Peace !!

I am planning to invest some of my money in poultry stocks in the stock market and having second thoughts. As I understand Buddhism teaches not to kill any living beings although it does not say directly not to eat meat even for monks or laymen.

However , I don't think humans can survive without destroying other species . e.g. Even if you take water it has bacteria or micro creatures in it .

My intention is to make a profit , not kill animals . However I may have contributing to animal suffering by a proxy. I am in a grey area. Is this something morally wrong ?

3 Answers 3


Honestly I would say that it's not even a grey area. For me, investing in stocks in the meat industry is not in keeping with right livelihood. To quote the Vanijja Sutta in full

"Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

"These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."

By investing in a poultry company you are in effect a part owner of that business - therefore you are in the 'business of meat'

Of course when you say poultry stocks I'm assuming that this is a business for producing meat for consumption. If the business is raising chickens so that small children can love them and keep them as pets then fantastic - a wonderful ethical investment (slight tongue in cheek - I couldn't resist).

  • -bucket thanks a lot clearing this up. May 12, 2016 at 3:13

Actions are never wrong in Buddhism. Actions either lead to suffering or they do not lead to suffering.

Some practicioners get very technically crazy on the first precept. Some would say that because you arent actually there killimg the chickens directly then you are not in violation of the 1st precept but then some (like me) say it does violate the 1st precept.

This isn't just a vegetarian issue, you would actually be profiting from the killing of beings like hitmen or butchers profit from killing. So, it would also be wrong livelihood.

We should try to humble ourselves. Are we really better than chickens? If we are thinking with our hearts as well as our brains we would want nothing but peace and happiness for all beings.

There must be better ways to invest money anyway. -Metta-


What you said may possibly be true in that humans many not be able survive without destroying other species.

Also, the Buddha did teach 'karma' is 'intention' therefore the Buddha did not generally directly admonish or criticize people for killing animals for food for their personal or family consumption.

However, the Buddha did say carrying on a business from the slaughter of animals is wrong livelihood probably because this involves concentrated killing en-mass.

For example, in the chicken factory, the workers must spend 8 hours per day killing chickens or watching chickens being killed, dismembered, gutted & processed.

This has been shown by psychological studies to have severe adverse psychological impacts upon the workers, such as the following:

This thesis research focuses on the negative effects that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (later referred to as CAFOs) have on the environment and the psychological and physiological effects of alienation of food production on slaughterhouse workers of industrial slaughterhouses in comparison to niche-market slaughterhouses.... Slaughterhouse workers are also at risk of Perpetration-Inducted Traumatic Stress, which is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and results from situations where the concerning subject suffering from PTSD was a causal participant in creating the traumatic situation.



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