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

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 11:27 pm

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

Post by pitakele » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:20 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
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:
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.

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....
now here = nowhere

User avatar
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:23 pm

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

Post by Keith » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:08 pm

pitakele wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:20 pm
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...
I chose to adopt a vegan lifestyle because I could not justify the alternative. At first, I chose to become vegetarian, but when I realised that all the exact same arguments for vegetarianism applied to veganism, it seemed like an obvious progression. Consider my choice to adopt veganism a side effect of my efforts to develop compassion.

So far, I've remained healthy on a vegan diet just fine. There are so many ethical alternatives to the non-vegan products available, I find it difficult to see how others don't make the step.

I have friends who are Buddhists and eat meat, and non-Buddhist friends who are vegan. To me, this isn't about progression towards nibbana or religion or faith or scripture or anything like that: to me it is about keeping my conscience from bothering me.

James Tan
Posts: 942
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

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

Post by James Tan » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:03 am

Doing our part we think adequate and in our capability as long as not unwholesome .
Just like many people prefer not to use plastic bag to minimise further environment pollution .
But to abstain from meat eating does carry a great meaning and merits . Indirectly we encourage people not to consume meat and killing animals for meat .

Posts: 494
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 5:29 pm
Location: United States

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

Post by TRobinson465 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:42 am

^Yes good point. refraining from eating meat is probably comparable to the modern environmental movement. not using plastic bags, recycling, driving hybrids and getting solar panels etc. Not necessarily kamma upping but noble all the same and more out of a desire to improve society than spiritual practice/development
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

Posts: 10118
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

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

Post by SarathW » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:50 am

I think when we consume anything we should use them with reflection.
If we eat meat we should reflect on the pain and suffering of the dying animal.
When we use cloths and other materials we should reflect on the people involved in the supply chain.
Puttamansa Sutta. ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:01 am

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

Post by rcteutsch » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:28 pm

It is quite possible for there to be good reasons for doing something other than avoiding dark kamma. And there may be reasons something may be inexpedient, unskillful, "wrong," other than by generating dark kamma. There are ample "buddhist" reasons to be a vegetarian even if not being one, strictly speaking, is not morally wrong from a kammic perspective: (1) environmental protection (social responsibility is very much a buddhist teaching even if the effects of global warming were unknown during the time of the Buddha); (2) generating compassion and generosity towards suffering beings; (3) an exercise in renunciation (meat is a luxury in that the developed world consumes much more of it, generally speaking); etc. Of course, this is not to say one must be a vegetarian to be a good Buddhist, but it may be optimum, ideal, or beneficial for more people to adopt a vegetarian lifestyles.

Here is a thought: It is morally wrong from a Buddhist perspective to request, recommend, or even hint at that others should kill living beings. Essentially, by purchasing meat we are requesting others to kill more beings to supply our food preferences (I think most would find it a much different case for populations where meat consumption is virtually necessary, e.g., Tibet. And some may need to eat meat for health reasons). In my opinion, that reeks of selfishness.

Additionally, I suspect that that there is a much greater awareness nowadays of the suffering caused by purchasing meat and the degree of suffering is much greater nowadays with factory farming. In other words, the conditions during the time of the Buddha have changed.

I apologize for any pretentiousness in my post. I hope others find it helpful. :namaste:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests