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Americans Versus Buddhism; the Idea of Food

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Americans Versus Buddhism; the Idea of Food

Food is an important aspect in many people’s life. It is what nourishes you and keeps your body maintained and fueled during the day. For normal Americans the daily food consumption usually ranges from about the normal 2,000 calories to 3,000 calories. But Buddhists usually consume half of that amount. For Buddhists food is also an important factor in their daily routine lives. Unlike Americans who’s daily diet consists of junk food like burgers, fries, and grease food, and large portions, Buddhists’ diet is placed on a more balanced and healthier scale that consists of vegetarian or vegan items, making their diet more healthy. The Buddhist ideas on food is different in comparison to the American ideas on food.

In Buddhism, Monks are not allowed to get their own food. In their own countries, they would go around to different houses and ask for food. However in American you cannot go door to door asking for food because if you do people will look down upon you and think that there is something wrong with you. In America people usually work for their food but Buddhist monks are not able to. In some countries where different geographic and political conditions affect the practice of walking down the street asking for food, people can adapt to the country. Buddhist monks in America have adapted to the society through their temples. Buddhist temples organize the food offering service as apart of the whole worship service. So at every service you are asked to donate what food you are able to give or leftovers that you have to the monks. To Buddhists, donating food to the monks is a sign of good character and is something that is seen as a good thing and they are blessed for having a good heart.

There is also the idea that Buddhists are vegetarian. Not all Buddhists are vegetarian or vegan, although it is believed that true Buddhists don’t eat meat. However those that don’t justify themselves by stating that Buddha had said “Eat what is put into your bowl” and they should eat that whether it be meat or not. With the idea of killing meat, monks say that vegetables are killed as well and that the Buddhists themselves do not view animals as superior beings as opposed to vegetables. Even though Buddhists are permitted to eat meat, for the monks they believe that if they were offered meat, it should be made clear that non-monks should not go and sacrifice an animal just for an offering. They believe this to be very offending to kill something just to offer

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