you began to chop up the chick. Most people would have an immediate visceral reaction to the prospect of killing a live animal which is very different from their reaction to the killing of live plants. Furthermore, we know that animals have a central nervous system which, as a survival mechanism, sensitizes them to pain so that they can escape from it if possible. Plants lack a central nervous system, so we can only presume that their suffering is less. If this is our view, we would want to eat plants, so as to cause less suffering.

The third possibility assumes equal sentience, that there is just as much suffering when a carrot is wrenched out of the ground as when a chicken or calf is killed. How would we choose our food in this case? We know that it is the eating of hundreds, if not thousands, of plants by an animal that enables it to grow large enough to be useful as meat. Therefore, if our interest lies in causing the least amount of suffering to living beings, we would still want to eat plants instead of animals, because so many more plants must be killed to feed the animal, than must be killed for an equal amount of food calories if we eat the grains directly. Thus in all three views of plant and animal sentience, the conclusion is to eat plant-derived foods if we want to cause the least suffering.

Furthermore, unlike meat which always requires a being to be killed, the taking of plant food suitable for us to eat does not always require killing the host plant. Fruits, seeds and nuts, beans, grains, such vegetables as broccoli, cauliflower, squash, peas, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, most kinds of greens--all of these can be taken without killing the plant. It is only the root vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and beets, that require a plant to be killed when they are taken. Thus, eating plants necessitates less taking of plant life than people might assume, and fortunately, the human body tends to be healthier on a plant food diet, as we'll examine later.

Because most of us do not live near a slaughterhouse, we have no idea of the scale of the violence involved. Every year in the U.S. alone, roughly nine billion cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and turkeys are killed to put meat on our tables. (1) Slaughterhouses operate around the clock every day of the week. If you do the math, you will discover that this number means that 17,000 animals are killed every minute, and about 285 each second. This amount of killing, and the fear and pain of all these animals leading up to the moment of slaughter, is nearly incomprehensible. It is more than ten times the number of animals that are killed by humans in all other ways combined: for medical research, products testing, fur, and those euthanized in animal shelters. Fish are not included in these figures, as they are counted by the pound rather than as individuals, but their numbers are legion. Some experts have said that fish suffer much longer in the process of suffocation when taken out of the water--perhaps for as long as an hour, than land animals do in the standard methods of slaughter.

When I first began giving talks over a decade ago to educate people on the issues related to meat eating, that figure of annual slaughter was about six billion. It has been steadily going up because the consumption of red meat has been decreasing while the consumption of poultry has been increasing. Chickens and turkeys are much smaller than cattle and pigs, which means that many more animal lives must be taken to supply a given amount of meat. If we seek to practice the First Precept, how can we justify, much less participate in, this horror?

We've looked at animals that humans kill directly for food, but what about other animals killed in the process of bringing food animals to market? In order to protect ranchers' livelihoods, USDA Wildlife Services, formerly called Animal Damage Control, spends millions of taxpayer dollars every year to kill tens of thousands of coyotes, wolves, and other species that prey on livestock. None of these animals would be killed if humans didn't eat meat. The male chicks of egg-laying hens are killed shortly after birth, often by suffocation, because as males, they will never lay eggs, nor are birds bred for egg-laying suitable for meat. Many thousands of sea animals are killed in drift nets in order to bring in a fish catch. Some years ago there was widespread concern about dolphins being killed in these nets, but the many other species caught and killed have not enjoyed public compassion.

The Second Precept

The Second Precept is to refrain from stealing, from taking that which is not given. Again there are several ways in which we violate this precept if we eat animal flesh. When we, by our food choices, require animals to be killed, we are taking their lives by force; no animal comes voluntarily to a slaughterhouse and offers to die. Of far greater significance are the ways in which we deprive these animals of any semblance of well-being in the time period between their birth or hatching and their slaughter. Animals are deliberately bred to be killed, and their growth is manipulated to please human palates. For example, in turkeys what is prized is white meat, the turkey's breast, so these animals are bred to have huge upper bodies. They are so top-heavy that they cannot come together normally to mate; turkeys must all be artificially inseminated, by minimum-wage workers under time pressure, who cannot take care about handling them gently.

We also "steal" animals' body parts. Animals raised for food are routinely--depending on the species--debeaked, dehorned, castrated, branded, or have their tails docked, all without anesthesia. They are confined in small cages or stalls without sunlight or exercise, fed an unnatural diet, and forced to inhale fumes from their own excrement. Infants, such as calves destined to be veal, are removed permanently from their mothers after only one day, so that humans may drink the milk. The mother cows cry out and search for the lost babies. During transport to the slaughterhouse, animals may be starved and exposed to extremes of temperature. And once at the slaughterhouse, the stunning process is not effective in every case to render animals unconscious; perhaps 10% are fully conscious when killed. Drawing a parallel to the Holocaust, Nobel Literature laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote, "To [these animals] we are all Nazis; for them it is an eternal Treblinka." (2)

How else do we steal the well-being of animals to support flesh-eating? To grow grain and soybeans to feed to livestock so that we may eat meat, it is necessary to farm far more land--roughly seven to ten times as much--than would be necessary if we ate the grains and soybeans ourselves. This additional cultivated land is thus no longer available as wildlife habitat, and many species of birds and animals have either declined or disappeared as a result.

By feeding so much grain--about three-fourths of the all grains grown in the U.S.--to livestock animals, we steal the lives of third-world children who need that grain to survive. Approximately 40,000 children per day starve to death, while countless other children and adults remain severely malnourished. "If we use that amount of grain in order to make a piece of meat," writes Thich Nhat Hanh, "we waste a lot of food, and many people in the world are starving because of that way of eating." (3) Not only are available supplies of grain fed to animals, but large amounts of land in third-world countries, on which food could be grown to feed these starving people, are used to graze cattle for the West.

We also, in eating meat, steal resources on which the well-being, and possibly the lives, of our descendants and all other unborn beings depend. The resource-intensive nature of livestock agriculture puts at grave risk the future ability of the earth to sustain life at all. For example, the primary reason that tropical rainforests--the planet's lungs--are being cut down is to create grazing land for livestock. If there were no demand for meat-eating, there would be much less profit in cutting down these forests, which are still, despite widespread public awareness, disappearing at an alarming rate.

Farmers and gardeners know that no food at all can be grown unless there is rich topsoil, an inch of which can take 100 years to be created. Yet because of the huge amounts of land that must be brought under cultivation in order to grow crops for livestock, that topsoil is being eroded away far faster than it can be created. Similarly, water from the great Ogallala aquifer, which underlies much of central North America, and which took millions of years to form, is being pumped out to irrigate livestock agriculture far faster than it can be replaced.

Because livestock are raised in concentrated "factory farm" facilities, massive amounts of their excrement accumulate in one place. As economic considerations make it unfeasible to spread these mountains of manure back onto the land, they are held in lagoons which may leak into rivers and streams, or overflow in times of heavy rainfall. The resulting high levels of nitrates in the water supply kill fish and other species and pose serious risks to human health. This contaminated water, as it continues through the hydrologic cycle, falls as acid rain, undermining the well-being of our remaining forests.

Livestock agriculture, the most environmentally destructive of all human activities, causes other damage as well. Overgrazing by cattle has ruined much formerly lush grassland in the western U.S. Cattle produce methane, which contributes to global warming, as does the increased amount of carbon dioxide produced due to the additional amounts of fossil fuel energy that must be used to bring meat, as compared to grains and vegetables, to market.

The Fifth Precept

The Fifth Precept is to refrain from intoxicants which lead to carelessness. These intoxicants have also been more broadly understood to include any food or idea we might take in that is toxic to our physical and mental well-being. (4) Based on current mortality figures for Western--that is, heavily meat-eating--countries, meat qualifies as a toxic substance, and thus violates the practice of this precept. The diseases which kill the most people in Western countries, such as heart attacks, strokes, colon cancer, breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and obesity, are all highest among populations which have high meat consumption. Conversely, vegetarians have been shown to live longer, with a better quality of life. In addition to degenerative diseases, there have been numerous cases of serious illness and death resulting from microorganisms found in meat: E.coli, salmonella, listeria, and so on. We now face something far more threatening even than these: the so-called "mad cow disease," which may take several decades to develop in humans, is always fatal, and which cannot be prevented by cooking the infected meat.

The high cost of health insurance figures in here as well. Why is health care costing so much? Because so many people are sick. Why are they sick? Because to a large extent, even in Western countries in which most people could purchase the most wholesome food available, people still choose to pursue unhealthful lifestyles, in which meat-eating figures prominently. When we choose to eat meat, and thus increase our chances of contracting a disease that will be chronic and expensive to treat (for example, a heart by-pass operation costs an average $45,000), we drive up the cost of health care. High health care costs put pressure on our economy, taking funds away from other needed services, and drive the cost of health insurance so high that lower-income people cannot afford it. These people, who have no choice but to live without health insurance, are thus forced to risk being denied health care, or to incur massive costs that can plunge them into debt for years. So for us to eat unhealthful foods and get sick, when we might have been healthy, is to take health care away from those who can least afford it.

Often people say that they eat only a little meat, and therefore are not at increased risk for the major killer diseases. In a similar situation concerning another toxic substance, alcohol, Thich Nhat Hanh was asked what is wrong with drinking two glasses of wine per week, since someone at this level of consumption will not incur health damage from the habit. He replied, "It's true that two glasses of wine do not harm you. But are you sure they do not harm your children?" He concluded by saying, "If you give up wine, you'll be doing it not only for yourself, but also for your children and for your society." (5) Regardless of the kind of consumption we participate in, our participation itself serves to encourage all those who observe our consumption to act likewise; in this way, we foster habits that, while we may manage them acceptably, may have painful and destructive results for others.

Right Livelihood

Meat-eating also necessitates the violation of another aspect of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Livelihood.  The five excluded livelihoods are the trading in weapons, human beings, animals for slaughter, alcohol, and poisons. Not raising animals for slaughter or trading in meat is clear; although most people who eat meat do not raise the animals, sell, or kill them. However, if these occupations are clearly specified by the Buddha to be harmful, ought we to live in a way that requires other people to engage in these livelihoods? If not, then we cannot eat meat.

One type of livelihood related to providing our meat is often overlooked: that of meat packers. These workers, who have the highest injury rate of any factory workers, (6) must endure hellish conditions--stunning, killing, and dismembering mammals and birds, standing on floors covered with blood and grease, being forced to use very sharp tools at high rates of speed, and working in refrigerated environments, to give a partial description. It is usually the very poor, including recent immigrants, who must do our "dirty work" for low pay, yet we could free them all, and the animals as well, by simply changing our diets. "If slaughterhouses had glass walls," says longtime vegetarian Paul McCartney, "everyone would be vegetarian." (7)

An Animal Killed Especially For You

In addition to the Noble Eightfold Path, what other teachings of the Buddha bear on this subject? One of the most commonly cited is the Buddha's statement to his monks that it is acceptable to eat meat unless you suspect the animal was killed especially for you. First of all, we cannot be sure the Buddha actually said this, as several hundred years elapsed between his lifetime and the first written compilation of his teachings. One Buddhist author, Dr. Tony Page, asserts that the Buddha did say this, but that it has been mistranslated. Page quotes the Buddha's statement from the Jivakasutta as: "I, Jivaka, say that in three cases, meat may not be used: if it is seen, heard, suspected." He says the "killed especially for you" meaning is a later addition, and that what the Buddha meant is that meat may not be used if it is "seen, heard, suspected" to be meat. In other words, if a monk unknowingly eats food that contains meat, there is no fault in that, but if he suspects in any way that the food contains meat, he may not eat it. Immediately following the "seen, heard, suspected" teaching, the Buddha goes on to say that a monk should live with a mind filled with friendliness (metta), suffusing the whole world everywhere, in every way. "Would this attitude of loving-kindness," asks Page, "be compatible with then supporting animal butchery?" (8)

Roshi Philip Kapleau, founder and retired director of the Rochester Zen Center, offers this comment:

If the Buddha actually uttered the statements attributed to him, what they would mean effectively is that with the exception of a handful of persons who were offered meat from an animal killed just for them--and, of course, hunters, slaughterers, and fishermen--he freely sanctioned meat-eating for everyone, including his monks. Not only does this contention fly in the face of the first precept, . . . it also implies that the Buddha approved of butchering and the horrors of the slaughterhouse. Yet slaughtering is one of the trades forbidden to Buddhists, and with good reason. To say on the one hand that the Buddha sanctioned flesh-eating in all cases except those already noted, and on the other that he condemned the bloody trades of slaughtering, hunting and trapping, not only denies the link between the two, it involves one in an absurd contradiction. (9)

On the other hand, what sense can we make of the "meat eating is OK unless the animal is killed especially for you" controversy if we assume the Buddha did make this statement? When taken in the context of the society and time period in which the Buddha lived, it may have actually saved the lives of animals.

Imagine a poor householder living at the time of the Buddha. He hears that the Buddha and his monks are coming to the area, and the householder wants to give them his best hospitality. His first impulse might be to have an animal killed so that he can offer meat to the monks. Because of the Buddha's rule that the monks will not eat any meat that was killed especially for them, the householder knows the monks would not eat such meat, and therefore does not have an animal killed. Thus the Buddha's rule has the effect of sparing the life of the animal that might otherwise have been killed.

Consider also how the process works in the very different way we obtain meat today. If our householder, rather than going to a butcher to obtain meat for the monks, goes to a supermarket instead, he--and the monks to whom it will subsequently be served--can be assured that that animal was not killed especially for them. The animal--let's say it is a chicken--was dead long before the householder went to the supermarket, and whoever slaughtered that chicken had no idea who would ultimately eat it. Does this mean those who purchase meat at a market can have an easy conscience about being responsible for the killing of animals? Let's pursue this argument a step further.

Some hours after our householder goes to the supermarket and buys the chicken, the supermarket meat buyer is compiling an order for his supplier to restock the bin of chickens. He looks at his inventory printouts and notices that one has been sold--the one our householder bought--and so the buyer orders another one. It's that second chicken that is killed especially for our householder and his guests, because the foods we purchase determine that more of the same will appear in the market. If our householder had decided to prepare a tofu dish instead of meat, a supermarket buyer would order more tofu. So even though the chicken the householder actually bought was not killed especially for him, the next chicken to appear in the bin was. (10)

In modern society it is extremely difficult, in fact nearly impossible, to obtain or eat meat without an animal being killed especially for oneself. Perhaps if a person is walking through the forest, and just happens to be approached by a hunter who offers to give him freshly-killed meat, saying that the hunter has more meat than he could possibly eat--that might be a case in which meat not killed especially for oneself could be obtained, but how likely is that kind of scenario in our modern life? Yet thousands of Buddhist monks and laypeople justify meat-eating based on the "not killed especially for you" argument.

Other statements attributed to the Buddha are less ambiguous. In the Surangama Sutra, we read: "How can you eat the flesh of living beings and so pretend to be my disciple?" (11) The Lankavatara Sutra devotes an entire chapter to the subject of meat-eating, which includes these statements attributed to the Buddha: "For fear of causing terror to living beings, let the bodhisattva who is disciplining himself to attain compassion, refrain from eating flesh . . ." And this passionate proscription: "Meat-eating in any form, in any manner, and in any place in unconditionally and once for all prohibited . . . Meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit." (12)

Although by no means unanimous on the subject, Buddhist teachers today have made numerous statements against the practice of meat-eating and cruelty to animals. We have, from the Tibetan tradition, Robert Thurman, who has written, "Nonviolence against humans cannot take firm hold in a society as long as brutality and violence are practiced toward other animals." (13) The most prominent Tibetan teacher, the Dalai Lama, although not himself a vegetarian, has made pro-vegetarian statements over many years. Fully 35 years ago he wrote, "I do not see any reason why animals should be slaughtered to serve as human diet; there are so many substitutes. After all man can live without meat." (14)  He continues to speak out on the subject, as evidenced by this statement published in 2001: "In order to satisfy one human stomach, so many lives are taken away. We must promote vegetarianism. It is extremely important." (15) Contemporary vegetarian Buddhist teachers include Thich Nhat Hanh; every monk and nun in his tradition vows "to be a vegetarian for the whole of my life." (16) Roshi Kapleau and his dharma heir, Bodhin Kjolhede, are vegetarians as well.

Each Person Can Make a Difference

How can we move in dietary directions more in keeping with the practice of mindful attention and compassion? Those who have not yet begun to explore vegetarian diets may feel overwhelmed at making basic changes in the foods they eat. People may feel that if they can't be completely vegetarian, there is no use in making any change at all. They might say, "I could never give up cheeseburgers" or "If I didn't eat the pot roast my mother serves when I visit, she would be terribly hurt." Even if you don't want give up eating the occasional cheeseburger yet, or the meat that your mother prepares when you visit, it is extremely important that you do what you can. A gradual change may be best, perhaps just giving up one type of meat at first, then progressing to the next. Another approach is to have one meatless day per week, then two, and so on. Even small changes make a difference--choosing a bean burrito instead of a beef one, or a veggie pizza instead of a pepperoni one. Everyone can do something.

Many resources to support dietary change await your discovery. Find out whether your natural foods store offers vegetarian cooking classes. Learn which restaurants have vegetarian entrees. If there is a local vegetarian society where you live, attend one of their potlucks or other events. You don't have to be a vegetarian to get involved, and the more people you can meet who support your compassionate diet, the more comfortable you'll feel. If you can't find live people to talk to about reducing meat consumption, find some virtual ones online. A number of helpful books and websites may be found in the "Additional Resources" list.

When we bring mindfulness to the dinner table, it suffuses the rest of our life as well. We become more sensitive to the well-being of animals, of the environment, and of ourselves and our families. We are more aware of the choices we make in all areas of our life. We enjoy food more knowing that, while the obtaining of even plant foods necessitates some suffering, the amount and kind of suffering is dramatically reduced when we leave meat off our shopping lists and out of our kitchens. We become more aware of how meat consumption feeds violence and anger. "We should learn to eat in such a way that compassion can remain in our hearts. Otherwise, we will suffer and we will make ourselves and all species around us suffer deeply." (17)

Those nine billion animals who are killed each year are killed because consumers demand that amount of meat. If consumers cut back their meat consumption, fewer animals will be killed. If consumers eliminate meat consumption entirely, the operation of slaughterhouses--and all the suffering and devastation of meat production and consumption--can be permanently brought to an end. The breeding and torturing of animals for slaughter will stop, forests and grasslands vibrant with wildlife will flourish, the human food supply will increase to an amount sufficient for all, the quality of air, water, and human health will improve dramatically, and with renewed life energy we can turn our attention to other ways to reduce the suffering of all sentient beings and of the earth.

Through writing, speaking, organizing events, and cooking, Kate Lawrence has been educating the public about vegetarian issues for more than 20 years, and is a past president of the Vegetarian Society of Colorado. A recently retired librarian, she has been a meditator exploring both Christian and Buddhist practice for over 30 years.  

Additional Resources to Support Dietary Change

Books on the Issues

Akers, Keith. A Vegetarian Sourcebook: The Nutrition, Ecology, and Ethics of a Natural Foods Diet. Denver, CO: Vegetarian Press, 1993.

Melina, Vesanto, R.D. and Davis, Brenda, R.D. Becoming Vegetarian. Summertown, TN: Book Publishing, 1995.

Robbins, John. The Food Revolution. Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, 2001.

Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York: Avon Books, 1977; reprinted by Ecco Press, 2001.

Vegetarian Cookbooks

McDougall, John and McDougall, Mary. The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1999.

Raymond, Jennifer. The Peaceful Palate; Fine Vegetarian Cuisine. Summertown, TN: Book Publishing, 1996.

Robertson, Laurel et. al. The New Laurel's Kitchen. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1986.

Stepaniak, Joanne. Table for Two. Summertown, TN: Book Publishing, 1996.

Wasserman, Debra, and Charles Stahler. Meatless Meals for Working People. Baltimore: Vegetarian Resource Group, 2001 (3rd ed.).

Websites

Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians <http://www.serv-online.org>.

Vegetarian Resource Group <http://www.vrg.org>.

VegSource <http://www.vegsource.com>.

 

-------------------------------------------------

NOTES

1. United States Department of Agriculture, Economics and Statistics System, Livestock Slaughter, 2001 Annual Summary <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/livestock/pls-bban/lsan0302.pdf> Poultry Slaughter, 2001 Annual Summary <http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/poultry/ppy-bban/pslaan02.pdf>.

2. Isaac Bashevis Singer, "The Letter Writer," The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1981) 271.

3. Thich Nhat Hanh, The Present Moment; A Retreat on the Practice of Mindfulness audiocassette series (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 1994) cassette 3B..

4. The Fifth Mindfulness Training includes this sentence: "I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations." Robert Ellsberg, ed., Thich Nhat Hanh: Essential Writings (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001) 159-160.

5. Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching (New York: Broadway Books, 1998) 97.

6. United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industry Injury and Illness Data, Table S01: Highest Incidence Rates of Total Nonfatal Occupational Injury and Illness Cases, Private Industry, 2000 <http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/ostb0988.pdf>.

7. Sir Paul McCartney, quoted by the International Vegetarian Union <http://www.ivu.org/people/music/macca.html>.

8. Dr. Tony Page, Buddhism and Animals (London: UKAVIS, 1999) 122-123.

9. Roshi Philip Kapleau, To Cherish All Life; A Buddhist View of Animal Slaughter and Meat Eating (Rochester, NY: Zen Center, 1981) 31.

10. Peter Singer, "A Vegetarian Philosophy," Writings on an Ethical Life (New York: Ecco Press, 2000) 68.

11. Surangama Sutra, trans. Charles Luk <http://home.wanadoo.nl/ekayana/5,1.html>.

12. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, The Lankavatara Sutra; A Mahayana Text (Boulder, CO: Prajna Press, 1978) 213, 219.

13. Robert Thurman, The Inner Revolution (New York: Riverhead Books, 1998) 123.

14. Indian Vegetarian Congress, The Vegetarian Way; published on the occasion of the XIX World Vegetarian Congress held in India 1967 (Madras: Free India Press, 1967).

15.The Dalai Lama, Live in a Better Way; Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness (New York: Viking Compass, 2001) 68.

16. Thich Nhat Hanh with the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village, Stepping Into Freedom; An Introduction to Buddhist Monastic Training (Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press, 1997) 34.

17. Thich Nhat Hanh, "Cultivating Compassion, Responding to Violence," The Mindfulness Bell; A Journal of the Art of Mindful Living Winter 2001-2002: 11.