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  • #16
    Dear all,

    Just a little note: when I discussed with Ajahn Brahm about permaculture practices of killing animals that we raise in a humane way versus being a vegetarian versus buying meat from supermarkets, one sentence from him that impressed me the most is: a great number of lives have to die for us to live, so live yourself in a skilful and wholesome way to make those lives worthwhile.

    Warmest metta,

    Dheerayupa

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    • #17
      Here is a link that might provide some helpful ideas.
      https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t...animals/2711/2
      As far as I know The Buddha has talked on this issue on two occasions. Once when Devadatta tried to prohibit eating meat and again in response to Jivaka's question the answer to which is the Jivaka Sutta. Here The Buddha has said that if one has not seen or not heard or does not even suspect that the animal has been killed for one's meal then it is ok to eat it. My personal problem is the third ie "not even suspect" because when I go to a super market I see all kinds of meat and fish nicely laid out for sale and I do not have any suspicion that they have been prepared for the buyers one of which is me.
      Secondly some people talk about eating meat without being attached to it but I find it hypocritical. And thirdly we can survive without meat but we cannot survive without fruits and vegetables. Therefore we can at least minimize the slaughtering of animals by avoiding meat. And at the end of the day it is a personal matter which will be decided by his or her personal preference and interpretation of facts available to them.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Ryan Melanson View Post
        I remember Ajahn Sona saying, "It doesn't matter so much what goes in your mouth as what comes out."
        Ryan. That's a nice quote . Keeping precepts is important and I have been vegetarian for around 35 years. It wasn't a personal choice, really, as my husband was vegetarian and I abstained from meat circumstantially. It then became a habit and something that I choose to continue. However, looking back, I see as the quote illustrates, that what one eats is just a part of many parts of the practice. It was far easier for me not to eat meat, than it was and is for me to control my thoughts and speech. I think it's important not to overemphasize selected precepts at the neglect of others. That said, this is an interesting thread on the topic!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Stuart Corner View Post
          Hi Rory,

          I think that you are on to something. There seems to be a karmic hierarchy to what you kill. So killing an insect karmically affects us much less than killing a large mammal, which in turn has less karmic potency than killing a human. Killing with the highest potency are things like matricide/patricide or killing an arahant, which (according to the suttas and along with injuring a Buddha or causing a schism in the Sangha) prevent us from gaining any of the stages of enlightenment in this life.

          I think that (regardless of being a vegetarian or meat eater) when we look at the sheer amount of killing involved in feeding over many lifetimes, then the priority becomes ending rebirth (or at the very least securing sotapanna) rather than making a priority of trying to limit the relatively small amount of killing involved in a single life. But if you can do both, then great! ��

          Stu
          xxx
          Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dheerayupa Sukonthapanthu View Post
            Dear all,

            Just a little note: when I discussed with Ajahn Brahm about permaculture practices of killing animals that we raise in a humane way versus being a vegetarian versus buying meat from supermarkets, one sentence from him that impressed me the most is: a great number of lives have to die for us to live, so live yourself in a skilful and wholesome way to make those lives worthwhile.

            Warmest metta,

            Dheerayupa
            Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Jerrod Lopes View Post
              Interestingly, to me at least, I have heard that the arahants, upon enlightenment, tend to lose interest in food and eating altogether.

              Not claiming to be an arahant or any such thing, I can relate in that as time goes by, more and more, I am losing interest in likes and dislikes as far as food goes, while many of my friends seem to be caught up in whatever gourmet food craze comes out from time to time. Sorry to steer it off topic, sort of.
              Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

              Comment


              • #22
                It occurs to me lately that craving for existence itself is what drives samsara. Now add to that killing in order to exist and you have a double whammy. Eating to exist without killing is much milder than killing then eating. Eating meat that is already dead whether in a gorcery store or in the bush is only a matter of ending hunger.

                I was a vegetarian years ago. Not that my experience is a standard of measure for all, but I did it for attention. At the time I thought it a noble thing, but in reality I did it as a matter of craving to exist as "someone", as an added identity, a vegetarian. I couldn't bring myself to be truly noble, so I found nobility in something simple like not eating meat. People admired me for it, and were likely annoyed by me for it too. Either way, I was special, different, noteworthy, if even only to myself. Surely I'm not the only person on this planet to be motivated by such things. Just some perspective for the conversation. Be well, one and all, meat eaters and non alike.

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                • #23
                  Dear All,

                  Apologies in advance as this might offend some folks but my intention is to have people contemplate.

                  What we eat is just nourishment for the body so we can end the suffering of the body. The body must replenish its cells and such so we need to eat. Whether we eat meat and/or veggies, its just nourishment. It's part of life. In the end, our bodies are just a bundle of elements anyway going through a process. The food we eat are just elements. So if you think really, we're just recycling things until this body no longer function and the process ceases away. That's just it.

                  Being a Buddhist, of course we must always bring gratitude for what we consume, because as previously mentioned, beings die for us so we can exist, whether you eat meat or not. We can discuss about this until we all die, still the problem will still be there, we still need to eat. That's just the fact. So we remind ourselves that the food we eat is a means to an end. To end what? This present suffering of hunger and the long term suffering of existence. As long as we are in samsara, we have to have nourishment. Isn't that suffering? To feel hunger, to look for what to eat and drink, to prepare it, and to eat/drink it in less the time it took to produce it? And then the end part, it all comes out stinky LOL. Such a hassle don't you think? But it must be done for the body to survive.

                  Just a side note, I've read some articles that say certain mendicants who profess to be "vegetarians" throw away meat that was offered into their bowl refusing to eat it. To me, how sad and disrespectful that is to dana and a waste of the requisites. I can imagine it might be a poor person giving that food and it's the only food they can give, probably sacrificing that food because of their confidence to the Triple Gem. The Lord Buddha himself didn't throw away any meat when it was offered to him. But it is the reality.

                  My take on not eating meat is as long as I am not killing what I am eating, I share my food whenever there is someone I can share it with, not abusing it (pickiness/gluttony), and not wasting any of it, I am safe and free from remorse. I think there are bigger things to worry about than putting a dead piece of flesh in my mouth so that I can survive and keep practicing. Just my thoughts though.

                  May everyone have a jolly vassa.

                  in mettā,
                  Russ

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                  • #24
                    Dear Russ,

                    Well said (SADHU)!

                    Warmest metta,

                    Dheerayupa

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jerrod Lopes View Post
                      Personally, I have little problem with eating meat from the grocery store. It's already there and it would be sad to me to think that an animal died to be food and went to waste.
                      I don't want to start a row, but that is not exactly true of course: It's because people eat meat that animals are killed. If less people eat meat, less animals end up in the grocery store.
                      I don't want to act like a saint with regard to this topic as I eat fish once or twice a week. However, I eat no other meat and I buy the vegetarian "meat" in the grocery store that has a big selection of vegetarian meat. If all this vegetarian "meat" were to be replaced with real meat, many more animals would live bad lifes and be killed for food.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Leon Roijen View Post
                        If less people eat meat, less animals end up in the grocery store.
                        Hi Leon,

                        Unfortunately, in some sense, I don't think this is the case. Ronald's link on page one of this thread goes into detail about this. It seems, from the article at least, that a vegetarian diet will consume more animals in the processing of grains, legumes, etc. Thomas Jefferson (3rd president of the US) had an idealistic image of what could be the United States. People can bring out a capacity to do the right thing and forge ahead with that in mind. From Hunter S. Thompson, "America could have been a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race. Instead, we just moved in here and destroyed the place from coast to coast like killer snails." Hearing this quote made me think on vegetarianism. A world that's informed by fear, hatred and delusion will inevitably fall short of our expectation. The kindest people I've ever known have eaten meat. For me this says that things a lot more important things than diet factor in to what's conducive to developing the heart.

                        With care,

                        Ryan

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                        • #27
                          I have been a strict vegetarian for 4 years and only now, during my present stay in Thailand, at Wat Phra Si Chom Thong am I changing my mind slightly. It's always been a balancing act of intentions. I quite honestly I can't tell what most of the food is that is being served here, but I do know that I didn't intend for an animal to die so I could eat it, i had no part in the death of an animal besides the eating and that is done so with only the mindful intention of keeping this body healthy. The monks and nuns here seem to share this as well.
                          When I go home, I certainly won't be ordered a beef burger..

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                          • #28
                            Dear Ryan,

                            Please excuse me for my late reply. I read your reply only now.

                            Ronald's link seems not to be valid anymore/I can't reach te article, so I cannot comment on it directly.
                            However, it seems odd to me that a vegetarian diet would consume more animals. At least animals that are industrially raised also eat these processed grains and legumes, so there is at least the same amount of loss of animal life and on top of it the loss of the animal that is -intendedly- slaughtered.

                            I agree that "just the fact" of eating meat goes not against the precept of abstaining from taking life.
                            After all, the conditions necessary for an act of killing are:

                            -There must be a being
                            -You must know that there is a being
                            -You must intend to kill
                            -You must plan to use a method to kill the being
                            -You must kill the being, only using the planned method

                            Meat-eaters do not fulfill any of these conditions (From the book "Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness" by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana).

                            BUT, on the other hand:

                            The Jivaka sutta says the following:

                            "Jivaka, I say there are three occasions in which meat should not be eaten; when it is seen, heard or suspected that the living being has been killed for sake of a bhikkhu. I say: Meat should not be eaten on these three occasions.
                            I say that there are three occasions in which meat may be eaten: when it is not seen, not heard, and not suspected, that the living being has been killed for sake of the bhikkhu, I say: Meat may be eaten on these three occasions."

                            This is about monks, who go on alms round and generally have to accept the food they are offered.
                            But as far as I know -and correct me if I'm wrong- there is nothing in the Pali Canon about lay followers eating meat.
                            As a lay follower you can decide yourself which food to eat. If you go and buy meat, you KNOW that the animal was killed for you, the consumer. For your sake.

                            As I say, I eat fish once or twice a week, I don't want to be fundamentalistic or radical in any way, but I believe we delude ourselves if we think we can safely conclude that the Buddha had no reserves about lay people eating meat only because monks in the above mentioned cases are allowed to eat meat.

                            With metta,

                            Leon


                            Originally posted by Ryan Melanson View Post
                            Hi Leon,

                            Unfortunately, in some sense, I don't think this is the case. Ronald's link on page one of this thread goes into detail about this. It seems, from the article at least, that a vegetarian diet will consume more animals in the processing of grains, legumes, etc. Thomas Jefferson (3rd president of the US) had an idealistic image of what could be the United States. People can bring out a capacity to do the right thing and forge ahead with that in mind. From Hunter S. Thompson, "America could have been a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race. Instead, we just moved in here and destroyed the place from coast to coast like killer snails." Hearing this quote made me think on vegetarianism. A world that's informed by fear, hatred and delusion will inevitably fall short of our expectation. The kindest people I've ever known have eaten meat. For me this says that things a lot more important things than diet factor in to what's conducive to developing the heart.

                            With care,

                            Ryan

                            Comment

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