|cartoon by Lalaine Navarro|
My little brother and I are in the cab on our way back home when out of nowhere he tells me. "Ate (older sister), you know I hate it when people conclude that you've changed religion just because you're vegetarian now."
I don't know where this conversation is going so I simply listen to his tirade. "I researched about Buddhism (which really means he just googled it) and what I learned is that they hate money. They're dirt poor. So, I gather that you're not a monk!, he exclaims.
I try hard not to laugh. (I love their principles but I am not Buddhist, he just assumed it because I meditate.) If things are as simple as black and white (and if everything on the net is true), then he can be right.
However, being vegetarian may either be a preference or a choice. It doesn't necessarily mean, one has changed religion.
As for religion, I think that it's more than following a set of rituals. I always tell my mom (who's a little bothered about my new lifestyle) that I am a better Catholic now that I meditate. I don't just pray. I also put in time to listen to Him in silence.
As for Buddhists hating money, it's definitely false. I have Buddhist friends who own large businesses. (Dearest brother, research does not end by reading a page on the web. You have to talk to the real deal and confirm it).
Also, please know that money is not evil. Priests, nuns, missionaries, monks, imams, preachers and even saints need this paper to get material goods (which is necessary for living). It is just like a knife, you can use it for cooking food or for hurting another person (or an animal- which I can't do that's why I don't eat them).
Just pleading my case. :)
P.S. Regarding the image. I don't love meat. My siblings leave stuff like that on my computer to taunt me. Oh well...