the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:42 pm

I would like to again please reiterate that I have taken on a plant-based diet for long-term health, rather than short-term weight-loss. One reason why I feel I need to make this distinction is because of how often I've seen fat shaming practiced by vegan activist groups and Youtube channels.

While I've criticized popular diet authors like Robert Atkins for promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, I wouldn't mention anything about their body weight unless they were claiming to help others lose weight.

For those who want to help get as many people as possible onto a plant-based diet, fat-shaming is not the answer:
2. Assessing someone’s health by his or her appearance is inaccurate.
The ethics of weight bias aside, our eyes are notoriously poor evaluators of health. It should come as no surprise that many people who are deemed to be fat can get excellent physical evaluations and that many people in the ideal BMI category can have life-threatening diseases, even ones associated with obesity like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. As Ginny Kisch Messina, MPH, RD says, “It’s true that excess body fat raises risk for certain chronic diseases, but it doesn’t mean that everyone who is ‘overweight’ is unhealthy. You can’t tell anything about a person’s health based solely on body size.”

3. Fat shaming may contribute to weight gain.
If someone adopts a condemning approach in order to “help” another, it’s important to understand that studies point to the likelihood of the opposite result: feeling shame about one’s size exacerbates weight gain. Regardless of one’s actual weight, two studies published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that the more shame women reported feeling about their size, the more illness they also experienced, from increased infection risk to more frequent headaches, even when controlling for the BMI (body mass index). A four-year study published in the journal Obesity found that those who reported experiencing weight discrimination gained about three and a half pounds more than those who did not. Still think “calling people out” for their weight is an effective approach?…

Imagine how many people are discouraged from lending their desperately needed talents and voices to the cause because of their size. Imagine how many animals could also be saved if our community didn’t employ fat shaming tactics. “Animal advocacy is about creating a vegan world, which means we need to reach all kinds of people and encourage them to explore veganism,” says Messina. “Diversity in our community of activists—which includes diversity in body size and health experiences—is absolutely necessary to that outreach.”
http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=9025&catId=5
It makes perfect sense for people who claim to have compassion for animals to also have compassion for people of all body types.

As a side note, another claim made by popular vegan doctors is that milk causes cancer. The available evidence suggests otherwise:
For example, the enormous consensus report on diet and cancer risk from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund concluded in 2007 that eating lots of red meat and processed meat is convincingly associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (but no others). On the other hand, they found dairy foods to be associated with a decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer. They found limited and less convincing evidence that dairy foods might decrease the risk of bladder cancer but increase the risk of prostate cancer.
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... re/243343/
Non-fat dairy products are a healthy source of B12, calcium, and protein for those on a vegetarian diet.

Please keep in mind that I am not here to seek external validation from others or to convince others into a lifestyle change they don't want. It just so happens that the Buddha taught a vegetarian diet (or at least taught that it's misconduct to kill animals for food), and it just so happens to be a healthy diet, according to the available evidence. People can take it or leave it. I am not the veggie police.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:04 am

The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:27 am

chownah wrote:The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah
He was probably more vegetarian than you are!! The suttas indicate the Buddha very seldom ate 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/

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:41 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
chownah wrote:The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah
He was probably more vegetarian than you are!! The suttas indicate the Buddha very seldom ate meat.
Oh please do bring us a sutta reference which shows how much meat the buddha ate.
chownah

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ganegaar
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by ganegaar » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:53 pm

When a Buddha (or even a ven monk) goes on a alms round, it serves the purpose of helping the donors with good merit, now suppose a Buddha is to reject an offering, it may well be that a chance of earning good merits for the donor gets denied!
For this reason, a monk may have to accept whatever is given.
Suppose a Buddha is on the alms round, and the next house to visit is the butcher, if the Buddha skips the butcher is it not prejudice? so a Buddha would probably not skip the butcher's house!: the purpose of Buddha's alms round is not to have meat for lunch, so is for his disciples
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:02 pm

chownah wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:
chownah wrote:The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah
He was probably more vegetarian than you are!! The suttas indicate the Buddha very seldom ate meat.
Oh please do bring us a sutta reference which shows how much meat the buddha ate.
chownah
This has been discussed at length on this forum, which you have chosen to ignore, out of something like 98 meals recorded of the Buddha in the suttas only 2 or 3 contained 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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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:50 pm

Buddha didn't purchase things at a grocery store that source their products from animal abusing farms.

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:22 pm

seeker242 wrote:Buddha didn't purchase things at a grocery store that source their products from animal abusing farms.
lyndon taylor wrote: This has been discussed at length on this forum, which you have chosen to ignore, out of something like 98 meals recorded of the Buddha in the suttas only 2 or 3 contained meat.
Thank you for sharing these things. That's exactly correct.

While the Buddha did not require vegetarianism, vegetarianism nonetheless happens to be consistent with his teaching that it's misconduct to kill animals for meat. The Buddha's monk disciples, who relied on alms for food, didn't have a choice in what they ate.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.matthewsatori.tumblr.com

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:26 pm

chownah wrote:The buddha was not vegetarian.
chownah
This has already been shared on this forum:
At his final days in the parinibbana sutta, the food that led to his death was at one time translated as pork. The terms have been translated as “pig’s truffles” which was originally mistranslated as pork. Modern scholars including, Arthur Waley, K. E. Neumann, and Mrs. Rhys Davids have corrected this to “the food of pigs” which are mushrooms. Today, the majority of Buddhist scholars agree that the Buddha ate mushrooms, which may have been poisonous and led to his death at the age of 80...

A scientific sample is one that is done without any bias toward selecting the things to be studied or evaluated. The passages mentioning what the Buddha ate appear to fall into that category as they are spread out through the Pali Canon and refer to other teachings, not about diet and thus, appear to be random mentions of his diet. As such we can use the above as a representative sample. If we count all of the above plus the last meal, the meal Sujata gave to the Buddha and the mention of meat above, we come to: 35 vegetarian meals and 1 meat meal.

This results in a diet by the Buddha that is 97% vegetarian. This is the equivalent of eating vegetarian all year except for 10 days per year which is less than one meat meal per month. Such a person even in modern times would most likely be defined as a vegetarian who makes some rare exceptions as may be necessary for social reasons. Of the 35 vegetarian meals 74 percent (26) were vegan (no meat and also no animal products). Even if we include the possibility of there being a second meat meal in the passage about General Siha (see above), then it still calculates out to 95% vegetarian (35 out of 37) diet of the Buddha.
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Diet_of_Buddha
By today's standards, the Buddha was mostly vegetarian.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.matthewsatori.tumblr.com

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:38 pm

lyndon taylor wrote: This has been discussed at length on this forum, which you have chosen to ignore, out of something like 98 meals recorded of the Buddha in the suttas only 2 or 3 contained meat.
Oh please do bring us a few sutta references which documents this. I'd really like to know what the buddha ate.
chownah

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:42 pm

chownah wrote: I'd really like to know what the buddha ate.
Santi253 wrote: This has already been shared on this forum:
At his final days in the parinibbana sutta, the food that led to his death was at one time translated as pork. The terms have been translated as “pig’s truffles” which was originally mistranslated as pork. Modern scholars including, Arthur Waley, K. E. Neumann, and Mrs. Rhys Davids have corrected this to “the food of pigs” which are mushrooms. Today, the majority of Buddhist scholars agree that the Buddha ate mushrooms, which may have been poisonous and led to his death at the age of 80...

A scientific sample is one that is done without any bias toward selecting the things to be studied or evaluated. The passages mentioning what the Buddha ate appear to fall into that category as they are spread out through the Pali Canon and refer to other teachings, not about diet and thus, appear to be random mentions of his diet. As such we can use the above as a representative sample. If we count all of the above plus the last meal, the meal Sujata gave to the Buddha and the mention of meat above, we come to: 35 vegetarian meals and 1 meat meal.

This results in a diet by the Buddha that is 97% vegetarian. This is the equivalent of eating vegetarian all year except for 10 days per year which is less than one meat meal per month. Such a person even in modern times would most likely be defined as a vegetarian who makes some rare exceptions as may be necessary for social reasons. Of the 35 vegetarian meals 74 percent (26) were vegan (no meat and also no animal products). Even if we include the possibility of there being a second meat meal in the passage about General Siha (see above), then it still calculates out to 95% vegetarian (35 out of 37) diet of the Buddha.
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Diet_of_Buddha
By today's standards, the Buddha was mostly vegetarian.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.matthewsatori.tumblr.com

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:44 pm

chownah wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote: This has been discussed at length on this forum, which you have chosen to ignore, out of something like 98 meals recorded of the Buddha in the suttas only 2 or 3 contained meat.
Oh please do bring us a few sutta references which documents this. I'd really like to know what the buddha ate.
chownah
Never mind. I just saw the link from santi253 and it contains alot of references. Thanks anyway.
chownah
Edit: On second thought, I picked one of the items in the link and can't find the reference. The reference is "Choice rice with curry (Majjhima Nikaya II. 7)". I have not been able to find it.....can you help with that?
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Caodemarte
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Caodemarte » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:48 pm

First time in a long time that I have heard that Rhys David is modern scholar. Makes me feel young. In any case, there is an ongoing dispute over whether not the phrase used meant pork, pig food, or something else with the word "pig" in the title. There are also varying accounts. Please note that under the rules established by the Buddha it would have been proper to eat pork.

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:48 pm

Please keep in mind that I don't judge others for eating meat. If people want to put saturated fat and cholesterol into their arteries, that's their own personal health decision.

What I am concerned about is taking the Buddha's prohibition of killing animals for meat and applying that, in the best way I can, to my own life.
Caodemarte wrote:Please note that under the rules established by the Buddha it would have been proper to eat pork.
Santi253 wrote: While the Buddha did not require vegetarianism, vegetarianism nonetheless happens to be consistent with his teaching that it's misconduct to kill animals for meat. The Buddha's monk disciples, who relied on alms for food, didn't have a choice in what they ate.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

http://www.matthewsatori.tumblr.com

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DNS
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by DNS » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:08 pm

chownah wrote: Edit: On second thought, I picked one of the items in the link and can't find the reference. The reference is "Choice rice with curry (Majjhima Nikaya II. 7)". I have not been able to find it.....can you help with that?
chownah
When roman numerals are used it is the PTS system of referencing (volume number, page number). Eventually I need to update those to the modern way of Sutta > passage number.

Actually, I've found a few more vegetarian meal references. I need to update the page to include those too.

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