the great vegetarian debate

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:46 pm

Jikan wrote:
Simon E. wrote:What concerns me is any suggestion that there is a Buddhist consensus on the issue.
There simply isn't. And never has been.


This is the primary reason why this thread continues to spiral around in circles, with the same arguments repeated endlessly. It's an issue on which reasonable and well-intentioned persons will have grounds for disagreement.

Precisely.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:51 pm

Simon E. wrote:Personally Johnny if someone opts for a vegetarian diet on what they see as ethical grounds then that is their choice to make.
What concerns me is any suggestion that there is a Buddhist consensus on the issue.
There simply isn't. And never has been.


I fully support the choice to be a vegetarian, especially for spiritual practice reasons. Like I said, what I don't buy is the ethical argument being made here about NOT being one, which BTW really seems only tangentially related to Buddhism in the first place. What i'm seeing here so far has been closer to the normal argument one hears from non-Buddhist vegans and vegetarians, which is a really absurd argument. The only one to really even mention the Buddhist standpoint recently that I have seen has been Malcolm.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:02 pm

I agree. As soon as anyone says that they know what separates 'real' Buddhists ( like them ) from the rest of us you can be pretty sure that they have missed the point completely.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Jikan wrote:Another reminder from the moderator:

Thrasymachus wrote:Oh man, these crazy anecdotal Annie carnists


This is an example of an ad hominem: attacking persons rather than addressing ideas.

Use ad hominems and expect moderator action.

Actually Jikan, I find the insidious weightist ideology that informs many of Thrasymachus' posts much more disturbing than his rather charming attempts at humor.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1479
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adi » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:34 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Jikan wrote:
Simon E. wrote:What concerns me is any suggestion that there is a Buddhist consensus on the issue.
There simply isn't. And never has been.


This is the primary reason why this thread continues to spiral around in circles, with the same arguments repeated endlessly. It's an issue on which reasonable and well-intentioned persons will have grounds for disagreement.

Precisely.


As a latecomer to this long thread, I have to agree as well.

I think this is as it should be. If one could eat their way into heaven then Buddha wouldn't have had to turn all those wheels. :smile:

Adi
Adi
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:45 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:44 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Jikan wrote:Another reminder from the moderator:

Thrasymachus wrote:Oh man, these crazy anecdotal Annie carnists


This is an example of an ad hominem: attacking persons rather than addressing ideas.

Use ad hominems and expect moderator action.

Actually Jikan, I find the insidious weightist ideology that informs many of Thrasymachus' posts much more disturbing than his rather charming attempts at humor.



:rolling:
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:53 pm

Simon E. wrote:Please feel free to concern yourself about what other chaps have for dinner if that interests you.
My sole interest in this debate is to ensure that it remains clear to those who may not know, that diet is very much a secondary issue in Buddhadharma


That is not true of all of the Buddhadharma. That is true of your view of the BuddhaDharma. Diet is not a secondary issue to monks who's vows require it. It's not a secondary issue at a temple where it's a violation of temple rules to even bring meat onto the premises.

and should never be seen as a bar to those who are exploring the teachings of the Buddha.


Of course, but no one has even suggested this to begin with.

There are schools that insist on a vegetarian diet.
There are schools that insist on meat eating on specific occasions.
And there are other schools which have nothing to say on the issue at all.
Which school one orients to is an entirely individual matter.


And what one chooses to eat is not an entirely individual matter.


Johnny Dangerous wrote:

There is a history in the US (for example) of people refusing to pay taxes to protest war. Of course it can get you in trouble, but that's the point..if you want to get on your high horse about lifestyle choices, you'd think it could at least be something that inconveniences you. You guys keep either missing or dodging the simple point i'm making:


Are you trying to say I am on a high horse simply because I speak in favor of vegetarianism? How is this not an ad hominum?

There are many other significant indirect ways that you contribute to killing which you're choosing to arbitrarily ignore in favor of vegetarianism/veganism.


This is completely false as well as unreasonable. So what else am I arbitrarily ignoring? Tell me what else I can reasonably do to stop contributing to killing. What are the many other significant ways that I am ignoring? Please suggest things that are actually reasonable to stop doing. And FWIW, I haven't actually paid taxes in several years. I get paid cash under the table and what the IRS does not know won't hurt them! But, you seem to know of all these other things that I do that I can reasonably stop doing. Please tell me what they are so I can stop doing them!

If you want to use the scriptural reasons for vegetarianism, I fully respect that, if you want to pretend you are somehow being more moral by making a choice that's made easier due to your living where you do though, it's a pretty weak claim.


The idea the people are pretending to be more moral is an idea that is coming only from you. And maybe that other guy, I don't know. I didn't bother to read his ramblings. :jumping:

Some people do mind what others eat, because the effect of those choices go far beyond the individual person. And because someone is concerned about that, does not mean they are being impolite. The effects of one's food choices extends far beyond oneself and ones teacher!

No, it just means they have an absurd argument most of the time.


It's absurd to say that one choices extend beyond themselves? And that one should behave in a manner that causes the least harm? The idea that this is absurd, is itself absurd.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:39 pm

I wasn't referring to you specifically, but the shoe does seem to fit somewhat. You seem intent on arguing a superior moral position due to your diet.

It's also not an ad hominem, it's my perception of the point of view you're presenting, I don't know anything about you as a person and generally I enjoy your posts, I just happen to disagree with you here.

This is completely false as well as unreasonable. So what else am I arbitrarily ignoring? Tell me what else I can reasonably do to stop contributing to killing. What are the many other significant ways that I am ignoring? Please suggest things that are actually reasonable to stop doing. And FWIW, I haven't actually paid taxes in several years. I get paid cash under the table and what the IRS does not know won't hurt them! But, you seem to know of all these other things that I do that I can reasonably stop doing. Please tell me what they are so I can stop doing them!


All kinds of stuff, not pay taxes, buy all your clothes second hand, grow your own food, we could go on and on, i'm putting them out there as examples of the same absurd judgements you are making about others, and to imply that you too are guilty of the same kind of indirect participation in killing that vegetarians often claim meat eaters are guilty of. I'm saying the typical ethical argument behind vegetarianism is absurd for these reasons. I'm not the first person to point it out either, on the subject of Buddhism you can read many accounts of monks going to Pureland etc. temples where vegetarianism is strictly enforced, yet animals are generally treated like garbage.

It's absurd to say that one choices extend beyond themselves? And that one should behave in a manner that causes the least harm? The idea that this is absurd, is itself absurd.


No, of course not. It's just absurd to pretend one has gained moral high ground by selectively observing one little facet of modifying one's actions, in this case diet, while ignoring a whole slew of other ones because they are less convenient than eating tofu. If that's not you, fine, but the sentiment has certainly been expressed in this thread, and that's what i'm talking about. Again i'm all for vegetarianism, but I think trying to apply this sort of moral reasoning in convincing others to adopt the diet can't make you look like anything but a hypocrite. On the other hand, simply saying "well i'm following Mahayana doctrine" I can get in line with and respect, as that is different than the "i'm making the world a better place by my dietary choices" argument, which all in all is a secular argument, not a Buddhist one.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Simon E. » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:50 pm

I repeat. My only interest here is making clear to those exploring Buddhadharma that there is no single view regarding diet.
Some of the most highly regarded Buddhist teachers of the last 25 years have been vegetarian or vegan.
And some of the most highly regarded teachers have eaten meat.
The important thing is to follow the school that you align yourself to, and follow your own conscience.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2142
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:52 pm

Simon E. wrote:I repeat. My only interest here is making clear to those exploring Buddhadharma that there is no single view regarding diet.
Some of the most highly regarded Buddhist teachers of the last 25 years have been vegetarian or vegan.
And some of the most highly regarded teachers have eaten meat.
The important thing is to follow the school that you align yourself to, and follow your own conscience.



Not to mention the Big Guy himself lol........
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:08 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I wasn't referring to you specifically, but the shoe does seem to fit somewhat. You seem intent on arguing a superior moral position due to your diet.

It's also not an ad hominem, it's my perception of the point of view you're presenting, I don't know anything about you as a person and generally I enjoy your posts, I just happen to disagree with you here.

This is completely false as well as unreasonable. So what else am I arbitrarily ignoring? Tell me what else I can reasonably do to stop contributing to killing. What are the many other significant ways that I am ignoring? Please suggest things that are actually reasonable to stop doing. And FWIW, I haven't actually paid taxes in several years. I get paid cash under the table and what the IRS does not know won't hurt them! But, you seem to know of all these other things that I do that I can reasonably stop doing. Please tell me what they are so I can stop doing them!


All kinds of stuff, not pay taxes, buy all your clothes second hand, grow your own food, we could go on and on, i'm putting them out there as examples of the same absurd judgements you are making about others, and to imply that you too are guilty of the same kind of indirect participation in killing that vegetarians often claim meat eaters are guilty of. I'm saying the typical ethical argument behind vegetarianism is absurd for these reasons. I'm not the first person to point it out either, on the subject of Buddhism you can read many accounts of monks going to Pureland etc. temples where vegetarianism is strictly enforced, yet animals are generally treated like garbage.

It's absurd to say that one choices extend beyond themselves? And that one should behave in a manner that causes the least harm? The idea that this is absurd, is itself absurd.


No, of course not. It's just absurd to pretend one has gained moral high ground by selectively observing one little facet of modifying one's actions, in this case diet, while ignoring a whole slew of other ones because they are less convenient than eating tofu. If that's not you, fine, but the sentiment has certainly been expressed in this thread, and that's what i'm talking about. Again i'm all for vegetarianism, but I think trying to apply this sort of moral reasoning in convincing others to adopt the diet can't make you look like anything but a hypocrite. On the other hand, simply saying "well i'm following Mahayana doctrine" I can get in line with and respect, as that is different than the "i'm making the world a better place by my dietary choices" argument, which all in all is a secular argument, not a Buddhist one.


Well alright then! :smile:

I just think it's a bit (a lot) extreme to say "You need to buy all your clothes at a second store otherwise you are a hypocrite" or "you need to stop paying taxes otherwise you are a hypocrite". I just don't see how anyone can believe that is a reasonable point to make.

:namaste:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:30 am

Ok, i'll try explaining it one last time.

I'm not saying you need to do those things, i'm saying that the fact that you don't do those things nullifies any claim to substantially reducing one's complicity in indirect taking of life via vegetarianism, because those things are arguably a bigger deal, at least collectively, than your diet is. I'm using it as an example to point out what I consider the absurdity of many of the moral claims typically made for vegetarianism, not as a suggestion that people need to do those things.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:36 am

Thrasymachus wrote:Oh man, these crazy anecdotal Annie carnists are at again. I remember this past hint Nemo made about his health problems that I would like to bring up again, since he is trying to contradict himself once again, thinking we are all too stupid to remember:
Nemo wrote:viewtopic.php?f=36&t=13815&start=20#p180354
... I have been a dirty hobo and lived off grid for a few years as well. Eventually you get hungry, have health concerns or want some comforts. It is hard to undergo hardship like that as you age. ...

Yet magically, minstrels of nonsene like him all the time make up anecdotal nonsense about the health benefits of eating meat -- since they know they cannot give sources, as they don't exist. But if you look at their other posts they are admitting they are overweight and unhealthy! What we have is people who are mostly overweight and unhealthy, making up anecdotes that eating meat is healthy! They even cite fat gurus who had leukemia, which is known to be strongly correlated to meat consumption, and now after leukemia he is likely too sick to even be overweight. Yet of course they try to present it as if he just "lost weight" on his own, instead of what is well known, that people who are too sick, like ex-cancer victims, often are too unhealthy to even be overweight. Amazing what addiction does to people.


So I invented carnitine deficiency? I can assure you the SLC22A5 gene that causes primary carnitine deficiency exists. It is "anecdotal" as are all recessive genes. My health problems were related to mechanical injury. Veganism does not exempt you from those.
And I don't think I am fat.Image
User avatar
Nemo
 
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:45 am

Nemo wrote:So I invented carnitine deficiency? I can assure you the SLC22A5 gene that causes primary carnitine deficiency exists. It is "anecdotal" as are all recessive genes. My health problems were related to mechanical injury. Veganism does not exempt you from those.

:soapbox:
This is blatant carnitinism.
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
- Conze
User avatar
dzogchungpa
 
Posts: 1479
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:51 am

To be so rigid and fragile in your beliefs that no new data can get in is sad. Perhaps because I have left the one true vegetative religion I deserve to be singled out again as a fattie addicted to meat.

In reality I get more protein from nuts or whey than meat. I feel I need it about 3 times a week still. When I quit I get carb cravings and lose too much stamina. I think eating veggie is more ethical and people should try it. But they need to watch their health. If it suffers try bringing animal products back and see how you feel. Everyone's physiology is different. To pretend there are health benefits for everyone is disingenuous and doctrinaire.
User avatar
Nemo
 
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:58 am

:good: , Even if it is Carnist, Eatist, and Ab-ist.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2164
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:35 am

People cling strongly to their convictions
because this helps to solidify an identity of a 'self'
to which one one can feel good about developing attachment.
Since eating food is basic to human survival,
it is no wonder that this discussion goes on and on.
There are many reasons why eating meat should be avoided
and just as many reasons why one should avoid passing judgement over those who eat meat.
The question, from a Buddhist perspective,
isn't really about whether chewing and swallowing meat for a few minutes a day
is ethically right or wrong.
It's about clinging to a comfort zone
built on the foundation of being morally and ethically pure.
What is the internal motivation behind wanting to be right,
about trying to convert others to your own way of life?
I don't mean the external motivation.
I don't mean, "because I want to save all beings from suffering"
or anything as glorious as that.
Sure, not eating meat will have a positive effect. But aside from that
What I mean is, internally.
Wanting to be holy, wanting to be pure,
Needing to have that clean slate
this is just another type of clinging
just a very deeply intrenched ego trip.
that's what people should be concerned with.
If you can avoid eating meat
without attachment to not eating meat,
without thinking that you are somehow better than those who do,
that is the buddhist way to not eat meat.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:04 am

Just my two cents :)

I eat meat, but I'm becoming more vegetarian as time goes on.

I think the greater harm for one's immediate mental state is making a lifestyle choice a point of pride or a kind of self to set against other selves.
I often tend to make selves for other people, complete with things I like and don't like and things they should and shouldn't be doing.
I have to remind myself that just as "this is not me or mine," "that is not him or his".
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
User avatar
duckfiasco
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:11 am
Location: Oregon

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:05 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:People cling strongly to their convictions
because this helps to solidify an identity of a 'self'
to which one one can feel good about developing attachment.
Since eating food is basic to human survival,
it is no wonder that this discussion goes on and on.
There are many reasons why eating meat should be avoided
and just as many reasons why one should avoid passing judgement over those who eat meat.
The question, from a Buddhist perspective,
isn't really about whether chewing and swallowing meat for a few minutes a day
is ethically right or wrong.
It's about clinging to a comfort zone
built on the foundation of being morally and ethically pure.
What is the internal motivation behind wanting to be right,
about trying to convert others to your own way of life?
I don't mean the external motivation.
I don't mean, "because I want to save all beings from suffering"
or anything as glorious as that.
Sure, not eating meat will have a positive effect. But aside from that
What I mean is, internally.
Wanting to be holy, wanting to be pure,
Needing to have that clean slate
this is just another type of clinging
just a very deeply intrenched ego trip.
that's what people should be concerned with.
If you can avoid eating meat
without attachment to not eating meat,
without thinking that you are somehow better than those who do,
that is the buddhist way to not eat meat.
.
.
.

:good:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:06 am

duckfiasco wrote:Just my two cents :)

I eat meat, but I'm becoming more vegetarian as time goes on.

I think the greater harm for one's immediate mental state is making a lifestyle choice a point of pride or a kind of self to set against other selves.
I often tend to make selves for other people, complete with things I like and don't like and things they should and shouldn't be doing.
I have to remind myself that just as "this is not me or mine," "that is not him or his".



also, :good:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
User avatar
Adamantine
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2680
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Chris_M, Google [Bot] and 15 guests

>