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 Adamantine » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:35 am

This is getting a bit vitriolic, once again. I am locking the thread for people to cool off, and to deal with a reported post. Stay tuned for regularly scheduled programming in the near future.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:04 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:Are we talking about this same Namkhai Norbu:

Is that really how desperate meat-eaters are, that they cite a massively overweight person's dietary advice? Actually I think a good definition of fanaticism is when you cite the diet of well known people, who are obviously over a hundred pounds overweight for their height as judged by multiple publicly available photos.

I don't think obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, increased cancer risk, ischemia, etc., are circumstances that anyone would want to deal with, and they can largely be prevented or even reversed by avoiding the meat he advocates. This isn't the 19th Century in the high Tibetan plateau. It just doesn't harm animals, it also harms people. No one wants a job changing someone else's bed pans because someone else ate themselves into disease, due to a rich diet.


To the best of my knowledge, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu doesn't give dietary advice per se. He gives Dharma advice, some of which has to do with food. Specifically, he insists that his students use meat at ganapuja (specifically factory food like sausage, which includes bits of many different beings) in order to create benefit for those beings on the puja plate. He teaches that all meals can also serve to make such connections. And he finds arguments for vegetarianism on grounds of compassion "miserable." None of these arguments have anything to do with human dietary requirements or building a great physique, and everything to do with emptying samsara. Hence, taking his own advice, ChNN had become obese (with exercise he's looking better in recent years) in his efforts to empty samsara.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby padma norbu » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:17 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:Are we talking about this same Namkhai Norbu:
Image



Yes, are you under the impression Namkhai Norbu has an all-meat diet? If he did, he'd probably be quite slim like pretty much all other all-meat diet cultures…
http://diagnosisdiet.com/all-meat-diets/

Funny, though, now that we're talking about compassion vs. circumstances again, I see you want to jump back to the fantastical notion that "meat makes you fat." LOL. Okay, so just go back to page 124; there you will find my response to your false claims which you could not refute the first time. The China study and all of that is a lot of hot air promoted by people who don't understand science. This quick link could help you figure that out:
http://authoritynutrition.com/top-5-rea ... ible-idea/

But, since you never responded to the proof I provided on page 124, I doubt you will acknowledge anything about the above link, either. You are obviously not open to other views, even ones that happen to be backed by actual science as opposed to your pretend science.

You can't even acknowledge the simple truth of S. Boyd Eaton vs. Mimi Kirk. 30 years paleo and Eaton had low cholesterol and great overall health. Mimi Kirk wasn't so lucky after 30 years of veganism: she was so painfully arthritic that she went to the doctor where she discovered she had high cholesterol and the doc wanted to put her on statins. Hmmm!

You don't seem to be able to see these glaring holes in your "proof" when they're staring you right in the face. Because you'd rather blindly swallow the lies that sound prettier to your ears. Well, I'm sorry to tell you, but this is samsara and I think that's always been the point. The Buddha ate meat and he was a perfect human being. He did not once make a rule against it, even when given the very specific opportunity to do so. Sentient beings are appearances, interdependent in samsara; as long as you are alive in a society, you will be inextricably linked to everything they do. I don't think enlightenment is reached by some magic formula when finally pay off all your karmic debts in literal quantities. The Buddha himself said karma is so vast and complex that no mind can fully comprehend it. If your refusal to eat meat does not save a single animal life (which it doesn't), while your intention is not to harm, what good have you done? But, if you eat meat with the intention of connecting that being to the dharma, you have perhaps saved the animal after all. At least his suffering did not go into the belly of a careless carnivore.

Think about it. And while you're thinking about it, consider why this is such a tough thing for you to accept. These are all facts I'm talking about now, not propaganda backed by already-destroyed, unsupported claims as you keep giving us to "prove" your point of view.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:23 pm

I wish to thank everyone who has written on this thread. Fascinating reading! I joined here in 2009 and wandered off, now am back for a bit, and had time to read some things here in between other work on the computer.

untxi wrote:I've been watching this thread for some time. I've been across the dietary spectrum in my life: eating crap American food; omnivore; paleo; low-carb; macrobiotic; vegetarian; vegan; and recommendations by traditional Chinese and Tibetan physicians. Silly thought: perhaps diet is like dharma-- there are many paths according to the needs of beings.


This is pretty much my own view, too, in that it comes down to needs of beings and their habits, the former adjustable, the latter so strong only Dharma can help at all.

Jikan wrote:...Hence, taking his own advice, ChNN had become obese (with exercise he's looking better in recent years) in his efforts to empty samsara.


I think that a most expansive view. Thank you.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:25 pm

Thrasymachus wrote: can largely be prevented or even reversed by avoiding the meat he advocates. .


Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche does not recommend eating meat to everyone. Quite the opposite in fact. What he clearly states is that it is better for everyone who is not a practitioner [of Vajrayāna] to be vegetarian.

This means that he thinks it is better for almost all people in the world to be vegetarians.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:30 pm

Jikan wrote:Hence, taking his own advice, ChNN had become obese (with exercise he's looking better in recent years) in his efforts to empty samsara.



Norbu Rinpoche became obese primarily because he suffered from a serious illness in the late eighties, then leukemia [now in remission for many years] ion 1994. He had both his knees replaced in the late nineties, and was unable to properly exercise. In addition, he was poisoned in Dege, Tibet, which led to metabolic irregularities for his entire life since then. He was very skinny until his early fifties when he started having cascading healthy issues.

He lost 45 kilos in 2011 [through practicing Chulen and eating a restrictive diet that excluded meat] and has for the most part kept the weight off. He does not really eat that much meat, AFAIK.

M
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:30 pm

Malcolm, sorry if you've talked about this before, but what is the take of Tibetan medicine on meat?
ཨོཾ་མ་ཧཱ་ཤུནྱ་ཏཱ་ཛྙཱ་ན་བཛྲ་སྭཱ་བྷཱ་བ་ཨཱཏྨ་ཀོ་྅ཧཾ༔

The thousands of lines of the Prajnaparamita can be summed up in the following two sentences:
1) One should become a Bodhisattva (or, Buddha-to-be), i.e. one who is content with nothing less than all-knowledge attained through the perfection of wisdom for the sake of all beings.
2) There is no such thing as a Bodhisattva, or as all-knowledge, or as a ‘being’, or as the perfection of wisdom, or as an attainment.
To accept both these contradictory facts is to be perfect.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jikan » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jikan wrote:Hence, taking his own advice, ChNN had become obese (with exercise he's looking better in recent years) in his efforts to empty samsara.



Norbu Rinpoche became obese primarily because he suffered from a serious illness in the late eighties, then leukemia [now in remission for many years] ion 1994. He had both his knees replaced in the late nineties, and was unable to properly exercise. In addition, he was poisoned in Dege, Tibet, which led to metabolic irregularities for his entire life since then. He was very skinny until his early fifties when he started having cascading healthy issues.

He lost 45 kilos in 2011 [through practicing Chulen and eating a restrictive diet that excluded meat] and has for the most part kept the weight off. He does not really eat that much meat, AFAIK.

M


Thanks for the correction, and the details on this.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:33 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Malcolm, sorry if you've talked about this before, but what is the take of Tibetan medicine on meat?



Tibetan medicine as well as Ayurveda include meat for those with certain conditions that benefit from meat.

One's diet should be based on one's constitution. One should eat in healthy balanced manner, consistent with the one's health and the customs of the land you live in.

BTW, when Norbu Rinpoche says that being a vegetarian is "miserable" compassion, he is primarily referring to Vajrayāna Buddhists who advocate vegetarianism. Why? Because there are methods in Vajrayāna which assist the animals in question achieve liberation who are connected with the production of our food, whether they are destroyed through pesticides and cultivation or through slaughter. Thus, even if one is a vegetarian one may not justify one's choice not to eat meat through resort of arguments of compassion since one is leaving behind animals who are slaughtered for meat.

He also makes it very clear that the writings on vegetarianism by Shabkar and so on are direct towards common people who are not real Vajrayāna practitioners. Since they have no method and no understanding it is much better that they not eat meat. Also the Buddha taught in Mahāyāna sutra that we mustn't eat meat.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby padma norbu » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Also the Buddha taught in Mahāyāna sutra that we mustn't eat meat.

But, did he really? It seems like people believe it was added later by Mahayana buddhists who did not appreciate the meat-eating of Theravadins. Seems pretty odd that by Theravadin texts, the Buddha specifically did not make a rule against it, then with Mahayana he did and then with Vajrayana meat is back again. No sir, I don't buy it.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:28 pm

Adi wrote:I wish to thank everyone who has written on this thread. Fascinating reading! I joined here in 2009 and wandered off, now am back for a bit, and had time to read some things here in between other work on the computer.

untxi wrote:I've been watching this thread for some time. I've been across the dietary spectrum in my life: eating crap American food; omnivore; paleo; low-carb; macrobiotic; vegetarian; vegan; and recommendations by traditional Chinese and Tibetan physicians. Silly thought: perhaps diet is like dharma-- there are many paths according to the needs of beings.


This is pretty much my own view, too, in that it comes down to needs of beings and their habits, the former adjustable, the latter so strong only Dharma can help at all.



That sounds reasonable. :smile: Although, I do personally think it's important as Buddhists to make sure to take into account the needs of all beings, which of course includes the animal beings that are normally used for food. Their needs are important too. But of course, a reasonable person already knows this.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adi » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:36 pm

seeker242 wrote:That sounds reasonable. :smile: Although, I do personally think it's important as Buddhists to make sure to take into account the needs of all beings, which of course includes the animal beings that are normally used for food. Their needs are important too. But of course, a reasonable person already knows this.

:namaste:


I also agree that all means all. :smile: As someone once said to me, there are no asterisks marking exceptions in Bodhichitta.

The great question then is how is anyone person best able, given their causes and conditions, to address the needs of all beings? In the context of "the great vegetarian debate," for some abstaining from meat eating is certainly a good idea, for others the kinds of Vajrayana practices Malcolm just noted are appropriate. In all cases, though, I think mindfulness of whatever one does is quintessential.

One of my favorite things about Buddhism: for every need there is at least one practice!

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:48 am

There is a solution to all this disagreement.
In your will, stipulate that your body must be frozen when you die.
Then, for the benefit of all the beings that died to sustain that body
you must agree that in your next life, when you are reborn,
you will have your previous body defrosted, and cooked
and then you will eat it.
:woohoo:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:50 am

padma norbu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Also the Buddha taught in Mahāyāna sutra that we mustn't eat meat.

But, did he really? It seems like people believe it was added later by Mahayana buddhists who did not appreciate the meat-eating of Theravadins. Seems pretty odd that by Theravadin texts, the Buddha specifically did not make a rule against it, then with Mahayana he did and then with Vajrayana meat is back again. No sir, I don't buy it.


Note: I said the Buddha in Mahāyāna sūtras.

Not asking anyone to buy anything. But it is beyond doubt that the Buddha did harshly criticize meat eating in Mahāyāna sūtras.

Whether you accept that Buddha actually taught these sūtras or not is an entirely different question.

Since I consider myself a Mahāyānist, I accept the general message of Mahāyāna.

Since I am a Vajrayānist, I practice according to my understanding of the texts, without being overly concerned about their supposed historical provenance.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:49 am

Malcolm wrote:BTW, when Norbu Rinpoche says that being a vegetarian is "miserable" compassion, he is primarily referring to Vajrayāna Buddhists who advocate vegetarianism. Why? Because there are methods in Vajrayāna which assist the animals in question achieve liberation who are connected with the production of our food, whether they are destroyed through pesticides and cultivation or through slaughter. Thus, even if one is a vegetarian one may not justify one's choice not to eat meat through resort of arguments of compassion since one is leaving behind animals who are slaughtered for meat.

He also makes it very clear that the writings on vegetarianism by Shabkar and so on are direct towards common people who are not real Vajrayāna practitioners. Since they have no method and no understanding it is much better that they not eat meat. Also the Buddha taught in Mahāyāna sutra that we mustn't eat meat.


This is just crazy and also speciesist. Why not also have the obviously superior Vajrayana humans also eat other inferiors who are also humans -- cannibalism, to liberate them? I think it is unfair to humans to not eat them also, so they can be liberated from samsara. Why do animals deserve better? Also, if we are gonna descend to this level of crazy, why can't we object and just eat hair or nails? Is that not enough? Or more likely, I guess whatever meat addict invented that insane justification, did not have a taste preference for hair or nails, so of course animals must die. Is there an actual canonical Buddhist source text that supports this, because you only gave one that supports vegetarianism? It seems like I said, just a crazy justification by some Tibetan meat addict, and thus Tibetan superstition.

About leukemia and cancer, here is the script from another excellent video:
Dr. Michael Greger wrote:Hot Dogs & Leukemia
... In fact if our children insist on wanting to be Oscar Myer weiners, they are multiplying their odds of getting childhood leukemia by 950%.
Diet is the number one cause of cancer. Cancer is a preventable disease, but it does require major lifestyle changes. Only 5-10% of cancer is in our genes, our family history.
90 to 95% of cancer is caused by what you expose your body to. Of the 90-95%, tobacco contributes about a quarter of the risk in the United States. There are some infectious causes, particularly in people with AIDS, but diet, if you include obesity and alcohol, makes up about 50% of our cancer risk, and cell phones, air pollution, x-rays, everything else all just fits into this last 10-15%.
Anything about our diet in particular? From a massive new study in Canada last year, total meat consumption was directly related to the risk of not only stomach cancer, but colon cancer, and rectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer, and breast cancer, and prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, and kidney cancer, and bladder cancer, and more leukemia as well.


His sources for that video:
S. Sarasua and D. A. Savitz. Cured and broiled meat consumption in relation to childhood cancer: Denver, colorado (united states). Cancer Causes and Control, 5(2):141{148, 1994.

J. M. Peters, S. Preston-Martin, S. J. London, J. D. Bowman, J. D. Buckley, and D. C. Thomas. Processed meats and risk of childhood leukemia (california, usa). Cancer Causes Control, 5(2):195{ 202, 1994.

P. Anand, A. B. Kunnumakkara, C. Sundaram, K. B. Harikumar, S. T. Tharakan, O. S. Lai, B. Sung, and B. B. Aggarwal. Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes. Pharm. Res., 25(9):2097{2116, 2008.

J. Hu, C. La Vecchia, M. DesMeules, E. Negri, and L. Mery. Meat and fish consumption and cancer in canada. Nutr Cancer, 60(3):313{324, 2008.

This is what one of the leading cancer researchers said over 20 years ago:
NY Times wrote:The largest study of Western diets and colon cancer ever done has found that the more red meat and animal fat that people eat, the more likely they are to develop this common and deadly cancer.

...

The Surgeon General, the American Cancer Society and other groups have advised Americans to eat less meat, but Dr. Walter Willett, a researcher at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who directed the study, concluded, "If you step back and look at the data, the optimum amount of red meat you eat should be zero."


So who is really being benefited by killing animals due to an addiction to the taste of unhealthy animal products, an addiction and attachment to food, so strong that you are literally killing yourself via diet?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Adamantine » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:06 am

Thrasymachus, are you a Buddhist? I am asking because a lot of things you've said on this thread recently seem to indicate otherwise. And if not, why are you interested in spending so much time here on DW debating with Buddhists?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby padma norbu » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:10 am

Thras is very picky-choosy what he decides to reply to. For good and obvious (transparent) reason.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:21 am

I think he replies any time there's chance to cut down other people, and to express his absolute disgust with pretty much everyone but himself, and whoever he is posting links from that day. It's a running theme with virtually everything he's ever posted on here, everyone else is a deluded pathetic worker/consumer/hypocrite/meat addict/fat/lazy/stupid/ whatever, and he alone sees reality.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby padma norbu » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:32 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I think he replies any time there's chance to cut down other people, and to express his absolute disgust with pretty much everyone but himself, and whoever he is posting links from that day. It's a running theme with virtually everything he's ever posted on here, everyone else is a deluded pathetic worker/consumer/hypocrite/meat addict/fat/lazy/stupid/ whatever, and he alone sees reality.

...even though his posts are full of holes, unlike the opposition.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:01 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I think he replies any time there's chance to cut down other people, and to express his absolute disgust with pretty much everyone but himself, and whoever he is posting links from that day. It's a running theme with virtually everything he's ever posted on here, everyone else is a deluded pathetic worker/consumer/hypocrite/meat addict/fat/lazy/stupid/ whatever, and he alone sees reality.


I think he needs some romantic entanglements to get him back in touch with reality. His level of vitriol is probably an excellent form of birth control and may prevent a healthy outlet of his frustrations. His peculiar hatred of fat people is also not going help. What is up with that Thras? It's like you directly equate waist circumference with morality. What is your pant size? Were you once big and lost a considerable amount of weight?
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