Friday, September 10, 2010

Supply and Demand for Vegetarian Food

I just wonder how many people among my readers are vegetarians on holy days or new moon/full moon days? I think not many.

I observed that not many people are observing vegetarianism even on such days, not to even talk about being full vegetarians for the rest of their lives. I noted that some vegetarian shop owners have complained to me of lack of business. And some of these shops have closed down already. Talk about "Less demand less supply". It's true for this case. You only need to look around at the place where your work, i.e. your office, and count how many people are vegetarians today. Not many, right? In Kuala Lumpur, it is even worse. In order to get vegetarian food, you need to travel very far most of the times, unless you happen to stay or work near a vegetarian restaurant or temple. And that discourages Buddhists from being vegetarians. Hence the situation does not improves but can only deteriorate. While the vegetarian shops decrease in number, the meat stalls and meat restaurants grow more and more every day, fueling further people's desires for meat.

Even though I do think Buddhists should at least be vegetarians on holy days and on new and full moon days (or reduce meat intake on these days), I am also aware that people do have the freedom and the right to choose what to eat. We talk about bodhicitta but yet we seem to only emphasize on our own freedom and rights. When it comes to food, animals donot seem to have any rights. And we spend so much money on animal liberation practices, but yet eat them and their kins anyway. You can't even reduce your meat intake for 2 or 3 days a month? Like I said, the choice is yours. Hence, consider this as just "food" for your thoughts... pun intended! :)

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