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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Aloka
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Aloka » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:30 pm

clw_uk wrote:...However if someone goes for a meal at someone's house and is offered a slice of turkey as part of the meal, they should eat it.
If I'm invited for a meal, I always tell people in advance that I'm a vegetarian. I'm also happy to eat the vegetable side dishes or to take a veggie burger with me if there's no other alternative. Its never been a problem and its not necessary to eat the meat.
Otherwise they are clinging to the ideal of vegetarianism instead of practicing equanimity.
I disagree :tongue:

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clw_uk
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:59 pm

Aloka wrote:
clw_uk wrote:...However if someone goes for a meal at someone's house and is offered a slice of turkey as part of the meal, they should eat it.
If I'm invited for a meal, I always tell people in advance that I'm a vegetarian. I'm also happy to eat the vegetable side dishes or to take a veggie burger with me if there's no other alternative. Its never been a problem and its not necessary to eat the meat.
Otherwise they are clinging to the ideal of vegetarianism instead of practicing equanimity.
I disagree :tongue:

Strange to find a topic we disagree on lol :jumping:


But if someone offers you meat, why would you decline if it wasnt for holding to a doctrine?

I think thats why the Buddha did eat meat if it was offered and why vegetarianism isnt required for enlightenment
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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:02 pm

Alex123 wrote:BV is one of tools to measure protein quality. But even with PDCAAS, please not that milk & egg protein are higher than vegetarian sources provided.
Also, soy is so controversial that I don't consider it. Some other sources such as quinoa doesn't have that much protein as animal sources.


seeker242 wrote: 1.00 casein (milk protein)
1.00 egg white
1.00 soy protein
1.00 whey (milk protein)
0.99 mycoprotein (Quorn, etc.)
0.92 beef
0.91 soybeans
0.78 chickpeas
0.76 fruits
0.75 black beans
0.73 vegetables
0.70 Other legumes
0.59 cereals and derivatives
0.52 peanuts
0.42 whole wheat

As you can see from the above chart, soy and mycoprotein are both superior quality to beef. I'm curious as to where amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, and spirulina would fall on the above chart. I would not be surprised if any of them scored above beef also.
You are correct about soy, except that it might have bad health side effects, especially for men. I am all for vegetarianism in principle. But unfortunately real life is harsh...


As for quinoa, apparently it has only 4 grams of protein per 100g of it. Meat has 20+.
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cer ... ta/10352/2

So if one needs 100-200g of protein per day... One would need 2.5-5 KG (5.5 - 12.1 pounds) of it per day...
Yes! However, those differences become completely irrelevant when speaking in the context of a 2,500 calorie diet that is balanced from a variety of plant foods. Frutarians...now that is a different story! Experts agree that it's near impossible to be deficient in protein quality or quantity as long as you get enough calories. So yes, technically you can say "beef has more protein per gram than quinoa". But when speaking in the context of a balanced non-calorie deficient diet, that technicality becomes irrelevant.

I also don't agree that soy in moderate quantities has bad effects, especially for men. The evidence just doesn't show this. The evidence does show that if soy is consumed in extremely massive quantities, then you start to see bad effects. The evidence simply does not show that soy consumed moderately is bad for you. Brings to mind the old saying "too much of anything is bad for you". Heck, too much water can actually kill you. Doesn't mean water is bad for you!

:namaste:
clw_uk wrote:

But if someone offers you meat, why would you decline if it wasnt for holding to a doctrine?
Speaking for myself, for the same reason why other ordinary everyday, even non buddhist, people would decline human meat, if it was offered to them.

:namaste:

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clw_uk
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:15 pm

Speaking for myself, for the same reason why other ordinary everyday, even non buddhist, people would decline human meat, if it was offered to them.

You raise an important point. Why would the Buddha allow for the eating of animal meat and not human meat, if offered at a meal.

The only conclusion I can come to is to keep up the image of the sangha
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Aloka
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Aloka » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:23 pm

clw_uk wrote: Strange to find a topic we disagree on lol :jumping:
Yes Indeed ;)

But if someone offers you meat, why would you decline if it wasnt for holding to a doctrine?

I think thats why the Buddha did eat meat if it was offered and why vegetarianism isnt required for enlightenment

Since childhood I've always disliked the taste of meat and as I've mentioned before, I was a vegetarian before I became a Buddhist.

In the case of the Buddha, monks eat whatever they are offered, they can't pick and choose. However, I'm a lay practitioner and so I can.

:)

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clw_uk
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:26 pm

Since childhood I've always disliked the taste of meat and as I've mentioned before, I was a vegetarian before I became a Buddhist.
Thats fair enough :) although you could argue that eating something that isnt your taste could be a learning curve in experiencing and letting go of dukkha. Of course Im just musing now :sage:
In the case of the Buddha, monks eat whatever they are offered, they can't pick and choose. However, I'm a lay practitioner and so I can.

touche :jedi: :jumping:
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reflection
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by reflection » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:32 pm

Alex123 wrote:
I am all for vegetarianism in principle. But unfortunately real life is harsh...

As you also acknowledge a vegetarian diet without missing important nutriments is possible so it's just a matter of wanting to put forth the effort. Millions of people make it work so apparently it's not as harsh as you think.

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clw_uk
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:39 pm

reflection wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
I am all for vegetarianism in principle. But unfortunately real life is harsh...

As you also acknowledge a vegetarian diet without missing important nutriments is possible so it's just a matter of wanting to put forth the effort. Millions of people make it work so apparently it's not as harsh as you think.

That depends on the context.
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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:10 pm

clw_uk wrote:
Speaking for myself, for the same reason why other ordinary everyday, even non buddhist, people would decline human meat, if it was offered to them.

You raise an important point. Why would the Buddha allow for the eating of animal meat and not human meat, if offered at a meal.

The only conclusion I can come to is to keep up the image of the sangha
I would be interested in seeing scriptural evidence of that if anyone has one. The only conclusion I can come to is that cannibalism is unethical.

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reflection
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by reflection » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:13 pm

clw_uk wrote:
reflection wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
I am all for vegetarianism in principle. But unfortunately real life is harsh...

As you also acknowledge a vegetarian diet without missing important nutriments is possible so it's just a matter of wanting to put forth the effort. Millions of people make it work so apparently it's not as harsh as you think.

That depends on the context.
That's true of course. But the reasons Alex gave I don't think are a context that makes it hard.

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clw_uk
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by clw_uk » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:32 pm

seeker242 wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
Speaking for myself, for the same reason why other ordinary everyday, even non buddhist, people would decline human meat, if it was offered to them.

You raise an important point. Why would the Buddha allow for the eating of animal meat and not human meat, if offered at a meal.

The only conclusion I can come to is to keep up the image of the sangha
I would be interested in seeing scriptural evidence of that if anyone has one. The only conclusion I can come to is that cannibalism is unethical.

:namaste:

In the sense of it involves killing a human, then yes. However this is no different to the killing of cows for meat. Therefore if a monk visited Hannibal lectres house, and he provides a meal of liver and beans, with some wine ;) the monk would have to eat it, as long as he hadn't seen it or suspected the guy was killed for him to eat, yet not drink the wine ;)
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Alex123
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Alex123 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:48 pm

seeker242 wrote: Yes! However, those differences become completely irrelevant when speaking in the context of a 2,500 calorie diet that is balanced from a variety of plant foods.
If a person needs at least 100g of protein, then what vegetarian foods do you suggest?

While I do soak and blend cashews or pumpkin seeds, because they are too high in calories (and only eating them is iffy), it is not the optimum for me, for now. Not considering the cost either.

Also, whey is optimum post workout shake, but it is not vegetarian food. :( There is no equivalent vegetarian substitute for it. I am not going to take soy.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:51 pm

clw_uk wrote: In the sense of it involves killing a human, then yes. However this is no different to the killing of cows for meat. Therefore if a monk visited Hannibal lectres house, and he provides a meal of liver and beans, with some wine ;) the monk would have to eat it, as long as he hadn't seen it or suspected the guy was killed for him to eat, yet not drink the wine ;)
This would be an un-allowable food so would be refused.
The following types of meat are unallowable: that of human beings, elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and hyenas. Human beings, horses, and elephants were regarded as too noble to be used as food. The other types of meat were forbidden either on grounds that they were repulsive ("People criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can these Sakyan-son monks eat dog meat? Dogs are loathsome, disgusting'") or dangerous (bhikkhus, smelling of lion's flesh, went into the jungle; the lions there, instead of criticizing or complaining, attacked them).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... h08-4.html
Perhaps someone with a good knowledge of the vinaya could confirm, but my impression is that bhikkus are not required to eat everything that is offered (which would clearly be impossible in most cases). They are free to choose from what is offered. That's what I've always observed of a variety of Bhikkhus.

Of courses, in some circumstances (such as those described by Ajahn Brahm in Isaan in the early 1970's) there is little choice, so eating frogs or whatever might be the only way to get enough food. However, that sort of situation is probably uncommon today.

:anjali:
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Alex123
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Alex123 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:56 pm

mikenz66 wrote: Perhaps someone with a good knowledge of the vinaya could confirm, but my impression is that bhikkus are not required to eat everything that is offered (which would clearly be impossible in most cases). They are free to choose from what is offered. That's what I've always observed of a variety of Bhikkhus.
There are some forms of meat that Bhikkhus are not allowed to eat.
The following types of meat are unallowable: that of human beings, elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and hyenas. Human beings, horses, and elephants were regarded as too noble to be used as food. The other types of meat were forbidden either on grounds that they were repulsive ("People criticized and complained and spread it about, 'How can these Sakyan-son monks eat dog meat? Dogs are loathsome, disgusting'") or dangerous (bhikkhus, smelling of lion's flesh, went into the jungle; the lions there, instead of criticizing or complaining, attacked them)...
To eat human flesh :o entails a thullaccaya;...
Furthermore, even cooked fish or meat of an allowable kind is unallowable if the bhikkhu sees, hears, or suspects that the animal was killed specifically for the purpose of feeding bhikkhus (Mv.VI.31.14).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... h08-4.html


In times of famine, I don't think that monks would be picky about allowable food which includes meat.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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daverupa
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by daverupa » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:20 am

clw_uk wrote:
Speaking for myself, for the same reason why other ordinary everyday, even non buddhist, people would decline human meat, if it was offered to them.

You raise an important point. Why would the Buddha allow for the eating of animal meat and not human meat, if offered at a meal.

The only conclusion I can come to is to keep up the image of the sangha
There was a Jain argument, if I recall correctly, to the effect that Buddhists were amoral since they claimed that there was no fault for a monk when eating a baby, if that monk neither saw nor heard nor otherwise suspected such foul play. Since the utter repulsiveness of the idea was so obviously abhorrent, therefore the Buddhists must be horribly mistaken in their teachings about morality.

(But surely this is a misguided and indirect attack on the kamma = cetana equation. While the above event can be judged horrific, it is nevertheless possible for there to be context within which there is no moral misstep on the part of that monk.)

As to types of meat generally, the Buddha seems to have accepted social taboos on certain meats, and since the Vinaya is to a great extent a matter of finding an agreeable interface with contemporary social pro-&-pre-scriptions I think it's perfectly serviceable to accept current taboos, which should address the point. The Vinaya is for the taming of humans who choose to be guided by the Dhamma, not for the changing of society.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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