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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Spiny Norman
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Spiny Norman » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:12 am

Jojola wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
What comes across to me in these discussions is the sense that some people just enjoy eating meat, and so they resent ethical questions about their dietary choices.
I'm sure with some that is the case, but with others we're just curious how a vegetarian can reconcile their view with the manner of the Buddha, who wasn't one.

Was the Buddha harmful then?
The Buddha taught Right Intention, which includes harmlessness. And there is the 3-fold rule, the purpose of which was to minimise the slaughter of animals for food.

I don't see eating meat as necessarily an issue, for example if it has already been cooked for others, but I think that choosing to buy meat when alternatives are available is somewhat questionable.
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plwk
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by plwk » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:12 am

Just for the season of Thanksgiving... Vegan Granny Potty Mouth ahead..thou hast been warnest! :mrgreen:

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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:00 pm

Jojola wrote: curious how a vegetarian can reconcile their view with the manner of the Buddha, who wasn't one.
It's reconciled by acknowledging that, unlike most people, the Buddha and his followers were alms beggars who didn't choose their food. Choosing the food vs not choosing the food is considered a different situation. And when you bring factory farming into the picture, that really changes it.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by freedom » Thu Nov 24, 2016 4:38 pm

seeker242 wrote: ...the Buddha and his followers were alms beggars who didn't choose their food. ...
To me, the Buddha and his disciples are not beggars. They do not beg for anything. They go around and collect foods that are respectfully offered by lay people. By doing this, they create opportunities for lay people to make great merits and have a chance to practice generosity. They, instead, are also the givers!
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.


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DNS
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:55 am

There is no need for them to get angry. They just need to see this:

Image

One can be a vegetarian and try to reduce the killing and suffering, but one must be realistic and understand that a 0% use of animals and animal by-products is virtually impossible.

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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:09 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
There is no need for them to get angry. They just need to see this:

One can be a vegetarian and try to reduce the killing and suffering, but one must be realistic and understand that a 0% use of animals and animal by-products is virtually impossible.
I like this version better. :D

Image

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:35 pm

Hard to be an organic farmer and not use that famous cow by-product manure. It is possible though and I am actually working on developing the system to do this at my small farm.

Since most organic farmers use manure does this mean that vegans should eat chemically fertilized vegetables?
chownah

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:38 pm

seeker242 wrote:
I like this version better. :D
:thumbsup: I like that one too. That is good.

I didn't notice if marshmallows were on those lists. Almost all marshmallows contain animal gelatin, but I have found some vegan ones at health food stores, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:38 pm

chownah wrote:Hard to be an organic farmer and not use that famous cow by-product manure. It is possible though and I am actually working on developing the system to do this at my small farm.

Since most organic farmers use manure does this mean that vegans should eat chemically fertilized vegetables?
chownah
No responses to this so far. Do vegans know that virtually all organic produce is grown using animal manures? Certainly it is possible to grow produce without animal manures but it is a much more difficult thing to accomplish and substantially increases the labor required. I think that unless one grows one's own produce one is unlikely to find produce which is grown without animal manures. I may be wrong on this as I have not contacted any organic growers anywhere but I have been an organic grower myself for many decades and have seen how ubiquitous the use of animal manure is in organic growing. It is true that some (perhaps most) organic field crops can be grown effectively using green manuring....things like grains mostly....but when it comes to growing vegetables where a much richer soil is needed it takes a lot of work to cut a green manure crop and then concentrate it into a smaller area to develop the richness of the soil.
Again, I have not done a survey of organic produce available commercially. It would be interesting if people in the USA who know of any organic growers if they use animal manures or not.

Bottom line for vegans perhaps is should you eat organic if it was grown with animal manure or would it be better for vegans who are not sure to stick with chemically grown produce?
chownah

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:33 pm

At least this thread seems to be growing organically with the help of loads of bull manure.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:18 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:At least this thread seems to be growing organically with the help of loads of bull manure.
:) Lots of BS being spread around throughout this thread.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:24 am

chownah wrote: Certainly it is possible to grow produce without animal manures but it is a much more difficult thing to accomplish and substantially increases the labor required. I think that unless one grows one's own produce one is unlikely to find produce which is grown without animal manures. I may be wrong on this as I have not contacted any organic growers anywhere but I have been an organic grower myself for many decades and have seen how ubiquitous the use of animal manure is in organic growing. It is true that some (perhaps most) organic field crops can be grown effectively using green manuring....things like grains mostly....but when it comes to growing vegetables where a much richer soil is needed it takes a lot of work to cut a green manure crop and then concentrate it into a smaller area to develop the richness of the soil.
Again, I have not done a survey of organic produce available commercially. It would be interesting if people in the USA who know of any organic growers if they use animal manures or not.

Bottom line for vegans perhaps is should you eat organic if it was grown with animal manure or would it be better for vegans who are not sure to stick with chemically grown produce?
chownah
Yes, apparently there is a way to grow without using manure, but not sure how widespread that use is. You make a good point that vegans who like to use no animals or animal by-products may actually be using some with the way their vegetables are grown. I know they don't like to use leather, eggs, cosmetics tested on animals, other products containing animal by-products, so I wonder how many of them realize that their vegetables are grown with manure?

In a (theoretical) lacto-ovo vegetarian world, there would be no issue as long as cheese and dairy product consumption remained as it is now, there would be plenty of manure from the dairy cows. For a (theoretical) vegan world, there might be a problem or crops could be grown without manure but I assume the cost would be much higher.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Stiphan » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:10 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

My approach is actually similar to that of the Sangha... I'll eat meat if it's given to me, but I won't request it or purchase it etc. My wife knows that my preference is vegetarian, but I don't expect her to go making separate meals just for me when she does the cooking. I also have a "well, you can't bring it back to life now" mentality when at barbecues, parties, functions, group dinners etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Paul,

What a wonderful attitude!

I recently became a vegetarian (more than a month ago). I thought about going vegan, too.

I have done very well so far, and only one slip up a few days ago when I bought myself a burger. I never knew I can do without meat, but it seems it's easy.

But when I saw your post above, I thought that that wouldn't be a bad idea to observe. Because if someone offered me something (for food), I would offend them if I refuse. I think I'm going to do the same.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by justindesilva » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:42 pm

After going through this thread and listening to what Lord budda advised the monks to eat meat if it is not killed by his own self or if it is not killed meant by others for his self and ................, I started been a non vegetarian with such principles as advised by lord budda as presented by so called priests today.
I realised that I was slowly getting dragged in to the taste of meat and fish. Greed for taste.
I now have reverted been a vegetarian so that I can maintain non greed for taste. This helps meditation too.
With metta.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by form » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:13 pm

Bhutan do not slaughter animals, but outsourced the slaughtering to India.

One of my Buddhist friend like to eat crab, he told me when he goes to a restaurant selling live crabs that customer can pick to be cooked, he made sure he is not the one ordering and choosing the crabs.

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purple1
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by purple1 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:44 pm

Hello there. I am vegetarian. Since I am vegetarian I feel myself much better than before. I feel that my compassion became stronger, I feel that my spirit is very pure. Meat was always disgusting to me since I started practice meditation. When I ate meat I didn't experienced any calm because I never liked that this animal is killed by slaughters and I didn't liked that I bought meat in shops and ate the meat. In the past sometimes I forced meat into my mouth but I didn't liked eating meat. I am 24 year old and became a vegetarian and I decided that I will never eat meat again. :smile:

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by purple1 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:23 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Yeah, if you do a good thing for bad reasons, you're still doing a good thing.
Up to a point, yes, but not in every case.

In the case of being a vegetarian merely for self-aggrandisement, to make yourself appear superior to others, then where is the wholesome kamma? It's not done out of compassion for animals, but only for a sense of superiority, which is pride (māna), an unwholesome mental state.

What makes some action wholesome or unwholesome is the intention behind it. If done for the sake of one's own health, or to be easily contented, or out of compassion for animals, these are all wholesome: loving-kindness for oneself, non-greed, and compassion.
It is very true.

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Buddhist Vegetarianism & Physical Health

Post by Santi253 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:36 am

Mahayana Buddhism traditionally teaches a vegetarian diet, especially in countries like China and Taiwan. I’ve been listening to Dr. John McDougall, and he talks about the benefits of having a vegetarian, starch-based diet, including how the traditionally rice-based diet of Asian countries is a healthy diet:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._McDougall

I am overweight, and because of it, I have sleep apnea, acid reflux, high blood pressure, etc. While we’re often told to avoid starches, there’s documented cases of people having dramatic weight loss from a potato-based diet, since potatoes are rich in nutrients and are highly satiating.

What if vegetarianism is recommended in Mahayana Buddhism, not just because it’s compassionate, but also because it’s a healthier option? I would like to set a better example for my children, while also reducing my health problems. Should I give the Buddhist vegetarian diet a try?

I realize that, in Theravadin countries, a vegetarian diet is traditionally not as emphasized, especially since monks depend upon alms for food. I'm not interested in whether it's morally right or wrong to eat animal products. I am just wondering if a plant-based diet is a healthier diet.
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Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism & Physical Health

Post by ieee23 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:24 pm

Dr. John McDougal is known in the veg*n community as having an extreme view on fat. He advocates a very, very, low fat diet. People who stick to it do lose weight, because they are taking in fewer calories with the absence of a lot of fat.

If you are interested only in losing weight, any diet will work if you reduce calories such that you burn more energy than you take in. People telling you anything else are trying to sell you something, or bolster their own beliefs in a magic diet.

If you genuinely want a vegetarian diet for its own sake or improved health ( a healthy diet isn't always a weight reduction diet ) there are books by vegan R.D.s with authoritative credentials whose recommendations are based firmly in medical science.

The best for the quantity and quality of information ( if you read the book, you will never have doubts that your diet is safe ) would be

"Becoming Vegan" by Brenda Davis R.D. ( she wrote the American Dietary Association's Position Paper On Vegetarianism )

If you want a book with authors with fantastic credentials, solid advice, but you are less of a nutrition geek and want more practical advice this book is also a good choice:

"Vegan For Life"[/url by Jack Norris R.D.

The author of that last book, Jack Norris, also wrote a free vegan nutrition pamphlet you can download immediately, the virtue of which it will be the shortest thing you will read that will tell you what you need to know:

[url=https://veganoutreach.org/gce.pdf]"Guide To Cruelty Free Eating"
by Jack Norris R.D.

Do not let the "vegan" in the titles throw you with these books, just add the dairy products you want to your diet.

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