gregkavarnos wrote:Using Buddhist logic to justify attachment?PadmaVonSamba wrote:Is the sentient being still there in the meat, or did it already leave?
If it is in the meat, then where was it before the animal existed?
I don't think its a matter of attachment in all cases. For example I was vegetarian for months, without any craving or real desire for meat during that whole time. I became completely indifferent to food, and the only way I enjoyed it is if I made it hot (Sriracha) so I deprived myself of that for awhile until I got a point of complete indifference about whether or not I ate at all, only doing it in order to sustain the health and energy of my body.
Then I heard of Ganapuja, so I asked on another thread why practitioners ate meat and drank wine. Between that thread and this one, I've come to a completely different view. Some of it was things I was already considering. One question I asked myself was- "If I am ever offered meat, and my refusal to eat it means it will be thrown away, is that worse than eating the meat?" my conclusion was that yes, it is worse, because not only has the animal died, but it died in vain. For no reason. Just to become garbage because of my attachment (or aversion) to not eating meat. It was bound to happen that eventually I would be at a restaurant, order food, and get meat in it. And in fact it did happen eventually.
There is the view for example that if I eat meat with the intention of not only liberating the animal by forming a link with it, but also by turning its death into a sacrifice to sustain my life, that I liberate its karma. If in my mind that cow died specifically for me, its horrible death has become a noble cause. Since it was going to be slaughtered by quota anyways, I've turned its slaughter into a sacrifice to sustain the life of a seeker of Dharma. Not as a justification for eating meat, but as a real practice of helping that being.
On the other hand, walking past the meat aisle will do what? Reduce suffering by how much? If all truths are relative, how much meat do I have to personally eat to contribute to a significant portion of the suffering of animals?
To begin with, we can ask how much meat is in a cow. How many steaks, hamburgers, and so forth.
So even on the low end, thats 300 hamburgers. If you eat meat in moderation (and its probably not all beef anyways) 300 hamburgers worth of cow is a lot. Thats potentially years worth of eating. Think about if you had a single cow, killed it, and froze all the meat, then ate it in moderation. Thats clearly not what happens, my point is this. By refraining from eating meat, that cow is dead anyways. Its meat is on a shelf, and someone will buy it. If I buy it, form this link with it, and have these intentions, there is a chance of helping its karmic situation. Furthermore, if I do it again the next week, its going to be a different cow. So rather than one cow dying and producing 300 meals for me, I can eat the equivalent of a single cow worth of meat and potentially help liberate 300 beings from suffering by doing so.