the great vegetarian debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby jason c » Tue May 29, 2012 1:50 pm

i feel it would be unwise not to finish this discussion or at least reply to those who were kind enough to share their own personal opinions.
cittasanto wrote "i do not care what you eat and you do not know how members eat here" this statement is incorrect, reading parts of the great vegetarian debate members here shared their eating habits publicly, thereby giving me first hand knowledge of their eating habits. and although i don't personally get offended with the eating habits of others(i use to eat meat, maybe i will eat meat in the future.) how can i be offended with people who share the exact same views that i once held? i do however believe that this site was created with the intention of sharing the dhamma(truth) with those who want to hear it. each of us must ask ouselves, is there anger in me? is there hatred in me? is there ignorance in me? if we answer yes to this then it is our job as meditators(human beings) to probe into ourselves, find these roots of anger, hatred,and ignorance and cut them! eradicate them from our core being! having a wonderful website like this where we can share and discuss our deepest rooted questions and concerns is a blessing, and should be used wisely otherwise it becomes a habit, a posession, another attatchment to break in the future. the moderators have a difficult job indeed how to decipher the truth from ignorance and control touchy subjects like our eating habits. but these discussions must remain open always, for any members who wish to discuss or have questions about these issues as it pertains to their own practice.
reductor wrote: don't worry about offending people unless you compell everyone to agree with you. and i'm compiling here: your practice rests safely on another level (higher or superior)
i do worry about offending people, the practice of meditation is the only way to liberation, and i would be doing a great injustice to myself and others if my words and actions led people away from this practice. how can i compell everyone to agree with me, do i have this supreme power, you are each your own masters. also, i simply stated that we are at different places in our practice, to assume to be higher is egoic and is going in the opposite direction of liberation.
i understand this is a theravaden group, this is where the base of my practice lies. but do not hold these pali canon texts to close or you may become attatched. and you will be headed in the opposite direction.
SILA: to abstain from killing any being. do not kill animals and eat them
to abstain from stealing. do not steal baby calves from their mothers
to abstain from sexual misconduct do not keep cows perpetually pregnant for their milk supply it was meant for their babies
to abstain from wrong speech do not lie to yourself about these truths
to abstain from all intoxicants free yourself from these poisonous acts

this is where my personal practice lies, if this angers or upsets you then better you observe those sensations before replying otherwise we can have a chat.
metta
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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 2:21 pm

Jason c,

Eating does not mean to kill. That is something that needs to be understood. But to desire something gives the way to harm. All living beings, where ever they are. Try to think a little deeper, otherwise it could be that you would see that your kind of food you have taken had harmed much more beings and much more lives.
They will blame you to be a killer and you just didn't know, you just didn't thought deeper.

Do not think that others are angry, maybe they just like to help you a little, maybe they had such amount of insight also and are just grown a little wiser. I am sure there is nobody angry, maybe some that they can not explain their personal problems but we need to grow by our self.

Jason, some times ago I was also angry about this "silly" people proclaiming just vegan or vegetarian food, sitting right there where forest is burned in front of my eyes and animals are killed incl. their habitats for the western food industry. But one day one does understand, that all this anger comes form ones own faults and ideas of right and wrong.
When you do not have a share on evil things, you would not be that touched. As told, you could be shocked a second time. Try to investigate more and try to understand why Buddha did not say, eating meat is a evil deed.

Ever tried to eat just what is freely given?

When you start to see that somebody ordering this food or that food, has the same desire for pleasure in it like you, you will develop compassion for both. Your self and the other and you will start to archive the freedom form desire and because you know, if you have attained it for your self, fist you are free of own faults and you are able to teach the eightfold path to others as well, to free them from the root problem of using others to maintain once own coming into being another time.
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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 29, 2012 4:08 pm

You may wish to check the dates of those replies, it has been going since 2008!
like I said you do not know, because things change, you only know what was the case.
I also doubt that the view you once had is the same as all those who eat meat, I know of a number of reasons people can have.

you seam to have fixed ideas on what is and is not Dhamma, This site was created to explore the Dhamma of the Buddha as found in Theravada, not what we think is true, so please stay, talk about Dhamma if that is what you are interested in; but don't get a mixed bag of nuts expecting to only get walnuts. this is a discussion group and members will have a wide range of views based on different things.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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 May 29, 2012 4:15 pm

Hi Jason,

I merged your topic with the Great vegetarian debate since the same issues were coming up again. Thanks for your interest in my writings.

In regard to your question about veganism, the Buddha often ate non-vegan foods, with many of his staple foods including milk, ghee, and honey. In at least one instance he ate meat. Here is a list of the foods he ate as recorded in the Pali Canon:
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... _of_Buddha

Would the Buddha have disapproved of the current conditions of factory farming that produce eggs and dairy? Probably, but it would be pure speculation. And as you see many Buddhists eat meat and I am sure that you probably feel that dairy and eggs are 'less harmful' than meat, since no being is killed. If meat is considered acceptable, then surely eggs and dairy would be considered acceptable by the majority of Buddhists.

A vegan diet is a good and nutritious way to go, but not required of Buddhists. If it makes you feel good and you have had positive results from it, then that is good.
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Re: confused about dairy right understanding?

Postby jason c » Tue May 29, 2012 4:26 pm

hanzze_ wrote:Jason c,

Eating does not mean to kill. That is something that needs to be understood. But to desire something gives the way to harm. All living beings, where ever they are. Try to think a little deeper, otherwise it could be that you would see that your kind of food you have taken had harmed much more beings and much more lives.
They will blame you to be a killer and you just didn't know, you just didn't thought deeper.

Do not think that others are angry, maybe they just like to help you a little, maybe they had such amount of insight also and are just grown a little wiser. I am sure there is nobody angry, maybe some that they can not explain their personal problems but we need to grow by our self.

Jason, some times ago I was also angry about this "silly" people proclaiming just vegan or vegetarian food, sitting right there where forest is burned in front of my eyes and animals are killed incl. their habitats for the western food industry. But one day one does understand, that all this anger comes form ones own faults and ideas of right and wrong.
When you do not have a share on evil things, you would not be that touched. As told, you could be shocked a second time. Try to investigate more and try to understand why Buddha did not say, eating meat is a evil deed.

Ever tried to eat just what is freely given?

When you start to see that somebody ordering this food or that food, has the same desire for pleasure in it like you, you will develop compassion for both. Your self and the other and you will start to archive the freedom form desire and because you know, if you have attained it for your self, fist you are free of own faults and you are able to teach the eightfold path to others as well, to free them from the root problem of using others to maintain once own coming into being another time.



hanzze,
you asked me to "try and think a little deeper" bingo, ding ding ding winner , you struck oil. this is exactly what i am asking people to do with my postings. i'm not trying to offend anyone, if we practice properly we understand that this is an impossibility. and i'm not assuming that anyone is angry ,i haven't developed the ability to read minds YET. but i am getting better at reading body language and we do alot of communicating that we are unaware of. but this is another topic.
we all must eat, we must sustain our bodies, if we do not do this, we get sick and we die. we also, especially in more industrialised countries eat for pleasure(attatchment) and do not understand our own individual human bodies, each one very different from the next. some bodies are big some are small. some bodies have physical active lives other bodies lead more sedate lives. each body requiring different amounts of nutrients(LIFE) for its survival. the dalai lama says that he eats meat for a health reason, now i am not the dalai lama but i like to understand that a compassionate person like this knows his own body at a very deep level and has made his choice to consume meat at this deep level of understanding, knowing and seeing the selfishness and pain that this human body causes just to sustain itself. not hiding from this knowledge but diving deeply into this knowledge, thus eliminating IGNORANCE and freeing himself from any karmic debt. this topic of discussion naturally leads into lifestyle choices. working out, running marathons etc.. each activity burning your stock of calories forcing you to cause more suffering sustaining your individual carcasses. as we walk this path the buddha pointed out to us, we start to examine every action we start scrutinising our behaviors and diving deeper into our own morality becoming mor disiplined. if you are looking for salvation in a vegetarian diet or vegan diet or breatharian diet(thanks ben, ha ha) you wont find it. but looking closer at ones self an understanding will arise and there will be peace with this understanding. so although my posts may be direct and "IN YOUR FACE" they are intended to be this way, to stir up those deep emotions inside you.
at a retreat a nun told a story about eating.
a husband and wife were crossing the desert with there newborn child, halfway across the desert they ran out of food. being wise they decided to eat there baby, knowing that if they didnt they would all perish. they did this and completed their journey.
she went on to explain that the desert is the path to enlightenment, the child is the food we must eat to sustain ourselves on the journey, so dont take pleasure in food, think of it as eating your baby and only take the little that you need.
metta,
jason
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby hanzze_ » Tue May 29, 2012 6:05 pm

Sound much better, but still some anger inside it. Give it a time, it is better if you are at the point that you just eat want is given to your and most best, if you had reached Arahant ship. Till then there will be always the fetter mana (pride/conceit: better I am, equal I am, worse I am), we can lighten it in a way we focus more on actions then on persons. When we are comparing actions and there results and go further (as we can not compare intentions easily) and keep on digging on our intentions, we find more solutions and more peace.

Ever thought of give it a try to take the alms bow rather to make your self crazy in doing the right choice while still taking? You might also develop much more compassion for people who do not much care about reducing their greed. They would even have a chance to learn to give a share of what is taken to much, while you cross their doors accepting what ever they give.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby jason c » Tue May 29, 2012 7:40 pm

hanzze_ wrote:Sound much better, but still some anger inside it. Give it a time, it is better if you are at the point that you just eat want is given to your and most best, if you had reached Arahant ship. Till then there will be always the fetter mana (pride/conceit: better I am, equal I am, worse I am), we can lighten it in a way we focus more on actions then on persons. When we are comparing actions and there results and go further (as we can not compare intentions easily) and keep on digging on our intentions, we find more solutions and more peace.

Ever thought of give it a try to take the alms bow rather to make your self crazy in doing the right choice while still taking? You might also develop much more compassion for people who do not much care about reducing their greed. They would even have a chance to learn to give a share of what is taken to much, while you cross their doors accepting what ever they give.


thanks for the reply hanzze,
if my writing is sounding less angry thats great, i am new to using the computer, writing my thoughts and trying to express myself is very difficult. i'm feeling very misunderstood and a little judged. i feel like people are trying to get a handle on me, and want to put me in a box and lable me this way or that way (of this opinion or that opinion). when i write i'm trying to be peaceful, but get a point across at the same time, and i feel as though my limitations or lack of writings skills may be a bit of a barrier.
i feel like i've thoroughly annoyed cittasanto.
just to clarify i do not run around telling people what they should eat and what they shouldn't eat, this is a proper place for these discussions, and this is where i talk about them. if this is a topic someone wants to avoid then don't reply, if you disagree, then disagree. i will listen to your disagreement and reply. understand it makes no difference to me what you eat, unless you want to eat me or my family (except my mother in law she's all yours).
about the alms bowl,
if i let my wife buy all the groceries she will get angry and kick me out of the house.
then i really will need an alms bowl.
i am a father and my place is with my children, maybe a little later i will ordain , the way my career is going it may be my retirement plan.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 29, 2012 9:48 pm

jason c wrote:if my writing is sounding less angry thats great, i am new to using the computer, writing my thoughts and trying to express myself is very difficult. i'm feeling very misunderstood and a little judged. i feel like people are trying to get a handle on me, and want to put me in a box and lable me this way or that way (of this opinion or that opinion). when i write i'm trying to be peaceful, but get a point across at the same time, and i feel as though my limitations or lack of writings skills may be a bit of a barrier.
i feel like i've thoroughly annoyed cittasanto.

you really need to look at what you have writen and then ask yourself if you were doing or came across as doing what you now think others are doing to you.
remember you are new here and people don't know you, but most people here (I believe) don't take first impressions to mean much, it takes a long time to get to know someone and make up ones mind as to who they are, particularly online, and fwiw, you are a long way from thoroughly annoying me.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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 jason c » Tue May 29, 2012 10:25 pm

hey, cittisanto,
the thoroughly annoyed bit was just me fishing for a response.
i understand what you are saying. i would appreciate a response to the topic at hand. re: last posting

respectfully,
jason
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby hanzze_ » Wed May 30, 2012 3:58 am

Jason,

internet discussions are horrible, especially when you are not used to it. A pool of traps but that is also a great possibility to learn about peceptions and to look more on our own intentions. How ever, I guess I understand what you try to say. But that is one thing, that is not really important, neither for me, nor for you. Important is what we can gain for our self and that is all that has an positive impact on all others as well.

I had to think on two stories with are maybe useful as eating is all we usually do:

We Must Eat Time

What is life? Life is eating and drinking through all of our senses. And life is keeping from being eaten. What eats us? Time! What is time? Time is living in the past or living in the future, feeding on the emotions. Beings who can say that they have mentally healthy for even one minute are rare in the world. Most of us suffer from clinging to pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings, and from hunger and thirst. Most living beings have to eat and drink every second through their eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and nerves. We eat twenty-four hours a day without stopping! We crave food for the body, food for feeling, food for volitional action, and food for rebirth. We are what we eat. We are the world, and we eat the world.
The Buddha cried when he saw this endless cycle of suffering: the fly eats the flower; the frog eats the fly; the snake eats the frog; the bird eats the snake; the tiger eats the bird; the hunter kills the tiger; the tiger‘s body become swollen; flies come and eat the tiger‘s corpse; the flies lay eggs in the corpse; the eggs become more flies; the flies eat the flowers; and the frogs eat the flies...
And so the Buddha said, „I teach only two things - suffering and the end of suffering.“ Suffering, eating, and feeling are exactly the same.
Feelings eats everything. Feeling has six mouths - the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. The first mouth eats forms through the eye. The second mouth eats sound. The third mouth eats smells. The fourth mouth eats tastes. The fifth mouth eats physical contact. And the last mouth eats ideas. That is feeling.
Time is also an eater. In traditional Cambodian stories, there is often a giant with many mouths who eats everything. This giant is time. If you eat time, you gain nirvana. You can eat time by living in the moment. When you live just in this moment, time cannot eat you.
Everything is causational. There is no you, only causes and conditions. Therfore, you cannot hear or see. When sound and ear comes together, there is hearing. When form and eye meet, there is seeing.
When eye, form and consciousness meet, there is eye contact. Eye contact conditions feeling. Feeling conditions perception. Perceptions thinking, and thinking is I, my, me - the painful misconception that I see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and think.
Feeling uses the eye to eat shapes. If a shape is beautiful, a pleasant feeling enters the eye. If a shape is not beautiful, it brings a unpleasant feeling. If we are not attentive to a shape, a neutral feeling comes. The ear is the same: sweet sounds bring pleasant feelings, harsh sounds bring unpleasant feelings, and inattantion brings neutral feelings.
Again, you may think, “I am seeing, I am hearing, I am feeling.” But it is not you, it is only contact, the meeting of the eye, form, and eye-consciousness. It is only the Dharma.
A man once asked the Buddha, “Who feels?” The Buddha answered, “This is not a real question.” No one feels. Feeling feels. There is no I, my, or me. There is only the Dharma.
All kinds of feelings are suffering, filled with vanity, filled with “I am.” If we can penetrate the nature of sensations, we can realize the pure happiness of nirvana.
Feelings and sensations causes us to suffer, because we fail to realize that they are impermanent. The Buddha asked, “How can feeling be permanent if it depends upon the body, which is impermanent?” When we do not control our feelings, we are controlled by them. If we live in the moment, we can see things just as they are. Doing so, we can put an end to all desire, break out bondage, and realize peace.
To understand pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings, we have to put the four foundations of mindfulness into practice. Mindfulness can transform pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings into wisdom.
The world is created by the mind. If we can control feelings, then we can control the mind. If we can control the mind, then we can rule the world.
In meditation, we relax our body, but we sit up straight, and by following our breathing of another object of concentration, we stop most of our thinking. Therefore, we stop being pushed around by our feelings. Thinking greats feeling, and feeling creates thinking. To be free from clinging to thinking and feeling is nirvana - the highest, supreme happiness.
To live without suffering means to live always in the present. The highest happiness is here and now. There is no time at all unless we cling to it. Brothers and Sisters, please eat time!

from Maha Ghosanada "Step by Step"


And even we might know the way it could be that we are strongly caught by or past deeds, therefore it good to remember

Munika the pig

Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as an ox, named Big Red, on the squire’s estate in a certain hamlet. And he had a younger brother who was known as Little Red. There were only these two brothers to do all the draught work of the family. Also, the squire had an only daughter, whose hand was asked I marriage for his son by a gentleman of the town. And the parents of the girl, with a view to furnishing dainty fare [197] for the wedding guests, began to fatten up a pig named Munika.

Observing this, Little Red said to his brother, “All the loads that have to be drawn for this household are drawn by you and me, my brother; but all they give us for our pains is sorry grass and straw to eat. Yet here is the pig being victualled on rice! What can be the reason why he should be treated to such fare?”

Said his brother, “My dear Little Red, envy him not; for the pig eats the food of death. It is but to furnish a relish for the guests at their daughter’s wedding, that the family are feeding up the pig. Wait but a little time and the guests will be legs, killed, and in process of conversion into curry.” And so saying, he repeated this stanza:-

Then envy not poor Munika; ’tis death

He eats. Contented munch your frugal chaff,

The pledge and guarantee of length of days.

Not long afterwards the guests did arrive; and Munika was killed and cooked into all manner of dishes. Said the Bodhisatta to Little Red, “Did you see Munika, dear brother?” “ I have indeed seen, brother, the outcome of Munika’s feasting. Better a hundred, nay a thousand, times than such food is ours, though it be but grass, straw, and chaff; for our fare harms us not, and is a pledge that our lives will not be cut short.”
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:29 pm

Dear Members,

Meta-discussion removed. Please return to the topic. Thank you.

:anjali:
Mike
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:26 am

A new study:

Study busts meat-eating myths
Updated June 04, 2012 14:22:32

A new Australian study has busted some commonly held beliefs about the importance of meat, particularly for pregnant women and children.

The findings, published today in the Medical Journal of Australia Open, show a well-planned, plant-based diet can meet the nutritional needs of all adults and children, whatever their age.

Traditional thinking has long supported the idea growing bodies need nutrients, such as protein and iron, that have usually been associated with eating meat.

The research was prepared by a team of three Australian dieticians from Sanitarium, a private Sydney practice and the University of Newcastle, who worked with local and international academics.

Nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton supports the findings, saying it is a break from traditional thinking.

"I've been aware that you can have an adequate vegetarian diet for many years, but I think this new research really puts everything together so that people can understand why," she told ABC's Radio National.

"As long as you've had a variety of plant-based foods over the course of a day or so, your body will take the amino acids as it needs them. And so we don't need to fuss about having seeds and nuts together, or particular foods together, the way we used to."

Dr Stanton says there has always been a push to track iron intake and concern of iron deficiency in those who do not eat meat, but advice has been confused.

"I think we've mixed up the people who are vegetarian because they can't afford meat, or can't afford enough food to eat, with those who can eat a variety of plant-based foods," she said.

"If you take meat off the plate, you need to put something else there, in the way of some legumes or grains or seeds or nuts."

During pregnancy, she says, the iron in plant-based foods is more easily absorbed simply because the body needs more of it.

Dr Stanton also says grains contain twice as much protein as the typical meat serving does.

As a nutritionist, she recommends moving towards a plant-based diet, although not necessarily removing all meat products.

"You always need a variety. Variety is important," she said.

"People always say to me, 'what's the most nutritious vegetable?' Well it's a variety of vegetables - no one food has it all."

Dr Stanton says in order to get vitamin B12, which is found only in animal products, dairy and eggs will fill that need.

But she says vegans - who eat no animal products whatsoever - will need a supplement of B12, which is particularly important during pregnancy and for small children.

First posted June 04, 2012 13:10:11

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-04/s ... hs/4050144

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby hanzze_ » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:33 am

It seems to be a very self-orientated study. But such studies need to be sold, so they would not find costumers if they are not self-orientated. That is why Dhamma is for free but we still trust in what we buy.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Eccedustin » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:18 pm

I am a vegetarian. Accepting meat, if offered, may or may not directly or indirectly cause suffering and death but it is hard to know. If a friend gives you beef, if this causing death of the animal? What if the friend says "Here, eat this meat I cooked." is this wrong? Yes. Even though you didn't kill the animal, the animal was killed to make meat for you. What if the friend says "I'm going to throw it out anyway!" is it then ok? Maybe, Maybe not. Maybe he will just decide to eat it and then if he does then he will refrain from buying more meat to eat. Maybe this meat will be thrown out and, in that case, it may feed some other animal that will refrain from killing another animal since he ate the meat.
The universe is awake, conscious and aware of itself! The universe is awake, conscious and aware of itself because we are awake, conscious and aware of ourselves. We are the not just in the universe, we are the universe.
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Re: Which diet are you?

Postby yawares » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:16 pm

[quote="David N. Snyder"]At the suggestion of cooran, here is a poll on which specific diet you mostly follow. Here are some definitions:
2. Omnivore - (almost) anything goes, red meat, poultry, fish, veggies, etc.

Dear David,

My family is omnivore, but I and Tep only eat breakfast/lunch as habit for a long time. Whenever we uphold 8 precepts, we love the feeling of freedom from foods/desserts after lunch...and mostly we enjoy not to be fat or gaining weight...so we stop eating after lunch everyday..Uposatha Day or not.

Dear members, if you don't want to gain weight...please stop eating after lunch and you'll enjoy being slim/slender for life.

Love to be slim,
yawares
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby corrine » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:53 pm

I am always surprised when I see a raised level of anger in a Buddhist forum and I seem to see the most agitation when the discussion is to eat or not to eat meat.

For me the answer is simple. I believe that killing is against Buddhist principles. Perhaps I am wrong, but that is what I think. In order for me to eat meat I must either kill something or allow someone else to do so for me. Therefor I do not eat meat. This seems simple and yet, at the same time, very, very complicated.

I have become more and more confused about the debates on matters of Buddhist belief and what they 'really' mean. Is not the prohibition on killing, simple? Or the prohibition on causing suffering to other living things? I can guarantee that animals suffer horribly when slaughtered for their meat. I have seen it.

And why would not any Buddhist wish to leave as small a carbon foot print upon the earth as possible when it is clear that the production of animals for meat is an environmental disaster? The use of feed and water to produce the meat would produce so much more food for so many more people.

The health thing is just plain bogus. As an old woman who has been a vegetarian for decades I can say for sure that it has had no deleterious effects on my health. I am, in fact, much healthier than most of my meat eating friends. Coincidence. Perhaps. But I am extremely healthy. In my old age I am working full time as a volunteer and often put in ten hour days with no problem. So no bad effects for me.

More importantly, why do so many people become so emotionally upset about vegetarianism. I was discussing this issue with a psychologist friend of mine and she said 'guilt'. Is that perhaps a possibility? Because back in the dark ages when I was a smoker (I quit forty years ago) I used to get very upset when people would lecture me about the evils of smoking. So maybe that is a component of the anger about this issue, if we are brutally honest with ourselves.

Whatever. It seems to me that each of us has to make our own choices about what rules we want to follow and then do so and stop rationalizing the breaking of others. If killing is wrong, and I think everyone would agree that Buddhists are not supposed to kill, especially not on purpose, then eating something that has to be killed in order for us to eat it, is inherently wrong. Isn't it?

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:48 am

Greetings Corrine,

corrine wrote:If killing is wrong, and I think everyone would agree that Buddhists are not supposed to kill, especially not on purpose, then eating something that has to be killed in order for us to eat it, is inherently wrong. Isn't it?

The Buddha didn't seem to think so, and wasn't prepared to introduce mandatory vegetarianism into the Sangha at Devadatta's request.

I could go into more detail but am hesitant to since, as you rightly discern, there is often "agitation when the discussion is to eat or not to eat meat" and I have little desire to contribute to the agitation. (Plus there's an element of 'been there, done that", as evident from the length of this topic)

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:56 am

81 pages! This topic has been boiled, stewed, and fried to death. Perhaps all new contributors should be forced to read it all before adding another post. :stirthepot:
corrine wrote:More importantly, why do so many people become so emotionally upset about vegetarianism.

Why do vegetarians become so emotionally upset about meat-eating? In both cases, it is attachment to views that lies at the root of the problem. Just check your intention, which is what the Buddha called kamma. One makes the unwholesome kamma of killing living beings in four ways:
  1. By killing with one's own hand
  2. By urging others to kill
  3. By condoning killing i.e. allowing others to kill when one has the power to prevent it. For example, if there is a fish pond on your property, if you allow fishermen to use the pond you are involved in the killing. If poachers kill the fish without your permission you have no involvement. Even if you know, and do nothing to stop them (whether fearful of your own safety, or just too busy, or too tired)
  4. By delighting in killing, e.g. being pleased when a murderer is executed, of if an enemy meets with a fatal accident
When fruit and vegetables are grown, they are almost always sprayed with insecticides, and vermin such as rabbits are poisoned or trapped. If a farmer sells both rabbit meat and cabbages, what's the difference between buying and eating the rabbit meat and the cabbages? Is anyone blameworthy for eating fruit or vegetables that involve the intentional killing of insects in their production?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:25 am

Hi Bhante,
seams to also be a self defense (on the meat eaters side) due to the perceived moralistic finger pointing also often seen with the vegetarian argument.


Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:81 pages! This topic has been boiled, stewed, and fried to death. Perhaps all new contributors should be forced to read it all before adding another post. :stirthepot:
corrine wrote:More importantly, why do so many people become so emotionally upset about vegetarianism.

Why do vegetarians become so emotionally upset about meat-eating? In both cases, it is attachment to views that lies at the root of the problem. Just check your intention, which is what the Buddha called kamma. One makes the unwholesome kamma of killing living beings in four ways:
  1. By killing with one's own hand
  2. By urging others to kill
  3. By condoning killing i.e. allowing others to kill when one has the power to prevent it. For example, if there is a fish pond on your property, if you allow fishermen to use the pond you are involved in the killing. If poachers kill the fish without your permission you have no involvement. Even if you know, and do nothing to stop them (whether fearful of your own safety, or just too busy, or too tired)
  4. By delighting in killing, e.g. being pleased when a murderer is executed, of if an enemy meets with a fatal accident
When fruit and vegetables are grown, they are almost always sprayed with insecticides, and vermin such as rabbits are poisoned or trapped. If a farmer sells both rabbit meat and cabbages, what's the difference between buying and eating the rabbit meat and the cabbages? Is anyone blameworthy for eating fruit or vegetables that involve the intentional killing of insects in their production?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:11 am

The point I always try to make is that it is the attachment to views that is the greatest problem, and that is where passions are aroused on both sides .The issue become contentious because people don't know the Dhamma well enough.

Mahāviyūha Sutta — Major Causes of Contention

This is also the teaching in the Āmaganda Sutta.

The Venerable Ledi Sayādaw was a strong advocate of vegetarianism, as his discourse on Cow Dhamma (Gonasurā Dīpanī)
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