I was looking over the suttanipata today and found this interesting
sutta preached by Kassapa buddha.
In this sutta the Buddha Kassapa refutes the idea of the ascetic
Tissa that by abstaining from eating meat etc. one is pure..
“When men are rough and harsh, backbiting, treacherous, without
compassion, haughty, ungenerous and do not give anything to anybody;
this is uncleanness and not the eating of flesh.”
“Neither abstaining from flesh or fish, nor fasting, nor nakedness,
nor tonsure, nor matted hair, nor dirt, nor rough skins, nor the
worshipping of the fire, nor the many immortal penances in the
world, nor hymns, nor oblations, nor sacrifice, nor observance of
the season, purify a mortal who has not conquered his doubt.”
Thus the blessed one preached this again and again and that Brahmin
who was well versed in the ancient lore understood it; for the sage
free from defilements, detached and hard to track uttered this in
Iccetamattha.m bhagavaa punappuna.m, akkhaasi na.m vedayi
citraahi gaathaahi munii pakaasayi, niraamagandho asito
Having listened to the well-preached word of the Buddha, which is
free from defilement, and which ends all misery, he paid homage to
the Tathagatha with humble spirit and begged to be admitted into the
order at that very place. (translation by the editors of the light
of the Dhamma Burma)
Sutvaana buddhassa subhaasita.m pada.m, niraamagandha.m
niicamano vandi tathaagatassa, tattheva
4) Fish: the flesh of any animal living in the water.5) Meat: the flesh of any animal living on land, except for
that which is unallowable. Because the Commentary, in discussing
unallowable meat, uses the word meat to cover all parts of an
animal’s body, the same convention would apply to allowable meat (and to
fish) as well. Thus it covers the liver, kidneys, eggs, etc., of any
animal whose flesh is allowable.
The following types of meat are unallowable: that of human beings,
elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and
hyenas. Human beings, horses, and elephants were regarded as too noble
to be used as food.
The other types of meat were forbidden either on
grounds that they were repulsive (“People criticized and complained and
spread it about, ‘How can these Sakyan-son monks eat dog meat? Dogs are
loathsome, disgusting'”) or dangerous (bhikkhus, smelling of lion’s
flesh, went into the jungle; the lions there, instead of criticizing or
complaining, attacked them).
The Commentary adds three comments here: These prohibitions cover not
only the meat of these animals but also their blood, bones, skin, and
hide (the layer of tissue just under the skin � see AN IV.113).
The prohibition against dog flesh does not include wild dogs, such as
wolves and foxes, (but many teachers � including the Thai translator of
the Commentary � question this point). The flesh of a half-dog half-wolf
mixture, however, would be forbidden. The prohibition against snake
flesh covers the flesh of all long, footless beings. Thus eels would not
Fish or meat, even if of an allowable kind, is unallowable if raw.
Thus bhikkhus may not eat steak tartare, sashimi, oysters on the
half-shell, raw eggs, caviar, etc. (Raw flesh and blood are allowed at
Mv.VI.10.2 only when one is possessed by non-human beings (!))
Furthermore, even cooked fish or meat of an allowable kind is
unallowable if the bhikkhu sees, hears, or suspects that the animal was
killed specifically for the purpose of feeding bhikkhus (Mv.VI.31.14)