Killing Insects and Buddhism

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Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby ananda » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:37 am

Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?
"Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever." - Nichiren Daishonin
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Tilopa » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:24 am

ananda wrote:Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?

Yes of course. Buddhists are supposed to avoid killing or harming any living being.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby ananda » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:31 am

Agreed
I'm wondering if there are any that are Buddhist that would present a view consenting to the injury of insects and how such a view would be justified
"Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever." - Nichiren Daishonin
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:49 pm

ananda wrote:Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?


Up until the point that they become a problem like spreading disease, ruining our food and so on. That being said, I have not knowingly killed a single creature on purpose since I became a Buddhist 25 years ago.

However, if my house were infested with carpenter ants, for example, and so on, I would exterminate them, even though I would feel bad about it.

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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby edearl » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:33 pm

Namdrol wrote:
ananda wrote:Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?


Up until the point that they become a problem like spreading disease, ruining our food and so on. That being said, I have not knowingly killed a single creature on purpose since I became a Buddhist 25 years ago.

However, if my house were infested with carpenter ants, for example, and so on, I would exterminate them, even though I would feel bad about it.

N


Seems the middle way to me. If one does not rid their house of carpenter ants, one must eventually repair the house or move into another. To rebuild or move often means using more wood, which means loggers will kill more trees that support insect and animal life, some of which are often killed in the process. But, maybe I am wrong.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby swampflower » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:43 pm

I sometimes let mosquitoes take my blood however I draw the line with ticks :yinyang:
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:35 am

ananda wrote:Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?


If they create problems then I have no problem wiping them out. The other day I had mice in my house who were leaving crap everywhere and chewing into packaged foods so I got these glue traps which caught 3 of them in one night. They will die a slow death but it had to be done.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby cooran » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:08 am

Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?

Chris
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:02 pm

Ryoto wrote:
ananda wrote:Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?


If they create problems then I have no problem wiping them out. The other day I had mice in my house who were leaving crap everywhere and chewing into packaged foods so I got these glue traps which caught 3 of them in one night. They will die a slow death but it had to be done.


Umm. Is there bad karma from keeping a cat?
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:03 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?

Chris


Is there bad karma from having humming bird feeders or bat roosts?
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:24 pm

edearl wrote:
Ryoto wrote:
ananda wrote:Since insects are ignorant of morality and we humans are the higher form of life then shouldn't we practice ahimsa towards even household flies and pests despite the problems they create for us ?


If they create problems then I have no problem wiping them out. The other day I had mice in my house who were leaving crap everywhere and chewing into packaged foods so I got these glue traps which caught 3 of them in one night. They will die a slow death but it had to be done.


Umm. Is there bad karma from keeping a cat?


Nope. Quite the opposite, by keeping a cat one is benefitting another sentient being enormously,especially when you scritch that sweet spot just behind the ears. One also has a convenient object for compassion practice, and sometimes patience practice too, cuz they will sharpen their claws on things. Usually valuable things. So there is an opportunity to work on attachments as well.

A cat is the perfect teacher, and a companion on the path too.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Epistemes » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:17 pm

Wouldn't the intention of killing anything have a lot to with the karmic effect of killing it? It's not the action of killing as it is the "action" lying behind or underneath the killing.

Pests that destroy one's home or food supply must be dispensed with, though it doesn't mean one should relish the killing. I think there's a big difference between slapping gnats because of the annoyance and exterminating cockroaches because of the possibility of disease.

I would also caution the person above who allows mosquitoes to draw their blood since mosquitoes can carry disease no less than ticks.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:23 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?

Chris


Illness?
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Kai » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:36 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?



Just like the normal karmic effect coming from unwholesome action of killing combined with having ill will or aversion;

Illness, disability and short life in the next rebirth, born in war zone area, unattractive, lots of enemies, etc........
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby LastLegend » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:11 pm

The more you kill them, the more they will reproduce. Your best bet is to recite them a mantra and dedicate merits to them and wish them to leave. No, they cannot speak. But does not mean they cannot experience.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:57 pm

edearl wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?

Chris


Is there bad karma from having humming bird feeders or bat roosts?


Depends on your intention. If you're only intention to get the cat is for the mice to get killed then it could be bad karma.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby edearl » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:29 pm

Ryoto wrote:
edearl wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?

Chris


Is there bad karma from having humming bird feeders or bat roosts?


Depends on your intention. If you're only intention to get the cat is for the mice to get killed then it could be bad karma.


I love living things, and most of my life have kept at least one cat and/or dog.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:33 pm

In that case, you shouldn't worry about it then. :smile:
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby cooran » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:49 am

Kai wrote:
cooran wrote:Hello all,

What are the karmic results of deliberately killing insects?



Just like the normal karmic effect coming from unwholesome action of killing combined with having ill will or aversion;

Illness, disability and short life in the next rebirth, born in war zone area, unattractive, lots of enemies, etc........


Thanks Kai. Though I'm not sure many people in this thread accept or believe the Teachings on this matter - as they write about intentionally killing other beings frequently.
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Re: Killing Insects and Buddhism

Postby Tilopa » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:43 am

Ryoto wrote: The other day I had mice in my house who were leaving crap everywhere and chewing into packaged foods so I got these glue traps which caught 3 of them in one night. They will die a slow death but it had to be done.


It didn't have to be done like that. There are other ways of catching mice that don't involve killing:

http://members.aceweb.com/patrussell/mo ... setrap.htm
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