The Faults of Meat: Tibetan Buddhist Writings on Vegetarianism (2019)

The Faults of Meat collects fourteen Tibetan language texts on vegetarianism and offers them together in English translation. I include canonical texts such as the Laṅkāvatāra and Mahāparinirvāna Sūtras, as well as Tibetan compositions by Ngorchen Künga Zangpo, Khedrup Jé, Gorampa, Karma Chakmé, Shabkar, Nyala Pema Dündül, Shardza Tashi Gyeltsen, and others.

Food of Sinful Demons: Meat, Vegetarianism, and the Limits of Buddhism in Tibet (2018)

Food of Sinful Demons is my monograph on the question of vegetarianism in Tibet. In it, I explore the arguments for vegetarianism in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as some of the cultural factors militating against such a diet. In the end, I argue that the question of meat eating existed at the center of a three way tension in Tibet, with largely pro-vegetarian Buddhist voices tempered both by a sense that meat was necessary for human health and also by Tibetan cultural norms that valorized meat eating.

Notable Reviews:

  • Christopher Bell, The Journal of Asian Studies
  • Nicole Willock, Reading Religion
  • Holly Gayley, Tricycle
  • James Stewart, Journal of Buddhist Ethics
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles

    Monastic Meat: The Question of Meat Eating and Vegetarianism in Tibetan Buddhist Monastic Guidelines (bca’ yig) (2019)

    Études mongoles & sibériennes, centrasiatiques & tibétaines, vol 50.

    On the Moral Standing of Animals in Tibetan Buddhism (2019)

    Religions, vol 10(4).

    Buddhism Between Abstinence and Indulgence (2013)

    Journal of Buddhist Ethics, vol 20: 73-104.

    Book Chapters

    Vegetarianism and Animal Compassion in Tibetan Buddhism (In Press)

    Vegetarians’ Dilemma: Rethinking Food Choice Throughout Time, Ed. Adam Shprintzen. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press.

    A Case for Vegetarianism (2021)

    Voices from Larung Gar, Eds. Holly Gayley and Jann Ronis. Boston: Wisdom.

    Skillful Memories: Recalling the Traumatic Past in the Life of Tangla Tsewang (2021)

    Post-Mao Retellings of Early Tibetan Encounters with the Chinese Communist Party, Eds. Benno Weiner and Robbie Barnett. Leiden: Brill.

    A Necessary Evil: Shardza Tashi Gyeltsen’s Advice on Eating Meat (2017)

    A Gathering of Brilliant Moons: Practice Advice from the Rime Masters of Tibet, Eds. Holly Gayley and Josh Shapeiro. Boston: Wisdom.

    Tricycle, Fall 2018.

    Recorded Talks

    Rethinking Buddhist Notions of Human Superiority (2021)

    Sponsored by the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto


    New Books in Buddhist Studies (2019)

    Interview by Sangseraima Ujeed

    Classical Ideas Podcast (2020)

    Interview by Classical Ideas Podcast