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 Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:29 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:There are, in breif, two points, arguments ChNN makes, with which I am sure you are familiar:

One, the production of vegetables, grains, fruit and so on is not free from harming creatures, whether organic or conventonally produced. Thus the belief that one is being less harmful to living beings by being a vegetarian is a mistaken delusion.


this has already been easily defeated on the grounds that there is no intent to kill sentient beings in vegetable farming, indeed the intent can be to try and minimize it as much as possible.



Everyone who gardens does so with full knowledge they are harming living beings. The same is true of farmers -- killing is still killing whether motivated by malice, craving or ignorance. If you are arguing that meat eaters participate necessarily in the intent to kill; then so do vegetarians. Why? Because it is impossible to eat any food during the production of which no sentient being was harmed. When an organic farmer applies an organic pesticide to save his or her crop from an aphid infestation, this is no less a deliberate act of killing than leading cattle, pigs or fowl to a slaughter house.

On the other hand, the whole point of the exercise in meat eating depends on deliberately killing sentient beings.


Not at all, if your argument is intent, merley consuming meat does not equate with the intent to kill sentient beings. That only follows if one slays or requests the slaughter, of a given sentient being. Purchasing meat does not satisify this criteria.

Your argument is actually the specious one, rejected quite thoroughly by Bhavaviveka. If one does not kill an animal, request it's death, or see it being killed, since there is no consciousness in the flesh of dead animal, there is no karmic consequence to eating meat. Nor is there any reasonable moral reason not to eat such meat. The only reason not to eat meat under these circumstances is aesthetic choice.



so should we encourage butchers to kill animals..


Encouraging the slaughter of animals would be be to engage in killing. This is forbidden. But eating meat that one has not killed, requested the slaughter of or seen slaughtered bears no fault. And, if one is a practitioner, the consumption of such meat has an added benefit of creating a positive cause for that animal.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:32 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
if nobody bought meat, the industry would disappear. be the change you want to see in the world.


Ah, the idealism of zealotry.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:43 am

gad rgyangs wrote:if nobody bought meat, the industry would disappear. be the change you want to see in the world.


The meat industry is very inelastic so they do not respond to minute percentages of fluctuation in meat eating demand. Now in the 90's there was in fact a drop in demand and inside the meat production industry there was concern but this was not sufficient even for them to cut back on their continued meat production. What seems to happen is that a fraction of a percent of people become vegetarians or vegans for a few decades but population growth takes up the minute slack that might have been created. BTW I worked at the US Department of Agriculture, Food safety Inspection Service (we were one of two major US government entities overseeing the safe production of meat, the FDA being the other agency) from 1987-1999 and this was discussed there openly.

If you were able to get a large percentage of people to stop eating meat for a long period of time then you would see a response from the meat industry who would then scale back their killing provided that they were not able to increase meat exports.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Virgo » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:51 am

kirtu wrote:If you were able to get a large percentage of people to stop eating meat for a long period of time then you would see a response from the meat industry who would them scale back their killing provided that they were not able to increase meat exporting.

Kirt

Suggestion to anyone interested: try starting with personally converting 100k meat eaters to vegetarianism.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:52 am

Namdrol wrote:Everyone who gardens does so with full knowledge they are harming living beings. The same is true of farmers -- killing is still killing whether motivated by malice, craving or ignorance. If you are arguing that meat eaters participate necessarily in the intent to kill; then so do vegetarians. Why? Because it is impossible to eat any food during the production of which no sentient being was harmed. When an organic farmer applies an organic pesticide to save his or her crop from an aphid infestation, this is no less a deliberate act of killing than leading cattle, pigs or fowl to a slaughter house.


killing as an unfortunate by-product of farming, and intending to minimize it as much as possible, cannot be compared to the horrors of the sufferings deliberately inflicted on animals in abattoirs. plus, it is conceivable that technology, say in the form of an electromagnetic field, could be developed to repel insects from crops without harming them. you cannot eat real meat without killing.

if your argument is intent, merley consuming meat does not equate with the intent to kill sentient beings. That only follows if one slays or requests the slaughter, of a given sentient being. Purchasing meat does not satisify this criteria.

Your argument is actually the specious one, rejected quite thoroughly by Bhavaviveka. If one does not kill an animal, request it's death, or see it being killed, since there is no consciousness in the flesh of dead animal, there is no karmic consequence to eating meat. Nor is there any reasonable moral reason not to eat such meat. The only reason not to eat meat under these circumstances is aesthetic choice.


when one chooses to eat meat, there are many causes and conditions that entail from that decision. the absence of consciousness in the already-dead meat is not the point. it is both the past suffering of the animal that was killed so that there would be a piece of meat for you to eat, as well as the message your eating that piece of meat (which was purchased at some point: i assume the meat for ganapujas does not normally come from dumpster diving, although perhaps it should) sends into the socio-economic nexus of the food industry. there is no way to divorce your action of eating meat from the killing, unless you get it out of the garbage, which is in effect what monks are supposed to be begging for, and why, in that ideal case, they need not refuse whatever is offered (in theory at least. as we well know, people go out of their way to purchase food for monks to accrue merit).
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Willy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:06 am

kalden yungdrung wrote:Tashi delek,

- I was asking myself if abortion does happen is that due to the karma of the one who is aborted?
- If a cow is killed would that also happen due to the karma of that sentient being, in this case the cow?
- If a child is born, is that also due to the karma of that sentient being?

Yes i am naturally against abortion but some women are doing it without that one can avoid that - act.
What do (some) women proclaim? We are the boss in our own belly :twisted:
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Can I take a stab at it? (no pun intended)
I think it fits well with the topic of eating meat. Abortion is taking the life of a human with the potential for precious opportunity (unless she has major deformities etc). Circumstances of rape and other events would make it complex - but let's just say 2 people fooled around and she got knocked up. The choice for abortion (rather than adoption) is murder. If the parents feel bad about it (regret the action), are confused about it (don't know the situation), and don't want to have it done etc, then they are lessening the karmic connection. If the parent gets the abortion, feel no remorse, know whats going on, and want to do it, then that person should be careful when driving 18 years later - the parent and aborted child may have a major car accident.

An adopted child has the karma to be with his/her adopted parents. The cow has the karma to be the cow.

But that's all theory. I was told by a teacher that karma is so complex, and there are so many conditions and complex layers that it's nearly impossible to judge yourself or others' karma.

By the way, I have worked on an organic farm and it really is murder everywhere. When we flooded the fields (old school New Mexico watering system) at least a dozen gofers were drowned. I can't even begin to tell you how many millions of bugs were massacred when we dug out trenches. It was an extremely bloody experience. I lost my good-luck jacket, and thought to myself to never take part in that kind of work again.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:09 am

Bhante Dhammika has published a little booklet on this issue:

http://www.photodharma.net/Blog/images/ ... t-Meat.pdf

And in it he goes with a very objective view, having been on both sides and presents well-reasoned arguments for both sides from a Buddhist point of view.

Some of his conclusions:

The other common justification for meat eating goes like this. “Monks get what they need by begging and should eat whatever they are given without picking and choosing.” Like quite a few other claims of Theravada, this explanation of the theory bears little resemblance to the reality. The reality is, and I’m probably revealing an insider’s secret here, that monks nearly always get exactly what they want. When the average monk wants something he simply buys it or when one of his supporters asks him what he needs he replies, “I need A, B and C.” The more scrupulous monks will resort to hints, a slightly changed expression or insinuations. Either way, lay people are more than happy to provide monks with all their needs and most of their wants as well, and if a monk wanted a vegetarian diet he would get it without any difficulty at all.

Another weakness in this argument is that it only relates to a tiny percentage of all Theravadins, i.e. monks. All too often Theravada discourse focuses on issues that are relevant to or are the concern of monks, leaving out the other 98% of people. What about lay people to whom neither this argument or the “I didn't see, hear or suspect” argument would be relevant? They don’t go begging and they are free to make choices about what they eat! Why can’t they be encouraged to be vegetarian? And if they were vegetarian they would offer vegetarian food to monks.

Recently a slightly more sophisticated argument has been used to justify meat eating in Theravada. The argument goes like this. Whether or not you eat meat, animals will be killed, to clear forests for agricultural land, by spraying crops to protect them from insect pests, by damming rivers to generate electricity and by many other ways. Even when we drive our car insects are squashed against the windscreen and larger animals are killed as we drive past. (Dhammavuddha Thera, The Buddha’s View on Meat Eating, 2008). All this is undoubtedly true.

However, such an argument embodies a narrow, disengaged and one-dimensional perspective rather typical of much Theravadin thinking. It is equivalent to saying, “People are going to die of cancer anyway so why bother discouraging smoking? People are going to be killed in accidents no matter what you do so why bother enacting safety regulations? Even though we have serious punishments for murder people still kill each other so what’s the point in criminalizing murder?”

Even though a civilized humane society knows there will always be deaths from cancer, accidents, murder and other causes, it still feels it worthwhile to try to minimize such deaths. Can it regulate or protect its citizens from every possible life-threatening situation? No! But where it is feasible it does so and many lives are saved as a result. Will being vegetarian stop animals being killed? No! But it is one step I can take, a very simple step, a step that costs me nothing, which will diminish at least some of the great suffering in the world and my complicity in it.


But, anyone who genuinely feels that they should develop an expansive love and kindness towards others - all others (and the Buddha said we should), would have to feel uneasy about being connected in any way to the animals being killed. The knowledge that they are part of a chain that leads to some very nasty things happening (and I do not want to regale you with the horrors of the abattoirs) must make them feel uneasy. It would have to motivate a thoughtful Buddhist to try to do at least something about this cruelty; and the least one could do is not be a link in the chain, by abstaining from eating meat.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:16 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Namdrol wrote:Everyone who gardens does so with full knowledge they are harming living beings. The same is true of farmers -- killing is still killing whether motivated by malice, craving or ignorance. If you are arguing that meat eaters participate necessarily in the intent to kill; then so do vegetarians. Why? Because it is impossible to eat any food during the production of which no sentient being was harmed. When an organic farmer applies an organic pesticide to save his or her crop from an aphid infestation, this is no less a deliberate act of killing than leading cattle, pigs or fowl to a slaughter house.


killing as an unfortunate by-product of farming, and intending to minimize it as much as possible, cannot be compared to the horrors of the sufferings deliberately inflicted on animals in abattoirs.



Sure it can -- have you ever seen an insect die from insecticide -- now you are just engaging in rationalizations.


plus, it is conceivable that technology, say in the form of an electromagnetic field, could be developed to repel insects from crops without harming them. you cannot eat real meat without killing.


Now you are engaging in fantasies -- that is not the real condition of farming -- you do know why monks cannot farm, right? Because if they dig in the ground they will harm creatures.



when one chooses to eat meat, there are many causes and conditions that entail from that decision. the absence of consciousness in the already-dead meat is not the point.


Yes, actually it is.


it is both the past suffering of the animal that was killed so that there would be a piece of meat for you to eat, as well as the message your eating that piece of meat.. sends into the socio-economic nexus of the food industry.


Then this is true of eating a veggie burger too.

there is no way to divorce your action of eating meat from the killing


Then this is true of a veggie burger too.

The fact of the matter is this, if your criteria for being a vegetarian is to lessen harm to sentient beings, than you are completely fooling yourself. The millions of birds, rodents and insects that are killed during the production of food don't really care if you are not eating meat. They still die because you eat at all. You are not saving a single animal from a miserable death by being a vegetarian. If you think so, you are kidding yourself or living in a fantasy.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:27 am

Namdrol wrote:The fact of the matter is this, if your criteria for being a vegetarian is to lessen harm to sentient beings, than you are completely fooling yourself. The millions of birds, rodents and insects that are killed during the production of food don't really care if you are not eating meat. They still die because you eat at all. You are not saving a single animal from a miserable death by being a vegetarian. If you think so, you are kidding yourself or living in a fantasy.

N


Grain production kills animals and insects, yes, however it takes 15 kilos of grain to produce one kilo of beef.

Hence, eating a kilo of beef in most circumstances in the present day will include those 15 kilos of grain in a sense and consequently all the insects and animals that died in the production of said grain.

Being a vegetarian lessens harm to sentient beings in the form of helping to decrease environmental destruction which meat production contributes greatly to. Much more than vegetable gardens or wheat fields.

If you don't eat meat, you don't contribute to the industrial production of meat, which is bad for the animals AND the environment.

Helping to decrease environmental destruction also lessens the suffering of sentient beings.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:33 am

Huseng wrote:
Being a vegetarian lessens harm to sentient beings in the form of helping to decrease environmental destruction which meat production contributes greatly to. Much more than vegetable gardens or wheat fields.



Yes, industrial meat production is very environmentally destructive. So is growing corn for ethanol.


If you don't eat meat, you don't contribute to the industrial production of meat, which is bad for the animals AND the environment.


As shown above, the production of meat is not tied to demand, at least, it is not tied to consumer demand.

BTW, personally, I do not purchase any industrially produced food stuff as much as possible. Given where I live, that is very possible.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:44 am

Namdrol wrote:As shown above, the production of meat is not tied to demand, at least, it is not tied to consumer demand.


This has not been shown. Of course production of meat is tied to the demand. The meat industry doesn't just pick some random number to decide how many animals to slaughter. They base it off demand. And yes, just a few vegetarians can and do make a difference. The meat industry is a business and that business is profit. They are not going to produce meat just to see it thrown away without being purchased; at least not for long. If a certain meat is consumed less, they will decrease production and they have done so.

The typical omnivore consumes about 50 to 52 animals per year (chicken, fish, etc.). That works out to 1 per week. If there is a city with 1 million people in it and only about 1% are vegetarian, that is 10,000 vegetarians in that city. That results in 10,000 less animals being consumed and slaughtered per week. Even a small number does make a difference and does decrease the killing, even if by only a small percentage.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:41 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
darn! does that mean your virtuous meat eating at a ganapuja is only made possible through the evil karma of the butcher? and without him being so evil, you wouldn't have an opportunity to be so virtuous?


Actually, as I probably said earlier in this thread some many pages ago... There are authoritative texts on the subject of the Tsok puja which say that the meat needs to have not been intentionally killed, in order to be used. So ideal meat for tsok would include roadkill, animals found dead in the forest, or even one's own pets that died naturally. If all the Vajrayana practitioners in our sanghas just prepared the meat from their dead pets alone, and froze them...then there'd be plenty of meat to use for tsok as long as only small amounts were used-- for some time. It'd be of benefit to the pet too. But I am sure people would be too adverse to this idea, because no one really wants to consume anything at tsok that they don't desire. Theoretically everyone loves the idea of "same-taste" as long as everything tastes yummy.

That said though, the Guru is the primary guide in Vajrayana, not texts.. so really, your Vajra bros have a valid point.
It's good to follow one's own convictions and be vegetarian if that is what you deem most virtuous. But it is not very helpful to judge other's harshly either, especially one's own Guru. Better to assume you may not see the whole picture yet: I mean, this reminds me of the other thread where Namdrol claims that he doesn't know any arrogant Western Buddhists? :tongue:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:46 am

Namdrol wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Being a vegetarian lessens harm to sentient beings in the form of helping to decrease environmental destruction which meat production contributes greatly to. Much more than vegetable gardens or wheat fields.



Yes, industrial meat production is very environmentally destructive. So is growing corn for ethanol.


Right, but corn for ethanol isn't directly related to vegetarianism.

Ideally, one can be vegetarian and not own a vehicle. The unfortunate reality of samsara is that we must create negative karma just to survive, but I stand by my position that vegetarianism is far more compassionate and better for the environment.

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.

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), thereby responsibility is shared between all parties involved in act, not just the butcher who slaughters the animal. This is related to what Vasubandhu relates in the following passage from the Abhidharmakośa:



When many persons are united with the intention to kill, either in war, or in the hunt, or in banditry, who is guilty of murder, if only one of them kills?

As soldiers, etc., concur in the realization of the same effect, all are as guilty as the one who kills.

Having a common goal, all are guilty exactly as he who among them kills, for all mutually incite one another, not through speech, but by the very fact that they are united together in order to kill.

But is the person who has been constrained through force to join the army also guilty?

Evidently so, unless he has formed the resolution, "Even in order to save my life, I shall not kill a living being."




Clearly, a consumer of meat is sharing in the responsibility of the intentional act of killing when they purchase the product.

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. 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.

Your defence of meat eating is disappointing given that some years ago on eSangha you were advocating vegetarianism and calling meat eating sinful.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:47 am

This is a funny thread because it's been about 80 pages now, and it keeps recycling the same arguments on both sides, sometimes even by the same people!

I have a feeling a consensus will not be reached. . .

Or, we could all move to the mountain caves and practice chulen, live off the essences and stop harming all life-forms?
Sound like a plan?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:02 am

Virgo wrote:
kirtu wrote:If you were able to get a large percentage of people to stop eating meat for a long period of time then you would see a response from the meat industry who would them scale back their killing provided that they were not able to increase meat exporting.

Kirt

Suggestion to anyone interested: try starting with personally converting 100k meat eaters to vegetarianism.

Kevin


That'd be a start but basically nearly everyone in the US is seen as a meat eater in these models (yes, the meat industry and definitely USDA have meat consumption models).

Here is a link to a model demonstrating far more elasticity of demand than we had discussed anecdotally when I was working at USDA (I didn't work on this kind of data directly and was primarily involved in general database development as well as writing software that implemented complex mathematical models dealing with detecting errors and anomalies in the statistical food safety model used in the 90's).

I haven't read the entire paper BUT the popularity of vegetariainism is not a factor in this model although dietary issues are considered. In fact it seems to confirm the long standing view that beef eating is tied directly to an expanding economy and when people loose income or feel less prosperous they simply shift their meat eating to poultry. Meat consumption also drops after meat recalls.

In order to reduce the number of cows, pigs and chickens slaughtered daily (many thousands if not hundreds of thousands daily) you will need to move a sizable percentage of the population away from meat eating on a long term basis (but please take a look at the graphic showing a significant decline in beef consumption in the 80's and 90's - precisely at the peak of US earning power on a per capita basis - so the argument that even a few tenths of a percentage fluctuation may be significant may have some validity).

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Pero » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:39 am

Adamantine wrote:This is a funny thread because it's been about 80 pages now, and it keeps recycling the same arguments on both sides, sometimes even by the same people!

I have a feeling a consensus will not be reached. . .

Haha, my thoughts exactly. :smile:

Or, we could all move to the mountain caves and practice chulen, live off the essences and stop harming all life-forms?
Sound like a plan?

Yeah, that'd be great if it were possible. :meditate:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:23 pm

I think the main point is that if someone wants to be a vegetarian because he thinks in the future that will lead to less killing, then great. We don't know if such will happen, but the intention is positive. But such person considering his approach the only possible when even Buddha ate meat, is saddening and shows no more than attachment to a certain diet.
If this same person uses his diet and convictions to consider his conduct more pure than Buddhists who eat meat, in spite of what's been said, then there might be a problem. Buddhism was starting and this problem was faced right on with Devadatta.

Buddhists with compassion want to help other sentient beings liberating themselves from samsara. This will never be possible if we think only in terms of temporal benefit. Is it useful? Yes. But falls short from the real goal. But one can be a vegetarian while having this clear. The problem is if vegetarianism gets in the way of being a good practitioner. As we seen, that can happen. gad rgyangs gave a very good example of this. He prefers to discard his own teacher advice because of food predilections. In other schools, this may not be that of a problem. In Vajrayana, let alone Dzogchen particularly, this is a big and expensive mistake.

Vegetarian or non vegetarian, Buddhists should strive mainly to make progress in their practice. As we have great masters in both sides of this issue, it's likely that diet is not a crucial point. At most it can be important depending of the school and teacher one follows, but this doesn't mean that there can be a generalization of a certain diet to every practitioner.

The biggest problem I see is that some vegetarians are so adamant about their diet that they place it in front of the advice of their teachers. In the end, the number of slaughtered animals will be exactly the same and they'll have wasted a human life because they failed to develop trust in their teacher. As I said, in other schools, this may not be that of a problem. In Vajrayana, let alone Dzogchen particularly, this is a big and expensive mistake.

Some people point that Namdrol stood up for vegetarianism once and then reformulated his opinion. To me, that makes is thoughts even more valuable. He was in the other side, explored carefully all the arguments and then moved on to a practice that he sees as more beneficial. The best thing here is that he trusts the words of his Guru and was able to change his mind. Changing one's mind about something when one find reasons to do so is a great quality, not a defect. A rare quality too, these days, especially when changing one's mind publicly. I, for one, was amazed and Namdrol went even higher in my consideration, not because of his diet, but because of his change of heart about a subject that he defended vehemently in public. It takes guts, humbleness and shows lack of concern for reputation. To me this is a much better sign of good practice than the diet we may have.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Blue Garuda » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:48 pm

Namdrol has also been instrumental in changing the minds of others, for the better, for some time.

On this issue, I haven't changed my mind, but it's always a possibility as we learn more and meditate more.

Leaving aside the larger issue of the Buddhist path as a means to 'change your mind' , isn't that one of the great benefits of forums?

I've been accused several times of being inconsistent because of changing my mind in public (and it's been pretty public when I was a Mod here) but you have to let go of self-cherishing and move on.

Fortunately there is a wealth of excellent advice here from many members, and I hope 2012 brings another fine year of informed debate and many more changed minds. ;)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:04 pm

Huseng wrote:The unfortunate reality of samsara is that we must create negative karma just to survive...



Exactly.




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.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:05 pm

Adamantine wrote:Or, we could all move to the mountain caves and practice chulen, live off the essences and stop harming all life-forms?
Sound like a plan?


The sgra thal rgyur tantra has a a section on the chu len of meat.

N
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10154
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

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