the great vegetarian debate

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Ahimsa, Veganism, and Existing Food/Supplements

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:48 am

There is no pure thing, we kill to live always. I agree it causes less harm to be vegan but to sweat the little stuff to my experience this thing could very soon become quite tedius.

It is a question of one.What do you want to do really.
My choice may not be yours. The meat...I would give to friends who would eat meat anyway, expressing with them the reason why you are giving the meat away as it expresses something to be doing so and...they will know it is perhaps not spoiled meat you are foisting on them. :smile: And you will be able to discontinue the meat habit quicker and with more ease.

The medications....as I am of little means and the geletin is such a small part, and they are so expensive...I would probably use them up and then when buying get them vegan....they are available most everywhere differing things. Not all are advertised as such but if a ingredient label is available you can look at it, write down the ingredients, and see for yourself by researching it if they are. If one has to have a medication and the only thing available is a animal product...your life healthy, is more important than the harm to be opinion. This life is preciious for purpose.

I still have for instance a leather jacket that was given to me 20 or so years ago(says something about the state of my wardrobe I'd guess :smile: )....but as there are substitutes for leather that look just like this and no one can tell what it is for sure, and it was a gift and I am so cheap and not rich....I will still wear it on occasion

So it is individual the choice and how you do it. I still eat honey, hardly much at all, but I do, as I researched it, found it not to cause harm with cultivation(actually perhaps the opposite)
so technically I am not a vegan. But actually it seems I am mostly.
But I don't sweat the little things is why I have been for so long 20 plus years. I am cheating that is why it is so easy, someone may respond....technically by PETA standards, yes, on a harm basis I think not, mostly not, less harm always.
PETA I hold membership in at times for purpose but I don't believe in not useing animals for things,like carriage riding. just not eating them, or perhaps useing their hides hoofs(gelatine) or such I will not now purchase a leather jacket for instance, or consume geletin, that is eating.

That is my opinion,but you must make your own..

Always you will make some small mistakes. I find animal in the most unlikely of places at times, chips a couple of times for instance...so found I give it away. Not a harm issue but a habit issue really. Consuming such becomes the habit of doing such and then one is inclinded to go back. So I have always given away things purchased inadvertantly.

The small.... as in geletin it is so small really it is the habit of animal we are devolving not so much with the individual items. But they do add up eventually eating no animal...you do really cause much less harm.

So others may be glad i am vegan as well..they get free stuff occasionally.

Unsolicited certainly...but I find hemp seed oll a good substitute for fish oil. Flax is cheaper but has not the most beneficial fat composite to my opinion.

To reinforce that above good advice given..there is no pure diet. Animals are killed in all harvests to include grain and fruit. Even organic.
I can construct to every extent I opine the exact meat eaters diet as my choice of hobby sport and prior profession has necessitated I be able to do so.
And I have had 20 years to work at this, and though a slow read when I am interested I am a very thorough read .
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Nemo » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:56 am

Carnitine. Costs about 8$ month to supplement at 500mg a day. Essential for the metabolism of fats by your mitochondria. Many people synthesize it so poorly they need to either eat red meat or supplement. There are no veggie sources.(Well you could eat 5 pounds of tempeh every day) Get a fasting blood sugar done. If it's not low blood sugar you are feeling(or a B12 deficiency) it may be lack of carnitine.

Try it for a month. What do you have to lose other than 8$ and feeling exhausted all the time? Being veggie was the most unhealthy I have ever been in my life. My Lama made me eat meat again after 4 years.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:59 am

Carnatine..is available in vegan form. As are creatine and D Ribose. Most thing are currently, it is getting easier and easier to be a vegan nowadays.
Microbiotic fermentation I believe is the process so derived. A thing similiar to yeast grown and then fermented and abstracted from the medium...something like that.

Fact is more and more people are becoming this. The idea one is fighting a lost cause..sorry no......... the tide is in this direction.
Of course this is not intended to conflict with your lamas opinions or instructions on your diet.

B-12 vegan I could go on and on...know why..think the manufacturers are getting all jainist on us....no people are wanting it.....proof of the trend though the meat lobby may hide or allter the stats demand can not be so masked. Go to any supplement place and count the vegan thngs it will astound you.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:39 am

Nemo wrote:Carnitine.


Healthy children and adults do not need to consume carnitine from food or supplements, as the liver and kidneys produce sufficient amounts from the amino acids lysine and methionine to meet daily needs [1-3]. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the National Academy of Sciences reviewed studies on the functions of carnitine in 1989 and concluded it was not an essential nutrient [3]. The FNB has not established Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)—including a recommended dietary allowance (RDA)—for carnitine [4].

from: National Institute of Health (U.S.) http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Carnit ... ofessional

Lysine is found in all meats and dairy products as well as in soybeans and many other vegan foods too.
Methionine is found in vegan foods in higher amounts than meat.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:44 am

That is true.

It is however as are many specific aminos used by those in strength sport to assist in varying manners conducive to muscle building.

Like steroids the normal useage by normal healthy peoples is of little effect nor called for.
In the other circumstance of competitive athletics or some similiar thing, a whole other context presents.

Suchly aminos may be used for that purpose. As steroids are used.

Mote point really on this thread...all that I know of are available as vegan supplements. I can give brand names if pressed.

To add...some theorize with age or some medical conditions our ability to self produce or synthesize things of this sort may vary. Enzymatic deficiency may factor into this.
So personally I would not strictly say they are not adviseable for a considered normal person. Normal may not indicate healthy or without underlying deficiency. Tests could be done of course but as the tests are so expensive and the supplements so cheap more than a few may just take the supplements for a month or so to see if that is the problem if they suspect a problem. IN america at least powdered carnatine or others....ten dollars or so a months supply i think. Branched chain aminos vegan are the most expensive. A month of that I know about 20 dollars.

Looking up carnatine..it is contraindicated with some heart patients. It is produced as L and d carnatine. D carnatine may be toxic in some amounts. L is the prefered form for supplementation. It appears it is somewhat metabolized with the assistance of intestinal bacteria. So those on long term antipbiotics may be a increased hazard for lowered levels of this.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Ahimsa, Veganism, and Existing Food/Supplements

Postby LastLegend » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:27 am

Mail your meats to me.
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Re: Ahimsa, Veganism, and Existing Food/Supplements

Postby Seishin » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:39 am

In my honest opinion, as you've already purchased those items, you have already contributed to their suffering. So consuming them now won't change anything. It'll just be a waste not to.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:09 pm

Please respond to the following:

When an animal suffers from being killed, the suffering occurs:
A. in the animal's mind
B. in the animal's body
C. in both the body and the mind
D. in neither the body nor the mind
E. wrong question to ask

Thank you.

My first inclination is to think #A is correct, that the suffering occurs in the animal's mind.
But what if someone says,"I don't eat the animal's mind, only the body"?
My second inclination is to think #B is correct.
My third choice is #E
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Re: Ahimsa, Veganism, and Existing Food/Supplements

Postby SittingSilent » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:36 pm

LastLegend wrote:Mail your meats to me.


I think there might be some issues regarding food safety by mailing frozen meat through the postal service. I don't think one is allowed to mail perishable foods like that. Sorry.

Seishin wrote:In my honest opinion, as you've already purchased those items, you have already contributed to their suffering. So consuming them now won't change anything. It'll just be a waste not to.


I realize this, and I feel badly about it. However, I feel such compassion after seeing images and reading about how these beings are brutalized just so we can eat that I simply can't bring myself to put that in my mouth. It feels to me like validating the purchase on a whole other level, even if it has no meaning officially it still means something to me personally.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:32 pm

Suffering is a big umbrella. There are several kinds of suffering. For instance, physical pain (which causes mechanical and chemical changes in the body) and then the mental reaction to physical pain, the biological stress caused by pain, the psychological stress caused by pain and so on and so forth (and I'm not even going to explore all the meanings of Duhkha).
While alive, commonly the experience of suffering is dependent of the body and the mind, of their interaction. Even if there's no physical stimuli, the feeling of suffering causes itself changes in the body and these may have a feedback effect on the mind.
In the bardo, it's mind. But in the bardo that being is no longer an animal.
So, to an animal, the experience of suffering is dependent of both, C.
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Re: Ahimsa, Veganism, and Existing Food/Supplements

Postby Adamantine » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:24 pm

SittingSilent wrote:
I realize this, and I feel badly about it. However, I feel such compassion after seeing images and reading about how these beings are brutalized just so we can eat that I simply can't bring myself to put that in my mouth. It feels to me like validating the purchase on a whole other level, even if it has no meaning officially it still means something to me personally.


In that case I suggest you bury them with that same sentiment, the same way you would a beloved pet or relative, knowing these animals were undoubtedly dear loved ones in a prior life. Make aspiration prayers for their rebirth in positive circumstances where they will encounter the Dharma and eventually find freedom from suffering, and recite the 6-syllable mantra that closes the door to lower rebirths dedicated to them: Om Mani Padme Hung - many times.

However, as a vegetarian for many years I must tell you that it is quite difficult to avoid all circumstances of contributing to this type of suffering: every time you buy food at a non-vegetarian restaurant or supermarket you are contributing to their bottom-line which gets recycled into ordering excess amounts of meats that inevitably get thrown in the garbage, etc. So be realistic about your situation-- it is really almost impossible to live in the modern world without indirectly supporting this system.. while it is noble to avoid it as much as possible, it is also very important to simply meditate on compassion, do your Dharma practice and dedicate the merits to all suffering beings-- including the ones who are unseen-- who inhabit other realms that are even more intense suffering then you've witnessed at factory farms. The 6 realms are pervaded by suffering, realizing this is the starting point of true compassion born of equanimity, and creates the possibility of generating equal compassion for the workers at these factory farms and the slaughterhouses and the butchers who will surely suffer the effects of their actions-born-of-ignorance in short time.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:48 pm

I'd go with C as well. There must be mental suffering in animals. Abused animals exhibit forms of fearful and neurotic behaviours that are difficult to explain if they only experienced physical pain. They remember.

now, there are as DN mentioned 3 forms of suffering. But my memory if glitching and i remember 4 concepts, physical pain, mental anguish, the suffering of change and dukkha, and I can't remember which one is redundant. I wonder if animals experience the third form?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby wisdom » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:12 pm

catmoon wrote:I'd go with C as well. There must be mental suffering in animals. Abused animals exhibit forms of fearful and neurotic behaviours that are difficult to explain if they only experienced physical pain. They remember.

now, there are as DN mentioned 3 forms of suffering. But my memory if glitching and i remember 4 concepts, physical pain, mental anguish, the suffering of change and dukkha, and I can't remember which one is redundant. I wonder if animals experience the third form?


Yep, cats especially but some dogs as well are known to freak out when you change even some furniture in your house, let alone move to another location.

And we know more intelligent animals experience the fourth kind, dukkha, such as the case where dogs go into total mourning when their masters die and refuse to eat and so forth, or as has recently been on mainstream media, cases where dogs will sit by their masters grave night and day.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Inge » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:15 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Please respond to the following:

When an animal suffers from being killed, the suffering occurs:
A. in the animal's mind
B. in the animal's body
C. in both the body and the mind
D. in neither the body nor the mind
E. wrong question to ask

Thank you.

My first inclination is to think #A is correct, that the suffering occurs in the animal's mind.
But what if someone says,"I don't eat the animal's mind, only the body"?
My second inclination is to think #B is correct.
My third choice is #E


Not A, since if there were only body, but no mind, there would be no-one to experience being killed?
Not B, since If there were only mind, but no body, there would be no-one to kill?
For the pain to occur in both the body and the mind there would either have to be co-location or communication between body and mind. So either the mind would be inside the body, or the body inside the mind, or else if the mind was outside the body there would have to be a channel of communication connecting them. In for instance the chinese Shurangama sutra it is demonstrated that the mind is not within the body, nor outside the body, so it can't be any of those options. Could the body be inside the mind? I don't even understand what mind is. Nor body.

Maybe D is more correct? Since they say that the mind can not be found anywhere. And the same goes for the body?

Is suffering just aversion to sensation? Is aversion in the mind? Where is aversion located?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby catmoon » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:22 pm

There's a confusing point here. We could be speaking in the arena of conventional reality or in the arena of ultimate truth, and each produces its own set of consistent conclusions. The way the question is framed suggests to me that it meant to be answered conventionally, which means that the ultimate emptiness of mind and body are not meant to enter into the answer.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Inge » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:41 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Mr. G wrote:Shakyamuni ate what was offered to him - meat, or no meat.

The Buddha and the early monastic sangha only ate what was offered to them so it a moot point really. Since I don't beg for my food, and I currently have a choice of which foods to buy and eat, well...
:namaste:


According to accesstoinsight.org a bhikkhu should not consume human flesh, nor flesh from elephant, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyana. A bhikkhu should also not knowingly consume meat killed on purpose for a bhikkhu, but is allowed to eat meat that is pure in the three respects.

"One should not consume human flesh. Whoever should do so: a grave offense. And one should not consume meat without having reflected on it (on what it is). Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing." — Mv.VI.23.9

"One should not consume elephant flesh ... horse flesh ... dog flesh ... snake flesh ... lion flesh ... tiger flesh ... leopard flesh ... bear flesh ... hyena flesh. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing." — Mv.VI.23.10-15

"One should not knowingly consume meat killed on purpose (for a bhikkhu). Whoever should consume it: an offense of wrong doing. I allow fish and meat that is pure in three respects: One has not seen, heard, or suspected (that it was killed on purpose for a bhikkhu)." — Mv.VI.31.14

And also a bhikkhu should not consume garlic:
"Garlic should not be eaten. Whoever should eat it: an offense of wrong doing." — Cv.V.34.1

So if these quotes are correct, they demonstrate that the Buddha and the early sangha did in fact not eat whatever was offered, so such arguments are false.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby wisdom » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:00 pm

Inge wrote:
"One should not consume human flesh. Whoever should do so: a grave offense. And one should not consume meat without having reflected on it (on what it is). Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing." — Mv.VI.23.9

"One should not consume elephant flesh ... horse flesh ... dog flesh ... snake flesh ... lion flesh ... tiger flesh ... leopard flesh ... bear flesh ... hyena flesh. Whoever should do so: an offense of wrong doing." — Mv.VI.23.10-15

"One should not knowingly consume meat killed on purpose (for a bhikkhu). Whoever should consume it: an offense of wrong doing. I allow fish and meat that is pure in three respects: One has not seen, heard, or suspected (that it was killed on purpose for a bhikkhu)." — Mv.VI.31.14

So if these quotes are correct, they demonstrate that the Buddha and the early sangha did in fact not eat whatever was offered, so such arguments are false.


True but also we have to ask ourselves whether or not the monks interrogated each offering. "Is this horse meat? What about tiger? Did you kill this for me?". It seems unlikely. It seems if they somehow knew that it was for example horse meat, they would refrain. Then again they might not. In my view if they had strong Bodhicitta they would accept the offering in order to benefit the being who was offering food to the monk, and accept the negative karma that comes from consuming the flesh of a horse as a result. Then again, with that intention one questions if negative karma would be accumulated at all in that instance.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Inge » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:03 pm

wisdom wrote:
True but also we have to ask ourselves whether or not the monks interrogated each offering. "Is this horse meat? What about tiger? Did you kill this for me?". It seems unlikely. It seems if they somehow knew that it was for example horse meat, they would refrain. Then again they might not. In my view if they had strong Bodhicitta they would accept the offering in order to benefit the being who was offering food to the monk, and accept the negative karma that comes from consuming the flesh of a horse as a result. Then again, with that intention one questions if negative karma would be accumulated at all in that instance.


It is possible to accept the food offering without consuming it.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby wisdom » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:06 pm

Inge wrote:
wisdom wrote:
True but also we have to ask ourselves whether or not the monks interrogated each offering. "Is this horse meat? What about tiger? Did you kill this for me?". It seems unlikely. It seems if they somehow knew that it was for example horse meat, they would refrain. Then again they might not. In my view if they had strong Bodhicitta they would accept the offering in order to benefit the being who was offering food to the monk, and accept the negative karma that comes from consuming the flesh of a horse as a result. Then again, with that intention one questions if negative karma would be accumulated at all in that instance.


It is possible to accept the food offering without consuming it.


Thats true. I guess I would see that however as a waste of life. Now the meat has no use, its not even going to sustain a member of the Sangha. Also, I wonder how that would effect the karma of the one giving it? They had the good intention to offer it, not knowing any better, but it doesn't really benefit the monk. I suppose the monk could give it to an animal like a dog, and so benefit another being, therefore no life is wasted, an offering is made to the monk with good intention, and the monk accumulates merit by in turn benefiting another being, like a hungry dog.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Inge » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:15 pm

wisdom wrote:
Inge wrote:
It is possible to accept the food offering without consuming it.


Thats true. I guess I would see that however as a waste of life. Now the meat has no use, its not even going to sustain a member of the Sangha. Also, I wonder how that would effect the karma of the one giving it? They had the good intention to offer it, not knowing any better, but it doesn't really benefit the monk. I suppose the monk could give it to an animal like a dog, and so benefit another being, therefore no life is wasted, an offering is made to the monk with good intention, and the monk accumulates merit by in turn benefiting another being, like a hungry dog.

Since the meat is not alive, how can there be waste of life? The meat etc. is not wasted if it is not consumed. As for the karma of the donor, how could consuming or not consuming the offering affect it? If for instance the donor saw the monk throwing the offering away, then maybe the donor would feel offended, but don't think the monks ate in the presence of the donors anyway, so this would not be a problem.

Are offerings supposed to be gifts, or are the donors bartering?
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