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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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Individual » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:50 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:33 pm

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Avery
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Avery » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:44 pm

I have gone vegan before, and I try to avoid eating too much meat because I know it comes from factory farms. But I have been eating meat all my life, so my body needs it. It's not good to deny yourself part of the healthy diet you grew up with.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:08 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:12 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:24 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:34 pm

Last edited by kc2dpt on Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:36 pm

Perhaps interestingly, I am reminded of medical cadavers.
a] "Please let us use this dead body for medical study, which was killed without any knowledge that I here and now would wish to use it."
b] "Please kill someone and bring us the body so we may use it for medical study."

Of course the obvious difference between this case and buying meat is the animal is killed for the express purpose that someone would buy it's meat. No one kills people for the express purpose of creating medical cadavers. On the other hand, killing people for any reason is illegal. Similarly, killing an animal for any reason is taught by the Buddha to be unwholesome. It seems to me unnecessary to extend the Buddha's teachings on this matter to include anyone who is in any way even remotely connected to the person doing the actual killing. If no one was willing to kill directly then the entire discussion of vegetarianism becomes moot.
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:51 pm

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some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:59 pm

The Buddha taught it is unwholesome to urge another to kill, that it is a violation of the fifth precept.

Does purchasing meat at a meat store constitute urging another to kill?

What if the man selling you the meat does his own animal slaughtering? That means he himself gets the money from the sale and he himself makes the decision to kill.

What if the man selling you the meat places orders from a slaughterhouse? That means he gets the money and then he urges another to kill.

What if the man selling is an employee of the store and not in charge of placing new orders? That means he takes your money but he doesn't get it. Rather he gets a set salary regardless of which items he sells you. It also means another person you never see looks at the total sales for the week and decides how much to order the next week in the hopes that the same number of sales will be made.

What if local sales numbers aren't looked at by anyone. Rather national averages are used to determine how much new meat is ordered?

What about buying vegetables in a store that also sells meat? That means economically supporting that store.

What about buying non-organic vegetables rather than organic vegetables? That means rewarding those who use pesticides to grow their food.

What about you, a doctor, treating the illness of someone who works in a slaughterhouse? By treating them you allow them to return to work.

At what point in the chain of relations and interdependencies is our behavior deemed wholesome or unwholesome?

What about giving money to a homeless person? They are likely going to spend that money on alcohol, a violation of the fifth precept. Is that act of giving unwholesome?
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David N. Snyder
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:00 pm

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Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:08 pm

Rather than answering my opinion on each of those, I think I can do it with just one answer:

You could use those examples for just about anything, such as alcohol, guns, or anything else that the Buddha deemed unwholesome. The Suttas refer to those in the trade of meat, weapons, alcohol, etc. To me this means just the owners, not the delivery people, employees, etc.

So my opinion would be the owner of the unwholesome business and anyone who directly buys the unwholesome products, such as poisons for killing, assault weapons, alcohol, and then yes, meat. Unwholesome, perhaps unethical, not illegal.
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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:12 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:14 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:22 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:24 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:31 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:42 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:18 pm

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Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Branko » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:50 pm

Yes. That means I've been veggie for last 33 years of my life. During that period I was eating fish for 3-4 years.
Reason for my decision in the first place was feeling sorry for the animals,
although some might consider as an attachment to views.
Whatever it might be, I feel better being what I'm now.

:smile:


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