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the great vegetarian debate - Page 45 - Dhamma Wheel

the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Individual
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Justify eating meat

Postby Individual » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:10 am

Having a different point-of-view is no reason to stop expressing metta for others. :)

Obvious emptiness!
The best things in life aren't things.


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Justify eating meat

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:28 pm


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Hanzze
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Re: Justify eating meat

Postby Hanzze » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:43 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

Luke
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Re: Justify eating meat

Postby Luke » Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:06 pm

There are the vain reasons: People who care more about bodybuilding than Buddhism would say that they need to eat meat to win competitions. Red meat contains creatine which allows one to lift more weight. It's also easier to reach very low body fat percentages on a high-protein diet.

I think the best reason to eat meat is to please your host and to avoid offending him or her. This is the only reason I occasionally eat meat. Otherwise, I avoid meat and don't buy it.

pedro1985
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vegetarian vs veganist

Postby pedro1985 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:35 pm

I know I have posted already a lot of questions this week, I hope I
don't bother anyone with it. But there is no Sangha where I live, nor do
I know anyone who is interested in Buddhism, so I find this a great
place to ask questions, because I get good answers here...

Since last year I decided to become a vegetarian to refrain myself from
the killing of living beings (even though I bought meat in the store
normally, but you still contribute indirectly to the kiling of animals
by economically supporting slaughterhouses)

Now I am considering the following: I used to eat a lot of cheese. But
now I am thinking, isn't eating cheese the same as meat? I live in the
Netherlands, also known as The Country with a Million Cows. Cheese is
cheap here because there are many farms with many cows on it. I live
close to such farms, and I know how it goes to produce the cheese. And
today all farms are like factories where cows are exploited to give as
much milk as possible, and when they are used enough they are killed for
meat.

So cows that produce milk for cheese are being used as products, so if
I'd buy the cheese, I'd economically support the farms that abuse the
cows to create food.

But the difference between meat and cheese is that for cheese cows don't
need to be killed, but they are being abused and exploited in the
farm-factory.

Is it unwise to eat cheese as well when you want to follow the Eightfold
Path? Because personally I think that it goes against Right Action,
because cows are being treated unethical in the farm-factories, thus
supporting the farm-factories economically you are indirectly supporting
it.

Am curious how you are thinking about this...

PeterB
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:38 pm

What ever decision you come to, you need to know that most Buddhists eat neither a vegetarian nor vegan diet. Most are omnivores. It is an individual choice. The majority of Thai, Sri Lankan, Burmese, Japanese and Tibetan Buddhists eat meat...both monks and lay people.
A poll was carried out relatively recently and that was the result. It often comes a surprise to people to learn that most Buddhists are not vegetarian. Including most of the mods of this forum.

NB You cant ask too many questions... :smile:
Last edited by PeterB on Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Individual
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby Individual » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:59 pm

The most important thing is the intent with which you eat and the results. If you are mindful, you can see that there are different results and different intents for eating different foods in different contexts. Meat is bad karma because it carries with it the essence of murder. That's more of a Mahayana idea than a Theravada one, but really, it's neither: it's just middle way, just the way things are.

Eating meat isn't wrong, but rather, it depends on the context.

In my humble opinion: For people of good moral character that need strength, it's OK to eat meat. You can see how people who are elderly and skinny need lots of protein, they might like meat, and to deny them meat and force-feed them stuff they don't like which would be healthy for them would be cruel.

However, if you are healthy and your morality isn't that great, loading up on KFC and burgers every night is bad. You'll get fat, die early of a heart attack, and I'd suspect it could even make a person cruel.
The best things in life aren't things.


PeterB
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:05 pm

"Meat is NOT bad karma" per se. Meat is meat. Eating meat or buying meat from an animal you have not killed and that hasnt been killed specifically for you carries no kamma for you at all.
The Dalai Lama who is a Mahayana practioner and has presumably thought deeply about these issues is not a vegetarian.
Neither are most of the Theravadin monks I know although many would prefer to be if the lay people would give veggie dana consistently.

plwk
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:08 pm

Bubba.....where art thou? :tongue:

PeterB
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:09 pm

:tongue: Indeed.

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Ron-The-Elder
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:50 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Hanzze
Posts: 1906
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Location: Cambodia

Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby Hanzze » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:07 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

PeterB
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:17 pm

There is a moral case to be made for not eating or buying meat . If no one bought meat then fewer animals would be killed for meat clearly.
However the OP was concerned with whether Buddhism advocates vegetarianism or veganism, and the plain fact is Buddhism advocates no particular diet. It leaves that choice to the individual . I know monks who eat meat. I know monks that do not. One of the most saintly and wise and experienced lay people I knew ( he died in his late 80's ) appeared to eat only shop bought meat pies and bacon sandwiches.
You can read several learned views about whether the Buddha ate meat and there is no consensus. I think you will find that many scholars think he did. That he did not exclude it from his begging bowl.
We can either answer an inquirer with what the situation would be in our ideal Buddhist world, or we can point out the reality that they will encounter should they pursue any interest in Buddhism, And the reality is that meat eating Buddhists are in the majority. Whether you and I like that or not. And I dont see that changing in my lifetime or even in yours.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:54 pm

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David N. Snyder
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:57 pm

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David N. Snyder
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:01 pm

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Ron-The-Elder
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Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:28 pm

What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

PeterB
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:00 pm


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appicchato
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby appicchato » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:15 pm


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zoidberg
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Re: vegetarian vs veganist

Postby zoidberg » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:30 pm

Following what have been quoted by ron the helder, should we conclude that consuming meat is essentially a moral dilemma for lay persons only? Monks only eat what is offered to them, they don't ask specifically for meat.


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