the great vegetarian debate

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
Jhana4
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Every so often some food writer or nu age type gives the juvenile argument that there is a pact between animals and people where animals agree to be slaughtered.

I always tell those people, if that is true why do those animals struggle when slaughter is iminenent and why do they try to run away?

article with the video

phpBB [video]
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

PeterB
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PeterB » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:33 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
PeterB wrote:The late Bernard Levin once wrote a very perceptive piece about the self defeating behaviour of the S.I.F. ( single issue fanatic )...the person that one ducks into a metaphorical doorway to avoid.


So now those of us who are troubled by the ethics of meat-eating are "single issue fanatics"? A classic ad hom attack.

Spiny

There are many people who are troubled by the ethics of meat eating but whose eyes are untainted by the gleam of the SIF.
Last edited by PeterB on Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PeterB
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PeterB » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:34 pm

Jhana4 wrote:Every so often some food writer or nu age type gives the juvenile argument that there is a pact between animals and people where animals agree to be slaughtered.

I always tell those people, if that is true why do those animals struggle when slaughter is iminenent and why do they try to run away?

article with the video

phpBB [video]

Ever come across that view on this forum, or any other Buddhist forum ?

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:51 am

Jhana4 wrote:Every so often some food writer or nu age type gives the juvenile argument that there is a pact between animals and people where animals agree to be slaughtered.


Yeah!!! That's about as crazy as those people who think there is a social contract which means that people are morally obligated to follow laws......where do people get these crazy ideas?

I drew up a pact with a slaugher agreement clause but couldn't get the cows to sign it....I couldn't tell if it was because they objected to the clause or if they couldn't hold the pen.
chownah

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andre9999
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby andre9999 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:09 pm

Ben wrote:Interestingly, there was an issue in this country not long ago with regards to live cattle exports to Indonesia. Footage surfaced of indonesian slaughterhouse pracitces, via Animals Australia, and was aired on national television. Virtually overnight public support for a ban of live cattle exports became so great that the Govt immediately suspended the live cattle trade to Indonesia. And according to some reports, the number of people who switched to vegetarianism spiked markedly. Which was great. However, what then happened was another animal welfare issue which was that the hundreds of thousands of cattle that were ready to be loaded onto ships to be taken to indonesia started to starve. Sometimes intentions have unforseen consequences. Which I am sure, you'll agree.


In a perfect system (obviously not realistic) that would only happen once, then the producer would not raise another group of animals to slaughter since they know they could not make money selling it. While I do eat meat, the reason I prefer not eating meat is so that those animals aren't being killed because of my choices, however small. I didn't starve those animals... but if I eat beef, in a small way I convince that farmer that s/he should raise more beef cattle to sell for slaughter.


Ben wrote:I don't have a problem with vegetarianism or veganism, but its not Dhamma.


I agree, but I do feel that it's in the spirit of Dhamma and would personally rather lean that way.


Ben wrote:And given the acute situation in the Horn of Africa where tens of millions of people are facing starvation, the discussion on whether vegetarianism is more Dhammic than non-vegetarianism I think is a bit unseemly.


I don't see how the current famine is related to discussing Buddhism/vegetarianism on the internet. Is that what we're discussing here?

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daverupa
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby daverupa » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:11 pm

andre9999 wrote: if I eat beef, in a small way I convince that farmer that s/he should raise more beef cattle to sell for slaughter


I want to plant a flag on the fact that this argument, to be consistent, must be applied universally such that the only cogent position which results is Veganism. Therefore, a committed vegetarian who agrees with the quote, above, will be at fault for hypocrisy at worst, inconsistency at best.

The economic connection between consumption of meat and an increase in demand is even more interesting as anyone who agrees with this point must remain childless to be consistent in the principle, given that another human birth results in additional planetary burden.

Another point is that physical fitness which begins to require larger amounts of food to sustain is a wholly problematic practice.

So there are many more variables here than are often considered, and the ones that are considered are often not taken to their logically necessary ends.

Childless, slightly emaciated vegans. Sounds rather Jain; if we drop the "vegan" part, it sounds rather like the body form heralded as best for Buddhist monastics. I find the fact that this dietary reference makes all the difference to be worth noting.
    "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]

Jhana4
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:54 pm

Survey: 21% of U.S. college students limit meat consumption
http://sustainablefoodnews.com/story.php?news_id=13564
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Paul Davy
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Paul Davy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:38 pm

Greetings,
Jhana4 wrote:Survey: 21% of U.S. college students limit meat consumption
http://sustainablefoodnews.com/story.php?news_id=13564

... to spend more on beer?

:toast:

Metta,
Retro. :)
What is the final conviction that comes when radical attention is razor-edge sharp? That the object of the mind is mind-made (manomaya). (Ven. Ñāṇananda)

Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'.
(Snp 3.6)

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David N. Snyder
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:47 pm

retrofuturist wrote:... to spend more on beer?

:toast:


the great rebirth debate
the great vegetarian debate

Where's our great beer debate? :evil: :mrgreen:

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cooran
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:13 am

Hello all,

Anyone had any experience with this diet?

The 'heart attack proof' diet
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/1 ... ?hpt=hp_c2

His book is called:
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure [Paperback]
By: Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.
http://books.google.com/books/about/Pre ... hHaBiKKU8C

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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David N. Snyder
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:46 am

The Esselstyn diet is tough for most Americans to swallow: no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no added oils.


It's basically a vegan diet without added oils. Dr. Macdougal has advocated a similar or same diet since the 1970s. My wife and I tried it for a little while, but found it was kind of boring without oils. :tongue: The vegan part is not too hard to do with some creative recipes and adjusting ethnic foods such as Indian, Chinese, etc., to a vegan recipe, but without oil it is difficult to get the foods to taste good.

David2
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David2 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:57 am

David N. Snyder wrote:but without oil it is difficult to get the foods to taste good.

You are right... but probably we just have to high expectations... when I say "we" I mean most people in society.

Most people want food to taste really good and interesting... but healthy food does not have to taste very good, it does not have to taste interesting (to be healthy).

The incentive to eat should rather come from being hungry than from wanting tongue sense pleasure.
And of course, if you are hungry, everything will taste better and more interesting than when you are not hungry at all.
Last edited by David2 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

alan
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby alan » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:05 am

If you accept the fact that humans are the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, then it follows that we ate our fair share of animals along the way. I don't think you will ever find a serious dietician who would claim to have found a traditional society that has survived on a vegan diet. If so, I would like to hear it.

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cooran
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:16 am

Hello Davids 1 and 2, alan,

I've been practising to try to see 'food' as just ''fuel of the body'' lately - rather than something pleasurable.
It doesn't always work, but is beginning to work more often than not.

I've ordered the book by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. as both my mother and elder brother have had heart problems.

Just have to see how I go if I try the new way of eating.


alan said: I don't think you will ever find a serious dietician who would claim to have found a traditional society that has survived on a vegan diet. If so, I would like to hear it.

Alan, I'd actually trust a Cardiologist in this case above a dietitian - having worked for many years in a large health system with both professions.
‘’ Certain cultures around the world do not suffer from heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the Western world.
Esselstyn's practice took a dramatic turn -- from performing surgery to promoting nutrition. For more than 20 years, the Cleveland Clinic doctor has tried to get Americans to eat like the Papua New Guinea highlanders, rural Chinese, central Africans and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico.’’

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/1 ... roof.diet/

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby alan » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:52 am

I don't see the logical steps there. Your quote kind of hints that I'm missing something. But a careful read shows that is not true. As for the vid, it's typical lightweight CNN junk.
Rational proof, please. Show me why human animals, who evolved eating other animals over an almost unbelievable length of time, are now, for no reason asserted, subject to a disease that did not kill off our predecessors. I don't buy the idea.
Has there aver been a culture that was purely vegan? Not that I can tell.

David2
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David2 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:20 am

alan wrote: are now, for no reason asserted, subject to a disease that did not kill off our predecessors..

For most time of human history, life expectancy of humans was very low, somewhere around 35 years, maybe a bit more or less.
In the past, people did not live long, so it did not have a large influence if they ate food that is unhealthy for the heart. (It is not very probable that you die because of a heart disease before age 40, even if you eat very unhealthy.)

Nowadays, conditions have changed a lot, life expectancy has doubled more or less. So the importance of a healthy diet has increased a lot.

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cooran
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:14 am

Hello all,

This might be of interest:
The Kitava Study
http://www.scribd.com/doc/18222663/Kitava-Study

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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octathlon
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby octathlon » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:03 pm

Hi Cooran,
I saw that article (in the OP) yesterday and found it very interesting so I googled for more details. It seems to come down to the amount of omega-3 (good) vs. omega-6 (not good) fat that we are taking in, and if we eat a lot of omega-6 it crowds out the omega-3, so even if you take a lot of fish oil or flaxseed oil to get your -3, it doesn't do much good if you still eat too much -6.
Here's a link to a blog of someone who has experimented with different diets and then compared blood chemistry results: http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com/hap ... sults.html

One interesting thing I read was that in spring/summer, animals (and people) would naturally eat the available leafy stuff (high -3) and in the fall/winter when they need to store fat for the winter, they eat the now-available seeds and nuts which are high in -6 and cause the metabolism to slow down and fat to be stored.

Anyway, I looked at what I ate and of course it was the opposite of what the Esselstyn diet recommends. For example I eat a lot of peanut butter, sunflower seeds, etc. and they are almost all omega-6 fat. I would like to figure out the healthiest way to eat but there is just too much conflicting info out there. I like the idea of experimenting with a certain diet for a while and observing the effects.

Since I would say food is one of the most significant areas of craving I have, I'm interested in learning to view food as simply fuel. The problem is, I think I am really just suppressing my cravings rather than actually letting go of anything. I believe there are specific meditations to help with this.

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David N. Snyder
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:18 pm

alan wrote:Rational proof, please. Show me why human animals, who evolved eating other animals over an almost unbelievable length of time, are now, for no reason asserted, subject to a disease that did not kill off our predecessors. I don't buy the idea.
Has there aver been a culture that was purely vegan? Not that I can tell.


As David2 mentioned, many of the traditional societies had life expectancies that were too short, so there was no chance to develop heart disease.

I have heard that argument several times, that we humans have evolved to eat meat. But if that were the case, why is it that meat and other high fat foods raise cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides, and by the account of most studies to heart disease?

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David N. Snyder
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:23 pm

Hi cooran, David2, octathlon,

Good points about eating food mindfully for sustenance. That is definitely a goal of Dhamma practice and a good thing to do. By doing so, it can be easier to eat healthy, since taste would not be so much of an issue. If the issue is sustenance, there should be no reason to not eat healthy.

At the moment, I still enjoy some good tasting foods, but still try to keep them as healthy as possible, for example mostly vegan. I "spice" it up with curries and other seasonings, but I agree definitely sustenance should be our goal.


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