binocular wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:30 pm
Sam Vara wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:20 am
But in the modern industry, the very act of buying a product is 1. an approval of the product, and 2. an indirect order for the producer of the product to produce more of it.
Incorrect. An approval of the product is not an approval of the killing; and there is no "indirect order". If the gap in the meat-vendor's stock caused by the purchase is taken by him/her to constitute such an order, then that is their decision alone.
From the perspective of the producer, buying their product is an approval of the product
Yes, the product is meat.
and an indirect order to produce more of it
No, the approval is expressed by the buyer, but the interpretation of the purchase as an instigation of further killing is (unless explicitly made by the buyer) entirely up to the vendor. If they choose to kill another animal to replace the sold one, that's entirely their decision, and that intention is not attributable to anyone other than themselves.
It might be called their decision, but it's a decision they are not making in some kind of socio-economic vacuum; it's a decision that other producers make as well; in fact, it's so common that it's taken for granted and isn't even considered an individual's decision, but is simply a matter of "how the market works", the principle of demand and supply.
Nobody ever makes a decision in a socio-economic vacuum, regardless of the type of kamma
that is made. War criminals are subjected to all manner of socio-economic influences, but their kamma
remains resolutely theirs. It's simply how war works, the principle of kill or be killed.
And since the modern meat industry was there before me, I take for granted that this industry dictates the terms and meanings, and that my intentions as a (potential) customer are secondary or irrelevant. The moment I walk into a grocery store, I am on someone else's turf, and they dictate the terms, not I. As long as I am [freely] on someone else's turf, my actions mean whatever the owner of that turf says they mean.
Your intentions as a customer are your kamma
, and the interpretations others give to it are not your kamma
. If you innocently go into a shop to buy organic tofu, and the owners start screaming that you are attempting to rob them, does that mean your intentions were unwholesome? Their kamma
is their stuff, yours is yours. Have another look at the Paññobhasa article I posted on another thread about consequences. Kamma
is what you
intend, not what other people claim you intend. That's their
Theories of economics aside, you seem to be advocating for some kind of absolute, decontextualized individualism that I cannot relate to.
I'm not advocating anything, and don't care what you can relate to. I'm just explaining why lay people buying and eating meat does not breach the first precept.
Whatever arguments the Buddhist defenders of meat eating propose to make it look innocent, I remain unconvinced and I still don't feel good about meat eating.
IOW, the modern meat industry is a kammic safe haven for Buddhists who want to eat meat but who don't want to kill the animal whose meat they are eating.
If you mean that lay Buddhists can buy and eat meat without breaching the first precept, then yes, but this is something that has been so since the Buddha's time.
Dispersion of responsibility is the bane of large and complex social, political, and economical systems. In such a system, the individual person is neither guilty nor innocent.
Yes, I personally don't find the concepts of guilt and innocence as useful in understanding the Buddha's position as notions such as kamma
and the precepts.
As always, I prefer to err on the side of caution: if one buys meat, in whatever type of market, one is involved in the killing of animals.
Obviously. If you eat the meat, the animal ends up quite literally involved in you! The issue for the lay person eating meat, though, is that the "involvement" does not constitute a breach of the first precept.