Eating in the restaurant

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D1W1
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Eating in the restaurant

Post by D1W1 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:18 am

Hi all,

If one's relative got married perhaps all animals are suspected to have been killed on purpose for guests /other relatives. This meat is probably impure and one should not eat them.
Monks, I allow you fish and meat that are quite pure in three respects: if they are not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk. But, you should not knowingly make use of meat killed on purpose for you


But how about having meal in the restaurant, is the meat also impure since we are the guests and the the meats are obtained on the purpose for the guests?
Is this meat also impure just like meats obtained in the marriage party as described above? Thanks

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Kim OHara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:29 am

:stirthepot:
There are restaurants in every town in Thailand, Burma, Laos and Vietnam serving meat to Theravada Buddhists.
:stirthepot:
Think about that for a while.

:namaste:
Kim

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Sam Vara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:52 am

The rule you cite is for monks, so does not apply to lay people. If you eat meat anyway, then most of what you eat has been killed for sale in the market. This gives you the option of continuing with eating meat because it hasn't been killed specifically for you; continuing to eat meat even if it has been killed for you, as the rule only applies to monks; or refraining from eating meat because it marginally decreases market demand for animal slaughter.

D1W1
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by D1W1 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:19 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:52 am
If you eat meat anyway, then most of what you eat has been killed for sale in the market. This gives you the option of continuing with eating meat because it hasn't been killed specifically for you
But is the restaurant owner buy or kill the animal(s) specifically for the restaurant's guests/me? Is that the same thing?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:07 pm

D1W1 wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:19 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:52 am
If you eat meat anyway, then most of what you eat has been killed for sale in the market. This gives you the option of continuing with eating meat because it hasn't been killed specifically for you
But is the restaurant owner buy or kill the animal(s) specifically for the restaurant's guests/me? Is that the same thing?
I believe that a monastic would need to ensure that the animals had not been killed for him/her, but the purchase of the meat (once killed) would be OK. If you are not a monastic, though, this particular rule would not apply, so you should be guided by your normal ethical standards on the eating of meat. If you are normally carnivorous, then this restaurant situation would be no worse, as far as I can see.

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Aloka
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Aloka » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:52 am
The rule you cite is for monks, so does not apply to lay people. If you eat meat anyway, then most of what you eat has been killed for sale in the market. This gives you the option of continuing with eating meat because it hasn't been killed specifically for you; continuing to eat meat even if it has been killed for you, as the rule only applies to monks; or refraining from eating meat because it marginally decreases market demand for animal slaughter.
I think the idea that its ok to eat meat from a market, a butchers, or a supermarket because it hasn't been killed for you, is a cop-out. Animals are cruelly treated and slaughtered for people who eat meat - so if you're eating one of those animals, of course its been killed for you!

How do I know meat animals are cruelly treated? Because I used to live next door to a farm. I've also watched videos of slaughter houses and I knew two (Buddhist) people who visited a slaughter house and they were so shocked by the cruelty and the suffering and fear of the animals that they never ate meat again.


.
Last edited by Aloka on Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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samseva
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:56 pm

I don't think meat served at restaurants is impure. Obviously, ordering lobster would entail indirectly asking the cook to kill the animal for you. Maybe I'd avoid restaurants which advertise that they butcher their own chickens. However, when you carefully think about it, all animals are killed for the purpose of being sold/given to you (still good to be wary of where the meat comes from though).

The issue related to the Vinaya rule (which is for monastics) is probably due to the custom—which was very common before industrial livestock, grocery stores and refrigeration existed—of butchering an animal for a feast with guests. It was seen as being generous/a good host and a display abondance. Also, since people during those times couldn't keep meat in the fridge, they basically had to keep the animal alive and kill it when they were going to cook the meat.

Since inviting monks for a meal was very common in the Buddha's time (there is a large number of Vinaya rules for this as well), but also even now in modern Buddhist countries, many hosts probably felt compelled to butcher an animal when having monks as guests—which would make no sense in relation to the teachings, so the Buddha created a Vinaya rule.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:48 pm

Aloka wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:43 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:52 am
The rule you cite is for monks, so does not apply to lay people. If you eat meat anyway, then most of what you eat has been killed for sale in the market. This gives you the option of continuing with eating meat because it hasn't been killed specifically for you; continuing to eat meat even if it has been killed for you, as the rule only applies to monks; or refraining from eating meat because it marginally decreases market demand for animal slaughter.
I think the idea that its ok to eat meat from a market, a butchers, or a supermarket because it hasn't been killed for you, is a cop-out. Animals are cruelly treated and slaughtered for people who eat meat - so if you're eating one of those animals, of course its been killed for you!

How do I know meat animals are cruelly treated? Because I used to live next door to a farm. I've also watched videos of slaughter houses and I knew two (Buddhist) people who visited a slaughter house and they were so shocked by the cruelty and the suffering and fear of the animals that they never ate meat again.


.
Yes, the point is, I think, only relevant for monastics. It seems as if the "killed for you" criterion is less meaningful in a market situation with supply chains. My post was addressing the OP's specific question, which I personally avoid because I have been vegan for most of my life. Even so, this does not avoid killing; as has been frequently aired on DW in the past, veganism merely pushes the killing further away from the plate.

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polarbear101
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by polarbear101 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:21 pm

Buying meat is impure because you are supporting the worst, most cruel, environmentally damaging, and just generally unconscionable industry that has ever existed on earth. Eating roadkill, and meat that you had no part in buying, that would otherwise go to waste, is fine though. The roadkill might not be a good idea though for health reasons.

It is only due to ignorance, willful or otherwise, and craving and lust for tastes, that a person could purchase animal products.

A buddhist's job is to overcome ignorance and craving. So don't buy meat at restaurants, and ideally don't even use ranch dressing or other animal products.
"And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, 'Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.' So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] 'Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?' Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"

"No, lord."

"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"The blood you have shed when, being cows, you had your cow-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

"The blood you have shed when, being water buffaloes, you had your water buffalo-heads cut off... when, being rams, you had your ram-heads cut off... when, being goats, you had your goat-heads cut off... when, being deer, you had your deer-heads cut off... when, being chickens, you had your chicken-heads cut off... when, being pigs, you had your pig-heads cut off: Long has this been greater than the water in the four great oceans.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

"These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Don't support wrong-livelihood by buying meat, anywhere, including restaurants. You support the further harming of animals and you give slaughterers incentive to keep engaging in actions that, at least according to the suttas, will send them to hell:
"And which is the individual who torments others and is devoted to the practice of torturing others? There is the case where a certain individual is a butcher of sheep, a butcher of pigs, a butcher of fowl, a trapper, a hunter, a fisherman, a thief, an executioner,[5] a prison warden, or anyone who follows any other bloody occupation. This is called an individual who torments others and is devoted to the practice of torturing others.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Here, student, some woman or man is a killer of living beings, murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. Due to having performed and completed such kammas, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nymo.html

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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polarbear101
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by polarbear101 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:32 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:48 pm
Even so, this does not avoid killing; as has been frequently aired on DW in the past, veganism merely pushes the killing further away from the plate.
It results in far less killing, it doesn't just remove it from the plate. Sure, ideally buying vegetables grown without biocides and harvested in a way that didn't grind up rodents and insects would be possible, but generally it isn't. In any event, if you eat plants directly, then less insects and rodents get killed whereas more have to get killed in growing all the grains to feed the larger animals that are purposely slaughtered.

Anyway, I know I'm being a bit off topic.

To the OP:

Buying meat already slaughtered is Not the kamma of killing. And as stated above, the impurity rule is for monastics. It's still leads to the affliction of others though. And we should therefore refrain:
"Whenever you want to do a bodily action, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily action I want to do — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Would it be an unskillful bodily action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily action with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily action of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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samseva
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:50 pm

Oh, no. This is turning into a Great Vegetarian Debate thread. :D

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Kim OHara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:27 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:21 pm
Buying meat is impure because you are supporting the worst, most cruel, environmentally damaging, and just generally unconscionable industry that has ever existed on earth. ...
:rolleye:

Wow! Slavery, prostitution, the arms trade, drug trafficking ...

I like your second post much better.

:namaste:
Kim

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polarbear101
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by polarbear101 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:41 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:27 am
polarbear101 wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:21 pm
Buying meat is impure because you are supporting the worst, most cruel, environmentally damaging, and just generally unconscionable industry that has ever existed on earth. ...
:rolleye:

Wow! Slavery, prostitution, the arms trade, drug trafficking ...

I like your second post much better.

:namaste:
Kim
Fair enough, but as far as numbers are concerned my understanding is that only around 108 billion humans have ever lived- see link.

We kill over a trillion fish every year and subject tens of billions of land animals to brutal conditions and slaughter. So it really comes down to how much more capable you think humans are of suffering.

http://fishcount.org.uk/fish-count-estimates

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-an ... unreported

http://www.animalequality.net/food

I'm not sure if it is useful at all to wade into that kind of potentially emotional territory though. I'm not telepathic so I can't be entirely sure whether human suffering in the world is greater than animal suffering or vice versa. But again, certainly the numbers are worse when it comes to animal suffering caused by humans.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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retrofuturist
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:53 am

Greetings,

Please remember this is the General Theravāda discussion.

:focus:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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

2600htz
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by 2600htz » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:43 pm

Hello:

The Buddha was pretty clear: U shouldn´t eat meat when it is seen, heard or suspected that the living being as been slaughtered PERSONALLY for you.

In the Jivaka Sutta he explains the point with an example, if some monk or person is invited to a meal he eats the food "without being tied to it, infatuated with it, and utterly committed to it". That means, he doesn´t interrogate the house owner as to how he got that meat, if he killed yesterday or five days ago, if its from the market or not, etc. You just have the intention to put food in your body, you don´t cling to suppositions and assumptions.

Your mind will know when its no proper food without the need to overthink it, you will know when some animal is probably being killed personally for you.

Regards.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:19 pm

2600htz wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:43 pm
Hello:

The Buddha was pretty clear: U shouldn´t eat meat when it is seen, heard or suspected that the living being as been slaughtered PERSONALLY for you.
IF you are a monk. As quoted in the Op and mentioned several times since - and emphasis added -
Monks, I allow you fish and meat that are quite pure in three respects: if they are not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed on purpose for a monk. But, you should not knowingly make use of meat killed on purpose for you.
Also -
From Dhammawiki:

The five types of wrong livelihood:

1. Trading weapons

2. Trading in human beings (such as slavery)

3. Trading in intoxicating drinks and narcotics

4. Trading in poisons

5. Handling animal flesh such as a butcher, or killing animals, any business in meat

(from Anguttara Nikaya 5.177)
- from viewtopic.php?f=22&t=30495&sid=f0a8213a ... 53#p442769

I'm not trying to stop anyone adopting a vegetarian lifestyle but I am trying to point out that it is not required of lay people by the Buddha's teachings and is not normal in traditionally Buddhist countries.

:namaste:
Kim

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samseva
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by samseva » Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:58 am

I agree the rule was for monastics. However, I would also suggest that it can be used and applied for certain situations. One of those being ordering dishes where the animal is specifically killed for you—one common example being lobster.

Apart from lobster in the West, there are also dishes like snails, oysters, and others (if you see an employee of the restaurant taking out fish from the aquarium every now and then, that would probably be a good indication).

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samseva
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by samseva » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:09 am

And while I don't want to start a new "Great Vegetarian Debate" discussion, I'd just like to say that, while vegetarianism is probably the best way to avoid animal cruelty, I still think you can be selective of what types of meat you do eat.

Personally, I avoid eating food such as shrimp (farmed or wild), since around 15 or so individual animals had to die for only one meal, or fish (similarly, one animal for one meal), and prefer to eat—when possible, organic and pastured—meat where the meat of one animal can feed multiple people for a large number of meals.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:36 am

samseva wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:58 am
I agree the rule was for monastics. However, I would also suggest that it can be used and applied for certain situations. One of those being ordering dishes where the animal is specifically killed for you—one common example being lobster.

Apart from lobster in the West, there are also dishes like snails, oysters, and others (if you see an employee of the restaurant taking out fish from the aquarium every now and then, that would probably be a good indication).
samseva wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:09 am
And while I don't want to start a new "Great Vegetarian Debate" discussion, I'd just like to say that, while vegetarianism is probably the best way to avoid animal cruelty, I still think you can be selective of what types of meat you do eat.

Personally, I avoid eating food such as shrimp (farmed or wild), since around 15 or so individual animals had to die for only one meal, or fish (similarly, one animal for one meal), and prefer to eat—when possible, organic and pastured—meat where the meat of one animal can feed multiple people for a large number of meals.
What you propose is praiseworthy and is consistent with Buddhist teaching but it is not required by Buddhist teaching.
We all make our own choices on a day-to-day basis and that's absolutely okay - just so long as we know that they are our own choices (and accept the responsibility for them) and don't try to present them to others as Buddhist teachings.

:namaste:
Kim

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samseva
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Re: Eating in the restaurant

Post by samseva » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:34 am

Kim OHara wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:36 am
What you propose is praiseworthy and is consistent with Buddhist teaching but it is not required by Buddhist teaching.
I agree with you (and also agreed with you regarding your post that the rule is for monastics). That is why I said "suggest that it can be used and applied for certain situations", as in to use this rule to maybe apply it to one's own life (not ordering lobster being an example), even though one is not a monastic.

I'd imagine that, even though it might be a monastic rule, when one is aware that the lobster is specifically boiled alive if you are to choose this dish, some hate and greed is surely present when ordering it off the menu.

Kim OHara wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:36 am
[...] don't try to present them to others as Buddhist teachings.
I'm a bit confused with this part. I didn't present the suggestion in my previous post as being Buddhist teachings. Can you clarify or quote the parts you interpreted as being so? Still, like with the above example of ordering lobster, it is in line with avoiding greed and hatred (and in a way, with the first precept, since, as with the lobster example, you are basically asking someone to kill for you).

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