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

Postby appicchato » Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:27 am

pink_trike wrote:"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.

Looked at in this light, I wouldn't (completely) disagree...also, looked at in a different light it could be a good thing...human nature being what it is (having to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to 'change'), we've got to start somewhere...even 'A meal without meat' would be a plus...

My intention here wasn't to plug this idea, only to highlight the numbers involved...

Vegi, or not, we're all on our way out... :pig:

Be well...

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

Postby nathan » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:35 am

pink_trike wrote: 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.
"We" don't have any kind of common basis for anything like that at all. There is no "we". We are more deeply divided one from the next every day even as we become the indistinct machine-like cogs of an incomprehensible device that serves something entirely alien to life, perhaps Death itself. Note that. Planets die too. Maybe prepare for that also. Note that the children are already getting ready for it anyways. Note that the old are resigned to it. Note that the powerful and wealthy really couldn't care less about it or about the rest of us. Note that none of this is new in any way. Just note that every chess game has an end game. Still want to be king for the day?

No. I think escape now is a much better bet than dig in deeper. I've integrated with my inner granola and yogurt and it is the same beautiful nightmare on that side of it. As they say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Third time on that one is not necessary. Even an edenic earth is as full of worms as this one. What, really, is the difference between a gilded cage and one that isn't?
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}

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

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:53 am

For what its worth, I'm going to put my family on a vegetarian diet 'by stealth'. I'll just cook vegie meals for as long as i can without saying anything and see what happens...
Its about time. While i enjoy meat, i don't feel good about purchasing it which does support an industry,in my mind, that is unwholesome. Let's see how it goes...
“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

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

Postby fijiNut » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:08 am

Ben,
I admire your covert intentions. :stirthepot:
It isn't too hard to make breakfast vegetarian - wheat bix, fruits, milk, toast & tahini/peanut butter, oatmeal, toasted cheese and onion sandwiches.
If you do it for 7 days, at least 2 full days of meals are vegetarian. And that itself has a lot of benefits for the body and mind long term.

metta,
Sung Low

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

Postby pink_trike » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:36 am

pink_trike wrote: 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.

nathan wrote:What, really, is the difference between a gilded cage and one that isn't?


We're not talking about "gilded" here. We're talking about an ignorant, hungry, oft unconscious participation in the creation of wholesale suffering and murder. Yes, I mean you - whoever is reading.

Are we really to believe that we (no one is exempt from the current human-caused eco-holocaust that threatens the life of all higher living beings) can despoil everything and get away scott free? As they say on Southpark..."reeeeaaallly?". Can we greedily maim, poison, and destroy countless species for generations to come without karmic accumulation? Can we hack at the tapestry of life with our media-inspired and fueled cravings with impunity, with no thought of the forces that we support while we feed our personal hungry void? Can we unconsciously and actively participate in processes that cause widespread illness and suffering to all living beings for vast generations to come with no negative conditioning or karmic consequences?

Are we really exempt from the terrestrially-located ramifications of our cravings, ignorance, and inaction? Wow...lucky us, huh? Fundamentalist Christians also believe that we can destroy and rape the earth because "the end is near" anyway (based on an inaccurate belief that the Earth is dying) - you see, it doesn't matter to them what happens here, they've done what it takes to "escape". Is this what we are to believe? The worst sort of arrogant, material-phobic nihilism?

Our Dharma practice let's us do all that??

What I'm talking about (or perhaps rambling nonsensically about) is the externalization of our practice. When the delusional boundaries between "me" and the so called "filthy" messy natural world and all its so called "foul" inhabitants are dissolved, then we begin to realize, imo, the full extent of our madness...a madness that will follow "us", whether we believe in post mortum rebirth, rebirth moment to moment in this life, or rebirth in the form of a continuation of the singular human organism for generations to come. A madness that deeply clouds our awareness and fuels our sense of separateness and uniqueness. Is there really "escape"? Is this path to be an egocentric one...for "me" alone? Is the whole purpose of this exquisitely sophisticated path just to benefit the hungry "me"? "I wanna escape!!! :tantrum: "me, me, me". I don't think so...each of us in this very life participates in the creation of suffering, disease, and murder (sorry, there is no softer word) right here, right now, through our ignorance, mindless participation, denial, and self-serving inaction - that conditions the mind towards the lower realms, no matter where these realms may appear, and no matter how much we believe ourselves to be exempt.

I confess...I'm an "engaged" Dharma practitioner. Imo, the dualistic separation of material and "trace aggregates" is delusional. Imo, working with circumstances right here and now is a valuable, indeed a _necessary_ part of the path. Imo, com.passion is really the senses (passions) that have been harnessed for the good of the commun.ity...and the Whole. Com.passion. Communal.senses. Imo, the rejection of circumstances is an abject folly of delusion - part of the exact problem that we attempt to address through Dharma practice, and a view that has far-reaching negative ramifications for all of "we" and "me", that no amount of belief in other realms or escape destinations erases.

[ This is why I post mostly in "The Lounge" here. :jumping: For clarification, I don't "believe" anything I say. If you have a better view, lay it on me...I'm open to it ].
Last edited by pink_trike on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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

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

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:05 am

Hi Pink, Hi Nathan

I actually agree largely with Pink on this one. We can't divorce ourselves from our role and responsibility with regard to our environment on the basis that it is the operation of samsara or communal vipaka. My contention is that one cannot engage in self-liberation without also pursuing the mundane and supramundane liberation of our fellow co-habitants in this fragile realm.

Hi Sung Low

Covert indeed! Its one of the reasons why my kids call me 'the evil one' in the mould of the Mephistopholean 'Dr No' from Austen Powers.
Breakfasts in this household are usually vegetarian. Having just served up tofu and vegetables in a thai yellow curry, my wife and kids are no wiser to my wild vegie plans! Mua-ha-ha!!
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..

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

Postby appicchato » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:06 am

Ben wrote:Having just served up tofu and vegetables in a thai yellow curry, my wife and kids are no wiser to my wild vegie plans! Mua-ha-ha!!

Good on ya Ben... :thumbsup:

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

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:43 pm

Ben wrote:Breakfasts in this household are usually vegetarian. Having just served up tofu and vegetables in a thai yellow curry, my wife and kids are no wiser to my wild vegie plans! Mua-ha-ha!!

:jumping: :rolleye: :thumbsup:

Good job, Ben.

When I lived in Israel for two years (during high school) I ate falafel, pita sandwiches of grilled veggies, avocado sandwiches, and other 'Mediterranean' foods. According to Jewish kosher laws you don't mix meat and dairy, so when we ate lasagna and pizza, it was always dairy only, no meat. I was not a vegetarian at the time, but many years later after becoming a vegetarian I realized that I was sort of a vegetarian during those times. I never thought about it at the time, the food was still good and tasty.

In the same way, I think it can be done covertly the way you are doing. Just make healthy stuff that is also delicious and they will probably not complain.

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

Postby pink_trike » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:31 pm

Just stay away from the faux meat products. :jawdrop:
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.

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

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:45 pm

appicchato wrote:
Ben wrote:Having just served up tofu and vegetables in a thai yellow curry, my wife and kids are no wiser to my wild vegie plans! Mua-ha-ha!!

Good on ya Ben... :thumbsup:

TheDhamma wrote:
Ben wrote:Breakfasts in this household are usually vegetarian. Having just served up tofu and vegetables in a thai yellow curry, my wife and kids are no wiser to my wild vegie plans! Mua-ha-ha!!

:jumping: :rolleye: :thumbsup:

Good job, Ben.
TheDhamma wrote:In the same way, I think it can be done covertly the way you are doing.

Two endorsements...Of all the possible threads there could be to find out how much of a rapscallion some of the others on your forum are.

TheDhamma wrote:When I lived in Israel for two years (during high school) I ate falafel, pita sandwiches of grilled veggies, avocado sandwiches, and other 'Mediterranean' foods. According to Jewish kosher laws you don't mix meat and dairy, so when we ate lasagna and pizza, it was always dairy only, no meat. I was not a vegetarian at the time, but many years later after becoming a vegetarian I realized that I was sort of a vegetarian during those times. I never thought about it at the time, the food was still good and tasty.

In the same way, I think it can be done covertly the way you are doing. Just make healthy stuff that is also delicious and they will probably not complain.

Seriously though this is a good strategy that I will put into place at least from time to time to reduce, if not eliminate, my meat consumption.

Fortunately this very example can be put into place in my situation since I'm already a fan of Mediterranean fare and the like. Pita, baba ghanoush, hummus, etc. hit the spot. And I even prefer Feta for great breakfast eggs/omlettes over the standard cheese. Of course there's a Thai voice that tells me to cilantro it all up.

If you have a fairly broad taste like mine, you can really be vegetarian with a wide selection of original design entrees (not using substitutes like tofurkey) if you just take dishes from lots of different cultures that already happen to be vegetarian. And get with food of people that are heavily vegetarian by culture like Indians. Hit someone up for some samosas and cilantro chutney.

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

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:50 pm

pink_trike wrote:Just stay away from the faux meat products. :jawdrop:

I was just thinking along similar lines. But it's not because I don't like them, I would just rather take an approach where everything I'm eating is vegetarian by design. That way I'm eating the authentic dish the way it was intended without any taste or ingredient compromise.

So you say this for another reason? Do you just not like them, or do you know them to be unhealthy in their own ways?

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

Postby nathan » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:09 pm

pink_trike wrote:If you have a better view, lay it on me...I'm open to it.
Sure. There is no 'we' just as there is no 'me'. There is a meat-resonating-device like the skin of an apple on the surface of the earth. You are more than welcome to remain a part of it for as long as you like. You can identify with 'me', 'we' or 'it' forever if you wish. It isn't any more or less than what it is if you don't. As you will then.
:namaste:
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}

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

Postby pink_trike » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:13 pm

SeerObserver wrote:
pink_trike wrote:So you say this for another reason? Do you just not like them, or do you know them to be unhealthy in their own ways?


I'm not very fussy about food, but this body doesn't like the faux meat thingies at all and expresses it's dislike clearly. :toilet:
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.

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

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:11 am

pink_trike wrote:
SeerObserver wrote:
pink_trike wrote:So you say this for another reason? Do you just not like them, or do you know them to be unhealthy in their own ways?


I'm not very fussy about food, but this body doesn't like the faux meat thingies at all and expresses it's dislike clearly. :toilet:


I quite like some of them but I have had a bad experiance before!
“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."

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

Postby pink_trike » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:28 am

appicchato wrote:
pink_trike wrote:"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.

Looked at in this light, I wouldn't (completely) disagree...also, looked at in a different light it could be a good thing...human nature being what it is (having to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to 'change'), we've got to start somewhere...even 'A meal without meat' would be a plus...

My intention here wasn't to plug this idea, only to highlight the numbers involved...

Vegi, or not, we're all on our way out... :pig:

Be well...


Yes, you may be right. I hope you are.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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

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

Postby pink_trike » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:42 am

nathan wrote:
pink_trike wrote:If you have a better view, lay it on me...I'm open to it.
Sure. There is no 'we' just as there is no 'me'. There is a meat-resonating-device like the skin of an apple on the surface of the earth. You are more than welcome to remain a part of it for as long as you like. You can identify with 'me', 'we' or 'it' forever if you wish. It isn't any more or less than what it is if you don't. As you will then.
:namaste:

Of course there is no "me", "we", or "it. Good on you for noticing. But what you haven't seemed to notice is that not everyone else has. So the best we can probably do is model behavior that mirrors the essence of the teachings, if not the letter. That isn't just pretend suffering we're inflicting on living beings. We have the potential to stop doing it. Right here, right now. We can model this for others. All humans are monkeys...so let's use the "monkey see, monkey do" phenomenon wisely.
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.

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

Postby Ben » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:15 am

Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement!

Thanks Pink for the advice:

pink_trike wrote:Just stay away from the faux meat products. :jawdrop:


I've always shied away from faux meat products like soy sausages and think something called 'tofuturkey' sounds like its a scream! We don't get it here in Australia - thankfully! The closest I've come to a faux meat product was seitan which I used to make myself in my macrobiotic days over twenty years ago. My then girlfriend bought a small electric grain mill and we would buy whole wheat, grind it ourselves and process our own seitan. It would take all day but it was fun.
Tonight was another success. I made a vegetable and bean stew seasoned with chermoulah served on basmati rice. my eight-year-old approved of it and the 14-year-old went back for seconds.
Cheers

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..

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

Postby Paul Davy » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:51 am

There's a Mahayana Art Gallery in the city of Melbourne that does some decent mock-meat food.

Alas, the menu has shrunk over the last few months... but it's still pretty good.

:stirthepot:

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

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

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

Postby Jechbi » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:03 pm

This is a great thread, with some excellent points in my opinion. But I do wonder where Kathy Freston got her stats. Many of them seem suspect.

There are seven pages of comments associated with her article over at The Huffington Post. Worth browsing. Here's her bio:
Kathy Freston is a self-help author and personal growth and spirituality counselor. She is the author of "The One: Discovering the Secrets of Soul Mate Love" and "Expect a Miracle: Seven Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationship." Her Transformational Meditation CDs offering guided meditations have been featured in W, Self, and Mode. Kathy’s recent television appearances include, “Martha,” “The View,” and “The CBS Early Show.”


Not in any way to diminish the point of the OP, which is right on target (thank you, Venerable). But I tried to check out the stats on snopes.com and found nothing relevant. Can anyone verify Freston's numbers or find their source?

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.

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

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:36 pm

appicchato wrote: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?l


Bhante these numbers are amazing. Thanks a lot :namaste:


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