the great vegetarian debate

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
Bankei
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Re: Beef?

Postby Bankei » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:17 pm

Thai people generally love eating beef. Korean BBQ restaurants are very popular now! Pork and Chicken are more common because of the price, but beef is still up there.

I haven't heard of anyone avoiding beef except those kwanyin followers and vegetarians.

I've also had a few beef curries in Myanmar.

Bankei.
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Bankei

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Laurens
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Laurens » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:35 pm

alan wrote:I went pure Veg in the 80's, when all available science pointed towards it as healthy.
But my experience with exercise later on proved that I needed protein--soy is not good enough--and had to admit I had been wrong.
Exercise is not a topic that thrills the hearts of many, so I'll refrain from that. But there is a lot of science out now suggesting good fats (some from animal protein) are essential for optimum health. I'm convinced now, and yes, after "years of research", have concluded it is best to eat meat (although I advise avoiding processed stuff and garbage from fast food joints), and keep your simple carbs down to a minimum.
More can be found at westonaprice.org.
Worth your time!


I do not agree with the arguement that refraining from eating meat is unhealthy, I know of body builders who are vegetarian and atheletes, being vegetarian doesn't mean a complete lack of protein, there are many harmless sources. And even if refraining from meat is unhealthy I would rather sacrifice my optimum health than contribute to an industry that promotes killing and suffering in animals.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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Cittasanto
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:22 pm

“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."

Preet
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Preet » Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:14 pm

I have been a vegetarian for a long time, before Vipassana and Buddhism.

A few days back as I pointed out a cow to my toddler I said "cows give us milk" and I think to myself Really?? Do they? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say "We take milk from cows" My granny had a huge farm but I've yet to see a cow come up and offer her milk to humans.

I'm not a vegan; was for 2-3 years, but it just got too difficult. Now, since the thought mentioned above, I'm approaching veganism again.

With metta

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catmoon
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby catmoon » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:18 pm

One of the main reasons that farmers have opposed daylight savings time historically is that when you shift the clocks back an hour, the result is pretty much a bovine riot. When those udders are full the cows very much want to get rid of the milk, just like when you need to pee. And when milking time is an hour late, they get very upset indeed.

Cows are so keen on regular milking that robotic milking stations have been invented that rely on the cow voluntarily entering the stall to activate the machine. They wander in whenever the urge takes them and that works out to several times a day.

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Tex
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I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Tex » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:55 pm

Yep, after contemplating it for quite some time, I finally decided I'm not going to eat meat anymore. Even if I'm not directly responsible for the animal being killed, I'm just no longer okay with eating anything that was once a sentient being. Never would have imagined this a couple years ago! But here I am.

So I've made the decision and have done some research online, but I still have some questions, and I know we have quite a few vegetarians here, so I'd appreciate any guidance...

1) What about iron? Supplements? Do they get the iron that they put in the pills from animals?

2) I think I've found a variety of rices, pastas, beans, whole grains, nuts, etc to keep my protein level fairly close to where it is now (I'm a big guy and I work out regularly, so I need around 80-100 grams a day), but do any of you use protein supplements, shakes, etc? I'm just leery of any "protein supplements" since the FDA tends to ban things after they've been on the market. Any recommendations here?

3) Dairy? If I continue to eat dairy, this solves the protein dilemma easily. But would it be hypocritical for me to stop eating meat because I don't want animals killed for my consumption while still continuing to consume dairy from animals that often are treated very poorly in a dairy farm? Thoughts here?

4) Are there any potential health changes or concerns that I need to be aware of in making this switch rather abruptly? This wasn't intended to be a New Year's resolution, that's just how it worked out -- I made the decision a couple weeks ago and this is when the meat in the freezer ran out (can't afford to throw out food that's already been paid for). So I've been a regular meat-eater all my life up through yesterday -- is stopping meat consumption so abruptly anything to be concerned about?

Thanks in advance for any input or guidance.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement." -- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

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Cittasanto
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:58 pm

there is a vegitarian poll somewhere it may be pinned at the top of the relevant forum, I posted a link to a site about a vegan body builder may be of interest to you!

I wouldn't say eating dairy was hypercritical, I would however say we do need to eat a balanced diet, so use your better judgement.
“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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Prasadachitta
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:01 pm

1) What about iron? Supplements? Do they get the iron that they put in the pills from animals?
I eat eggs but I think supplements would be a good idea
2) I think I've found a variety of rices, pastas, beans, whole grains, nuts, etc to keep my protein level fairly close to where it is now (I'm a big guy and I work out regularly, so I need around 80-100 grams a day), but do any of you use protein supplements, shakes, etc? I'm just leery of any "protein supplements" since the FDA tends to ban things after they've been on the market. Any recommendations here?
Keep a variety in your diet
3) Dairy? If I continue to eat dairy, this solves the protein dilemma easily. But would it be hypocritical for me to stop eating meat because I don't want animals killed for my consumption while still continuing to consume dairy from animals that often are treated very poorly in a dairy farm? Thoughts here?
The way I see it there are many things which the producers of the products we consume do in the course of production which could be done more skillfully. We can look into purchasing products which include a more skillful approach to production and this is a good thing. However in the case of eating meat we are in the position of purchasing a product which must include the killing of animals. There is no other way to produce meat. In this instance there is no room for the producer to create the product without killing. With dairy we are at least leaving the possibility that the producer will act in a responsible manner towards the animals within there care. Again we can always go the extra mile and look into the production methods. In the case of eggs I make a point to purchase eggs which are produced in a manner which I deem acceptable. It means that the eggs I eat cost about $.40 a piece.
4) Are there any potential health changes or concerns that I need to be aware of in making this switch rather abruptly? This wasn't intended to be a New Year's resolution, that's just how it worked out -- I made the decision a couple weeks ago and this is when the meat in the freezer ran out (can't afford to throw out food that's already been paid for). So I've been a regular meat-eater all my life up through yesterday -- is stopping meat consumption so abruptly anything to be concerned about?

There are many meat substitutes available which cost about the same as meat and include the necessary nutrients.

Good luck

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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appicchato
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby appicchato » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:12 pm

Happy New Year Tex...welcome to the ranks...

1.) Don't know where they get it, but where does one draw the line as to the source?...I take vitamins (with some iron in 'em)...

2.) I don't, but then I don't take health quite as obsessively as some from the Occidental (no health nuts in Asia)...and I'm not inferring you at all...recommendations?...nuts...all of 'em...

3.) Personally speaking I'm light on dairy (yogurt mainly)...no hypocrisy to me...

4.) Not to my knowledge...I think it may be more mental than physical (but what isn't? :smile: )...but that's me, and I'm no doc...

Hope this helps a little...

*Twenty year veg here... :pig:

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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Justsit » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:49 pm

It's easy to add protein via a shake - in a blender put:

a whole banana (or banana and strawberries) pretty ripe, not greenish
one cup vanilla almond milk
one scoop protein powder (see below)
one tablespoon (more or less) raw organic wheat germ
a squirt of honey from the honey bear! (optional)

Mix the protein powder into the almond milk first, then add to blender.
Blend for about 15-20 seconds.


I use Plant Fusion brand protein powder, unflavored; it comes in vanilla and chocolate as well.
Is plant based but not soy, 22g protein in 30g scoop, only 3.5g carb and 1.5g fat. Tried whey
protein, it tasted yucky. Am a little leery of too much soy, conflicting medical studies.

You could probably double the whole recipe easily.
Scrambled egg whites are also high protein without all the cholesterol.

I also take a multivit and a calcium supplement (family history osteoporosis). That's it for
supplements. Other than that, just eat real food.
Been lacto-ovo vegetarian for almost 30 years, no health problems. Your mileage may vary.

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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Monkey Mind » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:41 pm

3) Dairy? If I continue to eat dairy, this solves the protein dilemma easily. But would it be hypocritical for me to stop eating meat because I don't want animals killed for my consumption while still continuing to consume dairy from animals that often are treated very poorly in a dairy farm? Thoughts here?


Do you have the ability to get your milk/ dairy from a farmer committed to safe/ humane treatment? Where I live, there are a lot of organic farmers, farmers' markets, and other alternative sources to large/ mass market dairy farms. Alternatively, there is soy milk, rice milk, etc.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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phil
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby phil » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:15 am

Congrats Tex. I made the move two years ago. Yes, a bit hypocritical I agree, but I still eat a lot of eggs. Growth of understanding takes time, we're showing it by ending our contribution to the animal slaughter business (I also see it as a human rights issue, terrible work conditions, and those workers take the kamma for doing the killing that our taste buds and greed are gratified by.) Well, chickens are essentially slaughtered or worse for my egg needs, yes, that's true. Growth of understanding takes time. We'll see.

I devour tons of tofu annually for my protein, along with the eggs and dairy products that are still a part of my diet. As I eat I reflect that a lot of death went into raising the vegetables and soy beans. If I recall correctly, contemplating the suffering and foulness inherent in eating is one of the factors that may condition samvega, the heightened sense of an aspiration to get out of samsara. None of us are innocent went it comes to eating, but some of us are less harmful than others, that's a fact.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:41 am

My advice, for what it's worth, would be to implement your changes incrementally to give yourself time to adjust to them. I find most people's bodies adjust to the source of protein to which its most accustomed. So it's a good idea to give it time to adjust from moving to meat to vegetable sources. This way you avoid some of the problems you hear about: weakness, cravings, etc. again, my opinion. Your results may vary.

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:22 am

Tex wrote:Yep, after contemplating it for quite some time, I finally decided I'm not going to eat meat anymore. Even if I'm not directly responsible for the animal being killed, I'm just no longer okay with eating anything that was once a sentient being. Never would have imagined this a couple years ago! But here I am.


Yah! Congratulations! You have made an important decision, and if you stick with it, I am sure that it will lead to many great results - physically, emotionally and spiritually. :)

So I've made the decision and have done some research online, but I still have some questions, and I know we have quite a few vegetarians here, so I'd appreciate any guidance...


Okay. I also did a fair bit of research on the subject before making the change.

1) What about iron? Supplements? Do they get the iron that they put in the pills from animals?


I have almost never taken supplements, and haven't had any problems. When I was born, I was very anemic - which is iron deficiency - and the doctors made all sorts of warnings and stuff to my mother about me. However, although I've always had low blood pressure, too, I've had less problems as a vegetarian than I did when eating meat. Still, if you are showing signs of lack of iron, then maybe take some supplements, this example is just me, and everyone is different.

2) I think I've found a variety of rices, pastas, beans, whole grains, nuts, etc to keep my protein level fairly close to where it is now (I'm a big guy and I work out regularly, so I need around 80-100 grams a day), but do any of you use protein supplements, shakes, etc? I'm just leery of any "protein supplements" since the FDA tends to ban things after they've been on the market. Any recommendations here?


I have always tried to eat healthily. Years ago, before I ordained, I used to eat a lot of Indian style vegetarian food, like what you'll find at Food for Life - the Hare Krishna restaurants. Nowadays, I eat mainly Chinese style vege. Both have long traditions of vegetarianism, so are very balanced.

From what I know, we don't actually need as much protein as many people would like us to believe (to sell us all that meat). I never taken protein supplements, shakes, or anything like that. Try without first, and only look into this if there is an actual problem. If it's not broken, don't fix it.


3) Dairy? If I continue to eat dairy, this solves the protein dilemma easily. But would it be hypocritical for me to stop eating meat because I don't want animals killed for my consumption while still continuing to consume dairy from animals that often are treated very poorly in a dairy farm? Thoughts here?


Sure. Eating Indian style vege has a lot of dairy, but Chinese style has almost none. This is more an ethical question, and depends where you yourself wish to draw the line. My recommendation would be to first keep eating dairy, and just reduce the actual meat and fish. If you can do this okay for maybe a year or so, with no health or other issues, then maybe you can go vegan. Don't try too much at once. You are already doing really well.

4) Are there any potential health changes or concerns that I need to be aware of in making this switch rather abruptly? This wasn't intended to be a New Year's resolution, that's just how it worked out -- I made the decision a couple weeks ago and this is when the meat in the freezer ran out (can't afford to throw out food that's already been paid for). So I've been a regular meat-eater all my life up through yesterday -- is stopping meat consumption so abruptly anything to be concerned about?


Unless you've been eating huge amounts of meat before making this change, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Maybe the first couple of weeks or months may be a change for your stomach and digestive system. Meat stays in the intestines for a long time (mainly just kind of rotting away), so once this is cleared out, you may have stronger feelings of hunger. But this will soon go away. And once it goes away, you'll just kind of feel physically cleaner on the inside. It takes a bit of time for the body to expunge all those meaty toxins out of the whole system. This is a bit like detox, going cold turkey. But it is just a process, giving up an addiction. Once you come out the other side, then it is a different story. Soon, even the thought of eating meat will seem kind of repulsive. (It's like smoking, giving up may be hard, but once one has quit, the smell is totally gross!)

Thanks in advance for any input or guidance.


All the best! Try to avoid nay-sayers, and (so-called) friends who wish to make light of your decision.

On behalf of small and large animals everywhere, thank you for deciding not to eat us anymore!! :) :heart:
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:24 am

phil wrote:As I eat I reflect that a lot of death went into raising the vegetables and soy beans.


There is even more in raising cows and other animals to eat their flesh, particularly in the US, because they in turn are raised on these grains and soy.
But much, much more is required to feed the cows to feed the people. So, directly eating the veges and soy actually results in much, much less death in this manner.

:)
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby withoutcolour » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:54 am

Make sure to take vitamin B12 supplements if you're not consuming a fair amount of dairy or eggs. B12 is important for the formation of blood and nerve cells, which are two of the most important cells in the whole body.

Also, regarding obtaining milk from a humane source, you can support your local dairy operations by buying local milk. Local small farms are more likely to treat their cows humanely than enormous milking parlors. I'm also partial to this idea because of the huge problem small dairy farmers are facing -- a lot of farms are going under nowadays because of the extremely small profit they're getting from milk production (and in the US, the government regulates the price of milk, thereby dictating the profit margin).

And as always, listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, talk to your doctor immediately.

Good luck, you're doing a great thing.
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Ben
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:30 am

Hi Tex
Congratulations. I'm also thinking very seriously about making the move. As the only cook in the household, I'll have to implement my changes by stealth! I've already talked about changing with my wife but I think there is some attachment to meat within this household, particularly among my children. My attempts to adopt a vegetarian diet since we've had kids because the resistance within the family is too great.

With regards to your concerns about nutrition, it might be wise at this point to consult a dietitian. Its been over 20 years since I was a macrobiotic but the theory back then was that if you eat beans or cultured bean products such as tempeh and tofu with brown rice, you get a complete package of amino acids. Tempeh is particularly good as the action of the koji bacteria on the soy makes it a good (and digestable) protein hit. Spinach is good for iron as I think some seaweeds such as Nori (I think??) Mushrooms are a vegetarian source of B12 though I am not sure what amount. Personally, I'm also going to steer clear of eggs and diary. I've never been a big fan of eggs and while I enjoy milk and cheese (I love cheese), according to my doctor, the type of fat found in dairy is very readily absorbed by the body and forms around vital organs. For the same reason i'm also going to give up chocolate. Quite apart from the health benefits, there is also compassionate reasons that, I believe, are prescient and overwhelming.

A couple of good cookbooks that might help you with the transition:

-- World Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey, and
-- Eastern Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

My friends love to give me cookbooks because they know I love cooking but those two works by Jaffrey are like bibles to me.
metta

Ben
“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

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Tex
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Tex » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:36 am

Great advice and suggestions here, much appreciated! And thanks for the encouragement as well.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement." -- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

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Lampang
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Lampang » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:53 am

What about iron? Supplements? Do they get the iron that they put in the pills from animals?

I think you're safe. Extracting iron from animal sources is going to be a pretty involved process - there are much easier ways of getting hold of it. By coincidence, I was just looking at recipes for making tofu at home and 100g of it gives you 40% of your RDA. Sea vegetables are also very high in iron and - I think - many of the leafy green vegetables aren't bad.

Eastern Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

Seconded. This is a really good book and worth buying for the sake of the recipes, vegetarian or not.

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Ben
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:08 am

Lampang wrote:I was just looking at recipes for making tofu at home and 100g of it gives you 40% of your RDA.


You're going to make tofu at home? If so, I take my hat off to you!
I tried it once and - never again! It was such a frustrating effort. It was far more satisfying making my own seitan.

Seconded. This is a really good book and worth buying for the sake of the recipes, vegetarian or not.

Yes, I have cooked for dinner parties from recipes in Eastern Vegetarian Cooking and received great complements regarding the food from guests - and subsequently inadvertently turned a few people on to vegetarianism as a result.
You can't go wrong with it.
metta

Ben
“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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..


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