Shravasti Dhammika, To EAT OR NOT TO EAT MEAT: A BUDDHIST REFLECTION
Chapter 1 Vegetarianism in ancient India
9. It is commonly assumed that early Buddhism did not teach vegetarianism while Mahayana did. However, this is a perception that needs to be examined more closely. Of the hundreds of Mahayana sutras only a very small number discuss vegetarianism, the main ones being the Hastikaksya Sutra, Mahamegha Sutra, Angulimaliya Sutra, Nirvana Sutra, the Brahmajala Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra. It is not easy to date any of these sutras but all of them were probably composed after the 2nd century CE with parts being added in later centuries. Of these sutras the one that most strongly advocates vegetarianism is the Lankavatara Sutra. It offers a series of arguments in favor of vegetarianism, some of them sound, others rather puerile, for example, that you will have a bad smell if you eat meat. However, the vehemence with which these arguments are presented suggests that many Buddhists at that time were not vegetarian. You only have to argue vigorously against something when there are others who disagree with you or oppose you. It is also interesting to point out that while the Nirvana Sutra condemns meat eating it also says that one is justified in killing people in order to protect monastic property, a weird contradiction of the type still found in the thinking of some strong proponents of vegetarianism.
達爾卡法師 著 伍煥炤 譯 ：《吃肉還是不吃肉：佛教的反思》
9. 一般認為早期佛教沒有提倡素食主義，但大乘佛教則有。然而，這種觀念需要深入的研究。在眾多的大乘佛經中，只有少量討論素食主義，主要的有《象腋經》Hastikaksya Sutra)、《大雲經》(Mahamegha Sutra)、《央掘摩羅經》 (Angulimaliya Sutra) 、《涅槃經》(Nirvana Sutra)、《梵網經》 (Brahmajala Sutra) 和《楞伽經》 (Lankavatara Sutra)。要確定這些經文的年代並不容易，但它們大多於公元二世紀後撰寫，部份內容則是後世加上的。當中最大力提倡素食主義的是《梵網經》，它提出了一系列支持素食主義的論據，部份是合理的，而其他則頗為幼稚，例如你吃肉的話便會發出臭味。然而，這些論據的激烈表達方式，顯示當時很多的佛教徒並不是素食者。你只會遇到與你意見不同，或反對你的人時才激烈地爭論某些東西。有趣的是，雖然《涅槃經》譴責吃肉，但同時指出為保護寺院財產而殺人是情有可原的。這種奇怪的矛盾仍能在很多堅定的素食主義倡導者身上找到。