the great vegetarian debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:43 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Vegetarians Prone to Alzheimers in India:

Thanks to DK in Buddha Forum

http://buddhaforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=1242


It cites the lack of B12 among those studied, but doesn't mention the study name or journal. The source looks questionable; it appears to be some investment website?

In any event, the amount of B12 we need is measured in micrograms, not even milligrams and even a small amount of eggs or dairy products once in a while can provide all the B12 a vegan needs.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:59 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:Vegetarians Prone to Alzheimers in India:

Thanks to DK in Buddha Forum

http://buddhaforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=1242


It cites the lack of B12 among those studied, but doesn't mention the study name or journal. The source looks questionable; it appears to be some investment website?

In any event, the amount of B12 we need is measured in micrograms, not even milligrams and even a small amount of eggs or dairy products once in a while can provide all the B12 a vegan needs.


Right! My suggestion in the cited thread was to take vitamin B-12, which can be synthesized from non-animal sources, otherwise vegans would have to relabel themselves as "ovo-vegetarians", or "lacto-vegetarians", which would be surrendering their moral high ground, or renounce the precept: "Take not that which has not been freely given."

Vitamin B12

The molecular structure of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), the most complex of all known vitamins, was announced in 1955 by several scientists, including British biochemists A. R. Todd and Dorothy Hodgkin. In 1973 the vitamin was reported to have been synthesized by organic chemists. Vitamin B12 and closely related cobalamins are necessary for folic acid to fulfill its role; both are involved in the synthesis of proteins. American physicians G. R. Minot and W. P. Murphy in 1926 fed large amounts of liver to patients with pernicious anemia and cured them; the curative substance in this case was probably vitamin B12. However, pernicious anemia in humans is caused not by a vitamin B12 deficiency in the diet but rather the absence of a substance called the intrinsic factor, ordinarily secreted by the stomach and responsible for facilitating the absorption of B12 from the intestine. When a person's body cannot produce the intrinsic factor, the standard treatment today is to inject vitamin B12 directly into the bloodstream. Minot and Murphy's therapy worked because the liver they fed their patients contained such large quantities of B12 that sufficient amounts of the vitamin were absorbed without the assistance of the intrinsic factor. Inadequate absorption of B12 causes pernicious anemia, nervous system degeneration, and amenorrhea. The only site of cobalamin synthesis in nature appears to be in microorganisms; neither animals nor higher plants are capable of making these vitamin B12 derivatives. Nevertheless, such animal tissues as the liver, kidney, and heart of ruminants contain relatively large quantities of vitamin B12; the vitamin stored in these organs was originally produced by the bacteria in the ruminant gut. Bivalves (clams or oysters), which siphon microorganisms from the sea, are also good sources. Plants, on the other hand, are poor sources of vitamin B12. The recommended daily dietary allowance for adults is 3 micrograms.


http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/sci/A0861824.html

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... itamin-B12
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby TheScientist » Sun May 13, 2012 12:08 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Vegetarians Prone to Alzheimers in India:

Thanks to DK in Buddha Forum

http://buddhaforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=82&t=1242



The study that this article refers to is here...'Homocysteine and holotranscobalamin and the risk of Alzheimer disease'

It doesn't look at vegetarians. Rather it measures the B12 levels in elderly people, and shows a correlation between low b12 levels and the risk of getting demetia. However there was no explanation of what caused those b12 levels to be low. It could have been low dietary intake or poor absorption from their intestines. If the latter then could the absorption of any other essential nutrient have been abnormal? This question was not addressed. In addition the association may have been spurious, perhaps another factor induced both poor b12 absorption and dementia independently. Again this is not addressed, but to be fair they were a lot more conservative about the study's conclusions in the paper than the media reports.

The only link to vegetarians is that it has been found in other studies that vegetarians are at risk of having lower b12. Yet it has also been shown that vegetarians have a reduced chance of getting dementia, hereand here. While b12 may be important, other aspects of a vegetarian diet appear to be protective, overcoming the risk of low b12 consumption.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby nobody12345 » Sun May 13, 2012 1:54 pm

I did not read this whole thread because I don't have time.
But on a practical note, I would like to add something for your consideration.
Proper nutrition and supplementation is important if you want to keep up the vegetarian diet and stay healthy so you can keep marching on the path to the liberation.
(As lay people, one of very few advantages we have is we can choose the foods and supplements that we take. The homeless ones cannot do so.)

1. Proper protein intake (must)
You need at least 65 grams (women) to 75 grams (men) of protein from the complete protein source (the ones with 8 essential amino acids).

If you are a vegetarian, you can use dairy product (whey, casein, milk protein), soy, and hemp protein powder to control your complete protein intake to meet the required amount. Dairy product offers the highest bioavailability rate. In other words, its performance is superior than others (only exception is egg white which offers the same highest rate. But since we don't eat egg, I skip egg from this list).

If you are a vegan and don't take dairy product, make sure that you don't rely on Gluten (wheat based protein) which has bioavailability that is very, very low.
I know that Gluten based product are popular but it's not much beneficial to your body.
Juts use soy and hemp based protein strategically.

If the amount of protein you take is much higher than the recommended dosage, then increase the water intake.
If you have weak kidney then add Kidney protection supplement (Cranberry juice extraction capsule. So much cheaper than the juice. Less than 10 dollars a month.).

2. Multi Vitamins and Minerals + Calcium (must)
Calcium intake from multi vitamin and mineral is usually not enough.
Add the extra calcium supplement.
You don't need pricey ones.
Just get the cheapest one and it will still work.

3. Vitamin B Complex (must)
As some of you said, it is difficult for us (vegetarians) to get Vitamin B-12.
Below is the Super Stress B-Complex that I have been using for more than 2 years.
It covers the whole spectrum (B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, and more).
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SW920/ItemDetail
(No, I don't work for the above company. I am just sharing the info since I believe this is one of the best deals.)

4. Raw Walnut (option but highly recommended)
Someone mentioned dementia/Alzheimer.
Raw walnut is the best and the cheapest protection you can have.
Eat 20~30 grams a day.
Don't take the one that is salted.
Just straight raw ones.

If some of you wonder what would be my qualification to give out the nutritional advices....
I used to bodybuild (from the mid 20s to the mid 30s) and studied nutrition and supplementation along with weight training itself.
I am now 41 y/o and don't bodybuild anymore but I still have knowledge on the subject of nutrition and supplements.
My Masters Degree research project was the developing of community education program for the proper nutrition and supplementation.
So you might consider that there's a possibility that my advice could be a good thing.

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confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby jason c » Mon May 28, 2012 8:23 pm

i've been reading some of david snyders writing on vegetarianism and it makes sense, but i could not find anything on veganism other than a mentioning about vitamen b-12. i am deeply interested in morality as our foundation for practice and what concerns me is that people simply want to find a set of rules to live by, a code of morals and then all their energy goes into concentration and all this talk of jhanas. if the buddha was here today and saw the treatment of cows in the dairy industry there is no way he would agree to the consumption of dairy. i brought this up to an AT at a goenka retreat and i was told, that animals are ignorant and we are to assume that our dairy comes from reputable dairy farmers. but in the kitchen i see no-name brand groceries, some of the cheapest items. now i understand that goenka is teaching to the masses and the principle goal is to teach the dhamma. and for this i have the greatest admiration and respect, i highly reccomend this teaching to anyone who is interested. david's writings said that a buddhist could still be buddhist and eat meat, i agree everyone is at different levels. but all the talks seem to stop at vegetarianism because this is what the buddha taught 2500yrs ago. there is no evolution or progress in this teaching. if the buddha was a layman today he'd be a vegan! :soap: :stirthepot:

respectfully,
jason

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon May 28, 2012 8:41 pm

jason c wrote: if the buddha was a layman today he'd be a vegan! :soap: :stirthepot:

respectfully,
jason

Hi Jason,
Well the Buddha wasn't a lay man he was an alms mendicant who was supported by what people had at hand, sometimes this included meat, sometimes not.
and in all likelihood the if he was around today he would probably leave the home again and strive for enlightenment again seeing the fault in stipulating to supporters how he should be served.
maybe you would find the great vegetarian debate of interest.
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"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: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon May 28, 2012 9:09 pm

Hi Jason,

Cittasanto has already made some good points. I, myself, am a vegan but this is a choice I've made for myself and not something that I feel the need to force onto other people. I remember Thanissaro Bhikkhu was once asked whether he thought vegetarianism/veganism was necessary and he replied something to the effect that you certainly aren't making bad kamma if you're not and you may very well be making good kamma through your compassionate intentions by doing so (although everything depends on your intention). I'm not sure if you've heard the story of Devadatta who tried to start a schism in the Sangha by requesting that vegetarianism be made a training rule but either way it goes to show that this dilemma has been around since the time of the Buddha and he didn't feel the need to legislate in favor of one way or the other. I hope this helps you to think through this for yourself. Mettaya. :heart:

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby jason c » Mon May 28, 2012 9:58 pm

cittisanto, i will read the great vegetarian debate later this evening thanks for the post. i realise that the buddha was an almsman thats why i phrased the statement the way i did.

khali bodhi, i am not trying to create a schism, i am comfortable in my own practice and have found it a great benifit to live a vegan lifestyle. you can't say the buddha did not care what others did when it came to diet otherwise there would be no rules or guidelines to live by, no precepts. he was all about teaching. he was detatched and new that he had no control over what others did. and he taught in a different way to each individual depending on their ability. my point is still that the teachings of the buddha are dated and need updating.

the monks at the temple where i live sometimes drive a bmw 40 miles to get their noon meal from a family who donates to them, am i the only one who finds this a bit odd? monks driving? is this common? seems like a waste of natural resourses to me. seems like they should go on alms round in the neighborhood spreading the dhamma as apposed to this.


still confused, :rolleye:
jason

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon May 28, 2012 11:41 pm

Hi Jason,

I think it's great that you are contemplating the impact of your own actions. What's not so good is to worry about the actions of others. Lest we forget Dhammapada v. 50:

Let none find fault with others; let none see the omissions and commissions of others. But let one see one's own acts, done and undone.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.04.budd.html

Mettaya. :heart:
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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 28, 2012 11:44 pm

Greetings Jason,

jason c wrote:the monks at the temple where i live sometimes drive a bmw 40 miles to get their noon meal from a family who donates to them, am i the only one who finds this a bit odd? monks driving? is this common? seems like a waste of natural resourses to me. seems like they should go on alms round in the neighborhood spreading the dhamma as apposed to this.

If they have to drive that far for a feed, then I suspect a local alms round might leave them either malnourished or shot.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby jason c » Mon May 28, 2012 11:46 pm

dear cittisanto and dhamma wheel members,
i read your great vegetarian debate, it made me feel so sad. i don't think there is any point for me to talk of dairy. we are clearly at different places in our practices. honestly, and from my heart you all seem to have much attatchments to break. your eating habits seem very selfish. i think i will leave your discussion group at this time, as this is the only real issue i had confusion about. i wish you all the best of success in your practice. i think my ideas and opinions of morality may be offensive to a great number of you, and i do not wish to cause further pain and suffering. i may be back from time to time as my mind may change, thats what it does.

changing,changing,anicca,anicca
may you all be happy,
jason

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 3:57 am

Jason,
maybe that is useful to understand: Buddha Dharma and Food - consider food as path to liberation Take your time and put away prejudice as good as possible.

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 29, 2012 6:17 am

jason c wrote:dear cittisanto and dhamma wheel members,
i read your great vegetarian debate, it made me feel so sad. i don't think there is any point for me to talk of dairy. we are clearly at different places in our practices. honestly, and from my heart you all seem to have much attatchments to break. your eating habits seem very selfish. i think i will leave your discussion group at this time, as this is the only real issue i had confusion about. i wish you all the best of success in your practice. i think my ideas and opinions of morality may be offensive to a great number of you, and i do not wish to cause further pain and suffering. i may be back from time to time as my mind may change, thats what it does.

changing,changing,anicca,anicca
may you all be happy,
jason

I do not care what you eat and you do not know how members here eat.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"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: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Reductor » Tue May 29, 2012 6:31 am

jason c wrote:dear cittisanto and dhamma wheel members,
i read your great vegetarian debate, it made me feel so sad. i don't think there is any point for me to talk of dairy. we are clearly at different places in our practices. honestly, and from my heart you all seem to have much attatchments to break.


You read 1580 posts in 1 hour and 46 minutes? That's 15 posts per minute. How well did you grasp the arguments?

Don't worry about offending people with your morality, Jason, unless that morality mandates that you compel everyone to agree with you. If you have no such compulsion, then consider youself and your opinions welcome here on DW.

But of course, don't suppose that those that you disagree with have many attachments to break while you're practice rests safely on another level. That's hubris.

EDIT: grammar.
Last edited by Reductor on Tue May 29, 2012 6:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 29, 2012 6:33 am

: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: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 6:57 am

Why? Because it is a group orientated hubris?

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Reductor » Tue May 29, 2012 7:15 am

hanzze_ wrote:Why? Because it is a group orientated hubris?


When Jason suggests that those who disagree with him are on a lower level of practice than he is, then he is excessively confident that his opinion is better one. This is his 'hubris', or 'excessive self-confidence' or 'arrogance'.

In all likely-hood he has not well understood the opinions of those he elevates himself above.

If you are instead suggesting that a group of posters in the Great Vegetarian Debate thread are suffering hubris, than I would agree. The question is, which group?
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 7:19 am

Ever thought of all?

There is just a arahant, free from dept out of actions and total worthy for food. Maybe there are some...

Actually that is the reason why we tend to seek alternative ways to lighten our dept. But there is just one... no more need (desire) for food.

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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Reductor » Tue May 29, 2012 7:40 am

hanzze_ wrote:Ever thought of all?


:lol: Yes.

But context is everything, hanzze.

In the context of that thread we must consider the forum that it is on: a Theravada one. Then we must remember from where the Theravada school of thought takes its standard: the pali canon. Then we can look at those standards in the pali canon, compare them to the opinion expressed, and come to a conclusion whether or not that opinion is "over confident".

And when the standard is ambiguously defined, or non-existent, we'd all do well to shut up and respect each other as people, rather than trying to minimize one another for taking a different side.

My quip with Jason is that he's applying his own standard, or at least one not from the pali canon, to the posters on a Theravada forum, and then pronouncing them to be over attached, and thus inferior.


There is just a arahant, free from dept out of actions and total worthy for food. Maybe there are some...

Actually that is the reason why we tend to seek alternative ways to lighten our dept. But there is just one... no more need (desire) for food.


And I respect your desire to be debt free. Many people here are trying to do that too by eating vegan. And some of the people on the Great Vegetarian Debate thread are both vegan and unwilling to force others to be vegan.

Anyway, I'm :offtopic:

:anjali:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72


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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 8:15 am

And some of the people on the Great Vegetarian Debate thread are both vegan and unwilling to force others to be vegan.

Also a good way to stay in the circle as well as to provide others the feeling that everything is good in that way. As long as we do not see the whole mass of suffering, we feel secure in our ways, we even make them more smooth, so we can stay a long time, feeling good and secure.

And we just speak about one mouth, mostly the smallest our days.

Maybe back to the context, context. Right view is our tool to see the reality in ever context. And from wrong view comes wrong intention (understanding was used in this topic for it).


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