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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Kim OHara
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Kim OHara » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:42 pm

FallAway wrote:I have been a vegetarian for thirty years now. Health-wise, my body/mind has overcome cancer and advanced cirrhosis (non-alcoholic). Spiritually, my heart is content and at peace. It was exactly the fifth precept of Buddhism that drew me into the three refuges. Nothing spoke to me as warmly and lovingly as this precept...

Congratulations on all counts.
and I doubt that I will ever find such welcoming acceptance of a "harm not" worldview in any other path.
I don't want to encourage to you to leave your happy spiritual home but I have just been looking up diet and religion for another small project and there are two other groups which take non-harm as their primary goal - the Jains and the Vegans.
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_vegetarianism says
Jain objections to the eating of meat, fish and eggs are based on the principle of non-violence (ahimsa, figuratively "non-injuring"). Every act by which a person directly or indirectly supports killing or injury is seen as act of violence (himsa), which creates harmful reaction karma. The aim of ahimsa is to prevent the accumulation of such karma.[2][3] The extent to which this intention is put into effect varies greatly among Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Jains believe nonviolence is the most essential religious duty for everyone (ahinsā paramo dharmaḥ, a statement often inscribed on Jain temples).[4][5][6] It is an indispensable condition for liberation from the cycle of reincarnation,[7] which is the ultimate goal of all Jain activities. Jains share this goal with Hindus and Buddhists, but their approach is particularly rigorous and comprehensive. Their scrupulous and thorough way of applying nonviolence to everyday activities, and especially to food, shapes their entire lives and is the most significant hallmark of Jain identity.
Veganism is not considered a religion but is often considered a lifestyle rather than a dietary choice. The Vegan Society https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/d ... n-veganism defines its basis as:
A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.
:coffee:
Kim

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FallAway
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by FallAway » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:23 pm

FallAway wrote:It was exactly the fifth precept of Buddhism that drew me into the three refuges. Nothing spoke to me as warmly and lovingly as this precept...and I doubt that I will ever find such welcoming acceptance of a "harm not" worldview in any other path.
I apologize for an error in this post. It is the first precept and not the fifth that I wished to say. I'm sorry for the confusion this may have caused.
Kim Ohara wrote:I don't want to encourage to you to leave your happy spiritual home but I have just been looking up diet and religion for another small project and there are two other groups which take non-harm as their primary goal - the Jains and the Vegans.
Thank you Kim for your response and your well-wishes. I respect Jainism highly and have read about that religion in an interested way. I think my viewpoint about eating chicken eggs would differ. I don't consider this a violence to the creature, particularly in my own case. There may be grounds for exploitation, I concede, but to me it is the same kind of exploitation I "subject" my son to when I "use" his strong arms for physical work, rather than my own weaker ones.

Hens will lay eggs regardless if the eggs are fertilized or not, or are eaten or not. Mature hens will usually lay one egg a day until post-maturation. This is similar to how a human female will ovulate monthly regardless of fertilization of the ovum.

I believe that the companionship - not husbandry - of chickens is not wrong or evil. Inhumane treatment of the chicken such as happens in commercializing their value is indeed wrong. I don't see the evil in caring for a freely-moving, well-nourished chicken who will live out a natural life span (approximately 8-10 years) and enjoying the food their bodies will create regardless of "ownership" or not. So I think this viewpoint would create a obstacle with Jainism.

I am not so very familiar with what a vegan "lifestyle" would entail. I am not opposed to their ethical viewpoint at all, but I suspect that it would be difficult for me to obtain, or grow, the allowable food. I gave up leathers at the same time as I became vegetarian. Never purchased, wore, or will wear fur or feathers for the inherent cruelty. I know that I love sprouts of all kind. I may be partially on the road to veganism already...

Thank you for sharing the information. Blessings to you and a peaceful life.

:namaste:
Be a lamp unto yourself.

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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:20 pm

FallAway wrote:
I am not so very familiar with what a vegan "lifestyle" would entail.

It basically entails a lifestyle that just makes every attempt, within reason, to not consume things or do things that harm animals. For example, only plant food diet, no flesh, no dairy, no eggs. No food with animal based ingredients. No leather clothes or products, no silk, no wool. No purchasing of products tested on animals. No purchasing of pets, only rescue adoptions if one wants a pet. No killing rat traps, only live catch. Stuff like that. It's not as strict as Jain, but it's a perfect fit with Buddhist non-harming. Some vegans have a problem with "backyard eggs", some don't as long as the animals are not treated like commodities. :smile:

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FallAway
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by FallAway » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:44 pm

seeker242 wrote:
FallAway wrote:
I am not so very familiar with what a vegan "lifestyle" would entail.

It basically entails a lifestyle that just makes every attempt, within reason, to not consume things or do things that harm animals. For example, only plant food diet, no flesh, no dairy, no eggs. No food with animal based ingredients. No leather clothes or products, no silk, no wool. No purchasing of products tested on animals. No purchasing of pets, only rescue adoptions if one wants a pet. No killing rat traps, only live catch. Stuff like that. It's not as strict as Jain, but it's a perfect fit with Buddhist non-harming. Some vegans have a problem with "backyard eggs", some don't as long as the animals are not treated like commodities. :smile:
Seeker, thanks for that overall explanation. I may be further down the road than I thought...

:namaste:
Be a lamp unto yourself.

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:35 am

FallAway wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
FallAway wrote:
I am not so very familiar with what a vegan "lifestyle" would entail.

It basically entails a lifestyle that just makes every attempt, within reason, to not consume things or do things that harm animals. For example, only plant food diet, no flesh, no dairy, no eggs. No food with animal based ingredients. No leather clothes or products, no silk, no wool. No purchasing of products tested on animals. No purchasing of pets, only rescue adoptions if one wants a pet. No killing rat traps, only live catch. Stuff like that. It's not as strict as Jain, but it's a perfect fit with Buddhist non-harming. Some vegans have a problem with "backyard eggs", some don't as long as the animals are not treated like commodities. :smile:
Seeker, thanks for that overall explanation. I may be further down the road than I thought...

:namaste:
Perhaps we should add to the list that one's food should not be grown with animal products (manures, blood, bone, fishmeal etc.) and should not be grown using pesticides. I am currently working on growing vegetables in this manner.
chownah

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FallAway
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by FallAway » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:09 am

chownah wrote: Perhaps we should add to the list that one's food should not be grown with animal products (manures, blood, bone, fishmeal etc.) and should not be grown using pesticides. I am currently working on growing vegetables in this manner.
chownah
Ah, and here is where there may be an issue for me as well. I have a rescue cow, 3 rescue goats and 14 rescue chickens, all of which also produce manure, totally organic. I have a small garden and it is fertilized with this manure.

Although I see you said "within reason" regarding the lifestyle I think running into militant vegans would be unpleasant for me as I would feel put on the defensive as far as breaking, or even bending the rules goes.

This could prompt some interesting discussion with vegans here though. I wonder if a vegan would reply to this post and offer his or her opinion of the rescue animal/manure aspect.

Thanks again for the information Chownah.

:namaste:
Be a lamp unto yourself.

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:20 am

You are welcome.
Please note that I did not say "within reason"......but do be advised that by not saying this I did not intend to imply "without reason".
chownah

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FallAway
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by FallAway » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:38 am

seeker242 wrote:It basically entails a lifestyle that just makes every attempt, within reason, to not consume things or do things that harm animals.
chownah wrote:Perhaps we should add to the list that one's food should not be grown with animal products (manures, blood, bone, fishmeal etc.) and should not be grown using pesticides. I am currently working on growing vegetables in this manner.
......
Please note that I did not say "within reason"......but do be advised that by not saying this I did not intend to imply "without reason".
Noted, with apologies, Chownah. I mixed that in from a post from Seeker.

Sometimes "membership" into an "ism" can bring divisiveness within the membership itself. It's good to remember that both "within reason" and "without reason" are attitudes that support cohesion. Much success with your vegetable garden.

:namaste:
Be a lamp unto yourself.

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seeker242
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by seeker242 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:00 pm

chownah wrote: Perhaps we should add to the list that one's food should not be grown with animal products (manures, blood, bone, fishmeal etc.) and should not be grown using pesticides. I am currently working on growing vegetables in this manner.
chownah
Some people, who are able to grow their own food, do that. :smile:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_organic_gardening

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:55 pm

seeker242 wrote:
chownah wrote: Perhaps we should add to the list that one's food should not be grown with animal products (manures, blood, bone, fishmeal etc.) and should not be grown using pesticides. I am currently working on growing vegetables in this manner.
chownah
Some people, who are able to grow their own food, do that. :smile:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_organic_gardening
Yes. Some people do have gardens that way. What I am working on is a way to do it efficiently in a way which can support an income. I am not thinking that I am inventing something new. What I am doing is organizing and developing the land and water resources which I have to be able to do it in a way which can provide a living income. It is not as easy as you think. For instance....if you don't have adequate drainage and your neighbor blocks off the usual route for your excess rain water to drain then the soil will be too wet to till and if you have already planted then your vegetables plants or your green manure crop will die. If you plant your seed crop for next years green manure planting too late then you will get a very small yield and have no seeds for next year and if you plant it too early you will have problems keeping the weeds down.....in the rainy season there is too much water and in the dry season there is not enough so you need to develop an irrigation system...in years past you had not problems storing seeds for the next year but then this year for some unknown reason your seeds have deteriorated so when you plant you get big gaps in the row and only half a crop unless you want to till it all up and start over again which might be too late in the season for that crop...and where will you be able to get good seed?.....the list of problems is almost endless.
chownah

chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:56 pm

seeker242 wrote:
chownah wrote: Perhaps we should add to the list that one's food should not be grown with animal products (manures, blood, bone, fishmeal etc.) and should not be grown using pesticides. I am currently working on growing vegetables in this manner.
chownah
Some people, who are able to grow their own food, do that. :smile:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegan_organic_gardening
Yes. Some people do have gardens that way. What I am working on is a way to do it efficiently in a way which can support an income. I am not thinking that I am inventing something new. What I am doing is organizing and developing the land and water resources which I have to be able to do it in a way which can provide a living income. It is not as easy as you think. For instance....if you don't have adequate drainage and your neighbor blocks off the usual route for your excess rain water to drain then the soil will be too wet to till and if you have already planted then your vegetables plants or your green manure crop will die. If you plant your seed crop for next years green manure planting too late then you will get a very small yield and have no seeds for next year and if you plant it too early you will have problems keeping the weeds down.....in the rainy season there is too much water and in the dry season there is not enough so you need to develop an irrigation system...in years past you had not problems storing seeds for the next year but then this year for some unknown reason your seeds have deteriorated so when you plant you get big gaps in the row and only half a crop unless you want to till it all up and start over again which might be too late in the season for that crop...and where will you be able to get good seed?.....the list of problems is almost endless.
chownah

Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:30 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3pmMZDko60

Animals are innocent. Don't be speciesist.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Santi253 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:15 pm

In the Lotus Sutra, the naga princess becomes a Buddha. This shows that all creatures, great and small, have Buddha-nature. This is one reason why vegetarianism is widely practiced in Mahayana Buddhism.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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chownah
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by chownah » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:58 am

Some dietary news:
New research suggests that it's not the fat in your diet that's raising your risk of premature death, it's too many carbohydrates -- especially the refined, processed kinds of carbs -- that may be the real killer...
https://science.slashdot.org/story/17/0 ... -carbs-bad
chownah

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:38 am

chownah wrote:Some dietary news:
New research suggests that it's not the fat in your diet that's raising your risk of premature death, it's too many carbohydrates -- especially the refined, processed kinds of carbs -- that may be the real killer...
https://science.slashdot.org/story/17/0 ... -carbs-bad
chownah
Yeah the originator of that Idea Dr Atkins, died of a heart attack.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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