Are the monks and nuns strict vegetarians (no meat, fish,chicken ever)? I am a 90% raw food vegetarian and have been for many years.  If I wanted to become a Trappist monk and maintain my dietary discipline, would that be possible? Are monks and nuns strictly separated from each other in their living and working conditions?


Yes, in accord with the sixth century Rule of St. Benedict, and in keeping with a special concern manifested during the seventeenth century Trappist Reform, we are vegetarians as regards “four footed animals.”

Fish may be occasionally included in a meal. I’m not entirely sure what maintaining a “raw food vegetarian diet” involves, but I can assure you, your diet in a Trappist monastery will consist of very simply prepared meals of mostly vegetables, beans, and grain products. As regards one’s diet, there is also a strong emphasis on the spiritual value of living the “common life” of the community, that is, of conforming, in your behavior, to what you see the senior monks doing whose experience makes them something like a living “Rule.”

Finally, if I understand your question correctly – yes, monks and nuns are separated in monasteries of men and women. However, within a particular monastery of men or women, members live and work closely together.