the great vegetarian debate

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Cittasanto wrote:As others manage it, it is not impossible! There is a big difference between conventional language and personal assumptions based solely on nothing other than a projected theory of mind.
Conventional language isn't perfect and can appear to be making something personal, although, if it is actually related and dealing with the topic and points without obviously falling into an "ad hom" fallacy then I would argue the benefit of the doubt should be given. However, when it is not related to the topic or points directly and only assuming things about the person or linking the person, it is nothing but making personal remarks.


Ok, no problem.

:anjali:
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Killing! Did you ever think it this way?

Postby Rahula » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:10 pm

Is killing an animal really accumulate you akusala (bad) karma?
Or is it just the thought process, not really the physical activity which accumulate you akusala karma.

If you accidentally kill an animal, it does not count as a killing by you and you do not accumulate akusala karma(1). If causing death to any living being is universally akusala karma, then killing an animal unknowingly should also accumulate you akusala karma. But it is not because causing death to any living being is not akusala karma unless you think about it. That's the reason eating animal meat was not prohibited by Buddha, if the animal was killed without our knowledge. So physical killing action is not the cause of akusala karma, but the thought process involved.

Eating animal meat is just eating a food. You don't have to think about how those animals get killed. Birth and death is a cycle. All animals must die, otherwise there will be no more space for new beings. So causing death to animals because you eat meat is not sinful. That's the truth Buddha taught us. That's why Buddha allowed eating meat. But if you think about how those animal get killed and repent after eating meat, you may accumulate some akusala karma. (Mano Pubbangama Dhamma, Mano Setta Manomaya).

If it is the thought which cause your karma, how much you think about the action should accumulate more karma, kusala or akusala. Even if you think to kill a living being, but did not take the action, you still get akusala karma. But if you proceed and take the action also, you will accumulate more akusala karma. Why, not because the animal is dead, but because you had put more thought on it. After killing if you repent or enjoy it, your akusala karma will be more as you are still thinking about it.

Now what about killing a mosquito by reaction? When you feel the pain you just slap there without thinking much. You didn't know that it was a mosquito, you didn't think to kill it. But now you find a dead mosquito. You don't accumulate any akusala karma by that kind of reactions. But what happen if you keep thinking about what just happened? Then your mind goes through the process of killing the mosquito, accumulating you some akusala karma. Where if you can just forget it, you will not get any akusala karma. Mind is the master of all things. If you control the mind you can control your karma.

This is open for discussion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) In order to your action become a killing, five factors should be completed.
A living being. Perception that the being is a living being. Thought of killing. Effort or action. Death of the living being as a result.
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Re: Killing! Did you ever think it this way?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:46 pm

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect."

— AN 6.63
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:48 pm

Rahula wrote:But it is not because causing death to any living being is not akusala karma unless you think about it.


It may not be akusala kamma (for other reasons), but not simply because one is not "thinking about it." Using that logic, one could also kill a human and then "not think about it." The Buddha clearly advised against such thinking. One monk performed immoral acts and stated that "I feel neither ease nor discomfort, thus there will be no offense for me." The Buddha responded, "whether this foolish man felt or did not feel, there is an offense." (Vinaya, Suttavibhanga 3.36)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Rahula » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:01 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Rahula wrote:But it is not because causing death to any living being is not akusala karma unless you think about it.


It may not be akusala kamma (for other reasons), but not simply because one is not "thinking about it." Using that logic, one could also kill a human and then "not think about it." The Buddha clearly advised against such thinking. One monk performed immoral acts and stated that "I feel neither ease nor discomfort, thus there will be no offense for me." The Buddha responded, "whether this foolish man felt or did not feel, there is an offense." (Vinaya, Suttavibhanga 3.36)


You did not understand what I mean.

David N. Snyder wrote:Using that logic, one could also kill a human and then "not think about it."


How can anybody kill a human without thinking? The only way possible is, by accident. Other than that your mind goes through thoughts of killing, accumulating you akusala karma of the killing.

But in the case of an accident, for example, if you met with a car accident and someone died as your car went over that person, you do not accumulate akusala karma of killing a human. But if you can't forget that incident and if you keep thinking about it over and over again, your mind goes through those negative guilty feelings. What is the vipaka of this kind of chitta/ thoughts?

David N. Snyder wrote:One monk performed immoral acts and stated that "I feel neither ease nor discomfort, thus there will be no offense for me." The Buddha responded, "whether this foolish man felt or did not feel, there is an offense." (Vinaya, Suttavibhanga 3.36)


This is very true.
When you perform some act you obviously think about it. If it is bad or good. It is not possible to do anything without thinking about it. So if someone performed immoral acts, he had gone through immoral thoughts. So he had already accumulated akusala karma. What he think about after that is a different story.

What I want to height is that, if you keep thinking about some action, it is possible to accumulate more karma, kusala or akusala. If you perform any immoral acts, you had already accumulated akusala karma. And if you keep thinking about it, what would happen? As "Mind is the forerunner of all things" -"Mano Pubbangama Dhamma".

And if you eat meat as any other food, it's just a food. But if you think about how those animals get killed in order to come as your meal, then repent, you are accumulating karma. Because all your thoughts has vipaka. Can it be kusala or akusala? Of-cause you are not accumulating akusala karma of killing that animal, but akusala karma of akusala citta.

.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mr Man » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:24 am

Rahula unskillfull acts can also be commited through a lack of thought.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Rahula » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:08 am

Mr Man wrote:Rahula unskillfull acts can also be commited through a lack of thought.


Yes, of-cause.
Then what do you think about the role of karma on those unskillful acts committed through lack of thought?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:35 am

Rahula wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Rahula unskillfull acts can also be commited through a lack of thought.


Yes, of-cause.
Then what do you think about the role of karma on those unskillful acts committed through lack of thought?


If something was done with a lack of thought, then that means there was a lack of thought in what's been done. It's that simple... and that will continue, till the person decides to wake up. Such is the nature of karma.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Rahula » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:21 am

beeblebrox wrote:
Rahula wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Rahula unskillfull acts can also be commited through a lack of thought.


Yes, of-cause.
Then what do you think about the role of karma on those unskillful acts committed through lack of thought?


If something was done with a lack of thought, then that means there was a lack of thought in what's been done. It's that simple... and that will continue, till the person decides to wake up. Such is the nature of karma.

:anjali:


I asked;
What do you think about the role of karma on those unskillful acts committed through lack of thought?

You had not answered it properly. You had not mentioned the role of karma, the way karma applies to that situation. I did not asked, how to do anything with a lack of thought, did I? But that's what you had answered (as I see it).

If you do something without thought do you accumulate karma. If so, then accidentally stepping on an ant (killing it) should gather you akusala karma, isn't it? This is an example for something done with a lack of thought, killing an ant by stepping over it. There is no akusala karma coming from that act for you, it's rather akusala karma vipaka of that poor ant. Don't you agree?

With a lack of thought, there is no karma. Where there is karma, there is thought.

.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:43 am

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Rahula » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:36 am

Mr Man wrote:Rahula the Nidāna Sutta is relevant. http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/03/an03-112.html


Yes, it is relevant. Thank you for mentioning it.

Lobha-Alobha, Dosa-Adosa, Moha-Amoha: These are all in our mind, isn't it? These are all thoughts.

First we have thoughts of lobha,dosa,moha and then take actions which results in akusala karma.
Or we have thoughts of alobha,adosa,amoha and then take actions which results in kusala karma.

.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Mr Man » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:06 am

Rahula wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Rahula the Nidāna Sutta is relevant. http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/03/an03-112.html


Yes, it is relevant. Thank you for mentioning it.

Lobha-Alobha, Dosa-Adosa, Moha-Amoha: These are all in our mind, isn't it? These are all thoughts.

First we have thoughts of lobha,dosa,moha and then take actions which results in akusala karma.
Or we have thoughts of alobha,adosa,amoha and then take actions which results in kusala karma.

.


They are pre-thought. If you mean thought as it is usually understood in English.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Rahula » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:22 pm

Samma Ditti: Right view is most important.

Mano Pubbangama Dhamma
Mano Setta Manomaya

Mind is the forerunner of all phenomena
Mind is chief, they are all mind created
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:26 am

Interesting attitudes around the world

20 of your tales of Vegetarian Woe
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21122072

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:13 pm

cooran wrote:Interesting attitudes around the world

20 of your tales of Vegetarian Woe
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21122072

with metta
Chris


Good stuff. This one made me smile:

10. Julieta, Buenos Aires, Argentina: I am also a non-meat eater in a country where vegetarianism is an exotic illness. Try telling people you don't eat red meat in Argentina. First question is always "Why?", followed by "Are you sick?" and, later, any of the following: "Are you sure? Come on, a bit won't hurt", or "Don't you ever feel like you're dying for steak?"
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:53 pm

Those are good. Some of my tales are similar:

I order a vegetarian meal and get fish (as if fish are not animals, yes not mammals, but still members of the Animal Kingdom).

One waiter asked, "but why??" when I asked what vegetarian options there were.

"So you only eat fish and chicken?"

"What do you even eat??" (as if omnivores only eat meat, no bread, no pasta, no veggies, no beans, etc., etc.)

"I could never be a vegetarian, I am a strict carnivore!" (again, see my comment above, as if omnivores only eat meat and nothing else)

"But you need animal protein, how do you stay healthy?" (and this person recently came back from the doctor with high cholesterol and other ailments)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby marc108 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:05 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:"I could never be a vegetarian, I am a strict carnivore!" (again, see my comment above, as if omnivores only eat meat and nothing else)


its funny how people speak with such strong pride about things like that, on both ends!
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby palchi » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:00 am

cooran wrote:Interesting attitudes around the world

20 of your tales of Vegetarian Woe
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21122072

with metta
Chris


hahaha this reminds me of a dinner in a very good restaurant in Istanbul. We had all these fantastic little things for starters, many of which were vegetarian, so that was nice. No vegetarian main course on the menu, but after some discussion they suggested mushrooms. Sounded good enough.... but what did I get? A big bowl containing warmed up tinned champignons, nothing else :-)))
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby shaunc » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:18 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Those are good. Some of my tales are similar:

I order a vegetarian meal and get fish (as if fish are not animals, yes not mammals, but still members of the Animal Kingdom).

One waiter asked, "but why??" when I asked what vegetarian options there were.

"So you only eat fish and chicken?"

"What do you even eat??" (as if omnivores only eat meat, no bread, no pasta, no veggies, no beans, etc., etc.)

"I could never be a vegetarian, I am a strict carnivore!" (again, see my comment above, as if omnivores only eat meat and nothing else)

"But you need animal protein, how do you stay healthy?" (and this person recently came back from the doctor with high cholesterol and other ailments)


Somewhere I've read that because fish & chicken is not as high up the evolutionary chain as say beef, the kamma that comes from killing one of these is not as great as it would be for killing cattle for example. Would someone who is more knowledgeable than me please either endorse or refute this view.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dulzie Bear » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:36 pm

shaunc wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Those are good. Some of my tales are similar:

I order a vegetarian meal and get fish (as if fish are not animals, yes not mammals, but still members of the Animal Kingdom).

One waiter asked, "but why??" when I asked what vegetarian options there were.

"So you only eat fish and chicken?"

"What do you even eat??" (as if omnivores only eat meat, no bread, no pasta, no veggies, no beans, etc., etc.)

"I could never be a vegetarian, I am a strict carnivore!" (again, see my comment above, as if omnivores only eat meat and nothing else)

"But you need animal protein, how do you stay healthy?" (and this person recently came back from the doctor with high cholesterol and other ailments)


Somewhere I've read that because fish & chicken is not as high up the evolutionary chain as say beef, the kamma that comes from killing one of these is not as great as it would be for killing cattle for example. Would someone who is more knowledgeable than me please either endorse or refute this view.


I am not so sure about that one. A being's ranking on the food hierarchy does not mean that those higher up have higher consciousness than those lower down the scale. In my opinion, it would be wrong to equate the mind's consciousness with intelligence as human beings have defined it. The mind (as defined in Buddhism) of a human and that of a snail would be equal and so a human being can take rebirth as a snail and vice versa without each having to go through a process where the mind or consciousness is added or taken away. There is nowhere in the teachings that says such a process exists and therefore we must accept that the mind and its consciousness is preserved whole from one life form to another.

If we were to use a similar hierarchical system based on intelligence, then it would also follow that a murderer killing a successful family man with a higher IQ creates more negative karma than the same murderer killing a homeless person with lower intelligence. That is not logical because the minds of both are equal although in their ability to express the fullness of that mind are different. That one is born with a higher IQ than the other is a function of their karma, not the value of their mind/consciousness.

The bottom line for being vegetarian in so far as we can, is that it does not create the motivation for the meat industry to ill treat, torture and kill more animals to satisfy our palate.
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