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Thread: Your thoughts on Vegetarianism ?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brizzy View Post
    Hi Guys

    I always worry that the issue of vegetarianism can become a distraction for Buddhists. Whatever ones personal thoughts are, the fact that the Buddha allowed the eating of dead flesh tells me as a committed Buddhist that whether I do or don't eat meat has little bearing on my goal and should not take a central role in my relationship with other Buddhists other people or the Eightfold Path.

    Best wishes

    Brizzy

    (Hi everybody)
    It is definitely a distraction. The Buddha never stated eating meat was unwholesome or negative karma. He never stated refraining from meat was a requirement for enlightenment. The Buddha was quite clear that killing was unwholesome karma, but eating meat is NOT the act of killing, it is a byproduct of the act of killing. When someone goes to the grocer and purchases meat, he has no intention to kill, he has not killed the animal, he has not seen it killed, he has not requested it be killed for him. He has had absolutely no involvement in the animal's killing. He is simply purchasing it's corpse. Those are the simple, unemotional, non philosophical facts.

    What is far more important than what we eat is WHY we are eating it. If we consume meat simply to nurture our bodies for the sake of continuing our practice, there is no error. If we refrain from meat thinking we are somehow more compassionate than meat eaters and causing less suffering, we are deluding ourselves and are very much in error. If we think "meat is murder", we have a fundamental lack of understanding of karma.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by David29412
    It is definitely a distraction.
    I'll spare you some shocking photos and videos showing how live meat animals are treated before they're killed.

    This essay might be of interest.

    Excerpt:


    "The question of “What did the Buddha say about Vegetarianism?” should be straightforward, but (for a long list of reasons discussed in this article) it isn’t. I would emphasize that the problem is not the ambiguity of the source texts themselves. As with the salience of Santa Claus to Christmas, the ambiguities have arisen from many successive centuries of new stories and new excuses arising.

    Unlike Christianity, however, the vast majority of people who are now offering new excuses (i.e., in the current generation) do not have the ability to read the Buddhist equivalent of the Old Testament. The blind are indeed leading the blind (both in robes, and without them."

    https://medium.com/p/c636fa4f37dd

    Also, this is info about a Buddhist vegetarian website called Shabkar which I mentioned briefly earlier in the thread, with many resources and names of vegetarian Buddhist teachers past and present .

    Shabkar.org is a non-sectarian website dedicated to vegetarianism as a way of life for Buddhists of all schools.

    The site takes its name from Shabkar Tsodruk Rangdrol (1781-1851), the great Tibetan yogi who espoused the ideals of vegetarianism accompanied by bodhicitta.

    http://www.shabkar.org/

    Quote Originally Posted by David29412
    eating meat is NOT the act of killing, it is a byproduct of the act of killing. When someone goes to the grocer and purchases meat, he has no intention to kill, he has not killed the animal, he has not seen it killed, he has not requested it be killed for him. He has had absolutely no involvement in the animal's killing. He is simply purchasing it's corpse. Those are the simple, unemotional, non philosophical facts.

    .
    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.


  3. #13
    Forums Member dharmamom's Avatar
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    "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."



    Isn't that a bit too strong, Aloka? I feel vegetarianism adds to my practice of compassion, but I accept some people don't agree on this point. Like you, I have also watched awful videos and photographs on how animals are treated before they are prepared for consumption. And yet, meat is still a staple in all Buddhist countries.
    This is a sticky point in all Buddhist sites and I have seen people getting very angry over their differences. I wonder why the subject is treated over and over again if we can't agree to disagree.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dharmamom 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."



    Isn't that a bit too strong, Aloka? I feel vegetarianism adds to my practice of compassion, but I accept some people don't agree on this point. Like you, I have also watched awful videos and photographs on how animals are treated before they are prepared for consumption. And yet, meat is still a staple in all Buddhist countries.

    This is a sticky point in all Buddhist sites and I have seen people getting very angry over their differences. I wonder why the subject is treated over and over again if we can't agree to disagree.

    No, I don't consider it's too strong.. and I didn't say it with anger.

  5. #15
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    I grew up on a farm. I know why the animals were raised. I've been to the slaughter house. None of this addresses what the Buddha said about eating meat. And none of this addresses the fact that eating meat SIMPLY IS NOT THE KARMA OF KILLING. It really is that simple. And for the record, I do not eat meat, so no, the animals were NOT slaughtered to satisfy my wanton blood lust. And if the animals had not been slaughtered, they would still suffer the pains of birth, sickness, old age, loss, and death, just like any other sentient being. So not eating their corpse saves them from nothing. All beings have karma as their own. All beings suffer, whether they are the consumed or the consumer. That's the reality of samsaric existence. And no one escapes samsaric existence by not eating meat.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by David29412 View Post
    . None of this addresses what the Buddha said about eating meat.
    Then can you give references to specific Pali Canon suttas if you're talking about what the Buddha said, please David.(and not references to monks and nuns having to eat whatever was placed in their bowls by lay people, thanks )

    I'd also be really grateful if you didn't reply in capital letters, because it's rather like shouting.

    And no one escapes samsaric existence by not eating meat.
    I haven't noticed anyone saying that they did.


  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Then can you give references to specific Pali Canon suttas if you're talking about what the Buddha said, please David.(and not references to monks and nuns having to eat whatever was placed in their bowls by lay people, thanks )

    I'd also be really grateful if you didn't reply in capital letters, because it's rather like shouting.



    I haven't noticed anyone saying that they did.

    The Buddha addressed the eating of meat for monks in the Vinaya. Specifically, Vin III,197 and III, 172. This was in response to Devadatta's attempt to create a schism in the sangha over the issue of eating meat. From what I understand, things didn't work out so well for Devadatta over this. Now, perhaps you'd care to show me in the Pali canon where the Buddha said meat should not be consumed.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by David29412 View Post
    The Buddha addressed the eating of meat for monks in the Vinaya. Specifically, Vin III,197 and III, 172. This was in response to Devadatta's attempt to create a schism in the sangha over the issue of eating meat. From what I understand, things didn't work out so well for Devadatta over this. Now, perhaps you'd care to show me in the Pali canon where the Buddha said meat should not be consumed.
    Hello again David,

    The Vinaya is for monks and nuns and so its not relevant to lay people.

    I'm not meaning to be rude, but where did I mention anything myself about the Buddha saying meat shouldn't be consumed ? I was a vegetarian before I was a Buddhist, and the decision wasn't connected to any religious beliefs.

    I started this thread with a quote from Ajahn Sujato and asked for opinions about it.

    Devadatta was also mentioned in post #6.



  9. #19
    Forums Member Sea Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    I started this thread with a quote from Ajahn Sujato and asked for opinions about it.
    I agree with Ajahn Sujato's comments about factory farming, including the cruelty and environmental stress it entails.

    As a young person, I began to eat a vegetarian diet and did so for many years--not in connection with any particular spiritual tradition--but out of feelings of compassion for the animals. For a time I was strictly vegan.

    At one point I happened to develop a chronic illness that left me house-bound for a good length of time, and also developed rather severe hypoglycemia. I tweaked my diet to allow for more dairy and vegetable-based protein. Shortly thereafter, I developed sensitivities to many of the foods I was consuming (soy, dairy, etc). (I now seem sensitive to grains as well, except for small amounts of rice.)

    It's taken many years of balancing, but I have found a formula that supports my particular body type and constitution, my health, and my practice: Whenever possible, I eat mostly organic vegetables; some fruits (those not too sugary); local eggs from pasture-roaming chickens; and organic meat procured from humanely raised and handled pasture-grazing animals from a local farm. This formula seems to address several of the concerns that Ajahn Sujato raises in his essay.

    Although not necessarily ideal from a personal, ethical standpoint, this balance has proven ideal for the functioning of my body.

    Kind wishes,
    Sea Turtle

  10. #20
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    After reading this thread over a month ago, I decided to change to a vegetarian diet. Not because I feel like I have to as a buddhist.. But because I feel that if I am to truly have compassion for all living things, I must be willing to make such sacrifices.

    I have to admit, it has been difficult even over just 5 weeks. My energy has dropped dramatically, I have been very irritable and just generally not feeling well. It is so difficult to find the right balance in my diet. I think I am making progress though!

    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?

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