I have a question that arose while visiting my cousin this weekend. When visiting I try and be helpful in appreciation for his hospitality. Sometimes he will ask me to help cook food on the grill. While I don’t eat any of the meat that is cooked I wonder if cooking it for others is something I should try to avoid. You have taught me to blend so I have applied that in the cooking of meat for others. Am I following your direction correctly?
BB, Manhattan Beach, California
You did the right thing to “blend in”.
It’s not only to show your appreciation, but it’s also to show your kindness:
- To your host and guests: in helping them at the grill, you’re helping to nourish their body.
- While you do not eat meat, it’s OK to cook meat for them if they ask for your help.
- There is a small little thing that you should learn to take care of: We don’t eat meat to avoid engaging in a killing cycle: we kill animals to eat their flesh; they then in turn will kill us and eat ours to return the favor. This is inevitable because of the law of cause and effect.
Even though you did not directly engage on the meat purchase for consumption (and thus perpetuating the cycle), you however did directly get yourself involved in meat consumption by grilling the meat.
In this case, you could have recited the Amitabha Buddha’s name while you were at the grill and dedicated the recitation to those animals. Or purchase a little rebirth plaque on their behalf next time you are at a Pure Land Assembly.
This is called turning hatred into gratitude through kindness, turning potential adversaries into future friends.