Category Archives: Vegetarianism

Are Hypocrites Simply Stupid?

Are Hypocrites Simply Stupid?

gandhi quote

The back of the T-shirt worn by the guy in front of me as I waited in line at Chipotle carried one of Gandhi’s most well-known quotes:

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

I try not to be judgmental, but this guy’s body type was not that of a vegetarian or vegan. He was corpulent. So I was not surprised that he skipped the tofu (sofritas in Chipotle-ese) and ordered chicken and double beef. I can only guess that he interpreted Gandhi’s saying as urging people to be nice to their pets. Who knows? Or maybe he went much further in his own mind and believed that “food animals” should be slaughtered humanely. Maybe he even thought that “food animals” should be uncaged, i.e., free to roam before they were slaughtered so that he could enjoy a protein-rich lunch to nurture his morbidly obese body.

“Food animals” were obviously not on his compassion radar. No doubt he sees himself as urging his fellow Americans to join him in achieving the same greatness and moral progress that he has achieved in being nice to cats and dogs and treating “food animals” with kindness until it’s time to end the kindness.

I couldn’t help but recall comedian Steve Martin’s line: “How can you BE so damn dumb?”

Zen And Eating Meat

Zen And Eating Meat

Becoming a vegetarian is the single most effective thing that a single individual can do to inhibit global warming. It dwarfs the impact of switching light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent or LEDs, driving more fuel efficient or electric cars, using Energy Star appliances, putting solar panels on our roofs, and so on. Some researchers… Continue Reading

Meat, Murder, Tofu And Zen

Meat, Murder, Tofu And Zen

The first fold of the Eightfold Path, Right View, is sometimes translated as Right Understanding and is explained by many commentators to mean that one has Right Understanding if one understands the Four Noble Truths. But that common explanation doesn’t jive with the Buddha’s words. He said the first fold of the Eightfold Path was… Continue Reading

Are Zen Buddhists Vegetarians?

Are Zen Buddhists Vegetarians?

I know self-proclaimed Buddhists who brag that they eat meat because they have transcended all notions of right and wrong and are no longer concerned about trivial issues such as eating veggies or the dead bodies of slaughtered animals. They proclaim that only the unenlightened care about such a non-issue. “Grow up,” they tell me. “It’s… Continue Reading

Zen, the Sniper and Jesus

Zen, the Sniper and Jesus

In the spring of 2009, I saw a pickup truck with “My boss is a Jewish carpenter” on one bumper and “This vehicle will be unoccupied in case of Rapture” on the other. Centered on the glass behind the passenger compartment was the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (the logo of the Marines), under which appeared… Continue Reading

How To Practice Zen