YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

the great vegetarian debate - Page 4 - Dhamma Wheel

the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1603
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby appicchato » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:34 pm


User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby cooran » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:51 pm

Hello Bhante,

It is my understanding from various sources. Do you have Peter Harvey's "An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics"?

The chapter on "Attitude and Treatment of the Natural World (Meat eating in early and Theravada Buddhism)" is interesting.

EDIT: I am shortly going to Dhammagiri for the day for the Alms round, Sutta Study and Meditation. I'll look at typing out the relevant pages when I get back home.

metta and respect,
Chris
Last edited by cooran on Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
---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 ---

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:52 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
cooran
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby cooran » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:55 pm

Hello Bhante,

What is your understanding of the Buddha's refusal to make a clear pronouncement that eating ANY meat is forbidden or unwholesome?
It would have been so easy for him to state this. And yet, he refused, and, as I understand it, it was a condition for a split in the Ordained Sangha.

metta and respect,
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 ---

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:44 pm


User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:19 am

- Peter


User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:26 am

Considering the responses I've received so far, this is my current thinking. Wording the issue another way:

If your past actions are part of the measurements used to determine demand, does that mean you are urging those who take actions to create future supply?

Put this way the answer seems to me an emphatic "no". From my understanding of the teachings, Buddhism is not concerned with the unintended consequences of one's actions. It is only concerned with intention. There has to be the intention to urge another to kill for it to constitute an offense of killing.

When you buy a product, you contribute to the measured demand, true, but at the time of your action you have no idea whether there will be enough measured demand to prompt a replenishment of supply. I have bought the last of a product only to find it never replenished; obviously the store owner was relieved to finally have the product off his hands. I have also bought a product with the very clear intention of hoping the store owner would see my purchase as significant enough to continue to supply more. I have even at times verbalized my intent to the store owner. "Please continue to carry this item." I have also chosen products based on the choices available to me; if A is available then I'll buy A, otherwise I'll by B. Clearly, to me at least, not every act of buying results in the seller feeling urged to resupply, nor is every act of buying accompanied by the intention to urge.
- Peter


User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:06 am

Maybe this thread should be in the classical Theravada Folder.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

User avatar
Jason
Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:09 am
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Jason » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:33 am

In Theravada, vegetarianism is not a requirement; however, does that mean that purchasing meat is the same as purchasing produce? My answer is no. Essentially, the meat that one purchases from the grocery store must come from an animal that has been deliberately killed; but, the same cannot be said about the fruits and vegetables that one purchases from the grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are not sentient beings, and harvesting them does not automatically entail the intentional killing of any sentient beings. If any sentient beings are killed in the harvesting of a fruit or vegetable, it is conceivable that it was accidental rather than deliberate. In the case of meat, that is not the case. The animal must almost always be deliberately killed by someone. It is true that purchasing meat from the grocery store does not ential the kamma of killing for the purchaser; however, a well-informed practitioner should be aware that an animal has to be deliberately killed for that meat to be available. Abstaining from eating meat does not free one from the web of killing and death, but it is hard to argue against the fact that doing so would at least help by not directly contributing to the meat industry that is built around the raising and killing of animals specifically for their flesh.

The way I see it, no source of food is 100% free from harming sentient beings, but the consumer does have the power to limit the amount of harm done. This can be achieved in many ways, e.g., not buying meat or at least buying meat from farmers and companies who treat their animals more humanely, buying eggs from farmers and companies who allow their hens to roam freely, buying produce from farmers and companies who do not use any pesticides, etc. So the consumer is not powerless. They can have an effect on how many animals are killed, the manner of their deaths or how they are treated in general, as well as the amount of pesticide-free produce that is sold, etc. When going to the super market, for example, that particular store keeps a record of all purchases and uses that information towards influencing store policy. Theoretically, if the the majority of consumers cease buying meat, the demand for meat will go down and less animals will need to be killed in order to meet the demand. In addition, if the majority of consumers who do purchase meat and dairy products purchase them from farmers and companies who treat and kill the animals in a more humane fashion, other companies will naturally follow suit due to the potential profit of such business practices. The same holds true for the kind of produce we buy. In a capitalist society, money is the greatest impetus for change pure and simple.

All of this ties into to the idea of personal responsibility and how far we as individuals wish to be socially active in regard to our Buddhist beliefs and practices. It is a personal choice that we each must make. For some, purchasing meat is perfectly acceptable to them since they know that the animal has been killed by another person; but for others, the purchasing of meat might not seem so acceptable when they consider things such as what meat is and how it gets to the store. Therefore, while I completely agree that in regard to the first precept the Buddha taught about personal responsibility in the form of regulating our own actions of body, speech and mind, that does not mean that we should simply turn a blind eye to where our food comes from. Does that not also fall within the realm of personal responsibility? Hence, while I agree that vegetarianism in not a requirement, I do think that it is at least a compassionate option. That is why even though there is nothing in Theravada that states this lifestyle choice is necessary or even preferred, I generally try to avoid buying meat or anything with meat in it when I go to the grocery store, out to eat at a restaurant, etc.

Just to be clear, however, I am not trying to demonize meat eating or the meat industry because that is a pointless crusade. As I said, abstaining from eating meat does not free one from the web of killing and death. Killing and death are awful facts of samsara that have the potential to arise because there are sentient beings whose minds are defiled by greed, hatred, and delusion. Besides removing oneself from the cycle of birth and death altogether, there are worldly solutions to these problems, but these solutions can merely limit the potential harm to other sentient being. In essence, besides escaping samsara, there are no perfect solutions. On top of that, condemning or demonizing another for their complicity means that we should also condemn and demonize ourselves as well. If we want to, we can find reasons to demonize internet usage. I doubt that most people are aware of how many birds are killed each year by microwave towers, but one could reason that every person who surfs the web or sends out an e-mail contributes to those deaths. Shall we cease to use the internet then?

My point is that choosing to be more socially active in our respective practices is an admirable thing to do; nevertheless, we should never forget the very nature of samsara. In his introduction to The Four Nutriments of Life: An Anthology of Buddhist Texts, Nyanaponika Thera echoes, "If we wish to eat and live, we have to kill or tacitly accept that others do the killing for us. When speaking of the latter, we do not refer merely to the butcher or the fisherman. Also for the strict vegetarian's sake, living beings have to die under the farmer's plowshare, and his lettuce and other vegetables have to be kept free of snails and other "pests," at the expense of these living beings who, like ourselves, are in search of food. A growing population's need for more arable land deprives animals of their living space and, in the course of history, has eliminated many a species. It is a world of killing in which we live and have a part. We should face this horrible fact and remain aware of it in our Reflection on Edible Food. It will stir us to effort for getting out of this murderous world by the ending of craving for the four nutriments."
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

(Buddhist-related blog)
(non-Buddhist related blog)

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:36 am


User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: Poll: Are you vegetarian/vegan?

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:58 am


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:04 am

Hi Jechbi

I think there is merit in Peter's line of inquiry. I don't think they wander off into speculative fiction-making The reason is that many of us share the common experience of buying our grocery items via an intermediary such as a supermarket. Whether Peter is formulating his own ideas based on the collective wisdom of the forum or whether he is asking the questions to make a point, it still makes a worthwhile discussion.

I think the metal hits the pedal in our personal lives and our practices when we are confronted with the mundane and extraordinary moral dilemmas faced in everyday life. How we confront them, with the Buddhadhamma as our guide and anchor, can be easy or difficult given our predelictions, circumstances and states of mind. Having made an extraordinarily difficult decision yesterday which was a breach of the first precept. My heart also goes out to all those who, like me, really struggle with the difficult and day to day situations that may ripple and echo through the lives of others.

Let's keep this discussion going.

To Gabriel

The reason this thread isn't in the Classical Theravada forum is that all responses would need to reference the Pali Canon and posts containing personal experiences, insights gained from meditation, and etc, would be off-topic and removed.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:45 am


User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:25 am

- Peter


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Ben » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:44 am

Anyway, lets get back to Peter's questions...
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:57 am


User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 10648
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:39 am

Image




User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
Posts: 10648
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:45 am

Image




User avatar
Jechbi
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am
Contact:

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:48 am


User avatar
kc2dpt
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: some very specific vegetarian questions

Postby kc2dpt » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:54 am

- Peter



Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine