Cardinal precept in Buddhism: not to kill
In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Buddha says to the assembled monks, “If one sees that there is much meat, one must not accept such a meal. One must never take the meat itself. One who takes it infringes the rule.” This is very clear, and as another example, in the Brahma’s Net Sutra, he says, “ Disciples of the Buddha, should you willingly and knowingly eat flesh, you defile yourself.” These teachings are repeated strongly in many other sutras, including the Lankavatara Sutra and the Surangama Sutra, both of which are foundational Mahayana Buddhist scriptures. The cardinal precept in Buddhism is not to kill, and animals are always explicitly included in this injunction.
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