Why become vegetarian?
Vegetarianism in the new era
Master Tran Tam 
 lectures over the internet in Florida-USA
August 10, 2006
Vegetarianism is not something mysterious. One used to think that becoming a vegetarian is difficult but this helps protect their health indeed. Do you know great scientists in the world history? They all took vegetarian meals constantly and realized the necessity of doing so in terms of ethics and health benefits. Occasionally, I read some well-written articles on the era vegetarianism. They proved that vegetarianism was more and more developed and everybody now supported it. They proved that vegetarianism could help develop people’s health and forgiveness. They supplied those wishing to find out about vegetarianism with such materials.
Vegetarianism is healthful because vegetables and cereals contain many nutrients. I have read many scientific reports on this subject. Vegetarians live simple lives and many scientists do take vegetarian meals.
We have learnt that raising pigs or cows and feeding them is a waste of time. People take in meat from those livestock but most of the animal food is from plants. How wasteful it is! Therefore, now we should shift investments away from livestock rising towards vegetable growing which is more beneficial for our life.
I myself think that taking vegetarian meals is the best way to avoid bad habits. They were formed in the society and in our life. When we were children, we did not eat meat. We absorbed bad habits gradually later in our life. Therefore, the most valuable thing for us to do is to take vegetarian meals constantly.
Most Southeast Asians think that only practitioners who leave their family to seek for the Knowledge of Truth and Buddhist followers are vegetarians. That is not the case. I have been living in the United States for a long time and I see that, vegetarianism is very popular among Americans because it is believed to be healthful and able to bring them peace of mind and protect them from sicknesses.
Studies by well-known scientists suggest that American people know vegetarianism is beneficial; therefore, there are many shops selling a kind of food called foreign “nutrition foods”. They are expensive because they have neither animal-related matters nor chemicals and are good for health. This is widely mentioned in newspapers overseas and everywhere. I am sure that some of you here have heard about it.
(The proportion of protein in soy-cake made from soybeans, wheat flour, corn, rice and bean of all kinds is respectively 16%, 70%, 13%, 8.6% and 10-35%. There are many vitamins in fruits and vegetables to ensure our health, protect us from diseases and prolong our lifespan).
Human beings have been accustomed to eating meat-based food but it is their mind habits. They reckon that eating two or three bits of chicken or duck meat does not matter but they do not think their eating habit affects animals’ life. Hence, why don’t we sacrifice a part of our appetite to make those animals more comfortable and less fearful while making our lives more tranquil? When the animals are scared, they produce toxins. When we take them in, they can possibly harm our health.
Vegetarianism is therefore good in both physical and mental aspects. Furthermore, our work is more effective as the foods we eat meet our standards. Nutrients from cereals or vegetables are easily digested, just two or three hours after consuming, thus, the workload of our stomachs is reduced. On the other hand, meat takes a lot of time to be digested and is scientifically proven to affect our health negatively.
I grew up overseas and know that vegetarianism is not related to whether you are a monk or not. Long ago, I lived with an American family, one of them was a vegetarian and the other was not. The vegetarian tended to feel hungry quickly, only several hours after eating. It is because vegetarians’ stomachs do not have to work much and their foods are easily digested; as a result, we are quick to feel hungry. Whereas, meat is slow to be digested and is retained in our body, making us uncomfortable. Consequently, if you want to learn about how nutritious vegetarianism is, you should read well-known articles on this subject worldwide.
Taking vegetarian diets in South East Asia currently is very popular. Every province in our country has restaurants for vegetarians and it is the same in other nations. In American schools, children eat little meat. Rather, they prefer cheese pizzas or meatless vegetable-rich foods. Some eat a kind of vermicelli mixed with meat but some never eat meat because they feel uncomfortable and do not feel like it for their stomachs are immature.
Primitively, we, human beings were not carnivorous but speaking about it now is time consuming. You can read more in books and newspapers. For that reason, we feel more satisfied with vegetarianism and friendly with others, even with animals, because we are vegetarians. Thus, we had better learn more about it and those assuming that eating meat are more nourishing than eating on vegetarian diets should read scientific research findings on vegetarianism. They presented their ideas straightforwardly and persuasively and have been making efforts in persuading people to be on vegetarian diets to reduce inhumane animal killings, betraying moral principles.
Because every health researcher, Zen Master and practitioner explained clearly why we should be on vegetarian diets, I will not speak much about it. Let’s look into our future, if we say that human beings can sustain their lives by using energies extracted from the universe one day, what should we do? Why don’t we eat to be more comfortable? Do you know what I mean?
I remember reading an article written in about 1930 by a human health researcher. I am not sure about the year but it can be easily checked because he is well-known. He opined that vegetarianism could make us disease-free and more lucid. Animals and other beings, moreover, are not terrified when seeing us, they feel comfortable instead. We even love those little animals more. I am sure you know how good vegetarianism is. By the way, from my experience, vegetarians are long-lived.
Not long ago, I read from an online newspaper that Tibet’s Daila Lama said although he was old, he constantly took vegetarian meals to maintain the purity in his mind and build up his forgiveness for all beings. He said from deep inside his heart to let everyone in the world know this. There are many Lamas in Tibet apprehending that vegetarianism has many advantages and can guide them to the peace of mind like what the Daila Lama said. By and large, vegetarian meals’ benefits can be verified by the fact that they are being taken by religious leaders nowadays.
In addition, renowned doctors in the world proved that vegetarianism brings better health and greater wisdom resulting in quicker problem solving ability. Eating vegetarian foods is valuable for our health and mind, which is scientific, not mysterious. In religious leaders’ words, doing so is to nourish affection and forgiveness for animals in our world. For the sake of the environment and for
our love, we had better ban destroying and killing animals in our beautiful planet.
Many doctors solely advise their serious patients to eat less meat and more snack food and soup or use cereal flour, etc. to recover. After recovering, though, they forget that it was such food that made them recover quickly. Worldwide, many still think that vegetarian eating is not as beneficial as meat eating or the former is as good as the latter. That is not the case. The benefits of vegetarianism were scientifically proven as you have seen.
Vegetarianism helps us feel comfortable and relaxed. We still feel confident no matter how the trouble is. I bet that anyone once visiting abattoirs dare not eat meat and choose vegetarianism straight away. We eat meat because we do not know how terrible the killed animals feel. I am sure you know. Therefore, vegetarianism is good not only for practitioners but also for us.
No disciple of the great Masters worldwide from ancient times to present has ever eaten meat. On the contrary, they required their disciples to be on vegetarian diets before teaching them. I am no different. Anyone wishing to be long-lived, to be initiated and practicing the Quan Yin Method needs to take vegetarian diets constantly, the prerequisite to start religious studies to meet a knowledgeable Master and have the practice methods to be aware of the Buddha Nature. Besides ethical principle preservation, vegetarianism is also critical because it comforts us. Meanwhile, eating meat does the contrary, thus, prevents us from practicing. For this reason, the only requirement of a Master is just simple like what I have said. Those wishing to practice this Quan Yin Method, to meditate everyday and to enhance their Wisdom must stick to their ethical principles and develop their love and forgiveness for animals, even the smallest like ants and crickets, let alone cows, pigs, chickens, etc.
Those wishing to practice this method must always take vegetarian diets. I do not intend to oblige you but if that is your desire, you had better accept some ethical standard. At least, you must show your love and forgiveness. Don’t you think that a practitioner killing a cow, a pig or a chicken is ruthless? Whether the killing is direct or not does not matter, what does is there is killing, there is cruelty. Hence, I require those desiring to practice this Quan Yin Method, to explore the release way and to improve their Wisdom and coming to me to be a permanent vegetarian. I do not draw you into my side in order to set up my own sect. Those wishing to live a long life must not eat egg or even just a little meat. Only those prepared for it can study. Eating meat has negative effects on our body. So how can you practice? Moreover, it has a link to our spirit improvement.
Practice requires love and forgiveness and vegetarianism brings comfort. Vegetables and plant-based food protect our health, thus promote our practice and progress. We feel more comfortable and our Wisdom and Spirit develop further. Then our body will be deep in religious meditation, driving misfortunes away and bringing us close to the power of the universe and the love of God thanks to whom we can develop ourselves more rapidly. Not killing even an insect means less worry and more comfort since we show love for all beings and have no worry.
All of the things I have said aims to suggest you eat vegetarian foods and help you find your internal knowledgeable Master, become your own knowledgeable Master, return to your spirit way permanently enlightening your forgiveness nature. Under no circumstances may you kill animals, even an ant.
We eat on account of our mind habits. Since our birth, we ate whatever we are fed by our parents because either our thinking had not been fully developed or they might have known nothing about religious practice and Buddhist tenets or deemed that meat was good for our heath. That is not the case.
In most of the countries worldwide, there are many big hospitals, especially in the United States. Whereas, in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations, we are so poor that we cannot afford meat, live comfortably and have to use low-quality rice while selling high-quality one. Many buy vegetables and cereals which are very nutritious. The less they eat meat, the fewer diseases they contract. In the United States, meanwhile, the number of hospitals, clinics and cancer patients is much higher than in Southeast Asian countries. How beneficial vegetarianism is!
We have read a lot of articles on vegetarianism, haven’t we? We can conclude that genuine practitioners and monks are vegetarians because they have love for all beings. They never resort to eating meat. After watching animals being killed, they never want to eat it again. That’s the reason why I opt to be a vegetarian.
Consequently, we, humans, should think and understand this. All Masters in the past and at present have proved that eating habits have a major influence on people’s Spirit improvement. They, as a result, were strict with their disciples when it comes to this matter and required them not to eat meat and drink alcohol. Vegetarianism has been very popular in the East and the West for thousands of years and was referred to by Buddhism, Catholicism and other religions’ followers including those practicing the Quan Yin Method.
All prominent Masters do talk about it and say no matter how hard it is, vegetarianism must be sustained. In this era, many people have learnt about its advantages and support it. Vegetarianism has become a civilized movement. Restaurants for vegetarians, moreover, are everywhere and books on animal protection are abundant.
Needless to say, you already know the requirements to become a practitioner. From ancient times up to now, knowledgeable Masters’ words remain the same.
Those killing animals usually feel uncomfortable. In this competitive life, they do so to satisfy certain demands or to make ends meet but they forget their humanity and ethical principles without notice.
Now they opine that meat eating is more healthful than vegetarian eating but sooner or later they will realize that it is a wrong notion. It is not completely certain that those eating meat would directly lead to disease contraction but they would have health problems. Animals are innocent and deserve our love. We should prove it through practice and action. Fruits, vegetables and cereals are plentiful in nature and tremendously healthful and nutritious. God granted us with love and forgiveness; therefore, we are supposed to preserve it.
In Catholicism, this notion is acknowledged, too. Bible, which I learnt when I was a child, said all living beings live amicably together. Many people still kill animals because they fail to remember it, though.
If we have a well-prepared diet, we will not feel tired or exhausted even though we are ill. We should also avoid wisdom-reducing animal-derived harmful and toxic foods control what we eat to ensure our comfort.
To preserve the noble love and forgiveness, Buddhists and Christians are required not to kill living things, including not to directly or indirectly buy animal products for meals. It would be easier to reach higher Spirit levels as there would be neither pressure nor desire for wealth and such foods in practice
You are advised to try to protect yourself and recommend others to take vegetarian meals to recover comfort and happiness. The happier you are, the more you know. In spite of living in this world in human appearance, Buddha, Saints and Masters own immense power of the universe and Supreme God to explore the way to enlightenment in practice, the liberation and the Truth, the Virtue and the Beauty in order to help others get out of the birth and death cycle and lead them to their Masters or discover their Original Nature, their Buddha Nature, their souls and Gods.
Therefore, vegetarianism does not mean shaven heads or monk life. Everyone is free to widen their dignified love and to take vegetarian meals. Sometimes, we ask Gods to forgive all beings but directly kill others. What are all beings? They are animals, aren’t they? They have their own soul. When we kill them for meat, we are against our prayers, aren’t we? Thus, let’s stop making mistakes. All the time, I myself advise you to be a vegetarian to save the natural resources and the beauty of the universe God gave us and other animals.
This is also the answer to those reckoning that only practitioners are vegetarians and there is no need for vegetarianism unless you are practitioners. This is not the case. We are humans and so are practitioners. We have our dignity but forget it. On the other hand, vegetarianism or not is just a matter of viewpoint which is subject to change. This is a scientific subject because many people have been doing research on diets and health for centuries. 
Advice on vegetarianism has been passed on for generations though the languages are different. Everyone should do it to show their sympathy and love for animals in need of protection. Consequently, if you wish to be a practitioner, you must take vegetarian meals. Otherwise, your Masters will not accept it and neither will your conscience. Your mind is not peace and quiet, either. You had better consider the teachings of such Great Knowledgeable Masters as Jesus, Buddha or Bodhisattva. The more you consider, the more you know and the better you are. You are advised to know and try to know it. Those wishing to be long-lived or to practice this Quan Yin  Method also have to apprehend it. The explicit rules I have mentioned are not religiously compulsory to anyone. I solely wish to bring Love and the Knowledge of Truth to all of you.