Shravasti Dhammika, To EAT OR NOT TO EAT MEAT: A BUDDHIST REFLECTION
Chapter 1 Vegetarianism in ancient India
8. After this the next evidence of a Buddhist move towards vegetarianism comes from the edicts of the great Buddhist emperor Asoka Maurya. In an edict issued in 257 BCE he said, “Formerly, in the kitchen of the king, hundreds of thousands of animals were killed every day to make curry. But with the writing of this Dhamma edict only three creatures, two peacocks and a deer, are killed and the deer not always. And in time, not even these three creatures will be killed.” This edict reflects well the early Buddhist attitude to vegetarianism – it is a good thing, so we cut down our consumption of meat and in time we’ll get around to phasing it out. Later, in 243 BCE Asoka issued another edict banning the slaughter, branding, castrating of domestic animals on certain days of each month. In this same edict he also announced a ban on the hunting of certain wild animals and the setting up of forest reserves where no hunting was to be allowed. After this we get no evidence of Buddhist vegetarianism for several centuries.
達爾卡法師 著 伍煥炤 譯 ：《吃肉還是不吃肉：佛教的反思》
8. 另一個有關佛教趨向素食主義的證據是來自阿育王的法令，他是一名偉大的佛教皇帝。在一項公元前257年頒佈的法令中，他說：「以往御廚每日會屠宰成千上萬的禽畜來烹煮咖哩，但隨着這道佛法法令的制訂，只有三隻禽畜，包括兩隻孔雀和一隻鹿被屠宰，而鹿也不是經常被屠宰的，日後甚至不會屠宰這三隻禽畜。」這項法令很能反映早期佛教對素食主義的態度 — 素食主義是好事，因此我們要減少吃肉，日後我們會開始分階段停止吃肉。稍後在公元前243年，阿育王頒佈另一項法令，禁止在每月的特定日子屠宰、打烙和閹割禽畜。在這項法令中，他亦宣佈禁止狩獵某些野生動物，並設立禁止打獵的森林保護區。在往後的幾百年，我們再找不到有關佛教素食主義的證據。