Killing living beings when doing some gardening 🐌

I’m aware that it may sound a little weird, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

What can we do to not break the first precept when we clean the garden of weeds, etc. Undoubtedly ants, snails and other small creatures will die or get hurt.

It is true that we did not kill them on purpose, but their death is undoubtedly the result of an action that we provoked…

Is there anything established or recommended for this case?

Thank you :blush::pray:t3:!


This has been discussed here before, I think…

You can find past topics by clicking the :mag: search icon and typing in your keywords, such as “gardening killing” Maybe something there is helpful :slight_smile:


I will Bhante :pray:! Thank you!

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My standby sensibility is that we are the owners and heirs of our actions. Almost everything that we do in this life involves some harm to others. Driving a car kills numerous living beings. Much of the food we eat involves death on some level, be it a chicken or an insect. When I stayed at a wat once, for work duty I accompanied a Bhikkhu who was laying water pipes; my job was to dig and pull weeds. His task was to avoid digging or harming any living thing. Being a monk, his practice and mindfulness was stronger than mine, but one some level, if we are mindful of what we do, of what we eat, we can mitigate a lapse of the training rule against taking lives. In practicing this way, we cultivate bright kamma. I think that’s sometimes the best we can do.


Thank you @UpasakaMichael :blush::pray:t3:!


The benefits of gardening are numerous, including:

  • Environmental improvement
  • Emotional health
  • Food - physical health
  • Pacifying the mind
  • Healing the unsettled or conflicted emotional states
  • Mindful activity

All these are skilful outcomes expounded in the suttas as far as I know. To be aware and mindful of potentially generating gardening harm
makes us further mindful of many of the positive objectives.


You can always go super slow and avoid as much damage to the living beings as possible. If you see a snail, evacuate it, if you see couple of ants on the ground, avoid it, etc.

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I saw a snail but it was on a twig. Maybe it was heading towards eaten flowers or maybe it was practicing slow moving munching …

I let be
And it was