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Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby kirtu » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:54 am

Vegetarianism takes (tender) root in meat loving Mongolia

More Mongolians are going vegetarian as people seek healthier diets and restaurateurs seize the initiative. Vegetables remain unpopular, though; menus tend to feature traditional meat dishes made with soy.


:thumbsup: :applause: :jumping: :woohoo:

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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:54 am

:twothumbsup:

Good to know, if I ever visit, I don't need to bring food with me.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Clueless Git » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:57 am

It is good to hear that vegetarianism has gained a foot hold in a place like Mongolia :twothumbsup:

I'm particularly pleased to hear that the Mongolian people have taken to eating REAL soy products.

After all; The practice of using our fellow sentients to make faux-soy products is an unenlightened one, at least?

Long live the real thing says I! Particularly as the real thing leaves others free to live.

And on that note I'm off to make a REAL bacon sandwich. One made of soy. I refuse to eat those nasty imitation ones that cost the lives of pigs.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:06 pm

Clueless Git wrote:
And on that note I'm off to make a REAL bacon sandwich. One made of soy. I refuse to eat those nasty imitation ones that cost the lives of pigs.


oooook.... so now fake bacon is the real bacon? Welcome to the Ministry of Truth.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Indrajala » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:44 pm

This is good to hear. :smile:

The trend in Buddhism across the globe it seems is towards vegetarianism. The other motivating factor is perhaps the environmental reasons for going vege. The production of meat is also draining a lot of resources which if better utilized could go towards solving hunger problems.

For example it takes fourteen kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Clueless Git » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:40 pm

catmoon wrote:
Clueless Git wrote:
And on that note I'm off to make a REAL bacon sandwich. One made of soy. I refuse to eat those nasty imitation ones that cost the lives of pigs.


oooook.... so now fake bacon is the real bacon? Welcome to the Ministry of Truth.

'Lo Catmoon :)

Some see truth as "pigs is bacon".

Some see truth as "pigs is pigs".

Personal experience tells me that which truth peeps prefer depends entirely on if they get the most pleasure out seeing pigs as a tasty sandwhich filling or out of seeing pigs as what pigs is.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby catmoon » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:45 am

Clueless Git wrote:Some see truth as "pigs is bacon".

Some see truth as "pigs is pigs".

Personal experience tells me that which truth peeps prefer depends entirely on if they get the most pleasure out seeing pigs as a tasty sandwhich filling or out of seeing pigs as what pigs is.


A pig is not bacon. I see a difference.

A pig between two pieces of bread... wouldn't fit. And it would get upset if you bit it.



So what is pigs then? Aside from a source of raw baconmaking materials of course.
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Questions and doubts regarding meat offerings and vajrayana

Postby Inge » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:05 pm

Hi.
Is it possible to practice vajrayana without partaking in meat offerings?

I attend a Karma Kagyu centre, and am considering asking the lama there if I can start doing ngøndro. Then I read in Becoming Vajrasattva, by Thubten Yeshe, about meat offerings, and strong doubts about this practice arises, as violence against animals is contrary to what I belive in.

What is the purpose of meat offerings anyway?

Is it unwholesome to have doubs about vajrayana?

On the one hand I'm drawn towards vajrayana, it feels like I can't avoid it, on the other hand there is fear, aversion and doubts. How can I resolve this situation when I don't yet have connections with a living teacher that I trust completely?

Thanks
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Re: Questions and doubts regarding meat offerings and vajrayana

Postby Virgo » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:12 pm

In general during a certain puja we enjoy a little meat and a little wine or other form of alchohol (just a small amount) along with other food in order that we learn to see both the impure and the pure as pure. In general, we don't drink outside of this practice (although it depends on the practitioner). This is traditional. However, in the Karma Kagyu, His Holliness the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has advised to do these pujas without meat and to only have vegetarian meals in His Dharma centers.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Questions and doubts regarding meat offerings and vajrayana

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:52 pm

Inge wrote:Hi.
Is it possible to practice vajrayana without partaking in meat offerings?

I attend a Karma Kagyu centre, and am considering asking the lama there if I can start doing ngøndro. Then I read in Becoming Vajrasattva, by Thubten Yeshe, about meat offerings, and strong doubts about this practice arises, as violence against animals is contrary to what I belive in.

What is the purpose of meat offerings anyway?

Is it unwholesome to have doubs about vajrayana?

On the one hand I'm drawn towards vajrayana, it feels like I can't avoid it, on the other hand there is fear, aversion and doubts. How can I resolve this situation when I don't yet have connections with a living teacher that I trust completely?

Thanks


Hi Inge,

First, I wanted to mention that I've been practicing in the Nyingma tradition for about 10 yrs and I've been a vegetarian for about the last six or so, with the exception to my vegetarianism being a tiny bit a meat at tsok four times a month. Also, some Kagyu traditions have eschewed meat even in tsok.

For your main concern, the violence toward animals: originally, in ancient times the meat in a tsok puja was only to come from beings who had died of natural causes. In other words, it has always been unacceptable to kill beings to use their flesh in a Buddhist offering. Nowadays, times are a bit different and the custom has evolved in both Tibet and here in the West to use meat from the market that would sit on the shelves whether we used it or not... in other words, it wasn't killed specifically for me, Brian, or you Inge, for us to use in our tsok; it was killed just for anonymous, general consumption. Now normally, I use the law of supply and demand as reason enough to consider that even if the meat I'm buying this instant wasn't killed specifically for me, my buying it contributes to the demand just the same. But in the case of tsoks, it's such a tiny amount and so infrequent (I usually buy a large bag of beef jerky and use just a small amount at a time, so it lasts for a good many tsoks) and I also have to consider the fact that many, many beings - insects, worms, rodents, foxes and many kinds of animals- die in the process of creating and maintaining fields for agriculture and in harvesting fruits, veggies, grains, etc, so there's no less loss of life involved in vegetarianism. For me it's worth it to be veggie, though, simply because meat eating directly necessitates animals' deaths and eating veggie only indirectly involves their deaths.

Now, for the meaning of using the meat: I can't say too much about this because Vajrayana vows specify that higher Vajrayana practices must be explained by a qualified, living master to students who have received empowerment, reading transmission, and thorough explanations. These prerequisites for the student are for three reasons. The empowerment introduces you through actual firsthand meditative experience, the reading transmission creates and interdependent link with the words of the practice, and the explanation of the practice brings about thorough conceptual understanding and the necessary background info.

Anyhow, I'll try to give you just a little explanation to give you something to wrap your mind around for now. Originally in tsok, the meat of several different animals which were commonly viewed as not fit to be eaten was used, along with some other substances which were normally considered unclean, were arranged in a particular way, then blessed through mantra, mudra, and samadhi(meditative absorption) and mentally transformed into wisdom nectar to be offered, and then one would consume a small portion oneself an an inner offering. The offerings and the consumption have special significance on many levels, in terms of meditative experience and the view of emptiness, but this needs to be explained to you by a living lama. To try to remove your doubts and worries for now, I will explain one aspect of the purpose for this practice, though.

Just one of the reasons for this practice was to enhance realization of emptiness: all conventional phenomena are compounded (i.e. interdependently arisen and not truly single, separate things) so upon analysis, no individual objects can be found on which to validly place ultimately true labels of pure and impure, delicious and nauseating, which are mere concepts and ideas that we cling to and falsely believe. So basically, we're constantly reinforcing this mistaken view of the solidity and realness of phenomena and these ideas of good, bad, delicious, gross, so one function of this practice is destroying those concepts through previously having reasoned this truth of emptiness, and especially the powerful meditative experience that is evoked when we allow the mental energy normally pent up in adhering to concepts of attachment and aversion and ignorance to release itself and reveal their empty, wisdom nature. So this is one aspect I feel it's ok to explain, in order to dispel doubts and leery feelings.

Lastly, it's not unwholesome to have doubts. It's normal to have doubts when we don't understand something and it's only healthy to go about resolving those doubts. Vajrayana is not something to take lightly. There's no provision in the vows for dabbling or trying it out and later deciding it's not for you, so you're right and wise to take things very slowly, inform yourself as best you can, and really take time to find a teacher who you can observe and get to know and come to trust and feel a real connection to. Also, tsoks that include meat and alcohol are exclusive to Highest Yoga tantra, so although you may attend a "white tsok" which is a lower tantra tsok with no animal products or alcohol, you won't be doing HYT tsok until you eventually take on a Vajrayana teacher and receive empowerment, transmission, and explanation of the practice.

Hope this helps a little.

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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:49 am

catmoon wrote:
Clueless Git wrote:Some see truth as "pigs is bacon".

Some see truth as "pigs is pigs".

Personal experience tells me that which truth peeps prefer depends entirely on if they get the most pleasure out seeing pigs as a tasty sandwhich filling or out of seeing pigs as what pigs is.


A pig is not bacon. I see a difference.

A pig between two pieces of bread... wouldn't fit. And it would get upset if you bit it.



So what is pigs then? Aside from a source of raw baconmaking materials of course.

Sentient beings that experience great fear when they feel their lives are in jeopardy?
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:59 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Sentient beings that experience great fear when they feel their lives are in jeopardy?


Well, if that's all there is to it, it would then follow that it's ok to bop em on the head and put em in a sammich, so long as you did it real sneaky like and they never saw you coming.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:00 am

catmoon wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:Sentient beings that experience great fear when they feel their lives are in jeopardy?


Well, if that's all there is to it, it would then follow that it's ok to bop em on the head and put em in a sammich, so long as you did it real sneaky like and they never saw you coming.


How nice.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:21 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
How nice.



How diplomatic!

namaste
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:35 am

catmoon wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
How nice.



How diplomatic!

namaste


What are your views on 'what pigs is,' then?
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Re: Questions and doubts regarding meat offerings and vajrayana

Postby Inge » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:26 am

Pema Rigdzin wrote:First, I wanted to mention that I've been practicing in the Nyingma tradition for about 10 yrs and I've been a vegetarian for about the last six or so, with the exception to my vegetarianism being a tiny bit a meat at tsok four times a month. Also, some Kagyu traditions have eschewed meat even in tsok.


I've also heard about high Nyingma lamas, like Chatral Rinpoche and Patrul Rinpiche, being strong proponents of vegetarianisms. Do you know what their view are when it comes to meat at tsok?

Pema Rigdzin wrote:For your main concern, the violence toward animals: originally, in ancient times the meat in a tsok puja was only to come from beings who had died of natural causes. In other words, it has always been unacceptable to kill beings to use their flesh in a Buddhist offering. Nowadays, times are a bit different and the custom has evolved in both Tibet and here in the West to use meat from the market that would sit on the shelves whether we used it or not


That is interesting, if this was still the way it was done I wouldn't have problems understanding and accept the practice. I would surely have some initial aversion towards eat-meating anyway, but I can see the benefit of overcoming that aversion towards the actual flesh, and going beyond the concepts of purity and impurity, clean and unclean.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:... in other words, it wasn't killed specifically for me, Brian, or you Inge, for us to use in our tsok; it was killed just for anonymous, general consumption. Now normally, I use the law of supply and demand as reason enough to consider that even if the meat I'm buying this instant wasn't killed specifically for me, my buying it contributes to the demand just the same. But in the case of tsoks, it's such a tiny amount and so infrequent (I usually buy a large bag of beef jerky and use just a small amount at a time, so it lasts for a good many tsoks) and I also have to consider the fact that many, many beings - insects, worms, rodents, foxes and many kinds of animals- die in the process of creating and maintaining fields for agriculture and in harvesting fruits, veggies, grains, etc, so there's no less loss of life involved in vegetarianism. For me it's worth it to be veggie, though, simply because meat eating directly necessitates animals' deaths and eating veggie only indirectly involves their deaths.


For me it is not the death of animals that is the problem, but the intentional killing. The way I understand it is that the animals death is the result of their previous karma, but our killing is the cause of our future suffering. Everybody involved in the process of meat production, the farmer who raise the animal, the ones transporting the livestock to the slaughterhouse, the ones selling the meat, and the buyers, all share the same karma as the butcher. Maybe I'm mistaken in my shallow understanding of cause and effect.

Pema Rigdzin wrote:Now, for the meaning of using the meat: I can't say too much about this because Vajrayana vows specify that higher Vajrayana practices must be explained by a qualified, living master to students who have received empowerment, reading transmission, and thorough explanations. These prerequisites for the student are for three reasons. The empowerment introduces you through actual firsthand meditative experience, the reading transmission creates and interdependent link with the words of the practice, and the explanation of the practice brings about thorough conceptual understanding and the necessary background info.

Is this also the chronological order of the process? Do you receive the explanation only after the empowerment and reading transmission?


Pema Rigdzin wrote:Anyhow, I'll try to give you just a little explanation to give you something to wrap your mind around for now. Originally in tsok, the meat of several different animals which were commonly viewed as not fit to be eaten was used, along with some other substances which were normally considered unclean, were arranged in a particular way, then blessed through mantra, mudra, and samadhi(meditative absorption) and mentally transformed into wisdom nectar to be offered, and then one would consume a small portion oneself an an inner offering. The offerings and the consumption have special significance on many levels, in terms of meditative experience and the view of emptiness, but this needs to be explained to you by a living lama. To try to remove your doubts and worries for now, I will explain one aspect of the purpose for this practice, though.

Just one of the reasons for this practice was to enhance realization of emptiness: all conventional phenomena are compounded (i.e. interdependently arisen and not truly single, separate things) so upon analysis, no individual objects can be found on which to validly place ultimately true labels of pure and impure, delicious and nauseating, which are mere concepts and ideas that we cling to and falsely believe. So basically, we're constantly reinforcing this mistaken view of the solidity and realness of phenomena and these ideas of good, bad, delicious, gross, so one function of this practice is destroying those concepts through previously having reasoned this truth of emptiness, and especially the powerful meditative experience that is evoked when we allow the mental energy normally pent up in adhering to concepts of attachment and aversion and ignorance to release itself and reveal their empty, wisdom nature. So this is one aspect I feel it's ok to explain, in order to dispel doubts and leery feelings.

Lastly, it's not unwholesome to have doubts. It's normal to have doubts when we don't understand something and it's only healthy to go about resolving those doubts. Vajrayana is not something to take lightly. There's no provision in the vows for dabbling or trying it out and later deciding it's not for you, so you're right and wise to take things very slowly, inform yourself as best you can, and really take time to find a teacher who you can observe and get to know and come to trust and feel a real connection to. Also, tsoks that include meat and alcohol are exclusive to Highest Yoga tantra, so although you may attend a "white tsok" which is a lower tantra tsok with no animal products or alcohol, you won't be doing HYT tsok until you eventually take on a Vajrayana teacher and receive empowerment, transmission, and explanation of the practice.

Hope this helps a little.

Brian


Thank for your explanation and encouragement. I still have some doubt about this kind of practice , but now I have some new perspectives to consider.

Do you know if the animal in some way benefits from it's flesh being used in the practice of tsok?
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:02 pm

Pema Rigdzin wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Pema Rigdzin wrote:
How nice.



How diplomatic!

namaste


What are your views on 'what pigs is,' then?


Suddenly the question seems very peculiar!

Conventionally a pig is an omnivorous quadruped, a mammal, large, pink and smelly.

As far as sentience goes, well, I must confess that I have never had a meaningful conversation with one, so it's not as easy to determine as it might appear. Of course, the same argument could be applied to fistfuls of amateur writers on Buddhism. (Present company firmly excepted).

Ultimately, a pig is empty. This is easily demonstrated by feeding one. Strangely, from this emptiness they manage to produce something, which is related to their conventional smelliness characteristic. Actually rather a lot of it.

As for my fondness of hot roast pork sandwiches, I have carefully examined several of them (the sandwiches) in detail and have not found a pig to be present. I believe my searches have been exhaustive to the point of establishing that there is not a pig to be found in any of them, nor do I believe there ever will be. Of course I have to keep an open mind. There really is no logical reason to suppose that I will never peek inside a hot roast pork sandwich and see a six hundred pound wet-nosed porker looking back at me. But for now, it's my working hypothesis.
Last edited by catmoon on Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:13 pm

A pig, a sentient being, has to be slaughtered (and the person who does the slaughtering creates negative karma) in order to have that hot pork roast sandwich.

Not just the pig, but have sympathy for the butcher.

His trade only exists because there is a demand for the product he produces which requires living animals to be slaughtered.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:31 pm

Huseng wrote:A pig, a sentient being, has to be slaughtered (and the person who does the slaughtering creates negative karma) in order to have that hot pork roast sandwich.

Not just the pig, but have sympathy for the butcher.

His trade only exists because there is a demand for the product he produces which requires living animals to be slaughtered.


I don't mind having sympathy, so long as it doesn't interfere with lunch.

Interesting what you said about the meat trade. One might just as logically assert that had the butcher not killed the pig, there would be no sandwich for me to eat so it's all HIS fault. Neither argument makes much sense really, unless you are interested in allocating blame.

Meantime, I kill no pigs, I find no pig in my food, and like the Buddha himself, I am not averse to eating a hot roast pork sandwich.
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Re: Veg food catching on in Mongolia

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:41 pm

catmoon wrote:
Huseng wrote:A pig, a sentient being, has to be slaughtered (and the person who does the slaughtering creates negative karma) in order to have that hot pork roast sandwich.

Not just the pig, but have sympathy for the butcher.

His trade only exists because there is a demand for the product he produces which requires living animals to be slaughtered.


I don't mind having sympathy, so long as it doesn't interfere with lunch.

Interesting what you said about the meat trade. One might just as logically assert that had the butcher not killed the pig, there would be no sandwich for me to eat so it's all HIS fault. Neither argument makes much sense really, unless you are interested in allocating blame.

Meantime, I kill no pigs, I find no pig in my food, and like the Buddha himself, I am not averse to eating a hot roast pork sandwich.




According to Mahayana scriptures the Buddha actually finally said no to meat consumption.


Lankavatara Sutra

http://www.fodian.net/world/671_16.html

"Bhagavan, people who eat meat are destroying the great merciful seed of their own, thus the people who practice the holy Way should not eat meat. "

"Bhagavan, the Exterior-paths practitioners preach the incorrect theories which may fall into the mundane views, nihilism, eternalism, existentialism, or non-existence-ism, however, all of their theories forbid meat eating, they do not eat meat and do not allow others to eat meat. So would it be possible that, for the cultivators who practice Brahma-behavior(Brahma-carya) according to the pure Dharma of Tathagata(Thus Come One), there is no rule to forbid meat eating? The Tathagata, the Bhagavan equally gives his mercy and compassion to all living beings, how could he allow meat eating? Virtuous Bhagavan, please tell us the offences of meat eating, and the meritorious virtues of not eating meat. Once we have heard it, all the Bodhisattvas and I will faithfully practice it, widely preach and spread it abroad, to make all living beings of the past, the present, and the future be aware of it."

The Buddha told Arya Mahamati Bodhisattva: "Good, good, Mahamati, you are greatly compassionate, having pity on all living beings, you asked this question. Now listen attentively and I'll tell you."

Mahamati Bodhisattva said to the Buddha: "How virtuous, Bhagavan! Yes I'll accept the teaching."

The Buddha told Mahamati: "Meat eating has countless offences. All Bodhisattvas should cultivate their great mercy and compassion so that they should not eat meat. Now I am telling you in brief the merits of not eating meat, and the offences of meat eating, please listen attentively."



Whether or not you personally accept this teaching or not, most of East Asian Buddhism adopted vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is also spreading amongst Tibetan Buddhist circles which extend into modern Mongolia amongst other regions.

You can still have your sandwich. Just use vege meat. If you get the good stuff it has the same texture as real meat. :smile:

I used to defend meat eating myself and thought it wasn't a wrong action on my part, but I read enough scriptures, meditated a lot and heard what Buddhist vegetarians were saying and I completely renounced the consumption of meat.

It really comes down to compassion: as much as possible don't create the causes for killing and cruelty.
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