Monday, February 3, 2014

Vegetarianism, Karma and Compassion

Ram Jayaram
People here talk a lot about compassion, peace, love, et al. How many put these words into practice, e.g. how many are vegetarians?
Like · · January 25 at 8:12pm

    Ville Räisänen and 4 others like this.
    Ville Räisänen I am. A vegetarian...
    January 25 at 8:13pm · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu The reality of life proves that being vegetarian is not enough for compassion and love to arise... Hitler was vegetarian too... Not the meat make us aggressive but believing our thoughts that we are a person in this body ....
    January 25 at 8:18pm · Like · 5
    Viorica Doina Neacsu I see all around me being alive and i suffer the same if i see someone killing an animal or cutting a flower... all is the same life... all is vibrating... This body needs meat sometimes and i don't find something wrong in that. I found wrong to kill abusive or for pleasure and not for a need.
    January 25 at 8:22pm · Like · 1
    Òskar K. Linares I am but agree with Viorica Doina Neacsu.
    January 25 at 8:43pm · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Ram Jayaram, are you vegetarian? just curious... I would love to read your experience of being vegetarian... how do you experience love and compassion being vegetarian... would be interesting to see if are differences between our experiences of love and compassion...
    January 25 at 8:49pm · Like
    Soh Just curious Ram are you vegetarian? Personally im not (but neither was Buddha) but I respect vegetarians
    January 25 at 9:22pm · Like · 3
    Soh Oops didnt see viorica posted
    January 25 at 9:22pm · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu hahahahahaha
    January 25 at 9:23pm · Like
    Ville Räisänen With all due respect, "meat industry" 2500 years ago in India was not what is it today. Just please inform yourself on many documents and explorations on how meat that you buy from the store is produced today. It is surely little different if you buy "organic" products or raise and care animal yourself. Then let's talk about compassion.

    Viorica, Hitler was a vegetarian is not an argument It's a nazi card that should come in the very end of after all the well thought and articulated opinions are openly discussed and explored.
    January 25 at 9:29pm · Unlike · 4
    Piotr Ludwiński "(but neither was Buddha)" dont forget that afaik he was beggar monk who accepted everything he received from ppl...
    January 25 at 9:34pm · Unlike · 4
    Soh Kyle Dixon Jackson Peterson Willem Rebergen just some of the few here that are vegetarians
    January 25 at 9:44pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Piotr Ludwiński sitting comfortably in restaurant buying stuff we "like" with only mental idea there is suffering beyond it is one thing and being beggar whose vinaya makes him unable to cook or receive uncooked ingredients is other...
    January 25 at 9:37pm · Edited · Like · 1
    Soh Yes the buddhas philosophy is that one must accept all acceptable/proper food without craving or preference. Exceptions are given on foods that are improper
    January 25 at 9:38pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Soh The mahayana sees vegetarianism as act of compassion. The tantric have teachings on liberating animals one eats. Each vehicle has different way of treating it
    January 25 at 9:39pm · Like · 3
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Ville i agree... and i didn't use Hitler as an argument but as a fact. I wrote my opinion in that comment " Not the meat make us aggressive but believing our thoughts that we are a person in this body ...." Would be great to know your opinion about what i just said...
    January 25 at 9:44pm · Like · 1
    Piotr Ludwiński The point is to work with cricumstances. And as Ville pointed out meat industry in our current world functions differently than 2500 years ago in India or in Tibet... It's good to give it a thought before blindly going with this or that approach to meat in context of dharma practice. I myself have struggle with this topic
    January 25 at 9:44pm · Like · 1
    Piotr Ludwiński before this convo goes any further I would like for all to acknowledge that there are no free meals in samsara and vegetarian or vegan food is also connected with deaths of many tiny sentient beings and so on
    January 25 at 9:46pm · Like · 3
    Viorica Doina Neacsu For recording, i have nothing against vegetarians but honest i don't understand them. Maybe this thread will help me to understand more about their point of view. I eat meat maybe 30 days in a year, but i eat because i run short in energy and i didn't find another way to recover myself.
    January 25 at 9:49pm · Edited · Like · 2
    Piotr Ludwiński yeah but it is not the case that "This body needs meat sometimes" but merely you haven't found efficient alternative for some reason
    January 25 at 9:51pm · Like · 1
    Laya Jakubowicz I am a vegan since teenage years, it is so obvious to me, that I never speak about it neither understand how it can be otherwise...
    January 25 at 10:13pm · Like · 3
    Ville Räisänen Agree with circumstances, Piotr! Nice!

    Viorica, you asked: "Not the meat make us aggressive but believing our thoughts that we are a person in this body...." Well, not in every case all the aggression go away by simply regocnizing there is no person. Not in my case or some others I have seen. I can't say it doesn't happen, I can't know that. Maybe for some it actually does

    I understand the tantric view point. It seems to me very advanced. But sure some may actually succeed in it. What I have seen this far in tantra in this sector is little disappointing. But it doesn't mean a lot
    January 25 at 10:44pm · Like · 1
    Emilia Altomare Young @op plants are alive too, all is Life
    January 25 at 11:24pm · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik Ah... the vegetarianism conversation had to happen sooner or later :)By the way don't you just love these conversations in the internet (fortunately not in this group)... You know vegetarians and vegans being full of pride and the feeling of superiority towards the meateaters and calling meateaters murderers, asleep, lacking compassion. On the others side people calling the veggies grass eaters, calling them weird, asking dumb questions like "where do you get your protein?" and telling vegetarians things like "Plants are alive. You should eat rocks man". Of course that's not the full picture - there are really a lot of friendly people out there and lots of good conversations

    You could say that I was a vegetarian at one point but I didn't like to view myself as such. My approach was more of: "I'm not binded by any rules/precepts when it comes to eating so I don't have plans for future (being a vegetarian was to me an attitude of planning to be one at least for the next few weeks) but I just resolve this matter in the present and eat according to circumstances and being mindful of the consequences". But anyway you could say that I was a vegetarian - I did not buy meat, did not order it in a restaurant, did not eat it when was offered by someone else. Nowadays you couldn't really call me a vegetarian. I eat meat during Dzogchen ganapujas, when I visit people (for example on Christmas or on some family dinners) and the meat is served then I eat it am grateful and I also have ordered fish in a restaurant a few times. Still most of the time I prefer not to eat it and my regular week of eating doesn't include eating meat. But that's just me.

    When it comes to my opinion on the matter as a whole, then I think that not eating meat is better for the envivroment, the economy, more ethical (when not being a powerful tantric yogi who can really help the animals while eating them), in most cases cheaper and for many people healthier. But there are of course various circumstances. There people who cannot stop eating meat (there are whole tribes/nations who are genetically too attached to it) or for whom not eating it could really be less healthy. Dunno how traditional systems of medicine view this topic with regard to health (like Ayurveda or Tibetan medicine).
    January 26 at 1:21am · Edited · Unlike · 1
    Soh Doctors advised dalai lama to eat meat for health reason so he ate. On the other hand many vegetarians remain healthy, master hsu yun lived until 120 yrs. I think it depends on the persons health and body.
    January 26 at 1:20am · Like · 2
    Soh But one thing all buddhists should take note: avoid personally killing or order the killing of animals for food. As you will then incur karma for it. Eating frozen meat is karmically neutral and blameless according to buddhas teaching. But not when you directly cause its death. You may argue that all forms of eating meat are indirectly causing death. But thats just how karma works you dont get karma for eating meat already killed not by your order
    January 26 at 1:23am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński you can use this karma explanation to justify whole meat industry that is destroying this planet
    January 26 at 1:24am · Like
    Soh This means I avoid ordering live seafood in restaurant that the cook has to butcher. Frozen seafood is fine
    January 26 at 1:24am · Like
    Soh Piotr karma is individuals action. Destroying planet indirectly etc is not exactly karma but is another form of causal law. Causal laws have five kinds. There are environmental biological karmic etc. Environmental causality is also impt to be mindful even though not karmic so your point is valid
    January 26 at 1:26am · Edited · Like
    Robert Dominik About agressiveness... I think that in most cases eating meat is not the expression of being aggressive but rather it's just habitual behaviour (I would connect it with various poisons - like greed/lust/craving and ignorance - hatred/anger not so much) - like eating fingernails, listening to music on headphones in a bus etc. A behaviour that may become addictive after repeating it many times - like most things. I also suspect that people who have problems when it comes to not eating meat (health problems and so on) are conditioned in such a way because of some past deeds (karma). I heard that for example sentieng beings who kill other beings might have a rebirth with predispositions and tendencies towards killing and eating other beings in the next lives (for example by being reborn as a predator). But now I'm speculating a little.
    January 26 at 1:28am · Edited · Like · 2
    Robert Dominik Piotr has a point. Still by eating animals killed by someone else you also accumulate karma. The consequences are not so severe but they are there. But this is still 'small compassion' - I mean doing right things and avoiding wrong because of being afraid of the karmic consequences. Compassion towards the suffering of slaughtered animals and the compassion towards the planet without refering back to your own benefits are of higher order. Of course higher here is relative but if I'm right then there is a classification of bodhichitta or types of compassion in Mahayana literature. If I'm wrong then plz correct me.
    January 26 at 1:34am · Edited · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Ville, thank you for your answer. You say " Well, not in every case all the aggression go away by simply regocnizing there is no person" and you are right. With that sentence i ment that the idea of defending this body creates aggressivity.
    January 26 at 1:35am · Like
    Robert Dominik "before this convo goes any further I would like for all to acknowledge that there are no free meals in samsara and vegetarian or vegan food is also connected with deaths of many tiny sentient beings and so on" <- Agreed. Altough this cannot be an excuse for eating meat. Some people like to say that they eat meat because even plants feels and agriculture causes deaths of many sentient beings. But the same logic could be used by a cannibal who'd say "I eat other humans because no matter what I eat... It's still suffering". Anyway that's why there are advanced practices and accomplishments not only in Buddhism but also in Hinduism and according to legends even in Christianity that allow beings to achieve feats like inedia. Some might not believe it, it's quite understendable... but...: 1) people are capable of Tummo. That's scientifically proven and is pretty hardcore. 2) You should watch the documentary about Maha Sambodhi Dharma Sangha (earlier known as Ram Bahadur Bomjan).
    January 26 at 1:41am · Edited · Like · 2
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Piotr, i was practicing sport almost all my life, fifteen years i was practicing swimming performance with two trainings every day (6am-10am and 6pm-8pm and school between, less sunday evening. Even if i ate a lot of chocolate and vitamins, without meat i couldn't survive, and generaly for hard physical effort meat is needed. No other way to have proteins.
    January 26 at 1:44am · Like
    Robert Dominik <- Vio, you might want to check it out. This guy is a vegan. I recommend checking out the video because the guy is not lifting weights and building up the muscle but also doing things that are on the brink of denying gravity xD
    January 26 at 1:46am · Like · 2
    Viorica Doina Neacsu I would like to ask all of you, do you ever thought about how would be if all 8 milliards of people would eat only vegetables? Do you think this planet can give enough vegetables for all of us? ... this question arose when i took a shower ... hahahaha
    January 26 at 1:49am · Like · 1
    Brian Hales Does anyone know if plants have consciousness.. Because I've seen videos that argue they do... And if they do, how can we judge which conscious being is lesser or greater? An animal or a plant?
    January 26 at 1:49am · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Thank you Robert, i am checking now
    January 26 at 1:49am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Wouldn't the person have to believe that eating animals caused bad karma for it to have an effect?
    You can eat an animal and appreciate that animal for giving it's life to you and not accumulate karma,
    Would it make sense to say karma is relative?
    January 26 at 1:52am · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik Viorica Doina Neacsu well you have to grow plants for the livestock. Now instead of growing these plants we could grow vegetables and other plants for human consumption. Now the animals use energy for living, walking, breathing, peeing etc. That's basic physics. So even if people were eating just the plants given to livestock then I think it would be enough
    January 26 at 1:54am · Edited · Like
    Viorica Doina Neacsu I don't see karma as relative but i see it depending on intentions too and not only on actions.
    January 26 at 1:55am · Like · 1
    Brian Hales Animals are obviously part of the food chain just as much as plants... The problem I see is the lack of appreciation when a human takes the life force from another creature.
    January 26 at 1:56am · Like · 3
    Stephanie Marie Right like beliefs maybe? I ask because of other religions and purifying through prayer; like Jesus saying he died for the sins of man, and all who believe shall enter the kingdom of heaven;
    You can purify negative karma through sincere prayer
    January 26 at 1:57am · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Yes Brian Hales, i totally agree.
    January 26 at 1:57am · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik Anyway in Scientific American I read that only the 2% of solar energy that reaches plants is transformed iinto the source of energy for the animals eating plants. Now the effectiveness of the whole analogic process in animals is 5-15% (it depends on the type of animals). Also you need to use a lot more energy and resources for animal husbandry and slaughter than in order to grow plants.
    January 26 at 1:58am · Edited · Like · 2
    Brian Hales Our methods of slaughtering animals by the millions and raping the land for vegetables is deplorable...
    January 26 at 1:59am · Like · 2
    Brian Hales And when is the last time anyone genuinely thanked the animals and vegetables that went into their Big Mac.. Lol
    January 26 at 2:00am · Like
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Yes... what we do to ourselves we do around us too... no other way...
    January 26 at 2:00am · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik Well all in all our civilisation is one of the major cataclysmic events in the history of this planet. But it has survived gamma ray burts, explosions of nearby supernovas, supervulcano eruptions, continental drift, meteor hits, ices ages and other climate changes... maybe it will survive this.
    January 26 at 2:01am · Like
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Brian Hales ... Zen moment!
    January 26 at 2:03am · Edited · Like · 1
    Brian Hales No doubt the Earth will survive.. The question is whether the Human Beings will survive
    January 26 at 2:03am · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik George Carlin: "The planet is fine. The people are fu*ked" xD
    January 26 at 2:03am · Like · 3
    Stephanie Marie So if the world is in our mind and runs on intent,
    If the I is adhered to, you see what I mean? Does that make sense?
    I think the reason people can't kill thier own food, not just because it's horrible to kill cute animals, but because it can cause guilt. Taking too much leads to thinking we need more too, when really we only need a little to survive, and if we do it with compassion, we are more likely to realize something is suffering for us to live
    January 26 at 2:04am · Like
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Well, they will survive or not. My question is if they survive in suffering or enjoing life.....
    January 26 at 2:04am · Like · 1
    Stephanie Marie And hence take less, which is good for us because that leads to less craving
    January 26 at 2:05am · Like
    Stephanie Marie I like the quote by Buddha I read the other day , I will not tell you the world is real or isn't, but if it is where is it?
    January 26 at 2:06am · Like · 1
    Robert Dominik Well about intent... the intent of the most people who eat meat is to feel good and to have pleasant sensations of tasty food. After eating a good meal they are satisfied and happy (or sick and regretting because of eating way too much). So you have the intent and you have being satisfied with what you did - that surely is enough when it comes to accumulating karma.
    January 26 at 2:07am · Edited · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie That's a good point
    January 26 at 2:07am · Like
    Stephanie Marie No need to eat animal unless you are starving
    January 26 at 2:07am · Like
    Stephanie Marie But if it has to be done it should be done with appreciation not guilt, or no feeling about it whatsoever
    January 26 at 2:08am · Like · 1
    Brian Hales Again I question whether or not utaking a plants life is equal to an animal
    January 26 at 2:08am · Like · 2
    Brian Hales It comes down to our personal value system as to whether we will feel guilty or not
    January 26 at 2:09am · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie If plants are conscious it's the same, no life better than another
    January 26 at 2:09am · Like
    Robert Dominik "No need to eat animal unless you are starving" <- I heard one thing that comes to mind. An ordinary man breaths to survive. A sage breaths out of compassion and the wish to help suffering beings. I'm sure this can be applied to eating xD
    January 26 at 2:09am · Like · 2
    Brian Hales Most people would feel much more guilt for accidentally killing a dog with a car... But feel no guilt at all for stepping on an ant
    January 26 at 2:10am · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie That's a good point too
    January 26 at 2:10am · Like · 1
    Stephanie Marie I say guilt should be used as a learning tool only, otherwise it is living in a non existent past
    January 26 at 2:11am · Like
    Stephanie Marie It's important to remember about compassion I think, or it can be misleading, no one is feeling compassion
    That is the right compassion, otherwise it's no different than any other moral religion
    January 26 at 2:13am · Like
    Brian Hales I say eat vegetables and eat meat, but eat them both with reverence and thankfulness for the unique lifeform that gave their essense to you.
    January 26 at 2:13am · Like · 3
    Stephanie Marie Me too, too poor to be a vegetarian
    January 26 at 2:14am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Too poor to eat real food too, GMO city in my refrigerator
    January 26 at 2:15am · Like
    Stephanie Marie But there is a reason that Buddha says poison can be digested by a Tathagata like himself without making him sick, because he knew there was no reality to the poison, and I feel on a deep level that if that is known, it could be true
    January 26 at 2:16am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Even though he died of stomach illness
    January 26 at 2:17am · Like · 1
    Stephanie Marie It is important to note, though, that intent is empty of meaning to one without a self
    If the flame to flame parable is true, I can see how maybe things would stick past death, but you would have to die believing you were a person in a body, and I can see how that could easily happen during pain and death. Pretty sure His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes reference to that in the clear light of death. So looking into your beliefs and belief in substance is important, and that is how thoughts can be a useful tool. Also poor interactions and selfish ways reinforce that I sense. Giving and compassion are excellent tools to get rid of ego, and, they benefit other people
    But who is doing the giving? That I think is the important question to ask while using these great methods
    January 26 at 2:35am · Like
    Emilia Altomare Young some do say he was poisoned , so killed ( just like most innovative beings are)
    January 26 at 2:36am · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie Oh that makes me sad
    What is my direct experience of sad lol
    January 26 at 2:36am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Works like a charm, who ever came up with that is a smart cookie
    January 26 at 2:37am · Like
    Soh " Still by eating animals killed by someone else you also accumulate karma. The consequences are not so severe but they are there."

    There are a number of teachers out there that teach that eating meat (without having killed it or ordered or witnessed its killing) still accumulates karma albeit lesser than killing it yourself.

    However, this is not how the Buddha taught. The Buddha taught that meat that is unseen, unheard and unsuspected (of being specifically killed for you, such as by your order) is "blameless". He did not say "less blameful" but he said it was "blameless".

    We all know the story of how Buddha rejected Devadatta's demands to impose compulsory vegetarianism in the sangha. The Jains existing in Buddha's days were already compulsory vegetarians, but not the Buddhists. Perhaps a lesser known story also clearly shows Buddha's rejection of vegetarianism as a required training:

    Basically a Brahmin said that Buddha Kassapa allow foul smelling meat emitting a stench to be eaten in his sangha. Buddha Kassapa replied:!topic/sricom/zL2P9o9qXbY

    4. The Buddha Kassapa: Taking life, beating, wounding, binding, stealing, lying, deceiving, worthless knowledge, adultery; this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    5. In this world those individuals who are unrestrained in sensual pleasures, who are greedy for sweet things, who are associated with impure actions, who are of nihilistic views, crooked and difficult to follow, this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    6. In this world those who are rude, arrogant, backbiting, treacherous, unkind, excessively egoistic, miserly, and do not give anything to anybody; this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    7. Anger, pride, obstinacy, antagonism, deceit, envy, boasting, excessive egoism, association with the immoral; this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    8. Those who are of bad morals, refuse to pay their debts, slanderous, deceitful in their dealings, pretentious, those who in this world, being the vilest of men, commit such wrong things; this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    9. Those persons who, in this world, are uncontrolled towards living beings, who are bent on injuring others, having taken their belongings; immoral, cruel, harsh, disrespectful; this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    10. Those who attack these living beings either out of greed or of hostility and are always bent upon evil, go to darkness after death, and fall headlong into woeful states; this is stench. Not the eating of meat.
    11. Abstaining from fish and meat, nakedness, shaving of the head, matted hair, smearing with ashes, wearing rough deerskins, attending the sacrificial fire; none of the various penances in the world performed for unhealthy ends, neither incantations, oblations, sacrifices nor seasonal observances, purify a person who has not overcome his doubts.
    12. He who lives with his senses guarded and conquered and is established in the Dhamma, delights in uprightness and gentleness; who has gone beyond attachments and has overcome all sorrows; that wise man does not cling to what is seen and heard.
    13. Thus the Buddha Kassapa preached this again and again. That ascetic who was well-versed in the hymns understood it. The sage who is free from defilements, non-attached and difficult to follow, uttered this in beautiful stanzas.
    14. Thus having listened to the well-spoken words of the Buddha who is free from defilements, which end all misery, he worshipped the Tathāgāta with humble mind and requested to be admitted into the Order at that very place.


    "But this is still 'small compassion' - I mean doing right things and avoiding wrong because of being afraid of the karmic consequences. "

    Yes, I think if one becomes a vegetarian it should be out of genuine compassion, otherwise it's simply another kind of conditioned behaviour. Even though vegetarianism was never required in the Buddha's training and teachings, I have great respect for those who choose to take up vegetarianism out of compassion for animals. I believe with more nutrition awareness + vitamin/protein/supplement products which are viable alternatives to meat + more animal rights awareness etc, vegetarianism should increase day by day in the world.
    January 26 at 3:14am · Edited · Like · 3
    Goose Saver
    January 26 at 3:05am · Like
    Soh Malcolm:

    You can't really kill a sentient being. All you can do is sever the connection between its mind and body.

    But when you buy meat in a market, you are not engaging in that karma. There is no intention to kill, as you very well know."

    "Not even if there is a full range of non-meat products in the market and the person is making a choice to buy meat. Since there is no sentience in a piece of meat, there is no ethical harm in eating meat that one has not killed or has had killed for oneself. In order for one to have the karma of killing on one's hands, one has to do the deed or order someone else to do it, etc. That is, unless one has Mahāyāna obligation to not eat meat, and that is a different issue altogether."

    Owning a person is different than eating a the flesh of a dead animal.

    One can eat meat without participating in industrial agriculture.

    There are two issues in your post:

    1. Ethics of eating meat
    2. The karmic consequences of eating meat.

    The Buddhist ethical positions have been laid out already. The majority of people who are opposing the issue of eating meat are not doing so on the basis of a strictly Buddhist position.

    As for karma, karma requires intention, an object, the deed, and satisfaction that the deed was done.

    No Buddhist who eats meat will satisfy the criteria for creating a perfect karma of killing. No Buddhist is happy that animals are killed for food. We all regret it.

    Even if we refuse to buy meat, still animals will be killed for food. The production of organic food on a national ands global scale requires the animal husbandry industry, especially for poultry litter, feather meal, bone meal, blood meal and other such organic fertilizers.

    But this issue goes way beyond what Buddhists may or may not do,

    A friend of mine whose father runs the largest organic produce farm in Bakersville, CA., was heard to remark that there is not enough chicken shit to produce organic food on a national scale.

    Frankly, the real problem is the majority of people who live in cities who do not participate in the production of their own food, people who have no idea how their food is grown, where, and so on.

    Our nation throws away an astonishing amount of food everyday, to the tune of 40%-50% of all the food we produce.

    IN 2011, 1.3 bilion tons of food was discarded. This represents a third of global food production. The amount of food wasted per US citizen is 240 lbs per year.

    Rather than worrying about who is eating what, we ought to turn our attention to who is wasting what.

    And lets not get started on FOG (fats, oils and greases) that pollute our waterways.


    Absolutely wrong. For example, I know of no Buddhist who eats meat who would eat a lobster in a lobster house because they are killed on the spot for the client.

    Granted, because of our economy, meat is cheaper and more available than it was a hundred years ago, when people tended to eat meat seasonally. Chicken and pork were more expensive because they depend on grain for feed (cows should not be fed corn for any reason because they cannot digest it properly).

    But this has nothing to do with the basic point that in Vajrayāna there is very clearly a tradition, like it or not, of consuming meat, mostly bovine, and combining that with a method to assist the sentient being that was connected with that flesh at one point.

    I am not stating you or anyone else has to follow that tradition. But it exists."

    Dharma Wheel • View topic - the great vegetarian debate
    January 26 at 3:28am · Edited · Like · 3 · Remove Preview
    Soh Karma is intentional action, actions preceded by intention. If you have the intention of killing, or approve the killing (like, mentally think "oh its ok to kill" or "oh, good for the killers" etc) or encourage others to kill on your behalf in any ways whatsoever, as the Buddha states, then you have made unwholesome karma. If you eat a piece of meat that is already dead/lifeless not being ordered by you + you do not intentionally approve of the act of killing by the butcher it is considered "blameless" according to Buddha.

    "Although the Buddha allowed meat eating, he said in AN 4.261 that we do create unwholesome kamma if we directly encourage killing, approve or speak in praise of it. Hence in AN 5.177 the Buddha said that a lay person should not trade in flesh, which the Commentary explains as breeding and selling pigs, deer, (cattle, chickens,) etc (for slaughter). Also, it is not allowed to place an order for say ten chickens the next day if it means that those amount of animals will be slaughtered for one." - Dhammavuddho Thero
    January 26 at 3:20am · Edited · Like · 3
    Stephanie Marie It's intent, and belief that there is a person with intention that is karma
    January 26 at 3:21am · Like
    Kyle Dixon My Kagyu Lama offered me a pork bun yesterday and I said 'oh no thanks Rinpoche I don't eat meat' and he said 'oooh no meat, such real dharma man' ha.
    January 26 at 3:22am · Unlike · 5
    Viorica Doina Neacsu
    January 26 at 3:41am · Like
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Dear Ram Jayaram, where are you? I thought you will participate on this thread and maybe will answer to my question...
    January 26 at 3:43am · Like · 1
    Stephanie Marie There is no one who believes anything too lol
    January 26 at 3:46am · Like
    Ville Räisänen Great thread! Soh, I don't think this is so simple: "However, this is not how the Buddha taught. The Buddha taught that meat that is unseen, unheard and unsuspected (of being specifically killed for you, such as by your order) is "blameless". He did not say "less blameful" but he said it was "blameless".

    IMO, if you go to a store or restaurant and buy/order let's say pork meat, it is true that you have not killed or ordered the animal to be killed. But your actions add up. When you by meat, it is money to meat production. In this way, you support the industry, you are one of the reason it keeps going. You intently do it.

    It is different matter if you are a beggar or one day you go to your friends house and you are given the meat on meal. Then, you can't avoid it and I surely understand that there is no karma. But this is not the case in shop or restaurant. IMO Buddha's words should be seen in the context of todays world where we live in.

    I'll add this so there is no need to useless attacks and lol lol lolling... I have nothing against meat eaters and I love my parents who like to eat it a lot. And when my mother makes me fish, because she thinks fish is a vegetable, I eat it But when I go to a shop with my mom, I say to here that please do not buy meat. Buy yourself if you want it, but I don't need it.
    January 26 at 4:36am · Like · 1
    LFGD I believe in #Veganism
    January 26 at 4:36am · Like · 1
    Soh "You intently do it."

    The key here is that your intention is to purchase the meat and eat the meat (already lifeless and presented for sale), however you do not have the intent "let this animal be slaughtered", "I want this animal dead", and so forth. However if you order live seafood, then that intention of ordering an animal to be killed is there, and likewise unwholesome karma (karma means intentional action). The unwholesome karma of killing is not present when you do not have the intention of killing an animal for food.

    As I said earlier, "But one thing all buddhists should take note: avoid personally killing or order the killing of animals for food. As you will then incur karma for it. Eating frozen meat is karmically neutral and blameless according to buddhas teaching. But not when you directly cause its death. You may argue that all forms of eating meat are indirectly causing death. But thats just how karma works you dont get karma for eating meat already killed not by your order."

    That being said, I respect people who avoid "indirect causality" by not supporting meat, etc.
    January 26 at 4:44am · Edited · Like · 3
    Soh Here are actual instances of unwholesome karma being made by ordering the slaughter of animals:

    ‘Jivaka, who ever destroys living things on account of the Tathagatha or the disciples of the Tathagatha, accumulate much demerit on five instances:

    If he said, go bring that living thing of such name.
    In this first instance he accumulates much demerit.

    If that living thing is pulled along, tied, with pain at the throat, feeling displeased and unpleasant.
    In this second instance he accumulates much demerit.

    If it was said, go kill that animal.
    In this third instance he accumulates much demerit.

    When killing if that animal feels displeased and unpleasant.
    In this fourth instance he accumulates, much demerit.

    When the Tathagatha or a disciple of the Tathagatha tastes that unsuitable food.
    In this fifth instance he accumulates much demerit.

    Jivaka, if anyone destroys the life of a living thing on account of the Tathagatha or a disciple of the Tathagatha,
    he accumulates much demerit on these five instances.’

    When this was said Jivaka the foster son of the prince said; ‘Wonderful venerable sir, the bhikkhus partake suitable faultless food.
    Now I understand venerable sir. It is as though something overturned was reinstated.
    Something covered was made manifest. As though the path was told to someone who had lost his way.
    As though an oil lamp was lighted, for those who have sight to see forms. In various ways the Teaching is explained.
    Now I take refuge in the Blessed One, in the Dhamma and the Sangha.
    May I be remembered as one who has taken refuge from today until life lasts.
    ‘Jivaka, I say that on three instances meat should not be partaken, when (1) see...See More
    January 26 at 4:52am · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Jackson Peterson I am against the current holocaust and brutality that exists in the animal slaughtering industry. Watch the horrific videos! We should not support those industries with our money anymore than having supported the Nazis in exterminating the Jews. But, the eating of meat by native people in naturally balanced ecological societies, that respect all life, is completely natural for humans.
    January 26 at 5:47am · Unlike · 9
    Nicholas Mason There is no such thing as direct or indirect causality.
    January 26 at 5:53am · Like · 2
    Kyle Dixon ^ There is conventionally, and that should not be rejected.
    January 26 at 6:01am · Like · 2
    Kyle Dixon I posted these Earth Crisis lyrics on a vegetarian thread just recently which resulted in some discussion:

    Earth Crisis - New Ethic

    This is the new ethic.
    Animals' lives are their own and must be given respect.
    Reject the anthropocentric falsehood that maintains the oppressive hierarchy of mankind over the animals.
    It's time to set them free.
    Their lives reduced to biomachines in the factory, farm and laboratory.
    Dairy, eggs and meat, fur, suede, wool, leather are the end products of torture, confinement and murder.
    I abjure their use out of reverence for all innocent life.
    Wildlifes' right to live in peace in their natural environment
    without this civilization's interference can no longer be denied.
    Must no longer be denied.
    To make a civilization worthy of the word civilized the cruelty must end, starting within or own lives.
    Reject the anthropocentric falsehood that maintains the oppressive hierarchy of mankind over the animals.
    It's time to set them free.
    Veganism is the essence of compassion and peaceful living.
    The animals are not ours to abuse or dominate.
    I abjure their use out of reverence ...
    I abjure their use out of reverence ...
    I abjure their use out of reverence for all innocent life.


    Jigme Tsultrim wrote:
    "Reject the anthropocentric falsehood that maintains the oppressive hierarchy of mankind over the animals. "
    It is not that which creates this alleged hierarchy, but history. Before the rise of man, the animals hunted and ate us as they saw fit.

    I replied:
    Very true. I don't think it's an objection to the natural order of predator and prey. What's being addressed is the perverse subjugation and objectification of other beings as bio machines and so on... literally using them as a means to fulfill human interests. The anthropocentric falsehood he's addressing is simply the way that humanity's relationship to animals has evolved to be what it is today. Whether it's influences such as the church originally declaring that animals have no soul, which spilled over into scientific views, or otherwise. A prime example being the fact that in just the past five years, scientists have reformed their views to state that animals have consciousness, or that they have emotions etc. Which is ludicrous to think that many thought otherwise, the level of disconnect there is astonishing to say the least. I literally saw an article not even six months ago which said something to the order of; 'scientists declare that animals have consciousness'. Even the very titles 'animal' and 'human' sets humanity apart, Derrida has an excellent piece about this.

    All in all it should be blatantly obvious that humanity puts itself on a pedestal. But yes you're right, animals used to hunt us too, and still may in some regions of the world. What they don't do however, is put us in factory farms by the tens of millions, pump us full of antibiotics, milk us and systematically kill us for our meat or profitable parts. When a systematic killing of humans occurs we call it genocide, when a systematic killing of animals occurs, we call it the standard.
    January 26 at 6:05am · Like · 1
    Kyle Dixon tobes wrote:
    A while back I read Derrida's Beast and Sovereign, which may be the piece you're referring to. In any case, in that text (well, they were actually lectures) he was making a similar move. I find those kinds of arguments very unconvincing. It is very trendy to problematise the Aristotelian 'logocentrism' which has long pervaded western metaphysics and theology. i.e. that humans are privileged on account of their reason-speech. At the end of the day, I think the distinction holds. The day that zebras and turtles can organise themselves to build airports, raise taxes and debate philosophy on internet forums, is the day I change my view on the matter. I think it is compelling that 'animals' and 'humans' are distinct, on account of the ability that humans have developed to communicate and reason to the extent that they can build 'a shared world' or 'a civilisation'.

    This doesn't deny that animals have consciousness, and in some cases, very sophisticated consciousness. Nor that they ought to have moral status, on account of the fact that they have sensation and feeling (an argument Singer makes). It simply preserves an obvious and necessary distinction. Derrida looks for binaries and seeks to deconstruct them. It is sometimes an interesting venture, but is also sometimes bordering on sophistry. In any case, neither the zebra nor the turtle are capable of following his logic, which seems to me to be the critical point.


    I replied:
    The one I had in mind was The Animal That Therefore I Am:

    'The Animal That Therefore I Am is the long-awaited translation of the complete text of Jacques Derrida's ten-hour address to the 1997 Crisy conference entitled 'The Autobiographical Animal', the third of four such colloquia on his work. The book was assembled posthumously on the basis of two published sections, one written and recorded session, and one informal recorded session. The book is at once an affectionate look back over the multiple roles played by animals in Derrida's work and a profound philosophical investigation and critique of the relegation of animal life that takes place as a result of the distinction-dating from Descartes -between man as thinking animal and every other living species. That starts with the very fact of the line of separation drawn between the human and the millions of other species that are reduced to a single; the animal. Derrida finds that distinction, or versions of it, surfacing in thinkers as far apart as Descartes, Kant, Heidegger, Lacan, and Levinas, and he dedicates extended analyses to the question in the work of each of them. The book's autobiographical theme intersects with its philosophical analysis through the figures of looking and nakedness, staged in terms of Derrida's experience when his cat follows him into the bathroom in the morning. In a classic deconstructive reversal, Derrida asks what this animal sees and thinks when it sees this naked man. Yet the experiences of nakedness and shame also lead all the way back into the mythologies of man's dominion over the beasts and trace a history of how man has systematically displaced onto the animal his own failings or bêtises. The Animal That Therefore I Am is at times a militant plea and indictment regarding, especially, the modern industrialized treatment of animals. However, Derrida cannot subscribe to a simplistic version of animal rights that fails to follow through, in all its implications, the questions and definitions of life to which he returned in much of his later work.'

    And yes, granted humans have developed to communicate and reason to the extent that a 'shared world' and 'civilization' can be built; but I suppose the question would then have to be raised as to what constitutes being 'civilized'? Or what are the standards by which we are measuring and defining 'civility'? Civilization in and of itself seems to be an idea that has been anthropomorphized and is assumed to suggest (and match) what we as humans deem acceptable as a functional culture and socioeconomic structure. We even project this onto other "uncivilized" cultures within our own species, demonstrated succinctly via the threefold world categorization; first world to third world countries. However, does our 'technologically advanced' culture constitute 'civilization' any more than any other congregation, or organization of sentient beings on this planet, or elsewhere? Even in our technological advancements, we cannot seem to uphold the same standard of 'civility' in our relationships with each other as a species or in our relationship with our environment. Whereas animals and other indigenous populations of human beings have no such issue, who is more civilized in that context?

    So there are various ways to looks at this, and I would have to argue that we as human beings, living in our technologically advanced societies, are far from civilized by any meaning of the word. We blindly worship our socioeconomic structures, and rape our environment of resources by any means necessary, and at any cost to support that structure (which in and of itself is failing, in all of its divine wisdom). In my opinion, the true civility is the ability to look into another sentient beings eyes, and see the same sentience staring back at me, no different than my own. Why on earth would I assume my own evolved reasoning and communicational apparatus makes me anything more than that other being? Neither the turtle or the zebra are able to follow such logic? What type of game is that? Holding another being to a standard outside of their innate ability which is founded upon the premise that our own abilities are the standard they should be able to meet (and shame on them for not being able to do so), how is that civilized? It is anything but.


    tobes wrote:
    Well I agree with a lot of your judgements about the 'uncivilized' character of human civilisation. I'm not really saying that airports, taxes and internet debates are good or bad; I'm just saying that because only humans are capable of constructing a shared world like this, preserving a conceptual distinction between human and animal is both necessary and unproblematic.

    Or to phrase it negatively: in erasing that conceptual distinction, one erases that difference....and that difference is there, in reality.

    I like your account of true civility. But I don't see how it gets outside of 'an innate ability which is founded upon the premise that out own abilities are standard.'

    Surely the zebra and the turtle are not capable of looking at you, and seeing 'the same sentience staring back at them.' You are similarly imposing your human morality of sentient equivalence upon the situation. And I would argue that it comes very much from reasoning and conceptual investigation, even if, it allows you an open space of bare (compassionate) encounter.


    I replied:
    Being that this is a forum dedicated to the buddhadharma, the conclusion that the distinction 'is there in reality' is undoubtably going to implicate itself on numerous levels. Which is admittedly why a discussion of this nature is incredibly interesting.

    For the record, I'm in no way calling for an abandoning of such distinctions, but am merely addressing the way we collectively relate to them, and the allegedly conclusive presuppositions they birth both consciously and subconsciously in relation to the perceived ecological hierarchies they necessarily imply.
    January 26 at 6:06am · Like
    Kyle Dixon And to be fair, tobes stated that the reality claims cut both ways, and I agreed.
    January 26 at 6:08am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Oh wow Kyle, earth crisis, that's a blast from the past. I used to love going to shows when I was younger. Much more east coast stuff here, but pretty awesome lol
    January 26 at 6:36am · Like
    LFGD although there is meaning & significance in these activities, i believe our existence has a lot more meaning and significance besides these more basic lower activities, and for most humans throughout history (with the great exception of humans today) we have intrinsically known this, hence our profound evolution, otherwise, we wouldn't have minds, let alone well developed thinking minds, compassionate, capable of self expression, love & joy... But by murdering other animals to satisfy our selfish desires & greed we are putting a curse on both ourselves, the entire kindgom of animals & the entire planet & all it's history & future also. That is why we should release all prisoners (cattle) back into the wild, stop stealing milk from calves that are never born while mothers suffer from being kept continually pregnant ... and stop propagating bullshit from the dirt of greedy conscience.

    Besides, it's healthier & safer to be a vegan..

    Animals suffer like humans from all kinds of dangerous diseases. Eating meat is playing lottery, you have no idea what illness could be going through a herd of animals before it reached your plate. It's blindness really. With vegetables you can see if it is unripe or diseased (maybe not with GMO though!!!) so such a possibility is greatly greatly reduced and easily avoidable. I personally don't believe ANY historical Buddha actually condoned the eating of meat. Infact I am telling you with 100% certainty ANY SUTRA you read talking about eating meat as not a bad thing is 100% nothing to do with Buddha or Dharma.
    January 26 at 7:00am · Edited · Like · 3
    Nicholas Mason The acceptance or rejection of "conventional realities" is itself a so-called "conventional reality"
    January 26 at 6:57am · Like
    Nicholas Mason not to accept or reject it
    January 26 at 6:57am · Like
    Nicholas Mason You can't ultimately find a point at which an animal dies due to your actions
    January 26 at 6:59am · Like
    Kyle Dixon I mean, you can't ultimately find anything, but that doesn't render everything arbitrary and unimportant.

    As Padmasambhava says, and this is the attitude we all should have:

    'Though my view is as spacious as the sky,
    My actions and respect for cause and effect [karma] are as fine as grains of flour [tsampa]'.
    January 26 at 7:05am · Like · 6
    Ville Räisänen Okay, Soh. Then I don't agree with traditional buddhist view on this one. IMO Time to look what's going on and update.
    January 26 at 7:05am · Like · 1
    Nicholas Mason What makes you think that is what I am saying?
    January 26 at 7:06am · Like
    Nicholas Mason I am saying there is no distinction between indirect and direct causation and it is a projection to make one.
    January 26 at 7:07am · Like
    Nicholas Mason At the same time, not eating meat for reasons other than compassion is not going to net you any good karma
    January 26 at 7:10am · Like
    Nicholas Mason As far as is known.
    January 26 at 7:11am · Like
    LFGD Nicholas Mason That is misleading if not untrue. Meat contains disease of the animals you eat. It's unlikely a regular meat eater will not sooner or later catch something harmful from a diseased animal through consumption of it's flesh.
    January 26 at 7:14am · Like · 1
    Nicholas Mason So be it.
    January 26 at 7:15am · Like
    Robert Healion During the Second World War a group of Brahmans were found who were starving. The soldiers only had canned beef, which is against their religious injunctions. They choose to die then to break their vows.
    January 26 at 7:25am · Like · 3
    LFGD K. I see it's very convenient for you. if your water was poisoned would you have the same attitude, or you would you stop drinking it?
    January 26 at 7:25am · Like
    Robert Healion A true story as told by someone who witnessed. He thought they were silly.
    January 26 at 7:28am · Like · 1
    LFGD Religious devotion is no joke.
    January 26 at 7:35am · Edited · Like · 3
    Viorica Doina Neacsu From the point of view that life is a precious gift yes, they were silly. From the point of view that anyway they would die and maybe that meat could kill them because they didn't eat meat for long time, better to die without eating meat till the end and that would project less aggression in the world and in the energy of life.
    January 26 at 7:36am · Like
    Robert Healion Knowing that compassion is one of the outcomes of enlightenment and wishing to practice, that which gives enlightenment, avoiding extremes, recognising that life is dependent and that all creatures ultimately are not the physical. Can you consciously choose to eat meat, or not to eat meat.
    But if you wish to achieve this enlightenment the injunctions are to not associate with the body.
    The injunctions are to minimise suffering.
    January 26 at 7:37am · Like · 1
    LFGD lol Viorica Doina Neacsu i agree except for the last sentance. They are brahmins so being agressive is unlikely especially from such steadfast ones. Their reaction is more likely to be stomach pain sickness in reaction to the tinned beef as life long vegetarians
    January 26 at 7:40am · Like · 1
    Viorica Doina Neacsu Well... are two possibilities: one. my english is not enough to express myself, two. you didn't understand my comment
    January 26 at 7:44am · Like
    LFGD if they would actually die from it is another question... i think given that they were probably very close to death the thought of tinned beef as strict vegetarians would have caused some nausea. For them it would be like eating their own faeces! In fact the offer may have killed them sooner than if they were not offered anything.! Life is a divine comic tragedy sometimes.
    January 26 at 9:00am · Edited · Like
    Stephanie Marie The body is an empty vessel
    January 26 at 7:55am · Like
    Robert Healion best to avoid extremes. I am a vegetarian as my guru instructed me thus. "to claim to be my devotee how can you cause suffering by choosing to eat meat'.
    January 26 at 7:55am · Like
    Robert Healion It still took me twelve months to intact this. I also enjoy sex coffee and sleeping.... No injunctions
    January 26 at 8:00am · Edited · Like
    LFGD A house is a house. You live in it, or you suffer in the cold outside.
    January 26 at 7:58am · Like · 1
    Robert Healion Building a house causes suffering. Staying alive causes suffering.
    January 26 at 7:59am · Like
    LFGD Ignorance causes suffering. Delusion causes suffering. Aversion causes suffering. Hatred causes suffering. Greed causes suffering. Doubt causes suffering. Anger causes suffering. All these are true. Staying alive causes suffeirng is not true.
    January 26 at 8:05am · Like · 1
    LFGD Building a house causes suffering is not true.
    January 26 at 8:06am · Like
    Robert Healion Whose suffering. The creatures habituating the forest, the creatures habituating the plot of land. The only cure for this is to act with compassion and offer all actions as sadana. To God if you prefer.
    January 26 at 8:10am · Like
    LFGD What makes you so arrogant to think the animals are not perfectly suited to looking after themselves?
    January 26 at 8:14am · Like · 1
    Robert Healion Today in Australia it is Australia day, to the indigenous habitants it is invasion day. Whose land is it any way. Whose body is it. The Chinese invaded Tibet. Whose land was it. ”To believe in a beautiful land a beautiful family a beautiful life: just a dream”.
    All actions have consequence, often the causing of suffering to other animals or plant is unavoidable. When it happens to me, it becomes an outrage. Why as I identify with the body.
    January 26 at 8:20am · Like
    LFGD Why do you identify with the body? Because you are a sentient being. You do not suffer because you are a sentient being. You suffer due to ignorance. You suffer to due to sense gratification, pleasure seeking & attachment, greed & dissatisfaction with what is.
    January 26 at 8:24am · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie Being a sentint being, does not mean that you are your body though
    January 26 at 8:36am · Edited · Like · 1
    LFGD Sentient beings can achieve liberation after death, hopefully, if not in this lifetime. But the body must be sustained while spending the period of one's life here.
    January 26 at 8:34am · Like · 1
    Stephanie Marie Very good point^^^
    January 26 at 8:35am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Would make it harder to practice if the body was sick, does prove to be a nice meditation challenge though
    January 26 at 8:35am · Like
    Stephanie Marie Not even a person in a body really
    January 26 at 8:44am · Like
    Goose Saver The question raised above has nothing to do with compassion for all animals. Hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, mercilessly tortured over and over again, and eventually killed in the name of research so that we can be aware such things as--inhaling oven cleaner is unhealthy. So me going vegetarian or better yet vegan doesn't help these animals. The question we should be asking: "How can we develop a more enlightened society?" How can we direct our compassion towards all sentient beings and meet the challenge towards ecological sustainability for a crowded planet in all levels of society worldwide? Our vision needs to be extended beyond our very self but it does indeed start at this point.
    January 26 at 8:55am · Like · 3
    LFGD From not eating due to basic care & compassion for animals as friends shared experience of life here would not include smothering faces of innocent puppies with masks breathing in oven cleaner fumes for our very disgusting sense of self regard. Or any kind of similar kind of experimentation even in the name of medical research.
    January 26 at 9:10am · Like · 3
    Stephanie Marie It's pretty disgusting what we do to nature isn't it? Like a parasite the human race
    January 26 at 9:17am · Like · 2
    Goose Saver Sometimes it is just a death planet with little awareness, and what they do to geese and call it conservation makes me shutter in disbelief.
    January 26 at 9:28am · Like · 2
    Goose Saver But this is not just a problem seen with food and research, it encompasses so much more including but not limited to even entertainment.
    January 26 at 9:35am · Like · 2
    LFGD Goose Saver if only there were more Geese people
    January 26 at 2:03pm · Like · 2
    Ram Jayaram It's quite revealing to read some of the comments in this thread. Seems people prefer to talk about Buddhist precepts than follow them. Just as I expected.
    January 27 at 2:56am · Like · 1
    Ram Jayaram Years ago I went to a meditation group in Toronto, and the head of the centre told me I would need to follow the five precepts for at least a month before I could be part of the group. And this included following a vegetarian diet. I told her I have been a vegetarian all my life, and she let me start the same day!
    January 27 at 3:08am · Like · 1
    Soh Buddha himself ate meat, and his sangha ate meat. While refraining from meat may arguably be an act of compassion, it is not required under his five precepts. Buddhism is not Jainism, the Buddha rejected attempts to impose compulsory vegetarianism in his sangha.
    January 27 at 3:14am · Like · 2
    Piotr Ludwiński ...but they were beggars limited by elaborate vianaya
    January 27 at 3:16am · Like · 1
    Soh Yeah. The vinaya actually prevent them from rejecting meat, as long as it is proper/edible/etc
    January 27 at 3:17am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński yeah but it did prevent them from choosing food, cooking and the like...
    January 27 at 3:18am · Like
    Soh Yes, however there is also no rule for lay persons against cooking meat (obtained 'unseen, unheard, unsuspected'), choosing food and the like. Rules and examples were given against slaughtering, etc - there are five examples being given and I pasted it previously.
    January 27 at 3:19am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński yeah it's really unsuspected
    January 27 at 3:20am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński that meat industry kill billions of animals for customers
    January 27 at 3:20am · Like · 3
    Piotr Ludwiński they probably produce them for aliens
    January 27 at 3:20am · Like · 2
    Soh "In three cases meat may not be eaten by a monk if he has :
    (1) seen (2) heard, or (3) suspected that the meat has been especially acquired for him by killing an animal (i.e. the animal has been killed specifically for the monk).
    This rule is called the Rule of Tikotiparisuddha (Pure in Three Ways)." -
    ‘Jivaka, I say that on three instances meat should not be partaken, when (1) see...See More
    January 27 at 3:21am · Like · 1 · Remove Preview
    Soh By your logic, monks should also not accept meat, because by accepting meat it supports the meat industry, etc
    January 27 at 3:21am · Like
    Piotr Ludwiński no, my point is to show that logic used by Buddha back then is not necessarily in accordance with current times.
    January 27 at 3:24am · Edited · Like · 2
    Ram Jayaram This is a nice writeup on this topic. A relevant quote: "The fact that living on a vegetarian diet was considered an ascetic practice of this sort suggests that it might have been a very difficult thing to do at that time and in that social context." This doesn't apply today.
    Did The Buddha Eat Meat? - bodhi tree swaying
    I have suggested that the natural expression of a Buddhist ethical sensitivity i...See More
    January 27 at 3:24am · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
    Stephanie Marie That's a good point
    January 27 at 3:27am · Like
    Stephanie Marie However not everyone can afford to be picky about their food. , if you are poor, you eat what you get with gratitude
    January 27 at 3:28am · Like
    Ram Jayaram Anyway, keeping Buddhist precepts aside - because I consider Dharma, enlightenment etc transcend Buddhism or any other religion/group - do people here agree that the more refined one becomes in life, a vegetarian lifestyle is the obvious choice? I like this George Bernard Shaw quote: "'Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends."
    January 27 at 3:33am · Like · 1
    Ram Jayaram Stephanie Marie, what you are saying is that one shouldn't be discerning in life. What an odd thing to say in a group called Dharma Connection!
    January 27 at 3:34am · Like
    Stephanie Marie No I'm saying I've been starving before, and when you get to that primal level, you will eat anything; intellect goes out the window
    January 27 at 3:36am · Like · 1
    LFGD Not for Brahmins...
    January 27 at 3:37am · Like · 2
    Ram Jayaram Hmm.. so when you are starving, you can only get meat? Not carrots or other vegetables? Sounds more like an excuse than a valid reason. Anyway, it's your life.
    January 27 at 3:41am · Edited · Like · 1
    Stephanie Marie I agree, not for Brahmins
    January 27 at 3:39am · Like
    Ram Jayaram Growing up in a Brahmin family myself, I had never known people actually ate animal flesh until I was well into my teens! And I met a French guy recently who had never come across any vegetarians in his life, and he kept asking me hundreds of questions as to how I manage to live! Isn't this world interesting?
    January 27 at 3:40am · Edited · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie LFGD, that's why religious practice is no joke
    January 27 at 3:41am · Like · 1
    LFGD well nomads in tibet africa mongolia india and many other arid places have only animals for milk cheese butter and meat to sustains themselves a lot of the time.... why they live that way is probably lost in time... civilisations come and go, trade routes form and collapse...
    January 27 at 3:43am · Like · 2
    LFGD fertile plains become dustbowls...
    January 27 at 3:43am · Like · 2
    Stephanie Marie Yes, in America we have a lot of false notions about food and what one needs to live off of to survive, we consume way too much, it's rather awful
    January 27 at 3:43am · Like
    Ram Jayaram Let's face it, the default diet is meat-based in most of the world, so it's very difficult, if not impossible, for people to switch to a vegetarian diet. And it's quite natural for people to defend their way of life. Unfortunately with the proliferation of the likes of McDonalds, KFC etc around the world, meat-eating seems to be catching on even more. In my last trip to India, I felt sad to see so many 'M' arches dotting the landscape. And this in a country that has the best-tasting vegetarian dishes in the world!
    January 27 at 3:46am · Edited · Like · 3
    LFGD Hey Ram Jayaram we should start a counter-franchise... Mc Ghandi
    January 27 at 3:49am · Like · 2
    Ram Jayaram Ha ha! I have always thought of starting a veggie fast food chain and promote it around the world!
    January 27 at 3:50am · Like · 1
    Ram Jayaram perhaps call it McDharma ?
    January 27 at 3:52am · Like · 1
    LFGD What about, a Pitta-Hut ?
    January 27 at 3:54am · Like
    Ram Jayaram
    Ram Jayaram's photo.
    January 27 at 3:59am · Like · 3
    Soh The article basically said that Buddha ate meat, and allowed monks to eat meat, because it is "difficult for monks" to do otherwise (I would suggest otherwise: vegetarian meals are more economical, plus the Jains have been doing just fine co-existing with Buddhists at that time and place and being compulsory vegetarians all the time. The Buddhist monks could have just asked for vegetarian meals from their disciples, it wouldn't be a problem). The article also pointed out (validly) about the nature of monks being mendicants/beggars etc.

    But actually this article fails to point out the main reason why Buddha refused to impose vegetarianism in his sangha.

    Peter Harvey (note: reason is given half way down):

    In the Buddha's day, vegetarianism was practised by Jains, though Jains see the vegetables eaten by them as containing a life-principle or soul (jiva). On one occassion, Jains accused the Buddha of knowingly eating an animal that had been specifically killed for him. The donor denied this, and the Buddha explained that a monk may eat meat provided it is 'pure in three respects': if the monk has not seen, heard or suspected that the animal has been killed specifically for him (Vin. I.237-8). The commentary (on Vin. III. 172) explains that, if a monk has suspicions, because of his having seen or heard of the donors hunting, fishing, or slaughtering an animal recently, he should ask about the meat and can only eat if the being was not killed in order to feed him (Vin. A. 604-6; Bapat and Hirakawa, 1970: 395-6). Elsewhere, the Buddha explains that a monk receives food as a gift from a donor, and his lovingkindness for donors and other creatures is not compromised by such eating, if it is 'blameless' by being 'pure in three respects (M. I.386-71). He goes on to emphasize, though, that a donor generates much bad karma by killing a being so as to give alms to himself or a monk, through: (1) giving the order to fetch the animal, (2) its pain and distress as it is dragged with a rope around its neck, (3) giving the order to kill the animal, (4) its pain and distress while being killed, (5) the offering of the meat to a monk if it is of a type not allowing for a monk. Here, it can be noted, the evil of the act resides both in the actual actions of the killer and in the suffering of the killed.

    Non-allowable foods for monks, perhaps offered at times of scarcity, are: the flesh of elephants or horses, as people regarded these animals as royal emblems; dog-flesh and snake-flesh, as people saw them as disgusting; the flesh of lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas, as such animals would smell the eaters and attack them (Vin. I.219-20). These prohibitions were both to preserve people's faith in the Sangha, which was good for both the monks and lay people, and to protect monks from danger, a prudential, not moral, reason.

    It is clear from the above that the Buddha would have frequently eaten 'blameless' meat given as alms. Thus the debate (for example Kapleau, 1981) over whether his last meal, literally 'pig-mild' (sukara-maddava; D. II.127) was pork, or truffles dug up by pigs, is rather beside the point. It is notable that the Buddha actually resisted an attempt to make vegetarianism compulsory for monks (Vin. II.171-2). This was proposed by his cousin, the monk Devadatta, who is portrayed as having been proud and jealous of the Buddha's influence. In order to foment a schism, he proposed to the Buddha that all monks should both be vegetarian and follow a number of previously optional ascetic practices, such as living at the root of a tree. The Buddha refused, reaffirming that the practices were optional and meat was acceptable if it was 'pure in three respects'. Devadatta then attempted to lead his own order, under these rules, seeking to gain support from those who 'esteem austerity'. Elsewhere, such a purely external way of assessing someone's spiritual worth is seen as unreliable (A. Ii.71). Prior to his enlightenment, in his ascetic phase, Gotama had himself tried the teachings of those who taught 'purity through food', i.e. living off small amounts of only one type of food, be it jujube, beans, sesame or rice. Such externally oriented practices only made him thin and weak, though (M. I.80-1). The link between vegetarianism and extreme ascetism is also found in another passage, where it is included among the practices of self-tormenting ascetics, along with such things as nakedness, eating once a week, never sitting down, and pulling out hair (M. I.342-3). Such ascetic acts are not seen to 'purify' a person (Sn. 249), and meat is not what is seen as 'tainted fare' -- breaking the precepts is 'tainted fare' (Sn. 242).

    It is notable, above, that the Buddha did not even regard vegetarianism as an optional ascetic practice for monks. If they were given flesh-food, and it was 'pure' as described above, to refuse it would deprive the donor of the karmic fruitfulness engendered by giving alms-food. Moreover, it would encourage the monks to pick and choose what food they would eat. Food should be looked on only as a source of sustenance, without preference. To believe that being a vegetarian is itself spiritually purifying would seem to be an example of the spiritual fetter of 'attachment to virtues and vows'. It is certainly the case that a feeling of moral superiority is a common danger among vegetarians: though it can be avoided! Likewise, vegetarians can in time become disgusted with meat, which can be seen as a form of negative attachment. In any case, as the above suggests, there are many worse actions than eating meat.

    The preceding discussion is concerned with what is acceptable for a monk or nun, who must, with few exceptions, eat what is given to him or her. The considerations for a lay Buddhist are similar, but not identical. A lay person has more control over his or her food supply; ingredients must be directly obtained or bought. Lay people, within the limits of their means, make many preference-directed choices over what they eat. So for a lay person to avoid flesh-food (except, perhaps, when a guest) is not to refuse what someone has graciously offered, and not, as such, more 'picking and choosing' than is normal for a lay person. A lay vegetarian must, though, be wary of feelings of judgemental moral superiority, and negative attachment to meat. The latter is best dealt with by not refusing meat if one is someone's guest. While it is in some ways more feasible, then, for a lay person to be a vegetarian than a monk, one feature of Buddhism weighs against this leading to vegetarianism being more common among the laity. Normally, higher standards of behaviour are expected of a monk than of a lay person. If even monks are not expected to be vegetarian, a lay person might well think, 'why should I?'

    In Theravada countries, vegetarianism is universally .... continued in URL - good overview of how different traditions treat vegetarianism is also given
    An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics
    This systematic introduction to Buddhist ethics is aimed at anyone interested in...See More
    January 27 at 4:05am · Edited · Like · 2 · Remove Preview
    Stephanie Marie That was such an awesome post Soh!!!!
    January 27 at 4:08am · Edited · Like
    Jackson Peterson Who cares about the Buddha's rules about eating meat? One needs to ponder this issue for oneself... as the Buddha did. If you aren't the Buddha, who is?
    January 27 at 4:09am · Like · 1
    Ram Jayaram Soh, as I pointed out earlier, one should not be fettered by Buddha or any other person as an authority on everything in life. The article you quote above talks about prohibitions on eating snakes because 'they are disgusting', elephants because 'they are royal animals' etc etc. Do you see the obvious arbitrariness of these? Snakes are favourite diet in several Asian countries like Cambodia, Laos etc. Dogs and cats are eaten in Korea, Vietnam. Basing one's life on what one man (or a group of them) stated thousands of years ago exhibits total lack of respect for one's own intelligence. Be brave, think for yourself!
    January 27 at 4:10am · Like · 1
    Ram Jayaram "Be a Buddha, don't be a Buddhist"
    January 27 at 4:11am · Like · 4
    Soh Yeah as he pointed out, "These prohibitions were both to preserve people's faith in the Sangha, which was good for both the monks and lay people, and to protect monks from danger, a prudential, not moral, reason."

    If Buddha were born in America I'm sure he wouldn't have made rules regarding 'royal animals' etc
    January 27 at 4:20am · Like · 1
    Soh "One needs to ponder this issue for oneself... as the Buddha did." Yes I agree
    January 27 at 4:22am · Like · 2
    Emilia Altomare Young ..... Ram , plants are my friends, just the same as animals , I am my friends, all is in all, as One
    January 27 at 5:22am · Like · 1
    Goose Saver No words are necessary:
    January 27 at 7:00am · Like · 1
    Emilia Altomare Young Goose I couldn't watch, I'm horrified by humans and their behavior. Even if slaughter houses were all closed down, that same behavior would manifest somehow anyway, that is the scariest part......
    January 27 at 7:11am · Like · 2
    Ram Jayaram Goose Saver - I couldn't get thru even the first video. Shocking stuff! Human cruelty knows no bounds, whether it be to other animals or to fellow humans, like slavery/apartheid, holocaust, genocide.. or the daily abuse that goes on behind closed doors in homes. Those who claim to be on the spiritual path cannot look away from all this.
    January 27 at 7:18am · Like · 2
    Goose Saver And I do not look away, Ram, even if it means going to jail! Looking at those videoes, makes me cry. I cannot even begin to tell you what I have experienced humans doing to geese and their goslings. These are the most amazing and loving creatures, but people want commodities from our wildlife, sports killing from our wildlife, and entertainment from our wildlife.
    January 27 at 7:23am · Like · 3
    Robert Healion cruelty is cruelty, if you have no choice, fine eat meat, if you have choice then look carefully at your choice.
    January 27 at 7:26am · Like · 4
    Emilia Altomare Young in Pennsylvania, they shoot live pigeons, that are netted specifically for that reason, I feed every morning 3 flocks of birds which I SO dearly love
    January 27 at 7:31am · Like · 1
    Ram Jayaram We humans have learned to sanitise all this violence, both by packaging the carcass of animals nicely and presenting in supermarket aisles, also by using euphemisms like 'culling'. No wonder we have even started to use drones to kill people. What will we come up with next?
    January 27 at 7:31am · Like · 3
    Goose Saver This is where it starts so please reinforce: ANIMAL-RIGHTS means no longer treating animals as property under the law, and instead, allowing animals to live a life free from human exploitation, including freedom from being bred, bought, and sold; freedom from being used as a food resource by humans; freedom from being used as sources of entertainment including but not limited to fighting, and even sexual activity; freedom from medical experimentation; freedom from being hunted, trapped or fished for “sport,” profit, or convenience; and freedom from being used for clothing/furniture. It also means having sufficient natural habitat for animals to maintain a quality of life. Do not be deluded by organizations boasting to be "leaders in conservation efforts" but whose main interest is to foster hunting traditions. Please stop governments in obtaining funding for issuing permits for adult and youth hunters. Say NO to your tax dollar being used to torture "nuisance" animals. Most of all stop the cruel killing especially of Canada Geese for airspace by the capture and slow torture of them as well as their goslings in mobile "holocaust" trucks that burn them from the inside out. Their screams of pain can be heard, and resonate in your very being. This capture provides no safety to air travel, and is met with more flocks flying into these areas. Please stop animal abuse and slavery.
    January 27 at 8:08am · Like · 5
    Goose Saver I hope the point here is not to be judgmental as to whom is compassionate and not compassionate. Let us offer suggestions: Try some wonderful Ginger Carrot soup!! Yummy!
    January 27 at 8:21am · Like · 2
    Robert Healion In Vedanta, there is a saying without great compassion one cannot gain liberation. Why. The effort to gain liberation is great and without a reason one will simply loose interest. ‘Self-interest is like the seeds cast amongst weed, they take root but are later choked by other interests’. The ideal of buddhi chitta is not a mental notion, it must be dominate.
    January 27 at 8:29am · Edited · Like · 5
    Goose Saver Robert, great compassion embraces tolerance and patience. In Buddhism, it is best to remain like a clear crystal ball that has no color of its own.
    January 27 at 9:31am · Like · 2
    Robert Healion Yes it does, however intent is important, to be passive reflective, without love is lifeless. To be a clear mirror is good, but a dead end. Spanda is a good concept, the dance of creation, running to the beat of love.
    In Vedanta they would say assume you birth right, be that which you always was. Sitting on a wall like a wall flower, will never get you there. Look at Buddha how many years how many teachers and then when did the breakthrough come. With great resolve a life and death struggle vowing not to move until.
    January 27 at 3:12pm · Like · 1
    Goose Saver Is intent not causally determined?
    January 27 at 4:21pm · Like · 2
    Aditya Prasad Soh, in the Buddha's time there was no factory farming (I think), so his statements on no karma being generated seem sort of irrelevant. As for what he said about the difficulty of avoiding it, I also believe there were fewer meat substitutes and less knowledge of nutrition. He had an audience, and it wasn't me.

    What many people seem to be missing here is that even though plants are also alive, the meat industry requires orders of magnitude more plant consumption (by animals).
    January 27 at 10:40pm · Like · 2
    Òskar K. Linares Havent read all the above opinions, so I could be repeating words : I think we all should try to avoid making other sentient beings suffer. Just that. From that point one should take his own decissions of what can or cannot do at this time. No perfection is possible... ever... so we make sentient beings suffer... but we try to minimize it. That's all for me.
    January 27 at 11:48pm · Like · 2
    Robert Healion Goose S. While in the body the mind is present. To assume any state is causally determined. The crystal ball analogy is taught in Patanjali, "yoga is cessation of mind thoughts".
    Haukin states ‘you are burrowing in to a dried out gofer hole’. Control of thoughts control of response, still mental ideation. The eighth, or Alaya, consciousness is regarded as the source of human consciousness and all existence. When practicers penetrate to it they are considered to have finally succeeded in overcoming evil passions, but if they cling to it, it becomes another cause trapping them within birth and death. Hakuin exhorts students to "smash open the dark cave of the eighth consciousness" so that "the precious light of the Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom can shine forth."
    What I was alluding too was the quote, ‘Nan-yuch, seeing his student Ma-tsu practicing zazen, took a tile and began polishing it. When Ma-tsu asked him what he was doing, he replied that he was making a mirror. Ma-tsu told him that is was impossible to make a mirror from a tile, Nan-yuch first replied, "And how do you expect to become a buddha by doing zazen?"’ Then he spoke.
    “Suppose an ox is pulling a cart, and the cart doesn’t move. Should you hit the cart? Or should you hit the ox? "
    January 28 at 7:23am · Like · 2
    Robert Healion I do appreciate your compassion. I also feel great emotion of seeing animals suffer. Humans too. Though if all is just a dream, it is all a nightmare. Should you be concerned. Some say, there is neither good nor bad, all is allusion, this is drifting to nihilism. To me the hallmark of attainment is compassion. Selfless compassion. Not self-centered compassion.
    January 28 at 7:30am · Like · 4
    Goose Saver Thank you Robert, I whole-heartedly agree!
    January 28 at 12:14pm · Like
    Robert Healion Soh here is what I get without see all..
    5 hours ago · Like
    John W. Hooper "We try to make action conform to idea. The idea or ideal if non-violence, and our actions, gestures, thoughts are moulded according to that pattern of the mind; what we eat, what we wear, what we say, becomes very significant, for by it we judge our sincerity. Sincerity becomes important, and not being non-violent; your sandals and what you eat become consumingly interesting, and being non-violent is forgotten. Idea is always secondary, and the secondary issues dominate the primary. You can write, lecture, gossip about idea; there is great scope in idea for self-expansion, but there is no self-expansive gratification in being non-violent. Idea, being self-projected, is stimulating and gratifying, positively or negatively; but being non-violent has no glamour. Non-violence is a result, a by-product, and not an end in itself. It is an end in itself only when idea predominates. Idea is always a conclusion, an end, a self-projected goal. Idea is movement within the known; but thought cannot formulate what it is to be non-violent. Thought can ponder over non-violence, but it cannot be non-violent. Non-violence is not an idea; it cannot be made into a pattern of action." ~Krishnamurti
    4 hours ago · Like · 2

1 comment:

  1. you wouldn't happen to have heard from or know the whereabouts of laurence in the last few months would you?

    thankyou in advance