the great vegetarian debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:48 am

Well I hope you don't brush your teeth or heaven forbid take antibiotics because that kills sentient bacteria beings!!
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:20 pm

Bacteria are not sentient.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:37 pm

And insects are sentient on par with a cow, a pig or a chicken??
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:41 pm

chownah wrote:Business in poisons is wrong livelihood. Pesticides are poisons. The Buddha never qualified the term poison in any way. The concept is that if eating meat you are implicated in the wrong livelihood of business in meat then the same logic applies to buying vegetables raised using poisons doesn't it?.....seems like a no brainer too me.


In context of wrong livelihood, poison in the Buddha's time would have been stuff that poisons people or animals, not bacteria - I'm pretty sure they didn't have pesticides in the Buddha's time!
See here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

But yes, if we wanted to further reduce the harm we do to other living things, then buying organic vegetables would be a logical step.
Well, oi dunno...
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:19 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
chownah wrote:Business in poisons is wrong livelihood. Pesticides are poisons. The Buddha never qualified the term poison in any way. The concept is that if eating meat you are implicated in the wrong livelihood of business in meat then the same logic applies to buying vegetables raised using poisons doesn't it?.....seems like a no brainer too me.


In context of wrong livelihood, poison in the Buddha's time would have been stuff that poisons people or animals, not bacteria - I'm pretty sure they didn't have pesticides in the Buddha's time!
See here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

But yes, if we wanted to further reduce the harm we do to other living things, then buying organic vegetables would be a logical step.

Indeed people or animals....pesticides are often used to kill animals.....note that the term pesticide includes many kinds of poisons such as herbasides, insecticides, rodentacides, etc. I did not mention bacteria...that is lyndon tayler's fantasy addition, not mine.
In relation to eating meat you posted, "I think the wrong livelihood argument is significant, not least because if we buy meat we're effectively condoning it." Are you hear admitting that the same argument is significant in relation to buying vegetables raised using poisons?....in other words, buying poison raised vegetables implicates one in the wrong livelihood of dealing in poisons in the same way that buying meats implicates one in the wrong livelihood of business in meat?
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:06 pm

Basically, chownah, you're making a straw man argument as we know you eat food grown with pesticides, and you obviously support eating meat. Isn't introducing spurious arguments you don't believe yourself just to cause dissension the definition of trolling???
Last edited by lyndon taylor on Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:17 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:And insects are sentient on par with a cow, a pig or a chicken??



So it's ok to kill insects?
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3298
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:30 pm

lyndon taylor,
I think you should read up on what a straw man argument is as I don't think it applies to what I have posted. I am an organic farmer. It is true that I do eat some produce which is raised with chemicals, I organize my life so as to maximize the amount of organic produce I eat and to maximize the amount of organic produce that is available for the community I live in.
The idea that if someone eats meat they are implicated in the business of meat is not my idea.....it is other people's idea with you being one of the other people. I am simply pointing out that an identical situation exists for people who buy vegetables raised with poisons with regard to business in poison. You are doing your best to wriggle your way out of this....you raise the straw man argument of bacteria and imply sarcasm in talking about brushing teeth.

Agricultural chemicals kill countless sentient beings every crop cycle....this is fact.
Agricultural chemicals are poisons......this is fact.
The Buddha teaches to not engage in business in poison.
You claim that if one eats meat that one is implicated in business in meat.
I'm saying that buying produce raised using poisons should be considered as business in poison if one wants to accept the dogma that one can be associated with a kind of business by the sort of implication you use.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:33 pm

Sorry but all these arguments didn't come from me!! I never claimed buying meat was being part of wrong livelyhood business in meat, I claimed it was hired killing, payed for by you for meat killed to order for consumers, not the same argument, sorry.

As to sentient beings there has to be some gradation of sentience, that's why I brought up Bacteria, obviously bacteria and insects are not as sentient as cows, pigs and chickens. Not to mention humans.......
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
User avatar
lyndon taylor
 
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 11:41 pm
Location: Redlands, Southern California, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:10 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Sorry but all these arguments didn't come from me!! I never claimed buying meat was being part of wrong livelyhood business in meat, I claimed it was hired killing, payed for by you for meat killed to order for consumers, not the same argument, sorry.

Are you saying that eating plants raised by using insecticides, rodent traps, and so on (and collateral damage from harvesting) is not hired killing, paid for by the consumers?

I do understand the point that less beings would be killed if animals were not being raised for their meat and other products (such as eggs, etc). However, the key point is that it is almost impossible to live without having an adverse effect on the lives of other living beings. The production of many goods, not just food, have death as a side effect, including the occasional death of the people producing the goods.

It's certainly a good thing to reduce your impact on the rest of the world. But please don't imagine that you can have no impact.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:42 pm

Hi Seeker,
We are actually talking about the first point I quoted from Buddhanet. Which is

(1) If the Buddha had felt that a meatless diet was in accordance with the Precepts he would have said so and in the Pali Tipitaka at least, he did not.[Devadatta's rule not being taken up at the first schism being an example]


As I am sticking to this point for our discussion, and (as we had moved on) whether the Buddha would speak out or not. I was trying to point out other examples which makes me believe The Buddha would not say more than is recorded. So if you wish to talk about the meat industry, and the problems of certain practices specifically you need to have a point that is used against the vegetarian proponents by those who say being vegetarian is not necessary within Buddhism, and not an unrelated point to that.

The vague references are actually easily found, and some of which are all over the Sutta & Vinaya.

seeker242 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Hi Seaker,
Just so you know I wont be able to respond again until sunday evening at the earliest.


Ditto as I am attending a retreat this weekend. :)

I would agree with the lack of existence. However it can be inferred.


One can claim it can be inferred but still one has to explain precisely how, if the conclusion is going to have some logical support. You really can't just say it can be inferred and leave it at that, if you are speaking strictly in logical terms.

There was no such thing as "industrial". Focusing only on the slaughter misses the main point I was making. Which is how the animals are treated during their lifetime. The horrible conditions that they have to endure and the abuse they are subjected to, before they are sent to slaughter. "Battery cages" and "gestation crates" did not exist during the Buddhas time. To assume he would have said nothing about "battery cages", because he didn't say anything about animals grazing in a pasture, is not very logical because it compares apples to oranges.


Are you sure I am assuming what the Buddha would say based on what wasn't said? or am I using inference based on what has been said in comparable situations.

I am basing my opinion on what is known the Buddha done and advised. i.e. his advice on proper conversation, his unwillingness to directly attack someone's profession (actors & warriors was after several refusals to comment directly upon) The Buddha is only ever general, not specific, in matters which could be seen as attacking. And when it is other groups, The Buddha only ever deals with specific views, not the group itself.


He attacked "business in meat", the very thing we are talking about, and call it wrong livelihood. He called the entire group of people engaged in the business of meat as being engaged in wrong livelihood. There is plenty of evidence that the Buddha taught that one should not cause harm, nor be a cause for harm, to other living beings. You speak as if animals being beaten and abused doesn't really matter. I don't see how this can match up with what the Buddha taught.

inference based on the texts. I am not presupposing the Buddha would have acted in a way not already shown.


Again, one really can't just say inference and leave it at that.

When there is evidence of how the Buddha acted in other situations it is inductive or deductive reasoning, not assumption. Can you show your evidence for the Buddha being direct in this matter, and not simply keeping with what has already been said?


Technically, It's not on me to show any evidence because I am the one challenging the logic of the claim, not making the claim. According to a "logical analysis", etc. the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. However, I could just say "inference based on the texts" and give a couple vague examples, but that just would not be good enough for logic. I would have to provide a logical explanation of the inference and how the inference is being made, why it's being made, which particular texts it's being made from with specific examples, sutta references, etc, so that the inference itself can be examined also, logically speaking. Saying inference and leaving it at that, does not provide any more support to the conclusion. Technically, doing that is called "circular reasoning" and is, by definition, not logical. There were some vague examples of how the Buddha did not get involved in wars, etc. but it has to be much more detailed and much more in depth than that in order to prove the validity of the inference. However, if one is just expressing one's opinions on the matter, and not the logical structure of the argument, then all that really isn't necessary.

:anjali:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5687
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:52 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:

I think it depends on the circumstances. For example if I go to a turkey farm and pick one out for Christmas lunch, then aren't I kammically responsible for that turkeys death?

As I have noted before that would be an act of speech which is described in the suttas as not allowable. Not the same as food shopping and getting already slaughtered and not intended for anyone specifocally.


You're probably correct from a technical point of view, so if chose instead to chose to buy a frozen turkey from a supermarket then there wouldn't be the same kammic consequence. What bothers me though is that in both cases another turkey would get the chop! The difference seems rather semantic to me.

PS Obviously I wouldn't pick out a turkey from a turkey farm, except to adopt it as a pet. ;)
PPS Though it would be a rather noisy pet!

Hi Spiny,
Sorry missed this earlier.

Kamma is an imponderable so as a working model I go by what it says in the rules for guidance when I am uncertain.
The rules do point out a difference between intention and motivation in some cases, as well as other factors, and this can seem like semantics, but when dealing with multiple factors there has to be some points for reference, i.e. the rules and what their explanation actually is, and the teachings and what the teachings are, as well as the relevance between the two.

To argue the first precept is broken by eating meat is irrelevant unless one is killing or ordering the death themselves. but to claim that the eating of meat is incompatible with the brahma-viharas(specifically altruism and friendliness) isn't, but the connection between the two does not extend to eating meat one does not have killed. The First precept does not in any way ban the eating of meat. The Brahma-viharas don't logically end with a vegetarian diet in all cases either, specifically when it is a natural death. but these logical conclusions need looked at from multiple angles, not just black and white, as reality has greys and colours.
If you want a fuller picture of my perspective it will take me a few days, and I will probably write it anyway for a post.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5687
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:06 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Sorry but all these arguments didn't come from me!! I never claimed buying meat was being part of wrong livelyhood business in meat, I claimed it was hired killing, payed for by you for meat killed to order for consumers, not the same argument, sorry.

As to sentient beings there has to be some gradation of sentience, that's why I brought up Bacteria, obviously bacteria and insects are not as sentient as cows, pigs and chickens. Not to mention humans.......

I looked back and did not find you posting any opinion concerning right livelihood so it seems that I made a mistake by mentioning you as supporting that argument. I apologize for having misrepresented your views and retract my statement which wrongly indicated that you had supported that view. Sorry for that, I will try to be more careful about these sorts of things on the future.

I believe that you supported the idea that eating meat (or was it just the buying of meat) implicates one in the killing of sentient beings. Do you also support the idea that eating meat implicates one in the wrong livelihood of business in meat? I am asking because the two ideas seem to have the same basis in reasoning both from the standpoint of the mechanics of implication and also in that killing sentient beings and business in meat have an apparent connection....with the exception of certain minor instances of meat eating such as eating a carcass of an animal which died of "natural" causes or the eating of placenta.
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:It's certainly a good thing to reduce your impact on the rest of the world. But please don't imagine that you can have no impact.


Yes, agreed. But I don't agree with the view that we shouldn't bother doing anything because we can't completely be completely successful in our efforts not to cause harm.
Well, oi dunno...
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:33 am

clw_uk wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:And insects are sentient on par with a cow, a pig or a chicken??

So it's ok to kill insects?


What I think isn't OK is not caring what get's killed to satisfy a dietary preference.
Well, oi dunno...
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:45 am

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Seeker,
We are actually talking about the first point I quoted from Buddhanet. Which is

(1) If the Buddha had felt that a meatless diet was in accordance with the Precepts he would have said so and in the Pali Tipitaka at least, he did not.[Devadatta's rule not being taken up at the first schism being an example]


As I am sticking to this point for our discussion, and (as we had moved on) whether the Buddha would speak out or not. I was trying to point out other examples which makes me believe The Buddha would not say more than is recorded. So if you wish to talk about the meat industry, and the problems of certain practices specifically you need to have a point that is used against the vegetarian proponents by those who say being vegetarian is not necessary within Buddhism, and not an unrelated point to that.

The vague references are actually easily found, and some of which are all over the Sutta & Vinaya.



OK. :smile: I'm just saying that if I were personally alive during the Buddhas lifetime and I personally asked him about battery cages and purchasing animals from meat that was from animals raised in battery cages. I find it difficult to believe that he would just turn around, walk away and say nothing. Especially so given how unethical the practice is. Personally, I think the only way to really know for sure, what he would or would not say, would be to actually ask him. But of course that isn't possible because he's dead. :)

:anjali:
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:59 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:And insects are sentient on par with a cow, a pig or a chicken??

So it's ok to kill insects?


What I think isn't OK is not caring what get's killed to satisfy a dietary preference.



I agree but sometimes people need to buy meat out of economic necessity.

Therefore it doesn't always =bad kamma
“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3298
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Aloka » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:37 pm

clw_uk wrote:
... but sometimes people need to buy meat out of economic necessity.



Why is that ? A vegetarian alternative isn't more expensive than meat.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3467
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:59 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Hi Seeker,
We are actually talking about the first point I quoted from Buddhanet. Which is

(1) If the Buddha had felt that a meatless diet was in accordance with the Precepts he would have said so and in the Pali Tipitaka at least, he did not.[Devadatta's rule not being taken up at the first schism being an example]


As I am sticking to this point for our discussion, and (as we had moved on) whether the Buddha would speak out or not. I was trying to point out other examples which makes me believe The Buddha would not say more than is recorded. So if you wish to talk about the meat industry, and the problems of certain practices specifically you need to have a point that is used against the vegetarian proponents by those who say being vegetarian is not necessary within Buddhism, and not an unrelated point to that.

The vague references are actually easily found, and some of which are all over the Sutta & Vinaya.



OK. :smile: I'm just saying that if I were personally alive during the Buddhas lifetime and I personally asked him about battery cages and purchasing animals from meat that was from animals raised in battery cages. I find it difficult to believe that he would just turn around, walk away and say nothing. Especially so given how unethical the practice is. Personally, I think the only way to really know for sure, what he would or would not say, would be to actually ask him. But of course that isn't possible because he's dead. :)

:anjali:

Wouldn't that be backbiting?
I believe it reasonable to assume you aren't engaged in the practice or industry yourself, and the two examples of the actor (SN42.2) and warrior (SN42.3) being described in negative terms were to those in that profession, and even then it focused on what they had said specifically rather than other aspects. If The Buddha would speak on such matters it would probably be too someone in the industry. To others it may focus on right intention and the Brahma-viharas rather than specifics of the job.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5687
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:33 am

clw_uk wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
What I think isn't OK is not caring what get's killed to satisfy a dietary preference.



I agree but sometimes people need to buy meat out of economic necessity.

Therefore it doesn't always =bad kamma


Yes, but I think most of us have the choice, and in my experience a vegetarian diet is cheaper than one based on meat.
Well, oi dunno...
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Feathers and 19 guests