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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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:27 am

I think you're flogging some phony logic, everyone knows if you reduce demand it eventually lowers production.
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

Postby seeker242 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:38 am

ryanM wrote:
Coming across a paper entitled The Least Harm Principle May Require That Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet and the related thread on another site was the seed for inquiry.


I came across that as well. Then I also came across a rebuttal to Steven Davis's paper pointing out the flaws he made. And decided Mr Davis's paper really didn't change anything.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:13 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:I think you're flogging some phony logic, everyone knows if you reduce demand it eventually lowers production.


I think it's another straw-man. It is rather like arguing there is no point in giving up beer because the local pub will stay open anyway, or arguing it is OK to steal because there will always be dishonest people. Anything to distract from the key issue, which is about the ethics of personal dietary choices, whether we try to minimise harm or whether we add to it because we like the taste of meat.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:23 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:I think you're flogging some phony logic, everyone knows if you reduce demand it eventually lowers production.


I think it's another straw-man. It is rather like arguing there is no point in giving up beer because the local pub will stay open anyway, or arguing it is OK to steal because there will always be dishonest people. Anything to distract from the key issue, which is about the ethics of personal dietary choices, whether we try to minimise harm or whether we add to it because we like the taste of meat.


Well said Spiny.
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/

freedom
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby freedom » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:42 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
freedom wrote:(The son's flesh is symbolized for animal's meat, and the dog's meat is for vegetables. Of course, animal is more advance in evolution than vegetable)

The analogy does not apply. Of course, killing an animal, even one's beloved pet, is less serious than killing a child that is not one's own, but meat bought in the supermarket is already dead. One had no part in killing the animal, and no desire or intention to kill animals.


If my analogy does not apply, then it seems to me that the Buddha's analogy in the sutta Son's Flesh also does not apply to the monks since they do not kill or have any intention to kill for their foods.
One should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train only for calm - MN 140.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:53 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:I think you're flogging some phony logic, everyone knows if you reduce demand it eventually lowers production.


I think it's another straw-man. It is rather like arguing there is no point in giving up beer because the local pub will stay open anyway, or arguing it is OK to steal because there will always be dishonest people. Anything to distract from the key issue, which is about the ethics of personal dietary choices, whether we try to minimise harm or whether we add to it because we like the taste of meat.

I think you've got it wrong. I think it is more like this:

Giving up eating meat will not close the butcher.....giving up drinking beer will not close the pub.
Giving up eating meat will not stop the butchering.....giving up theiving will not stop dishonest people from theiving.

chownah

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ryanM
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ryanM » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:35 am

seeker242 wrote:
I came across that as well. Then I also came across a rebuttal to Steven Davis's paper pointing out the flaws he made. And decided Mr Davis's paper really didn't change anything.


Thanks for the link.
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

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Spiny Norman
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:36 am

chownah wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:I think you're flogging some phony logic, everyone knows if you reduce demand it eventually lowers production.


I think it's another straw-man. It is rather like arguing there is no point in giving up beer because the local pub will stay open anyway, or arguing it is OK to steal because there will always be dishonest people. Anything to distract from the key issue, which is about the ethics of personal dietary choices, whether we try to minimise harm or whether we add to it because we like the taste of meat.

I think you've got it wrong. I think it is more like this:

Giving up eating meat will not close the butcher.....giving up drinking beer will not close the pub.
Giving up eating meat will not stop the butchering.....giving up theiving will not stop dishonest people from theiving.

chownah



It is still a red herring, because Buddhist ethics relate to personal behaviour, based on the principle of harmlessness.

It is not about what other people do, or don't do.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

justindesilva
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby justindesilva » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:49 pm

freedom wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
freedom wrote:(The son's flesh is symbolized for animal's meat, and the dog's meat is for vegetables. Of course, animal is more advance in evolution than vegetable)

The analogy does not apply. Of course, killing an animal, even one's beloved pet, is less serious than killing a child that is not one's own, but meat bought in the supermarket is already dead. One had no part in killing the animal, and no desire or intention to kill animals.


If my analogy does not apply, then it seems to me that the Buddha's analogy in the sutta Son's Flesh also does not apply to the monks since they do not kill or have any intention to kill for their foods.


As the hunters of the past who believed that hunting was the only way to find food changed their life style by starting to grow and get to agriculture long before
a budda could guide the hunters We call it civilisation.
Then cannibals stopped cannibalism as they realised it is uncivilized.
It is my feeling that been vegetarians is a step further up from hunters giving up hunting and cannibals giving up cannibalism.
May I also point out that there is a vegetarian society of Christians too who love animals. It is again another set of the society joining civilization.
Been vegetarian against the interpretations of some that buddhism or word of budda does not strictly promote vegetarians is really been civilized on a global basis.
Being a buddhist is joining the civilised world.

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Jojola
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jojola » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:05 pm

It's all about intention.

If you intend to become a vegetarian you will suffer from the kamma produced by the craving for becoming (a vegetarian), or by the craving for non-becoming (a meat eater).

It's still clinging, Albeit a more skillful and compassionate clinging than the clinging of someone with a careless diet.

The highest-ideal is to support the body with food that your intentions are completely cleared of altogether. Whether its meat or non-meat is inconsequential then, which is how the Buddha did it.

That's how I see it anyway.
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"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby justindesilva » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:06 am

To be a vegetarian one has to give up the greed of taste for canine foods.
It needs effort of giving up lust for taste.
There is food for vegetarians.
With metta

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Spiny Norman
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:55 am

Jojola wrote:It's all about intention.


I would say it's all about Right Intention, which includes the intention not to do harm. Buying meat leads to harm.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Jojola
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jojola » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:42 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:I would say it's all about Right Intention, which includes the intention not to do harm. Buying meat leads to harm.


I don't see how that contradicts anything I posted so I am in complete agreement with you.

If someone freely offers you meat, there is no karmic harm in eating it so long as they didn't buy it specifically just to offer it to you.
If your intentions had nothing to do with the killing, packaging, trading/selling, and offering of the meat, then it is karmically clean for you to eat.


Or to put it more technically:
So long as the killing of the animal was a coincidence...
So long as the butchering of the animal was a coincidence...
So long as the selling or trading of the meat was a coincidence...
So long as the choice to offer meat was a coincidence...

..then there is no karmic harm in eating it.
That's how The Buddha did it anyway from what I can tell.
Regards,

- :heart:
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"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:04 pm

Killing an animal for food is never coincidence, that's just phony logic, either admit that you enjoy contributing to killing animals and eating their meat, or be a vegetarian, your choice.
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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ryanM
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ryanM » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:19 pm

The most ethical thing is to become enlightened. The "closer" you get to that, the less suffering there is for all beings.
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

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Spiny Norman
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:26 am

justindesilva wrote:To be a vegetarian one has to give up the greed of taste for canine foods.


What comes across to me in these discussions is the sense that some people just enjoy eating meat, and so they resent ethical questions about their dietary choices.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Spiny Norman
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:27 am

ryanM wrote:The most ethical thing is to become enlightened. The "closer" you get to that, the less suffering there is for all beings.


And in the meantime practice Right Intention, which includes harmlessness. :tongue:
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

Tharuka Piyumi
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Tharuka Piyumi » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:19 am

when dewadatta thero present the idea that all bikkhus should be vegetarians lord buddha stated it isn't necessary to be a vegetarian to attain nibbana but anyone can follow that if necessary.(included in therawada tipitaka).But buddha stated that no one should kill and eat animal or eat animals who has been killed spesifically for you to eat.When you eat meat it is a food that you eat ,animal has been already killed and that is a bad kamma of that particular animal.If you think eating meat makes you a bad person what are the food that I have to eat to be a good person. :stirthepot: :stirthepot:

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Jojola
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jojola » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:27 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Killing an animal for food is never coincidence, that's just phony logic, either admit that you enjoy contributing to killing animals and eating their meat, or be a vegetarian, your choice.


That's a false dichotomy.

The Buddhas way was a middle one, subtle, hard to understand...

I feel like not only do you not understand why the Buddha had the diet he did, but that you don't understand intention very well and how kamma plays in our life.

When the Buddha ate meat:
The animal wasn't killed for him
The animal wasn't butchered for him
The meat wasn't traded for him
Nor was the meat offered specifically for him. Could've gone to any beggar.

That's why no karma was accrued when he ate meat cause he did so only under those conditions where the fate of that animal had nothing to do with his intentions. If you still have problems with eating meat even after the above conditions are satisfied then you have missed the Buddhas message and strayed off the path by not letting go and developing wisdom and skillfull action, a lot can be understood about his teachings by thoroughly understanding his manner regarding food alone.

The drawback of vegetarianism is the becoming of idealism, which is unskillful.

To argue with this is synonymous with arguing that the Buddha was harmful. How do you reconcile your view with the manner of The Buddha?
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:40 pm

I assume your intention is to support meat eating, that's the intention to eat animals that are killed for you to eat. I hardly think you have a right to moralize my intentions not to eat meat.
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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