the great vegetarian debate

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

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:31 pm

I just tell people since I'm a vegetarian I don't have the strength to argue about it. :P

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

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:07 pm

dspiewak wrote:I heard a Dhamma talk once in which the monk warned about vegetarianism - that it could lead to self-righteous behavior (e.g. looking down on non-vegetarians).


Self-righteous attitudes and views are wrong, when done by vegetarians AND non-vegetarians. I have seem plenty of non-vegetarians get quite upset and even angry when vegetarians talk about not killing, eating healthy, etc.

I find it interesting that so many Theravada practitioners, who are not urged to give up meat, have done so anyway. I wonder if it's just a coincidence?


No coincidence. The Pali Canon is full of suggestions not to kill or cause to kill. I have compiled some of them here:

http://www.buddha316.com/

The key point is that vegetarianism is not required in Theravada Buddhism to be a Theravada Buddhist. However:

“Many people find that as they develop in the Dhamma that they have a natural tendency to move toward vegetarianism.”

(Good Question, Good Answer, 4th edition, by Ven. Dhammika)
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:24 pm

Hi Jon

Bubbabuddhist wrote:I just tell people since I'm a vegetarian I don't have the strength to argue about it. :P

J


I actually struggle to tell people I'm vegetarian. Technically, I'm probably not as I will eat whatever is offered if we go out. The last thing I want is for friends to go to extra effort and provide something vegetarian for me, when I think its healthier for me to just accept whatever is given.
kind regards

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

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:14 am

David N. Snyder wrote: The Pali Canon is full of suggestions not to kill or cause to kill. I have compiled some of them here:
http://www.buddha316.com/

Nice resource, David. :thumbsup:
However, I wondered if it might actually be stronger if you deleted ""Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins, feeding on the food of the faithful, remain addicted to the enjoyment of stored-up goods such as food, drink, clothing, carriages, beds, perfumes and meat, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such enjoyment."
Brahmajala Sutra, Digha Nikaya"
It seems to me to be deprecating all sense pleasures.
By putting it here you're almost suggesting that becoming vegetarian is a step towards asceticism.
:juggling:

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

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:22 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote: The Pali Canon is full of suggestions not to kill or cause to kill. I have compiled some of them here:
http://www.buddha316.com/

Nice resource, David. :thumbsup:


Thanks.

However, I wondered if it might actually be stronger if you deleted ""Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins, feeding on the food of the faithful, remain addicted to the enjoyment of stored-up goods such as food, drink, clothing, carriages, beds, perfumes and meat, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such enjoyment."
Brahmajala Sutra, Digha Nikaya"
It seems to me to be deprecating all sense pleasures.


I didn't want to mislead by taking the passage out of context. Yes, that particular passage mainly deals with the dangers of the senses.

By putting it here you're almost suggesting that becoming vegetarian is a step towards asceticism.


I don't think vegetarianism would qualify as anything like asceticism, certainly not lacto-ovo. There are far more extreme vegetarian diets, such as raw food vegan, or the Jain diet of mostly (or entirely) eating only vegetables that are trimmed off the source plant. But even if one did consider vegetarianism a form of asceticism, there is this:

"I do not say householder, that all asceticism should be practiced; nor do I say of all asceticism that it should not be practiced" (Anguttara Nikaya 10.94)
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:32 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
However, I wondered if it might actually be stronger if you deleted ""Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins, feeding on the food of the faithful, remain addicted to the enjoyment of stored-up goods such as food, drink, clothing, carriages, beds, perfumes and meat, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such enjoyment."
Brahmajala Sutra, Digha Nikaya"
It seems to me to be deprecating all sense pleasures.


Hi Kim

I know not directed at me, but I'll throw in my thoughts anyway.
It is more about what is considered appropriate for "ascetics (samanas) and brahmins" that a blanket statement for everyone.
In other words, for those who are living that lifestyle, and doing so on the donations of others, it is inappropriate to hoard up those things for "enjoyment".
In classic Indic culture, if one is a householder, however, it is considered perfectly fine in the social sense to do so.
(Though of course, for Buddhists, they would still consider that though socially acceptable, such actions for the sake of "enjoyment" would highly likely still constitute some form of attachment, and thus be detrimental in the ultimate sense.)
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:38 am

dspiewak wrote:I heard a Dhamma talk once in which the monk warned about vegetarianism - that it could lead to self-righteous behavior (e.g. looking down on non-vegetarians).


I don't think that is a very good argument or reasoning.

If that were the case, then he should also "warn about" upholding precepts, because that could lead to self-righteous behavior, too. (eg. looking down on those who don't uphold precepts.) Obviously, if that were the case, we wouldn't do any good action at all. So much for the buddhist life ...

The problem of "self righteous behavior" is in self-conceit. Even if not manifest through "superiority complex", it is still there in the form of "equality" or "inferiority complex" for all non-awakened people. One may also see the example of people who are all proud about NOT being vegetarian, or NOT doing any good deeds at all. That's all just self-conceit, too.

So, first do good deeds. Then deal with the self-conceit of doing good deeds. :)
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:41 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:

So, first do good deeds. Then deal with the self-conceit of doing good deeds.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby appicchato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:05 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Nice resource, David. :thumbsup:

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

Postby Luke » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:06 pm

I actually struggle to tell people I'm vegetarian. Technically, I'm probably not as I will eat whatever is offered if we go out. The last thing I want is for friends to go to extra effort and provide something vegetarian for me, when I think its healthier for me to just accept whatever is given.
kind regards
Ben

I'm the same way. I'm a vegetarian when I eat at home and almost all the time when I'm away from home, but I also don't want to create difficulties for other people, so I sometimes will eat meat when I'm at parties or at other people's houses to avoid creating a fuss. I have read that the Dalai Lama does this as well. He eats vegetarian meals at home, but he occasionally eats meat while travelling.

Tex wrote:I only really "craved" meat once, in a sports bar/restaurant with a friend. The smell of buffalo wings was overwhelming.

Gah! You cut through my vegetarian defenses and gave me the first craving I've had for meat since I became a vegetarian! I currently live in Eastern Europe and I haven't thought about Buffalo wings in years! I remember one bar where they had 25 cent buffalo wings on Thursday nights...

*walks away, eats egg noodles with tomato sauce, red kidney beans, and mixed vegetables, an apple, and a plain yogurt with a small bit of apricot jam*

Okay, I've regained my composure.
Tex wrote: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?

I don't take iron supplements, but I do take a multivitamin which contains some iron. I also take vitamin D because the body needs it to absorb calcium and I eat a lot of dairy products.
Tex wrote: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've been using a whey protein powder, and I've been very happy with it except for the fact that it won't dissolve in milk. The recommended serving size is five scoops, but I find that just adding one scoop to a glass of milk makes me feel good like I'm "on the juice."
Tex wrote: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?

I agree that being a vegan is very noble, but it's just not something I'm ready to do yet. I also lift weights regularly. Basically, I drink 1% milk like its going out of style. I tried 2% milk and I got fat, so I switched back to 1%. I also like to eat red kidney beans, baked beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts, and cheese for my other protein sources.

Something else you might find is that you may have to make a conscious effort to eat enough fat if you are a hard-exercising vegetarian since you are not getting the usual fat you previously would always get from meat. If you don't eat enough fat, you will feel weak. I get this extra fat from peanut butter, nuts, oils, cheese, and the occasional fattening pastries and potato chips.
Tex wrote:4) Are there any potential health changes or concerns that I need to be aware of in making this switch rather abruptly?

Farts. A vegetarian diet involves eating lots of beans and lots of fiber. Over time, your body will become more and more used to digesting these things, but if you eat too much of these things too early, massive (and LOUD!) gas may result. This happened to me about a year ago when I became a vegetarian (I actually created a thread about my experiences becoming a vegetarian at Dharma Wheel which contains links to articles about vegetarianism and athletes as well).
http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f= ... 3&start=20

Good luck with your new diet, Tex!
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:39 pm

That whey powder dissolves quite readily if you use a blender. I mix it with peanut butter and soymilk sometimes for variety. Also with my leftover coffee and all sorts of stuff. Orange juice, you name it. :tongue:

I'm telling ya, if you crave Buffalo wings, get those Morningstar farms Buffalo nuggets and a bottle of Buffalo wings sauce and go to town. It's the sauce that makes the difference; you can eat Styrofoam peanuts if you cover them in hot sauce.

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

Postby appicchato » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:35 pm

Bubbabuddhist wrote:It's the sauce...

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

Postby Calahand » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:47 am

Ben wrote:Hi Jon

Bubbabuddhist wrote:I just tell people since I'm a vegetarian I don't have the strength to argue about it. :P

J


I actually struggle to tell people I'm vegetarian. Technically, I'm probably not as I will eat whatever is offered if we go out. The last thing I want is for friends to go to extra effort and provide something vegetarian for me, when I think its healthier for me to just accept whatever is given.
kind regards

Ben



Actually, I am struggling with this too. I really don't want my friends to change plans and not go to a barbecue or something and choose a more expensive place just because I am a vegetarian but thats what usually happens-unfortunately. Also, whenever I go out with any group of my friends, there is a big discussion as to "why" I am a vegetarian, and if it is "okay" for them to eat meat in front of me. There is also this constant curiosity about how I am getting all my protein no matter how many times we've been through this. Once being naive that I am, I said I feel bad for the animals being killed (which is true), and a guy who came with the bunch took offense to it, saying that just because he eats meat doesn't mean he is not being compassionate to animals... and I ofcourse told him thats not what I said when I said I am trying to be compassionate, but he said that a vegetarian claiming to be compassionate to animals is an indirect way of saying that non-vegetarians, aka "Normal" people, are uncompassionate and it is just arrogant of vegetarians to think so.

I am not sure if we vegetarians are arrogant in thinking we can change the planet in our small way, but one thing is for sure, many non-vegetarians are insecure when they witness the actions of a vegetarian.
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Re: I'm a new vegetarian! Some questions...

Postby EricJ » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:44 am

As a side note to the dairy consumption aspect of your OP, I would mention the need to pay attention to the ingredients in any cheese you may eat. Cheese production involves the use of a substance called "rennet," which is used to separate curd and whey. It occurs naturally in the stomachs of calves (to help them digest the mother's milk), and it is obtained as a byproduct of veal production. Most of the cheaper cheeses, found in major grocery store chains, are made of veal-derived rennets. If you look on the ingredients, it will sometimes say "enzymes." This is a red alert that it contains meat products. The good news is that there are also plant-based rennets, which many cheese companies use. Most companies will specifically mention the lack of animal in their cheeses, so a good rule of thumb is that those that identify themselves as animal-free are, and those that don't are not. Products with "cheese flavoring" are probably made with meat-y cheeses.

Also, watch out for any and all products containing gelatin, broths (soups in restaurants, Ramen noodles, and the like), etc.

I am lacto-ovo. I mostly drink soy milk, though, because it is very protein heavy, and it tastes better than most commercial dairy farm milks. As everyone else has said, local, organic and free-range products are the ideal.

Chickpeas and lentils are two great, versatile and tasty protein sources. But don't worry about protein deficiency. It is actually rather rare in vegetarians, despite the stereotypes.



Finally, your decision to quit eating meating is truly commendable. I have found that vegetarianism has truly changed my life in spiritual, emotional, physical and ethical ways. It truly is a practice which cultivates compassion.
I do not want my house to be walled in on sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.- Gandhi

With persistence aroused for the highest goal's attainment, with mind unsmeared, not lazy in action, firm in effort, with steadfastness & strength arisen, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

Not neglecting seclusion, absorption, constantly living the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, comprehending the danger in states of becoming, wander alone like a rhinoceros.
- Snp. 1.3
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:02 pm

I'm not currently a vegetarian, but have been considering it to an extent. As of right now we do eat either hamburger meat or chicken, however I find myself using less of it in the meals I serve my family (who enjoy eating meat). Rather than using say 2 pounds in the meal, I will cut in down to just 1 pound. Then when I serve myself I try to only put very little on my own plate. So that's where I'm at right now. I think that as I find more recipes that are meatless I will begin to maybe cut the family's meat eating down to say "part time" during the week (like maybe just 4 days will have meat in the dinner...). Other than that I have maintained feelings of compassion for all animals, and think that over time our house will eventually eat less meat, which is better than not doing it at all I suppose...
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:57 am

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I'm not currently a vegetarian, but have been considering it to an extent. As of right now we do eat either hamburger meat or chicken, however I find myself using less of it in the meals I serve my family (who enjoy eating meat). Rather than using say 2 pounds in the meal, I will cut in down to just 1 pound. Then when I serve myself I try to only put very little on my own plate. So that's where I'm at right now. I think that as I find more recipes that are meatless I will begin to maybe cut the family's meat eating down to say "part time" during the week (like maybe just 4 days will have meat in the dinner...). Other than that I have maintained feelings of compassion for all animals, and think that over time our house will eventually eat less meat, which is better than not doing it at all I suppose...


Excellent. All the best for your future meat-less meals.
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:38 am

Thank you! I'm hopeful that the family won't mind! :)
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Reductor » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:59 am

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Thank you! I'm hopeful that the family won't mind! :)



A lot of recipes.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Everyday- ... /Main.aspx


I also borrowed a book from the library entitled (the previous addition):
http://www.vegetariantimes.com/product/81

I just realized they have a site after finding this description. Duh! Of course they do :tongue:
Anyway, it is an informative book and I liked most of the recipes I tried.

The biggest hurdle is learning that food without meat tastes good. Just stop cooking meat and don't say anything. I doubt anyone will notice other than your husband. In which case buy him a steak occasionally and let him go to town.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:42 pm

thereductor: Thank you!

ETA: I found 3 great recipes that I know my family will love! So starting next week (when I go grocery shopping again!) we will be have 3 nights of meatless dinners! Not a bad start--and I don't think they'll notice at all!
Last edited by Butrfly_Nirvana on Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby baratgab » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:00 pm

Just a comment for my vote: I follow a plant-based, vegan diet as a lay person. From my current point of view it would be very difficult not to eat in this way. :) When eating in other humans' house and the food is directly offered to me with good intention, I accept foods containing dairy and egg without raising a word. Though, I kindly refuse to accept flesh; either human or non-human, I do not consider it food.

If someone is interested in the health aspect or the animal liberation philosophy (which is about a direct implication of human equality), I can recommend in PM a lot of important, scientific sources of information; I have been studying these areas for years. There is a significant movement in the world, and there are knowledgeable philosophers, lawyers and doctors who think that a paradigm shift is likely to occur in the near future.

The "Global Vegan Network" page at Facebook, with more than 21 thousand members

:anjali:
"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"
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