the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby waterchan » Sun May 04, 2014 5:35 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
waterchan wrote:Could that not be considered a valid way of loving animals?


Yes, I think so, the higher altruistic, metta, karuna, and mudita love.


Okay, just that to me it sounded like you were saying that PETA peeps have no love for animals because they don't keep pets. :thinking:
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby beeblebrox » Sun May 04, 2014 7:37 pm

chownah wrote:Are you saying that if one witnesses a chicken's death that if one uses this experience to study one's aversions that this is perverse or are you saying that maintaining equanimity even when a chicken dies is perverse?.........or both?......or something else?


Hi Chownah,

I'm sorry for the confusion. I meant it was in the way that Waterchan's post seemed to be read that is perverse...

I understood it to be about witnessing a chicken be killed alive for one's consumption. If a lay person wanted to use the Vinaya as a guideline for his/her moral behavior, it actually forbids a Bhikkhu from doing that.

Of course, a lay person is still free to practice in whatever ways he wishes... but it is not something that I would suggest, personally.

It's not due to aversion... but as a concern for the person's judgment in using the chickens in this way as a practice.

:anjali:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Sun May 04, 2014 8:12 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:All of us have a need to consume life in order to live. It seems only omnivores truly have a choice as to what they consume given that both forms of nutrients are present from which to choose.

Only human beings have the choice of choosing what to eat based on ethical or moral standards. Or making any choice based on ethical or moral standards (virtue). Animals don't have this luxury. That's one of the many reasons why being an animal isn't as fortunate as being a human being.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Sun May 04, 2014 8:15 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
One of the myths of animal rights activists is that they love animals. It is true that they like and respect animals and want them not to suffer or be killed. But most animal rights activists do not even have pets; some PETA members even feel that pet ownership is not good, subjugating them for our own personal use and desires; declawing them, clipping their ears, etc.


Personally, I don't think that is a myth. Pet ownership is not considered good with regards to breeding, selling animals, etc. However, ownership of abandoned pets, pets from shelters, etc. nothing at all wrong with that. From my experience as an animal rights activist, most animal rights activists do have pets, ones they adopted from shelters, rescued, etc. As far as the "pet trade business" is concerned, yes they are very much against that! In all my years working as an animal rights activist, I've found that all activists I've ever met, adore animals of all kinds personally. Never met an activist that did not love animals personally. A large majority the people that I know who work for PETA and other animal rights organizations, all have rescued animals as pets. Some even have pet pigs! :smile:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun May 04, 2014 9:23 pm

Has the pendulum swung too far with regard to "Animal's Rights?" :tongue:

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Should PETA be reigned-in? :thinking:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Sun May 04, 2014 11:27 pm

PETA is pretty tame compared to the ALF and other radical groups. They've been labelled domestic terrorists by some governments. I think we need activist organizations like PETA but I'm not so sure about radical organizations like the ALF.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Liberation_Front
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun May 04, 2014 11:38 pm

9 times out of 10 any organization with the words Liberation and/or Front are extremist terrorist organizations. I can remember several years back when the Earth Liberation Front destroyed a bunch of large SUV vehicles and burned a bunch of homes under construction, complaining that the vehicles were gas guzzlers and the housing projects were urban sprawl. So what happened? The developers made their insurance claim and rebuilt everything, got new vehicles and more trees had to be cut down to rebuild the homes. Extremist practices tend to back-fire, do more environmental damage and do more damage to their cause.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Mon May 05, 2014 3:04 am

beeblebrox wrote:
chownah wrote:Are you saying that if one witnesses a chicken's death that if one uses this experience to study one's aversions that this is perverse or are you saying that maintaining equanimity even when a chicken dies is perverse?.........or both?......or something else?


Hi Chownah,

I'm sorry for the confusion. I meant it was in the way that Waterchan's post seemed to be read that is perverse...

I understood it to be about witnessing a chicken be killed alive for one's consumption. If a lay person wanted to use the Vinaya as a guideline for his/her moral behavior, it actually forbids a Bhikkhu from doing that.

Of course, a lay person is still free to practice in whatever ways he wishes... but it is not something that I would suggest, personally.

It's not due to aversion... but as a concern for the person's judgment in using the chickens in this way as a practice.

:anjali:

When you say that this is not something that you would suggest are you saying that if a person goes to a market and buys a live chicken and the seller kills the chicken and one has some 'negative' reaction that one should not be mindful of that negative reaction and try to use that experience to understand how that reaction arises and to perhaps further develop one's equanimity?......that it is better to not be mindful of what is going on and just indulge in the negative reaction?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Mon May 05, 2014 11:07 am

Mkoll wrote:PETA is pretty tame compared to the ALF and other radical groups. They've been labelled domestic terrorists by some governments. I think we need activist organizations like PETA but I'm not so sure about radical organizations like the ALF.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Liberation_Front


What is interesting is that these days there are people who consider people in PETA, even in ALF, to be too mild mannered, not extreme enough. It's a revival within the animal rights movement called the "abolitionist movement". They criticize any activity that has to do with improving animal lives on farms, etc. They say PETA and ALF are not even animal rights groups, which is dumb! But anyway! Although, animal rights terrorist are pretty tame in comparison to other terrorists as they have never caused physical harm to a person.

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Should PETA be reigned-in?


I don't think that's possible unless one starts infringing on the freedom of speech.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon May 05, 2014 11:35 am

chownah wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
chownah wrote:Are you saying that if one witnesses a chicken's death that if one uses this experience to study one's aversions that this is perverse or are you saying that maintaining equanimity even when a chicken dies is perverse?.........or both?......or something else?


Hi Chownah,

I'm sorry for the confusion. I meant it was in the way that Waterchan's post seemed to be read that is perverse...

I understood it to be about witnessing a chicken be killed alive for one's consumption. If a lay person wanted to use the Vinaya as a guideline for his/her moral behavior, it actually forbids a Bhikkhu from doing that.

Of course, a lay person is still free to practice in whatever ways he wishes... but it is not something that I would suggest, personally.

It's not due to aversion... but as a concern for the person's judgment in using the chickens in this way as a practice.

:anjali:

When you say that this is not something that you would suggest are you saying that if a person goes to a market and buys a live chicken and the seller kills the chicken and one has some 'negative' reaction that one should not be mindful of that negative reaction and try to use that experience to understand how that reaction arises and to perhaps further develop one's equanimity?......that it is better to not be mindful of what is going on and just indulge in the negative reaction?
chownah


Would you say the same thing about a guard at a Nazi concentration camp witnessing the killing, sometimes its just OK to have a negative reaction to seeing something, no need to get all equanameaous about it......
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby beeblebrox » Mon May 05, 2014 12:48 pm

chownah wrote:When you say that this is not something that you would suggest are you saying that if a person goes to a market and buys a live chicken and the seller kills the chicken and one has some 'negative' reaction that one should not be mindful of that negative reaction and try to use that experience to understand how that reaction arises and to perhaps further develop one's equanimity?......that it is better to not be mindful of what is going on and just indulge in the negative reaction?
chownah


Hi Chownah,

I understand what you're trying to say, but I think that you forget the first precept involves not killing. If the person was a serious practitioner of Buddhism, then he/she would've not gone to a market and then ordered a chicken to be killed.

It is moot whether he keeps on observing his reaction every time a chicken was killed... because if the mindfulness was successfully observed, he would've not strayed from the precept in the first place.

This kind of observation would be unsuccessful every time, by definition.

:anjali:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Tue May 06, 2014 2:43 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
chownah wrote:
When you say that this is not something that you would suggest are you saying that if a person goes to a market and buys a live chicken and the seller kills the chicken and one has some 'negative' reaction that one should not be mindful of that negative reaction and try to use that experience to understand how that reaction arises and to perhaps further develop one's equanimity?......that it is better to not be mindful of what is going on and just indulge in the negative reaction?
chownah


Would you say the same thing about a guard at a Nazi concentration camp witnessing the killing, sometimes its just OK to have a negative reaction to seeing something, no need to get all equanameaous about it......

Yes, I would. There are people acting as guards in concentration camps today who witness killings. The best thing is for them to be mindful of what is happening and to develop equanimity.....this does not preclude action to change what is happening.

I think it would be good to revisit some teachings on equanimity so here is an excerpt from Wings to Awakening:

G. Equanimity in Concentration & Discernment

We have pinpointed the fifth, reflective level of noble right concentration [§150] as the mental state in which transcendent discernment can arise. A look at how equanimity functions in this process will help to flesh out our account of this state.

The word "equanimity" is used in the Canon in two basic senses: 1) a neutral feeling in the absence of pleasure and pain, and 2) an attitude of even-mindedness in the face of every sort of experience, regardless of whether pleasure and pain are present or not. The attitude of even-mindedness is what is meant here.

Passage §179 gives an outline of the place of equanimity in the emotional life of a person on the path of practice. This outline is interesting for several reasons. To begin with, contrary to many teachings currently popular in the West, it shows that there is a skillful use for the sense of distress that can come to a person who longs for the goal of the practice but has yet to attain it. This sense of distress can help one to get over the distress that comes when one feels deprived of pleasant sensory objects, for one realizes that the goal unattained is a much more serious lack than an unattained sensual pleasure. With one's priorities thus straightened out, one will turn one's energy to the pursuit of the path, rather than to the pursuit of sensual pleasure. As the path thus matures, it results in the sense of joy that comes on gaining an insight into the true nature of sensory objects — a joy that in turn matures into a sense of equanimity resulting from that very same insight. This is the highest stage of what is called equanimity "dependent on multiplicity" — i.e., equanimity in the face of multiple objects.

Passages §180 and §181 go into more detail on how to foster this sort of equanimity. Passage §181 describes three stages in the process: 1) development, or a conscious turning of the mind to equanimity in the face of agreeable or disagreeable objects; 2) a state of being in training, in which one feels a spontaneous disillusionment with agreeable or disagreeable objects; and 3) fully developed faculties, in which one's even-mindedness is so completely mastered that one is in full control of one's thought processes in the face of agreeable or disagreeable objects. Because the first of these three stages is a conscious process, both §180 and §181 illustrate it with a series of graphic metaphors to help "tune" the mind to the right attitude and to help keep that attitude firmly in mind.


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Tue May 06, 2014 2:55 am

beeblebrox wrote:
chownah wrote:When you say that this is not something that you would suggest are you saying that if a person goes to a market and buys a live chicken and the seller kills the chicken and one has some 'negative' reaction that one should not be mindful of that negative reaction and try to use that experience to understand how that reaction arises and to perhaps further develop one's equanimity?......that it is better to not be mindful of what is going on and just indulge in the negative reaction?
chownah


Hi Chownah,

I understand what you're trying to say, but I think that you forget the first precept involves not killing. If the person was a serious practitioner of Buddhism, then he/she would've not gone to a market and then ordered a chicken to be killed.

It is moot whether he keeps on observing his reaction every time a chicken was killed... because if the mindfulness was successfully observed, he would've not strayed from the precept in the first place.

This kind of observation would be unsuccessful every time, by definition.

:anjali:

I think you do not understand what I am saying, if you did you would not think that I have forgotten that there is a precept involving killing.

I think you should consider whether you should be declaring who is and who is not a serious practitioner of Buddhism. Your statement disenfranchises 90% of Buddhists in Thailand.

People do go to markets and buy chicken to eat......they do it regularly.....every week.... I have suggested a way for them to use that experience to develop their practice. What do you suggest they should do?

I thought of putting the excerpt on equanimity in this post but will instead just suggest that whoever reads this post look at the excerpt which can be found in my post immediately above.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Tue May 06, 2014 5:00 am

chownah wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
chownah wrote:When you say that this is not something that you would suggest are you saying that if a person goes to a market and buys a live chicken and the seller kills the chicken and one has some 'negative' reaction that one should not be mindful of that negative reaction and try to use that experience to understand how that reaction arises and to perhaps further develop one's equanimity?......that it is better to not be mindful of what is going on and just indulge in the negative reaction?
chownah


Hi Chownah,

I understand what you're trying to say, but I think that you forget the first precept involves not killing. If the person was a serious practitioner of Buddhism, then he/she would've not gone to a market and then ordered a chicken to be killed.

It is moot whether he keeps on observing his reaction every time a chicken was killed... because if the mindfulness was successfully observed, he would've not strayed from the precept in the first place.

This kind of observation would be unsuccessful every time, by definition.

:anjali:

I think you do not understand what I am saying, if you did you would not think that I have forgotten that there is a precept involving killing.

I think you should consider whether you should be declaring who is and who is not a serious practitioner of Buddhism. Your statement disenfranchises 90% of Buddhists in Thailand.

People do go to markets and buy chicken to eat......they do it regularly.....every week.... I have suggested a way for them to use that experience to develop their practice. What do you suggest they should do?

I thought of putting the excerpt on equanimity in this post but will instead just suggest that whoever reads this post look at the excerpt which can be found in my post immediately above.
chownah


One can still call oneself a "Buddhist" and kill beings, steal, etc. Those who do that are just closer to the "not serious" as opposed to the "serious" part of the Buddhist spectrum.

Either way we're all owners of our own actions and will be heir to them. That's what's important to recall every day along with the other four daily recollections (AN 5.57). If you're "serious", that is. ;)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue May 06, 2014 10:01 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Should PETA be reigned-in? :thinking:


No, what should be reigned in is cruelty to animals in all it's forms, treating animals like commodities or playthings, etc etc.
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue May 06, 2014 11:35 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:Should PETA be reigned-in? :thinking:


No, what should be reigned in is cruelty to animals in all it's forms, treating animals like commodities or playthings, etc etc.


Thanks, Spiny. I agree with that personal approach. May you earn much merit as a result. :toast: By the same token I will observe all "Keep off the grass!" signs, and only harvest my vegetables after they have died and seeded, ; )

Good to hear from you as always.

_/\_Ron
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby beeblebrox » Tue May 06, 2014 2:41 pm

chownah wrote:I think you do not understand what I am saying, if you did you would not think that I have forgotten that there is a precept involving killing.

I think you should consider whether you should be declaring who is and who is not a serious practitioner of Buddhism. Your statement disenfranchises 90% of Buddhists in Thailand.

People do go to markets and buy chicken to eat......they do it regularly.....every week.... I have suggested a way for them to use that experience to develop their practice. What do you suggest they should do?

I thought of putting the excerpt on equanimity in this post but will instead just suggest that whoever reads this post look at the excerpt which can be found in my post immediately above.
chownah


I commented on your response to Waterchan's post... which was about a person witnessing a chicken be killed that he just bought. I thought your suggestion was inappropriate.

You don't practice equanimity by ordering things to be killed in front of you.

That's all.

:anjali:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Tue May 06, 2014 3:35 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
You don't practice equanimity by ordering things to be killed in front of you.

Clearly you are correct. But whatever you do it is better to do it with discernment supported by equanimity.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri May 23, 2014 12:22 am

Vegetarian food can kill you, just ask this poor deceased woman!!

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/05/ ... =sec&or=tn
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri May 23, 2014 3:56 am

Hi, John. Scary!

A classic case of what happens when you get someone's goat, when you should have cooked his goat. :thinking:

Sad! Hope they send him back to Pakistan, so that we don't have to pay for his imprisonment. Besides, federal prisons rarely cook goat for dinner.
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