Virgo wrote:This goes against the nature of man.
I'm sorry, but any such concept such as "the nature of man" (aside from sexist phrasing) is complete nonsense and is not supported by any Buddhist teaching.
Ironically (@virgo), it is the very argument that "it is the nature of man to use force" which is the argument from which fascism as a political ideology, which you object to, claimed its legitimacy. Look up Giovanni Gentile
for more on this.
The so-called "nature" of beings in the human realm (man and woman) is not defined by the means, but by the ends:
Humans are plagued by a constant state of dissatisfaction (dukkha) which can manifest as anything from the desire for a hamburger to the need to convert others to a vegan diet, or the frustration one feels because people who call themselves Buddhist eat meat and this seems hypocritical, and hypocrisy to some people is unbearable. It is the desire to be free from this constant dissatisfaction which is "the ends" to which means are employed.
But the means can vary. Sometimes people use force and sometimes they do not.
If it were an intrinsic characteristic
of humans ("nature of man")to always use force,
then the Buddhist path would have never been taught as it was, and would be pointless to practice.
If it were an intrinsic characteristic of humans to use force, then using force would ultimately result in lasting happiness,
because the result would be in harmony with the basis for the action.
Quite a few, if not most of the arguments used by vegetarians to illustrate why not eating meat is a wise choice are valid. It may be better for your health, better for the environment, and will separate one slightly from the slaughterhouse industry.
But the underlying cause for choosing either to eat meat or not eat meat is exactly the same:
One mistakenly clings onto the idea that choosing one or the other will lead to happiness and will free oneself (and perhaps others) from suffering. maybe it has to do with feeling well fed, or of having a clear conscience. Whatever.
There are a billion different reasons for the things people choose to do.
But the motivation, or the motivation behind one's motivation
is always the same.
Obviously, if millions of consumers stop buying beef (and you may remember when Oprah Winfrey's influence caused this to happen) or some other type of meat, it will have an impact on the market. That is all fine and well, but it will only mean that fewer livestock animals will be born (to die) in the future. It has no bearing on the lives of the animals alive right now. If people don't eat them, they will still be butchered anyway, because there will be no point in spending money to keep them alive.
There are a lot of ways to impact society and try to make things better, and a person should do what they can do. Fight injustice. Save the planet. But this has very little with Dharma. It makes absolutely no difference what you eat, if your mental attitude is still generated by clinging and only fuels anger and resentment. That is why I said before, some people pit vegetarianism against Buddhism. They pit clinging against non-clinging.