This has helped me greatly in my meditation, especially the part on directed thought towards renunciation, non-aversion, and harmlessness. However I am having problems with harmlessness. I am not a vegetarian. As I meditate my thoughts go to harmlessness and I wrestle with the question of the need to forswear meat in order to be harmless. If i think "what if I try not eating meat?', then the question of wearing leather arises. I know that meat was not forbidden as long as it was not slaughtered specifically for the monks, so my question is this: Since our meat delivery system in the United States is not aimed at any individual, and therefore no animal was slaughtered specifically for me, can I eat it and still consider myself to have done no harm? I have not killed. It was not killed for me, and the killing will continue whether I eat it or not. Most leather is a byproduct of meat slaughter. The skin would only go to waste were it not made into leather. This I have less problem with. To eat a plant is to kill it. To eat a part of a plant is to kill the cells that make up that part. It is not possible to live without killing. Is it therefore the pain that animals suffer that is the harm or are plants merely "second class citizens" of our planet? How do you practice harmlessness?