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 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:22 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:43 am


"While you are performing a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to affliction of others, or both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it."

— MN 61
I think this sutta makes it very clear that if one sees eating meat as leading to affliction then one should give it up and if one sees that eating meat does not lead to affliction then one may continue with it.
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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:39 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:22 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:43 am


"While you are performing a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to affliction of others, or both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it."

— MN 61
I think this sutta makes it very clear that if one sees eating meat as leading to affliction then one should give it up and if one sees that eating meat does not lead to affliction then one may continue with it.
chownah
Yeah, when you see eating meat is not leading to affliction, as in the killing of animals, you can go ahead and eat it. Unfortunately for you Chownah, eating meat always leads to the killing of animals, I don't know why I have to point this out, it should be quite obvious!!
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

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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:34 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:39 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:22 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:43 am


"While you are performing a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to affliction of others, or both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it."

— MN 61
I think this sutta makes it very clear that if one sees eating meat as leading to affliction then one should give it up and if one sees that eating meat does not lead to affliction then one may continue with it.
chownah
Yeah, when you see eating meat is not leading to affliction, as in the killing of animals, you can go ahead and eat it. Unfortunately for you Chownah, eating meat always leads to the killing of animals, I don't know why I have to point this out, it should be quite obvious!!
Eating of meat leads to the meat providing nutrients for sustaining the body. Killing animals leads to the killing of animals. I don't know why I have to point this out, it should be quite obvious!!
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Polar Bear
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Polar Bear » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:02 am

chownah wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:34 am
lyndon taylor wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:39 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:22 pm

I think this sutta makes it very clear that if one sees eating meat as leading to affliction then one should give it up and if one sees that eating meat does not lead to affliction then one may continue with it.
chownah
Yeah, when you see eating meat is not leading to affliction, as in the killing of animals, you can go ahead and eat it. Unfortunately for you Chownah, eating meat always leads to the killing of animals, I don't know why I have to point this out, it should be quite obvious!!
Eating of meat leads to the meat providing nutrients for sustaining the body. Killing animals leads to the killing of animals. I don't know why I have to point this out, it should be quite obvious!!
chownah
Yeah, just the eating of meat can't tell us whether it leads to the affliction of others or not. Eating roadkill wouldn't lead to killing, nor would eating meat that others were about to throw away. It is the buying of meat, and eating of other people's meat when that would cause them to buy more meat sooner, that is a problem, because then you are contributing to an economic incentive for those who kill animals for money to continue doing so. In these cases, you are tacitly condoning the slaughter of animals, which is callous, even if we don't realize it or want to think of it that way.

Edit: a callous is a growth that reduces feeling for protective reasons (which may be maladaptive), not a word meant to insult.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

Dinsdale
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:33 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:02 am
Yeah, just the eating of meat can't tell us whether it leads to the affliction of others or not. Eating roadkill wouldn't lead to killing, nor would eating meat that others were about to throw away. It is the buying of meat, and eating of other people's meat when that would cause them to buy more meat sooner, that is a problem, because then you are contributing to an economic incentive for those who kill animals for money to continue doing so. In these cases, you are tacitly condoning the slaughter of animals, which is callous, even if we don't realize it or want to think of it that way.
What I see as problematic is the decision to buy meat regularly when dietary alternatives are available. Partly because it doesn't seem consistent with the practice of Right Intention and harmlessness, and partly because it involves somebody else breaking the first precept and doing wrong livelihood.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

binocular
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:48 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:33 am
What I see as problematic is the decision to buy meat regularly when dietary alternatives are available. Partly because it doesn't seem consistent with the practice of Right Intention and harmlessness, and partly because it involves somebody else breaking the first precept and doing wrong livelihood.
Exactly.

Also, I think part of the problem is that many people have a bad attitude to food, in the sense that they eat too much (which partly leads to the problem of obesity and other health problems) and indulge in overly luxurious tastes. It's (partly) because of this that so much food gets produced, and so much gets discarded.

I think that if people would change their attitude to food, this would dramatically change the food production situation, to the point that new solutions could become visible and possible that currently aren't.

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The spirit of five precepts

Post by D1W1 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:43 am

Hi all,

Happy New Year 2018!!

Just a simple question about five precepts.
The first precept tells us to refrain from killing living beings. If everyone in a city practices five precepts, no one will kill animals, everyone will become vegetarian. Is it true the spirit Buddha wants us to develop is vegetarianism? Thanks.

jmccoy
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by jmccoy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:14 am

IMO no because I didn't do the killing.

If I don't buy the chicken sandwich, will that chicken then not ever have been killed?

Trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses are all living creatures too but I'll still eat vegetables and use paper etc

justindesilva
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by justindesilva » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:37 am

jmccoy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:14 am
IMO no because I didn't do the killing.

If I don't buy the chicken sandwich, will that chicken then not ever have been killed?

Trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses are all living creatures too but I'll still eat vegetables and use paper etc
Both Mahayana and Theravada buddhists accept the five precepts in common as a buddhist practise.
The five precepts overlaps the Noble eight fold path in its first five elemants in the path or more so as right action, right word of mouth or right communication and right livelyhood ( samma vaca samma vaya samma ajiva) .
Agganna sutta and Vasetta sutta at places mention the five precepts as valid moral ethics for human beings.
Though I cannot find the relevant passage it is said in buddhist practise that one who strictly observes the five precepts will not be borne in a lower realm from humans.
Five precepts are also the stepping stone to the sovan phala ( stream enterer) .
One who observes the five precepts also protect the environment as they protect others lives while protecting the resources belonging to others while ensuring the sexual rights and protecting the beings from proper nutrition by avoiding illegal liquors and drugs.
May this year of 2018 bring peace and Harmony to all beings with metta.

befriend
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by befriend » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:48 pm

An explanation of Buddhas understanding of this is in the jivaka sutta
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by befriend » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm

Sorry wrong sutta but there is a sutta forget the name that explains why Buddhists can eat meat but some ways in which a Buddhist can't eat meat like if the animal was killed for them if they heard the animal scream when it died or if they killed it themselves etc.. Anyone know the name of the this sutta?
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cappuccino
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by cappuccino » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:49 pm

You're only human because you kept the precepts…

By not keeping the precepts, people sink in existence…

dharmacorps
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:58 pm

It would be great if everyone would practice the 5 precepts. Or 1 precept. But nowhere on earth at any time has even an entire group or tribe or county or country of people universally practiced 1 precept. So while its an interesting thought experiment, it isn't a very realistic possibility. It isn't emphasized in the suttas for obvious reasons but the number of people who actually undertake the practice will always be small relative to the total population.

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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by DNS » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:15 pm

befriend wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:55 pm
Sorry wrong sutta but there is a sutta forget the name that explains why Buddhists can eat meat but some ways in which a Buddhist can't eat meat like if the animal was killed for them if they heard the animal scream when it died or if they killed it themselves etc.. Anyone know the name of the this sutta?
You were correct, it is the Jivaka Sutta, MN 55.5

"I say that there are three instances in which meat should not be eaten: when it is seen, heard, or suspected that the living being has been slaughtered for the bhikkhu. I say that meat should not be eaten in these three instances. I say that there are three instances in which meat may be eaten: when it is not seen, not heard, and not suspected, that the living being has been slaughtered for the bhikkhu."


Some context for the passage:

https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/3_fold_rule

jmccoy
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by jmccoy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:39 pm

justindesilva wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:37 am
jmccoy wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:14 am
IMO no because I didn't do the killing.

If I don't buy the chicken sandwich, will that chicken then not ever have been killed?

Trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses are all living creatures too but I'll still eat vegetables and use paper etc
Both Mahayana and Theravada buddhists accept the five precepts in common as a buddhist practise.
The five precepts overlaps the Noble eight fold path in its first five elemants in the path or more so as right action, right word of mouth or right communication and right livelyhood ( samma vaca samma vaya samma ajiva) .
Agganna sutta and Vasetta sutta at places mention the five precepts as valid moral ethics for human beings.
Though I cannot find the relevant passage it is said in buddhist practise that one who strictly observes the five precepts will not be borne in a lower realm from humans.
Five precepts are also the stepping stone to the sovan phala ( stream enterer) .
One who observes the five precepts also protect the environment as they protect others lives while protecting the resources belonging to others while ensuring the sexual rights and protecting the beings from proper nutrition by avoiding illegal liquors and drugs.
May this year of 2018 bring peace and Harmony to all beings with metta.
Okay and what's any of this have to do with whether the 5 precepts (especially the 1st) necessitates one being vegetarian?

D1W1
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by D1W1 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:47 am

Thanks all for your reply :anjali:
dharmacorps wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:58 pm
It would be great if everyone would practice the 5 precepts. Or 1 precept. But nowhere on earth at any time has even an entire group or tribe or county or country of people universally practiced 1 precept. So while its an interesting thought experiment, it isn't a very realistic possibility. It isn't emphasized in the suttas for obvious reasons but the number of people who actually undertake the practice will always be small relative to the total population.
Maybe not in today's society but there is a story, in the Buddha's time there was a devotee who cut her own flesh in order to fulfill the promise she already made i.e. serve meat dish to the monk. It was an uposatha day, everyone observed the precepts therefore slaughtered animal was not available.
in the Samma Sambuddha’s time period as well as in the present eating meat is allowed after when someone did aperients / purgative (cleaning the digesting system by using medicines etc) one monk did such a cleaning process to his digesting system and after that he went to alms – gathering… when he went to a house with the woman who extremely devoted to the alms giving and Samma Sambuddha & his followers the monk requested if it is possible to have some meat for the alms as he had a aperients / purgative… Even though there wasn’t any meat at the home woman didn’t refuse what monk request and she sent her husband to bring some meat… but he couldn’t find any meat as it was a day which no one kill animal… and woman silently went to the kitchen and cut a pieces of flesh from her upper leg and prepared the meal.
http://blog.nirvanadhamma.com/2010/06/e ... dhism.html
Five precepts are compulsory for all Buddhists. If everyone practices the first precepts just like the story quoted above, then no one will slaughter the animals. I fail to see if there is something else besides the spirit of vegetarianism. How can I convince myself the purpose of first precept is not vegetarianism? Thanks.
Last edited by D1W1 on Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dinsdale
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:06 am

D1W1 wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:43 am
The first precept tells us to refrain from killing living beings. If everyone in a city practices five precepts, no one will kill animals, everyone will become vegetarian. Is it true the spirit Buddha wants us to develop is vegetarianism? Thanks.
The general spirit of the precepts seem to be that of avoiding harm, both to oneself and others. So I think there is a close correlation with the practice of Right Intention, which includes the practice of harmlessness.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

dharmacorps
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:09 pm

The 5 precepts are not compulsory for anybody. They were training rules you undertake voluntarily.

justindesilva
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by justindesilva » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:55 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:09 pm
The 5 precepts are not compulsory for anybody. They were training rules you undertake voluntarily.
May I write here that the in order the first five of the noble eight fold path is samma ditthi ( right view) samma sankappa ( right concepts) samma vaca ( right words ) samma vaya( right action) and samma ajiva( right lively hood) . One may interpret this as extremely parallel to the five precepts of buddhism.
I believe that lord budda contained the 5 precepts as a simple code of buddhist ethics in order as a guide of the the noble eight fold path.
This sets one not to exploit others as well as one's own self.

dharmacorps
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm

OK, but does that have anything to do with them being compulsory?

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