Chiu-Nan Lai

"Being a Vegetarian is a most precious Golden Key"

I have been a vegetarian for eighteen years.

At the surface, being a vegetarian or meat-eater is a food choice and habit. Most people in society are meat-eaters and only a few choose to be vegetarian.

A vegetarian would find inconveniences in social occasions, sometimes even awkward situations.

After being a vegetarian for a long time, working in cancer research for ten years, and studying Buddhism in depth, I realize the choice of food affects a person's health, as well as war and peace. It also affects a person's spiritual growth.

The choice of food is not merely limited to the stomach and mouth. The longer I have been a vegetarian, the more of the world I travelled, the more I rejoice in the good fortune of those who are vegetarians.

A vegetarian not only can enjoy health and long life, avoid accidental death and conflicts of war, but also increase love, and the great compassion that will take one to liberation.

There is ample and clear medical and nutritional evidence showing that a diet-based on plants contributes to health. If anyone disagrees, it is because his scientific knowledge is out of date.

In the experience of myself, family and friends, the change to a vegetarian diet brings improvement in health.

I lived in the Indian Himalayan Mountains for six months on vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and sesames. Occasionally, I would have yoghurt. There were no vitamin supplements, and no health foods, and very little oil. Compared to the time in America, I was healthier and even gained a little weight.

A vegetarian diet can prevent cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, allergy and parasites.

All conscious beings are afraid of death. If those of us who eat meat were to make a trip to the slaughter house and witness where our meats come from, then many of us would change to a vegetarian diet.

All of us have innate compassion. The struggle and suffering at the time of death is the same for all living creatures. Animals are like humans : they generate hatred at the time of being killed. These" Souls" of the animals hang around looking for opportunities to take revenge. This is another reason why meat-eating brings sickness and short lives.

Chicago is a major center for slaughtering of live-stocks. Those with ESP have commented on the density of animal spirits hanging over the city, casting a dark gloom over the entire city. The crime rate in Chicago is also very high, all and all not a peaceful city.

New Zealand is known for exportation of meat. According to some Tibetan Lamas, because of killing, it was difficult to establish Buddhism. Even though they tried many times to establish Buddhist centers, it was difficult to continue.

The karma of killing  ..  if too heavy  .. will destroy the roots of compassion, easily disconnecting from the liberation path of Buddhism. On the contrary, those who switch from a meat-based diet to a vegetable- based diet will enjoy lightening of the heart. The reason is very simple: the spirits of the animals no longer come to claim the debt.

In nature, we observe herbivores are calm and peaceful. The meateaters are cruel and violent. One day, when everyone on Earth stops killing for food, the day of world peace will arrive.

If we ourselves become vegetarians, we will become disengaged from wars. We would be born in areas where the crops are abundant, rain is timely, and there is no war.

If there are so many advantages to being a vegetarian, why not be one?

Everyone pursues happiness, good fortune, long life and health. This can be obtained easily. " Being a Vegetarian" is a most precious golden key that can open the door to life's treasure house.

( Source : " The Pursuit of Life " by Chiu-Nan Lai )

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