the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SarathW
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Re: Meat eating

Post by SarathW » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:01 am

Thanks Ben for the summary.
Thanks LY for the link. The great debate is great!
For the rest: Please read the great debate. Remember it requies lot of energy! :juggling:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sekha
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Sekha » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:35 am

Ben wrote: If you go to a supermarket and find hundreds of cuts of meat pre-packaged and for sale and you purchase some meat - then no. There is no causal link between your decision to purchase and the death of that animal.
may I suggest that:
- there is no causal link between the death of the animal the flesh of which one eats
- but there is a causal link with the future death of animals that are to come in the stalls of that supermaket.

does it sound as like acceptable point of view? if not, why so?
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Ben
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Ben » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:37 am

Sekha wrote:- but there is a causal link with the future death of animals that are to come in the stalls of that supermaket.
Would you care to demonstrate that, Sekha?
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Mr Man
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Mr Man » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:14 am

SarathW wrote: Does it mean I shold not buy and eat meat?
That is for you to decide. However there is obviously a causality between the eating of meat and the intentional killing of animals.

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Sekha
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Sekha » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:17 am

Ben wrote:
Sekha wrote:- but there is a causal link with the future death of animals that are to come in the stalls of that supermaket.
Would you care to demonstrate that, Sekha?
sure!

In my understanding, if I give money to the retailers for the meat I buy, that will prompt them to buy more meat to replace the meat I have withdrawn from their stall. So they will themselves give money to the butchers (or to the chain that leads to them) so that those will slaughter more animals to provide more fresh meat to fill the stalls. The causality is made obvious by the fact that if no one gave any money for the meat, that would prompt the retailers to stop asking meat from the butchers, which would prompt the butchers to change their business, if everyone were to act in this way, and that would be the end of the slaughter.

The following is a bit of drifting, but it is nevertheless closely related to the matter:

Another argument is at AN 3.164:
Tīhi , bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato yathābhataṃ nikkhitto evaṃ niraye. Katamehi tīhi? Attanā ca pāṇātipātī hoti, parañca pāṇātipāte samādapeti, pāṇātipāte ca samanuñño hoti.
Endowed with these three things, as if dragged and dropped there, one is in hell. Which three? One kills oneself, one prompts others to kill, one approves of killing.
To me, desiring to purchase and then purchasing meat in a supermarket is approving of the fact that the meat is on the stalls, which comes down to approving of the causes and conditions that make it possible for this meat to be there, and which therefore includes the slaughter of animals. So although it is the weakest form of panatipata, and there is no particular reason to consider that it will per se result in a bad rebirth, I do not agree with the view according to which there is absolutely nothing unwholesome in buying meat. The kammical result may (perhaps) be negligible compared to other actions of everyday life, but I do think it is existent.

The last thing, which is actually the reason why I personally do not purchase meat as long as there is at least one other reasonable option available (no reason to be rigid about it either) is that in order to feel really true to myself when I set up in my mind the good will "may all beings be happy", I need to wish as well that no animal may be slaughtered by anyone. Now if I buy meat, I have somehow to approve of the slaughter (even if it may be considered to be to a weak extent), and that weakens my good intention. I do think that is one important reason why I have developed a pretty strong vibration of metta around me all the time. I nearly never have to deal with any hostile person, as everyone in meet in real 3D life always feels friendly towards me. I know this is quite personal and subjective, and I don't intend to really convince anyone, and even less to tell others what they should do, but I hope at least that my point of view may be understood.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Ben
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Ben » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:11 am

Hi Sekha,

i've actually given this issue some considerable thought and with respect I think you are drawing a long bow.
if the meat was killed specifically for the particular purchaser who then buys the meat, or if the purchaser entices the butcher to kill an animal to satisfy a desire for meat - then it would be a breach of the first precept. The fact that butchers and farmers are making commercial decisions based on projected consumer behaviour is something that is going on in the heads of the butchers and farmers. The purchase of meat that was provided for not any one in particular from a supermarket is not meat that can be categorically said to be 'seen' or 'heard' by a consumer.
Consider this also - supermarkets regularly under or over order perishable products, the excess which end up in the dumpster.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Sekha
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Sekha » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:35 am

Ben wrote: i've actually given this issue some considerable thought and with respect I think you are drawing a long bow.
I know. But this is what's relevant for me. I don't intend to say that everyone should practice that way.
Ben wrote: if the meat was killed specifically for the particular purchaser who then buys the meat, or if the purchaser entices the butcher to kill an animal to satisfy a desire for meat - then it would be a breach of the first precept. The fact that butchers and farmers are making commercial decisions based on projected consumer behaviour is something that is going on in the heads of the butchers and farmers.
Sure. For myself, I nevertheless consider that my attitude has an impact, however small it may be. I am quite eager to obtain the 'fruit' so I want to put all odds on my side.
Ben wrote: The purchase of meat that was provided for not any one in particular from a supermarket is not meat that can be categorically said to be 'seen' or 'heard' by a consumer.

Well, my stand on this issue is that this rule is relevant for monks only. Taking it as a guide for lay people's behavior in my understanding is applying it out of context. There is no guarantee that the causes and conditions that prompted the Buddha to utter this rule would be the same in the case of lay people. And obviously they are not, otherwise he would have also instructed lay people to behave in the same way. Rather, in describing the undertaking of panatipata veramani, he instructed the people to dwell "friendly and compassionate towards all living beings".
Ben wrote: Consider this also - supermarkets regularly under or over order perishable products, the excess which end up in the dumpster.
Indeed, this is clearly the supermarkets' business, not ours.

:anjali:
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Mr Man
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Mr Man » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:56 am

To imagine the the eating of meat is not inextricably interlinked with the killing of animals is denial on the most giant of scales.

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DAWN
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Re: Meat eating

Post by DAWN » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:18 am

The question is not about if Buddha was or not accept it, the question is if YOU accept any killing or slavery.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english

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Sam Vara
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Re: Meat eating

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:42 am

Sekha:
Sure. For myself, I nevertheless consider that my attitude has an impact, however small it may be. I am quite eager to obtain the 'fruit' so I want to put all odds on my side.
For me, this is one of the best quotes in this whole massive debate. It is as humble as it is intelligent, and I thank you for it.

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equilibrium
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Re: Meat eating

Post by equilibrium » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:53 am

We all have meat on our own body.....why don't we cut our own meat and eat it?.....why should it come from an animal?.....supermarkets are an illusion.....the demand is the self.....the problem is the self.

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robertk
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Re: Meat eating

Post by robertk » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:35 pm

Mr Man wrote:To imagine the the eating of meat is not inextricably interlinked with the killing of animals is denial on the most giant of scales.
Was general siha involved in killing animals
when he fed meat to the monks?

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robertk
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Re: Meat eating

Post by robertk » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:37 pm

Sam Vara wrote:Sekha:
Sure. For myself, I nevertheless consider that my attitude has an impact, however small it may be. I am quite eager to obtain the 'fruit' so I want to put all odds on my side.
For me, this is one of the best quotes in this whole massive debate. It is as humble as it is intelligent, and I thank you for it.
Yes wrong view is the main obstacle to obtaining any fruits
Devadatta, the vegetarian monk, had such.

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beeblebrox
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Re: Meat eating

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:32 pm

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:To imagine the the eating of meat is not inextricably interlinked with the killing of animals is denial on the most giant of scales.
Was general siha involved in killing animals
when he fed meat to the monks?
I think you misread Mr Man's statement.

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beeblebrox
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Re: Meat eating

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:55 pm

robertk wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:Sekha:
Sure. For myself, I nevertheless consider that my attitude has an impact, however small it may be. I am quite eager to obtain the 'fruit' so I want to put all odds on my side.
For me, this is one of the best quotes in this whole massive debate. It is as humble as it is intelligent, and I thank you for it.
Yes wrong view is the main obstacle to obtaining any fruits
Devadatta, the vegetarian monk, had such.
Sekha's intention might be different from Devadatta's. If I understand correctly, Devadatta was trying to show others that he was better.

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