Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Ecotheology Issue 9 July 2000

Buddhist Food Practices and Attitudes among Contemporary Western Practitioners

Kristin Steele, Stephanie Kaza
Issued Date: 4 Mar 2007


This paper delves into the subject of food as an emerging aspect of the Buddhism and ecology connection. Although often overshadowed by the ecological impacts of gas-guzzling automobiles and dumping of toxic waste, food is an environmental issue of primary importance. The raising of livestock, swine and poultry for food occupies over 60 percent of the land in the United States. This industry produces large quantities of runoff from fertilizers, pesticides, animal wastes and erosion which affect water quality; methane emissions and energy derived from fossil fuels contribute to air pollution and the greenhouse effect. Conventional, industrial agriculture contributes to toxic and common water pollution, uses fossil fuel and water for irrigation and depletes the natural diversity of the landscape. Plastic, glass, metal, paper and cardboard from food packaging create veritable mountains of garbage. Even the processing of food accounts for 16 percent of the greenhouse gases produced related to the cultivation, transportation and sale of food.

DOI: 10.1558/ecotheology.v5i2.49


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