“Why are you a Vegetarian?” “Are you a Buddhist?” "Are you a Taoist?" “Why don’t you want to try eating meat?”
These are the questions I get most often when I meet new people. Yes, I am a Vegetarian. It’s a lifestyle, not because of any religion I am in. It was by choice; no one forced me to.
Warning: This post may be a little sensitive; and I really mean no harm if I offend or conflict with any beliefs (I have been wanting to do this for the longest time ever but I don’t know about the responses I would receive). I’m writing it to the best of my knowledge and I really hope I don’t get any fact wrong or put anyone in a unfavourable position.
Yes, I do go to Temples. There are 3 in Singapore, and one more coming up soon. Yet I’m not considered a Buddhist. The irony? Perhaps it was because one always relates Temple to Buddhism. However, I’m not.
I belong to this organization calls IKuanTao. It’s not a religious organization, it’s about Tao. Basically, we are a community with common beliefs. So what are our beliefs? How is it different from any religion?
No, we are not very different from most religious practices. We do believe in the mightier being, or rather, beings. We believe in the existent of all Gods, Allah, Buddha and the list goes on. No, it’s not that we are “kiasu” and believe in all the different mightier beings. It's a philosophy or life. I believe it’s the different affinity that we have with various Gods and so, in different religions.
Here, we embrace all the mightier beings. For that I sincerely believe that religion is a tool that brings all together, the only possible reason for humanity to be restored. I believe that only when we are humble enough to believe that there are mightier beings above us, are we then willing to serve another genuinely, making this place a better one.
And so why a Vegetarian? No, not all of us are Vegetarian here, but we do promote the practice of Vegetarianism. It’s just too cruel to kill another to satisfy our cravings. It’s as though one is eating corpses for his or her every meal. Okay, maybe I have made it sound too gross. Is there really a need to eat them? They do have souls and can feel pain the way we do. They do have families that they want to protect and live with. This is just so wrong. (Don’t tell me about the food-chain that we were being educated when we were younger; it does not justify the need for these animals to go through that kind of sufferings). At least that’s how I perceived it. We believe in re-carnation by the way.
Nope, I’m not a Christian, nor a Buddhist. So I suppose Free-Thinker is a more accurate term? That doesn’t matter anyway. We all have our own beliefs, and different fates. We all grew up in different cultures and environments that influence our beliefs. I just hope everyone can understand; and not using it against one another.