lyndon taylor wrote:No one's talking about pedophiles (except maybe you), we were talking about people who do things like be vegetarian or recycle their garbage for self-aggrandizing motivations, your argument is that no good comes of it.
That is not what is being argued. Even in the extreme example of the paedophile, the child's hunger gets appeased so one cannot say that no good comes from it.
What is being argued is that it is the motivation that makes the action wholesome or unwholesome. It is even possible that the peodophile's mind is wholesome at the moment of feeding the child, but only unwholesome at other times, while plotting to entrap them, and whatever he does later.
When a vegetarian's sole purpose in not eating meat is self-aggrandizement, then it is not wholesome at all. Whether any good comes from it is a moot point, since the meat that he would have bought would be bought by someone else, or maybe given away to a homeless charity if not sold. Either way, the animal will still be dead.
If enough meat-eaters become vegetarians the demand for meat will fall. Since the supply is fixed in the short term, all that will happen is that the price will drop. In the long term, farmers will switch from meat production to dairy, or maybe raising horses for riding or sheep for wool. If they switch to dairy, all of the beef cattle will be slaughtered, and the male heifers will also be slaughtered.
It really is nothing but wishful thinking to hope that not eating meat will benefit animals. There is little or no connection between the two activities. The kamma of the farmer, the trader in livestock, the slaughterman, and the butcher each is their own property. The kamma of meat-eaters or vegetarians is also their own properties.
Whenever you are able to, urge others not to kill living beings. That is wholesome kamma. Where you have no influence, abide in equanimity.
Sallekha Sutta wrote:“Other people may harm living beings. However, we will not harm any living thing. Thus, you should practise effacement that will lessen the defilements.”