Hello Peter and everyone,
In case you have not come across it, Bhikkhu Pesala addresses this topic very directly here
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The Buddha permitted monks to eat meat, provided they have not seen, heard, nor suspected that the animal was killed specifically to offer meat to them. This applies equally to fish, fertile eggs, and other living things such as lizards or insects. In this world, the vast majority of people are not vegetarians. If monks had to be vegetarians, it would be difficult for them to propagate Buddhism. Although Buddhists should not kill living beings, they can eat the meat of animals killed by others, provided they are free from involvement on four counts:
They do not kill themselves.
They do not urge others to kill.
They do no condone killing.
They do not speak in praise of killing.
Even if Buddhists do not buy meat and fish, non-Buddhists, and even some Buddhists, will kill living beings for the sake of a livelihood. The unwholesome kamma of killing is made only by the perpetrator, unless one urges, condones, or speaks in praise of that action.
Growing vegetables also entails the deliberate killing of pests and insects that feed on crops, but by buying vegetables one is not condoning that killing. A Buddhist farmer might be able to produce organic crops without the help of insecticides and pesticides, but his products are likely to be more expensive.
Vegetarians and strict vegans are blameless if they choose not to eat meat or dairy products, but we cannot say that meat-eating is blameworthy in itself, unless one is involved in killing. Butchers who sell meat are not directly involved in the slaughter of animals. Only those who sell livestock for slaughter, and those involved in slaughtering, are guilty of killing living-beings.
The majority of Theravāda Buddhists are not vegetarians, and some are certainly guilty of condoning killing. Mahāyāna and western Buddhists are often strict vegetarians. Many Buddhists are too fond of meat and fish, they should reflect mindfully while eating to be free from excessive craving. A varied diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and low in fat, is best for health. Vegetables are cheaper than meat and more healthy.
A true Buddhist should be content to eat any kind of food, mindfully reflecting, “I take this food, not for enjoyment, but only for the sake of nutrition.” If vegetarians take food unmindfully with attachment to the taste, taking pride in being more virtuous than others, or have strong aversion to the smell or taste of meat, they will be making unwholesome kamma.
I believe this is what you were referring to originally, Peter:
Whatever bhikkhu should intentionally deprive a human being of life, or seek a weapon for him for taking [life], or should utter praise of death, or should urge him towards death saying, “Good man, what use to you is this miserable life? Death is better than life.” Or, having such thoughts and intentions in mind, should in several ways utter praise of death, or should urge him towards death, he too becomes defeated, is not in communion.
Vin iii 73: yo pana bhikkhu sañcicca manussa-viggahaṃ jīvitā voropeyya sattha-hārakaṃ vā ’ssa pariyeseyya maraṇa-vaṇṇaṃ vā saṃvaṇṇeyya maraṇāya vā samādapeyya, ambho purisa, kiṃ tuyh’ iminā pāpakena dujjīvitena, mataṃ te jīvitā seyyo ti, iti citta-mano citta-saṃkappo aneka-pariyāyena maraṇa-vaṇṇaṃ vā saṃvaṇṇeyya, maraṇāya vā samādapeyya, ayam pi pārājiko hoti asaṃvāso. Translation adapted from William Pruitt (ed.) and K. R. Norman (trans.), The Pātimokkha (Oxford: Pali Text Society, 2001), p. 9.
I think it also is worth remembering that this topic relates to a point of Vinaya, making it even more narrow. So is the intention of this thread actually to determine whether for a bikkhu
buying meat constitutes urging another to kill? Just how tightly focused to you want this discussion to be? At what point does this discussion become applicable to any actual real-life situation for those of us who are not monks? I am asking these questions to more clearly understand the intention of this thread and avoid off-topic posts.