There are Danes sans meat

I refer to the letter entitled "To heaven with your abattoir, Mr. Mayor" by A. L. M. Yoosuf (Island 08-03-2002). Although A.L.M.Y. appears to be "fully aware that no religious feast or "Dane" (alms giving) is complete without meat curry, as far as alms givings are concerned, I am afraid A.L.M.Y is factually not correct. I am aware of many alms givings where meat was not served. To make such a sweeping statement, A.L.M.Y should have attended a large number of alms givings.

Meat curry is not a common item in most of the present day alms givings I have attended. Vegetarian diet is being served more and more commonly in the present day alms givings. Some people serve fish curry at alms givings but not meat curry. All the vegetarians and animal lovers I know of never serve fish, meat or eggs. A.L.M.Y. should have limited his observations to Muslim and other religious festivates he has attended.

Quite a number of Buddhist monks especially those living in temples such as "Sasuna", International Meditation Centre and all the hermitages I know of do not consume any form of fish, meat or eggs when they attend alms givings because that type of food rouses passion and is not conducive to their spiritual upliftment. It is noteworthy that more and more dayakayas serve vegetarian diet at alms givings and the number of vegetarian monks have been increasing during past few years.
Dr. D. P. Atukorale
Colombo 7