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Thanksgiving Message from Man’s Best Friend

by Tim Macejak

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For lots of families, that means turkey. As Buddhists, many of us are vegetarians. So what to do?

I suggest we turn to the advice of an extraordinary dog I know named Sheila. Sheila has written a book titled Zen Unleashed: Everyday Buddhist Wisdom from Man’s Best Friend. Yes, a book written by a dog! Like I said, she’s extraordinary.

Anyway, I feel that Sheila the Zen Dog has a good, solid understanding of vegetarian practice. In fact, I asked her if I could share with you an excerpt from her book, one that discusses vegetarianism. She was hesitant at first, but I told her it could help people during this holiday time, and she agreed. So here is a haiku she wrote about vegetarianism, with her commentary.

Incidentally, she has an additional message. She would like to encourage everyone to share table scraps with their dogs during this holiday time, as part of the Buddhist practice of giving.

Here’s the excerpt:

Under the table
I receive squash, peas, meatloaf
Praise be the grandkids!

You might be aware that the Buddha was a vegetarian. However, you might not know that he wasn’t too uptight about it. Out of compassion for living things, he would not eat meat. However, when he was a guest at someone’s home, he would eat with thanks whatever was offered.

Sounds good to me.

Zen Unleashed: Everyday Buddhist Wisdom from Man’s Best Friend is available from Beaver’s Pond Press.