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Full Version: What Did Tibetan Monks Eat in the Past?
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Tibet is located on the Tibetan Plateau. As a vast area on the roof of the world, the remote traffic conditions here have almost completely isolated Tibet from the outside world for more than a thousand years. In addition, the harsh natural conditions here, such as high altitude, high-temperature difference, lack of oxygen, severe cold, permafrost and other factors, make the crops suitable for survival on this land few and small, and the number is negligible. Restricted by these unfavorable factors, Tibetan monks can only use highland barley and Tsampa as their staple food sources in daily life.In the season when there are no vegetables or grains, they have no choice but to accept the food dedicated by nomads. So the diet of Tibetan monks and nuns is the as same as that of the Tibetan people, mostly based on Tsampa, butter tea, dairy products, and beef and mutton. Beef and mutton are mainly dried meat.
Since the rise of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it has gradually gained a dominant position on the Tibetan Plateau. To appease the Mongolian tribes, the Qing Dynasty favored the Gelug Sect. Because of its exclusive status, the monks of Tibetan Buddhism, represented by the Gelug School, were not engaged in production activities but depended entirely on believers for food. The most fundamental reason for eating meat is still related to the environment as natural conditions no longer allow them to make other choices.