Vegetarian Food

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 8292
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:23 pm

Bubbabuddhist wrote:What I'm saying is vegetarianism will not stop Samsara--it's a much bigger picture.


I don't know of any vegetarians Buddhists who say that vegetarianism will stop samsara.

We saved nobody.


We saved nobody from samsara, but we can save them from being killed.

The Buddha didn't advocate non-killing for the sake of saving them from samsara. He advocated non-killing out of compassion and in his words:

"All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill." Dhammapada, 129-130


"Monks, one possessed of three qualities is put into Purgatory according to his actions. What three? One is himself a taker of life, encourages another to do the same and approves thereof. Monks, one possessed of three qualities is put into heaven according to his actions. What three? He himself abstains from taking life, encourages another to so abstain, and approves of such abstention."
Anguttara Nikaya, 3.16

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 5876
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:32 pm

Buddha's Dancer wrote:
Manapa wrote:That comment was addressing another comment about speciesists, and assigning worth to one more than another so on about assigning worth to something because we can relate to it more than another living being.


So why should we assign more worth to a Manapa or a Buddha's Dancer than to a carrot. Living matter is living matter!


That is my point regarding food, nutrition is nutrition.

eating isn't wrong, eating because of greed, hatred, or delusion is!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:46 am

Manapa wrote:That is my point regarding food, nutrition is nutrition.

eating isn't wrong, eating because of greed, hatred, or delusion is!

'Lo Manapa :)

I have 'bumped' one of my own postings for you :-

Clueless Git wrote:
Buddha's Dancer wrote: Carrot is a nonsentient thing.

Best not to rule out plant sentience ...

The possibility of plant sentience is one of the strongest possible arguments, for those flying the flags of 'less harm' philosophies, in favour of an entirely vegetarian diet, or higher.

It is a demonstrable fact that one harms far less plant life by eating plant life alone than one does by including plant eating animals in their diet.

Reason being that, due to the way the food chain works, to get a pound of flesh off of an animal one first has to shovel that animal full of many many pounds of 'carrots'.

Basicaly that is no more than a simplistic foray into how the food chain works.

IF all living things, and thus all food types, are equaly sentient then an animal inclusive diet harms more living things and an animal exclusive diet harms less.

IF that is understood then on what basis, other than intentional self delusion, can the 'belief' that an animal inclusive diet cause no more harm to life than an animal exclusive diet causes be maintained?

What can the motivation be, either consciously or subconsciously, for that particular intentional self delusion other than greed?
Last edited by Clueless Git on Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:10 am

Manapa wrote:
Buddha's Dancer wrote:
Manapa wrote:That comment was addressing another comment about speciesists, and assigning worth to one more than another so on about assigning worth to something because we can relate to it more than another living being.


So why should we assign more worth to a Manapa or a Buddha's Dancer than to a carrot. Living matter is living matter!


That is my point regarding food, nutrition is nutrition.

eating isn't wrong, eating because of greed, hatred, or delusion is!

Or because of aversion to the dietary choices of others..

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:24 am

So basically Clueless Git you are saying that you know why Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Brahm, and Ajahn Munindo include meat in their diet, as did Ajahn Chah, and you have deduced that they do so out of greed ? Do I understand you correctly ? Or are you saying that you have thought more deeply about the subject than they have and that therefore you are able to judge the behaviour of others ? Including Buddhist teachers who show evidence of great accomplishments in Buddhist terms ?

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:55 am

PeterB wrote:Or because of aversion to the dietary choices of others..

I have to agree with you on that one Peter.

It's a long time ago now but once I was highly adverse to the 'less harm' dietary choices of others too.

Somewhat amusingly I have found that you can produce 'dietary choice aversion' in nearly anyone just by politely introducing yourself with the words "Hello, would you mind very much if what I choose for lunch today is you?"

Most people react equaly adversely to 'dietary choices' that include their children and their pets ...

I guess how far our 'aversion' to the dietary choices of others goes depends on how far away from self our circle of compassion spreads?

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:05 am

PeterB wrote:So basically Clueless Git you are saying that you know why Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Brahm, and Ajahn Munindo include meat in their diet, as did Ajahn Chah, and you have deduced that they do so out of greed ? Do I understand you correctly ? Or are you saying that you have thought more deeply about the subject than they have and that therefore you are able to judge the behaviour of others ? Including Buddhist teachers who show evidence of great accomplishments in Buddhist terms ?

Sorry Peter, posting and replies crossing over there ..

The answer to the question is simply this:

Anyone who is 'happier' eating another than they would be happy about being eating themself has more compassion for self than other.

I know not if any of the Ajahn's you listed would be as happy to be eaten themself as they would be happy to eat another.

That is a question that they, we, I, you, anyone, can only answer themself.

I am DEFINITELY adverse to the idea of being eaten myself, btw.

May I safely assume that your own 'non aversion' to the dietary choices of others excludes the dietary choices of those who's choice of lunch is you?

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:37 am

Clueless Git wrote:It is a demonstrable fact that one harms far less plant life by eating plant life alone than one does by including plant eating animals in their diet.

Bottom line folks... :pig:

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:39 am

That is your serious and considered reply Clueless Git ? That Ajahn Sumedho has more compassion to himself than to others and your evidence for stating that is because he would not want to be eaten ?

Frankly if that is the level of debate that you bring to this issue then I will bid you good day and find something more useful to do.

Before I go I will tell you a recent experience. A man was referred to me because he was suffering panic attacks, these were suffiently frequent and severe to have a real impact on his life. To cut a very very long story short I was struck immediately by his enormous anger, particularly toward women. He had been married three times and each marriage had eneded in considerable acrimony. If further emerged that he had an aversion amounting to a phobia about blood. After some time in therapy it became clear that this was the result of a traumatic incident involving menses.
It became clear to me that his veganism was driven only in part by being pro-animal. It was largely anti Homo Sapiens. In particular it was anti women. Subsequently he wanted a kind of Platonic Ideal world where food was pure and free from messy stuff.
Now, I draw no general conclusions from this. I do not claim to know that all vegans have similar aversions.
Just as I do not know why apart from the voluntary contraints of the Vinaya Ajahn Sumedho eats meat. I do know that I trust him and see him as a role model in terms of Buddhism.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:43 am

appicchato wrote:
Clueless Git wrote:It is a demonstrable fact that one harms far less plant life by eating plant life alone than one does by including plant eating animals in their diet.

Bottom line folks... :pig:

I wont argue with that Bhante. i do however feel that after the discussion has taken place, it is a matter of individual choice for those practising the Dhamma. There is not a two tier system of superior Buddhists who eat a vegetarian diet and second class ones who are omnivores. It is simply not of the essence, as it is in Jainadharma.

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:12 pm

PeterB wrote:That is your serious and considered reply Clueless Git ? That Ajahn Sumedho has more compassion to himself than to others and your evidence for stating that is because he would not want to be eaten ?

I am sorry Peter but if a person cares more about harm to himself than he cares about harm to others then it cannot be said that he cares equaly about other and self.

Ajahn Sumedho may,for all I know, care no more that he be lunch than he cares that another be lunch.

That is something only Ajahn Sumedho could answer.

Again I am sorry. I am just not clever enough to navigate around self evident facts. Genuinely. That is why I always home in on real 'eejyutt' stuff like how the food chain works, that more and less cannot be the same, and other self evident things that cleverer people seem to find so hard to see.

I know that offends sometimes and I can only ask of people, when it does, that they show kindness to my limitations and forgive me.

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:29 pm

appicchato wrote:
Clueless Git wrote:It is a demonstrable fact that one harms far less plant life by eating plant life alone than one does by including plant eating animals in their diet.

Bottom line folks... :pig:

Thank you for that confirmation that I am not alone in my insanity appicchato :anjali:

I do agree with Peter that after the conversation has ended it is a matter of choice for the individual as to wether they choose to do more harm or choose to do less.

How it can be reasoned, with ignorance (in the form of not knowing the facts) removed from the equation, that knowingly choosing to do more harm OR choosing to do less harm are both equaly 'buddhist' is the bit I cannot see ...

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:38 pm

PeterB wrote:There is not a two tier system of superior Buddhists who eat a vegetarian diet and second class ones who are omnivores. It is simply not of the essence, as it is in Jainadharma.

Oh help! I'm gonna do it again ...

Peter, I'm not understanding how one can object to others creating a two tier system if the two tier system would not exist if they were not creating that two tier sytem ( a tier of who's life is worth more than that they be lunch, and who's is not) themselves.

It seems that the argument is along the lines of "I approve of two tier systems apart from two tier systems where the upper tier does not include me".

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:42 pm

You have nothing to apologise for Clueless Git, and if people are offended ( within reason ) by one's arguments then that is their repsonsibity.
My beef with your view is not that it is too simple, but that it is too complex. I dont set my moral compass according to something called the food chain. I set it by the moral code that prevails within Buddhism which recognises both the transient nature of all life and our responsiblity to those transient forms. That view says that if we kill we suffer the karmic consequences, if we allow the killing of specific animals for our food we suffer the karmic consequences. However if we eat meat from creatures killed without our personal knowledge then we do not accrue negative karma. I did not make that up. And it is a bodge job quite clearly. it is not consistant, it is possible to drive a coach and horses through it, and Ajahn Sumedho knows that. The Buddha knew that. The point being that it is expedient. It is not an attempt to create a coherent moral code like that of the Pharisees. Or like that of the Vedic culture that formed the backdrop that the Buddha moved his Dhamma way from. It was saying quite clearly this issue is not of the essence. The precepts are of the essence, the eightfold path is of the essence. And through the ages Buddhist have had no problem in keeping the precepts in their own view, and walking the 8FP with little or no consideration as to what to have for lunch.
It is a matter of individual choice. I am quite happy for you to choose a vegan diet. I am also happy that most of my teachers eat meat. It is not of the essence. If someone decides that for them a veg diet is an essential part of their Dhamma practice I will support and respect that. And if someone decides that their priorities lie elsewhere I will support and respect that also.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:48 pm

Clueless Git wrote:
PeterB wrote:There is not a two tier system of superior Buddhists who eat a vegetarian diet and second class ones who are omnivores. It is simply not of the essence, as it is in Jainadharma.

Oh help! I'm gonna do it again ...

Peter, I'm not understanding how one can object to others creating a two tier system if the two tier system would not exist if they were not creating that two tier sytem ( a tier of who's life is worth more than that they be lunch, and who's is not) themselves.

It seems that the argument is along the lines of "I approve of two tier systems apart from two tier systems where the upper tier does not include me".


Some Buddhists dont eat meat. Some do.The latter almost certainly form the vast majority. Thats the way it is. You see Clueless Git I dont see any indication that you have any wider interest in Buddhism other than what Buddhist eat. I dont see you posing questions on any other aspects of Buddhism or on its practises. Just what Buddhists have for lunch. If I am wrong and you have indicated a wider interest than converting all Buddhists to veganism. I apologise.

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:58 pm

The bottom line (referred to above) is the bottom line...unarguable...well, everything's arguable but there's no getting around the validity...it may have pained the Buddha greatly to have to allow the Sangha to consume flesh...we don't know...and while I hold Ajahn Sumedho in the highest of esteem, he is still a fallible human, which I think he would be the first to agree...and Git's case is a good one on this issue...to produce a pound of cow kills more life than producing a pound of vegies... :pig:

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:13 pm

No, we certainly dont know that it "pained the Buddha greatly " Bhante. And given that the Buddha was in the habit of speaking his mind to the extent of describing certain actions as " foolish " and the holders of certain views as " fools" I think that given the nature of Vedic Indian he would have dropped a hint or two. Ajahn Sumedho is indeed a fallible human being, as am I, as are you, as is Clueless Git. But I am not telling Clueless Git that he should not be a vegan. I have no interest or opinion at all in what Cluess Git has for breakfast, lunch, or even high tea. If someone elects to eat bananas for the rest of their life thats ok with me. I am interested to learn about his view of the 8FP. I am interested in his meditation practice. I am interested in learning from that practice and sharing insights about that practice.
One of most impressive and advanced Vipassana practitioners I have met was an man who, because he was indifferent about what he ate and they were convenient, appeared to subsist on pork pies and strong tea. he lived to be 85 or 6.And showed clear fruits of his meditation practice.

Clueless Git
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:44 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:34 pm

PeterB wrote:Some Buddhists dont eat meat. Some do.

Happily accepted Peter.

Similarly some buddhists may drink alcohol, some may lie some may steal ... Some may (although I seriously think not) may murder and rape.

That makes no difference to any debate as to whether indulging in drinking, lying, stealing, murder and rape, or refraint from the same, are neutral/beneficial/detrimental to buddhist practice so far as I can see
The latter almost certainly form the vast majority. Thats the way it is.

Dangerously close to Argumentum ad populum
You see Clueless Git I dont see any indication that you have any wider interest in Buddhism other than what Buddhist eat. I dont see you posing questions on any other aspects of Buddhism or on its practises. Just what Buddhists have for lunch. If I am wrong and you have indicated a wider interest than converting all Buddhists to veganism. I apologise.

Skipping the arguments and attacking the man? Ad Hominem.

You are correct though Peter I do indeed post almost exclusively on vegetarian topics.

Again, how whether I post 1% or 100% on the topic adds or detracts from anything I say is something I simply don't see.

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:54 pm

If a Buddhist murders or rapes or steals or lies Clueless Git, there is an overwhelming consensus that he/she has broken the precepts. If someone eats a steak in a restuarant or bought from the supermarket, there is an overwhelming consensus among teachers of the Theravada and the Vajrayana and mainstream Mahayana that they have not by that action broken any precept. They may have offended you. They may even have gone against their own ethical system, but they will not have broken the first precept. The exception to this are the teachers from certain Chinese schools who are traditionally vegan.

My pointing out that you do not interact with this forum except to argue for veganism is not an Ad Hom, it is part of a response to indicate that there are enormous problems in accepting your critique of Buddhism. I am not saying that you joined this forum merely to run your own mission to the Buddhists re what they put in their fry ups. I am saying that if that WAS your only agenda your interactions would not look any different to the way they look now. If a poster ( and it happens occasionally ) said that they were only interested in Samatha, but had no interest in Sila, it would be pointed out to them that one cant meaningfully divorce the two. Just so, as you do not interact on this forum in other capacity than to deliver homiliies of a semi humorous nature concerning what other people eat, there is no context for this discussion to take place. It is not possible to respond other than in the narrow context in which you have chosen to interact in order to exercise control. Therefore a more subtle or nuanced debate is not possible. Even actual AGREEMENT in terms of the wider Buddhadhamma is not possible.

User avatar
BubbaBuddhist
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:55 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Contact:

Re: Vegetarian Food

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:01 pm

Peter, I think you ferreted out the root of the matter.

I'm going to lay out a few facts, then retire, as even though I've been a diligent practitioner of the dhamma for over 27 years( and even studied for the robe for two years at one point) I've sensed my input isn't particularly welcome here, especially by administrators. I can take a hint. However, I was the sole Moderator of the e-sangha Vegetarian Forum for two years, then one of two Mods for the remainder of e-sangha's existence, so let me weigh in here, then I'll retreat back into my cave. :lol:

Discussions on the place of vegetarianism in dhamma practice always devolve into emotional arguments which inevitably lack logical cohesion, lack support from the dhamma, and end in chaotic ruins. We always had to shut them down. ESPECIALLY when Mr. Clueless Git was concerned. He always turned any discussion on any forum, into a shambles. I can honestly say we received more complaints about the Veg Forum than any other on e-sangha. Don't fall for this "I'm' not smart enough to follow complex arguments" persona. This man is a master manipulator. He can keep these arguments going for weeks, and tie you in knots of frustration, and turn your own words against you. In my opinion, he is not a follow of the Buddha. He uses the dhamma to support his vegetarian agenda, rather than the abstention from eating meat as a pillar of his Buddhist practice. We had several people like this on e-sangha, and they kept the place up in arms all the time. Some say this is the practice of "tough love" to wake people up to the cruelty of eating meat. I say nonsense. It's bullying and manipulation. I discuss vegetarianism too. I also discuss all aspects of Dhamma. Get me started on Abhidhamma and I won't shut up.

If you Admins want my advice (totally unsolicited of course) I would shut this thread down and not encourage another one like it. If you let it run its course it will only get worse. This is my prediction, and I am no Nostradamus. Just a battle-scarred veteran of too many Vegetarian Wars from e-sangha.

With much respect,

John R
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mikenz66, Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests