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the great vegetarian debate - Page 63 - Dhamma Wheel

the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Northernbuck
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Northernbuck » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:19 pm

I went with Lacto-ovo vegetarianism. I have been this way for two weeks now. My wife has gone Vegan. I just couldn't give up cheese, but meat is easy as it usually doesn't sit well with me anyway. I do eat some of her vegan meals, which are very good.
But if this neutral feeling that has arisen is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a neutral feeling be permanent? - SN 36.7

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Modus.Ponens
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:23 am

Omnivore. Was ovo-lacto-vegetarian for 9-10 months and then gave up.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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cooran
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:01 am

Hello all,

Interesting comparing the percentages on this Theravada board with those compiled over on our sister site DharmaWheel:
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... w=viewpoll

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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David N. Snyder
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:06 pm

Image




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Tex
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Tex » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:19 pm

Flexitarian. Pretty strict vegetarian, except in others' homes or a potluck lunch at work, etc.
"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -- Heraclitus

Dean
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dean » Thu May 19, 2011 2:52 am

I've not eaten meat for the last 8 years, but do eat seafood as well as dairy products and eggs. I was watching TV one day and saw, after some sort of disease outbreak, mountains (and I mean mountains) of dead pigs being bulldozed into an incinerator. It seemed so weird, cruel and unnatural that I decided I did not want to take part anymore. Guess I dont have the same emphaty for fish, chicken and dairy cattle though...

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BlackBird
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby BlackBird » Thu May 19, 2011 3:08 am

I'm almost a Carnivore, I have apples in my diet though and tomatoes along with an array of vitamins and supplements. Meat or derivatives thereof make up the majority of my diet and since the meat wasn't produced for me personally I am happy to partake in it's consumption.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

Jhana4
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jhana4 » Thu May 19, 2011 11:17 am

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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AvaLily
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby AvaLily » Thu May 26, 2011 9:59 pm

I have been vegetarian for 5 months

Jhana4
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jhana4 » Thu May 26, 2011 11:59 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

PeterB
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby PeterB » Fri May 27, 2011 7:20 am

I have been eating an exclusively vegetarian diet for the best part of 20 years.
This does not make me "a vegetarian ".
It has made not the slightest difference to my practice of Buddhadhamma.
I would have commenced eating a vegetarian diet sooner had I not been part of a Vajrayana Sangha in which ( as is commonly the case ) the ritual eating of meat was enjoined upon one.

David2
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby David2 » Fri May 27, 2011 9:34 am

I changed my diet to 95-% vegan just about 10 days ago. I also already think it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. :smile:

However, if I eat at a restaurant which does not offer vegan meals I still eat non-vegan food. I do not like to eat nothing while everybody else eats something. :tongue:

So I do not call myself a veganist.

Jhana4
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jhana4 » Fri May 27, 2011 11:39 am

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Sam Vara
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:24 pm

I follow a Theravadin practice, and I am vegan. I have been vegan for nearly thirty years, which is longer than I have been practicing. I have thought about going back to eating a little meat or fish, but it wouldn't feel right and I don't think I could do it.

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SeekingDharma
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby SeekingDharma » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:10 pm

I have been completely vegetarian for shortly over a year now, initially inspired by information received about American factory farming--as well as my understanding of practicing Buddhist compassion. I do eat a lot of eggs, milk, and cheese--something I would like to reduce in my diet (but don't see happening any time soon). I've always loved fruits, but prior to going vegetarian the only vegetable I enjoyed was lettuce on my burger--now I am a big fan of vegetables! It's amazing how quickly the palette can change when making the (in my mind) correct food choices! :)

Jhana4
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby Jhana4 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:10 pm

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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cooran
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby cooran » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:24 pm

Hello all,


From Access to Insight:

Are Buddhists vegetarian?
Some are, some aren't. From the Theravada perspective, the choice of whether or not to eat meat is purely a matter of personal preference. Many Buddhists (and, of course, non-Buddhists) do eventually lose their appetite for meat out of compassion for the welfare of other living creatures. But vegetarianism is not required in order to follow the Buddha's path.

Although the first of the five precepts, the basic code of ethical conduct for all practicing Buddhists, calls upon followers to refrain from intentional acts of killing, it does not address the consumption of flesh from animals that are already dead. Theravada monks, however, are clearly forbidden to eat meat from a few specific kinds of animals, but for reasons not directly related to the ethics of killing.[1] Monks are free to pursue vegetarianism by leaving uneaten any meat that may have been placed in the alms bowl, but because they depend on the open-handed generosity of lay supporters[2] (who may or may not themselves be vegetarian) it is considered unseemly for them to make special food requests. In those parts of the world (including wide areas of south Asia) where vegetarianism is uncommon and many dishes are prepared in a meat or fish broth, vegetarian monks would soon face a simple choice: eat meat or starve.[3]

Taking part in killing for food is definitely incompatible with the first precept, and should be avoided. This includes hunting, fishing, trapping, butchering, steaming live clams, eating live raw oysters, etc.

And what about asking someone else to catch and kill the animal for me? On this point the teachings are also unambiguous: we should never intentionally ask someone to kill on our behalf. We should not, for example, order a fresh steamed lobster from the restaurant menu. The Dhammapada expresses this sentiment succinctly:
All
tremble at the rod,
all
hold their life dear.
Drawing the parallel to
yourself,
neither kill nor get others to kill.
— Dhp 130

And what about purchasing meat of an animal that someone else killed? Is this consistent with the Buddhist principles of compassion and non-harming, a cornerstone of right resolve? This is where things get tricky, and where the suttas offer only spotty guidance. In the Buddha's definition of right livelihood for a lay person, one of the five prohibited occupations is "business in meat" [AN 5.177]. Although he does not explicitly state whether this prohibition also extends to us, the butcher's clients and customers, it does place us uncomfortably close to a field of unskillful action.

To summarize what the suttas tell us: it appears that one may, with a clear conscience, receive, cook, and eat meat that either was freely offered by someone else, or that came from an animal who died of natural causes. But as to purchasing meat, I am just not sure. There are no clear-cut answers here.
We are all guilty of complicity, in one way or another and to varying degrees, in the harming and death of other creatures. Whether we are carnivore, vegan, or something in between, no matter how carefully we choose our food, somewhere back along the long chain of food production and preparation, killing took place. No matter how carefully we trod, with every step countless insects, mites, and other creatures inadvertently perish under our feet. This is just the nature of our world. It is only when we escape altogether from the round of birth and death, when we enter into the final liberation of nibbana — the Deathless — can we wash our hearts clean, once and for all, of killing and death.
To steer us towards that lofty goal, the Buddha gave us very realistic advice: he didn't ask us to become vegetarian; he asked us to observe the precepts. For many of us, this is challenge enough. This is where we begin.
Notes
1.
Theravada monks are forbidden to eat raw meat or fish, as well as the flesh of humans, elephants, horses, dogs, snakes, lions, tigers, leopards, bears, hyenas, and panthers. See the description of "staple foods" in chapter 8 of The Buddhist Monastic Code. A monk who eats any of those kinds of meat commits an offense that he must confess to his fellow monks.
2.
See "The Economy of Gifts" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
3.
Monastics within some schools of Mahayana Buddhism do practice vegetarianism. See Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction (fifth edition) by R.H. Robinson, W.L. Johnson, & Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 2005), p. 213.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... /bfaq.html

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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ground
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby ground » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:21 am

I cannot refer to rules laid down anywhere and I cannot speak for Theravada either and actually it is not rules that may be laid down anywhere that are of utmost importance to me.
What I know is that when I buy meat products these will be resupplied to the shop where I bought them following market's "cause and effect". Further I know that meat does not grow on trees or in the ground but the only way to produce meat products is to kill animals. In the context of economy animals have to be raised and kept in an organised way in order to be able to kill them if the market has to be resupplied following market's cause-and-effect-law of consumption-and-production. If animals have to be killed then there has to be someone who does the killing. So my consumption of meat products necessarily entails the suffering of animals and the suffering of those who kill them. Also the only potential reason for my consumption of meat products I can find would by attachment to taste. Therefore for me it boils down to the question: Can the impermanent and fleeting taste of meat products be reason enough to support my contribution to the suffering of other beings.


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alan
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby alan » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:29 am

The junk sold to vegetarians is usually soy protein isolate, which is unhealthy.
Think twice before you rationalize your ideals.

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ground
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the great vegetarian debate

Postby ground » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:40 am

For me compassion for beings is no rationalized ideal. Also my experience with vegetarian/vegan food is very good which includes its concomitant effects. "usually soy protein isolate" obviously is a strange idea based on lack of experience.

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