Afaik, there is no canonical reference for this, but one can contemplate carefully what is the most skilful way to practice Dhamma in any given situation.dharmacorps wrote: ↑Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:08 pmWhere is the basis for this in the pali canon?
Supply and demand can be thought about in this way:
Stealing breaks the second training rule and is also akusala kamma. If a professional thief were to steal, for example, designer clothes, could that stealing bring any financial benefit if there was no buyer market? Would the thief be making this type of akusala kamma if there were no buyers of the stolen goods? The knowing buyer of stolen goods is supporting someone's wrong livelihood & akusala kamma.
Similarly, killing living beings breaks the first training rule and is akusala kamma. If a professional slaughterer kills living beings, would there be any financial advantage if there was no buyer market for flesh? Would the slaughterperson continue performing this type of akusala kamma if there were no buyers? Animals have been killed for the buyer and the buyer is a de facto supporter of someone's wrong livelihood and akusala kamma.
The world is much more complex now than at the time
of Buddha when there were less degrees of separation between slaugherperson & purchased flesh - maybe similar to when I stayed with an Indian family in Malaysia in the seventies. On one occasion, I gave the mother money to purchase food at the markets and was 'horrified' to see her pay to have a chicken killed. As I wrote in an earlier post, modern mass flesh production is very 'sanitized', leading to a type of cognitive dissonance about the process that has taken place in getting the product to market.
When in robes, I mostly ate what was offered. Fortuitously, in Sri Lanka not much flesh food, apart from fish, is offered. Also, many forest hermitages have a vegetarian protocol. The only times I received chicken was in Colombo. Once, I was offered meat in a remote area, but I didn't eat it because I suspected it was monkey meat. After I disrobed and had more control of the food I ate, I decided to become vegetarian (not vegan). Nearly all my Western Buddhist friends are vegetarian.
Buddha didn't teach vegetarianism and made allowances for certain types of meat to be eaten when monks are ill. In contrast, one of Devadatta's five factors for his followers (i.e. attempting to create a schism in the Saṅgha) was strict vegetarianism. Also, in the Āmagandha Sutta (Sutta Nipāta), Buddha taught that beings aren't purified by what they eat.
What one eats is purely personal choice, but as Dhamma practitioners we should, at least, be aware of our motivations. If one is attached to eating flesh products, one should acknowledge that rather than deny cause and effect, i.e. arguing that demand for flesh products does not influence supply of flesh products.
(There are also sound arguments for not consuming mass produced eggs and dairy products, but, at present, I think it is qualitatively more difficult to stay healthy on a vegan diet...)
Sorry if this post repeats points already mentioned by others....