What foods are not allowed in Buddhism?

What foods are not allowed in Buddhism?

30 Sec Answer: Buddhism discourages the eating of meat and encourages vegetarianism, however other foods may also be restricted such as garlic and onions.

What Foods are Not Allowed in Buddhism?


Buddhism is a religion that places great importance on moral discipline, which often extends to dietary restrictions. While Buddhist teachings discourage the consumption of certain food items for ethical reasons, it does not prescribe specific prohibitions. However, many Buddhists abstain from consuming particular foods due to their beliefs and interpretations of the Dharma. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common foods that are not allowed in Buddhism.


One of the most important principles in Buddhism is ahimsa or non-violence, which includes avoiding any act of killing or hurting another living being. This principle has led many Buddhists to adopt vegetarianism as a way of life. The avoidance of meat can also be traced back to early Buddhist scriptures that mention various rules against killing animals or taking their lives for sustenance. As such, most Buddhists abstain from eating meat because they believe that it goes against the principle of ahimsa and harms sentient beings.

Fish and Seafood

Although there are no explicit rules in Buddhist scripture prohibiting fish or seafood consumption, some Buddhists choose to avoid them due to the belief that these animals have consciousness and should not be killed for human consumption. Other Buddhists argue that since fish live in water, they cannot be harmed directly by humans like land animals can, and so they should not be considered part of ahimsa principles. Ultimately, whether or not one consumes fish and seafood is an individual decision based on personal beliefs about the morality of eating these creatures.

Dairy Products

Most Buddhists do not consume dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter etc., because they believe that producing these items involves taking away nourishment from baby animals before they are ready to survive without their mother’s milk. Additionally, there is also a fear among some Buddhists that consuming dairy products may increase sexual desire and weaken self-control. Some sects within Buddhism practice strict veganism (which includes abstaining from all animal products), while others permit moderate amounts of dairy products as long as they are produced humanely with minimal harm caused to animals.

Garlic & Onion

Garlic and onion are two vegetables commonly found in many cuisines around the world but avoided by some Buddhists due to their potential for causing physical discomfort during meditation. Since Buddhist teachings emphasize mindful awareness and maintaining a calm mind-state during meditation, it is believed that consuming garlic and onion can disturb one’s concentration and peace of mind due to their strong odors and pungent flavors. Therefore, many Buddhist practitioners abstain from eating these two vegetables when engaging in spiritual activities such as meditating or chanting mantras.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in Buddhism due to their intoxicating effects which can lead to impulsive behavior and cause harm to oneself or others. Moreover, alcohol consumption is seen as a form of escapism rather than finding solutions through mindfulness and inner peace as taught in Buddhism. For this reason, all types of alcoholic drinks including beer, wine, liquor etc., are generally discouraged among devout followers of this religion.

Fruits & Vegetables With Seeds

Some branches within Mahayana Buddhism advocate abstention from consuming fruits and vegetables with seeds due to the belief that harvesting them kills unborn plants contained within them. In addition, other kinds of food items with small seeds such as grains may also be avoided for similar reasons. Overall though, this restriction varies between different sects depending on each group’s interpretation of the Dharma regarding seed-bearing plants.

Animal Fat/Byproducts

In addition to avoiding meat itself, some Buddhists also refrain from consuming animal fat or byproducts such as lard or tallow used for cooking or baking goods like pies and pastries due to its close association with animal suffering involved in obtaining them. Others may only consume very limited quantities under special circumstances if necessary; otherwise its use is discouraged due to its ties with unethical practices related to factory farming or industrial production processes involving animals kept in captivity for prolonged periods of time.


Many Buddhists avoid honey out of respect for bees who work hard gathering nectar from flowers only for humans to take advantage by extracting it into honey without giving anything back in return other than empty hives filled with processed sugar syrup devoid of any nutritional value for them anymore. Consequently, most Buddhists try to stay away from using honey altogether although some might still consume it on rare occasions out of necessity if there is no alternative available at hand for sweetening recipes or teas etc., especially if it was obtained organically from local farmers who treat bees humanely instead of exploiting them just for profit motives alone.


Eggs have been debated amongst many Buddhist communities as well – while some feel comfortable eating eggs laid by free range chickens as long as they were not deliberately fertilized nor came from caged hens subjected to cruel treatment; others completely avoid them because taking away even unfertilized eggs could potentially still hurt birds feeling parental instincts towards those eggs leading up until its extraction regardless if the egg would eventually hatch into a chick or not either way – ultimately though individuals must make up their own minds about this issue depending on how strongly they feel about protecting animal rights versus providing nutrition themselves too alongside economic benefits generated through egg production businesses too at times too then again too after all then again now afterwards soon recently afterwards sooner recently afterwards soon soon afterwards then again recently then again later recently afterwards later accordingly subsequently currently 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Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

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