the great vegetarian debate

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

Re: Which diet are you?

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:06 pm

I generally eat whatever is prepared for me. (could be exotic island food or ordinary hamburger)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Francie » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:36 am

Ok, so it posted 3 times. Not sure how that happened :oops:
Last edited by Francie on Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Francie » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:36 am

Can I join the party here?

I've been a vegetarian since I was 12.

This was done purely because at some point I realized, this is a corpse I'm eating. To me it became no different to the thought of cannibalism; an animal corpse is an animal corpse.

I try not to claim moral superiority, because honestly, though I also hate the conditions in factory farms and have ethical beliefs that counteract meat eating, it is still a very personal decision.

So as long as people don't get at me about being veggie, I don't rant at the meat-eaters about eating meat. However, if they are like some members of my family and hate that I don't share the same meat-n-potatoes diet as they do, then sure, I'll engage in a little friendly debate :)

One thing that does annoy me though is when people who used to be vegetarian (and stopped because they found their health was impaired) think that it was vegetarianism that caused their health to decline.

Just like you can have healthy and unhealthy carnivorous diets, you can have healthy and unhealthy vegetarian diets.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:01 am

gregkavarnos wrote:A few days ago I watched a 15 minute excerpt of the following documentary, it took me over a day of practice to get the images out of my head.

A multi-award winning animal rights film entitled "Earthlings - Animal Justice" narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.

Be warned, some of the scenes (all of which are real) are truly horrific.


I find that after watching these types of videos, I refrain from eating for about three days max then go back to same habit of meat eating as before watching it. Not really a permanent solution, but then again I have no intention currently to become a vegetarian.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:31 pm

Lianchi Zhuhung |Yun-ch'i Chu-hung (1535-1615)

Master Chu-hung, the Eighth Pureland Patriarch, also known as Yün-ch'i, Lien-ch'ih or Yafu Dosen (along with Han-shan Te-ch'ing and Tzu-po Chenk-k'o), says:

On Stopping Killing
By
Lianchi Zhuhung | Yun-ch'i Chu-hung
(1535 - 1615)
Translation by Bhikshu Heng Sure in collaboration with The Buddhist Text Translation Society © 1991

People who eat meat often make the excuse that it is natural to do so, that people were meant to eat
meat. They promote this idea, and then freely indulge in taking the lives of their fellow creatures,
thereby creating extensive hatred and enmity-karma. Over time, as their killing and consuming
becomes a habit, meat eaters no longer feel their killing is unusual. They do their evil deeds
unknowingly, unaware of the consequences of slaughter and the resentment it evokes.

As somebody in the past said, "It is a cause for tears and sobbing, for wails and cries, for deep regrets,
and mournful cries." In order to recount our confusion and point out our attachments, I have
formulated seven categories, and will explain them below. Any other points to be discussed can be
investigated in similar fashion. To begin with, all creatures with awareness share just one identical
body. When we humans eat the flesh of our fellow creatures, we are doing a bizarre and abnormal act.
Yet we don't feel it is strange, because the whole family takes part, and for generation after generation,
killing and eating meat becomes a custom. Our neighbours in the local villages copy one another, and
repetition makes the practice seem normal. Over time we lose sensitivity to the wrongness of killing.
We think instead, that it is right to kill animals for the good flavour their bodies provide. Our desire for
taste dominates our sensibilities, and we no longer feel that eating dead flesh is strange or grossly
savage.

Consider, if you will, our response if someone were to kill and eat the body of a human! Surely
everyone would reckon it a monstrous act, frightening, and taboo. We would be anxious to execute the
culprit as a murderous criminal. Why? Only because eating human meat is very much not a part of our
conventional habits. But eating the flesh of animals' bodies has become a habit the world over, so that
we no longer feel that killing these creatures is wrong. In fact, "it is a cause for tears and sobbing, for
wails and cries, for deep regrets, and mournful cries."


http://www.shabkar.org/download/pdf/On_ ... huhung.pdf
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!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:38 pm

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo "I don't eat my friends"

Good videos. :)









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!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Wed May 09, 2012 9:30 pm

seeker242 wrote:Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo "I don't eat my friends"

Good videos. :)


Not good videos, GREAT videos. Videos like this are infinitely more effective than any slaughterhouse video because instead of simply shocking you, all justifications for consuming slaughtered animals are broken down.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 09, 2012 10:00 pm

practitioner wrote:Not good videos, GREAT videos. Videos like this are infinitely more effective than any slaughterhouse video because instead of simply shocking you, all justifications for consuming slaughtered animals are broken down.
Let's see if I can get your logic straight, watching a scene from a slaughter house: seeing the animals terror and suffering, witnessing the conditions it lives and dies under, seeing it being sliced open, etc... while essentially still alive is not enough of a justification to stop eating meat?

You need something more? :shrug:
:namaste:
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Wed May 09, 2012 10:24 pm

No I don't need more, I'm vegetarian and being so comes with many benefits. My response was more in line with addressing this kind of response.

Nighthawk wrote:I find that after watching these types of videos, I refrain from eating for about three days max then go back to same habit of meat eating as before watching it. Not really a permanent solution, but then again I have no intention currently to become a vegetarian.


For me, my decision to become vegetarian was because of a deep-down conviction that I want to do everything in my power to avoid the killing of any sentient beings. And because of that conviction I was able to go from a medium-rare filet mignon lover to a complete vegetarian overnight without ever looking back or ever craving meat since then. For me, the reason that was possible was because taking refuge involves accepting that I would never again intentionally kill a sentient being. And saying "i won't swat a mosquito" because that would be killing a sentient being, but then eating a steak because "I didn't personally kill the cow" was completely unacceptable to me, and that was one of the points that Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo made in those videos.

However, I think the most important point is that eating meat should be unacceptable from a Buddhist perspective and whatever it takes for anyone to reach that conclusion is fine by me. Whether that is lectures on ethics or videos of animal cruelty, the point is the fewer animals that are killed for food, the better and I'm pretty sure that we both agree on that point.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 09, 2012 10:48 pm

Nighthawk wrote:I find that after watching these types of videos, I refrain from eating for about three days max then go back to same habit of meat eating as before watching it. Not really a permanent solution, but then again I have no intention currently to become a vegetarian.
Yes, well that's the problem with habits isn't it? They are easy to break, but only when we want to break them! ;)
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 2:06 am

practitioner wrote:However, I think the most important point is that eating meat should be unacceptable from a Buddhist perspective and whatever it takes for anyone to reach that conclusion is fine by me.


There are many Buddhist perspectives, and often they stand in apparent contradiction to one another.

The common Mahāyāna perspective is that eating meat is unacceptable.

The Vajrayāna/Dzogchen perspective is that refusing to eat meat is a refusal to extend one's compassion. So one must decide what level one is going to practice at.

N
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Thu May 10, 2012 2:58 am

Namdrol wrote:The Vajrayāna/Dzogchen perspective is that refusing to eat meat is a refusal to extend one's compassion. So one must decide what level one is going to practice at.

N


Well there is no ONE Vajrayana perspective either. For example, I am from the Kagyu tradition and the Karmapa has given up meat and is now vegetarian. Does he not practice Vajrayana?? Here is a short excerpt from a transcript of a teaching on the subject.

"There are many great masters and very great realized beings in India and there have been many
great realized beings in Tibet also, but they are not saying, “I'm realized, therefore I can do
anything; I can eat meat and drink alcohol.” It's nothing like that. It should not be like that.
According to the Kagyupa school, we have to see what the great masters of the past, the past lamas
of Kagyupas, did and said about eating meat. The Drikung Shakpa [sp?] Rinpoche, master of
Drikungpa, said like this, “My students, whomever are eating or using meat and calling it tsokhor
or tsok, then these people are completely deserting me and going against the dharma.” I can't
explain each of these things, but he said that anybody that is using meat and saying it is something
good, this is completely against the dharma and against me and they completely have nothing to
do with dharma. He said it very, very strongly.
Other great masters also said this. And each of them said that if somebody eats meat and thinks
that it's allowed, you can't even dream like that because it is something that is never right and
never good. In some places it is said that if someone has a great method by which they can liberate
the being whose meat he eats, only then might that person eat it, according to the Vajrayana.
Otherwise, other than that, you cannot eat meat.
According to Karme Chakme Rinpoche, we talk about using the five meats and five amritas: if
someone is completely realized, then only can one eat meat. And then if you say that many things
are mentioned about this in the Vajrayana--in Vajrayana, lots of things are mentioned about the
five meats and five amritas, what is this? He said that that is only for the most advanced people.
For instance if you put some shit and some urine on the altar, it's very bad. We don't like it and we
feel like vomiting."

So if you are advanced enough to turn shit and piss into an offering then fine, eat meat and call it tsok. :thumbsup:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby plwk » Thu May 10, 2012 3:06 am

I wonder what is Shingon's stand on vegetarianism...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Thu May 10, 2012 3:13 am

I should add, from the same teaching on vegetarianism

"any monastery that belongs to Kamtsang Kagyu, the monastery
kitchen cannot and should not make any food with meat. And if you bring meat and cook it in the
monastery kitchen then that means that you are not taking me as your teacher, you are not
belonging to Karma Kagyu. And there is nothing to discuss about that. That's finished. That is very
important."
-Karmapa

Doesn't get much clearer than that...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Josef » Thu May 10, 2012 3:30 am

practitioner wrote:Doesn't get much clearer than that...

That perspective is clear and it should be adopted if the Karmapa is your teacher. Take his advice.
Others among us have received different advice from our gurus that we apply.
As you mentioned before, there is not one perspective on the issue.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 4:27 am

practitioner wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The Vajrayāna/Dzogchen perspective is that refusing to eat meat is a refusal to extend one's compassion. So one must decide what level one is going to practice at.

N


Well there is no ONE Vajrayana perspective either. For example, I am from the Kagyu tradition and the Karmapa has given up meat and is now vegetarian. Does he not practice Vajrayana?? Here is a short excerpt from a transcript of a teaching on the subject.



He is setting a good example for those who prefer a more Mahāyāna approach to this issue. But I don't consider his point of view a Vajrayāna approach. It is a lower tantra/common Mahāyāna perspective.

You will also recall that Milarepa was a meat eater, as was Marpa, etc.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu May 10, 2012 4:42 am

I don't eat meat, but I eat things that are made out of meat.
.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Thu May 10, 2012 5:04 am

There is a great story about Milarepa and a yak's horn, I'm sure you have probably heard it. Milarepa and one of his disciples (I believe it was Rechungpa) were walking across a field that was very barren and had no trees or caves or any other form of shelter nearby when a strong hail storm approached. The disciple didn't know what to do and was pummeled by the hail. Milarepa on the other hand simply took refuge from the storm by shrinking his body and taking refuge in the hollowed out horn of a yak. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche relates this story in his book "What Makes You Not a Buddhist" saying very specifically this story is not an allegory but is to be taken literally.

My point being, Milarepa was a Buddha, capable of extraordinary feats due to his complete realization of emptiness. So the fact that Milarepa or Marpa or any other highly realized practitioner ate meat is of no concern to me because they of course realized the true emptiness of that action.

On the other hand i refer back to the quote about offering shit and urine, if you can do that fine. There are stories of great yogis who can eat shit and drink urine and turn in into delicious food and drink. How many people who eat meat claiming to do it with a Dzogchen/Vajrayana view of eating the meat of sentient beings out of compassion really have the realization to actually do it? How many are just using the terms Dzogchen and Vajrayana to justify their own attachments to eating meat?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nighthawk » Thu May 10, 2012 5:48 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:I find that after watching these types of videos, I refrain from eating for about three days max then go back to same habit of meat eating as before watching it. Not really a permanent solution, but then again I have no intention currently to become a vegetarian.
Yes, well that's the problem with habits isn't it? They are easy to break, but only when we want to break them! ;)
:namaste:


True say. I only manage to stop eating meat for that long out of sheer disgust. I admit I lack compassion like a typical bonbu.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu May 10, 2012 5:49 am

Chatral Rinpoche is a dzogchen master and is a big advocate of vegetarianism...

from wikipedia:

"A lay yogi, he is also greatly concerned with maintaining strict discipline in the context of the Dzogchen view. He is especially well known for his advocacy of vegetarianism and his yearly practice of ransoming the lives of thousands of animals in India".
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