I realize of course that this is something I need to determine, but I figured I'd throw it out there for input I might not have considered. Sometimes someone says something that just strikes you a certain way :)
Now, the precepts on stealing, false speech and even intoxicants, I think I understand.
The precept on sexual misconduct, I am a little confused on what constitutes sexual misconduct. I have read in some places that this means sex outside of the intent to procreate, but my husband had a vasectomy, so we aren't having any more children. We don't do anything "out there" I mean no animals or threesomes or anything like that ;) But there are things that aren't entirely vanilla either, and I wonder where that falls. Are we supposed to succumb to just missionary sexual intercourse or something?
The one I have the real trouble with, is the first one. I know a lot of this is stuff I need to come to on my own, but like I said looking for input. Long story short, I come from many generations of people who survived, and raised their families, by hunting, fishing and gardening. Obviously in this day, it's not *necessary* to hunt, but I find that I personally have far more guilt over supporting factory farms and slaughterhouses than taking the life of an animal to feed my family. Obviously hunting is purposely taking a life. I did not hunt in the past year to see how I felt about it, but I have a much harder time going to the store and buying meat. At this point, going strict vegetarian is very unlikely because of our location (if that's important I can elaborate, but too much to include now) and family dynamics. Is it enough for me to try to do what I think is best? Or do I need to look at getting over my problems in supporting farmed meat, so that I'm not killing the animal myself?
Also, fishing is the other part of that. I have a harder time using live bait, than I do catching and eating the fish. We fish year round here (even in the winter) and it sustains us quite a bit. But, it means to be successful you have to use what amount to as baby fish (or worms or leeches) to catch the bigger, edible fish, and to use them for bait ensures their death once you attach them to a hook. Fishing is something I have done with my dad since I was a little girl, we do it off and on all year, and it's a great bonding time for us. Not to say we don't bond in other ways, but it's a time we really enjoy together, which is another of the sticking points. I think it would be much harder for me to 100% quit fishing than it would be to switch to eating farmed meats.
When I think about taking the precepts, and I think about these sticking points, I feel like I'd be lying to myself to make those promises, which is mostly why I haven't done it yet. Thoughts? I know it's about intention and doing the best you can, but I really don't know how to figure out which route is best.