the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SarathW
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Re: Does been a vegetarian mean gods are with you?

Post by SarathW » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:01 pm

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Re: Does been a vegetarian mean gods are with you?

Post by jackson » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:52 pm

Ben wrote: Yes, very good scriptural support and quite a bit of it, as well. I suggest you research suttas on the Buddha's refutation of the Nigantha's view on kamma and also research the origin of the schism led by Devadutta.
Thank you kindly Ben, it's always humbling to see where I'm lacking in understanding, and the schism caused by Devadatta had completely slipped my mind. Much appreciated.
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

SarathW
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Re: Does been a vegetarian mean gods are with you?

Post by SarathW » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:18 pm

Meat-eating

In western countries vegetarianism has recently increased in popularity and this has led to some questioning about bhikkhus and meat-eating. (In less materially developed countries the question is more about 'what, if anything, is there to eat?')

The question of monks' eating meat is an old one that was originally raised by the 'renegade monk' Ven. Devadatta. He asked the Buddha to prohibit bhikkhus from eating fish and flesh in what seems was a ploy to take over the leadership of the Sangha. (The 'stricter ascetic' tactic.) The Buddha had already made a strict rule for both bhikkhus and lay people about not taking life (see Killing.) so He did not agree to Ven. Devadatta's new formulation.

The Buddha did allow bhikkhus to eat meat and fish[88] except under the following circumstances:

If a bhikkhu sees, hears or suspects that it has been killed for him, he may not eat it.[89] (M.I,369)

If a bhikkhu is given meat on alms round and he has no knowledge about how the animal died[90] he has to 'receive it with attentiveness.' (See the Sekhiya Trainings.) He should be grateful and recollect that the food he is given is what enables him to continue to live the bhikkhu life, and that as a mendicant he is not in a position to choose what he gets. If he later comes to know the family and they ask him about Dhamma, he will be able to explain the precept about not killing. This may cause them to reflect on their attitude to meat eating.

An individual lay person can choose whether to be a vegetarian. Problems usually arise only when vegetarians want to impose their choice on others, and as meal times are normally a family or shared affair this can create tensions and misunderstandings.

An individual bhikkhu who lives on alms food cannot make such choices. Often the donors are unknown — perhaps not even Buddhist, or just starting to find out about Dhamma — and to refuse their generosity may so offend them that they never have anything to do with Dhamma again.

Finally it comes down to the lay people who go to the market to buy food to give to the bhikkhus. If they are vegetarian themselves or like to give vegetarian food, then the bhikkhu should receive that food with 'appreciation' — especially if it means that fewer animals are being slaughtered. Nevertheless, it should not become a political issue where other people are attacked for their behavior.


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Ben
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Re: Does been a vegetarian mean gods are with you?

Post by Ben » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:24 pm

jackson wrote:
Ben wrote: Yes, very good scriptural support and quite a bit of it, as well. I suggest you research suttas on the Buddha's refutation of the Nigantha's view on kamma and also research the origin of the schism led by Devadutta.
Thank you kindly Ben, it's always humbling to see where I'm lacking in understanding, and the schism caused by Devadatta had completely slipped my mind. Much appreciated.
No worries Jackson. If you have easy access to the Majjhima Nikaya, you will find some of the suttas where the Buddha refutes the Niganthas ideology on kamma there. From memory, Helmut Hecker's biography of Devadatta (edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi and published in 'Great Disciples of the Buddha') is excellent. GDotB will reference the relevant suttas in the Nikayas. GDotB is also an excellent reference work as well as inspiration.
Kind regards,
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Re: Does been a vegetarian mean gods are with you?

Post by jackson » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:20 am

Ben wrote: No worries Jackson. If you have easy access to the Majjhima Nikaya, you will find some of the suttas where the Buddha refutes the Niganthas ideology on kamma there. From memory, Helmut Hecker's biography of Devadatta (edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi and published in 'Great Disciples of the Buddha') is excellent. GDotB will reference the relevant suttas in the Nikayas. GDotB is also an excellent reference work as well as inspiration.
Kind regards,
Ben
Thank you for the references, I have both those books so will do further research. I'm grateful for your help and the contributions of all the knowledgeable people on this forum. :anjali:
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

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DNS
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:31 pm

Tough guys who are vegan:

Mike Tyson, former heavy weight boxing champion is a vegan.

Now Arnold Schwarzenegger has become a vegan.

http://yournewswire.com/arnold-schwarze ... -humanity/

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:16 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Mike Tyson, former heavy weight boxing champion is a vegan.
I heard that he eats ears. That's not a vegetable, though boxers do sometimes have cauliflower ears.
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DNS
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:22 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Mike Tyson, former heavy weight boxing champion is a vegan.
I heard that he eats ears. That's not a vegetable, though boxers do sometimes have cauliflower ears.
:lol: That's right, ears are not vegan. I think he became a vegan a few years after that incident. :tongue:

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:23 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Now Arnold Schwarzenegger has become a vegan.
"Hasta la vegan"? :tongue:

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No_Mind
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by No_Mind » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:22 am

Bradeam12 wrote:Hello,

I'd like to become a vegetarian but first I'd like to know which things you need to keep your body healthy. Like eating nuts to get iron in your blood, instead of getting it by meat/fish.


Can anyone help me with this please?
I have not been a regular visitor to DW for quite a while or I would have answered sooner.

From 2011 my diet has been

Core diet --

8 cups of tea (no milk, one sugar) spread between morning 5 AM - 11 AM and evening 4 PM - 8 PM (I should make this 4 cups with one sugar and 4 cups with no sugar but have so far not done so because I have excellent fasting and PP glucose readings; 8 sugars is 160 calories, little less than 10% of my daily calorie intake so I guess it is fine)

Breakfast - 3 sugar free crackers (I believe they are called saltine or soda cracker in US)

Lunch - 2 slices bread, one bowl of lentil curry (sometimes red lentil or masoor dal otherwise green lentil or moong dal) or chick pea curry, little bit of boiled vegetables, one small boiled potato (the curry cooked in sunflower oil)

Afternoon - 3 sugar free crackers

Dinner - repeat of lunch + one boiled egg + assorted greens usually boiled and sauteed in very little oil.

Non core diet --

No more than 300 calories of junk food -- sweet biscuits, tiny amount of Pepsi (200 ml), various Indian pure veg fast foods like samosa, pakora.

Core diet - no more than 1700 calories , non core diet no more than 300 calories -- total 2000 calories.

No alcohol. No milk unless I rarely consume Indian desserts. I am not completely vegetarian - I would not refuse meat if offered. I eat very small portions of meat (say 60 grams) twice or thrice a month (or may go couple of months without ingesting any meat).

The diet is a ladder-diet. On top of the core diet add some fruits or some greens or whatever you want depending on your budget and time you can spare to prepare your meal. I have never budged from the core diet without any fruits and with very little vegetables. If you want to lose weight cut back on sugar in tea, add salad and do some exercise.

I do not think if I subtract the one daily egg from my diet (which would make it fully vegan) it would matter much. I can easily add multivitamin multimineral tablets daily (nothing expensive - pharmacy off the shelf stuff; in India I use one Revital capsule for 10 days followed by two A-Z tablets for 20 days; research on the composition of these and get the same from your nearest pharmacy). I have gone fully vegan in short bursts (2 months) with no damage to myself. But I prefer to be an ovo-vegetarian.

I was strong as an ox before. I am stronger than an ox now. If my body was going to be damaged then almost five years is pretty long time. There are no signs of it being damaged. I have good teeth and hair and my blood work is normal.

I had taken up this diet based on a challenge but stayed on it because it is so simple. Since I am not weight conscious I relieve boredom by eating differently flavoured biscuits, potato chips (just a little bit always), salads etc. At times I will eat at a restaurant (maybe once or twice a month).

The Tarahumara people can run up to 200 miles daily without stopping. To them a marathon is literally just a walk in the park. They mostly eat corn, potatoes, beans with little bit of meat at times. No one told them about supplements, diet macros or latest sneaker design. They just run and they are damn good at it.



Information overkill is the bane of internet age. In words of Bill Maher "somewhere along the line the information superhighway became bullshit boulevard and truth was the first road kill".

Just do it. Do not read and research too much. There is too much conflicting material out there - such as should one take Vitamin E supplements or not. Every new nutrition theory is debunked after five years. You do not learn much unless you actually do it and listen to your body along the way.

Your body is amazingly good at telling you what it needs. If you need more green or more carbs or more protein etc it will tell you (at least my body tells me -- but then I was a bodybuilder before so I know how to listen to my body). Such as sometimes you may find you are aching to get your hands on some peanuts or yoghurt or an apple. That means your body needs some nutrient present in the peanuts or yoghurt or apple.

:namaste:
Last edited by No_Mind on Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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cjmacie
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Re: Becoming vegetarian

Post by cjmacie » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:18 am

A good author re nutrition, health, science, etc. is T. Collin Campbell. Googling the name brings up a lot. Articles, books, etc.

Recent book is good: "Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition"

His thing is basically "plant-based", but he's not religious about that. He's also not that shy about controversy; is known to go at it vs those who promote extreme stuff like anti-carb, e.g. paleo-diet.

He did a lot of the formative science of the last 50 years. One interesting point, based on his fundamental research, being that, given a balanced diet with a good variety of natural foods, the body finds there, picks and chooses what it needs. Loading the body with supplements (e.g. vit-a,b,c,...) or lots of certain other specific ingredients, e.g. following fads, or the monthly newsletter from your neighborhood health-food store, doesn't mean the body will use it. In fact trying such force-feeding may be damaging.

Another well-informed (and humorous) writer is David L. Katz. e.g. a great article at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/822731

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ECS
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by ECS » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:31 pm

In my current mind Buddhism is simply the natural process realizing your existence , realizing your cause of existence ......is not of what you are eating , is not of what you should eat , is not of what you should not eat ... but is simply realizing the desire you eat , realizing the emotion while you eating .....the emotion is you .....simply Buddhism realizing you not what you should be .

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:32 pm

ECS, I am glad to read that we are not what we eat. I never liked the idea of being 25 percent meatballs and 75 percent spaghetti by total volume!

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-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Chula
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Chula » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:29 pm

I was raised lacto-vegetarian but have long wanted to become a vegan. I had it as one of my new year resolutions and have largely kept to it with some adjustments. I probably should call myself a semi-vegan though - since I eat full vegan at home and when I cook, but in cases where I'm visiting family or friends and they offer me lacto-vegetarian I don't refuse it. I've found this to be the simplest way of going about things.

I also took up cooking more seriously with this change, and I've been amazed at the great vegan cooking tutorials available online. I've subscribed to multiple useful vegan cooking youtube channels that I can link if anyone is interested. My whole family is already lacto-vegetarian, and they respect my choice so they also try to accommodate it, while toying with it themselves.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by padmini » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:12 pm

I think this is a very interesting debate and I would like to thank all the knowledgeable people who gave insights into this matter.

Personally I think that how we treat animals for meat, eggs and milk (or even for entertainment and so-called "research") in Western society is completely unwholesome and compassion-less, that's why I try my best to avoid supporting these practices.

Just as much as I try to avoid products that I know have harmed people or entire communities in their production process.

I don't think there's a "right" or "wrong" view, but I do think we as lay Buddhists should really think about the consequences of our actions -- and of our shopping and eating habits.
The Buddha's path is simple and meant for ordinary people; anyone with goodwill and determination can follow its steps toward freedom of heart and mind
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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:35 am

Hi, padmini:

What you say is true, but humans have limited experience when it comes to consequences, because of our short life-spans, cultural, and species biases. If it is true that humans experience many lifetimes as different creatures as divulged in The Jataka Tales, something difficult to verify and validate for ourselves since most of us are not fully unbound and released as enlightened Buddhas, we would benefit by remembering such life experiences as those different creatures so as to develop understanding and compassion for them as well as for human family, tribe, nation and species. :hug:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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cjmacie
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by cjmacie » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:39 am

Just to throw some gasoline (petrol) on the smoldering embers here: :jumping:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ita ... 3be07d446b

or (lots of different coverage this week):
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37034619

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:58 am

cjmacie wrote:Just to throw some gasoline (petrol) on the smoldering embers here: :jumping:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ita ... 3be07d446b

or (lots of different coverage this week):
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37034619
As both links point out it is due to a number of a vegan diet attributed child malnourishment cases that have happened in Italy. And as is also mentioned opposition to the law at this time argue education is better than punishment.

Today the sort of news that led upto this law being drafted should not be happening due to all the supplements added to foods.... And although I disagree with the law and agree education is the way forward, I understand where this law is coming from and the need for the government to do something. Hopefully, the proposed law will fail but have the benefit of causing parents to better educate themselves, until educational information, recipes... can be published to aid parents.

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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:04 am

Better education for parents is a good thing. Why limit it to vegan diets? Lots of parents feed their children stuff that boggles the mind.....but humanity keeps on stumbling along anyway....same as it ever was...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Virgo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:19 pm

Is vegan food better than regular food? Let us find out.



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