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Buddhists/Meaning of respecting life


According to Buddhist teaching, followers of Buddha should respect all life forms and not kill other beings. Why then is it acceptable for Buddhists to eat meat or use animal products?

Good morning Casey,

This is a controversial topic especially to those not familiar with the Buddhist concept of what actually constitute killing. The person is considered fully responsible for killing if the 5 conditions are fulfilled:
1.The victim of the killing must be a living being.
2.The killer must know the victim is a living being.
3.The killer must have the volition to kill the victim.
4.The killer personally act on the killing.
5.The victim dies as a result of this action.

Eating meat or using animal-based products logically does not put the person in the "killing" category.  Another question often asked is that doing so will encourage others from killing.  Be that as it may, it is always more wholesome and in fact healthy to be a vegetarian.  You have the freedom to choose.

Justin Choo  


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Justin Choo


All your questions will be answered, and you may not have to agree with the answers. Such is the beauty of Buddhism. I follow the Theravada tradition, and have been studying Buddhism for more than 50 years. As I am not a Buddhist scholar, I answer in simple language, and I prefer answering general questions rather than textual.


I was brought up in the 50's as a Buddhist. For the past 50 years I have read numerous books on Buddhism and listened to numerous talks on Buddhism by well-respected and learned monks and lay teachers. I have conducted Buddhist classes for parents of Sunday School children in a Theravada Buddhist Temple. My teacher was the late Chief Reverend, The Ven. K Sri Dhammananda of The Brickfields Buddhist Mahavihara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can view the relevant website in memory of my revered late teacher @ and my blog posting at

I am a life member of the Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia.

YOU ARE INVITED TO VISIT MY BLOG @ Published a book called "The Rainbow And The Treasure". It is a compilation of extracts from various sources to introduce Buddhism to beginners. (Currently out of print)

Bachelor of Commerce And Administration, Victoria University Of Wellington, NZ.(1974)

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