the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:44 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:50 am
chownah wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:21 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:17 am
But we're not talking about "nature", we're talking about the factory farming of livestock.
I think it must be "natural" because I don't see it as being "supernatural".
:redherring:
You really should give a hint as to what the red fishy means. To me it just means that you either don't understand what I am saying or you do understand what I am saying and you have no way to refute.
chownah

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:52 am

Nicolas wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:07 am


Let’s suppose one likes to collect fossils. Can one do that while being intent on harmlessness? I would think so. (Maybe not the best example, because there is no offer/demand there, but it still gives something of the idea, as far as the intention goes.)
I laughed when I read this. I'm not sure if I understand what your intended meaning is but what I get from this is if eating fossils is ok then it must be because the animal was dead for a long time....so how long does an animal have to be dead before it is ok to eat it?....a million years seems to be ok so why not a week? :jumping:
chownah

Dinsdale
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:28 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:07 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:20 am
What about the intention of harmlessness in Right Intention? The intention of not harming, rather than just the absence of the intention to harm.
I would think that one intent on harmlessness can eat meat, because in eating meat there is no (direct) harm nor intention to harm. Again, the monk practicing brahmaviharas in the Jivaka Sutta (MN 55) is certainly intent on harmlessness.
If you mean applying the 3-fold rule, I'd agree that this is consistent with the spirit or intention of harmlessness. But it is less clear to me how choosing to buy meat from a butcher or supermarket is consistent with this spirit of harmlessness, since it is adding to the demand for meat and leading to more animals being killed. And of course it is expecting somebody else to break the first precept and do wrong livelihood.
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Nicolas
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Nicolas » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:07 pm

chownah wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:52 am
Nicolas wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:07 am
Let’s suppose one likes to collect fossils. Can one do that while being intent on harmlessness? I would think so. (Maybe not the best example, because there is no offer/demand there, but it still gives something of the idea, as far as the intention goes.)
I'm not sure if I understand what your intended meaning is but what I get from this is if eating fossils is ok then it must be because the animal was dead for a long time....so how long does an animal have to be dead before it is ok to eat it?....a million years seems to be ok so why not a week?
Yes, the idea was that I expected most people having no issue with collecting (eating?) fossils, and comparing that with meat, thus making it “okay” (but again, no offer/demand there.)
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:28 pm
If you mean applying the 3-fold rule, I'd agree that this is consistent with the spirit or intention of harmlessness. But it is less clear to me how choosing to buy meat from a butcher or supermarket is consistent with this spirit of harmlessness, since it is adding to the demand for meat and leading to more animals being killed. And of course it is expecting somebody else to break the first precept and do wrong livelihood.
I guess I agree with you in the end, the spirit of harmlessness might not be fully there. It still feels like the harm belongs to another (+threefold rule), but like I said, I am sufficiently unsure/I agree with you enough that I don’t buy or eat meat. Unrelated, but another argument for me is that in an ideal country where all lay people follow the precepts, no meat would be accessible, and so I act as if that is the case.

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:30 pm

But it is less clear to me how choosing to buy meat from a butcher or supermarket is consistent with this spirit of harmlessness
I guess then that it is also less clear if someone buys vegetables or fruits that are not organically grown and so involve killing by poisoning untold multitudes of beings be consistent with this spirit of harmlessness.

I guess then that it is less clear if someone buys organic fruits and vegetables that are grown with the manure from cows how this could be consistent with this spirit of harmlessness. chownah

D1W1
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by D1W1 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:04 pm

D1W1 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:00 am
When we make a personal choice there is always an effect and the effect of an individual meat consumption IMO is insignificant compare to the demand for meat or fast growing of human population. This is the reason I'm considering to eat little meat (currently I am a vegetarian too myself). But when one person is greedy and decided to eat a lot of meat, I'm not quite sure but when I think about it, I don't think that would have a significant effect too. Meat demand is growing fast worldwide and it's kind of scary if we look at this number.
I would like to add. Someone eats 250 gr of steak, after he finishes it he is still a bit hungry then he orders another 250 gr steak. Would you call that greedy?

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:01 am

D1W1 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:04 pm

I would like to add. Someone eats 250 gr of steak, after he finishes it he is still a bit hungry then he orders another 250 gr steak. Would you call that greedy?
Seems like gluttony.....it would be greedy if he ate up all the steak and wouldn't let others have any.
chownah
edit: I just looked at the definition for greedy and I was surprised to learn that d1w1's use of the word is correct. As to whether eating 500 grams of steak is excessive indulgence in food I would say that probably it is although from some teen agers this might be a pretty typical meal....when I was a teenager I sometimes ate that much steak in one meal and did not feel like I had overeaten. Even now I think that 250 gr of steak would not be excessive for me to eat (not sure because I very seldom eat steak and when I do I don't weigh it)...so I can imagine that others might want to eat more.
chownah

D1W1
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by D1W1 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:11 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:01 am
D1W1 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:04 pm

I would like to add. Someone eats 250 gr of steak, after he finishes it he is still a bit hungry then he orders another 250 gr steak. Would you call that greedy?
Seems like gluttony.....it would be greedy if he ate up all the steak and wouldn't let others have any.
chownah
edit: I just looked at the definition for greedy and I was surprised to learn that d1w1's use of the word is correct. As to whether eating 500 grams of steak is excessive indulgence in food I would say that probably it is although from some teen agers this might be a pretty typical meal....when I was a teenager I sometimes ate that much steak in one meal and did not feel like I had overeaten. Even now I think that 250 gr of steak would not be excessive for me to eat (not sure because I very seldom eat steak and when I do I don't weigh it)...so I can imagine that others might want to eat more.
chownah
I think probably it's (highly) subjective. For example, two persons orders the second bowl of the same chicken fried rice. The first person orders another bowl because of the taste of that delicious chicken fried rice. Another person orders the second bowl with different state of mind i.e. today is gonna be a long day, I need more energy to accomplish the task. I would say the first person is greedy but the second person is not.

D1W1
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Re: Gym and Buddhism

Post by D1W1 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:57 am

Still related to this topic, AFAIK moderation in food means we eat any food (vegetarian or not) not for fun, not for pleasure, not for fattening, not for beautification, but only for the maintenance and nourishment of this body, for keeping it healthy.

I'm not sure if any bodybuilder will fit this. A bodybuilder consumes food not merely to sustain the body (as quoted above) but rather to grow muscles and/or to gain particular body appearance.

If someone is an active lay person, I doubt that person is a devout Buddhist. Hope I'm wrong. The more I dig deeper into the Buddha's teaching the more I feel I am a bad person.

How can you be an active lay person but a devout Buddhist at the same time?
Do we have to leave everything behind in order to practice Buddhism, no hobbies, no entertainment, no nothing? How do you convince yourself if exercises are compatible with Buddhist teaching, I fail to see the compatibility between Gym and Buddhism. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

D1W1
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by D1W1 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:02 am

As far as Buddhist ethics goes, it's intention that matters. Buddhist ethics is not personal value, fashion, etc. As a person who lives in the different time than Buddha's my logic tells me there is difference between greed over meat that comes from farmed factory animals and greed over meat that comes from animals that live in the wild. What do you think guys, is there any difference in terms of unwholesomeness?

Dinsdale
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:21 am

D1W1 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:02 am
As far as Buddhist ethics goes, it's intention that matters. Buddhist ethics is not personal value, fashion, etc. As a person who lives in the different time than Buddha's my logic tells me there is difference between greed over meat that comes from farmed factory animals and greed over meat that comes from animals that live in the wild. What do you think guys, is there any difference in terms of unwholesomeness?
I see it more in terms of attachment to harmful behaviours, in this case attachment to a dietary choice which causes harm to other living beings.

Obviously any dietary choice we make will cause some harm, the point is to minimise the harm we do, based on the intention of harmlessness ( Right Intention ). This principle of harmlessness could probably be applied to other lifestyle choices we make.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:16 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:21 am
D1W1 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:02 am
As far as Buddhist ethics goes, it's intention that matters. Buddhist ethics is not personal value, fashion, etc. As a person who lives in the different time than Buddha's my logic tells me there is difference between greed over meat that comes from farmed factory animals and greed over meat that comes from animals that live in the wild. What do you think guys, is there any difference in terms of unwholesomeness?
I see it more in terms of attachment to harmful behaviours, in this case attachment to a dietary choice which causes harm to other living beings.

Obviously any dietary choice we make will cause some harm, the point is to minimise the harm we do, based on the intention of harmlessness ( Right Intention ). This principle of harmlessness could probably be applied to other lifestyle choices we make.
Any attachment to any dietary choice is harmful behavior.
chownah

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:06 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:16 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:21 am
D1W1 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:02 am
As far as Buddhist ethics goes, it's intention that matters. Buddhist ethics is not personal value, fashion, etc. As a person who lives in the different time than Buddha's my logic tells me there is difference between greed over meat that comes from farmed factory animals and greed over meat that comes from animals that live in the wild. What do you think guys, is there any difference in terms of unwholesomeness?
I see it more in terms of attachment to harmful behaviours, in this case attachment to a dietary choice which causes harm to other living beings.

Obviously any dietary choice we make will cause some harm, the point is to minimise the harm we do, based on the intention of harmlessness ( Right Intention ). This principle of harmlessness could probably be applied to other lifestyle choices we make.
Any attachment to any dietary choice is harmful behavior.
chownah
What a ridiculous statement, so attachment to not harming animals is a harmful behaviour, I don't think so!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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DNS
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:43 pm

D1W1 wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:02 am
As far as Buddhist ethics goes, it's intention that matters. Buddhist ethics is not personal value, fashion, etc. As a person who lives in the different time than Buddha's my logic tells me there is difference between greed over meat that comes from farmed factory animals and greed over meat that comes from animals that live in the wild. What do you think guys, is there any difference in terms of unwholesomeness?
In terms of logic and not the Buddha's teachings, if one had to eat meat, it would probably be better to go to the forest and hunt wild game rather than store bought meat. Buying store bought meat contributes to the factory farming industry.* There are numerous documentaries reporting about the horrid conditions animals are raised in and how they are basically slaves from birth to the slaughter house. Wild game on the other hand, lives out their natural lives up until the point the hunter kills them. I don't hunt and never have hunted and don't advocate it, but strictly speaking from an ethical position for animals, the meat from game animals probably involves less suffering to the animals. Of course it violates the First Precept from a Buddhist perspective, though. And the best option is still in my opinion to just go vegetarian or vegan, if one is able.

* The causal connection is often debated but it's really not that complicated:
100 people buy whole chickens from a supermarket one day.
Later that day the grocer requests 100 more slaughtered chickens from the slaughter house to be delivered.
Later as time goes on, meat demand drops.
50 people buy whole chickens from a supermarket in an average day.
Later that day the grocer requests only 50 more slaughtered chickens from the slaughter house to be delivered.
That's 50 less chickens killed at the slaughter house due to the less demand from that grocer.
And so on, either upwards or downwards in demand . . .

nitinku5021a
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Re: Gym and Buddhism

Post by nitinku5021a » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:32 pm

It really matters on your conscience, nothing else matters. Your karma depends on with what conscience you perform it. Take a case of Doctor vs Killer. Both takes a knife and make a cut, but with different intention and conscience. Suppose in both cases, the ultimately the person dies, will the doctor be acquiring the same sankhara as the killer?

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:45 am

DNS wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:43 pm
the meat from game animals probably involves less suffering to the animals.
THere is another way.

My wife raised some cows. They really did seem to suffer less than wild animals. They had no predator animals lurking about waiting for the kill, a comfortable and safe shed to sleep in, plenty of very healthy food, medicine when they got sick, a very low infant mortality rate, etc.....they even got brushed sometimes which is heavenly for a cow....

If people who cared about cows raised cows then cows would clearly suffer less than wild animals.
chownah

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:09 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:06 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:16 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:21 am


I see it more in terms of attachment to harmful behaviours, in this case attachment to a dietary choice which causes harm to other living beings.

Obviously any dietary choice we make will cause some harm, the point is to minimise the harm we do, based on the intention of harmlessness ( Right Intention ). This principle of harmlessness could probably be applied to other lifestyle choices we make.
Any attachment to any dietary choice is harmful behavior.
chownah
What a ridiculous statement, so attachment to not harming animals is a harmful behaviour, I don't think so!!
:goodpost:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:17 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:06 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:16 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:21 am


I see it more in terms of attachment to harmful behaviours, in this case attachment to a dietary choice which causes harm to other living beings.

Obviously any dietary choice we make will cause some harm, the point is to minimise the harm we do, based on the intention of harmlessness ( Right Intention ). This principle of harmlessness could probably be applied to other lifestyle choices we make.
Any attachment to any dietary choice is harmful behavior.
chownah
What a ridiculous statement, so attachment to not harming animals is a harmful behaviour, I don't think so!!
Any attachment of any kind is harmful behavior.
chownah

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:34 pm

Not true, there are plenty of examples of attachments that are positive, such as attachment to the dhamma.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:35 pm

Any attachment of any kind is harmful behavior.
chownah
Yet simply making a particular choice preference does not = harmful attachment. For example, I prefer to choose to not steal things. Does that mean I'm attached to the choice of not stealing? And that this is harmful? Of course not!

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