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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:07 am 
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In regards mowing the lawn I read somewhere...
"One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!"
Dr. Snyder the context of my report on Buddhism was in response to someone here questioning a previous statement that most Buddhists eat meat, not to say that because most Buddhists eat meat that therefore it is right or wrong.. Simply that the vast majority of Buddhists reject vegetarianism.
Regarding monks vows against eating meat, which monks? Thai monks, Tibetan monks eat meat.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:33 am 
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As far as vegetarianism & Buddhism go, I believe that one of the original disciples of the Buddha asked him to make vegetarianism a vinaya rule. The Buddha rejected this. Whether the Buddha himself was a vegetarian or not, I do not know. However seeing that the Buddha rejected making this a rule for his followers tells me that it is not necessary to follow vegetarianism, to follow the Buddhas teachings. I'm sure people can find plenty of teachers out there that claim it is. But considering this forum is about Buddhism I feel most people would agree that it's pretty hard to go past the teachings of the Buddha. Life involves taking life, even if you drink water, life forms will die. If you don't drink water, you'll die.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:57 am 
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shaunc wrote:
Life involves taking life, even if you drink water, life forms will die. If you don't drink water, you'll die.

More black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking.

There is a further option: You can take the care to strain the water before you drink it.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:17 am 
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dharmagoat wrote:
shaunc wrote:
Life involves taking life, even if you drink water, life forms will die. If you don't drink water, you'll die.

More black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking.

There is a further option: You can take the care to strain the water before you drink it.


Good-luck with that mate.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:20 am 
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shaunc wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
There is a further option: You can take the care to strain the water before you drink it.

Good-luck with that mate.

Therein lies the difference between one Buddhist practitioner and another.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:22 am 
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Quote:
Therein lies the difference between one Buddhist practitioner and another.

Got some self pride there?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:26 am 
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Jigme Tsultrim wrote:
Quote:
Therein lies the difference between one Buddhist practitioner and another.

Got some self pride there?

Would I strain the water or not?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:49 am 
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dharmagoat wrote:
There is a further option: You can take the care to strain the water before you drink it.

The jains do that, although i don't know that it gets the microscopic beings.

But here is a question to my vegan and strict vegetarian friends:
I forgot to add to my other list of morality questions a few posts back:
would you risk killing an animal in order to save your own life
(being chased by a rabid dog, or a komodo dragon or a tiger)
???
.
.
.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:19 am 
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Quote:
would you risk killing an animal in order to save your own life
(being chased by a rabid dog, or a komodo dragon or a tiger)
???
Would in-laws count too?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:19 am 
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I personally relate more to East Asian Buddhism. Though I am not a vegetarian, but being a vegan Buddhist I think (from my East Asian Buddhist perspective) is in accordance with Bodhisattva's ideals. I have heard that Bodhisattvas don't eat meats of sentient beings. True practitioners of the Path don't care about the taste. I still eat meats but I don't feel guilty because it's my habit. Again, it might just be my personal perspective. :smile:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:56 am 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
I just noticed this. Thanks for the info. I just did a quick search and found this:
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2008/0221/p20s01-woaf.html



hahaha a little bit over the top but yeah... it can happen that if people figure out I don't eat meat they ask: But what do you eat???? Even in a restaurant when I have perfectly fine vegetarian food on my plate...

There is more food insecurity than the article suggests though, and this year more than usual. Namibia has been going through the worst drought for 30 years this year and the situation is desperate for many. We had cases of children dying of malnutrition and many more are struggling. This year's rainy season has just begun and so far it looks like it will be a normal one.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:09 am 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:
There is a further option: You can take the care to strain the water before you drink it.

The jains do that, although i don't know that it gets the microscopic beings.

But here is a question to my vegan and strict vegetarian friends:
I forgot to add to my other list of morality questions a few posts back:
would you risk killing an animal in order to save your own life
(being chased by a rabid dog, or a komodo dragon or a tiger)
???

That one is easy. Yes, of course. If I had the means.

Although I would wait until the very last moment when the animal charged, and take my chances.

(I am not a vegan or strict vegetarian, but I answered anyway.)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:32 am 
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seeker242 wrote:
What ever happened to "reasonable discussion"?


I don't think you're the one who should be complaining about the lack of reason in this discussion. You're clearly refusing to respond to some of the main arguments of your interlocutors. For instance, some twenty pages ago Adamantine pointed out the fallacy of using the demand and supply model to accurately describe the global food market (Malcolm and others had talked about it in detail much earlier, of course). You have entirely ignored the weight of his posts on the issue, saying something that amounted to 'it obviously isn't so'. If you investigate the issue further in a responsible way, or even give the thread a more careful reading, you'll discover plenty of solid evidence for Adamantine's claim.

If you want to persuade anybody that you're indeed interested in a 'reasonable discussion' and not just desperately trying to force us to accept your take on the issue, please respond to the following posts:

Adamantine wrote:
Anyway, if we confine our discussion to the U.S., where I live, there is currently a population of about 317 million people. There's only around 3 million Buddhists living in the U.S. You can do the math, and see if you think Buddhists will make much of a difference, even if they all banded together with their pocketbooks to never spend money on meat products and went full force lobbying against the meat industry. . . I understand and can sympathize with your principles in being so vehement in this thread, but I think your time may be better spent in other ways. Especially considering that among those 3 million or so Buddhists in the U.S., most of them are not on Dharmawheel. We have 4421 members. Many of them are international.. which is irrelevant but just for our purposes in looking at the U.S., let's consider that at least half of our members here were from the U.S. That'd be approx. 2210 U.S. members. Now, let's guess that possibly half of those were already vegetarian, or ate very little meat. --I, for instance, still identify myself as vegetarian because I hardly eat meat.. maybe once a month or every other week I may eat a little, usually a half portion I share with my wife. So let's say there's about 1105 harcore meat eaters from the U.S. here on DW. That's 1105 out of 317,000,000 people. If they all stopped eating meat, because they were convinced by you, do you think that would change much the supply-demand chain of the 317,000,000? I don't mean to inspire defeatism, I just am thinking about choosing your battles.

If I could stop the insanity of this industry, I would. I would never eat meat again if the force of this terrible industry didn't exist. But I try to be realistic about relative conditions. We live in a country that is often dominated by what I consider insanity. I don't think Buddhists are the cause of the problem, and I don't think they will be a solution to it. It is one of those things happening in our time and place that illustrates the horrible suffering of samsara. There's plenty of other horrors, and suffering, but we need to try to cultivate compassion and patience for every aspect of the suffering equation, especially those committing the atrocities. When there is a powerful skillful method that can be implemented to reduce suffering in a given circumstance, we should take it, definitely. I think considering the history of this thread though, that some people's ideas of skillful are not so skillful. . . And I probably fall into that equation too!


Adamantine wrote:
Ethically in a very relative-reality sense it is certainly important to consider the preservation of naturally occurring ecosystems that are mutually symbiotic and beneficial to the larger biosphere. Unfortunately, much of the domestication of animals for food sources and the trends this has induced (including factory farming) is simply terrible for the larger biosphere. Preserving certain types of domesticated farm animals may seem important as from simply a POV of attachment, but please explain why you think it is beneficial to the biosphere at large, and from a Dharma perspective in particular. Ultimately from a dharma POV preserving this does not matter.. the goal is to empty samsara entirely , not preserve any part of it. Intentionally preserving any way-of-life that involves intentional killing is adharma, =it is against the dharma as Buddha taught. This is because by creating more suffering and generating more negative karma and confusion, it spins the wheel of samsara even faster, rather than unraveling it to the illumination of awakening. It is only OK to eat meat for a Buddhist if it is not directly killed for one, ordered to be killed for one, or killed by oneself for oneself, or for another, etc. In other words, killing for food is simply not acceptable.
The only arguments that make any sense in this thread actually are in regards to the larger industrial complex of modern agriculture being out-of-control, whereas it functions beyond the laws of supply-and-demand that many of us simply take for granted. Supply-and-demand doesn't hold up when literally tons of food, including meat, are simply discarded regularly. Note: roughly half the world's produced food is thrown away: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/10/half-world-food-waste.
It may feel emotionally cathartic to avoid supporting industrial agriculture because you disagree with it in principle, but if you look at the facts you will realize that you are making literally zero difference by abstaining from buying it. By using meat that otherwise would be thrown away, and using whatever capacity we have to make a karmic link with the animal and pray for it, say mantras, etc.. masters like Namkai Norbu and others explain that this can actually be beneficial for the unfortunate mindstream that met a violent death.


Adamantine wrote:
I think the point is the basic math of industrial agriculture, meat production, and how much is wasted daily , i.e. thrown away outright. This is all discussed ad infinitum earlier in this thread. A few Vajrayana Buddhists in the USA are not going to shift the supply and demand networks of this industry. I do believe it is important for large monasteries in India for example to be vigilant about this, because 1000's of monks ordering meat on a daily basis is going to certainly affect supply and demand on a local level.. clearly this was a hypocritical reality of Tibetan monastic institutions. And it is significant that the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa have eliminated meat in most of their monasteries.

Anyway, I see both sides, to the point that I could argue both. But I won't argue both.. I don't think it should be an argument at all but a personal choice based on what you feel is correct.. not trying to convince another practitioner that their choice is wrong. That's the bottom line. I think it's great if some people here choose to be vegetarian and can stay healthy that way. That's been my path.

I also think it's great if some people here feel they need to eat meat for their health, and have been given tools to try and create a compassionate and beneficial relationship with that animal they might eat a part of-- through mantra practice, interdependent inevitability, and whatever else.

I don't have much respect for those who thoughtlessly eat meat however, without compassion and respect, and without remorse for the savagery of the industry.


I must also say that I find your, and Dharmagoat's, rather clear suggestions that your opponents in this debate (Simon, for example) somehow lack compassion or empathy hair-rising. It sure takes some special chutzpah to declare that someone who says that what they do they do out of compassion is simply dead wrong about their intention -- and you know their motivation better than they do.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:39 am 
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At least we have reason to believe that seeker242 practices what he preaches. Even if he never ever stops preaching in a totally self defeating way.

But we now learn that Dharmagoat is not even a vegetarian..and he accused me of arguing for the sake of it!

Well, Dharmagoat I will not take anything you say seriously again.
You are either arguing for the sake of it, or you are a self-hating meat eater.
Both are situations that deserve compassion rather than discussion.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Simon E. wrote:
There is no Pan-Buddhist or Pan-Vajrayana view of meat eating. That is the undisputed fact.


Is anyone claiming there is a pan-Buddhist view? It seems like yet another strawman.

I'd be really interested to hear some positive, reasoned arguments in favour of meat-eating, beyond "I like eating it". Arguments which take into account Buddhist teachings like the first precept and 3-fold rule, developing compassion, etc.

I'd also be really interested to hear some non-strawman arguments against vegetarianism.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:14 pm 
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seeker242 wrote:
Causing less harm, is by definition, minimizing.


Absolutely, and we all make choices day to day.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Simon E. wrote:
Veganism does not cause less harm. It just chooses a different group of organisms to cause harm to.


Again, this is simply wrong. Vegetarianism results in less harm to small creatures, and no harm to big creatures.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:26 pm 
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porpoise wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
Veganism does not cause less harm. It just chooses a different group of organisms to cause harm to.


Again, this is simply wrong. Vegetarianism results in less harm to small creatures, and no harm to big creatures.

Once more either because of linguistic limitations or simply chipping in without following the drift of the debate you demonstrate that you have not grasped the point being made..


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Simon E. wrote:
porpoise wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
Veganism does not cause less harm. It just chooses a different group of organisms to cause harm to.


Again, this is simply wrong. Vegetarianism results in less harm to small creatures, and no harm to big creatures.

Once more either because of linguistic limitations or simply chipping in without following the drift of the debate you demonstrate that you have not grasped the point being made..


I've explained my points clearly and I'm familiar with the issues. Which of these statements do you disagree with, and why exactly?

1. In modern farming most animals bred for meat are fed on grain.
2. This is a very inefficient way of feeding people. It takes 7 or 8 times as much grain when the grain is fed to animals and the animals are then eaten, compared to feeding people directly with grain.
3. Eating meat leads to more grain being cultivated and therefore more small creatures dying.
4. The meat industry works on supply and demand.
5. Most of us have a choice, we don't have to add to this demand.
6. Relevant Buddhist teachings on this issue include: 1st precept, 3-fold rule, butchery as wrong livelihood, developing wisdom and compassion.
7. The only positive argument for eating meat we've seen in this debate is basically "I like eating meat".
8. The arguments against vegetarianism we've seen are mostly straw-men and don't stand up to scrutiny.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:51 pm 
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porpoise wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
There is no Pan-Buddhist or Pan-Vajrayana view of meat eating. That is the undisputed fact.


Is anyone claiming there is a pan-Buddhist view? It seems like yet another strawman.

I'd be really interested to hear some positive, reasoned arguments in favour of meat-eating, beyond "I like eating it". Arguments which take into account Buddhist teachings like the first precept and 3-fold rule, developing compassion, etc.

I'd also be really interested to hear some non-strawman arguments against vegetarianism.

I don't need to make arguments in favour of meat eating. My eating meat is absolutely none of your business.
Just as your eating whatever you eat is none of mine.


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