Just as the karmical, i.e. moral, quality of any action is determined by the quality of volition (cetanā) underlying it, and independently of this volition nothing whatever can be called karmically wholesome or unwholesome (kusala, akusala), just so it is with the merely external act of meat-eating, this being as such purely non-moral, i.e. karmically neutral (avyākata).

'In 3 circumstances meat-eating is to be rejected: if one has seen, or heard, or suspects (that the animal has been slaughtered expressly for one's own sake)" (M. 55). For if in such a case one should partake of the meat, one would as it were approve the murder of animals, and thus encourage the animal-murderer in his murderous deeds. Besides, that the Buddha never objected, in ordinary circumstances, to meat-eating may be clearly understood from many passages of the Suttas (e.g. A. V. 44; VIII, 12; M. 55, etc.), as also from the Vinaya, where it is related that the Buddha firmly rejected Devadatta's proposal to forbid meat-eating to the monks; further from the fact that 10 kinds of meat were (for merely external reasons) forbidden to the monks, namely from elephants, tigers, serpents, etc.

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