Krishnamurti on Eating Meat & Vegetarianism

Krishnamurti: Is that really a very great problem, whether we should have an egg or not?  Perhaps most of you are concerned with non-killing.  What is really the crux of the matter, is it not?  Perhaps most of you eat meat or fish.  You avoid killing by going to a butcher, or you put the blame on the killer, the butcher - that is only dodging the problem.  If you like to eat eggs, you may get infertile eggs to avoid killing.  But this is a very superficial question - the problem is much deeper.  You donít want to kill animals for your stomach, but you do not mind supporting governments that are organized to kill. 

1950 3rd Public Talk, Colombo, Ceylon

Meditation means attention, care.  Thatís part of it, care for my children, for my neighbour, for my country, for the earth, for the earth, for the trees, for the animals.  Donít kill animals.  You follow?  Donít kill them to eat.  Itís so unnecessary.  Itís part of the tradition which says, you must eat meat.  Therefore, sir, all this comes to a sense of deep, inward seriousness, and that seriousness itself brings about attention, caring and responsibility and all that we have discussed.  It isnít that one has gone through all this.  One sees it.  And the very perception is action which is wisdom.  Because wisdom is the ending of suffering.  It isnít callous, callousness, the ending of it.  And the ending of it means the observation, the seeing of suffering.  Not to go beyond it, to refuse it, rationalize it or run away from it.  Just to see it.  Let it flower.  And as you are choicelessly aware of this flowering, it comes naturally to wither away.  I donít have to do something about it.

18th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson, San Diego, 1974

Q: If you are a vegetarian and donít get enough vitamin C and all the rest of it then the vitality of a vegetarian goes down.

K: The speaker has never eaten meat in his life.

Q: I donít eat meat either.

K: Good!  So physically most of us are not sensitive, alive physically.  Psychologically, inwardly, we are hardly sensitive to what is going on inwardly - aware of our hurts, aware of our ambitions, violence, hatreds, personal antagonisms and so on and so on.  And mentally, intellectually we are secondhand people.  So mentally, intellectually, psychologically, physically there is not total sensitivity.  And shouldnít there be that quality of sensitivity, not to your particular desires, to your particular wants, but being sensitive.  And that is the beginning of awareness.  Right?

4th Public Dialogue, Saanen, 1974

Because one of the reasons of suffering is this loneliness, this self-centred isolation, and you fill that loneliness with knowledge, with entertainment, religious or otherwise.  And the more you try to fill that emptiness, that poverty, that vacuum of the self, the more pain, the more isolation.  And from that lack of communication, lack of relationship, arises suffering.  And also there is physical suffering because we have misused our bodies, overeaten, indulging in every form of tasteful habits, alcohol, drugs, smoking, you know what you are all doing.  And the stress and the strain of modern civilization, with its shocks, does affect the mind, the consciousness, your being.  And when there is that physical suffering one can deal with it without affecting the rational, clear, intelligent mind.  But that again demands an awareness of the body, the organism, to see that it has the right nourishment - and I donít know why you all eat meat.  I donít know if you have gone into the whole question of cruelty, compassion, but when one is addicted to a particular form of taste, and it is as difficult and perhaps more difficult than to give up a particular habit of thought.  And to observe, to be aware that this sickness of the organism does not affect the mind, it is not a psychosomatic disease.

3rd Public Talk, San Francisco, 1975




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