Geoffrey Barstow's monograph Food of Sinful Demons is the first to significantly explore the contours of vegetarianism in Tibet. His introduction begins by explaining the book's two goals; first to show that vegetarianism “was an important aspect of Tibetan religion since at least the tenth century,” and second “to situate the practice of vegetarianism in [Tibet's] broader religious and cultural context” (p. 2). He then defines vegetarianism according to indigenous Tibetan understandings before delving into the theoretical considerations with which his work intersects, such as religion and animals, meat-eating and masculinity, and vegetarianism and Buddhism.

In his first chapter, Barstow provides a thorough chronological exploration of vegetarianism in Tibet using significant textual sources. He notes that certain schools of Tibetan Buddhist thought especially promoted vegetarianism, such as the Drikung Kagyü and the Sakyapa of Ngor Monastery, but he also finds examples in all major schools. He explains that the thirteenth...

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