Mahamati, in order to avoid such things, a Bodhisattva one who has
compassion should never eat meat of any kind. O Mahamati, Bodhisattvas
keep themselves from meat of every kind. For those who feed on meat,
already in this present life, their breath is foul and rank; whey
sleep with little ease, and they awake in pain. Dreadful visions
haunt their drams enough to make their hair stand up. Alone in solitude
or else in empty houses, they fall victim to spirits that come and
prey upon their vital strength. They easily succumb to fits of rage
and the sudden onset of intense anxiety and dread. They lose all
mastery of the way they eat and gorge themselves excessively. Food
and drink and every vital nourishment they cannot properly digest.
Worms infest their bowels, and they fall victim to contagious ailments,
leprosy, and other ills. Yet, thus beset, they never think that
eating meat might be the cause."
I have declared that food can be either as wholesome as medicine
or as dreadful as the flesh of children eaten and consumed as food.
Meat is the food of ordinary people, Mahamati, but the Aryas reject
it utterly. Meat consumption is the source of many evils; it is
wholly destitute of virtue. It is not the food on which the wise
sustain themselves. How could I permit my followers to taste of
such unwholesome and unfitting nourishment as meat and blood? I
say rather, Mahamati, that those who follow me should eat the food
that Aryas themselves consume and that the common folk reject? Food
that is productive of good qualities and is free of taint the wholesome
foodstuffs of the wise of old. For my disciples, I prescribe a fitting
nourishment: rice and barley, wheat and peas, every kind of bean
and lentil, butter, oil, honey, treacle, fruits and sugar cane.
I do this, Mahamati, because the time will come when fools whose
minds are busy with speculation will chatter about the Vinaya. And
strong in their desire for meat due to habit, they will say that
flesh is wholesome fare."