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
User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:34 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:1. Pāṇātipātīsuttaṃ

264. “Catūhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye. Katamehi catūhi? Attanā ca pāṇātipātī hoti, parañca pāṇātipāte samādapeti, pāṇātipāte ca samanuñño hoti, pāṇātipātassa ca vaṇṇaṃ bhāsati — imehi kho, bhikkhave, catūhi dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye. (Book of Fours)

Thank you, Venerable. :anjali: This demonstrates that we do not have to rely on the Vinaya to find the specific teaching that Peter is asking about. Do you know whether there is a link to an English translation of this passage somewhere, for example to the translation that you provided? I have been unable to find one.

Also, can you tell me whether the Dhammika Sutta expresses the same notion? I believe the Dhammika Sutta does not use the word "samādapeti," so perhaps these are different concepts.

"Now I will tell you the layman's duty. Following it a lay-disciple would be virtuous; for it is not possible for one occupied with the household life to realize the complete bhikkhu practice (dhamma).

"He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.

Metta
:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:26 pm

Dhammanando wrote:First a couple of quibbles:

1. This precept is the first, not the fifth.

Yes, of course. I don't know what I was thinking. :rolleye: Thanks for the correction, Bhante.

Dhammanando wrote:2. The translation "to urge another to kill" is a little too narrow, for it would imply that the unwholesome kamma in question is limited to cases where one forcefully tries to cajole someone to carry out a killing.

I don't know that "urge" implies forcefully cajoling. I would think "entice" or "invite" could be implied as well. My Oxford American Dictionary gives:

urge |ərj|
verb [ trans. usu. infinitive ]
• try earnestly or persistently to persuade (someone) to do something
• recommend or advocate (something) strongly
• encourage (a person or animal) to move more quickly or in a particular direction
• encourage someone to continue or succeed in something

Verbs like ghāteti/ghātayati (as in Dhammapada 129-30 and 405) and mārāpeti (the commentarial gloss on ghāteti) would be better translated "to have someone kill something".

Would this be the same as simply "asking another to kill something"?

Since people don't ordinarily purchase meat with the wish that by so doing more animals will be killed...

I wonder... Certainly not this specific wish, but what about the wish that meat continues to be made available. Does this amount to the same thing?

One should not give the verb "to have another kill something" a causal scope that stretches way beyond that which it is given in the Pali texts.

So then you would say only the example of buying meat from someone who kills the animal to order would constitute "urging"?
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 3006
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Phrao, Chiang Mai

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:31 am

Hi Jechbi,

If a person regularly buys CAFO-bred chickens in the grocery store, and if the person does so without the understanding that the net effect of this continued conduct will result in more chickens being killed, is it a case of ignorance rather than a case of urging?


1. A person's purchase of chicken flesh does not amount to the akusala kamma of having someone kill chickens.

2. A person's knowledge that purchasing chicken flesh will be a contributory factor to more chickens being killed, or his ignorance of this, will not alter the fact that his purchase of chicken flesh does not amount to the akusala kamma of having someone kill chickens.

(The Vinaya principle that applies here is that the mere knowing about the probable outcome of an action does not in itself constitute the willing of that outcome. For example, in a forest monastery one of the bhikkhus' daily duties is to sweep the leaves on the forest paths. This sweeping will most probably, indeed almost inevitably, lead to the accidental injury or deaths of some ants and other small insects. But even though a bhikkhu knows that this is likely to happen, he does not incur any offence for the deaths that his sweeping causes, except in the unlikely event that his decision to sweep leaves is prompted by a desire that insects will be killed).

3. Whether the chickens were raised in battery farms, or in free range farms, or in sumptious palaces waited upon by liveried footmen, has no bearing on the question of whether a person's purchasing their dead flesh would amount to the akusala kamma of having someone kill chickens.

4. A person who resolves not to purchase the flesh of chickens, doing so out of compassion for chickens and in the hope that this will reduce the demand for chicken flesh and lead to fewer chickens being killed, performs wholesome mind-door kamma on account of his compassionate volition.

5. But if this same person is the sort of militant vegetarian who alleges that those who don't do as he does are committing the unwholesome body-door kamma of having someone kill chickens, then he goes too far. He is disregarding the most elementary teaching on kamma, namely, that kamma is volition. In permitting such a view to persist within himself he commits the unwholesome mind-door kamma of nurturing a wrong view regarding the wholesome and the unwholesome. In propounding this view to others he commits the unwholesome speech-door kamma of misrepresenting the Tathāgata.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    Yathā bubbuḷakaṃ passe, yathā passe marīcikaṃ,
    Evaṃ lokaṃ avekkhantaṃ, maccurājā na passati.

    One should see it as a bubble;
    One should see it as a mirage.
    Who regards the world thus
    The King of Death sees him not.
    (Dhammapada 170)


    ผู้ที่มองเห็นโลก ว่าไม่จีรังและหาสาระอะไรมิได้
    เช่นเดียวกับคนมองฟองน้ำและพยับแดด
    คนเช่นนี้พญามารย่อมตามหาไม่พบ ฯ
    (ธรรมบท ๑๗๐)

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:51 am

Thank you, Bhante. :anjali:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:10 am

And the award for comprehensive reply goes to... :clap:
Thank you, Bhante, for that thorough answer. I was most intrigued by this bit:

"The Vinaya principle that applies here is that the mere knowing about the probable outcome of an action does not in itself constitute the willing of that outcome."

This was a salient point in recent discussions of this topic between and my wife.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 3006
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Phrao, Chiang Mai

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:33 am

Jechbi wrote:Also, can you tell me whether the Dhammika Sutta expresses the same notion? I believe the Dhammika Sutta does not use the word "samādapeti," so perhaps these are different concepts.

"He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.


The first two verbs are hanati and ghāteti, meaning to kill and to have another kill. These are the same verbs as in the Dhammapada verses I referred to earlier in this thread. And yes, the latter does mean the same as paraṃ pāṇātipāte samādapeti.

The third verb, hanataṃ paresaṃ anujānāti, would be literally translated as "permit killing on the part of others". It corresponds to approving/condoning (samanuñño) in the sutta quoted by Ven. Pesala. In practice, however, the meaning is rather narrower than this. It generally has to do with conspiracy scenarios in which two or more persons jointly agree to kill someone. When the killing takes place, although perhaps only one person does the actual deed, all those who plotted towards this end incur the akusala body-door kamma of intentional killing. So the verb hanati applies to the fellow who stabs or shoots, while samanuñño or anujānāti apply to the rest of the plotters.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    Yathā bubbuḷakaṃ passe, yathā passe marīcikaṃ,
    Evaṃ lokaṃ avekkhantaṃ, maccurājā na passati.

    One should see it as a bubble;
    One should see it as a mirage.
    Who regards the world thus
    The King of Death sees him not.
    (Dhammapada 170)


    ผู้ที่มองเห็นโลก ว่าไม่จีรังและหาสาระอะไรมิได้
    เช่นเดียวกับคนมองฟองน้ำและพยับแดด
    คนเช่นนี้พญามารย่อมตามหาไม่พบ ฯ
    (ธรรมบท ๑๗๐)

User avatar
jcsuperstar
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:56 am

appicchato wrote:
Peter wrote:My understanding, and I my be mistaken, is that there isn't supposed to be plates on the floor or table but that food is to be offered by a lay person directly into the monk's bowl.

Hi Peter,

Well, in the strictest of senses this may be true...although I can't recall reading anything about whether the Buddha ate off of dishes when invited to a home, or ate only from his bowl even then (I'm thinking he probably did)...that said, in today's world, all monks (in Thailand) are required to reside in a wat, and to be the one monk taking his bowl to a lay persons home to be served to, and eat from, while the rest are eating off of plates just wouldn't fly...it is what it is...conceivably one could 'go it alone' (live outside the wat), but for a guy in his sixties, I'd be hard pressed to go that route at this point...although I do contemplate it sometimes...

I know this is completely unrelated to 'vegetarian questions'...I'll leave it here... :smile:

as far as i understand it one only has to take whats put into one's bowl, not eat it. this is why you dont have to eat things that would make you sick or kill you.
basicaly the person gets the merit from the giving not the monk eating what is given. this is why overturning the bowl is such a big deal, youre taking away the lay person's ability to gain merit (in this way).
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:55 am

5. But if this same person is the sort of militant vegetarian who alleges that those who don't do as he does are committing the unwholesome body-door kamma of having someone kill chickens, then he goes too far. He is disregarding the most elementary teaching on kamma, namely, that kamma is volition. In permitting such a view to persist within himself he commits the unwholesome mind-door kamma of nurturing a wrong view regarding the wholesome and the unwholesome. In propounding this view to others he commits the unwholesome speech-door kamma of misrepresenting the Tathāgata.


If I give this view as my personal opinion based upon my own reasoning and reflection I am preserving the truth. I am not misrepresenting the Tathagata. I do want to be sensitive to what the Buddha taught but I do feel that some things in his teaching might be contextual. Meaning they were applied to that time and place in a way that was most conducive to the cultivation of the Dhamma within beings. Im not saying that any of the teachings are not helpful, only that I think there is room for personal reflection on the further development of wholesomeness. When I say that it is my opinion that one way of acting is relativly more wholesome than another especially when I am speaking from reflection upon my own experience, I do so in the hopes of being helpfull. The fact is that I felt I was complicit in the killing of animals when I ate meat. This is why I stopped and I have had a lighter heart ever since.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 3006
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Phrao, Chiang Mai

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:47 am

Hi Peter,

Peter wrote:I don't know that "urge" implies forcefully cajoling. I would think "entice" or "invite" could be implied as well. My Oxford American Dictionary gives:

[....]
• try earnestly or persistently to persuade (someone) to do something
[....]


Yes, this first definition is what I think of as the primary meaning of "urge". But "having someone kill" needn't involve anything more than asking or dropping a hint to someone.

Dhammanando: Since people don't ordinarily purchase meat with the wish that by so doing more animals will be killed...

I wonder... Certainly not this specific wish, but what about the wish that meat continues to be made available. Does this amount to the same thing?


I don't think so, for the wish that meat should continue to be made available isn't normally what prompts people to pay a visit to the butchers'. But even if a person's visit to the butchers' was motivated by such a wish, I still don't think it would suffice to fulfil all five of the necessary factors. In Vinaya the factor of 'effort' in the act of having someone kill something requires that one gives an order, hint, or request that one wants one's hireling to carry out the killing. Even in the most far-fetched of meat-purchasing scenarios that I can dream up I can't conceive of one in which the mere act of buying the meat of an already dead animal would amount to such a request.

So then you would say only the example of buying meat from someone who kills the animal to order would constitute "urging"?


Yes.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    Yathā bubbuḷakaṃ passe, yathā passe marīcikaṃ,
    Evaṃ lokaṃ avekkhantaṃ, maccurājā na passati.

    One should see it as a bubble;
    One should see it as a mirage.
    Who regards the world thus
    The King of Death sees him not.
    (Dhammapada 170)


    ผู้ที่มองเห็นโลก ว่าไม่จีรังและหาสาระอะไรมิได้
    เช่นเดียวกับคนมองฟองน้ำและพยับแดด
    คนเช่นนี้พญามารย่อมตามหาไม่พบ ฯ
    (ธรรมบท ๑๗๐)

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8417
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:40 am

Hello all,

As promised - here is Peter Harveys 'Meat Eating in early and Theravada Buddhism' from pps. 159-163 of Introduction to Buddhist Ethics, Cambridge University Press. 2000.

"Meat eating in early and Theravada Buddhism

It is often seen as surprising that vegetarianism (Prasad, 1979;Ruegg, 1980) is not more widespread among Buddhists than it is, given Buddhist teachings. In fact, the Buddha's emphasis was on the avoidance of killing. So it is worse to swat a fly - an immediate act of killing - than to eat the carcase of an already dead animal. Only in certain Mahayana texts is vegetarianism advocated. The position in early Buddhism, and Theravada lands, is as follows.

In the Buddha's day, vegetarianism was practised by Jains, though Jains see the vegetables eaten by them as containing a life-principle or soul (jiva). On one occasion, Jains accused the Buddha of knowingly eating an animal that had been specifically killed for him. The donor denied this, and the Buddha explained that a monk may eat meat provided it is 'pure in three respects': if the monk has not seen, heard or suspected that the animal has been killed specifically for him (Vin. 1.237-8). The commentary (on Vin. 111.172) explains that, if a monk has suspicions, because of his having seen or heard of the donors hunting, fishing, or slaughtering an animal recently, he should ask about the meat and can only eat it if the being was not killed in order to feed him (Vin. A. 604-6; Bapat and Hirakawa, 1970:395-6). Elsewhere, the Buddha explains that a monk receives food as a gift from a donor, and his lovingkindness for donors and other creatures is not compromised by such eating, if it is 'blameless' by being 'pure in three respects' (M.1.386-71). He goes on to emphasize, though , that a donor generates much bad karma by killing a being so as to give alms to himself or a monk, through: (1) giving the order to fetch the animal, (2) its pain and distress as it is dragged with the rope around its neck, (3) giving the order to kill the animal, (4) its pain and distress while being killed, (5) the offering of the meat to a monk if it is of a type not allowable for a monk. Here, it can be noted, the evil of the act resides both in the actual actions of the killer and in the suffering of the killed.

Non-allowable food for monks, perhaps offered at times of scarcity, are: the flesh of elephants or horses, as people regarded these animals as royal emblems; dog-flesh and snake-flesh, as people saw them as disgusting; the flesh of lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas, as such animals would smell the eaters and attack them (Vin. 1.219-20). These prohibitions were both to preserve people's faith in the Sangha, which was good for both monks and lay people, and to protect monks from danger, a prudential, not moral, reason.

It is clear from the above that the Buddha would have frequently eaten 'blameless' meat given as alms. Thus the debate (for example Kapleau, 1981) over whether his last meal, literally 'pig-mild' (sukara-maddava; D.11.127), was pork, or truffles dug up by pigs, is rather beside the point. It is notable that the Buddha actually resisted an attempt to make vegetarianism compulsory for monks (Vin. 11.171-2). This was proposed by his cousin, the monk Devadatta, who is portrayed as having been proud and jealous of the Buddha's influence. In order to foment a schism, he proposed to the Buddha that all monks should both be vegetarian and follow a number of previously optional ascetic practices, such as living at the root of a tree. The Buddha refused, reaffirming that the practices were optional and meat was acceptable if it was 'pure in three respects'. Devadatta then attempted to lead his own order, under these rules, seeking to gain support from those who 'esteem austerity'. Elsewhere,such a purely external way of assessing someone's spiritual worth is seen as unreliable. (A.11.71). Prior to his enlightenment, in his ascetic phase, Gotama had himself tried the teachings of those who taught 'purity through food', i.e. living off small amounts of only one type of food, be it jujube, beans, sesame or rice. Such externally orientated practices only made him thin and weak, though (M.1.80-1). The link between vegetarianism and extreme asceticism is also found in another passage, where it is included among the practices of self-tormenting ascetics, along with such things as nakedness, eating once a week, never sitting down, and pulling out hair (M.1.342-3). Such ascetic acts are not seen to 'purify' a person (Sn.249), and meat is not what is to be seen as 'tainted fare' - breaking the precepts is 'tainted fare' (Sn. 242).

It is notable, above, that the Buddha did not even regard vegetarianism as an optional ascetic practice for monks. If they were given flesh-food, and it was 'pure' as described above, to refuse it would deprive the donor of the karmic fruitfulness engendered by giving alms-food. Moreover, it would encourage the monks to pick and choose what food they would eat. Food should be looked on only as a source of sustenance, without preferences. To believe that being a vegetarian is itself spiritually purifying would seem to be an example of the spiritual fetter of 'attachment to virtues and vows'. It is certainly the case that a feeling of moral superiority is a common danger among vegetarians: though it can be avoided! Likewise, vegetarians can in time become disgusted with meat, which can be seen as a form of negative attachment. In any case, as the above suggests, there are many worse actions than eating meat.

The preceding discussion is concerned with what what is acceptable for a monk or nun, who must, with few exceptions, eat what is given to him or her. The considerations for a lay Buddhist are similar, but not identical. A lay person has more control over his or her food supply; ingredients much be directly obtained or bought. Lay people, within the limits of their means, make many preference-directed choices over what they eat. So for a lay person to avoid flesh-food (except, perhaps, when a guest) is not to refuse what someone has graciously offered, and not, as such, more 'picking and choosing' than is normal for a lay person. A lay vegetarian mus, though, be wary of feelings of judgemental moral superiority, and negative attachment to meat. The latter is best dealt with by not refusing meat if one is someone's guest. While it is in some ways more feasible, then, for a lay person to be a vegetarian than a monk, one feature of Buddhism weighs against this leading to vegetarianism being more common among the laity. Normally, higher standards of behaviour are expected of a monk than of a lay person. If even monks are not expected to be vegetarian, a lay person might well think, 'why should I?'

In Theravada countries, vegetarianism is universally admired but little practised. [3] There is a minority witness of vegetarians, however - such as the one-time governor of Bangkok - and most people have an uneasy conscience when they think about meat eating. Most lay people eat meat, though some abstain on observance days, or during periods of meditation. In Thailand, a few monks let it be known that they would prefer vegetarian food (Bunnag, 1973: 69-70). In Burma, Mahasi Sayadaw recommends vegetarianism as the safest way for monks to ensure that their food is 'pure in three respects' (Mahasi, 1981:45-), and some nuns are vegetarian in periods of more ascetic practice (Kawanami, 1990:27). In Sri Lanka, most nuns are vegetarian (Bartholomeusz, 1994:140), many 'Protestant Buddhists' (see p. 112) have recommended vegetarianism, as does the Sarvodaya Sramadana movement (see pp. 225-34) (Bond, 1988: 280), and some see meat eating as hindering success in meditation (Bond, 1988: 200-4).

In general, it is seen as preferable to eat the meat of an animal which is less intelligent, and/or smaller (cf. p. 52), than the opposite. Thus it is worst of all to eat beef (in Burma prior to British colonization, it was a crime to kill a cow, as it was in the period 1960-2). It is seen as less bad to eat pork, then goat-meat or chicken, and less bad again to eat eggs. Nevertheless, eggs are always regarded as having been fertilized, so to boil or crack an egg is seen as killing a living being (Terweil, 1979:188).

This means that, in Sri Lanka at least, no eggs are used in Buddhist monasteries, and pre-cracked "Buddhist eggs' are sold to the middle-class pious Buddhists. It is seen as least bad to eat fish, an unintelligent form of life that needs little effort to kill. Fish is by far the most common form of flesh eaten, as is reflected in a saying on the abundance of feed in Thailand, 'There are fish in the water, there is rice in the fields.' Nevertheless, the Buddhist ideal rules out even killing fish. This is expressed in one Jataka story, where the Buddha in a past life is said to have been a crane who only ate fish when he found them already dead (J.1.206-8).

It is clearly the case, though, that any lay Buddhist should not kill an animal for food, or tell someone else to do so. Either action clearly breaks the first precept. The question arises, though, whether buying meat from a butcher is participating in wrong action by encouraging it. One passage (A.11.252) says that a person will be reborn in hell if he kills and encourages others to do so. 'Encouraging' alone is not specified as having this effect, but in any case, such encouraging would normally be seen to be of a direct form, for example 'why don't you go hunting?', or ordering a carcase from a butcher (Mahasi, 1981: 46). Clearly, to ask a butcher to kill an animal for one is to break the first precept. In the West, most food animals are killed in large abattoirs, and 'butchers' only sell the meat. Buddhist countries lack such large-scale slaughter-houses (they would be seen as hells on earth), and so obtaining meat is more likely to have the attendant danger of direct involvement in an animal's death. This probably helps to reduce the extent of meat eating.

To make one's living as a butcher, hunter or fisherman clearly comes under the category of 'wrong livelihood' (A.11.208), to be avoided by all sincere Buddhists. Certainly one finds that, in Buddhist societies, butchers (slaughterers and meat salesmen) are usually non-Buddhists, often Muslims (Spiro, 1971:45). By making a living by or from killing, they are seen as depraved people, and are often treated as outcasts. Buddhist fishermen are more common, though they have a low status in society on account of their livelihood. In Sri Lanka, the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress recommended, in 1985, that the government should not support commercial fishing through having a Ministry of Fisheries (Bond, 1988:118). Yet, as fish are seen as a lower form of life than land animals, it is seen as less bad to kill them. The excuse is sometimes mad that they are not killed, but just die when taken out of the water. This is evidently a case of trying to distance oneself from what is recognized as an unwholesome action. In South-east Asia people often catch their own fish, which clearly breaks the first precept; but if a living is not mad from this, it is not seen as 'wrong livelihood'."

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 ---

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:48 pm

Dhammanando wrote:the wish that meat should continue to be made available isn't normally what prompts people to pay a visit to the butchers'.... Even in the most far-fetched of meat-purchasing scenarios that I can dream up I can't conceive of one in which the mere act of buying the meat of an already dead animal would amount to such a request.

On further reflection I agree with this. In my own experience, the thought (and subsequent action) of buying meat is one thing and the thought "May there continue to be meat" is another thing, a subsequent thought. The mere act of buying meat doesn't seem to involve anything to do with killing.

Dhammanando wrote:
Peter wrote:So then you would say only the example of buying meat from someone who kills the animal to order would constitute "urging"?
Yes.

Thank you, Bhante. :anjali:
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:53 pm

On even further reflection...

Peter wrote:In my own experience, the thought (and subsequent action) of buying meat is one thing and the thought "May there continue to be meat" is another thing, a subsequent thought.

I think what confounds many of us in this sort of discussion is that some thoughts follow nearly automatically from other thoughts. It is such that we tend to think of a group of thoughts as a single entity. Buddhism teaches us to look carefully and see how somethings tend to habitually follow form other things but they don't need to follow. For example, a pleasant smell arises and then the wish arises to smell it some more. Or an unpleasant smell arises and then the wish arises to leave the room! When we learn to look carefully we can see the smell and the wish are two different things, even though we are used to always seeing them arise together.

So I wonder if when we buy meat from a supermarket there are unwholesome thoughts which habitually arise at the same time? Perhaps that's where our practice should focus. For example, thoughts of sensual desire, thoughts of greed. Then we can cultivate the appropriate antidotes, like thinking of the relevant drawbacks. Perhaps then we will find we buy less, buy healthier, and other good things.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:55 am

Peter wrote:So I wonder if when we buy meat from a supermarket there are unwholesome thoughts which habitually arise at the same time? Perhaps that's where our practice should focus. For example, thoughts of sensual desire, thoughts of greed. Then we can cultivate the appropriate antidotes, like thinking of the relevant drawbacks. Perhaps then we will find we buy less, buy healthier, and other good things.


A very good approach I think.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby appicchato » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:04 am

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save: :pig:

● 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;

● 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;

● 70 million gallons of gas--enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;

● 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;

● 33 tons of antibiotics.

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:

● Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;

● 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;

● 4.5 million tons of animal excrement;

● Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant.

My favorite statistic is this: According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. See how easy it is to make an impact?

Other points:

Globally, we feed 756 million tons of grain to farmed animals. As Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer notes in his new book, if we fed that grain to the 1.4 billion people who are living in abject poverty, each of them would be provided more than half a ton of grain, or about 3 pounds of grain/day--that's twice the grain they would need to survive. And that doesn't even include the 225 million tons of soy that are produced every year, almost all of which is fed to farmed animals. He writes, "The world is not running out of food. The problem is that we--the relatively affluent--have found a way to consume four or five times as much food as would be possible, if we were to eat the crops we grow directly."

A recent United Nations report titled Livestock's Long Shadow concluded that the meat industry causes almost 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world's transportation systems--that's all the cars, trucks, SUVs, planes and ships in the world combined. The report also concluded that factory farming is one of the biggest contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every level--local and global.

Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that switching from standard American diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against global warming than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid.

In its report, the U.N. found that the meat industry causes local and global environmental problems even beyond global warming. It said that the meat industry should be a main focus in every discussion of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortages and pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

Unattributed statistics were calculated from scientific reports by Noam Mohr, a physicist with the New York University Polytechnic Institute.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-fre ... 81716.html

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 18247
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:26 am

That is incredible Bhante!

i wonder how difficult it is to make the US go vegetarian for a day?
We've got 'Earth Hour', why not a global 'veg day'?
Thank you for sharing!
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6202
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:32 pm

where do the animals go for these statistics to be realised?
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 9391
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:59 pm

Ben wrote:That is incredible Bhante!

i wonder how difficult it is to make the US go vegetarian for a day?

:jumping: In Texas, where I went for my university degrees, it will be very difficult. Many Americans love their steaks, burgers, etc. In other places, in general near water, such as the East and West coasts, they will be more receptive to the idea.

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 9391
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:01 pm

Manapa wrote:where do the animals go for these statistics to be realised?

Not as many would be bred. If the world went vegetarian, it would not happen all at once. There would be a gradual decline in meat consumption. As this happens, the number of animals bred for slaughter would decrease. As the numbers decrease, you will see the statistics shown above. If everyone abstained for meat just one day per week, the number of animals being bred would also decrease and you would see the numbers Bhante posted.

nathan
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby nathan » Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:16 am

Any farmer, hunter or fisherman living 150 years ago would have seen all this coming. They were the one's who actually wept. All of us, us with our many comforts and amusements, we all think everything has never been better than since we began driving the whole earth ahead of us straight into hell. What could possibly slow us down as we continue to accelerate now?

Yes it's a house of cards but I'm not laughing.

Escape now.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

User avatar
pink_trike
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am
Contact:

Re: Eating Meat...check out the stats...

Postby pink_trike » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:41 am

nathan wrote:Any farmer, hunter or fisherman living 150 years ago would have seen all this coming. They were the one's who actually wept. All of us, us with our many comforts and amusements, we all think everything has never been better than since we began driving the whole earth ahead of us straight into hell. What could possibly slow us down as we continue to accelerate now?

Yes it's a house of cards but I'm not laughing.

Escape now.

Not even 150 years. I'm only one generation off the land. My extended family in northern Minnesota engaged in farming, fishing, lumberjacking...and they saw what was coming 50ish years ago. There used to be widespread understanding of local sustainability, and a inviolate ethic of restraint in "respect for the land" ("the land" actually meaning "ecosystem" in what would have been distrustfully regarded as fancy "Harvard" talk). When life was lived for the most part locally, people tended not to pooh in their own bed, not to take more than their own share, made sure everyone had enough, and made sure shares were used carefully and made to last - not so far removed from "sila".

"A day without meat" is, imo, not a good idea...a short-term, "feel good" bandaid. In lickity-split time, "A day without meat" will become something like Christmas...one day a year when a lot of people are "generous" - this is what happens in our mediatized culture. For the previous 50ish years there has been a full-blown corporate war going on for "maximized mind-share" - fancy "Harvard" talk for brainwashing as many minds as possible to discard common sense and instead buy whatever is placed in front of them, regardless of effect on mind/body/ecosystem.

I think the only solution is for everyone to sit down, shut up, and take a close look at the ecosystem that is the mind/body - it is no different from the ecosystem within which this body lives. Then maybe the external ecosystem will get some attention as we begin to see that one person's poison is everyone's sickness. As it is, we are caught in a runaway system that our mind has calibrated with...because that's what minds do. We need to break that calibration and return to "the land" in the mind, or as we say in Buddhism, "the ground of being". Only then will we be able to make real, informed, even wise decisions about how to live integrally within the boundaries of the natural world, instead of dis-eased, dis-integrated, and dis-connected from the fullness of reality. It isn't "escape" we need...it is re-integration at all levels of our being. We have the tools to do that, if we choose to use them.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.


Return to “Fringe Theravāda Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ben, Bing [Bot], MSNbot Media and 35 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine