the great vegetarian debate

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GraemeR
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby GraemeR » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:29 pm

Cittasanto wrote:the difference here is one is actively engaged in the process of the murder of the wife (in the example).
there is murderous intent.

but how many people go to the shops with the intent to kill an animal?


I'm not sure where you can draw the line, if I was a farmer with a pig and I took it to an abattoir to be slaughtered for me, then I know exactly what is going to happen and I am instructing someone to do it,

If I walk to work and stand on an ant, then it's clearly not intention to kill, if I go in a supermarket and buy meat, I know someone has to kill the animal on my behalf.

It may not be direct intention, but I know exactly what will have happened.

Maybe I could argue it's not my direct intention for the assassin to kill my wife, just for me to receive the insurance money :)

Graham

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:08 am

GraemeR wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:the difference here is one is actively engaged in the process of the murder of the wife (in the example).
there is murderous intent.

but how many people go to the shops with the intent to kill an animal?


I'm not sure where you can draw the line, if I was a farmer with a pig and I took it to an abattoir to be slaughtered for me, then I know exactly what is going to happen and I am instructing someone to do it,

If I walk to work and stand on an ant, then it's clearly not intention to kill, if I go in a supermarket and buy meat, I know someone has to kill the animal on my behalf.

It may not be direct intention, but I know exactly what will have happened.

Maybe I could argue it's not my direct intention for the assassin to kill my wife, just for me to receive the insurance money :)

Graham

The fact that there is no intent to kill is the line.
Knowing death happened and being the cause through intention are not the same, when you see fruit and veg the same has actually happened, animals and other life have been killed in the production.

also each factor should be in place = object (a living being) -> intention (to kill) -> Effort (to cause death) -> death (through effort)

lets put this into your wife example
object (your wife) -> intention (to kill) -> Effort (hiring an assassin to kill wife) -> death (of wife through assassins effort)
so long as the there is an intent to kill the object, and through an effort to kill the object when the object dies the full fault happens.

i know there is a certain amount of insects going to be in vegetarian food and I know they had to loose there life at some point in the production also. that doesnt stop me eating vegetarian food.
“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.”
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"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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:17 am

GraemeR wrote:... if I go in a supermarket and buy meat, I know someone has to kill the animal on my behalf.
It may not be direct intention, but I know exactly what will have happened.


I agree. It isn't just about intention, it's about clear comprehension of consequences. We know full well that if we choose to buy meat it will lead to more animals suffering and being slaughtered, but some of us do it anyway - presumably because we like meat and don't want to give it up.
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GraemeR
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby GraemeR » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:23 pm

Cittasanto wrote:The fact that there is no intent to kill is the line.
Knowing death happened and being the cause through intention are not the same, when you see fruit and veg the same has actually happened, animals and other life have been killed in the production.

also each factor should be in place = object (a living being) -> intention (to kill) -> Effort (to cause death) -> death (through effort)

lets put this into your wife example
object (your wife) -> intention (to kill) -> Effort (hiring an assassin to kill wife) -> death (of wife through assassins effort)
so long as the there is an intent to kill the object, and through an effort to kill the object when the object dies the full fault happens.

i know there is a certain amount of insects going to be in vegetarian food and I know they had to loose there life at some point in the production also. that doesnt stop me eating vegetarian food.


Is wanting the insurance money different to wanting to eat a dead animal??

OK so if I just want the insurance money, her death in inconsequential to me and I am not accountable.

object (my wife) -> intention (to get insurance money) -> Effort (hiring an agent to take action to gain insurance money) -> death (of wife through third party's effort)

I know I'm being pedantic, but I think when you know the results of your actions will have a bad effect, then you should share some guilt.

Graham

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:20 pm

Hi Graham
GraemeR wrote:Is wanting the insurance money different to wanting to eat a dead animal??

OK so if I just want the insurance money, her death in inconsequential to me and I am not accountable.

you are mixing up intentions here!
the intent to kill and intent to get the insurance money are two different intentions.

object (my wife) -> intention (to get insurance money) -> Effort (hiring an agent to take action to gain insurance money) -> death (of wife through third party's effort)

I know I'm being pedantic, but I think when you know the results of your actions will have a bad effect, then you should share some guilt.

if the "third party acted independently from you i.e., you had not engaged them for services; you would not be accountable for the death, even though the insurance still paid you.

your example and association with buying meat are on two different levels, although are not 100% removed, are not comparable.
what you are talking about is intention, particularly good-will, and kamma which is both light and dark; not the precept and dark kamma.
“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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby GraemeR » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:46 am

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Graham

you are mixing up intentions here!
the intent to kill and intent to get the insurance money are two different intentions.

<snip>

your example and association with buying meat are on two different levels, although are not 100% removed, are not comparable.
what you are talking about is intention, particularly good-will, and kamma which is both light and dark; not the precept and dark kamma.


Hi Cittasanto

I accept I'm being facetious for the sake of the debate, but try looking at it this way:

To get insurance money:
object (my wife) -> intention (to get insurance money) -> Effort (hiring agent to create a circumstance to get money) ->Effect (death of wife through agents action)
If my intention is only to get the money and I only instruct an 'agent' to create the circumstance, am I guilty if he chooses to kill her?

To eat meat
object (Piece of dead animal: meat) -> intention (eat flesh of dead animal) -> Effort (by buying meat, indirectly hiring agent to slaughter animal) ->Effect (death of animal through agents effort, part of corpse given to me)

This time I know the animal must die to achieve the objective. If I hire the agent to get the insurance money, he could choose an alternative method, perhaps fraud. If he chooses to kill her, instead of creating an insurance fraud, am I responsible for my wife's death?

Graham

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby polarbear101 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:51 am

GraemeR wrote:
To eat meat
object (Piece of dead animal: meat) -> intention (eat flesh of dead animal) -> Effort (by buying meat, indirectly hiring agent to slaughter animal) ->Effect (death of animal through agents effort, part of corpse given to me)

This time I know the animal must die to achieve the objective. If I hire the agent to get the insurance money, he could choose an alternative method, perhaps fraud. If he chooses to kill her, instead of creating an insurance fraud, am I responsible for my wife's death?

Graham


You seem to either be ignoring or not understanding the fact that the animal is already dead and you can't do anything about it. If you go to a grocery store to buy a steak, when you get there the animal has already been dead for days/weeks. You had nothing to do with the animal getting killed and there is no way you could have stopped that animal from being killed. If you're lost in the wilderness and hungry and you come across a dead deer carcass that was killed by wolves and decide to eat the deer meat, did you indirectly hire the wolves to kill the deer? No.

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"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:30 am

GraemeR wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Hi Graham

you are mixing up intentions here!
the intent to kill and intent to get the insurance money are two different intentions.

<snip>

your example and association with buying meat are on two different levels, although are not 100% removed, are not comparable.
what you are talking about is intention, particularly good-will, and kamma which is both light and dark; not the precept and dark kamma.


Hi Cittasanto

I accept I'm being facetious for the sake of the debate, but try looking at it this way:

To get insurance money:
object (my wife) -> intention (to get insurance money) -> Effort (hiring agent to create a circumstance to get money) ->Effect (death of wife through agents action)
If my intention is only to get the money and I only instruct an 'agent' to create the circumstance, am I guilty if he chooses to kill her?

To eat meat
object (Piece of dead animal: meat) -> intention (eat flesh of dead animal) -> Effort (by buying meat, indirectly hiring agent to slaughter animal) ->Effect (death of animal through agents effort, part of corpse given to me)

This time I know the animal must die to achieve the objective. If I hire the agent to get the insurance money, he could choose an alternative method, perhaps fraud. If he chooses to kill her, instead of creating an insurance fraud, am I responsible for my wife's death?

Graham

my responce does not change because you are being facetious.
yes it still falls on you. too a lesser extent but there is still culpability as there was a lack of heedfulness on your part.
you are, however, not hiring someone to get meat not already available and there is an example of this in the vinaya recently shared here.
VinMv.6.31.12-13 wrote:12. ....
And Sîha, the general, gave order to a certain man (among his subalterns, saying), 'Go, my friend, and see if there is any meat to be had And when that night had elapsed, Sîha, the general, ordered excellent food (&c., as in chap. 23. 5, down to the end).

13. ....
'Do not mind it, my good Sir. Long since those venerable brethren are trying to discredit the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Samgha; and those venerable brethren do not become tired of telling false, idle, vain lies of the Blessed One. Not for our life would we ever intentionally kill a living being.'

unless meat was unavailable and then you decided to kill to get meat there is a completely different intention which has been gone over here.
“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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:57 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:You seem to either be ignoring or not understanding the fact that the animal is already dead and you can't do anything about it. If you go to a grocery store to buy a steak, when you get there the animal has already been dead for days/weeks. You had nothing to do with the animal getting killed and there is no way you could have stopped that animal from being killed.


But if we buy meat from a grocery store, the store will then need to order in more meat which in turn will result in more animals being killed - so there is a clear chain of cause and effect.
Or to put it more simply we know that if we buy meat it will lead to more animals being killed.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:45 am

porpoise wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:You seem to either be ignoring or not understanding the fact that the animal is already dead and you can't do anything about it. If you go to a grocery store to buy a steak, when you get there the animal has already been dead for days/weeks. You had nothing to do with the animal getting killed and there is no way you could have stopped that animal from being killed.


But if we buy meat from a grocery store, the store will then need to order in more meat which in turn will result in more animals being killed - so there is a clear chain of cause and effect.
Or to put it more simply we know that if we buy meat it will lead to more animals being killed.


And likewise, to think that intentionally giving money to a slaughterhouse, has no karmic consequences, is shortsighted IMO. Saying that is like saying. "Well, it's ok to buy clothing from a sweatshop that abuses children, because the clothes are already made, so it doesn't really matter." That does not make much sense.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby GraemeR » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:10 pm

Cittasanto wrote:my responce does not change because you are being facetious.
yes it still falls on you. too a lesser extent but there is still culpability as there was a lack of heedfulness on your part.
you are, however, not hiring someone to get meat not already available and there is an example of this in the vinaya recently shared here.


Hi Cittasanto

To me one of the most important aspects of my Buddhist practice is from the Eightfold Path: Right Action. Right Act includes doing no harm.

To me it is lack of heedfulness to buy meat, which I know is a produce of an animal's killing.

If I am am directly or indirectly responsible for the death of any creature, then I consider that I am doing harm and I have done wrong.

Of course this is only my humble interpretation and view.

The Golden Rule in Buddhism is: Do No Harm.
The Buddha practised the following code of conduct in his own life:

Respect life
Earn all that you have
Control your desire, rather than allow desire to control you.


Graham

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:59 pm

GraemeR wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:my responce does not change because you are being facetious.
yes it still falls on you. too a lesser extent but there is still culpability as there was a lack of heedfulness on your part.
you are, however, not hiring someone to get meat not already available and there is an example of this in the vinaya recently shared here.


Hi Cittasanto

To me one of the most important aspects of my Buddhist practice is from the Eightfold Path: Right Action. Right Act includes doing no harm.

To me it is lack of heedfulness to buy meat, which I know is a produce of an animal's killing.

If I am am directly or indirectly responsible for the death of any creature, then I consider that I am doing harm and I have done wrong.

Of course this is only my humble interpretation and view.

The Golden Rule in Buddhism is: Do No Harm.
The Buddha practised the following code of conduct in his own life:

Respect life
Earn all that you have
Control your desire, rather than allow desire to control you.


Graham

That would (like pointed out) be different from your provided example!

Mendicants, Now what is upright intention? The intention of renunciation, the intention of non-ill-will, and the intention towards non-violence.
Mendicants, this is called upright intention!

your example has purely come from the perspective of ill-will not until later did it swap to non-violence in a separate non-comparable example and altered initial example.
“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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:46 pm

GraemeR wrote:If I am am directly or indirectly responsible for the death of any creature, then I consider that I am doing harm and I have done wrong.


That's the way I feel about it. I think it's important to understand the spirit of the precepts as well as the letter - and the spirit of the precepts is clearly embodied in the principle of non-harm. With this approach, causing somebody else to kill ( like a butcher or slaughter-house worker ) is breaching the spirit of the first precept. It's like we're saying "I'm a Buddhist so I don't like to kill, but I'm happy for you to do it on my behalf" - which to me seems like sheer hypocrisy.
For most us meat-free options are readily available, so I really don't understand the need to buy meat.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:17 pm

I don't eat animals for various reasons (which I won't go into here) but I don't kid myself that I'm saving anyone from suffering. Let's say that a wordwide epiphany occurs tomorrow and everyone turns vegetarian. All the chickens are released. Here's my mad vision of what would happen: for about a week there would be a heck of a lot of happy wolves, jackals coyotes and dogs, then no more chickens, except for the ones people decide to keep as pets. Cows? Not sure, except they don't do all that well in the wild. Cows who have escaped from killing fields usually wander off into someone else's yard to ruminate. Pigs: wild pigs are dangerous. I used to camp in the Smokies and those bristlebacks will attack a human. Not that I blame them. I wouldn't want to contemplate the vengeance millions of freed swine would wreak on humanity.

Animals in the wild live horrible lives; everything in nature is busy killing and eating each other, there are very few exceptions.In fact, I can't think of any. If an animal doesn't die from being devoured, it usually dies from painful accident or disease. The average life expectancy of a feral cat, for example, is maybe two years. I used to volunteer with a local group that went to feral cat colonies, capture the little beasts to spay and neuter them, and re-release them. We also brought them food in the winter. They live hard lives. Anyone who abandons a cat should be turned loose naked in the mountains for a month to forage on his/her own and see how they like it.

Why do I bring this up? Because even if we shut down the horrible factory farms there is no escape from suffering. For any of us. And animals have it especially bad, except my cat who thinks she's living in the deva realm. Let's not, as vegetarians, pat ourselves on the back and think we're saviors. All we've done is make a decision not to intentionally eat animals. That's all. Doesn't make us better or worse than omnivores. When I was the moderator for the Veggie Forum over at pitiful remains of E-Sangha, that forum was a hornet's nest. Talk about suffering. I believe I cleansed my karma for a kalpa.

I'll close with the following. About once every couple of months I'll break my veggie ways and eat a cheeseburger, because I have this superstitious belief that every time I do so, a self-righteous angry vegan chokes to death on their tofu.

PEACE!

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:05 pm

BubbaBuddhist wrote:Let's say that a wordwide epiphany occurs tomorrow and everyone turns vegetarian. All the chickens are released.


I know this is a hypothetical, but in reality it would never happen in such a way. If the world did go vegetarian or mostly vegetarian, it would be a slow and gradual process. As meat consumption goes down the need and demand for breeding more animals for slaughter will go down. So there won't be this massive release of farm animals to the wild, in fact there wouldn't be any release, because the number of farm animals raised for food would gradually go down to almost zero since it would be a slow process over decades or centuries (not that it would even happen at all, but for this hypothetical).

BubbaBuddhist wrote:Animals in the wild live horrible lives; everything in nature is busy killing and eating each other, there are very few exceptions.In fact, I can't think of any. If an animal doesn't die from being devoured, it usually dies from painful accident or disease. The average life expectancy of a feral cat, for example, is maybe two years. I used to volunteer with a local group that went to feral cat colonies, capture the little beasts to spay and neuter them, and re-release them. We also brought them food in the winter. They live hard lives. Anyone who abandons a cat should be turned loose naked in the mountains for a month to forage on his/her own and see how they like it.


Yes they do live horrible lives. That is why it is the apaya state, the states of woe. The human and deva states are sugati and generally happier. Just because the animals live horrible lives, we do not need to lower ourselves to their levels. It is in fact because we are human that we need to rise above them and take the ethical road, whatever that is, not saying anything is required here, but sila is a component of the human life for those who wish to progress.

BubbaBuddhist wrote:I don't eat animals for various reasons
I'll close with the following. About once every couple of months I'll break my veggie ways and eat a cheeseburger, because I have this superstitious belief that every time I do so, a self-righteous angry vegan chokes to death on their tofu.


As I am sure you know, the hard-core vegetarians and especially the vegans would say you're not really a vegetarian. They demand 100% compliance. :D My daughter gets mad at me all the time when I say I'm mostly vegan. She emphatically states I am not a vegan since I occasionally eat animal products when eating out at a restaurant or as a guest at someone's place or even sometimes eat lard or other animal fat (I consider it a by-product) in some foods at restaurants.

BubbaBuddhist wrote:When I was the moderator for the Veggie Forum over at pitiful remains of E-Sangha, that forum was a hornet's nest. Talk about suffering. I believe I cleansed my karma for a kalpa.
You KNOW you're glad I'm back


Of course, always good to hear your opinions! It is good to hear these differing opinions so people can understand the viewpoints of all sides. For the most part, we have had very civil discussion and debates here, which is great!

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:39 pm

Love ya David :D

I think 100% compliance to anything is attachment to views. And climbing on someone's case because they don't practice 100% compliance is definitely attachment to views. :tongue:

I think it's easy to be a "passive" vegetarian, very easy in fact. I know people moan about how hard it is to quit eating meat like it's a heroic struggle with hellish demons from the lower realms. No it isn't. I did it and never looked back. The stuff is disgusting when you think about it, flesh and gristle and veins.If you think that a cow or chicken is the same thing as a dog or cat the slab of flesh isn't as appetizing. Equally easy to go on about the poor little animals, but what percentage of we flesh-avoiders actually do anything other than abstain from eating them? How many volunteer at a no-kill shelter, adopt a rescued chicken or two, throw some cash at animal-rescue causes?

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:42 pm

BubbaBuddhist wrote:I think it's easy to be a "passive" vegetarian, very easy in fact. I know people moan about how hard it is to quit eating meat like it's a heroic struggle with hellish demons from the lower realms.

They have never gone hungry for more than an hour let alone a week!
“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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby polarbear101 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:50 pm

Does the Buddha anywhere in the Pali canon suggest that lay followers of the Buddha should not purchase meat?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:43 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:Does the Buddha anywhere in the Pali canon suggest that lay followers of the Buddha should not purchase meat?


No, there is no direct reference. In at least once instance there is a lay follower who apparently purchased food at the market for the Buddha and/or his monks which contained meat, when the Jains complained, "General Siha has this very day slaughtered a large creature to feed it to the monk Gotama and he is going to eat it knowing that it was slaughtered specifically for him." (Anguttara Nikaya IV,187) (It was not killed specifically for Buddha and/or his monks.)

Other suttas are permeated with nonviolence, the benefits of nonviolence, not killing or causing to kill living sentient beings, thus, these debates and therefore, we need to make our own decisions.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby polarbear101 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:27 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:Does the Buddha anywhere in the Pali canon suggest that lay followers of the Buddha should not purchase meat?


No, there is no direct reference. In at least once instance there is a lay follower who apparently purchased food at the market for the Buddha and/or his monks which contained meat, when the Jains complained, "General Siha has this very day slaughtered a large creature to feed it to the monk Gotama and he is going to eat it knowing that it was slaughtered specifically for him." (Anguttara Nikaya IV,187) (It was not killed specifically for Buddha and/or his monks.)

Other suttas are permeated with nonviolence, the benefits of nonviolence, not killing or causing to kill living sentient beings, thus, these debates and therefore, we need to make our own decisions.


Just to clarify, I'm not saying this discussion can't be fruitful or important just because there is no sutta where the Buddha asks lay people to be vegetarians if they can afford it, I was just wondering if there was such a reference. Anyway, here is a series of questions that if answered satisfactorily, I believe would lead to much clarification of the issue at hand. Satisfactorily not meaning any pre-conceived answers I may have come up with but rather a thoughtful answer that seriously and intelligently answers the question(s) at hand.

Does a vegetarian actually save animals from being slaughtered or perhaps just prevent a few more animals from being bred?

It would be my understanding that once a cow/livestock animal is born on a farm, it's destined for slaughter/becoming a milk cow (then maybe later slaughtered). So being a vegetarian isn't going to save animals in the long run, although some livestock may live slightly longer lives as a result of vegetarians cutting down on overall demand for meat products in a given year.

If less animals are bred as a result of the combined reduction in demand from vegetarians, are vegetarians actually saving beings from suffering (accepting rebirth)?

To what extent does responsibility extend in the causal chain? Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Buddha didn't say it was bad for lay followers to buy meat. If every individual is responsible for their part in the causal chain even if they are two-four times removed from the source then what does that say about other products we buy that lead to the death of living beings and beings whose species are disappearing around the globe rapidly. For example, certain ingredients in shampoo are harvested from trees that are being grown in southeast asia and vast tracts of forest are being cut down to make way for these trees, hence tigers in indonesia have lost much territory, been killed and are dying out in that area. To what extent is it wrong to live in a sprawling suburb instead of a densely packed city given that suburbs take up more land, thus cause more habitat to be removed from the wild and which causes the deaths of thousands of animals in the process of building? Is there a slippery slope once we start taking personal responsibility for actions not done by us, not seen or heard by us, not capable of being stopped by us and not explicitly approved by us? Does eating meat imply the tacit consent to the farmer to slaughter living beings even though that person eating meat would never harm a living being willingly themselves and who would by default become a vegetarian if the livestock industry stopped altogether? Given the enormity of the livestock industry, does your not eating meat really make a difference and on what basis would you make that assertion? Finally, do people who live in well developed nations, nations without significant poverty or the threat of famine or malnutrition if a vegetarian diet was taken up, have a greater ethical responsibility to become vegetarians due to the fact that they can actually afford to do so?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."


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