the great vegetarian debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:51 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
Cittasanto wrote: People do not go shopping with that intent, rather the intent is to have nourishment available.


That's true, but I think that most of have the option of buying non-meat products for nourishment. We all make choices.

most shoppers have the option, Yes. But that does not mean that they take that option; or those that do are kammically responsible for the animals death.


I think it depends on the circumstances. For example if I go to a turkey farm and pick one out for Christmas lunch, then aren't I kammically responsible for that turkeys death?
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:17 am

Now we're talking turkey! I think if your desire for meat is stronger than your compassion for animals, that's going to cause kammic consequences; unhealthy desire+lack of compassion=someone that could do better with their life.

In other words quit thinking about yourself and your importance, and start thinking about the animals and their importance, the buddha actually taught that the animal you are eating could quite possibly be your wife, child or parent from another life.
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:43 pm


I think it depends on the circumstances. For example if I go to a turkey farm and pick one out for Christmas lunch, then aren't I kammically responsible for that turkeys death?

As I have noted before that would be an act of speech which is described in the suttas as not allowable. Not the same as food shopping and getting already slaughtered and not intended for anyone specifocally.
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5661
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:56 pm

So killing is alright if it is not intended for anyone specifically, even if you pay for the killing, do you really believe that, because honestly it doesn't make a lot of sense. It means basically that your pro killing unless you have to get blood on your hands, and then you're totally against it. And don't tell me that's what the Buddha said, because honestly we don't know exactly what the Buddha said or even what he intended, our scriptures were written down 500 years after the Buddha's death and we don't know beyond any doubt how much is original and what if anything was changed, that's where you need to use your own mind and judgement; Do you support the torture, incarceration, murder and eating of animals, or are you against it. What is the more compassionate thing to do, did the Buddha teach compassion for all beings, or do we not even agree on that???
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:41 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Do you know how a slaughter was done the way it was done in the Buddhas day?


No.

how do you think the animals were stunned then?


Don't know.

you seem to assume slaughter is majorly different from them other than being more mechanical.


I think that is where the misunderstanding is. I wasn't talking about the slaughter. I was talking about the quality of the animals life before they went to slaughter. I believe it's safe to assume that the animals back then were raised grazing in a pasture. I think it's safe to assume that industrialized factory farms did not exist back then, so it would be impossible for the Buddha to comment on such a situation. There was no such thing as "industrial". Focusing only on the slaughter misses the main point I was making. Which is how the animals are treated during their lifetime. The horrible conditions that they have to endure and the abuse they are subjected to, before they are sent to slaughter. "Battery cages" and "gestation crates" did not exist during the Buddhas time. To assume he would have said nothing about "battery cages", because he didn't say anything about animals grazing in a pasture, is not very logical because it compares apples to oranges.

I doubt the Buddha would of spoken about lay people's spending habits as it is inappropriate for a mendicant to speak of such worldly matters,


When an activity causes massive harm to billions of living beings, I think it goes far beyond "worldly matters"

I also doubt the Buddha would be direct with any criticism, and probably would only say what has already been recorded.


Ok, but "probably" is still an assumption that cause the argument to become less logical.

I won't assume the Buddha would do anything he isn't recorded as already doing.


Technically, the most logical stance is to not make any assumptions either way, if you don't have some amount of factual evidence to back the assumption. From a strictly logical standpoint, backing the assumption with opinion does not make it more valid or credible. I'm not trying to assert that he would say something, but only saying that to assume he would not, is not exactly logically sound.
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:44 pm

Cittasanto wrote:

I think it depends on the circumstances. For example if I go to a turkey farm and pick one out for Christmas lunch, then aren't I kammically responsible for that turkeys death?

As I have noted before that would be an act of speech which is described in the suttas as not allowable. Not the same as food shopping and getting already slaughtered and not intended for anyone specifocally.


You're probably correct from a technical point of view, so if chose instead to chose to buy a frozen turkey from a supermarket then there wouldn't be the same kammic consequence. What bothers me though is that in both cases another turkey would get the chop! The difference seems rather semantic to me.

PS Obviously I wouldn't pick out a turkey from a turkey farm, except to adopt it as a pet. ;)
PPS Though it would be a rather noisy pet!
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:48 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:... did the Buddha teach compassion for all beings.....


Yes, he did, though it seems somewhat understated in Theravada. See here for example: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:50 pm

seeker242 wrote:I think that is where the misunderstanding is. I wasn't talking about the slaughter. I was talking about the quality of the animals life before they went to slaughter. I believe it's safe to assume that the animals back then were raised grazing in a pasture. I think it's safe to assume that industrialized factory farms did not exist back then, so it would be impossible for the Buddha to comment on such a situation. There was no such thing as "industrial". Focusing only on the slaughter misses the main point I was making. Which is how the animals are treated during their lifetime. The horrible conditions that they have to endure and the abuse they are subjected to, before they are sent to slaughter. "Battery cages" and "gestation crates" did not exist during the Buddhas time.


:goodpost:
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:04 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:... did the Buddha teach compassion for all beings.....


Yes, he did, though it seems somewhat understated in Theravada. See here for example: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .amar.html


Thank you Spiny, great sutta, you should understand that my Buddhist training was split 50/50 between Tibetan and Therevada South East Asian teachers, and learning Buddhism mostly from memory, I sometimes fail to realize whether a teaching I clearly remember being taught came from Therevada or Vajrayana/Mahayana sources, in this case it seems so obvious to me that the Buddha taught compassion for all beings, but I must admit I don't hear that teaching as much in Therevada circles, and sometimes it is linked to the Bodhisattvic ideal, which is not taught in Therevada. I know the Buddha spoke a lot about respect for animals, even insects and plants, so I think Seeker is right, the Buddha couldn't possibly be envisioning the barbaric, tortuous factory farming process of today, and that's a big, big factor to take into account WWBD What would buddha do??

PS I should add I started in Tibetan Buddhism, then "converted' to Therevada buddhism largely because of the proximity of Therevada temples to my location, and also my heart felt desire to study at an Asian, not western oriented temple. So yes I now consider myself a Therevada Buddhist, but still have some place for some Tibetan teachings and a strong distaste for tantra and randy lamas!!!
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:42 pm

Hi Seaker,
Just so you know I wont be able to respond again until sunday evening at the earliest.
seeker242 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Do you know how a slaughter was done the way it was done in the Buddhas day?


No.

how do you think the animals were stunned then?


Don't know.

you seem to assume slaughter is majorly different from them other than being more mechanical.


I think that is where the misunderstanding is. I wasn't talking about the slaughter. I was talking about the quality of the animals life before they went to slaughter. I believe it's safe to assume that the animals back then were raised grazing in a pasture.

The reason I used slaughterhouse is because you mention them in regard to the Buddha speaking out.
What would the Buddha say if he were to see one of those PETA videos of a modern day slaughterhouse?

I think it is safe to assume that industrialized factory farms did not exist back then, so it would be impossible for the Buddha to comment on such a situation.

I would agree with the lack of existence. However it can be inferred.

There was no such thing as "industrial". Focusing only on the slaughter misses the main point I was making. Which is how the animals are treated during their lifetime. The horrible conditions that they have to endure and the abuse they are subjected to, before they are sent to slaughter. "Battery cages" and "gestation crates" did not exist during the Buddhas time. To assume he would have said nothing about "battery cages", because he didn't say anything about animals grazing in a pasture, is not very logical because it compares apples to oranges.

Are you sure I am assuming what the Buddha would say based on what wasn't said? or am I using inference based on what has been said in comparable situations.
I am basing my opinion on what is known the Buddha done and advised. i.e. his advice on proper conversation, his unwillingness to directly attack someone's profession (actors & warriors was after several refusals to comment directly upon) The Buddha is only ever general, not specific, in matters which could be seen as attacking. And when it is other groups, The Buddha only ever deals with specific views, not the group itself.

I doubt the Buddha would have spoken about lay people's spending habits as it is inappropriate for a mendicant to speak of such worldly matters,


When an activity causes massive harm to billions of living beings, I think it goes far beyond "worldly matters"

how?
The Buddha kept out of wars... unless he was directly there.
I also doubt the Buddha would be direct with any criticism, and probably would only say what has already been recorded.


Ok, but "probably" is still an assumption that cause the argument to become less logical.

inference based on the texts. I am not presupposing the Buddha would have acted in a way not already shown.

I won't assume the Buddha would do anything he isn't recorded as already doing.


Technically, the most logical stance is to not make any assumptions either way, if you don't have some amount of factual evidence to back the assumption. From a strictly logical standpoint, backing the assumption with opinion does not make it more valid or credible. I'm not trying to assert that he would say something, but only saying that to assume he would not, is not exactly logically sound.

When there is evidence of how the Buddha acted in other situations it is inductive or deductive reasoning, not assumption. Can you show your evidence for the Buddha being direct in this matter, and not simply keeping with what has already been said?
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."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5661
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Aloka » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:16 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
....Well I found an excellent, more open minded than me, discourse on Vegetarianism and Buddhism from a Bhikkhu Sujato, who I don't know anything about but my friend assures me is a forest tradition Therevada monk.It covers a wide range of issues, excellent comments on Devadattu, that the controversy was not Devadattus reforms were wrong but that he wished to make them obligatory for everyone, It sticks to the intention is kamma, so meat eating is not bad kamma (which I disagree with) but brings up the notion I was touching on, that Truth (Dhamma) is much larger than what was covered in the scriptures which is only a partial revelation of Truth. It also deals at length with how different and much worse the animal raising practices are today than in the Buddha's time, As Seeker242 brought up above.

What you might find inspiring is that the discourse supports a vegetarian outlook without the fingerpointing and name calling I have been prone to, so as for now, as I agree with 95% of this link I'll let Bhikkhu Sujato speak instead of me!!

http://sujato.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/ ... xtra-cute/


I already posted about Ajahn Sujato's blog post on vegetarianism in page 122 of this thread on Feb.19th, Lyndon.



:anjali:
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3251
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:31 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Seaker,
Just so you know I wont be able to respond again until sunday evening at the earliest.


Ditto as I am attending a retreat this weekend. :)

I would agree with the lack of existence. However it can be inferred.


One can claim it can be inferred but still one has to explain precisely how, if the conclusion is going to have some logical support. You really can't just say it can be inferred and leave it at that, if you are speaking strictly in logical terms.

There was no such thing as "industrial". Focusing only on the slaughter misses the main point I was making. Which is how the animals are treated during their lifetime. The horrible conditions that they have to endure and the abuse they are subjected to, before they are sent to slaughter. "Battery cages" and "gestation crates" did not exist during the Buddhas time. To assume he would have said nothing about "battery cages", because he didn't say anything about animals grazing in a pasture, is not very logical because it compares apples to oranges.


Are you sure I am assuming what the Buddha would say based on what wasn't said? or am I using inference based on what has been said in comparable situations.

I am basing my opinion on what is known the Buddha done and advised. i.e. his advice on proper conversation, his unwillingness to directly attack someone's profession (actors & warriors was after several refusals to comment directly upon) The Buddha is only ever general, not specific, in matters which could be seen as attacking. And when it is other groups, The Buddha only ever deals with specific views, not the group itself.


He attacked "business in meat", the very thing we are talking about, and call it wrong livelihood. He called the entire group of people engaged in the business of meat as being engaged in wrong livelihood. There is plenty of evidence that the Buddha taught that one should not cause harm, nor be a cause for harm, to other living beings. You speak as if animals being beaten and abused doesn't really matter. I don't see how this can match up with what the Buddha taught.

inference based on the texts. I am not presupposing the Buddha would have acted in a way not already shown.


Again, one really can't just say inference and leave it at that.

When there is evidence of how the Buddha acted in other situations it is inductive or deductive reasoning, not assumption. Can you show your evidence for the Buddha being direct in this matter, and not simply keeping with what has already been said?


Technically, It's not on me to show any evidence because I am the one challenging the logic of the claim, not making the claim. According to a "logical analysis", etc. the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. However, I could just say "inference based on the texts" and give a couple vague examples, but that just would not be good enough for logic. I would have to provide a logical explanation of the inference and how the inference is being made, why it's being made, which particular texts it's being made from with specific examples, sutta references, etc, so that the inference itself can be examined also, logically speaking. Saying inference and leaving it at that, does not provide any more support to the conclusion. Technically, doing that is called "circular reasoning" and is, by definition, not logical. There were some vague examples of how the Buddha did not get involved in wars, etc. but it has to be much more detailed and much more in depth than that in order to prove the validity of the inference. However, if one is just expressing one's opinions on the matter, and not the logical structure of the argument, then all that really isn't necessary.

:anjali:
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:15 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I don't think I could accept the invitation clw, you might spike the vegeloaf with hamburger!!!



Then that would suggest clinging to ideals, since you hadnt bought the meat and I would have eaten it anyway
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3284
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:28 am

seeker242 wrote:He attacked "business in meat", the very thing we are talking about, and call it wrong livelihood. He called the entire group of people engaged in the business of meat as being engaged in wrong livelihood. There is plenty of evidence that the Buddha taught that one should not cause harm, nor be a cause for harm, to other living beings. You speak as if animals being beaten and abused doesn't really matter. I don't see how this can match up with what the Buddha taught.


I think the wrong livelihood argument is significant, not least because if we buy meat we're effectively condoning it.
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 1763
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:02 am

Current agriculture practices includes using poisons. If eating meat implicates one in the wrong livelihood of business in meat then doesn't eating vegetables raised using pesticides implicate one in the wrong livelihood of business in poisons?
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Anagarika » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:39 pm

chownah wrote:Current agriculture practices includes using poisons. If eating meat implicates one in the wrong livelihood of business in meat then doesn't eating vegetables raised using pesticides implicate one in the wrong livelihood of business in poisons?
chownah


Not likely. But even these questions are rhetorical, in a way. Isn't the bottom line being mindful of the kamma we are creating? We all have different positions on different issues. Some folks eat animal meat, some do not. Some people are kind to others, some avoid other people. Some people actively support monks at a wat, and some folks have no wat within 500 km. The suttas (and the scholarship around them) describe with some clarity what conduct is actively proscribed, including what is characterized as Right Livelihood. We all have to decide what kamma we wish to accumulate, and what our intentions may be with that conduct. I could take a long walk in a forest, knowing I might step on some insects and kill them unintentionally, or I could choose to stay inside and not go out.

If we use a natural pesticide to rid our garden of insects and during harvest some insects die, we have to accept that kamma. To me, putting a bolt in a cows head, and then cutting its throat while it is still kicking is torture of a sentient being, so my choice is to not eat meat. That's my kamma decision. But at the end of the day, we all commit various volitional acts, all which aggregate as our kamma. Some vegetarians might also be paramilitary snipers for an evil regime...all the soy meat they eat might just not help them avoid a rebirth as that cow destined for the slaughterhouse. My two baht on the subject....arguing over vegetarianism neglects the fact that choosing to eat meat, or not, is just one part of this wide and deep stream of kamma we create.
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:44 pm

Yes, just one part, but a very important part, partly because its just so easy to make a difference, simply don't support the meat industry, its easier than being kind to everyone you know, trust me!!!
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:00 am

I think people are not understanding my post. Here is what I am saying.....for people who think that eating meat implicates one in the business of meat doesn't it make sense that they would also think that eating foods raised using poisons implicates one in the business of poisons?
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:48 am

As pesticides as we know them didn't exist in the Buddha's time its impossible to determine where he would have stood on the issue, but I can guarantee you he would not be telling you not to eat vegtables!!!
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:46 am

Business in poisons is wrong livelihood. Pesticides are poisons. The Buddha never qualified the term poison in any way. The concept is that if eating meat you are implicated in the wrong livelihood of business in meat then the same logic applies to buying vegetables raised using poisons doesn't it?.....seems like a no brainer too me.

Additionally, the poisons are sprayed on the crops specifically for the purpose of killing sentient beings.....so aren't you implicated in the killing of all those sentient beings if you buy the produce?

The concept is guilt by implication....I guess.......
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2410
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], waterchan and 6 guests