Buddhist Monks in China Have Offset 40 Million Tons of Greenhouse Gases


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Tibetan Buddhist monks take part in a special prayer during Monlam or the Great Prayer rituals at the Labrang Monastery, Xiahe County, Amdo, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A newly released study shows that by eating a vegetarian diet, Buddhists in China annually prevent roughly 40 million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of 9.2% of all the greenhouse gases produced each year by France.

As reported in Lion’s Roar, the study, by Ampere A. Tzeng from Arizona State, was published in the Journal of Contemporary Buddhism. Called “Vegetarian Diets: A Quantitative Assessment,” it may provide further impetus for a trend that’s already underway: More and more Buddhists are going vegetarian. In Tibetan Buddhism, a number of voices have spoken out in favor of eliminating animals from one’s diet, including the head of the Kagyu school, and “the world’s happiest man,” Buddhist monk Matthieu Richard.

Not all Buddhists in China or anywhere else are vegetarian, and certainly vegetarians are in the minority among the Chinese, who are famously omnivorous. On a visit to Guangzhou, a local man told me that, “The Chinese will eat anything…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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Sasha Harriet

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