Buddhist Teachings and a Plant-Based Diet in the 21st Century – Help Animals India - Saving India's Forgotten Animals

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Buddhist Teachings and a Plant-Based Diet in the 21st Century

A talk in Nepal by Eileen Weintraub at the 2022 Vegan Himalayan Festival.

Speakers (Left to Right): Eileen Weintraub (Founding Director, Help Animals India), Vikshu Angphuri Sherpa (Author, plant-based health advocate & monk), Monk Sumangalu (Thervada monk)

Pancha Sila, which are the five principles of virtues to be followed by Buddhists, includes refraining from killing any living beings as its first principle. This is conceived as the principle of Ahimsa (non-violence). What does this virtue mean? Is it limited to not killing non-human animals directly? Where does the realm of ahimsa begin and what is its relevance with our diet in the 21st as much of animal agriculture has been commercialized and industrialized? As profit-driven factory farming is on the rise throughout Asia and knowing now the comparatively huge amount of environmental resources being used to “produce” nutrition through animals as the planet struggles to feed nearly 8 billion people, we discuss how eating less resource-consuming sources of nutrition, such as eating more plant-based foods, relates in relation to daily practised Buddhist principles in the 21st century, this and more will be explored, discussed and analyzed.

Download a transcript of the talk along with the slides of the presentation.