It is better to be kind than unkind. But in order for the truth of such a statement to be realized, I think we must first address our own very real unkindnesses.
If someone thinks that because they are Buddhist and because they abstain from killing, they are somehow uninvolved in killing ... well, I think they had better think a little harder.
Ha! Like my lama you prevent attachment even to holy acts and press for deeper insight...
I didn't mean to imply that not eating meat automatically makes a person super-holy. I was just trying to examine some negative aspects of our culture. Yes, I still have a lot of my own negativities and I'm going through the slow process of trying to purify them.
Isn't each breath, each bit of barley, each chicken, something that might make the difference between life and death for some other being?
No. There is no difference. Which "other being" should die, so that which "other being" will live?
So, the logical solution would be to harm as few total sentient beings as possible during our lifetime.
– are there any other kind?
Holding to inherent existence is behind both grasping and rejecting .
Free from holding things like 'virtues' to exist truly, or holding that they don’t exist at all, see all things as similar to illusions- merely labeled by mind - then the collecting of virtues, merits, and giving or dedicating without abiding, becomes a true wisdom practice.
I think that it is because we cannot live in this world and at the same time avoid harming other beings [like insects] - it is important that we avoid - knowingly - willingly and intentionally, taking the life of another sentient being.
I don't think that we need to go hungry, instead of underlining virtues from not intentionally killing, we could just dedicate those virtues to those who do not see any harm in killing, yet.
Wow, Drolma. Your viewpoint on this issue is quite lofty and sounds like it's correct.
I guess the heart of the issue is whether Buddhism views types of social activism (such as promoting vegetarianism or other social issues) as meaningful or as pointless. In the Pali Canon, teaching the Dharma is called a virtue. I guess my thinking was that trying to get people to care about the suffering of animals is part of teaching the Dharma, and therefore something important.
Perhaps I should have posted this in the "Engaged Buddhism" subforum, but it had aspects of personal experience in it.