the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:54 am

In so far as your 'self' are your body, or that a cow's 'self' is a cow's body, or that a chicken's 'self is a chicken's body, then in this sense, a human eating a cow or a chicken engages in actions which cause karmic results associated with eating a cow or a chicken. So, there is some relative truth to that, but it is a truth which exists only because of the samasric experience, which is produced by the mind. So, it is a conditional truth. It is valid only because the human, the cow and the chicken do not experience the illusory nature of things, but experience 'self' as inherently real, or truly existent.

But the Dharma teaches that there is no actual 'self' that is the human, or the cow or the chicken. We can understand this intellectually, but very few people really experience the illusory nature of the body the same way that we experience the solidity or 'realness' of the body. So, when we choose to eat or choose not to eat a cow or a chicken, we still think, "I AM a vegetarian" or "I AM a meat-eater".

If a person does not cling to the idea of "I am" or "the cow is" or "the chicken is" then what?
However, very few do not cling to this notion, so we experience pain when we are killed as do the cow and the chicken.

But think, if you consider yourself a vegetarian, and you suddenly find out one afternoon, that some kind of food you eat has some element in it that comes from a dead animal, and you have eaten this food for years, then upon finding this out, are you still a vegetarian? Have you ever actually ever really been a vegetarian?

If the answer is yes, and you still consider yourself a vegetarian,
then you were a vegetarian in spite of the fact of what you ate, because you had vegetarian preferences.
You still had the intention of not eating that which must be obtained from killing an animal,
and you thought you were a vegetarian.
Maybe you did not realize that cheese had rennet (from cow's stomach) in it, or that Vitamin D3 in milk came from fish.
In this case, it turns out that being a vegetarian is actually a state of mind, and does not depend on what you eat.

If the answer is no, and you decide that all along you thought you were a vegetarian, but you were not,
then the intention of not eating that which must be obtained from killing an animal means nothing.
in this case, it turns out that your identity as a vegetarian depends merely on the component parts of a meal,
and has nothing to do with your ethical convictions or your preferences.

So, I think a person can still be a vegetarian even if he or she eats meat,
as long as they really would have preferred to have had tofu.
.
.
.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:05 am

Yes...if you think that way. But really who thinks that way?

Everyone produces harm just by living. A certain proportion of grain is allowable by federal standard in the US and EU to contain insect parts.
So none of us are pure vegetaarian.
Howver just wanting to be a vegetarian and not taking reasonable steps in that direction wanting to do that thing really is not being that thing.
It serves as example not of vegetarian but of convoluted logic...logic turned on its head.

RAtionalizations..... to my experience the things of eating are most personal and connected to the me always. WE do it all the time and it is all about that I.
So most cannot look objectively at this thing. And if our parents did this our beloved mothers and fathers and or our teachers how can we say anything about diet as they did not...?
Various rationalizations can be made some more transparant than others.

You want to be vegetarian or not that is your choice.That no choice may be made as this thing is not pure....nonsense.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:22 am

I have failed once again at vegetarianism. Enough is enough. I'm sticking to an omnivore diet until the end and if that entails "bad karma" then so be it.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:17 am

Ryoto wrote:I have failed once again at vegetarianism. Enough is enough. I'm sticking to an omnivore diet until the end and if that entails "bad karma" then so be it.


Just be a vegetarian 98% of the time....that's when you are not actually chewing or swallowing any food.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:19 am

If you can't be a vegetarian then probably the next best thing to it is to only eat animals that are vegetarians. Don't eat any tigers, dogs, cats or sharks. That way you are not getting double-bad karma. :rolling:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:34 am

I am a strong advocate for vegetarianism but from what I have heard the actual negative karmic consequences related to this specific issue are considered by many to be relatively small in the total scheme of things.

Better perhaps if we had wanted to avoid this thing to be born in a family and culture that does not this thing.
Once born here in this environment, it is but one of many many other things that may produce unfavored karma.
Think your nation perhaps killing 600k if you happen to be american in a unwarranted war does not produce karma as this nation described is a form of democracy and not a totalitarian state....and I think you may be mistaken. Voicing concern or protest perhaps then there is little in the way of negative karma from that thing. That is cause of killing many many humans for no good reason.Though americans did not perhaps each individually intend that thing, that a american voices not a objection in a democracy of sorts implies a intention of sorts. AS no voice is voice for affirmation in democratic institutions.

Just me...I'd say being no voice in that nation be a far greater producer of unfavored karma than this thing.
But if one did have voice already in things of that sort, perhaps then one may care to consider this thing of perhaps lesser import.
If karma be ones sole concern in this thing.

So karma.... yes perhaps, but most say not really a whole lot. REading not karma for each individual I'd say they may be right...I don't know.
It hurts beings is why I don't do it...karma or not...what matter that to compare to hurting beings when it may be avoided.
Karma is always in root faulted as it is I basis that provides its imperative for action....so
what do I care of faulted basis things effects.....personally. If it may produce suffering by itself karma...then I run from it or court its result.
But as it is I that is karma, the suffering....it may not....I fear it not. I is not. For others I worry for their karma...they believe in this false thing. Most of them. So you believe in the truth of that thing....worry then of that thing.
I will have no part of it...eating animals in the west produces suffering and fear in those animals, as I am compassion as everyone is....I will not, if I may avoid it.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thug4lyfe » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:26 am

I like it how everything in the 21st century is very "scholarly" and complicated.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:55 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:If you can't be a vegetarian then probably the next best thing to it is to only eat animals that are vegetarians. Don't eat any tigers, dogs, cats or sharks. That way you are not getting double-bad karma. :rolling:


Yes, but on the flip side if namdrol is correct I'll happen to be a very popular enlightened one in the future which is a good feeling :mrgreen:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby LastLegend » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:33 am

Buddha ate what was given because he would not ask people to cook monks vegetarian food.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby catmoon » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:48 pm

Actually not eating predators is a really good idea healthwise. Pollutants like heavy metals get concentrated as they travel up the food chain, which is the reason the highest mercury counts in Japan are found among older people who still eat a lot of dolphin. Tuna can be a problem that way too. Another win for the Foaming Monk.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:27 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:I am a strong advocate for vegetarianism but from what I have heard the actual negative karmic consequences related to this specific issue are considered by many to be relatively small in the total scheme of things.

Some disagree and say it's not that different actually. In either case, I think it's the intention that counts. The intention to lessen suffering. That intention, however, can also manifest in other forms of practice. I never tried to convince anyone to adopt another diet. Being a vegetarian is always a good choice unless one thinks there can come more benefit from adopting other diets.
Better perhaps if we had wanted to avoid this thing to be born in a family and culture that does not this thing.
Once born here in this environment, it is but one of many many other things that may produce unfavored karma.
Think your nation perhaps killing 600k if you happen to be american in a unwarranted war does not produce karma as this nation described is a form of democracy and not a totalitarian state....and I think you may be mistaken. Voicing concern or protest perhaps then there is little in the way of negative karma from that thing. That is cause of killing many many humans for no good reason.Though americans did not perhaps each individually intend that thing, that a american voices not a objection in a democracy of sorts implies a intention of sorts. AS no voice is voice for affirmation in democratic institutions.

I see no problem in people manifesting themselves as pro vegetarianism. I doubt it makes any difference though. Our civilization is addicted to meat consumption. Even if all Buddhists turned vegetarian, that wouldn't make a difference. Again, it's the intention that counts, I believe. It's not that because of you being a vegetarian a single cow will be spared. Animals are butchered by quotas. If the demand doesn't drop drastically, the quotas will remain the same. Pro peace manifestations gather much more adherents. It's not comparable. Unfortunately, in our society animals are seen as things, goods.
Just me...I'd say being no voice in that nation be a far greater producer of unfavored karma than this thing.
But if one did have voice already in things of that sort, perhaps then one may care to consider this thing of perhaps lesser import.
If karma be ones sole concern in this thing.

I'm not sure if I get your point.
So karma.... yes perhaps, but most say not really a whole lot. REading not karma for each individual I'd say they may be right...I don't know.
It hurts beings is why I don't do it...karma or not...what matter that to compare to hurting beings when it may be avoided.

That really is the point, isn't it? Actually you can't do anything about it, rather than fight for an utopia. Animals will be hurt whether you want it or not. If there's a chance of benefiting a dead animal, whose death you had no control over, and his corpse is scattered in supermarkets, then I'd say it's better if you do it. Otherwise it will become waste, not come back to life. Of course you may choose not to investigate such practices, those that N talked about and keep being a vegetarian. You intention is still wholesome.
Karma is always in root faulted as it is I basis that provides its imperative for action....so
what do I care of faulted basis things effects.....personally. If it may produce suffering by itself karma...then I run from it or court its result.
But as it is I that is karma, the suffering....it may not....I fear it not. I is not. For others I worry for their karma...they believe in this false thing. Most of them. So you believe in the truth of that thing....worry then of that thing.

Unless you are fully enlightened, you will suffer the effects of your karmic potential. Believing it or not.
I will have no part of it...eating animals in the west produces suffering and fear in those animals, as I am compassion as everyone is....I will not, if I may avoid it.

And there's nothing wrong with having such wholesome intention. It's not that you will actually get results, as not a single animal will be spared because of your noble intention, but it is good training. Even better is benefiting an animal whose death we didn't cause or could avoid by acting in his corpse and creating a connection.

Let me give you an example. If you lived in a small village where you stopping eating meat would have an impact in the amount of animals slaughtered, then it would be shameless to keep eating it unless such action would somehow revert in their favor (as some stories say about enlightened being that ate animals causing them to reborn in pure lands). So assuming you don't have such power, it would be wiser not to eat them. That duck, cow, lamb, pig, chicken and so on would live their lives because you hadn't caused their death. It such situation, there's actual benefit for the animals. They survive because you chose not to eat them. In our civilization, there's not. Only the wholesome intention, which is good. Nobody says otherwise. Yet, even better would be benefiting those already dead if you can, even if it means eating them. It's not as if they'll get up from the shelf and go about their lives when you pass by and decide not to buy their corpse for consumption. You pass, keep your wholesome intention, but don't benefit that being in any way. Just yourself, because of the wholesome intention. Later it can lead you to benefit others, so it's good. Perhaps even that being in a future existence. But the cause isn't there, as it would be if you had created a karmic debt by eating its flesh, so who knows?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:57 pm

Here is a basic point:

All living and non-living things are created from the five elements.
All living and non-living things are maintained by the five elements.
All living and non-living things are destroyed by the five elements.

There are no exceptions.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ground » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:12 am

Namdrol wrote:Here is a basic point:

All living and non-living things are created from the five elements.
All living and non-living things are maintained by the five elements.
All living and non-living things are destroyed by the five elements.

There are no exceptions.


And that's a creation by the mind. That point has no basis.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thug4lyfe » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:49 am

It seems like the "Buddhist meater eaters" are behaving like their lay counter parts when it comes to vegetarians.

Why defend ya diet if you got no guilty conscience?


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:50 pm

Usually I see vegetarians fiercely defending their diet, not others. To me that doesn't mean they have a guilty conscience. It means they think it is better for a myriad of reasons, some quite sound.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:09 pm

Usually vegetarians are made to defend their diet since "normal" omnivores always consider vegeterians "strange" and ask them to justify their dietary habits.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:25 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Usually vegetarians are made to defend their diet since "normal" omnivores always consider vegeterians "strange" and ask them to justify their dietary habits.
:namaste:


These days I quite enjoy being thought of as "strange"... :thumbsup:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:32 pm

Perhaps in some cases it's as you say, Greg. But justifying is not the same as explaining, much less judging or attacking.
Then there are also those who actively "preach" their diet to others as if it was the sole "way to salvation". It's as if the world was divided in two types of person: vegetarians (the more extreme, the better, the holier) and "meat eaters" (the unholy, period). They tend to miss the vast spectrum of characteristics that make a person more or less moral, focusing primarily on diet. Their life tend to revolve about dietary habits. You know that can become a problem, since you are a psychologist.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ground » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:33 pm

Since not many find a liking in vegetarian food there is no need to defend it. One can eat it without hurry :smile:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:47 pm

When I was 16 I became a strict vegetarian. I remember that back then, this was much "stranger' to most people than it is today. On Thanksgiving, my mother knew I wouldn't eat turkey, so she made me chicken and rice (yeah I know...she was like that. But she meant well!) and being 16, I refused it.

Then when I was 32 I was offered dinner by some people who wished to show their gratitude for some help I gave them. It was a meal made with pork. They did not have a lot of money and this was a big deal for them. I had previously told them, when they had invited me, that I didn't eat meat, and they said, "okay, no problem!" but because of our language differences, I guess they didn't understand. When they served the meal, they said, "see? no meat ...just pork!"

So, I was faced with a choice: eat the food and break my vegetarian diet (which I had now maintained for just over half of my entire life), or refuse the food and insult the hospitality of my gracious hosts. I had to decide which was more important. That was 22 years ago.

what would you have done?
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