Commercial farming and Buddhism

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

Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:18 am

As a topic of discussion, how could a commercial farmer be a Buddhist and not break the first Precept and suffer horrible karmic results?

Now in tilling or no-till crop production, insects and microbes are killed. No two ways about it. But the need for grain is unquestionably there. As is the need for meat, as I doubt the worlds population will become vegetarian or vegan and cutting out poultry/egg farms and dairies.

Example: a bushel of wheat makes aprox 75-100 loaves of bread.
Kansas produces enough wheat each year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread
A steer after processing yields aprox 500 lbs of meat.

In each of these examples, many thousands-tens of thousands of insects as well as cattle are killed.

Now pesticides are only used if a "threshold" amount of insects are encountered. So that isn't really the premise of this question.

These people need to support their families, and if you look at the chain of production, a single farm has the effect on literally hundreds, if not thousands of jobs. From machinery production to final sale of said product they produce.

But for them to operate and feed the masses, that are unable, through city/apartment/condo living or not being knowledgeable enough to grow their own foods. Which by statistics is over 90+% of the Earths population. How could they beat the karmic wrath for undoubtedly breaking the Precept not to kill? :shrug:


Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

Re: Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:45 am

If you are not a monk, don't worry about it.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:12 am

The Seeker wrote: How could they beat the karmic wrath for undoubtedly breaking the Precept not to kill? :shrug:


Kindest wishes, Dave

You can't really. Even monks or people who live by the 10 precepts invariably create lots of negative karma. Such is the nature of things. Unwholesome karmas are made constantly (if you study Abhidharma or Abhidhamma you will certainly appreciate this). Nevertheless, we must do our best. This is not an excuse to kill, but for some people there may be no other option.

Please no one attack me as uncompassionate, praising killing, non-Buddhist, or anything like that. The fact is people have to live. Invariably we take action which creates unwholesome karma. Many things we do create unwholesome karmas. You just have to take your life and balance it for the best turnout.

Kevin
ओं मणिपद्मे हूं
http://www.ripple.org

Kevin
. . .
User avatar
Virgo
 
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Globe

Re: Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby platypus » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:24 am

The Buddha only said certain livelihoods were wrong, trade in meat was one. If he wanted every tiny organism to be protected Buddhism would look a lot more like Jainism.
platypus
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:05 am

Re: Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:50 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:If you are not a monk, don't worry about it.


    "Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

    "These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in."

    - Vanijja Sutta
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:56 pm

How could they beat the karmic wrath for undoubtedly breaking the Precept not to kill?


There are methods in Dzogchen/Vajrayana that can assist. There are some Pure Land practitioners who believe this of their tradition as well. However, I wouldn't word it as "beating" karma.

The Seeker wrote:As a topic of discussion, how could a commercial farmer be a Buddhist and not break the first Precept and suffer horrible karmic results?


IMHO, if one has the option to change professions, it would be best. If not, do the best one can and practice more. Honen and Shinran spent a lot of time teaching farmers, butchers, fisherman, etc. We can't tell every butcher, fisherman, etc. to just up and quit their jobs.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
User avatar
Mr. G
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Commercial farming and Buddhism

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:28 pm

Thank you all for your input.

I guess the term "beating" wasn't the best choice of words, I'm good at that. :smile:

It's a family farm and all but me have left the farm for more profitable careers.
I stayed with dad to help him, as he has supported us our whole lives.
It won't be long before dad can no longer function, as he is getting older and has Alzheimers.
When the time comes I'll be selling off and moving away. I'm just here for dad, no other reason really. I just feel that he needs to be as happy as he can be, while he can still function and actually enjoy his life.

Kindest wishes, Dave
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA


Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: duckfiasco, JKhedrup, Johnny Dangerous, Norwegian and 25 guests

>