Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Anything goes (almost).

Which do you think is worse?

Eating meat
10
36%
Drinking alcohol
12
43%
Neither: They are equally bad
6
21%
 
Total votes : 28

Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby kirtu » Fri May 07, 2010 8:23 pm

Astus wrote:Alcohol consumption is against the precepts, however, in itself it is karmically neutral.
Meat consumption is against only one version of minor bodhisattva precepts, its karmic negativity is minimum dubious.


Well no. Alcohol consumption is a violation of the Pratimoksha precepts for sure. Eating meat specifically killed for you (if you are a monk) is also a violation of the Pratimoksha precepts.

Eating meat is a violation of the Bodhisattva vows if one takes them according to the Bramajala Sutra. I'm not sure that the Mahayana Bramajala Sutra can be relegated to a minor status. The Tibetan Bodhisattva vows do not address meat eating. Perhaps other traditions do.

Tantric ethics can be more complex and it depends on the level of tantra.

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby kirtu » Fri May 07, 2010 8:28 pm

Namu Butsu wrote:You dont have to have a health problem in order to avoid vegetarianism. The so called myth that vegetarianism is the healthy way to live has been bebunked.


In what way? It's true that millions of insects and certainly thousands of small animals die in industrial farming. But we have hundreds of millions of duck-cow sized animals being slaughtered for meat production yearly and are fishing the oceans dry. In each meat patty in a hamburger we have little bits of some 100 or more animals.

If a person is healthy then it would generally be better for them to be as vegetarian as possible in order to reduce suffering.

However on Planet Earth food production, veg or otherwise, kills beings and produces suffering. There is no way around this.

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Astus » Fri May 07, 2010 8:44 pm

Kirt,

Maybe there is some misunderstanding here. I didn't say alcohol is OK for anyone according to any set of precepts mentioned. I've also mentioned how certain kinds of meat are forbidden for monks. I've said nothing about the Brahmajala Sutra itself, only that meat eating is one of the minor precepts in it (the 3rd), just like drinking (the 2nd).

It'd be actually nice of you to outline tantric precepts about meat and alcohol.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Lazy_eye » Fri May 07, 2010 9:51 pm

Namu,

As an ex-meat eater and current vegetarian (for the sake of right speech, I should caveat this by mentioning that I still consume seafood and dairy...for now), I believe this is something you have to see for yourself.

Familiarize yourself with how factory farming works, how the animals are raised, what their living conditions are, how they are slaughtered. There are many books and documentaries about it. Don't just stay at the level of abstraction and argument -- really take a look at the details.

You may find, after this, that you feel less at ease about purchasing and consuming meat. Maybe not -- everyone's different. But it's not something one can really argue about. You kinda have to see what the reality is and draw an informed conclusion.

For starters, you might have a look at this:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 047926.ece

Let’s say what we mean: animals are bled, skinned, and dismembered while conscious...Typically, cattle are led down a chute to a “knocking box”. Here, theoretically, a steel bolt is shot into the cow’s brain. Sometimes the bolt only dazes the animal, which either remains conscious or wakes up as it is being ‘processed’.” “Processing” continues with wrapping a chain around the animal’s leg, and hoisting it into the air. Then, it is moved to a “sticker”, who cuts its throat. If the knocking hasn’t done its work, then, as one slaughterhouse worker put it: “They’d be blinking and stretching their necks from side to side, looking around, really frantic”. Then they move on to the “head skinner”, where the skin is peeled off the head of the animal. Some cattle, not the majority but a non-negligible minority, find themselves still conscious at this stage. Then, on to the “leggers”, who cut off the lower portions of the animals’ legs. At this point: “As far as the ones that come back to life go . . . the cattle just go wild, kicking in every direction".


Here's a bit of info about dairy cows:

To produce milk, they have to be kept pregnant. What happens to the calves? They are taken from their mothers, usually within twenty-four hours, and are destined for a short, miserable life, quite possibly in a veal crate, and a death whose general contours follow those described above. So, a vegetarian who drinks milk and eats cheese indirectly supports both the veal industry and a horrific form of slaughter.
.

Debunking free-range/cage-free/"humane" production methods:

“Cage-free” means nothing more than “not in cages”; which is compatible with them being crammed with tens of thousands of other birds into a broiler shed to the point where they are unable to move, debeaked and drugged.


I understand meat is hard to give up -- used to be I couldn't imagine a meal without it. Even breakfast :) Ya know what, though? After more than a year of going "vege", I don't miss it at all.
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Fri May 07, 2010 10:23 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby kirtu » Fri May 07, 2010 9:53 pm

Astus wrote:It'd be actually nice of you to outline tantric precepts about meat and alcohol.


I don't think that I can say too much aside from the well-known statements that meat and alcohol are (or can be) consumed during tantric feasts and that this specifically is due to Highest Yoga Tantra practice (Mahayogatantra and above in Nyingma and Anutarayogatantra in the New Translation traditions).

However in the three lower tantras there are practices that forbid the consumption of alcohol and meat.

I'm taking a look at Jamgon Kongtrul's "Buddhist Ethics" and Sakya Pandita's Three Codes on these issues.

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Astus » Fri May 07, 2010 10:08 pm

Lazy_eye,

It shows perfectly why being a butcher is listed specifically among wrong livelihoods right there in the noble eightfold path.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Indrajala » Sat May 08, 2010 2:32 am

Namu Butsu wrote:You dont have to have a health problem in order to avoid vegetarianism. The so called myth that vegetarianism is the healthy way to live has been bebunked.

Gassho
Namo Amida Butsu


By who? A single author selling their book on Amazon?

Cite your sources.
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby catmoon » Sat May 08, 2010 7:17 am

Try telling that to an ex-alcoholic.
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Namu Butsu » Sat May 08, 2010 5:03 pm

Huseng your vegentarianism seems to be a dogma for you. I study and practice alternative medicine. There are countless studies and essays on this subject. did I ask you to provide proof that vegenarianism is the healthy way to live? This is similar to your earlier argument that I have never been to tibet. It reminds me when i was speaking to a muslim co-worker and was telling him about the wife beating that is supported in the quran and that is a big problem in muslim countries and his response was "have you been to those countries?"

I dont want to give you a dogma of nonvegentarianism but neither do I want your dogma of vegetarianism. Save it for your holy men. I eat mainly organic and grass fed meat. Not the same as processed food, but I will admit that this isnt always the case since I do eat out sometimes etc..

For me is my way and for you your way

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby kirtu » Sat May 08, 2010 5:39 pm

catmoon wrote:Try telling that to an ex-alcoholic.


Right - the context is important.

But alcohol by itself is just a substance and doesn't have any inherent properties that cause negative karma or cause harm (unless one has an allergy of some kind). But "too much" of it can definitely cause harm either directly (too much alcohol can kill people) or because it will cause people to lose their mindfulness and engage in negativity. This is true for anything. If eating rice causes one to become angry and hateful then they should not eat rice. Better would be for people to face the effect rice has on them and transform their mind (note this argument isn't an excuse for people to drink all day and create many opportunities to transform their minds).

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Indrajala » Sat May 08, 2010 6:12 pm

Namu Butsu wrote:Huseng your vegentarianism seems to be a dogma for you. I study and practice alternative medicine. There are countless studies and essays on this subject.



Then cite a study of these many that you say exist so we can discuss the validity and credibility of it. I shall not sit idly by while you denounce vegetarianism without citing a single source to prove this.

did I ask you to provide proof that vegenarianism is the healthy way to live? This is similar to your earlier argument that I have never been to tibet. It reminds me when i was speaking to a muslim co-worker and was telling him about the wife beating that is supported in the quran and that is a big problem in muslim countries and his response was "have you been to those countries?"


If you live in harsh conditions where a vegetarian diet could prove fatal then meat consumption is perhaps unavoidable. However, if you live in a developed country this is not the case. It is compassionate to animals to refrain from eating their flesh. This is not mere intellectual speculation and arguments -- the well being of countless sentient beings is what is key here.

I dont want to give you a dogma of nonvegentarianism but neither do I want your dogma of vegetarianism. Save it for your holy men. I eat mainly organic and grass fed meat. Not the same as processed food, but I will admit that this isnt always the case since I do eat out sometimes etc..


Your taste for animal flesh blinds you to the cruelty that you support to satisfy your appetite.

For me is my way and for you your way


The Buddha taught that meat eating destroys the seed of Buddhahood. My way was taught by the Buddha.
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby ball-of-string » Sat May 08, 2010 11:07 pm

Luke wrote:I'm curious to find out how people view drinking alcohol in comparison to eating meat. Which one do you think is worse? Why?

I am thinking about how each effects practice. The karmic consequences of financially supporting the butchers and meat industry on one hand and the bartenders and distillers on the other is unknown, but both were listed as wrong livelihood so presumably there is a a consequence to paid.

Looking at how each effects meditation and incorporation of Dharma into daily life:
    My body can digest vegetables and fruits relatively quickly, but it takes over 24 hours to fully digest meat. This is a distraction during meditation. Otherwise eating meat does not deter me from meditating.
    My body supposedly can digest alcohol at a rate of 1 drink/ hour, but consumption of alcohol leaves me either dehydrated or with a high glucose level for hours, so drastically impairs my ability to meditate. Furthermore, hangovers severely impede my motivation to meditate. And regular alcohol abuse absolutely will keep my butt off the cushion, period.
    Refraining from eating meat is good practice in compassion and karmic responsibility. Eating meat does not directly impair my ability to practice Dharma.
    Regular alcohol consumption will distract or completely arrest my practice of Dharma, and if consumption leads to heedlessness then alcohol consumption could be highly destructive to my Dharma practice.
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Dexing » Sun May 09, 2010 6:13 pm

There is a story, told in several ways.................


Once there was a Buddhist monk who was approached by a woman who demanded that he make a choice between three options. One, sleep with her. Two, slaughter a goat to share dinner. Three, drink alcohol. If he chose no action she would commit suicide.

Thinking over the options :juggling: , the monk couldn't lose his celibacy or commit murder as these are cardinal sins in the Buddhist monastic rules. He also didn't want to leave the woman dead by refusing to act. So he figured drinking alcohol would have the least affect on others.

So the monk then drank the alcohol.. slept with the woman and killed the goat.

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Astus » Sun May 09, 2010 8:27 pm

Dexing,

Funny and wise! :applause:
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby kirtu » Sun May 09, 2010 11:26 pm

Huseng wrote:The Buddha taught that meat eating destroys the seed of Buddhahood. My way was taught by the Buddha.


A friend of mine was just told that he needed to start eating meat by a Tibetan monk after the monk took a reading of my friend's pulse.

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Indrajala » Mon May 10, 2010 2:53 am

kirtu wrote:
Huseng wrote:The Buddha taught that meat eating destroys the seed of Buddhahood. My way was taught by the Buddha.


A friend of mine was just told that he needed to start eating meat by a Tibetan monk after the monk took a reading of my friend's pulse.

Kirt


Well the scriptures say what they say. Animals do not want to be slaughtered. Hiring a butcher to do the killing we are ourselves are not prepared to do while praying for all sentient beings to be free from suffering is quite ghoulish.

If someone must consume meat to sustain themselves or preserve their health, then so be it. It is taken as medicine. However, if I was ever told I had to eat meat I would ask for several opinions from a number of doctors.
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon May 10, 2010 5:36 am

This is in the Lounge which makes it a bit of a free-for-all.

It's my opinion that in regards to consuming meat and meat products, one should do as his/her teacher instructs him/her.

And if one is without a spiritual friend, use the common sense :)
And be compassionate.

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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Astus » Mon May 10, 2010 10:31 am

Huseng,

One shouldn't confuse killing with eating meat. They are not the same. The precept against killing includes asking someone else to do it, includes even telling others that it is OK to kill. But if you don't ask for it, it is not killed for you, there is no harm on one's "precept-body", neither is there intentional act (karma) of killing involved.

If eating meat is a problem because (in most cases) it is a result of someone killing an animal, and by buying meat one indirectly is involved in the meat industry, paying taxes is even more problematical. Or, for instance, I work at an IT company that I know is involved in government and military things too, therefore my work indirectly supports the soldiers on the battlefield.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby Indrajala » Mon May 10, 2010 10:34 am

Astus wrote:Huseng,

One shouldn't confuse killing with eating meat. They are not the same. The precept against killing includes asking someone else to do it, includes even telling others that it is OK to kill. But if you don't ask for it, it is not killed for you, there is no harm on one's "precept-body", neither is there intentional act (karma) of killing involved.



By eating meat, however, you are basically having someone else do something that you yourself are probably not willing to do.

It is passing off the horrific karma of killing to someone else and not worrying about the repercussions they will suffer.

Is that really an indication of bodhicitta?
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Re: Eating Meat vs. Drinking Alcohol--Which is worse?

Postby kirtu » Mon May 10, 2010 10:56 am

Huseng wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Huseng wrote:The Buddha taught that meat eating destroys the seed of Buddhahood. My way was taught by the Buddha.


A friend of mine was just told that he needed to start eating meat by a Tibetan monk after the monk took a reading of my friend's pulse.

Kirt


Well the scriptures say what they say.


And are you certain that the scriptures being quoted are definite and not interpretable?

Animals do not want to be slaughtered. Hiring a butcher to do the killing we are ourselves are not prepared to do while praying for all sentient beings to be free from suffering is quite ghoulish.


Animals certainly do not want to be slaughtered. And everyday millions of them do experience a horrific end.

However, if I was ever told I had to eat meat I would ask for several opinions from a number of doctors.


I would personally have a great deal of difficulty with such a diagnosis and could not eat meat on a daily basis.

However, another aspect to this is the sometimes heard injunction that eating meat in a tantric context will be beneficial to the being who's flesh is consumed. The few times I have eaten meat in the past few years I have always prayed that the beings may be immediately reborn in the Pure Lands.

It is a cultural fact that Tibetan Buddhists eat meat. It is also a fact that there have been some lamas opposed to widespread meat eating but they form a minority in Tibetan Buddhist thought.

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