seeker242 wrote:PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Being a vegetarian or a vegan, in Samsara, is a very nice thing to do, but that's really about all it is. So, thanks anyway, but don't act like it's some big deal, because it isn't.
Would a cow or pig consider it to be a big deal? I think they would.
But if you ask a cat or dog, they would say eating meat is fine.
And if you ask the insect who drowns when you water the vegetable garden, what would they say?
Really, it's a great thing to be a vegetarian.
But if it puts one up on a "high horse"
you are better off eating that horse.
The interesting thing is that we have two sets of criteria at work.
One for animals, one for humans.
On the one hand, we are humans,
and can construct all sorts of moral and ethical justifications
for doing--or not doing certain things.
So, we live by those rules.
But, we are also animals.
So, how does one justify the rules we set up for ourselves as humans
without condemning ourselves for the opportunities we enjoy as animals?
"Why is it wrong to eat meat?"
"because it causes the animal to suffer".
"is it ethically wrong for a lion to kill a zebra?"
"no, because that's what they do. To condemn a lion for killing would be to force a human value system on another species. But it is wrong for humans to think they are superior to animals and can just kill them and eat them if the want to."
"why is it wrong?"
"because, as humans, we can make ethical choices
(in other words, we are still superior to animals)".
"What if the animal is already dead?"
"you are still contributing to the killing."
"because all these activities are linked together."
"what if my kid grows up and becomes a butcher?
Since I raised that kid, am I also responsible for the death of that cow?
How far does the chain of blame extend, especially if we are all interconnected"
So, that's why I say if a person doesn't eat meat, that's great,
but don't give yourself a medal for it.
As soon as you think "oh what a good buddhist I am"
you should drop that.
(just my opinion)