the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:49 am

daverupa wrote:Is it the case that vegetarians can practice for revulsion towards body nutriment the same as non-vegetarians can? Does eating plants make one less-likely to choose to see their food as the flesh of their child, per the Sutta simile? Perhaps eating meat does so. Perhaps it's not what you eat, but what you cling to...


I think this is exactly right, because it is clinging to views, which causes suffering, which you can see on these boards. The reality is that life must consume life in order to live. The question is, "which forms and methods of consumption cause the least harm?"....This is what a Buddha would teach. Eating the least amount necessary (Eating to live.) rather than "living to eat". Scavaging for animals who died from accidental causes, and eating what plants have to offer in forms of nuts, seeds, nectar, and fruit violates none of the precepts held in common amongst all schools of Buddhism. These methods cause the least amount of harm in my estimation. :hug: :anjali: Ron.
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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 daverupa » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:58 am

Ron-The-Elder wrote:The question is, "which forms and methods of consumption cause the least harm?"....This is what a Buddha would teach.


Nutriment is dukkha; this is what is taught, not "choose nutriment that is best":

SN 12.11 wrote:Monks, there are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined... Now, these four nutriments have what as their cause, what as their origination, what as their source, what as that which brings them into play? These four nutriments have craving as their cause, craving as their origination, craving as their source, craving as that which brings them into play...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ben » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:08 am

daverupa wrote:
Ron-The-Elder wrote:The question is, "which forms and methods of consumption cause the least harm?"....This is what a Buddha would teach.


Nutriment is dukkha; this is what is taught, not "choose nutriment that is best":

SN 12.11 wrote:Monks, there are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined... Now, these four nutriments have what as their cause, what as their origination, what as their source, what as that which brings them into play? These four nutriments have craving as their cause, craving as their origination, craving as their source, craving as that which brings them into play...


Well said, Dave!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:28 pm

Thanks, Dave. Your quote as regards dependent origination makes my point exactly. If you do not agree that Buddha taught The Four Noble Truths to provide us with the means to end suffering (dukkha) then you have missed the message, which I know you have not:

"Thus, from ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

"From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness.

"From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.

"From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media.

"From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact.

"From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling.

"From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving.

"From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance.

"From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming.

"From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth.

"From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.


So, let me ask, Dave, how does one eat before he is born?....except through the nutriments fed to him by his mother? A neonate cannot be held responsible for such nutriment. Do you really think Buddha was addressing the kind of nutriment we are discussing in this thread? You are way smarter than that. :namaste: Ron

Each of us must choose the path which causes the least harm if we are to be true to Buddha's teachings. That is clear. No doubt about it. Otherwise, there would be no precept to that effect: "Cause no harm to sentient beings."
What Makes an Elder? :
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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 daverupa » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:27 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:So, let me ask, Dave, how does one eat before he is born?


This misunderstands the birth nidana, imo, as it has virtually nothing to do with an occasion of ones physical birth but rather with the identity "i was born, i am a birthed being". So we'll probably have to part ways on this point. After all, "how was I in the past, how was my nutriment in the past" is to attend inappropriately, per MN 2.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:20 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
Dearest friend Cittasanto: I ignore your arguments, because they are false teachings in that they do not agree with Buddha's teachings which reduce dukkha. However, we are both in agreement regarding "road kill" (scavaging). No harm is caused in this action. The same for breathing oxygen, eating fruit, nuts, nectar, and seeds. Plants have evolved to offer these to animals in exchange for services rendered, such as reproduction and CO2 from which plants build their somatic matrices. :anjali: Ron

Then show EVIDENCE!
So would you call eating what is dead and not deliberately killed by or for oneself scavenging?

Edit - regarding false teachings, I am not the one saying the Buddha didn't teach things clearly taught with no evidence.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:43 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:
daverupa wrote:Is it the case that vegetarians can practice for revulsion towards body nutriment the same as non-vegetarians can? Does eating plants make one less-likely to choose to see their food as the flesh of their child, per the Sutta simile? Perhaps eating meat does so. Perhaps it's not what you eat, but what you cling to...


I think this is exactly right, because it is clinging to views, which causes suffering, which you can see on these boards. The reality is that life must consume life in order to live. The question is, "which forms and methods of consumption cause the least harm?"....This is what a Buddha would teach. Eating the least amount necessary (Eating to live.) rather than "living to eat". Scavaging for animals who died from accidental causes, and eating what plants have to offer in forms of nuts, seeds, nectar, and fruit violates none of the precepts held in common amongst all schools of Buddhism. These methods cause the least amount of harm in my estimation. :hug: :anjali: Ron.

aren't you clinging to views insisting the Buddha taught vegetarianism and all teachings which disagree are false?
see my last post bottom of page 83 and a number of posts at the bottom of page 84 to you
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:29 pm

Fine! Then we are in total agreement. Not that agreement is ever necessary. You are welcome to your attachments as is everyone else. Question is, "Do our attachments bring us to unbinding and release, or do they reserve a seat on the samsaric express? " Buddha taught that one will quickly know if he has grasped a viper wrongly for, if wrongly grasped, he will be bitten by it:

(§§10-12). The instance of Ari.t.tha's wrong view is now used by the Buddha as an opportunity to warn against any other wrong approach to the Teaching, and the misuse of it. He gives here the simile of the wrong grasp of a snake to illustrate the harm and the danger of misconceiving the Dhamma.

The harm done is to the individual's character and his progress on the Path; and the danger is the likelihood of his falling into lower forms of existence, or at the least a rebirth unfavorable to the understanding and practicing of the Dhamma. That such results may follow, can be easily understood in the case of Ari.t.tha's views which are an outright reversal and corruption of the Teaching. It may, however, at first sight be surprising to the reader that, in the section now under consideration, the misuse of the Teaching for the verbal wrangles of disputation is likewise regarded as a dangerously wrong grasp of the Dhamma.

Here the danger and harm have more subtle, but no less real, roots. The danger in contentiousness is chiefly twofold. It provides one of the many evasions by which the mind shirks from devoting itself earnestly to the actual practice of the Dhamma. Secondly, under the respectable guise of the advocacy of the Dhamma, the attachment to "I" and "Mine" finds an easy outlet. In disputations the ego gets the chance to indulge in self-assertion, superiority feeling, self-righteousness and opinionatedness. Furthermore, the ego may attach itself to the Dhamma in an attitude of possessiveness which sometimes may even resemble the behavior of a dog jealously and angrily defending a morsel of food without having himself the inclination to eat it. We see here the danger that an excessive concern with an argumentative advocacy of the Dhamma may strengthen subconsciously the deeply engrained egotistic impulses. It may even become one of the "grounds (or starting-points) for false views" as describe by the Buddha (in §15).[1]

Finally, from indulging in wordy warfare will also spring feelings of partisanship, intolerance, fanaticism and hostility. Truly, we have here a formidable catalogue of detrimental qualities of mind, and from this we can now better understand why the Buddha applied here, too, the metaphor of the dangerously wrong way of grasping a snake.

(§§13-14). He who is so much preoccupied with doctrinal controversy, furnishes, indeed, a fitting illustration of one who carries the raft of the Dhamma on his head or shoulders; and, in his case, this will be not after the crossing but before he has done, or even seriously tried, the fording of the stream. In fact, this famous parable of the raft will in most cases apply to those who, in the words of the Dhammapada (v. 85), "run up and down the river's bank" on this side of the stream, without daring or wishing to cross. We find them using the raft for a variety of purposes: they will adorn it and adore it, discuss it, compare it — indeed anything else than use it.

There are, on the other hand, those who wrongly believe that this parable justifies them in jettisoning the raft before they have used it, and that it invites them to let go the good teachings along with the false ones, even before they have benefited by the former and fully discarded the latter.

As we see, there are, indeed, many more ways of "grasping wrongly" than of grasping rightly; hence the strong emphasis laid on examining wisely the true meaning and purpose of the Dhamma. And there should be frequent re-examination — lest we forget.

(§§15-17). This section on the "grounds for false views" connects with the mention of "false teachings" in the preceding paragraph (§14).

Here, and in almost all the following sections, up to §41, it is the gravest of all wrong views — the belief in a Self, in an abiding ego-entity — that is dealt with from different angles. Our discourse is one of the most important texts concerned with the Anattaa-doctrine, the teaching on Not-self. This teaching is the core of the Buddhist doctrine and a singular feature of it. It is of a truly revolutionary nature, and hence it is not easily absorbed by the human mind which, since an unfathomable past, has been habituated to think, and to induce action, in terms of "I" and "Mine." But this bias towards egocentricity has to be broken on the intellectual, emotional, and ethical level, if deliverance from suffering is ever to be won. In this task, the repeated and careful contemplation of our discourse can become a valuable aid.source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el048.html:


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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 Cittasanto » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:22 pm

i shall assume you are talking to me ron!
but we are not in total agreement, and I shall ask you to take your head out of the sand long enough to actually read what I have said, as I am by far not saying vegetarianism is the only way, or anything in the canon which suggests eating meat is ok is a corruption!
the very nature of avija is not seeing clearly i.e., you don't know you are holding the viper wrongly until it is too late!
so dogmatically stating only one form of food is correct or better and this is what the Buddha taught, instead of having a flexible approach which considers and allows for varying circumstances, as is demonstrated by the Buddhas refusal to ban meat as a source of sustenance, is not plausible. "All Buddhists should be vegetarian" and "eating meat under any circumstance is wrong" is one such case (and what I have been saying if you bothered to read); as is ignoring what is said because you personally disagree without considering the numerous nuances, as you claimed I ignore in not so many words "The "support" you continue to ignore is the fact that a samma sam Buddha is all knowing and understands that samsara is a place of contradictions." so by your own admittance a place where fixed views on anything can not be afforded

just to point out,
Ghosa Suttas AN2.126-127 my translation wrote:126. “(The Buddha Said) Mendicants, there are two conditions for the coming into existence of dissident perspectives!
(The Meditators Asked) What are these two?
(The Buddha Responded) The words of another & inappropriate consideration, mendicants, these two things are conditions for the coming into existence of dissident perspectives!”

127. “(The Buddha Said) Mendicants, there are these two conditions for the coming into existence of upright perspectives!
(The Meditators Asked) What are these two?
(The Buddha Responded) The words of another & inappropriate consideration, mendicants, these two things are conditions for the coming into existence of upright perspectives!”



Ron-The-Elder wrote:Fine! Then we are in total agreement. Not that agreement is ever necessary. You are welcome to your attachments as is everyone else. Question is, "Do our attachments bring us to unbinding and release, or do they reserve a seat on the samsaric express? " Buddha taught that one will quickly know if he has grasped a viper wrongly for, if wrongly grasped, he will be bitten by it:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:29 pm

gavesako wrote:Monks suffer from health problems : study

Interesting Bhante!
I remember A Sri Lankan Monk saying Diabetes was common for Monks in Sri Lanka due to the diet.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:32 pm

Cittasanto wrote:i shall assume you are talking to me ron!
but we are not in total agreement, and I shall ask you to take your head out of the sand long enough to actually read what I have said, as I am by far not saying vegetarianism is the only way, or anything in the canon which suggests eating meat is ok is a corruption!
the very nature of avija is not seeing clearly i.e., you don't know you are holding the viper wrongly until it is too late!
so dogmatically stating only one form of food is correct or better and this is what the Buddha taught, instead of having a flexible approach which considers and allows for varying circumstances, as is demonstrated by the Buddhas refusal to ban meat as a source of sustenance, is not plausible. "All Buddhists should be vegetarian" and "eating meat under any circumstance is wrong" is one such case (and what I have been saying if you bothered to read); as is ignoring what is said because you personally disagree without considering the numerous nuances, as you claimed I ignore in not so many words "The "support" you continue to ignore is the fact that a samma sam Buddha is all knowing and understands that samsara is a place of contradictions." so by your own admittance a place where fixed views on anything can not be afforded

just to point out,
Ghosa Suttas AN2.126-127 my translation wrote:126. “(The Buddha Said) Mendicants, there are two conditions for the coming into existence of dissident perspectives!
(The Meditators Asked) What are these two?
(The Buddha Responded) The words of another & inappropriate consideration, mendicants, these two things are conditions for the coming into existence of dissident perspectives!”

127. “(The Buddha Said) Mendicants, there are these two conditions for the coming into existence of upright perspectives!
(The Meditators Asked) What are these two?
(The Buddha Responded) The words of another & inappropriate consideration, mendicants, these two things are conditions for the coming into existence of upright perspectives!”



Ron-The-Elder wrote:Fine! Then we are in total agreement. Not that agreement is ever necessary. You are welcome to your attachments as is everyone else. Question is, "Do our attachments bring us to unbinding and release, or do they reserve a seat on the samsaric express? " Buddha taught that one will quickly know if he has grasped a viper wrongly for, if wrongly grasped, he will be bitten by it:


Sorry, but it is not my head that is in the sand, you must be thinking of some form of worm, or perhaps an ostrich. :shrug: Where I agree with you is that you are stuck with your perspective with regard to diet and cannot learn from the perspective of others: namely that it is inconsistent for a Buddha to take a position regarding "anything", which would increase suffering, when given a less harmful alternative. For example, if a Buddha were offered two plates, one made of fresh vegetables, the other made made of animal flesh, which one is it reasonable for him to accept?Relating to your head in sand comment: To assume that a Buddha would select the plate of animal flesh would be like believing that a human could breathe sand. "Ridiculous!" As your lungs would get all full of silicates very quickly and you could choke! Selecting flesh over vegetables is just as ridiculous given a choice........... Time to take my nap. Sorry. :zzz:
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 daverupa » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:04 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote: For example, if a Buddha were offered two plates, one made of fresh vegetables, the other made made of animal flesh, which one is it reasonable for him to accept?


If he has neither seen, heard, nor suspected that the meat was produced specifically for him, they are completely equivalent.

"I have slaughtered the fatted calf for you, Blessed One" = no good
"Here is a meat and cheese platter left over from our early brunch, please partake of it Blessed One" = just fine

This does shed light on your view, but please refrain from making your own preferences those of the Buddha.

(Additionally, if I were to offer a veggie plate that was originally put together as a brahminical sacrifice and you were to offer a meat plate that you were originally just carrying to the waste bin for someone, the meat plate is acceptable and the veggie plate is not.)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:56 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Sorry, but it is not my head that is in the sand, you must be thinking of some form of worm, or perhaps an ostrich. :shrug: Where I agree with you is that you are stuck with your perspective with regard to diet and cannot learn from the perspective of others: namely that it is inconsistent for a Buddha to take a position regarding "anything", which would increase suffering, when given a less harmful alternative. For example, if a Buddha were offered two plates, one made of fresh vegetables, the other made made of animal flesh, which one is it reasonable for him to accept?Relating to your head in sand comment: To assume that a Buddha would select the plate of animal flesh would be like believing that a human could breathe sand. "Ridiculous!" As your lungs would get all full of silicates very quickly and you could choke! Selecting flesh over vegetables is just as ridiculous given a choice........... Time to take my nap. Sorry. :zzz:

You do not know my personal choice on this matter, and you ignored that question earlier also! but I am expressing what the texts are saying on the matter in their entirety and with logical reasoning as to why they are appropriate which also takes into account things you have actually said such as "all knowing"! you are literally giving a nigantha argument trying to say it is a Buddhist one.
Daverupa gives the exact answer I would here regarding your scenario, although David (theDhamma) has a websiteand researched the references within the canon where food is specified (36in total)and the Buddha accepted meat on one of these infrequent references at AN5.44
Venerable sir, I heard this from the Blessed One himself and it was acknowledged Those who give pleasure in return gain pleasure I like pork cooked in jujube fruit juice. I offer it to the Blessed One. May the Blessed One accept it out of compassion. The Blessed One accepted out of compassion.

and if you read the bottom of his page where he does a scientific sample, it is 97% vegetarian, this taking the Buddhas last meal as vegetarian and refering to fungi & not pork which is another interpretation of the passage.
but you do realise that was a metaphor for your ignoring comments and dismissing any evidence as a corruption with no support or reason for doing so!

But one last thing
Just because you find yourself in a situation where being 100% vegetarian or vegan is possible, convenient, easy, and health to do, does not mean everyone in the world is in that situation & the Dhamma is as open to them as it is for anyone else!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:25 am

Cittasanto et al: Seems like we are not listening/understanding each other. Let me try one more analogy: If a story appeared in a well read newspaper, or on the evening news that a mouse had eaten a cow, would you find the story credible? No! Such a story would be incredible, unbelievable, beyond the realm of reasonableness! Now if I told you that the author of The Four Noble Truths, the doctrine, which explains how to end dukkha in all of its various forms advised to behave in a manner which produced horrific suffering, stress and dissatisfaction, would your believe me, would you find such a story credible, believable?

If your answer is yes, then in that way you and I are different. :anjali: Ron

Unlike you, then I do not believe everything that is written in the newspapers, nor in the suttas.
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 Cittasanto » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:51 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Cittasanto et al: Seems like we are not listening/understanding each other.

you are not listening and are deliberately ignoring things, I understand what you have said well enough to argue against it, and see a close concordance with Nigantha theories and not hide my head in the sand with what you have said!

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Let me try one more analogy: If a story appeared in a well read newspaper, or on the evening news that a mouse had eaten a cow, would you find the story credible? No! Such a story would be incredible, unbelievable, beyond the realm of reasonableness! Now if I told you that the author of The Four Noble Truths, the doctrine, which explains how to end dukkha in all of its various forms advised to behave in a manner which produced horrific suffering, stress and dissatisfaction, would your believe me, would you find such a story credible, believable?


well you would have to show it is false, I do not believe something just because it is said, but because there is evidence, and a logical reason for it (as already shown and explained in a couple of different ways regarding eating meat). actually cuts allot of people off from the Dhamma so you believe those who eat meat are cut off from the Dhamma?
but you have to explain how someone say in Tibet or a Inuit could survive on a vegetarian or vegan diet considering farming there is hard or impossible to do for a number of reasons; or how the Buddha who is all knowing would ignore that fact if he had compassion. this is something I have pointed out a number of times, yet you have failed to address, if you can not address this then don't reply to this post at all!

Ron-The-Elder wrote:If your answer is yes, then in that way you and I are different. :anjali: Ron

Unlike you, then I do not believe everything that is written in the newspapers, nor in the suttas.

are you asking or telling me what I believe here?
I understand the difference between literal and metaphor, mental qualities and actions unlike what you have shown several times with quotes & what has been said!

and again
Just because you find yourself in a situation where being 100% vegetarian or vegan is possible, convenient, easy, and health to do, does not mean everyone in the world is in that situation & the Dhamma is as open to them as it is for anyone else!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:07 pm

Fine, cittasano, we will never agree, so let us agree to disagree. Just to clear up one point: Those who you say have no choice as to what to eat, do in fact have a choice as to where to live. As now deceased comedian Sam Kennison used to say in his comedy routine regarding starving Africans: "The reason you are starving is because you live in a desert! Move!" So, your argument that these people don't have a choice does not hold water. :toilet: In a Dhammapada story Buddha demonstrated the lengths to which he would go to " cause no harm" to sentients. He was born a Prince and knew that if he became a king that he would be responsible not only for punishing his people for crimes, including the death penalty, but he knew that he would have to command armies, which involved killing his kingdom's enemies. He knew that such actions would cause him to end up in the hell realms, so he pretended to be retarded and appeared to be incapable of being crowned.

My interpretation of this story is that Buddha would do anything to avoid doing harm. So, why would I ever believe that he would eat or support eating the flesh of sentient beings. :coffee:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:25 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:So, your argument that these people don't have a choice does not hold water. :toilet:

that actually wasn't my argument, and there was more than just that one part!
There are reasons due to certain conditions beyond our control (such as weather/climate, location, social situation, health, famine to name a few) which can effect.

In a Dhammapada story Buddha demonstrated the lengths to which he would go to " cause no harm" to sentients. He was born a Prince and knew that if he became a king that he would be responsible not only for punishing his people for crimes, including the death penalty, but he knew that he would have to command armies, which involved killing his kingdom's enemies. He knew that such actions would cause him to end up in the hell realms, so he pretended to be retarded and appeared to be incapable of being crowned.

My interpretation of this story is that Buddha would do anything to avoid doing harm. So, why would I ever believe that he would eat or support eating the flesh of sentient beings. :coffee:

and again this is for things one is responsible for, not for things one is not responsible for, the latter being part of your argument!
although can you cite the verse?

p.s. there was another question in my last post! also
Last edited by Cittasanto on Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:14 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:would you find such a story credible, believable?


This is the appeal to incredulity fallacy, so does not warrant a response.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:45 pm

Ron-The-Elder wrote:Cittasanto et al: Seems like we are not listening/understanding each other. Let me try one more analogy: If a story appeared in a well read newspaper, or on the evening news that a mouse had eaten a cow, would you find the story credible? No! Such a story would be incredible, unbelievable, beyond the realm of reasonableness! Now if I told you that the author of The Four Noble Truths, the doctrine, which explains how to end dukkha in all of its various forms advised to behave in a manner which produced horrific suffering, stress and dissatisfaction, would your believe me, would you find such a story credible, believable?

If your answer is yes, then in that way you and I are different. :anjali: Ron

Unlike you, then I do not believe everything that is written in the newspapers, nor in the suttas.


I cannot engage in your specious, straw-man arguments. But for what it is worth ...

Not accepting (or just leaving alone) some statements of the Buddha as incongruent or lacking relevance is your mahāpadesa privilege, I suppose. But I would suggest just leaving these alone, as you may be perceived as rather silly when making claims on what was or was not said by another so far removed from corroborative evidence.

With reference to the allowances given in the vinaya for bhikkhus and bhikkhunis as to what foods may be consumed (not all foods offered and received on piṇḍapāta may be consumed due to the ignorance of the doner), the reasons were – and still are – culturally evident.

With reference to meat as representing the violence which delivered it, it still does not transfer the intention of such to me. This is where the clause about hearing the killing or rumor of it intended for the recipient comes in.

And as far as meat representing a sentient being, it does so no more or less than my leather sandals.

A suggestion I’m sure I have posted before in this thread is this:

    Perhaps it is the laity that could lead the way. If they followed these precepts of right livelihood, bhikkhus would be vegetarian by default.

    Pañcimā bhikkhave, vaṇijjā upāsakena akaraṇīyā. Katamā pañca:
    Satthavaṇijjā, sattavaṇijjā, maṃsavaṇijjā, majjavaṇijjā, visavaṇijjā.
    Imā kho bhikkhave, pañca vaṇijjā upāsakena akaraṇīyāti.

    “Bhikkhus, 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.

    "These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in.”

    – Vaṇijja Sutta AN.5.177
Anuvicca papañca nāmarūpaṃ
ajjhattaṃ bahiddhā ca rogamūlaṃ,
sabbarogamūlabandhanā pamutto
anuvidito tādi pavuccate tathattā
.

“Having known the naming of objects,
With its proliferation, its root in illness – within and without;
One is released from bondage to the root of all illness.
And thus is called the Knowing One – the Such.

– Sn. 3.6 (Sabhiyasuttaṃ)

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:48 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:And as far as meat representing a sentient being, it does so no more or less than my leather sandals.


Actually, most vegans don't use, purchase or wear leather products. However, it is pretty much impossible to avoid some animal products -- they are everywhere. I think there may have been a picture of a cow here in this thread or over at our Mahayana sister site which showed just how many animal products are in so many everyday things that we use.

ancientbuddhism wrote:Perhaps it is the laity that could lead the way. If they followed these precepts of right livelihood, bhikkhus would be vegetarian by default.


There is no arguing (or at least there shouldn't be, imo) that if the whole world were Buddhist there wouldn't and couldn't be any slaughter houses (no one to do the killing or to be the butchers). So it is at least an ideal state and perhaps a goal, but the Buddha was interested in including as many as possible on the Path from suffering, so used skillful means in my opinion and also knowing that the majority of the people in Buddhism's infancy were practicing Brahmanism (precursor to Hinduism) and still ate meat. Therefore, there is no requirement to be vegetarian, but from one perspective it can be seen as a 'goal' of practice to eventually eliminate flesh foods from purchase and then as you say, the bhikkhus would become de facto vegetarians (by default).


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