the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Thu May 10, 2012 9:25 pm

Maybe on planet granola. Pests eat so much you need to plant at least twice as much and the labour involved is often ridiculous.

As well the produce rots much faster and in the "good ol' days" of organic farming it took one in six adults working full time growing food to produce enough to feed everyone.
Last edited by Nemo on Thu May 10, 2012 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu May 10, 2012 9:30 pm

Namdrol wrote:Buying a hamburger in a market does not eqaute intention to kill.
Asking someone outright to slaughter a steer so you can have meat on the other hand would involve an intention to kill.


Buying a hamburger in a market initiates a causal chain that results in someone outright slaughtering another steer to restock the shelf in the market. You might actually end up buying the meat of the steer that you "ordered" to be killed on your next trip to the market.

Are you actually claiming that if you go to one of those Chinese seafood restaurants where they have the live fish in tanks, and you point to the fish you want them to kill and cook, it is karmically and morally different from going to a restaurant and letting them choose which fish to kill and cook to feed you?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 9:35 pm

Acchantika wrote:
Namdrol wrote:But frankly, being a vegetarian is not a superior moral choice. If you are a vegetarian for reasons of health it is one thing. But vegetarianism as moral campaign is deluded. Millions of animals large and small die to bring vegetables and grains to our plates every day. But over and over again vegetarians justify this claiming that the purpose of such agriculture is not to kill animals, so therefore, they morally excuse themselves from culpability in the death of countless millions of creatures.


It seems to me that your argument is against the modern agriculture industry not vegetarianism per se. If vegetarianism could operate without the use of organic or inorganic pesticides in a sustainable way perhaps that would be the superior moral choice. This isn't feasible on a large scale currently, but vegetarianism even in its current state would be a progressive step towards that end while non-vegetarianism cannot be. In the same way that world peace is not achievable currently, and many may technically die because one does not join an army to protect oppressed countries by killing oppressors, this is not a valid reason to join the army.


When people stop killing animals for food, I will stop eating meat. Until then, I won't. It is pretty simple. I personally don't care what diet people have -- but the saccharine fake compassion holier than thou attitude of some vegetarians is pretty pathetic. So if your conscience won't permit you to eat meat, great, don't eat it. My conscience won't permit me not to. But don't lecture me with some lame ass criticisms and poorly cited arguments from Abhidharma (which incidentally is a Hinayāna system in which meat eating is permitted). If people wish to follow common Mahāyāna and avoid meat, fine. The Hevajra tantra states however "Those who eat meat have compassion."

If you really want to follow the common Mahāyāna POV, not only must you avoid meat, but you must avoid onion, garlic, scallions, wine, and so on. So if you are going to do down that road, be consistent. Don't eat onion, garlic, meat, drink wine and so on.

As I pointed out, if people grass fed their cattle in a proper way, for both dairy and meat, we could reverse 200 years of carbon release in ten-twenty years.

So far no one has answered my observation that whether eats meat or not makes absolutely not one whit of difference concerning whether one will become an awakened person or not. But there are apparently some people think that their choice diet makes them superior buddhists -- well, screw that, what bullshit -- load of religious crapola disconnected with reality.

N

N
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 9:42 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Are you actually claiming that if you go to one of those Chinese seafood restaurants where they have the live fish in tanks, and you point to the fish you want them to kill and cook, it is karmically and morally different from going to a restaurant and letting them choose which fish to kill and cook to feed you?


I don't eat seafood in those kind of Chinese resturants; I don't order lobster in places where they boil them to order. I don't eat meat that I have seen being killed. And I never ask anyone to slaughter animals on my behalf. I won't eat meat that has been slaughtered for me.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 9:49 pm

Nemo wrote:Maybe on planet granola. Pests eat so much you need to plant at least twice as much and the labour involved is often ridiculous.

As well the produce rots much faster and in the "good ol' days" of organic farming it took one in six adults working full time growing food to produce enough to feed everyone.


I think you don't know very much about organic farming, companion planting etc. But believe whatever you want. People have different definitions of food. Mine excludes anything grown through agrocorporate methods, GMOS, etc.

If organic produce really rots faster (it doesn't), I would take that as a good sign.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 9:59 pm

Nemo wrote:
The health benefits for either camp are simply not there.



Nonesense, industrial agriculture contributes significantly to global warming or climate instability, whatever you want to call it. It results in large scale enviromental degradation, it is hugely inefficient, costly, and it returns less and less every year in terms of energy inputs.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 10, 2012 10:09 pm

Namdrol wrote:If organic produce really rots faster (it doesn't), I would take that as a good sign.
Actually, organically grown food tends to rot more slowly. Probably because only the healthiest "fruits" tend to be the ones that grow to maturity. My father has a large patch of land where he grows fruit and veges and he does not even use organic pesticides (technically the fruit and vege are not organic coz he uses chicken shit from his friends coop as fertiliser, and I don't know what his friend feeds his chickens with), anyway he has VERY healthy plants and the produce takes forever to wilt and rot!
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Thu May 10, 2012 10:22 pm

So if I have a house infested with termites and I hire an exterminator to spray the whole place, since I didn't do the actual killing myself I have no karmic responsibility? Sure...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 10:24 pm

practitioner wrote:So if I have a house infested with termites and I hire an exterminator to spray the whole place, since I didn't do the actual killing myself I have no karmic responsibility? Sure...


Of course you are, you are contracting it to be done, just as if you contracted a butcher to slaughter a steer for you.

Your objection is moot however since I was not making this argument.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Thu May 10, 2012 10:29 pm

No, your argument is that as long as there is a middle man between you and the butcher your hands are clean, that is nonsense.
Butcher ---> Purchaser = bad karma
Butcher ---> Market ---> Purchaser = no problem
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu May 10, 2012 10:35 pm

Namdrol wrote:
asunthatneversets wrote:Chatral Rinpoche is a dzogchen master and is a big advocate of vegetarianism...


Frankly, eating grassfed meat is far better for the environment and ecosystems in the world than being a consumer of soy products. Soy is a very environmentally damaging crop (http://civileats.com/2009/01/27/a-vegan ... erspective). Grass fed cattle who are moved from fresh pasture to pasture actually sequester carbon and rebuild the local environment becase of the interaction between cattle and pasture. Joel Salatin writes in his recent The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer (2010, Polyface):


I agree about the soy, no doubt... In addition to the environmental effects, soy in the amounts that are consumed regularly nowadays (by those who turn to it as an alternative) is very dangerous as well it seems:

# High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.

# Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.

# Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.

# Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.

# Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.

# Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.

# Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.

# Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.

# Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.

# Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.


I personally go the almond milk/rice milk route instead, and stay away from soy products as much as possible, I've been vegetarian for 10 years now and have no desire to eat meat (probably ever again) but I would never persecute those who choose to. When I first started being involved with the DC I remember being told my diet choices were going to be an issue and that I should probably start eating meat. I didn't really understand it but remained open to the suggestion... presently I still haven't eaten meat and that hasn't caused an issue with the effects/insights/realizations the teaching has gave way to as far as I can tell. I still remain open to what ChNN suggests, and I respect everyone for doing what they would like to.

I definitely agree that taking a holier than thou attitude when it comes to diet is ridiculous. Also agree that even for those who claim to be living a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle in the name of compassion are still subject to causing death/harm to animals... be it bugs on the windshield, stepping on bugs, wearing leather, using products associated with animal testing etc... but also that even in being a vegetarian in the consumption of plants, life is still being taken. Some may argue that plants aren't sentient beings but there's been discoveries regarding plant behavior which refute that view. Either way the effect we have on our environment and beings around us via direct or collateral damage is always inescapable.

I am very interested in this aspect of dzogchen regarding meat and compassion, do you know anywhere I could get more info on that? Or what is it which makes consumption of meat compassionate vs. avoidance of meat incompassionate?

Namdrol wrote:Finally, in the end, being an eater of meat does not make one less capable of realizing the meaning of the teachings, and being a vegetarian does not make one more capable of realizing the teachings.

That is the bottom line.

N


Agreed.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu May 10, 2012 10:59 pm

asunthatneversets wrote: Some may argue that plants aren't sentient beings but there's been discoveries regarding plant behavior which refute that view.


Dzogchen theoretically rejects the distinction between sentient and non-sentient.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Acchantika » Fri May 11, 2012 12:07 am

Namdrol wrote:
Acchantika wrote:
Namdrol wrote:But frankly, being a vegetarian is not a superior moral choice. If you are a vegetarian for reasons of health it is one thing. But vegetarianism as moral campaign is deluded. Millions of animals large and small die to bring vegetables and grains to our plates every day. But over and over again vegetarians justify this claiming that the purpose of such agriculture is not to kill animals, so therefore, they morally excuse themselves from culpability in the death of countless millions of creatures.


It seems to me that your argument is against the modern agriculture industry not vegetarianism per se. If vegetarianism could operate without the use of organic or inorganic pesticides in a sustainable way perhaps that would be the superior moral choice. This isn't feasible on a large scale currently, but vegetarianism even in its current state would be a progressive step towards that end while non-vegetarianism cannot be. In the same way that world peace is not achievable currently, and many may technically die because one does not join an army to protect oppressed countries by killing oppressors, this is not a valid reason to join the army.


When people stop killing animals for food, I will stop eating meat. Until then, I won't. It is pretty simple. I personally don't care what diet people have -- but the saccharine fake compassion holier than thou attitude of some vegetarians is pretty pathetic. So if your conscience won't permit you to eat meat, great, don't eat it. My conscience won't permit me not to. But don't lecture me with some lame ass criticisms and poorly cited arguments from Abhidharma (which incidentally is a Hinayāna system in which meat eating is permitted). If people wish to follow common Mahāyāna and avoid meat, fine. The Hevajra tantra states however "Those who eat meat have compassion."

If you really want to follow the common Mahāyāna POV, not only must you avoid meat, but you must avoid onion, garlic, scallions, wine, and so on. So if you are going to do down that road, be consistent. Don't eat onion, garlic, meat, drink wine and so on.

As I pointed out, if people grass fed their cattle in a proper way, for both dairy and meat, we could reverse 200 years of carbon release in ten-twenty years.
So far no one has answered my observation that whether eats meat or not makes absolutely not one whit of difference concerning whether one will become an awakened person or not. But there are apparently some people think that their choice diet makes them superior buddhists -- well, screw that, what bullshit -- load of religious crapola disconnected with reality.

N

N


I think some people just discuss it because they don't know and are trying to make the right choice. Not everyone has an agenda.
...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Fri May 11, 2012 4:48 am

Namdrol wrote:
Nemo wrote:Maybe on planet granola. Pests eat so much you need to plant at least twice as much and the labour involved is often ridiculous.

As well the produce rots much faster and in the "good ol' days" of organic farming it took one in six adults working full time growing food to produce enough to feed everyone.


I think you don't know very much about organic farming, companion planting etc. But believe whatever you want. People have different definitions of food. Mine excludes anything grown through agrocorporate methods, GMOS, etc.

If organic produce really rots faster (it doesn't), I would take that as a good sign.


Small islands of organic agriculture in North America do well because they are surrounded by monocultures treated with pesticides and herbicides. If that ended pests would come back with a vengeance. Fallowing alone would decrease yields to the point that billions could starve. They also do not factor in the increased man power needed to offset the energy inputs on industrial agriculture which greatly inflates the price. Outside of North America many agricultural scientists find your view condescending. Like those assholes who use ethanol made from corn to run their SUV's. It may simply be too late for most of the world to eat super healthy food. Increasing yields without GMO, fertilizer, etc is largely wishful thinking. Norman Borlaug knows more about farming than you. Being an expert in one field does not make you magically proficient in others.

Look at the price tag of your organic food next time you are at the store. Are you going to tell me land is more productive specifically in calories per acre using organic practices? Then wouldn't everyone do it? Eventually organic eating will starve people in the same way ethanol fuel from corn did. Boutique eating for earth's elite. Only one in seven are malnourished/starving now. They went to bed hungry again tonight.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mzaur » Fri May 11, 2012 6:26 am

practitioner wrote:No, your argument is that as long as there is a middle man between you and the butcher your hands are clean, that is nonsense.
Butcher ---> Purchaser = bad karma
Butcher ---> Market ---> Purchaser = no problem


Well, it's actually a very good argument. Someone earlier said that going into a supermarket and buying meat creates a causal chain which makes the market order more eat so that more animals get slaughtered. This is false. This just isn't how large businesses operate. The demand is there whether or not you buy it or not. If a supermarket has a couple dead chickens to throw out at the end of the day, that doesn't mean they'll order two less chickens in the morning.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mzaur » Fri May 11, 2012 6:30 am

practitioner wrote: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.


Milarepa and Marpa weren't always Buddhas. Did they eat meat before they became Buddhas?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Fri May 11, 2012 6:40 am

mzaur wrote:
practitioner wrote:No, your argument is that as long as there is a middle man between you and the butcher your hands are clean, that is nonsense.
Butcher ---> Purchaser = bad karma
Butcher ---> Market ---> Purchaser = no problem


Well, it's actually a very good argument. Someone earlier said that going into a supermarket and buying meat creates a causal chain which makes the market order more eat so that more animals get slaughtered. This is false. This just isn't how large businesses operate. The demand is there whether or not you buy it or not. If a supermarket has a couple dead chickens to throw out at the end of the day, that doesn't mean they'll order two less chickens in the morning.


Not true, businesses are in business to make money and they adapt to changing demands. If something starts selling less, they start buying less. They don't say well I've always bought 100 units of chicken a week and I'm gonna keep buying that much even if it ends up in the trash and I'm losing money.

This illustrates the point much better than I can.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Infinite » Fri May 11, 2012 6:45 am

practitioner wrote:
mzaur wrote:
practitioner wrote:No, your argument is that as long as there is a middle man between you and the butcher your hands are clean, that is nonsense.
Butcher ---> Purchaser = bad karma
Butcher ---> Market ---> Purchaser = no problem


Well, it's actually a very good argument. Someone earlier said that going into a supermarket and buying meat creates a causal chain which makes the market order more eat so that more animals get slaughtered. This is false. This just isn't how large businesses operate. The demand is there whether or not you buy it or not. If a supermarket has a couple dead chickens to throw out at the end of the day, that doesn't mean they'll order two less chickens in the morning.


Not true, businesses are in business to make money and they adapt to changing demands. If something starts selling less, they start buying less. They don't say well I've always bought 100 units of chicken a week and I'm gonna keep buying that much even if it ends up in the trash and I'm losing money.

Uh actually they do. It would take more then one person stop eating meat to lead to a change in purchasing. Also one drop in sales for a week doesn't change how purchases are made I know I used to work in a Grocery Store and we would look at Monthly/Yearly trends to make purchases. Even then waste was high.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Fri May 11, 2012 6:54 am

Your argument reminds me of people who say "I'm not going to bother voting. It is only one vote after all, it can't possibly make a difference" It may be true for one single voter yet if hundreds or thousands of people share the same state of mind it does in fact make a difference.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Infinite » Fri May 11, 2012 7:09 am

practitioner wrote:Your argument reminds me of people who say "I'm not going to bother voting. It is only one vote after all, it can't possibly make a difference" It may be true for one single voter yet if hundreds or thousands of people share the same state of mind it does in fact make a difference.

The likelihood of that is rather nil and comparing eating to voting is really bizarre. It feels at this point vegetarians are just stretching for something to hold onto in order to maintain a moral high ground of their own construction. Honestly this is bordering on red herring territory at this point. Though I do like how you didn't even respond to my fact that it would take something catastrophic to change not only how product is purchased by grocery stores but how they are produced. You want to go to the source go to the factory farms and get them to change this whole blaming the butcher, consumer, candlestick maker, random bloke, etc. is just bizarre.
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