the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:00 pm

chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:If people who think that animals should be raised humanely would raise animals then animals would be raised humanely....but people who think animals should be raised humanely don't raise animals so it is the people who don't care about raising animals humanely that end up doing it.
chownah


Relevance?

For example, the humane treatment of hamburger.
chownah

Pardon me?

:shrug:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Aloka » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:24 pm

Mkoll wrote:
chownah wrote:For example, the humane treatment of hamburger.
chownah

Pardon me?

:shrug:


Image

Kindness to hamburgers ?


.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby waterchan » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:36 pm

Ben wrote:
waterchan wrote:
Ben wrote: Ledi Sayadaw's Cow Dhamma.


Abstinence from beef is very common in Burma and the rationale provided by a lot of people is in line with what Ledi Sayadaw says in his rather romanticized essay.

However, I do and always have taken issue with this kind of selective and self-centered compassion being presented as part of the Dhamma, let alone from an advanced authority in Buddhism such as Ledi Sayadaw. "We won't eat cows because we owe them a debt of gratitude for helping develop our lands and producing rice, but we'll keep eating our fried chicken, roast duck, pork curry and grilled fish, since we owe nothing to THOSE animals!" This attitude also displays an ignorance of basic ecology, which tells us that we owe these other animals just as much as we owe cows for maintaining the natural balance of life.

This kind of selective, egoistic compassion is neither rooted in the selfless compassion of the Buddha nor in basic scientific understanding.

If one wants to avoid beef because they pity cows, fine, that's your personal choice, but don't try and pass it off as Dhamma. I am not a vegetarian, but I have much respect for those who can maintain a vegetarian diet out of compassion for all animals, not just the ones they perceive with their limited narrow vision as their sole benefactors.

All things given, I suppose partial and selective compassion is better for your kamma than a lack of compassion. But Ajahn Sujato's article on why Buddhists should be vegetarian is a much more relevant and all-encompassing argument for vegetarianism, in my opinion.


Water chan, I think your post is rather curious. Ledi Sayadaw preferred vegetarian offerings and praised vegetarianism.
Perhaps it would be wise for you not to jump to conclusions about "egotistic compassion", as you see it.
Kind regards,
Ben


No need to jump. It's clear in the essay you linked that Ledi Sayadaw places cows and buffalos above and beyond other animals, to the point of comparing them to one's parents. As if none of the other livestock played a role in the ecology. We owe just as much to cows as we do to chickens, ducks, fish, and even animals we wouldn't eat such as spiders and frogs.

I'm not sure why you bring up Ledi Sayadaw's dietary and dana preferences because that's entirely irrelevant. I'm criticizing the message in his essay. Either be a vegetarian or don't. Making a special appeal for cows and abstaining from beef while eating all other meats, because you see cows as your benefactor, is selective and egoistic compassion.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:07 pm

waterchan wrote:
No need to jump. It's clear in the essay you linked that Ledi Sayadaw places cows and buffalos above and beyond other animals, to the point of comparing them to one's parents. As if none of the other livestock played a role in the ecology. We owe just as much to cows as we do to chickens, ducks, fish, and even animals we wouldn't eat such as spiders and frogs.

I'm not sure why you bring up Ledi Sayadaw's dietary and dana preferences because that's entirely irrelevant. I'm criticizing the message in his essay. Either be a vegetarian or don't. Making a special appeal for cows and abstaining from beef while eating all other meats, because you see cows as your benefactor, is selective and egoistic compassion.


Hmmm, well that certainly isn't my reading of the Sayadaw's work.
Thank you for your input, water chan.
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.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby waterchan » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:19 pm

Ben wrote:Hmmm, well that certainly isn't my reading of the Sayadaw's work.
Thank you for your input, water chan.


Sorry if you're offended by my criticisms related to a highly regarded teacher that you admire. Of course, I have nothing against the Sayadaw as a person and I'm sure his heart was in the right place.

Hate to pick apart sentences out of context, but in the very last paragraph of that essay:

Ledi Sayadaw wrote:Based on right understanding and compassion, man should avoid eating beef.


Why single out beef? Avoiding beef for the reasons provided feels like a rather conditional form of compassion ("It grows my rice, therefore I should be compassionate towards it.") and I don't see how that is related to samma-ditthi or even the unconditioned compassion of metta.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:43 pm

I am not offended, water chan.
Perhaps you should read Wric Braun's excellent work: The Birth of Insight: http://www.amazon.com/Birth-Insight-Med ... of+insight
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


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:20 am

waterchan wrote:Making a special appeal for cows and abstaining from beef while eating all other meats, because you see cows as your benefactor, is selective and egoistic compassion.


From what I have seen, he never condoned eating any other kind of meats either.

"Sayædaw stresses that ingratitude is the really harmful factor in eating meat. Beef-eating is especially blameworthy because cattle provide both labour and milk for mankind."

He spoke about cattle much because they were "especially blameworthy" (and perhaps because it was the most common form of meat) but he never said it was ok to eat other kinds of meat.

He says "Everyone should try to avoid eating the flesh of animals, especially that of cows and buffalos."

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:26 am

chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:If people who think that animals should be raised humanely would raise animals then animals would be raised humanely....but people who think animals should be raised humanely don't raise animals so it is the people who don't care about raising animals humanely that end up doing it.
chownah


Relevance?

For example, the humane treatment of hamburger.
chownah


If you mean that it's better to buy organic meat, free-range eggs and so on, then yes, I agree - it can be a way of reducing harm. On the other hand the cows and pigs still end up in the abattoir.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:12 pm

It seems pretty clear that I am talking about the humane treatment of animals and how it is that so many animals do not receive humane treatment......does this seems clear to you?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:20 pm

chownah wrote:For example, the humane treatment of hamburger.
chownah


Now I think you were acting out your "trollnah" persona when you said that.

:jumping:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:52 pm

chownah wrote:It seems pretty clear that I am talking about the humane treatment of animals and how it is that so many animals do not receive humane treatment......does this seems clear to you?
chownah


What I'm still not clear about is how this relates directly to the debate - like I said, the pigs and cows still end up in the abattoir on the receiving end of a bolt gun.
If you're saying it's better to buy meat from a source where you know the animals have been well treated, well yes, of course.

But then if we look at the principle behind the 3-fold rule, is it really relevant whether the animal was well-treated before it was killed?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:44 pm

Is there any truly humane way to kill. butcher, then eat an innocent animal????
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:00 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:It seems pretty clear that I am talking about the humane treatment of animals and how it is that so many animals do not receive humane treatment......does this seems clear to you?
chownah


What I'm still not clear about is how this relates directly to the debate - like I said, the pigs and cows still end up in the abattoir on the receiving end of a bolt gun.
If you're saying it's better to buy meat from a source where you know the animals have been well treated, well yes, of course.

But then if we look at the principle behind the 3-fold rule, is it really relevant whether the animal was well-treated before it was killed?

I don't know what the 3-fold rule is but I do know that all animals must die and how they are treated before they die does seem to be important to me and at least to a lot of vegetarians who have posted here about the inhumane way animals are treated. It seems that you are saying that because of the 3-fold rule it is not important how an animal is treated in some circumstance but I must be missing something....certainly I am missing the 3-fold rule at least. If people here think it is unimportant how animals are treated then why do they from time to time post about the inhumanity of how they are treated?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:03 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Is there any truly humane way to kill. butcher, then eat an innocent animal????

Certainly there are humane ways to kill animals......it is possible to kill an animal so that they will not even know it is happening. As to. It hearing and eating, the animal does not exist by then.....even the Buddha talked about how once a cow is cut up it is no longer referred to as cow but as meat.
Does it make a difference if an animal is innocent or guilty?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:35 pm

chownah wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Is there any truly humane way to kill. butcher, then eat an innocent animal????

Certainly there are humane ways to kill animals......it is possible to kill an animal so that they will not even know it is happening. As to. It hearing and eating, the animal does not exist by then.....even the Buddha talked about how once a cow is cut up it is no longer referred to as cow but as meat.
Does it make a difference if an animal is innocent or guilty?
chownah

I think what Lyndon is trying to say is that killing the innocent animal is ending the life of a being that wants to live and is bad kamma for the killer. It's a lose-lose situation and there's no way around that.

I think the idealized version I have of some Native Americans would be the best way to go about it and I'll describe it: They killed the animal because they had to to survive. They were remorseful about killing it so they had prayers and rituals thanking Nature for providing them; they felt like they were killing a relative. They used every last bit of the animal, not letting it go to waste. They had respect animals and Nature.

This allowed giant herds of American buffalo to roam in the North American Great Plains for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years. Then the white man came along and killed almost all the buffalo, not to mention the Native Americans, in about 100 years.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:14 am

Mkoll wrote:
chownah wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Is there any truly humane way to kill. butcher, then eat an innocent animal????

Certainly there are humane ways to kill animals......it is possible to kill an animal so that they will not even know it is happening. As to. It hearing and eating, the animal does not exist by then.....even the Buddha talked about how once a cow is cut up it is no longer referred to as cow but as meat.
Does it make a difference if an animal is innocent or guilty?
chownah

I think what Lyndon is trying to say is that killing the innocent animal is ending the life of a being that wants to live and is bad kamma for the killer. It's a lose-lose situation and there's no way around that.

I think the idealized version I have of some Native Americans would be the best way to go about it and I'll describe it: They killed the animal because they had to to survive. They were remorseful about killing it so they had prayers and rituals thanking Nature for providing them; they felt like they were killing a relative. They used every last bit of the animal, not letting it go to waste. They had respect animals and Nature.

This allowed giant herds of American buffalo to roam in the North American Great Plains for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years. Then the white man came along and killed almost all the buffalo, not to mention the Native Americans, in about 100 years.

Nevertheless, there are humane ways to raise animals and there are inhumane ways to raise animals.....there are humane ways it kill animals and there are inhumane ways to kill animals. Seems like you think that rather than killing a cow in a calm setting with a quick and virtually painless method is less humane than chasing it around the pasture a few times and then shooting it with arrows until it bleeds to death......
All animals must die.....there is no other way for things that are born.....who has the compassion for the plight of animals to risk some bad kamma.......and where does intention come into this?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:50 am

So chownah, your logic posits that there must be humane ways to kill innocent humans that don't want to die, also, after all we are just animals!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:07 am

Yes.....there are humane ways and inhumane ways to kill people. Please do remember, though, that really what I have been talking about is the raising of animals and not the killing of animals. Mostly people who think that animals should be raised humanely do not raise animals and so it is people who do not worry about humane treatment of animals who end up raising them.......and that this is presented in the major context of raising animals which will become food...etc.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:12 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Is there any truly humane way to kill. butcher, then eat an innocent animal????


Not that I know of.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:13 am

Mkoll wrote:This allowed giant herds of American buffalo to roam in the North American Great Plains for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years. Then the white man came along and killed almost all the buffalo, not to mention the Native Americans, in about 100 years.


The sad thing is that the white man regarded this as "progress".
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