Dietary Customs of Buddhism

Quinn Meurer B1 B3

Overview of Buddhist Dietary Customs

Like in many other religions, food in Buddhism, is somewhat related to religion. Buddhist dietary laws are based around the five precepts, moral laws that all Buddhists live by. Even though only Buddhist monks and nuns follow Buddhist dietary rules to their core, ordinary Buddhists can follow the rules lightly also. The First precept is to refrain from harming any other living being. This means that Buddhists should be vegetarian, in order to avoid killing animals for food. The fifth precept is to refrain from using intoxicants. This mean that some strict observers of Buddhism do not eat flavorful food because it is similar to intoxicants. Some buddhists believe that food is only for nourishment and not for enjoyment. According to the fifth precept mixing food is encouraged also. Mixing food also mixes their flavors, so it is thought of just as food rather than thought about as a source of pleasure. The second precept is not to take what hasn't been given, and give freely. This means that in some countries giving food

to Buddhist monks is encouraged, but even giving to food pantries help.