the great vegetarian debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Fede » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:51 am

Ron - quit being a smarty-pants.

'Mother Earth' is figurative; Any creature on this planet, has a physical biological mother.

There is a clear distinction, and if common sense does not prevail, you might as well suggest you cannot possibly drink water that might have come from a natural spring that is, in turn, the "fruit of Mother Earth's loins".

By all means be strict.
But let's not get anal.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:22 pm

Fede wrote:Ron - quit being a smarty-pants.

'Mother Earth' is figurative; Any creature on this planet, has a physical biological mother.

There is a clear distinction, and if common sense does not prevail, you might as well suggest you cannot possibly drink water that might have come from a natural spring that is, in turn, the "fruit of Mother Earth's loins".

By all means be strict.
But let's not get anal.


Perhaps I was just using an "anal"-ogy. :tongue:

The reality of our universe is that energy and mass are related in accordance with E=MC^2. It has long been known that all of our constituent atoms and those of our planet were in fact manufactured through the processes we call stars. Therefore, in a very real sense, The Earth, our planet, as all the planets in our solar system, derived of the death of a previous local star, along with energy provided by our sun, reborn of the very same mother-star were in fact our actual mothers. Subsequently, as life arose on our planet, just so all life forms over vast time periods our components of life have been assembled, reacted in a grand biological cauldron of living, thriving, energetic forms, deteriorated, reabsorbed as nutrients, and seemingly endless etceteras in this grand interconnected web of existence we call life. "All life", not just animal life. :soap:

Therefore, and in conclusion, in a very real sense some of you was my mother in a previous rebirth, and some of me was your mother as well in a previous rebirth. This cannot be denied. So, stop scolding your mother and give me a hug. :heart: :hug: :heart: And, when you next look up in the sky, say with surety, "Hi, great sky mother!", and then bend over and kiss The Earth and say, "Hello, great Earth Mother!" This is greeting made daily by many peoples of native Americans. And as you already know, "The truth (dhamma) is the truth, no matter what the source."

AUTHOR: Family members state that the following prayer, as translated into English, was confirmed as being accurate by a woman who, at the time, was the hereditary Grandmother of the Turtle Clan of the Cornplanter Tribe of the Seneca Nation of the Haudenosaunee. (She has since passed.)

Over the centuries, at the time of the "nut festival," the Grandmother of the Turtle Clan would say the following prayer prior to everyone partaking in the feast that was part of the festival. The nut festival was held in late autumn, following the gathering of nuts and other food to store for winter.


GREETINGS TO THE NATURAL WORLD!

(Greet the People)

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Earth Mother)

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Waters)

We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms - waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Fish)

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Plants)

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Food Plants)

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Medicine Herbs)

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning, they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Animals)

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Trees)

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Birds)

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds - from the smallest to the largest - we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Four Winds)

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Thunder Beings)

Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Sun)

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to Grandmother Moon)

We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Stars)

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Enlightened Teachers)

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.

Now our minds are one.

(Give thanks to the Creator)

Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

(Closing Words)

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.



Note: The words in bold in parenthesis are not meant to be spoken aloud. They are just page headings to help readers scan and interpret the article.

source: http://www.aaanativearts.com/article1011.html


P.S. I have been called "sweety-pants", but never "smarty-pants". Based on past performance, my pants aren't really that smart. You may be thinking of someone else. :thinking:

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A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:42 pm

Fungi: Plant neurobiological and vascular distribution network, and The Very First Internet:

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_o ... world.html
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:23 pm

The world from the plant's viewpoint:

http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_pollan ... _view.html
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Fede » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:08 pm

I'm so sorry....I thought the name 'Pollan' was a joke.....

It's not.....
Weirdly appropriate, then........
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:28 am

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:32 am

Globe Bio: All about plants. (Good primer for the inexperienced and ignorant.)

http://www.globio.org/glossopedia/artic ... ?art_id=30
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ervin » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:18 am

Peace. I am guessing that plant base food doesn't feel pain when eaten. I suppose plants don't have a nervous system to process pain. Wouldn't it be like cuting your nails or hair when we do it to fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. Plants don't have brains also to process pain.

I would say that it would mean that we are more compassionate if we where vegan for the reasons I mentioned. Yet sometimes I think it might be ok to eat meat. I suppose the monotheistic teachings say that you can eat animals.

So what do you think? Is it more compassionate to be vegan?

And if and or since you don't believe in monotheism where do you get moral authority from to eat animals and their products?

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:25 am

Ervin wrote:Peace. I am guessing that plant base food doesn't feel pain when eaten.


Since your post deals primarily with the philosophical issues regarding veganism, I have moved it to this 'Great vegetarian debate' (great, as in large).

See the thousands of posts in this thread for some comments relating to your questions. :reading:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:10 pm

Ervin wrote:Peace. I am guessing that plant base food doesn't feel pain when eaten. I suppose plants don't have a nervous system to process pain. Wouldn't it be like cuting your nails or hair when we do it to fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. Plants don't have brains also to process pain.

I would say that it would mean that we are more compassionate if we where vegan for the reasons I mentioned. Yet sometimes I think it might be ok to eat meat. I suppose the monotheistic teachings say that you can eat animals.

So what do you think? Is it more compassionate to be vegan?

And if and or since you don't believe in monotheism where do you get moral authority from to eat animals and their products?

Thanks


Ervin, your question has already been addressed in this thread. I Second Dave's suggestion about your reading the thread first before asking the same questions again, and again, and again. :zzz:

However,

Plants do have nervous systems. They do communicate. They also have vascular systems. You need to study plant physiology and behavior first before drawing any conclusions about them feeling pain and being less important life-forms. The fact is, Plants are our partners in life. We cannot live without them. In many ways they are like our mothers, which is the justification given for not eating animals by vegans.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:48 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Plants do have nervous systems. They do communicate. They also have vascular systems.


Just as a point of information in this connection: harming plants and harming animals are the same type of offense (dukkata) in the Vinaya. It tends to undermine the claim that non-meat diets are morally superior ones. Eating, as an activity, doesn't seem to be something any primate can do without causing suffering for another form of life.

Welcome to samsara.

:shrug: Complex stuff, but at least we aren't held to a Jain standard, here in the Dhamma.

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    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:48 pm

daverupa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:Plants do have nervous systems. They do communicate. They also have vascular systems.


Just as a point of information in this connection: harming plants and harming animals are the same type of offense (dukkata) in the Vinaya. It tends to undermine the claim that non-meat diets are morally superior ones. Eating, as an activity, doesn't seem to be something any primate can do without causing suffering for another form of life.

Welcome to samsara.

:shrug: Complex stuff, but at least we aren't held to a Jain standard, here in the Dhamma.

:heart:


the reason behind the rules are different, so your rational is flawed.
the rule about plants was because of complaints from lay supporters about their crops being destroyed... vassa started because of this also, the rule regarding animals was because of the act itself being brought to the attention of the Buddha.
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."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:56 pm

Also, one rule is part of many of the Patimokkha. The other regarding not killing living beings (humans and animals) is part of the First Precept of the Five Precepts.

Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

(I undertake the precept to refrain from killing living creatures.)

All precepts and rules are important, but the Five Precepts are the core, which apply to lay and ordained alike.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:04 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Also, one rule is part of many of the Patimokkha. The other regarding not killing living beings (humans and animals) is part of the First Precept of the Five Precepts.

Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

(I undertake the precept to refrain from killing living creatures.)

All precepts and rules are important, but the Five Precepts are the core, which apply to lay and ordained alike.

:goodpost:
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."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:51 am

Why Buddhists Should be Vegetarian, by Bhante Sujato

"There is a wider problem, and I think the discussions of the issue among Buddhists generally avoid this. And the wider issue is this: meat eating is clearly harmful. That harm is a direct but unintended consequence of eating meat. Since there is no intention to cause harm, eating meat is not bad kamma. There are therefore two logical possibilities: eating meat is ethical; or kamma is not a complete account of ethics.

"I am suggesting that, while kamma deals with the personal, ethics includes both the personal and the environmental.

"As well as broadening ethics in this way, I would suggest we should deepen it. Ethics is not just what is allowable. Sure, you can argue that eating meat is allowable. You can get away with it. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. What if we ask, not what can I get away with, but what can I aspire to?"

:reading:

:thinking:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:53 am

That is excellent, thank you Dave!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:59 am

daverupa wrote: You can get away with it. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. What if we ask, not what can I get away with, but what can I aspire to?"

I think that's excellent advice in any discussion on ethics and sila.

:anjali:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:04 am

daverupa wrote:Why Buddhists Should be Vegetarian, by Bhante Sujato

"There is a wider problem, and I think the discussions of the issue among Buddhists generally avoid this. And the wider issue is this: meat eating is clearly harmful. That harm is a direct but unintended consequence of eating meat. Since there is no intention to cause harm, eating meat is not bad kamma. There are therefore two logical possibilities: eating meat is ethical; or kamma is not a complete account of ethics.

"I am suggesting that, while kamma deals with the personal, ethics includes both the personal and the environmental.

"As well as broadening ethics in this way, I would suggest we should deepen it. Ethics is not just what is allowable. Sure, you can argue that eating meat is allowable. You can get away with it. That doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. What if we ask, not what can I get away with, but what can I aspire to?"


    AN.5.177
    Pañcimā bhikkhave, vaṇijjā upāsakena akaraṇīyā. Katamā pañca:
    Satthavaṇijjā, sattavaṇijjā, maṃsavaṇijjā, majjavaṇijjā, visavaṇijjā.
    Imā kho bhikkhave, pañca vaṇijjā upāsakena akaraṇīyāti.


    "Bhikkhus, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five?

    Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

    "These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."

Perhaps it is the laity that could lead the way. If they followed these precepts of right livelihood, bhikkhus would be vegetarian by default.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:37 am

I guess the Buddha could have aspired to not eating meat.
I know he ate whatever he was offered but he could have taught people that he was aspiring to not eat meat in which case I'm pretty sure they mostly wouldn't have given him any.
Some people say that he did not teach people this because it would alienate too many of them and drive them away from the Dhamma.....so to these same people I ask "have people changed or even today will teaching people to not eat meat still drive them away from the Dhamma?"....
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:59 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:"Bhikkhus, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five?

Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

"These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."[/list]



So if as Buddhists we choose to buy meat we are expecting somebody else to engage in wrong livelihood.

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