the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:00 pm

Peter wrote: Of course the obvious difference between this case and buying meat is the animal is killed for the express purpose that someone would buy it's meat. No one kills people for the express purpose of creating medical cadavers. On the other hand, killing people for any reason is illegal. Similarly, killing an animal for any reason is taught by the Buddha to be unwholesome. It seems to me unnecessary to extend the Buddha's teachings on this matter to include anyone who is in any way even remotely connected to the person doing the actual killing. If no one was willing to kill directly then the entire discussion of vegetarianism becomes moot.
I agree, animals are killed for the express purpose of making meat for sale. No one kills a human to create a cadaver. The cadavers all died naturally. I would not see anything wrong ethically with eating meat from an animal that died naturally. I would not want to do it, though.

The Buddha considered killing an animal for any reason to be unwholesome. I agree again. I do not propose that meat eating be made illegal as it is for killing humans. I think it is a choice issue. For me, it is a small way to do less killing in this samsara, but each must make their own decision. Killing animals is unwholesome, probably unethical in many instances, but not illegal, that's too far.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:08 pm

Rather than answering my opinion on each of those, I think I can do it with just one answer:

You could use those examples for just about anything, such as alcohol, guns, or anything else that the Buddha deemed unwholesome. The Suttas refer to those in the trade of meat, weapons, alcohol, etc. To me this means just the owners, not the delivery people, employees, etc.

So my opinion would be the owner of the unwholesome business and anyone who directly buys the unwholesome products, such as poisons for killing, assault weapons, alcohol, and then yes, meat. Unwholesome, perhaps unethical, not illegal.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:12 pm

TheDhamma wrote:I am only referring to those who do the killing and those who request the killing, not anyone else.
No, that's not what you were referring to at all. You referred to the person who buys a piece of meat. He neither kills nor makes a request to kill. Your words: "if I go to a butcher and request some meat and for the purposes of this hypothetical example it is his last piece of flesh in the store, then the butcher will order another carcass from the slaughterhouse. It is a direct line from my order." You requested the last piece of meat in the store. Thus it was already dead, thus you did not kill nor request anything to be killed.
No and many farms do not use those instruments, especially organic.
I agree organic farms do not, but I disagree with your assertion that "many farms do not". Here's a map of pesticide use by state from 2002.
You don't think that less killing is better than more killing?
I do not think less killing is wholesome while more killing is unwholesome. Rather I think less killing is less unwholesome that more killing, yet still unwholesome. Furthermore, I do not find anything in the Buddha's teachings to suggest he praised unwholesome behavior of any quantity. For example, I am not aware of any scripture which states "Better than killing a hundred people is to just kill five."
For example, if it is decided to bomb a headquarters of a terrorist group and since killing is already allowed...
Allowed by who? Buddhism teaches all killing to be unwholesome.
...is it then okay to use a nuke and destroy the headquarters and another 250 mile radius including all of the civilians around that area?
Bombing the headquarters is unwholesome. Bombing the civilians in the area is also unwholesome. At least according to Buddha's teachings, which is what I thought we were discussing here.
Last edited by kc2dpt on Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:14 pm

The cadavers all died naturally.
Some died naturally. Some died as the result of violent crime.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:22 pm

Peter wrote: No, that's not what you were referring to at all. You referred to the person who buys a piece of meat. He neither kills nor makes a request to kill. Your words: "if I go to a butcher and request some meat and for the purposes of this hypothetical example it is his last piece of flesh in the store, then the butcher will order another carcass from the slaughterhouse. It is a direct line from my order." You requested the last piece of meat in the store. Thus it was already dead, thus you did not kill nor request anything to be killed.
Then the debate between us is just over if there is a direct line or not. In my opinion if one orders meat, then another animal will be killed. In my opinion requesting meat, asking for meat is allowing and approving of a future animal to be slaughtered. Your opinion is that there is no direct line. That is fine. We can disagree on that. We're still both practicing Buddhism.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:24 pm

Peter wrote:
The cadavers all died naturally.
Some died naturally. Some died as the result of violent crime.
But they were not killed specifically to make another cadaver. Or if they were, that would be really unwholesome, I am sure we would all agree to that.

User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by kc2dpt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:31 pm

Then the debate between us is just over if there is a direct line or not.
My question to you, which you did not answer, is how far does that direct line go? If I buy fruit in a store that also sells meat, am I "allowing and approving" their general business model, which includes selling meat? If I drive the truck from the slaughterhouse to the store am I "allowing and approving" the sale of meat? If I didn't drive the truck then there'd be no meat to sell, right? If I treat the illness of a man who makes his living selling meat, am I "allowing and approving" him to continue doing his job?

If I buy non-organic fruit, am I "allowing and approving" the use of pesticides and traps? Is the buying of non-organic fruit against the Buddha's teachings in your eyes?

I understand you see a direct line. My question is how far does that line go?
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:42 pm

Peter wrote: I understand you see a direct line. My question is how far does that line go?
Just the owner of the trade, be it poisons, assault weapons, alcohol, meat and in my opinion those who directly purchase those items; not the delivery people, employees, etc.

You could replace meat with alcohol, poisons, etc. and see that it is just those directly involved, for example the person who buys alcohol and the owner of the liquor store; both unwholesome, not illegal.

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:18 pm

Peter wrote: If I buy fruit in a store that also sells meat, am I "allowing and approving" their general business model, which includes selling meat? If I drive the truck from the slaughterhouse to the store am I "allowing and approving" the sale of meat? If I didn't drive the truck then there'd be no meat to sell, right? If I treat the illness of a man who makes his living selling meat, am I "allowing and approving" him to continue doing his job?
Every time someone buys a vegetable or fruit in a grocery it is sort of a "vote" for those items. It is supply and demand. It doesn't matter if the store also sells meat. If someone only buys the non-meat items, it is those items that will become in short supply and then the manager will order more of those items. I see nothing wrong or unwholesome in purchasing vegetarian items at a store that also sells meat or ordering vegetarian at a restaurant that also serves meat. So as mentioned above, just the owner of the business or the one directly buying is something I would not do, the delivery people, etc. pose no harm.

User avatar
Branko
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Branko » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:50 pm

Yes. That means I've been veggie for last 33 years of my life. During that period I was eating fish for 3-4 years.
Reason for my decision in the first place was feeling sorry for the animals,
although some might consider as an attachment to views.
Whatever it might be, I feel better being what I'm now.

:smile:
http://www.yu-budizam.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
Tex
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:46 pm
Location: Austin, TX, USA

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Tex » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:39 pm

TheDhamma wrote: Even if we still say that there is much killing of insects and other beings from the harvesting of vegetarian foods, there will still always be less killing, less violence, with a vegetarian diet, because a meat eater is eating the animal that was slaughtered, PLUS all of the above, because the slaughterhouse animals are fed grain and vegetarian foods (processed just like the above paragraph mentions) for years while they are being raised for their meat.
This makes sense, of course. But if the goal is minimizing the total number of deaths, then wouldn't the answer actually be to eat meat exclusively?

Couldn't I buy beef from a butcher that buys his cows from a rancher that grazes his cows exclusively on grass? I don't know exactly how much beef one cow yields, but I'm sure I could survive for a couple of weeks or more per animal death caused for my food consumption this way.

:shrug:
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11917
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by DNS » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:57 pm

Tex wrote: Couldn't I buy beef from a butcher that buys his cows from a rancher that grazes his cows exclusively on grass? I don't know exactly how much beef one cow yields, but I'm sure I could survive for a couple of weeks or more per animal death caused for my food consumption this way.
But the cow grazing will also be killing so many insects from the eating and also out the other end when it relives herself/himself.

If one really wanted to limit the total number of beings, organic vegetables, fruits, and grains would be the way to go.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4231
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:03 am

Peter wrote:No one kills people for the express purpose of creating medical cadavers.
Except in Scotland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Burke

User avatar
adeh
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by adeh » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:10 am

Organic farms also use pesticides, it's just that they use organic pesticides. Chilli spray [for example] may be organic, but it still kills insects.

User avatar
adeh
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Mexico City

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Post by adeh » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:12 am

Peter wrote:
No one kills people for the express purpose of creating medical cadavers.

Except in Scotland.

And in Brazil. :oops: Sorry it was in Columbia 15 years ago.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Pseudobabble and 52 guests