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the great vegetarian debate - Page 103 - Dhamma Wheel

the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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GraemeR
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby GraemeR » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:06 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:54 am

Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:28 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:39 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:25 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:19 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:58 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Cittasanto
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:17 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:41 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Cittasanto
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:40 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby beeblebrox » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:49 pm


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:54 pm

I don't know how long it's been since I last told this little horror story--probably been since the days of e-Sangha, but when I was in the second grade, and that was around 1967 I guess, our class went to the chicken slaughterhouse on a field trip. Don't ask me why, or what they were thinking. perhaps it was a sort of career day for us little ne'er-do-wells. Or part of our education to teach us where our food came from.

Through one of those confluences of kamma, my uncle and his wife at the time worked there. I say "wife at the time" because I've lost count of which wife that was or how many times he married; like most of the males in my family he practiced serial monogamy. I think with my uncle I lost count at wife number twelve or thirteen. My dad was married seven times and my brother five. Anyway, my uncle and his spouse sat along an assembly-line in bloody aprons, with squawking chickens hanging by their feet from a moving belt. The chickens were clearly terrified. My uncle waved at me. The workers sitting at the line fed the chicken's necks into a guide--two steel rods, basically--which stretched their necks and held them in place as the moving belt conveyed them toward a spinning sawblade, which slit their throats, and death was neither instantaneous nor painless. From the slasher the chickens were conveyed to a scalding water bath, which apparently loosened their feathers, and they passed by people who plucked them. Not all the chickens were quite dead when they hit the scalding area, but all were dead when they left it. I know this: you don't want rebirth as an animal.

Many of my companions thought the whole process was cool. Some of the girls couldn't watch it. Most were indifferent. I was horrified. I identified with the struggling birds and felt a desperate need to help them. It seemed wrong to me that this was being done to them. Remember I was around seven at the time and I didn't quite understand the purpose of it all. I wondered why my uncle didn't do something about it.

Later, I put together that these living birds became the fried chicken that we ate for dinner. This didn't seem to bother anyone and I wondered why it didn't. That summer my uncle brought home a fish he'd caught, dropped it in the yard and came into the house. When I saw the fish was still alive, I got my sand bucket, filled it with water and poured it on the fish in an effort to save it. I kept doing this for a long time until my mom eventually noticed and brought me inside.

I could never eat fish or seafood again, and chicken, fuggeddabouddit. Seeing something die horribly to make a meal kinda ruins your appetite. But I was always a strange kid, I always loved vegetables. It didn't matter what they were, even the dreaded cauliflower. Some of you express serious doubts about past-life imprints; for me there's little question something carried over from somewhere into this corporeal shell. I was born into a family of uneducated, ignorant ruffians and from an early age yearned for refinement and sensitivity. Art, music and culture from the 19th century feels like home to me, and vegetarianism was as natural as breathing. Nothing in my environment accounted for any of this. Make of it what you will. I believe I was a formerly a fop.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:56 pm

Thanks for the interesting story, Bubba.

It reminded me of the time when I took my girls and my wife to the slaughterhouse in Baltimore. We couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time to come to understanding the process that our meat follows on its way to our dinner table.


We walked into a ramped overhead-door entrance just as they were hauling a beef steer into the air with the use of a chain slung around its left rear leg. It was screaming loudly, and continued to do so as we walked into the conveyor area where hundreds of beasts were hanging from hooks.

Image

The girls were terrified, my wife was terrified, I was terrified. We all sympathized with the beast. But the memory which has persisted in all of our minds is the very second when the beast ceased to scream. All that we could hear from that point was the clacking of the converyor as the rollers crossed over the gaps in the connecting sections.

We all realized at that moment that a life had ended. :cry:

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That was the last "hind quarter" of beef that we ever ordered.

Ironically, it is a tour that I recommend for every carnivore, and omnivore so that they might learn from direct experience from whence, where, whom, and how their cherished sizzling steaks are derived. :jawdrop: Make sure to bring the kids. :coffee:
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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Meat eating

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:51 am

I am sure this question shold have been discussed here many times. I thought I undestood this rule but after reading the follwing, this queston came back to me agian.

"If a bhikkhu is given meat on alms round and he has no knowledge about how the animal died, he has to 'receive it with attentiveness."

I am a lay follower I know the animals were killed in a slaughter house. I know that they are raise for human consumption. I have the choice not to buy and eat the meat. I am not a mendicant monk. Does it mean I shold not buy and eat meat?

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meat-eating

In western countries vegetarianism has recently increased in popularity and this has led to some questioning about bhikkhus and meat-eating. (In less materially developed countries the question is more about 'what, if anything, is there to eat?')

The question of monks' eating meat is an old one that was originally raised by the 'renegade monk' Ven. Devadatta. He asked the Buddha to prohibit bhikkhus from eating fish and flesh in what seems was a ploy to take over the leadership of the Sangha. (The 'stricter ascetic' tactic.) The Buddha had already made a strict rule for both bhikkhus and lay people about not taking life (see Killing.) so He did not agree to Ven. Devadatta's new formulation.

The Buddha did allow bhikkhus to eat meat and fish[88] except under the following circumstances:

If a bhikkhu sees, hears or suspects that it has been killed for him, he may not eat it.[89] (M.I,369)

If a bhikkhu is given meat on alms round and he has no knowledge about how the animal died[90] he has to 'receive it with attentiveness.' (See the Sekhiya Trainings.) He should be grateful and recollect that the food he is given is what enables him to continue to live the bhikkhu life, and that as a mendicant he is not in a position to choose what he gets. If he later comes to know the family and they ask him about Dhamma, he will be able to explain the precept about not killing. This may cause them to reflect on their attitude to meat eating.

An individual lay person can choose whether to be a vegetarian. Problems usually arise only when vegetarians want to impose their choice on others, and as meal times are normally a family or shared affair this can create tensions and misunderstandings.

An individual bhikkhu who lives on alms food cannot make such choices. Often the donors are unknown — perhaps not even Buddhist, or just starting to find out about Dhamma — and to refuse their generosity may so offend them that they never have anything to do with Dhamma again.

Finally it comes down to the lay people who go to the market to buy food to give to the bhikkhus. If they are vegetarian themselves or like to give vegetarian food, then the bhikkhu should receive that food with 'appreciation' — especially if it means that fewer animals are being slaughtered. Nevertheless, it should not become a political issue where other people are attacked for their behavior
-------------------------------------
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Ben
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Re: Meat eating

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:02 am

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

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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Meat eating

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:06 am

You may be interested in reading the giant vegetarian debate thread we have (viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9229) but otherwise I think the Theravada approach would be summed up as follows:

1. Lay people and monks are allowed to eat meat so long as it does not violate the three-fold rule.

2. Voluntary vegetarianism is, for many people, a helpful tool for the cultivation of mindfulness and compassion.

3. Attachment to any food, vegetarian or not, is unwholesome.
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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mirco
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Re: Meat eating

Postby mirco » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:28 am

"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -

SarathW
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Re: Meat eating

Postby SarathW » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:01 am

Thanks Ben for the summary.
Thanks LY for the link. The great debate is great!
For the rest: Please read the great debate. Remember it requies lot of energy! :juggling:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Meat eating

Postby Sekha » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:35 am

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

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Ben
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Re: Meat eating

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:37 am

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

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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..


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