the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:22 pm

Cittasanto wrote:out of interest when would be buying and selling anything not be demand driven, or was there a time when supply was not tried to meet the demand, and great losses were the norm in revenue due to underselling or understocked?

What I mean to say is that the complex economy of today's world, in which consumer demand at supply points influences greater production on a mass scale through factories and industrialized farming, responds to our actions far differently than the economy of the Buddha's time.

except those prohibitions are not for lay people, and designed for alms mendicants (due to a criticism of accepting food offered by a former nigantha supporting general sila (?name)) not those who could decide what to have when they wanted, i.e., lay people.
so not very effective as an argument against lay people eating meat.

Are you implying that somehow these are not good guidelines for making responsible, compassionate choices? It seems to me that they provide a wonderful framework for monks and laypeople as well.

the only actual argument that could be supported within Buddhism is for a flexitarian type diet. eating vegetarian food when of your own design (bought/sought and made oneself) and eating meat when the food is offered such as as a guest at someone's home, so you are not inconveniencing them with special dietary needs not medically needed. this neither adopts the monastic rules nor goes against wrong livelihood; but then again eating a meat based diet does not specifically go against wrong livelihood as you are not making your living through that means, although if one is basing their argument on ahimsa - harmlessness (put down the stick and sword) the supply and demand argument is a valid one to make so long as it doesn't dictate onto others which would render the effacement regarding views (only this is correct) useless.

You're right that it is wrong to accuse others or criticize those who eat meat, and I agree that accepting meat in certain situations is the best approach. I'm simply arguing that the most pure expression of the Buddha's teachings would imply at least a passive preference for non-flesh foods.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby manas » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:42 pm

I was a 'flexitarian' (if that refers to someone who does not purchase meat for their own use, but will eat it out of politeness, while a guest at someone's home etc), but I have had to give that up, because after years of mostly vegetarianism, when I do eat animal flesh my mind gets darkened the next day. So I am not criticizing anyone else here, because I wish I could just 'gratefully accept whatever is offered'; but since meat can cause a depressive mind-state for a day or two after consumption - and this has happened too many times for me to think it a mere coincidence - I will now have to just tell people that my system cannot handle meat at all, I just have to politely decline it. I wonder if any other long-term vegetarians have noticed how, if you do venture to eat some meat, the mind is affected? I would be interested to hear.

In the interests of complete honesty, I need to add that I ate two little tins of tuna that I bought for myself recently, so I wasn't being compelled, I just thought my body might benefit from some extra 'animal protein' as I've often heard well-meaning relatives say to me. But once again, a day of depression followed, and now I really am seeing a connection between any meat consumption, even just a bit of fish, and my state of mind. That's it for me, no more meat experiments!

with metta

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:50 pm

I know for certain that my gut is affected!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:34 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:out of interest when would be buying and selling anything not be demand driven, or was there a time when supply was not tried to meet the demand, and great losses were the norm in revenue due to underselling or understocked?

What I mean to say is that the complex economy of today's world, in which consumer demand at supply points influences greater production on a mass scale through factories and industrialized farming, responds to our actions far differently than the economy of the Buddha's time.

so the supply points had no influence before todays world & customer wants were not attempted to be met before?
or did this production form to meet the demand found at supply points?


except those prohibitions are not for lay people, and designed for alms mendicants (due to a criticism of accepting food offered by a former nigantha supporting general sila (?name)) not those who could decide what to have when they wanted, i.e., lay people.
so not very effective as an argument against lay people eating meat.

Are you implying that somehow these are not good guidelines for making responsible, compassionate choices? It seems to me that they provide a wonderful framework for monks and laypeople as well.

what I am stating is the guidelines for mendicants are just that, for mendicants, lay peoples behaviour within the vinaya is not addressed directly, not to mention this rule only deals with a false accusation of slaughtering animals for the specific intent of offering, and not the eating of meat by lay people or their shopping habits for themselves, so only deals with wrong livelihood for laypeople but that isn't specifically mentioned in the text as it is not concerned with what lay people do, and still doesn't ban eating meat at other times for a mendicant.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:22 pm

Cittasanto wrote:what I am stating is the guidelines for mendicants are just that, for mendicants, lay peoples behaviour within the vinaya is not addressed directly, not to mention this rule only deals with a false accusation of slaughtering animals for the specific intent of offering, and not the eating of meat by lay people or their shopping habits for themselves, so only deals with wrong livelihood for laypeople but that isn't specifically mentioned in the text as it is not concerned with what lay people do, and still doesn't ban eating meat at other times for a mendicant.

I'm not arguing that the Buddha forbid meat for laypeople. What I'm arguing is that the fullest expression of the intent behind the rulings of the Buddha regarding meat consumption, in today's marketplace, probably manifests itself as at least passive vegetarianism.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby danieLion » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:25 pm

Not sure if this the best place to bring this up (could be it's own topic) but are there any thoughts on the Paleo diet? My doc's trying to get me on it (I see her for chronic back pain).
Best,
Daniel
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:38 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:what I am stating is the guidelines for mendicants are just that, for mendicants, lay peoples behaviour within the vinaya is not addressed directly, not to mention this rule only deals with a false accusation of slaughtering animals for the specific intent of offering, and not the eating of meat by lay people or their shopping habits for themselves, so only deals with wrong livelihood for laypeople but that isn't specifically mentioned in the text as it is not concerned with what lay people do, and still doesn't ban eating meat at other times for a mendicant.

I'm not arguing that the Buddha forbid meat for laypeople. What I'm arguing is that the fullest expression of the intent behind the rulings of the Buddha regarding meat consumption, in today's marketplace, probably manifests itself as at least passive vegetarianism.

yes and on that we agree, yet you are twisting a rule out of shape to draw that conclusion.
the best that rule could inform lay practice is, for example, a chef ordering food for a function, not individuals buying food for themselves, where no animal specifically dies for a specific individual or family.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:01 pm

Cittasanto wrote:yes and on that we agree, yet you are twisting a rule out of shape to draw that conclusion.


So it's OK to buy a turkey "off the shelf" at a butchers, but it's not OK to go into the butchers and order a Christmas turkey?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:25 pm

porpoise wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:yes and on that we agree, yet you are twisting a rule out of shape to draw that conclusion.


So it's OK to buy a turkey "off the shelf" at a butchers, but it's not OK to go into the butchers and order a Christmas turkey?


like I said "the best that rule could inform lay practice is"
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:50 pm

danieLion wrote:Not sure if this the best place to bring this up (could be it's own topic) but are there any thoughts on the Paleo diet? My doc's trying to get me on it (I see her for chronic back pain).
Best,
Daniel

Hi Danial,
I had to look up what it was, but just from the cursory look at a couple of sites it was far more meat friendly than I believe people at the time would of had available, I am personally under the assumption that the hunter gatherers of today (who eat meat when they can, but harvest other foods) are close to what the paliolithic man would of eaten.
but I do not know 100% what they eat today in regard to ratio of meat to veg....

although another topic may be more benefiscial to find out the benefits this has to other diets and what it is your medical provider is looking for you to have with this.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:59 pm

manas wrote:I was a 'flexitarian' (if that refers to someone who does not purchase meat for their own use, but will eat it out of politeness, while a guest at someone's home etc), but I have had to give that up, because after years of mostly vegetarianism, when I do eat animal flesh my mind gets darkened the next day. So I am not criticizing anyone else here, because I wish I could just 'gratefully accept whatever is offered'; but since meat can cause a depressive mind-state for a day or two after consumption - and this has happened too many times for me to think it a mere coincidence - I will now have to just tell people that my system cannot handle meat at all, I just have to politely decline it. I wonder if any other long-term vegetarians have noticed how, if you do venture to eat some meat, the mind is affected? I would be interested to hear.

In the interests of complete honesty, I need to add that I ate two little tins of tuna that I bought for myself recently, so I wasn't being compelled, I just thought my body might benefit from some extra 'animal protein' as I've often heard well-meaning relatives say to me. But once again, a day of depression followed, and now I really am seeing a connection between any meat consumption, even just a bit of fish, and my state of mind. That's it for me, no more meat experiments!

with metta

:anjali:

Hi Manas,
I have not noticed this, but anything we take can have a different effect on one to another, depending on the persons "constitution"
personally (to refer to another topic on coffee) coffee has little effect on me, and I need to take a very great amount before it gives me jitters (about 50 shots of expresso in a morning done it) yet others only one cup in the morning and they have problems sleeping at night, with my last one being about an hour before I go to sleep.
to return to meat though a friend of mine (I think I have mentioned earlier in the thread) was advised to eat red meat, and to stop being a vegetarian as his body wasn't absorbing propperly the nutritional needs from the diet and he needed to supplement it.
the same can be said for gluten or oily fish, some people need or have a constitution to handle it and others don't.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:26 pm

manas wrote:I was a 'flexitarian' (if that refers to someone who does not purchase meat for their own use, but will eat it out of politeness, while a guest at someone's home etc), but I have had to give that up, because after years of mostly vegetarianism, when I do eat animal flesh my mind gets darkened the next day. So I am not criticizing anyone else here, because I wish I could just 'gratefully accept whatever is offered'; but since meat can cause a depressive mind-state for a day or two after consumption - and this has happened too many times for me to think it a mere coincidence - I will now have to just tell people that my system cannot handle meat at all, I just have to politely decline it. I wonder if any other long-term vegetarians have noticed how, if you do venture to eat some meat, the mind is affected? I would be interested to hear.


Thank you for introducing the word "flexitarian", as I had never before heard of it.

In The Vinaya Rules for Monks it is allowed for Monks to eat meat so long as it is not prepared specifically for them. That rule always seemed a little odd to me. To say that it was to be polite to those, who were making the offering seems like a cop-out. On the one hand: in Buddha's Eight Noble Truths Right Livelyhood

source:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca4/samma-
ajivo/index.html"Wrong livelihood for lay followers


"A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison."

Wherein it occurs to me, while it is wrong to sell meat, it is not wrong to buy meat, which drives the demand for the slaughtering in the first place. Our Southern neighbors,The Mexicans, have the same complaint/worry about The drug trade, which has turned their northern states into a war zone, because it is morally unacceptable, unlawful, and wrong to produce and sell illegal drugs, which sales are driven by the insatiable demand for drugs across their nothern border in The U.S.

It is very hard for me to believe that a Buddha would not have seen the flaws in such logic. If production and sales are wrong, then buying should be wrong as well.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Durt_Dawg » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:17 pm

Sigh... its not about break da rule or Buddha said "no". It's about how much compassion you have or how much you want to cultivate ya compassion!

Ya really gonna choke da kitten ta death so ya can havea meow pie?! Know wat im sayin?
Lets b fwendssss!!!!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:23 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:In The Vinaya Rules for Monks it is allowed for Monks to eat meat so long as it is not prepared specifically for them. That rule always seemed a little odd to me. To say that it was to be polite to those, who were making the offering seems like a cop-out.

Hi Ron like I have already been saying this rule came about due to an accusation, but you try dictating to people who want to give their scraps to you what they can and can not give, would that be being easy to support?

but I shall point you to the rest of my posts regarding this rule which is for mendicants, not laypeople, and came about because of a situation, not without one!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby marc108 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:53 pm

manas wrote: I wonder if any other long-term vegetarians have noticed how, if you do venture to eat some meat, the mind is affected?


i've noticed the same thing. i have some food allergies, which forces me to exclude many vegetarian sources of protein, so i decided to try to eat fish after being a strict vegetarian for 12 or so years. i noticed fairly pronounced negative effects on my mind from eating the fish, but i also had(have) such an intense aversion to eating animals that it's hard for me to know if it was the fish itself effecting my mind or just my conditioning.

Durt_Dawg wrote:Sigh... its not about break da rule or Buddha said "no". It's about how much compassion you have or how much you want to cultivate ya compassion!

Ya really gonna choke da kitten ta death so ya can havea meow pie?! Know wat im sayin?


i really agree with this. i view vegetarianism moreso as an active exercise in compassion than following some sort of rule. it's something i do because i want to, not because i'm forced into it by some ruleset.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:59 pm

Greetings Cittasanto,
Cittasanto wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:In The Vinaya Rules for Monks it is allowed for Monks to eat meat so long as it is not prepared specifically for them. That rule always seemed a little odd to me. To say that it was to be polite to those, who were making the offering seems like a cop-out.

Hi Ron like I have already been saying this rule came about due to an accusation, but you try dictating to people who want to give their scraps to you what they can and can not give, would that be being easy to support?

but I shall point you to the rest of my posts regarding this rule which is for mendicants, not laypeople, and came about because of a situation, not without one!

Well said, Cittasanto. Mendicants should make themselves easy to support.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:19 am

But, that is the whole point. Laypersons are held to the same standards as monks under Right Livelihood. If we support butchery then we are in effect supporting wrong livelihood. :buddha2:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:28 am

Greetings Ron,

Ron-The-Elder wrote:If we support butchery then we are in effect supporting wrong livelihood. :buddha2:

If that's your interpretation of the Dhamma, then by all means do what you think best as a layman. No one will stop you being vegetarian.

However, to call the Vinaya laid down for mendicants a "cop out" is over-reaching and disrespectful to the Buddha.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:42 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:But, that is the whole point. Laypersons are held to the same standards as monks under Right Livelihood. If we support butchery then we are in effect supporting wrong livelihood. :buddha2:

Lay People are by far not held to the same standard, if we were we would have 227/311 rules also and there would be no difference!
the forms of livelihood are different, and are not refering to shoping habbits for personal use, rather being a middle man!
Mendicants go on alms, to support themselves, they get acts of generosity which are not hinted at & the rest, Lay-People go out to work earn money through various means, and it is this earning of money which is refered to, something which is wrong livelihood for a mendicant.
do note that the list of wrong livelihood for a mendicant is far more inclusive of things not specific for a lay person who only has 5 mentioned.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ron,

Ron-The-Elder wrote:If we support butchery then we are in effect supporting wrong livelihood. :buddha2:

If that's your interpretation of the Dhamma, then by all means do what you think best as a layman. No one will stop you being vegetarian.

However, to call the Vinaya laid down for mendicants a "cop out" is over-reaching and disrespectful to the Buddha.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Well-Said!
:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
although I would add, especially when you do not know the rules in full, and only have access to interpretations.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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