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Thread: Your thoughts on Vegetarianism ?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus421 View Post
    What has shocked me, is the number of people who have reacted to my change. I can understand my close family and partner not reacting well, because they feel meat is essential to a healthy diet and are just looking out for me... However, many acquaintances feel as though its almost offensive that I no longer want to eat meat. I have come to know what it is like to be judged for something that is completely my own personal choice and really affects no one else.... and it is not a very nice feeling! Has anyone had similar experiences changing to a vegetarian/vegan diet?
    Hi Lotus,

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're having problems.

    I live in a UK city and have never had any opposition from others about my choices. There were also some friends who changed their diet too after they understood why I chose to be a vegetarian -and they remain healthy.

    Apart from dairy products, there are also lots of alternatives to meat available for vegetarians/ vegans in the shops here. Meat replacements range from blocks of Tofu (toasted with sesame seeds is nice), soya weiners & sausages and a variety of products containing soya protein or soy beans, soya milk & desserts, 'Quorn' - which is the name for manufactured vegetable protein products and a range of ready meals containing chickpeas & other peas & beans as well as vegetables...and one can make or buy nut roasts too.

    My doctor has always known that I'm a vegetarian and didn't even comment because it's quite common for some people to be veggies over here.

    Maybe people will get used to your decision eventually. I hope so.


  2. #22
    Forums Member Sea Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus421 View Post
    What has shocked me, is the number of people who have reacted to my change. I can understand my close family and partner not reacting well, because they feel meat is essential to a healthy diet and are just looking out for me... However, many acquaintances feel as though its almost offensive that I no longer want to eat meat. I have come to know what it is like to be judged for something that is completely my own personal choice and really affects no one else.... and it is not a very nice feeling! Has anyone had similar experiences changing to a vegetarian/vegan diet?
    Hi Lotus,

    I'm also sorry you are experiencing such reactions.

    Let's see....when I made a switch to a vegetarian diet, I was quite young, so it did cause a couple ripples in the home. But once my mom saw that I was willing to purchase and prepare my own meals, we got along sharing the kitchen space just fine. I really learned a lot about cooking!

    Later when I lived on my own, it was a non-issue. And for some reason, I mostly ended up in relationships with other vegetarians.

    The only thing I can say is hang in there until the dust settles. Perhaps being low-key about your decision (for instance, not trying to convince or debate about it) may work in your favor.

    About the health angle, a balanced diet in any form takes consideration and planning. I'm not convinced that relying on a lot of veggie convenience foods is best for the body or the environment. But I am sure you will find what works best for you. Do your research, be well, and be confident in your admirable decision!

    Best wishes,
    Sea Turtle (a very sympathetic [now] non-vegetarian)

  3. #23
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    I wrote a very long article about this, i.e., the tenuous and tortuous connection between Theravada Buddhism and vegetarianism:

    https://medium.com/p/c636fa4f37dd

    Conversely, the brutally honest truth is that nobody makes the decision to become vegetarian as a result of studying texts that are over 2,000 years old (or, in the case of Mahayana, over 100 years old, shall we say?). People form their own opinions, and then seek out justifications in religion, one way or the other.

    Youtube is full of (extremely boring) lectures from Buddhist monks offering you convoluted excuses for meat-eating (both Theravada and Mahayana). The excuses all come along "after the fact"; if you're indifferent to watching a cow have its throat slit, and bleed to death, kicking in agony on a concrete floor, I don't really think you're going to be moved by the discussion of primary-source texts (as in my article, above), nor by seeing a man sitting on a cushion, in robes, offering you one set of reasons or another.



    In terms of the experience of Lotus421: yeah, it's a struggle. Everywhere you go, it's a struggle. People will demean you and treat you like crap for being vegan, partly because they have their own sense of "moral insecurity" about eating meat on a daily basis, killing animals for no particularly good reason, and the easiest (stupidest) way to respond to that feeling of insecurity is to lash out at whoever is a challenge to your own (familiar) assumptions.

    You get to see a great deal of that pattern of human nature in the religious sphere. It's sad and saddening, and human nature doesn't change.

    You don't get to decide whether or not your life is going to be a struggle; you get to choose to make it a meaningful struggle, rather than a meaningless one, to some extent. Being vegan is meaningful, for reasons that have nothing to do with Buddhism. So, struggle; play to win.



    Ecology of meat production vs. water scarcity:
    http://vegan-mind-tricks.tumblr.com/...he-scarcity-of

    Ecology of meat production vs. land scarcity:
    http://vegan-mind-tricks.tumblr.com/...-i-dont-really


  4. #24
    I've revived this old topic because we haven't discussed meat eating here for quite a long time .

    Any thoughts about a vegetarian or vegan diet ?

  5. #25
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Hi, Aloka. Thanks for reviving this topic.

    My personal experience:

    After discovering that two of my primary cardiac arteries were blocked and passing-out during a morning jog, major diagnostics and a double bypass, I chose to follow Dr. Dean Ornish's version of veganism, which included no oils or fats, other than those which were plant based. I also went on over-the-counter low dose aspirin, and prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, and other cardiovascular drugs to reverse my atherosclerosis issues.

    This health recovery and life preserving regimen started in 1998 after my cardiovascular event and has continued on and occasionally off for twenty years to date. My only reason for following this was my selfish attachment to life. The environmental and moral reasons were not in my mind until I discovered Buddhism as a personal practice a few months after my medical recovery.

    What I learned from Buddhist studies and practice:

    The first precept essentially prescribes avoiding all practices which cause harm, either to other living beings, or to ourselves.

    Considering this, I concluded that killing other living animals causes them harm, and eating their meat caused me harm.

    End of story.

    What I learned regarding Environmental Issues:

    Animal farming uses up vast nutritional plant resources, which if consumed directly during the practice of veganism or vegetarianism is way more nutritionally efficient. I could do the calculations for you, but I have discussed and debated this issue so many times I am simply sick of doing it. It is better for the doubter to do the math themselves, because it will stick in their heads better and longer that way.

    Animals, especially ruminants, discharge carbon-dioxide, and methane from their guts and colons, which add enormously to the atmospheric green-house gases load. Many folks laugh at this, but it is true. Again, do the math yourself. Everything you need to do so is on the internet.

    Animals must be transported to slaughter houses, killed and their dissected parts must be transported to stores. Unusable bones and hides are ground into meal, and processed into leather, skin, and fur goods, all of which required energy resources, materials, and contributes more green-house gases to the atmosphere.

    Consumers must drive to the markets, and then transport the "meat" from the stores to their homes. Left-overs , scraps, and garbage are disposed and transported to landfills, where they decompose and are reabsorbed into the soil.

    All of this transporting requires energy, which, when consumed produces green-house gases.

    Uncooked animal flesh in production, storage and home must be refrigerated, or frozen, which requires energy, which production results in additional green-house gases being emitted into the atmosphere.

    Toxicology (disease) and Health Effects

    Animal flesh and fats are well known to cause cardiovascular disease. I can personally attest to that.

    Animal fats when cooked produce many human carcinogens, which increase the rate of human cancers and deaths.

    Uncooked animal flesh bears a wide variety of bacterias, viruses, prions and parasites, all of which cause a wide variety of diseases and if undetected, and/or left untreated result in death.

    On the Other Hand:

    If it wasn't for meat being introduced into the human diet, the primate and then human brain would not have evolved to its current size, and perhaps humans would have either become extinct, less dominant in the eco-system, and/or possibly replaced by meat-eating birds or some other faster evolving creatures on our planet.
    Last edited by Olderon; 22 Dec 17 at 13:41. Reason: Grammar & clarification

  6. #26
    Forums Member srivijaya's Avatar
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    I've been veggie for over 25 years now, so I figure that's a lot of dead sentient beings I've not buried in my digestive tract. I don't make a big deal of it, in fact people who I don't regularly eat with don't know at all, as I'm not 'preachy' or issue-driven about it.

    My family all eat meat and there's no problem. I have had the odd aggressive reaction over the years from non-family members but not too much, as I treat it as a personal matter and don't discuss it unless pressed, then I tend to be evasive and as unforthcoming as possible about it. In my experience, the kind of people who can't deal with vegetarians tend to be the kind of people who can't deal with Buddhists either.

  7. #27
    Forums Member Esho's Avatar
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    Some cook books have a guide of the food we have to intake. The old ones have meat and eggs and milk included. This was for the past. There was a time when science thought a good balance of food would have these nutriments in our daily diet but nowadays we have to acknowledge our mistake in this . There is no need to include meat and other animal products in our modern diets. It has been demonstrated that cancer is associated -highly- with the presence of meat and other derivatives of animal food, along with diseases like obesity, diabetes, gastroenteritis, high blood pressure, etc... Modern cook books and nutritional guides will be healthier without the inclusion of meat, eggs, cheese, or milk .

  8. #28
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    Hi,
    I am a vegetarian and have been since even before I started following Buddhism. I would go vegan because I'm aware of the harm to animals, but being in a French-English family, we eat a LOT of dairy and eggs. Also, I have coeliac disease, so it would be even harder to maintain a good diet without any gluten products or contaminated foods. My dad is a vegetarian too though, so in a four person household we manage to influence every meal to have a vegetarian option, and as a result, my mother doesn't buy much meat these days :) It is good for my health too, I see a lot of my non-veggie friends having health issues I don't have, like bad headaches, slowed metabolism, low energy and stomach aches. But for the most part, it's for ethical reasons and always has been.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Meat animals are killed for the benefit of people who go into shops to buy meat because they have a desire for the flavour of the blood and flesh of cooked corpses in their mouths.

    Why was somebody upset about you saying this? It's true...

  10. #30
    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esho View Post
    Some cook books have a guide of the food we have to intake. The old ones have meat and eggs and milk included. This was for the past. There was a time when science thought a good balance of food would have these nutriments in our daily diet...
    Actually, consider the following:

    The first chart suggested to the USDA by nutritional experts in 1992 featured fruits and vegetables as the biggest group, not breads. This chart was overturned at the hand of special interests in the grain, meat, and dairy industries, all of which are heavily subsidized by the USDA.
    So, please don't blame nutrition scientists for this. It generates distrust in actual science, a distrust based on misunderstandings and bad heuristics.

    ---

    P.S.

    Consistency demands that, if one has ethical motives for vegetarianism, one is committed to anti-natalism (the idea that choosing to have children is immoral). Most vegetarians seem to stop short of this conclusion, however, which I find puzzling.

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