Huseng wrote:The unfortunate reality of samsara is that we must create negative karma just to survive...
One other factor in support of vegetarianism is that while meat production is carried out with the express intention of killing an animal, agriculture, provided it is organic, can be carried out without having the intention to kill.
As I have shown, the minute you want to protect a crop for your own consumption, this is impossible. Of course, you can simply allow all your crops to be taken over by insects, rodents, and so on -- but even organic farmers will not permit this. Therefore, the idea that you can engage in agriculture without deliberately killing some being is mistaken. So this argument is rejected.
The meat eater who simply buys their meat from another party may not directly participate in the act, but they are a supporting member in a collectively sanctioned intentional action (i.e., collective karma)...
No, not if the meat would have been slaughered in any case. For example, I buy meat, but I do not rejoice in, support the aims of, etc. of the meat industry. So this argument is rejected.
Clearly, a consumer of meat is sharing in the responsibility of the intentional act of killing when they purchase the product.
Only of they request or see the animal being slaughtered. So this argument has an incomplete reasoning.
The difference with agriculture is that provided it is done without pesticides then the parties involved, consumer and grower alike, are not intentionally killing sentient beings.
As shown above, the production of meat is not tied to demand, at least, it is not tied to consumer demand.
Nonsense. If people didn't eat meat, there would be less meat produced.
This, unfortunately, is just false as I claimed above and as kirt demonstrated.
Look at China or Japan -- in the last few decades they have acquired much wealth and it has enabled them to be able to afford meat everyday, and meat consumption AND production has consequently increased.
It is the fact of modern market economies that worldwide we discard half the food we produce.
The demand for meat is not actually tied to its production. Meat is provided to the market in large quanities which outstrip actual demand so that it is always available.
Your defence of meat eating is disappointing given that some years ago on eSangha you were advocating vegetarianism and calling meat eating sinful.
Yes, this is true. I still advocate vegtarianism (primarily for reasons of health). Meat eating as done by ordinary persons is a bit sinful.
But I was addressing the argument that being a vegetarian is less harmful (it isn't) to living beings and the contention that practitioners who eat meat are not assisting the unfortunate sentient being who lands on their plate, as well as the contention that eating meat ipso facto makes one culpable in the act of killing (rejected by Bhavaviveka and also by me).
If you recall, on E-Sangha, I asserted that eating meat for one's health was acceptable, and that following the protocol of the ganapuja was not negotiable, at least not for me.
I am not so much defending the eating of meat as I am pointing out the error of "the compassionate vegetarian" argument -- it is total bollocks.