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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AgarikaJ
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by AgarikaJ » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:48 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:32 am
user99 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:53 pm
Its forbidden to order Meat and eat it so i Wonder this
Not explicitly, though I think it's worth considering:

1. The first precept, not to take life;
2. Dealing in butchery as an example of wrong livelihood;
3. The path factor of Right Intention, which includes developing harmlessness.

Note that if you choose to buy meat, then you are expecting somebody else to break the first precept and deal in butchery. Also you are causing harm indirectly. I think most people here will have access to non-meat products, so there is a choice for most.
As always, I believe intention to be the measuring quality. If the OP already has to ask the question, I think he has also already recognized that there is a problem with consuming meat.

While in Thailand, quite often I was asked to hold the cow or even deal the blow when there was a slaughter, so that the bad Kamma will not befall any of the villagers. This is a very simplified and legalistic view of the Teachings which falls down when looking at the intent of minimizing harm.

Therefore I think Dinsdale has put it succinctly.

Knowing this, one might still choose to eat meat; the Teachings give this latitude as everything boils down to personal responsibility for ones own (spiritual) well-being.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

cookiemonster
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:27 pm

user99 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:53 pm
Its forbidden to order Meat and eat it so i Wonder this
It is not forbidden to laypeople.

cookiemonster
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:29 pm

pitakele wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:51 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:33 am
It's important to consider the spirit of such teachings, and not just the letter.
Even though Buddha didn't teach his followers to be vegetarian, I think it important to be thoughtful about one's consumer habits. In modern times, most of us are very removed from the mass means of producing food, esp. the production of a huge variety of flesh foods. In a way, it is similar to removing the aged, dying and mentally ill to institutions - out of sight, out of mind. We don't confront reality and this can be a condition to grow ignorance. Flesh foods are bought in supermarkets etc. which promotes a false sense of distance from the fact that beings have lost their lives due to (largely) the demand of consumers. Not only has a being lost its life to become someone's meal, but also that meal has been provided by an unfortunate individual with wrong livelihood who is making bad kamma by intentionally killing living beings. Even though some justify eating flesh saying they haven't seen, heard or suspect it being killed for them (tikoti is a ruling for Sangha, not laity), that food has arrived as as a result of another's bad kamma. Are we really happy to have someone make bad kamma on our behalf (despite the seeming degrees of separation)? As samsāra is fraught with many pitfalls and dangers, it is wise to train as much as possible in thoughtfulness.
This could also apply to vegetable foods, in light of the Vinaya rule: "The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed."

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pitakele
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by pitakele » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:24 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:29 pm

This could also apply to vegetable foods, in light of the Vinaya rule: "The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed."
The vinaya rules regarding not damaging vegetables, seeds & crops have mostly been instigated so to not offend laypeople,. e.g. farmers, not because there is anything instrinsically akusala in these actions (although being mindful of others' sensitivities & protecting the environment etc. can be done with kusala intentions). The qualitative difference with flesh foods is that killing of living beings is required. No matter which way this is rationalized, someone along the way is making bad kamma. Saṃsāra is, indeed, problematic 😊
Last edited by pitakele on Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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StormBorn
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by StormBorn » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:39 pm

Buying meat in a food store definitely creates a demand. :popcorn: That demand creates a supply. The supplier kills beings. :pig: Therefore, the buyer has a hand in that killing. :stirthepot: Period.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

cookiemonster
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:02 pm

pitakele wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:24 pm
cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:29 pm

This could also apply to vegetable foods, in light of the Vinaya rule: "The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed."
The vinaya rules regarding not damaging vegetables, seeds & crops have mostly been instigated so to not offend laypeople,. e.g. farmers, not because there is anything instrinsically akusala in these actions (although being mindful of others' sensitivities & protecting the environment etc. can be done with kusala intentions). The qualitative difference with flesh foods is that killing of living beings is required. No matter which way this is rationalized, someone along the way is making bad kamma. Saṃsāra is, indeed, problematic 😊
I thought committing an pacittiya offense is intrinsically akusala.

cookiemonster
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:04 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:39 pm
Buying meat in a food store definitely creates a demand. :popcorn: That demand creates a supply. The supplier kills beings. :pig: Therefore, the buyer has a hand in that killing. :stirthepot: Period.
Under that logic: Buying vegetables in a food store creates a demand. That demand creates a supply. The suppliers and farmers, very likely consumers of meat, harvests and ships those vegetables. Meat suppliers supply the suppliers and farmers with meat. Therefore a vegetarian also has a hand in that killing. Period.

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StormBorn
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by StormBorn » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:58 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:04 pm
StormBorn wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:39 pm
Buying meat in a food store definitely creates a demand. :popcorn: That demand creates a supply. The supplier kills beings. :pig: Therefore, the buyer has a hand in that killing. :stirthepot: Period.
Under that logic: Buying vegetables in a food store creates a demand. That demand creates a supply. The suppliers and farmers, very likely consumers of meat, harvests and ships those vegetables. Meat suppliers supply the suppliers and farmers with meat. Therefore a vegetarian also has a hand in that killing. Period.
When one buys vegetables, does he/she requests farmers to eat meat? :rofl:

And where the Buddha said eating a vegi is similar to killing a being?
Last edited by StormBorn on Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

cookiemonster
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:06 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:58 pm
cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:04 pm
StormBorn wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:39 pm
Buying meat in a food store definitely creates a demand. :popcorn: That demand creates a supply. The supplier kills beings. :pig: Therefore, the buyer has a hand in that killing. :stirthepot: Period.
Under that logic: Buying vegetables in a food store creates a demand. That demand creates a supply. The suppliers and farmers, very likely consumers of meat, harvests and ships those vegetables. Meat suppliers supply the suppliers and farmers with meat. Therefore a vegetarian also has a hand in that killing. Period.
When one buy vegetables, does he/she request farmers to eat meat? :rofl:

And where the Buddha said eating a vegi is similar to killing a being?
The vegetable-buyer isn't necessarily requesting that farmers eat meat, just like the meat-buyer isn't necessarily requesting that suppliers kill beings.

To my knowledge, the Buddha did not say eating vegetables is similar to killing a being (one of the five lower precepts), but if you want to equate eating meat with killing beings, then under the same logic, eating vegetables would fall under another one of the higher precepts: "The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed."

dharmacorps
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:08 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:39 pm
Buying meat in a food store definitely creates a demand. :popcorn: That demand creates a supply. The supplier kills beings. :pig: Therefore, the buyer has a hand in that killing. :stirthepot: Period.
Where is the basis for this in the pali canon? :spy:

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StormBorn
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by StormBorn » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:23 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:06 pm
just like the meat-buyer isn't necessarily requesting that suppliers kill beings
Sometimes the seller can be the supplier/butcher too. Anyhow, buyer's demand is the reason why a seller requests suppliers to provide meat. If no one buys meat (no demand), no seller woudn't bother to sell meat.
cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:06 pm
"The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed."
That rule is for monastics, right? Otherwise, I will fall into some "akusala" by leaning to a wall (another monk rule) :tongue:
dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:08 pm
Where is the basis for this in the pali canon? :spy:
I don't have the reference now, but once a monk told me they can't accept meat, if there's a suspicion that animal was killed for monk. He said, it's to avoid creating any demand for meat from monk's side.

Edit: Found the reference (from BMI II, 377).
Furthermore, even cooked fish or meat of an allowable kind is unallowable if the bhikkhu sees, hears, or suspects that the animal was killed specifically for the purpose of feeding bhikkhus ( Mv.VI.31.14 ).
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

cookiemonster
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:21 pm

StormBorn wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:23 pm
cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:06 pm
just like the meat-buyer isn't necessarily requesting that suppliers kill beings
Sometimes the seller can be the supplier/butcher too. Anyhow, buyer's demand is the reason why a seller requests suppliers to provide meat. If no one buys meat (no demand), no seller woudn't bother to sell meat.
cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:06 pm
"The damaging of a living plant is to be confessed."
That rule is for monastics, right? Otherwise, I will fall into some "akusala" by leaning to a wall (another monk rule) :tongue:
IMO there is no binary "right" or "wrong" in Buddhism. Instead, there's a continuum scale of skillfulness<->unskillfulness.

santa100
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by santa100 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:16 pm

user99 wrote:Its forbidden to order Meat and eat it so i Wonder this
MN 55 wrote:Jīvaka, those who speak thus: ‘They kill living creatures on purpose for the recluse Gotama, and the recluse Gotama knowingly makes use of meat killed on purpose and specially provided for him’, these are not quoting my own words, but are misrepresenting me with what is not true, with what is not fact. I, Jīvaka, say that in three cases meat may not be used: if it is seen, heard, suspected (to have been killed on purpose for a monk). In these three cases I, Jīvaka, say that meat may not be used. But I, Jīvaka, say that in three cases meat may be used: if it is not seen, heard, suspected (to have been killed on purpose for a monk). In these three cases I, Jīvaka, say that meat may be used.

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pitakele
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by pitakele » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:40 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:02 pm
I thought committing an pacittiya offense is intrinsically akusala.
Knowingly breaking a vinaya rule may be akusala for a monastic, but destroying vegetable life is not akusala in itself as is the intentional killing of living beings.
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Zom
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Re: Is it okey to buy Meat in a foodstore and eat?

Post by Zom » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:51 pm

Under that logic: Buying vegetables in a food store creates a demand. That demand creates a supply. The suppliers and farmers, very likely consumers of meat, harvests and ships those vegetables. Meat suppliers supply the suppliers and farmers with meat. Therefore a vegetarian also has a hand in that killing. Period.
Indeed. Road workers build roads. Meat suppliers use those roads to sell their stuff. This is why road workers also have a hand in killing 8-)

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