the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:07 am

Actually I invite you to read through my posts and see anywhere were I try to say meat eaters should not be allowed to eat meat if they so choose, I do say it involves killing, but that should be rather obvious, unless you're eating roadkill. On the other hand I see a lot of meat eating Buddhists trying to tell me, a vegetarian, that there are times when I should eat meat so as not to be rude to my host, whereas I see my host as being quite rude to insist that I eat the meat he's serving.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:49 am

image.jpg
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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 lyndon taylor » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:27 am

We've been through this 100 times, the pig used for bacon eats 10 times more innocent plants than the vegetarian, classic straw man arguement coming from a vegan, whats up Ben??
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Anagarika » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:03 pm

Isn't part of the issue, Lyndon, that there is no Dhamma authority for the requirement of vegetarianism? If we have confidence in the Buddha's teachings, we really shouldn't be having this kind of argument. It seems to me that the Buddha placed the importance of the symbiotic relationship between the monks and the lay supporters over a concern for consumption of animal meat. Once the monks begin to make demands for the kind of food that they are to be offered, this sacred bond of dana is broken. I feel the Buddha understood the nature of this. That's why vegetarians like myself can do their part to not be part of the animal food chain industry (it's a choice I make here in the US [we abuse our animals so badly before/during their slaughter] though I acknowledge the chain of commerce is completely not affected), but when I was a samanera in Thailand I ate everything that was put into my bowl, blazingly spicy meat curries included. The ethic of respecting that family's dana was more important to me than my food preferences. To offend a host or giver based on my personal practices would be perhaps highminded, but to me it would be placing my ego above the need for equanimity in the host/guest relationship, which would negatively affect the host's view of me as a Buddhist. In other words, being a jerk about the food offered wins no points in favor of the practice or the Sangha.

Lyndon, your argument is logical and from a personal point of view authoritative, but it does not meet the test of what the Buddha would mandate of practitioners, especially those within the dana framework. As much as I love trees, the Vinaya (or tradition) as I recall, requires that robes be dyed with the wood of a jackfruit or similar tree. So, do I refuse to accept and wear a robe that was dyed with jackfruit wood? So, I raise a toast to you with the veggie burger I cooked yesterday, but suggest that vegetarianism as a mandate is a hot button subject that does not resonate within the Dhamma, and thus is something best left as a private matter of choice.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mkoll » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:13 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:Isn't part of the issue, Lyndon, that there is no Dhamma authority for the requirement of vegetarianism? If we have confidence in the Buddha's teachings, we really shouldn't be having this kind of argument. It seems to me that the Buddha placed the importance of the symbiotic relationship between the monks and the lay supporters over a concern for consumption of animal meat. Once the monks begin to make demands for the kind of food that they are to be offered, this sacred bond of dana is broken. I feel the Buddha understood the nature of this. That's why vegetarians like myself can do their part to not be part of the animal food chain industry (it's a choice I make though I acknowledge the chain of commerce is completely not affected), but when I was a samanera in Thailand I ate everything that was put into my bowl, blazingly spicy meat curries included. The ethic of respecting that family's dana was more important to me than my food preferences. To offend a host or giver based on my personal practices would be perhaps highminded, but to me it would be placing my ego above the need for equanimity in the host/guest relationship, which would negatively affect the hosts view of me as a Buddhist. In other words, being a jerk about the food offered wins no points in favor of the practice or the Sangha.

Lyndon, your argument is logical and from a personal point of view authoritative, but it does not meet the test of what the Buddha would mandate of practitioners, especially those within the dana framework. As much as I love trees, the Vinaya (or tradition) as I recall, requires that robes be dyed with the wood of a jackfruit or similar tree. So, do I refuse to accept and wear a robe that was dyed with jackwood? So, I raise a toast to you with the veggie burger I cooked yesterday, but suggest that vegetarianism as a mandate is a hot button subject that does not resonate within the Dhamma, and thus is something best left as a private matter of choice.

:goodpost:

I think part of the issue here is the difference between a renunciate and a layperson. Ven. Dhammanando, Buddhasoup, and others are talking of this from the perspective of a renunciate who relies on the alms of others for survival. Lyndon taylor, myself, and others are talking of this from the perspective of laypeople who make their own food choices with their wallet.

Without acknowledging this difference in perspective, there is bound to be much talking past one another.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:07 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:One of the problems here is a double standard applied to animals vs humans, not by the Buddha but by his followers, If you were to hire someone to kill a rival, we would consider you just as guilty as the one who actually did the killing, but for some strange very illogical reason, when we pay someone at the supermarket to kill animals for us to eat, "we're completely innocent" of any killing, complete rubbish, like I said you could never win debate with logic like that, it just doesn't make sense, If no one buys the meat, the animals don't get bred and killed, at least to the same extent, its simple supply and demand economics.


Personally, I don't see it as strange or illogical. It's just a matter of discrimination. If a person thinks the discrimination is quite appropriate, then it's quite logical for a person who thinks that. The Buddha himself did not demand it. But at the same time he did declare that "business in meat" is wrong livelihood. Since it's self-evident, or should be self-evident, that meat production is intrinsically unethical. Now if one is a begging monk, one could argue that one is not participating in that activity AKA the meat is "pure in three respects". However, if one makes their own intentional food choices, and has a variety of food to chose from, then one could argue that one is intentionally participating in that activity to a certain degree. Certainly not to the degree that an actual slaughterhouse kill floor employee is, but still to some degree nonetheless.

Now the question arises: If one intentionally purchases meat at a market, when they could easily purchase something else with no negative consequences, is the meat still "pure in three respects"? :shrug:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:55 am

If it's any consolation to the debaters here, over at Dharma Wheel (Mahayana) the great vegetarian debate is now 3,556 posts and that is with the topic currently locked.

I saw this interesting chart over in that thread:

Image

The bottom line from an ahimsa view which all Dharmic religions aspire to, is that any diet choice is going to have some 'collateral' damage, even if you are vegan (the harvest damage to insects or small animals). So judging any diet as being particularly violent or unwholesome is not very helpful since all diets are somewhat violent. However, we could try to choose the least amount of violence, if we are able to. We should also realize that some people don't always have that luxury due to family, culture, or if they are a monastic.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:33 am

seeker242 wrote:Now the question arises: If one intentionally purchases meat at a market, when they could easily purchase something else with no negative consequences, is the meat still "pure in three respects"? :shrug:


I would argue that it isn't, because it's adding to the demand for meat and therefore to the killing of animals.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:42 am

That would seem to be the logical conclusion, but if there's one thing I've learned from the vehement meat eating buddhists, traditional logic doesn't enter into it!!
Some people just want to eat meat, and they don't really give a damn who has to die in the process.......
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:19 am

lyndon taylor wrote:That would seem to be the logical conclusion, but if there's one thing I've learned from the vehement meat eating buddhists, traditional logic doesn't enter into it!!
Some people just want to eat meat, and they don't really give a damn who has to die in the process.......


The only vehemence I have seen on this topic lately Lyndon is the vehemence you have brought to it.
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 Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:43 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:The bottom line from an ahimsa view which all Dharmic religions aspire to, is that any diet choice is going to have some 'collateral' damage, even if you are vegan (the harvest damage to insects or small animals). So judging any diet as being particularly violent or unwholesome is not very helpful since all diets are somewhat violent. However, we could try to choose the least amount of violence, if we are able to. We should also realize that some people don't always have that luxury due to family, culture, or if they are a monastic.


:goodpost:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:15 am

lyndon taylor wrote:That would seem to be the logical conclusion, but if there's one thing I've learned from the vehement meat eating buddhists, traditional logic doesn't enter into it!!
Some people just want to eat meat, and they don't really give a damn who has to die in the process.......



Cant you see how that's a subjective evaluation formed of someone else, via an internet forum, that might not be an accurate description of them or their position?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:56 pm

no killing means no killing, you can twist it around all you like, all you're basically doing is making excuses for killing.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:13 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:no killing means no killing, you can twist it around all you like, all you're basically doing is making excuses for killing.




Buying meat is not technically "killing". Killing is what someone else does and your action does NOT force someone to kill.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:13 pm

thats the kind of twisted bs logic I'm talking about! killing is killing whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it, that's logic, your position is just rationalization.

And yes obviously buying meat forces someone to kill the animal your eating otherwise the animal wouldn't be dead and you wouldn't have any meat.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:02 am

lyndon taylor wrote:And yes obviously buying meat forces someone to kill the animal your eating otherwise the animal wouldn't be dead and you wouldn't have any meat.


It does not force the butcher to do it. Butcher does it to make money, not because you came to him and forced him at gunpoint to slaughter the animal. If you did the latter, then yes, you are at fault.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:28 am

Yes the butcher is payed to do the killing, and you're the one that's paying him to kill....

If no one buys the meat, the butcher doesn't get payed, and he stops killing the animals, plain and simple.
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18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:32 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Yes the butcher is payed to do the killing, and you're the one that's paying him to kill....


But you are not FORCING him to kill. Your buying meat is not sufficient cause for killing of the animal. It is his desire for money that is a necessary condition for him to kill. Furthermore, if you don't buy the meat - someone else will. If that animal was free, chances are that that animal could have become food for some other animal. The world is not black and white.


You can't really prove that just because you bought this specific piece of meat, that (who?) butcher will slaughter that (which one exactly?) animal.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:31 am

Alex123 wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Yes the butcher is payed to do the killing, and you're the one that's paying him to kill....


But you are not FORCING him to kill.


But you are expecting him to kill. You're expecting somebody else to break the first precept and do wrong livelihood, things which as a Buddhist you would presumably not do yourself. It seems hypocritical to me.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Alex123 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:48 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:But you are expecting him to kill. You're expecting somebody else to break the first precept and do wrong livelihood, things which as a Buddhist you would presumably not do yourself. It seems hypocritical to me.


As a Buddhists we should not expect to be able to control everyone else.
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