No one can compel you to eat meat or to be vegetarian. You have to think carefully for yourself, and then act according to your own values and for your own reasons. […] The reasons have to be compelling and convincing enough to change our mental attitudes, not just our physical actions. Only a change in attitude can sustain changes in our behavior in the long run.
This choice simply cannot be foisted on us from outside. We see the reality of what happens to the animals. But all the information in the world is not enough if our heart is not moved. We need to make a decision from the depth of our heart, so that we just do not want meat, and so that this feeling is genuine and arises spontaneously.
The good thing is, if you give up meat for a while and then slip back, you can always try again. There is no reason why you cannot make a new effort. It will not be a loss to try again and again.
Finally, if you want to give up meat, but can’t seem to get rid of the habit, one solution is to put yourself in the cage where the animals are held before slaughter. Spend some time in there. If you like chicken, spend some time in a chicken coop. If you like pork, spend time in a sty, if only in your imagination. See how it feels. Then decide.
from the book The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out
translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar & Damchö Diana Finnegan
Read a random quote or see all quotes by the 17th Karmapa.
Further quotes from the book The Heart Is Noble:
- Our life is vast
- Just Love
- We truly have everything we need already
- Disconnected from our own noble heart
- Look what he did
- Interdependent reality
- Who are you
- Our relationship to the material world
- The kindness we receive from others
- Making healthy relationships possible
- Take joy in your sincere intentions
- Distinguishing between wants and needs
- Breaking barriers
- Boxing Love with Our Expectations
- Facing Impermanence Wisely
- Greed is a recipe for dissatisfaction
- Balanced Life
- The intention to work for others
- True Wealth
- Life in Balance