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the great vegetarian debate - 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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retrofuturist
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:37 pm

Greetings,

This is a topic focused on the subject of Vegetarianism.

Please note - other vegetarian topics may be merged into this one without notice.

Thank you.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:09 pm

Greetings,

My approach is actually similar to that of the Sangha... I'll eat meat if it's given to me, but I won't request it or purchase it etc. My wife knows that my preference is vegetarian, but I don't expect her to go making separate meals just for me when she does the cooking. I also have a "well, you can't bring it back to life now" mentality when at barbecues, parties, functions, group dinners etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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AdvaitaJ
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby AdvaitaJ » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:23 am

I'm in the "thinking about it" category. Though I still order, cook, and eat meat, I now think about how many animals had to be killed for my meals. My consumption of chicken is now reduced expressly for this reason.

As an addendum, this thread got me to look into something I've wondered about: pescetarianism. Basically, a vegetarian who also eats fish. I'm reminded of a translation I heard of the precepts that said to avoid killing sentient beings. By my definition of sentient, that puts all mammals and poultry on the do-not-disturb list but leaves fish in a questionable state.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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Tex
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Tex » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:44 am

I guess I should answer my own question. :smile:

I voted for the middle option.

At this point, all I've done is to start buying "free range" chicken so that the chickens are at least allowed to have a fairly normal chicken life instead of being packed into those awful chicken warehouses with their beaks cut off. Plus I figure it must be healthier to eat chickens that weren't shot up with steroids. And I've never touched veal because of how the calves are treated. But basically that's the only change I've made since becoming a Buddhist -- try to be conscious to support meat industries that don't mistreat the animals while they're alive and to reduce my meat consumption somewhat.

I don't know if that is enough. But then again there is the argument that in any grain or vegetable harvest many millions of sentient beings like insects, earthworms, field mice, and so on are killed.

So, perhaps it's better to have one cow killed and eat from it for a month?

I really don't know...
"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

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

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Ana
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ana » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:03 am

Yes!

:smile:

I am vegetarian

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retrofuturist
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:05 am

Yes, but are you Theravadin?

(see Tex's intro post)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ana
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Ana » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:07 am


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appicchato
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby appicchato » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:13 am

Yes... :pig: ...(he's saying 'Great!')...

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:16 am

Greetings bhante,

If you don't mind me asking, what are the logistics of being a vegetarian bhikkhu? What do you do if someone offers you meat?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:18 am

For monks and nuns there is the three-fold rule. As a lay man, I like this quote:

Monks, one possessed of three qualities is put into Purgatory according to his actions. What three? One is himself a taker of life, encourages another to do the same and approves thereof.
Monks, one possessed of three qualities is put into heaven according to his actions. What three? He himself abstains from taking life, encourages another to so abstain, and approves of such abstention
.”
Anguttara Nikaya, 3.16

Notice the reference number (3.16), Christians have John 3.16; vegetarian Buddhists have: Anguttara Nikaya 3.16
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:08 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby AlaskanDhamma » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:04 am

I'm sort of in the same boat as Retro. I prefer to be vegetarian, but I don't expect other to accommodate my desires. I also don't have enough in my diet to supplement my lack of meat, therefore being forced to eat it. Vitamins aren't enough most of the time. I try to think about the suffering that animal went through. I know exactly what an animal goes through during slaughter, because I used to work in a slaughterhouse. Oddly enough, this isn't what convinced me to go vegetarian. My introduction to Buddhism is what made me re think how life and suffering effect us.
"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." -Buddha

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:43 am

Last edited by Cittasanto on Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:16 pm, 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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appicchato
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby appicchato » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:04 pm


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clw_uk
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:24 pm

Ive been veggie for sometime now, also use soya milk and butter and free range eggs




:anjali:
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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adeh
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby adeh » Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:52 pm

I eat chicken or fish/seafood about once a month.

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retrofuturist
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:53 pm

Greetings venerable Appicchato,

Thanks... that was an interesting overview.

(P.S. Yes, feeling better now... have been back to 100% over the last couple of days :thumbsup: )

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:28 pm

Guess I'd call myself semi-vegetarian, as I (currently) eat seafood.

Also, as the rest of my immediate family are meat-eaters, and include small children who sometimes don't finish their food, I'm occasionally put in the position of either consuming something with meat in it, or throwing it out. I'm not happy with either choice, but it seems to me if an animal has been killed for food, it's just that much worse to dump it in the trash. So if I'm out somewhere with the kids, and they don't finish their chicken strips or whatever, I will.

If somebody invited me to their house and served me a meat dish, and I felt that it would cause offense and hurt to refuse, I'd probably accept it. Hasn't happened yet but I'm sure it will.

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby puthujjana » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:53 pm

I were vegan for about 2 years till I got some "energy-problems". If I didn't eat every few hours, I felt dizzy and my legs began to shake...
But these problems were caused by me and not by being vegan. I simply didn't eat enough and didn't care about all the nutrients my body needed.

Since a few months I'm eating milk products and eggs again and now I'm feeling much better. :twothumbsup:

with metta
:anjali:
"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."

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the great vegetarian debate

Postby phil » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:13 pm

Yes, although only in the last 6 months. I think there are far more options than there were in the Buddha's day, and as householders we have the freedom to make responsible choices. Just another aspect of non-harmfulness. And good practice in renunciation. But obviously eating meat is not against the precepts as taught by the Buddha, and not akusala kamma.

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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