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Tibetan Buddhism vegetarian ?

I'm a Tibet Buddhist and just wanted to know if eatting meat is fine or should you be a vegetarian ?

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Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Again the choice is yours. You do as you see fit, and believe to be right for you.
    Some Buddhists are vegetarian, but not all.
    Some schools of Buddhism encourage it, other state that what you eat should be eaten mindfully, but not to the exclusion of anything.

    The Buddha instructed his MONKS to kill no living creature, nor to have anything specifically killed for them, by someone else. (That would still have been killing by association).

    But that's MONKS.
    Inasmuch as you are not ordained therefore, the final decision rests with you.

    Dalia2016dhammachick
  • Tibetans eat meat. The Dalai Lama's family raised and slaughtered sheep on their farm. In the harsh landscapes and thin soils of much of Tibet and Mongolia, animal protein is essential for survival. Herding and growing barley, a high-altitude cold-tolerant crop, are the only options in that environment (aside from Tibet's lower-elevation areas, which can be sub-tropical, and grow a greater variety of foods). According to friends of mine who have lived in Tibetan communities in India, even in India, most continue to eat meat, and love beef, lol!

    The general view there is as Federica said: vows are for monks. Do as you see fit for your own practice, OP. The Karmapa has gone vegetarian, and encourages others to follow his example, but that is his personal initiative; it's far from a universally-held maxim in the TB tradition.

    Dalia2016Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Dalia2016 said:
    I'm a Tibet Buddhist and just wanted to know if eatting meat is fine or should you be a vegetarian ?

    Out of compassion I became a vegetarian over 40 years ago (well before I found the Buddha Dharma) ...

    I think it can be very difficult for people to stop eating the flesh of other sentient beings, especially if they are told/forced not to do so in other words when attempting to adhere to a religious belief (which reminds me of "A [wo]man convinced against her/his will is a [wo]man unconvinced still !" ...

    It's all about ones conditioning and the ability to overcome it...

    The Dalai Lama on other sentient beings, this might be of interest to you @Dalia2016 "Animals" plus you might find "this" one of interest too

    Explore the Dharma, get a deeper understanding of what is a sentient being
    and perhaps then the Bodhisattva vows will make more sense " "Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to eat free them all." :)

    Dalia2016
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It's not solely about conditioning. Some people, for various reasons (despite the refusal of some to believe it) cannot simply be vegetarian.

    It is your choice, @Dalia2016. Tibetan Buddhists frequently eat meat because of their climate. There is not much else available to them in their harsher months. In monasteries it can be a bit different, but even then, not all monks are vegetarian and there are no worries about them having broken their vows.

    What it comes down to for me is what you have to live with for yourself. Buddhism is not something you simply adopt and ta-da! everything happens. Buddhism is a practice. It is something you grow into and within, and as you continue to do so you will note that things you thought were firmly held beliefs, maybe aren't so much any more. Investigate your diet and lifestyle and it's impact on living beings. See where you can make improvements to do less harm. We cannot all be perfect. Even the very most strict vegan cannot life without causing harm to others. That is the nature of life. All we can do is reduce it in whatever manners work for us in the place we happen to be both in our physical lives and in our Buddhist practice.

    I am a Tibetan practitioner. I am not vegetarian. But I am much more careful about where my meat comes from, and how much I eat. That doesn't mean I pretend I am not responsible for the killing of the animals I consume. I take full responsibility for that. But I also do not have guilt. Just as, if we have a fly infestation or our dog gets fleas, I do not feel guilt in killing them. Sometimes, unpleasant things have to happen for our lives to continue in a reasonable way. But that is different than having wanton disregard for life. It is all about intention. It is possible to revere life and still eat meat. It is possible to be a vegan and not revere life. IMO as far as impact, a Native American who hunts and fishes for most of his food is doing better on the karmic end of things than someone who drives their Suburban to Whole Foods and fills their cart with overpriced gluten-free vegan packaged goodies.

    Dalia2016BunksTara1978dhammachick
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2016

    "Conditioning" is not just about being brought up on an animal flesh diet and finding it hard to give it up... it's the overall conditioning including karmic conditioning...This is what I'm referring to when I talk about "conditioning"...

    It's true ones intention plays a big part in the outcome of ones actions...

    The Dalai Lama, has on a number of occasions promoted the vegetarian diet for "those who are in the fortunate position to be sustained by such a diet" for example if for medical reasons it is recommended that one eats animal flesh, then it's more beneficial for them to do so, but like @karasti has already mentioned in an "ethical" manner (what best suits one conscience ) ...

    I consider my 'self' fortunate in that I can and do adhere to a vegetarian diet, I would still be on such a diet even if I was not on the Buddhist path....

    Most of the Westerners I know who practice Tibetan Buddhism, eat some animal flesh, they might limit their intake somewhat, but never the less they 'enjoy' eating it...After all if one were to feel any guilt,, they would continually be suffering mentally every time they sat down to eat...

    When it comes to partaking in animal flesh ...It all boils down to "Whatever floats ones raft !" 'Different strokes for different folks' ... Tis no 'skin' off my nose what others choose to eat :)

    Dalia2016Bunks
  • @Dalia2016 said:
    I'm a Tibet Buddhist and just wanted to know if eating meat is fine or should you be a vegetarian ?

    How kind would you like to be? Would you like to save all the animals and insects killed in land clearance, ploughing and protecting vegetables or a bit of a cow?

    I would send myself to the naughty corner but some bad person is having a roast ...

    This message brought to you by 'cows are people too, Cannibal Buddhist Foundation'. As somone who considers vegetables sentient, I eat less meat but I am pro Buddhist choice (cuts) ...
    https://www.thebuddhagarden.com/vegetarian-buddhist.html

    Dalia2016Keromedhammachick
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    I was involved in Tibetan Buddhism in the UK for a long time, and people would say things like: "We're allowed to eat meat because it's very mountainous in Tibet and they can't grow vegetables." And I would respond with: "Sure, but we live in England and there is a supermarket round the corner with a full range of non-meat products and plenty of vegetables." At which point there was usually a long silence. :p

    Other people claimed it was fine to eat meat providing you thanked the animal afterwards. Sheer nonsense, but I guess it made them feel better.

    But yes, it's a personal decision, and attitudes vary across the Buddhist schools. I think it is worth being mindful of how the meat ends up on your plate though, considering whether compassion only applies to humans, considering what we can do to minimise the harm and suffering we cause, and so on.

    mmoShoshin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I've never personally denied that I like eating meat. However, it does cause me conflict with my beliefs and it is something I do work on. I do not work, and my husband does the meal planning, the cooking, and he pays for all the groceries. And he is from a farming family. So, my control over the whole matter is minimal and if I lived alone I would likely eat less meat than I already to. Thankfully, he is an animal lover and it has not been difficult to point him in the direction of meat that is sourced in better ways than factory farming. Because it is so expensive, we eat less of it. We bought a turkey from a free range farm not far from here last year, and it was $46. Compared to the $11 we would have spent at the grocery store. It's simply not doable for a lot of people. I live in an economically depressed area where I know a significant number of people who hunt for food that feeds their families all year. It is very common. Our groceries are quite expensive because we live in a remote area, and because of our winter temps, there is a lot of produce that is not possible to get because it freezes before it gets in the store. Even what we do get is often half mush from having frozen and thawed. You might spend $8 on a pound of asparagus, and have half of it be usable. Just sharing other perspectives. I think people who live in or near major cities take for granted how rural people live. It is very different. We simply do not have access to the things everyone else insists we should "in this day and age."

    Anyhow, there are a lot of ways you can reduce harm. In addition to decreasing how much meat you might eat for moral reasons(should you decide to do so) it is good for the planet and often your health. Whether that's true depends on what your diet is already, of course. Red meat in particular. You can prevent infestations of pests instead of simply killing them when they get in the house. Prevent fleas on your pets. Live trap rodents instead of using horrid glue traps. Volunteer with animal rehab centers. Stop supporting circuses and zoos. Etc. There are lots of ways to make differences. Diet isn't the only way. But you should take a look at it regularly and make sure it aligns with where you are in your practice :)

    In my own life, my husband eats meat twice a day. Every day. I eat it maybe 3-4 days a week for one meal. I try to plan ahead so some of the dinners we make I an easily leave the meat out or substitute it. However, this has no real impact except on myself because the amount of meat we do buy is not changed. We just have leftovers that my husband eats for lunch. I grew up in a family that served meat for all 3 meals. So it's been a big change for me, but it's happened naturally and not something I forced because when I tried, it just did not work.

    person
  • His Holiness has mentioned that he tried being a Vegetarian, but for health reasons his doctors advised him to eat meat for protein. So now he does, but only as needed. He does go on to say some things on how to do this mindfully etc.

    If I remember correctly it was in his book "The Path to Enlightenment" but I am not 100% as I have read a few of his books now.

    Dalia2016dhammachick
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Steve_B said:
    Typically when you join or visit a local church (Christian) in the USA there will be a paper that says what the beliefs and teachings of the church are. Same with a political party. If you want to know what you're supposed to think on a particular issue, you just look it up and then you personally adopt that belief or position.

    Buddhism is different in that there is no list of thoughts or actions assigned to you. You aren't expected to support the club, or the party, or the union. You aren't assigned any beliefs or rituals. Rather, you get access to a vast collection of thought, ALL of which exists to potentially benefit you. Nobody in Buddha Central Command is going to check to see if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing.

    Read about it. Think about it. Make your own decision. Then over time observe whether that decision is working for you.

    Beautifully said!

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2016

    The debate amongst Buddhists about To eat or not to eat would seem to be more controversial than the Is there a creator god debate....

    We can (and quite often do) become frustrated, defensive, angry, hurt, feel guilty, when our choices are challenged.... and what's interesting is, all this is happening within our own mind, no one else is creating these feelings other than the 'self'....

    "If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything... if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer."

    ~Suzuki~

    And if one decides to take the vegetarian or vegan path, it's important make sure one has a good grasp on a "healthy vegetarian or vegan diet"...(many people rush into becoming a vegetarian or vegan, but lack the skills of healthy eating ...mistakenly thinking that they only need to eat a "carrot" and a piece of lettuce and this will sustain them....

    dhammachickperson
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I'm a member of quite a few forums. Religious, running, yoga, meditation, Buddhist. A few others. I also admin several FB swap and sell sites. By far, the most hostile and challenging group I have ever been in, possibly in my entire 25 years on the internet, is a cooking group. I don't think there is anything the average person is more attached to than their feelings and beliefs about food and the traditions that go along with them. Parenting comes in a close second, but again the most common flaming argument about parenting is what to feed (breast or bottle) and when (solid foods). I have never seen a group of people fight about anything as mean and empassioned as food. We have a lot of attachments to our food! In a FB group for a cooking product, I watched over 100 people sink to name calling, blocking, and leaving the group over a disagreement over whether it was safe to cook food in aluminum foil or not. Bizarre stuff.

    That said, every single person is different, and there is no one diet that is ideal for all people. What is ideal for you will vary, and it's up to you to figure out what it is, incorporating your body's biological needs as well as your morals, traditions, beliefs about food, your culture, what is available where you live, and so on. There is no one right answer, not within Buddhism and not within medical journals. You and only you can learn to read and listen to your body and give it what it needs to be nourished. It's a simple thing. But not very easy to figure out in the world most of us live in. It can be extra challenging because often, the things we are most attracted to are the things we need the least. It's up to us to recognize that and seek to balance it.

    One key to discussing anything: Always approach things as "this is what I do, and why it works for me" rather than "What I do is the right thing to do." I'm not sure why people (generally speaking) have such a hard time accepting that their ideal way of life is not ideal for someone else.

    Steve_B
  • Dalia2016Dalia2016 London New

    Well said @karasti

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "We are what we eat some say, well at least I'm not a gluts-
    along with some fruit & vegetables I'm quite happy being NUTS!" :wink:

    May we all find contentment with "our" choice....

    Metta <3

    Dalia2016
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Quite a bit of info to digest and a few different PoVs to chew over, @Dalia2016 ... D'you want fries with that - ?! ;)

    lobsterDalia2016karastidhammachick
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I've been a lifelong semi-vegetarian... pescetarian... vaguely disciplined person :) the position I came from at home was that vegetarianism is laudable, but you need to make sure you eat enough protein and minerals from other sources if you want to do it right. I've gone through a variety of phases, from student food (pasta with tuna sauce was nearly the only thing I knew how to make), to quick food (very busy work life so quite a few takeaway pizza's), to many other things.

    One thing that I've grown to respect though is that you need to listen to your body. My ankle and knee joints have always been unstable and I noticed that when I started exercising heavily that it felt much better with a meat-based diet, so I started eating organic steaks. Eventually I gave it up again, after I achieved my fitness goals.

    These days I eat vegetarian about 4 days in the week, and fish and eggs on the other days. Meat I only eat when I happen to eat out at restaurants, and not always then. I've come to the conclusion that the least I can do is not buy meat from supermarkets or butchers, since I'd be subsidising the killing animals industry. The occasional hamburger at a beach cafe is a compromise, mostly to keep my body at least a bit used to meat.

    The one thing I've decided not to be is a food nazi, lol.

    person
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I once read an article about a woman who, at the age of 41, had already endured 6 heart attacks (due to a congenital defect), and she had learnt, alongside medical treatment, to care for and support her system through the correct exercise and diet for herself, which with a nutritionist, and via a trial-and-error basis she had carefully defined and perfected.
    She said something about eating the right foods, in healthy amounts, which resonated:

    "Be careful what you eat, because every mouthful has a job. Treat yourself, and the food you eat, with the respect it deserves. Cook just enough to nourish you, but not too much to over-fill you. "

    I can't bear these stupid videos on facebook that show copious amounts of sugar being used to create thick, sticky, heavy desserts. They might look great but they're hell on the waistline and goodness knows what they do to your system!

    I like that she recommended treating food with respect. Remembering the different channels it had to go through to get onto your plate. For example, grabbing a pack of dried chickpeas is great - but where did they come from? Who grew them? Have you any idea how labour-intensive it is to grow, cultivate and produce chickpeas? It's amazing! It's a 'super-food' which you can grow yourself with a little effort - but the resulting harvest is quite small...!

    Fundamentally, I think it's about looking to ourselves, rather than deciding what we should and shouldn't eat from a socially-acceptable moral standpoint. There's a world full of food out there, for us to enjoy. Mindfulness stems from making the right choices so that we can sleep well at night with a clear conscience. It's OUR responsibility towards the outer world. it owes us nothing....

    karastidhammachick
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    The Dalai Lama speaks very highly of vegetarianism. The kitchen in his monastery is 100% vegetarian. Other temples have gone vegetarian. Vegetarianism in Tibetan Buddhism is becoming much more popular these days.

    Shoshinperson
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    To add to what @federica said, when you are practicing meditation and yoga and you learn how to read your body well, you can sit in mindfulness and feel what is happening with the food you just ate. You can feel it move through the digestion process and feel how it is impacting your body. If I eat too much oily food, my skin becomes oily within hours. Sometimes, when my skin is dry, that is helpful. Other times it is too much. It's really quite interesting to eat with so much awareness, then you start to learn when you really need to bring balance to your body rather than being a victim of pleasure cravings. You can balance the qualities you are feeling in your body with the opposite qualities in food. But it requires that respect of food and your body, and paying attention to what is happening when you eat.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2016

    Very insightful @karasti. Diet is personal to body types and through mindfulness we develop awareness of the effects of food ...

    I am just about to have cajun spice mix flavoured porridge through mindlessly not picking up the cinnamon. :3 Mind you it has banana, cinnamon [ahem], currents, raisins and ginger powder too. Yum.

    [update: porridge made with jumbo oats was delicious]

    ... and now back to eating vegetarians etc

    Dalia2016
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2016

    There was a push a while back by some animal rights activists to get labels put on animal flesh packaging with a picture of the live animal....ie, the before and after shot ....which (it would seen) is often out of sight out of mind when it comes to the cooked parts of the sentient being on ones dinner plate....

    Well now for something completely different.... Welcome to "Bistro in vitro" .... (Ie, lab grown meat) where no sentient being will be dying to meat you :)


    The flesh eater's version of the last rhyme........

    "We are what we eat some say, so I don't feel such a klutz-
    I now get my protein from eating 'vegetarians' because they're a bunch of NUTS " :wink:

    lobsterdhammachick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Oddly, lab grown meat creeps me out. I think if that was my only choice I'd end up vegetarian, lol. Truly! That said, I grew up in a family that fished, hunted, and trapped to make a living quite often, whenever my dad was laid off his mining job which was pretty frequently. Thankfully, all were necessity only and never for sport or trophy. And no one in my family has trapped since the 80s, thankfully. Horrid practice but at the time we needed the money. So I've been well connected to where food comes from, and I think that most people have not is a disservice to them and to the animals they choose to eat. To know the labor that goes into raising and butchering animals-everyone should know that if they choose to eat meat. And if they choose to buy it, they should know what happens in the places they buy it from. We live in one of the bigger chicken and turkey producing states. Horrid practices there, too. Even if someone doesn't have compassion for the animals (I'm not sure how they can't but they are out there) I don't know how they don't have concerns for their OWN health and their family's knowing what happens to those animals and what they eat etc. It's all just awful.

  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran

    I lived for many years just down the road from Greeley, Colorado, a meatpacking town of some notoriety. It was said that working in the packing plant would be enough to make a vegetarian out of you. Is not having been personally exposed to that a disservice or disadvantage to me? I'm not sure. It's easy for me to see why smug carnivores should have the pleasure of that experience. But for me, I think I can sufficiently imagine the repulsiveness. I'm not entirely vegetarian, but mostly. Experiencing the inner atmosphere of a meatpacking plant would probably not change my views, or my diet. But likely I'm atypical.

  • Sausage Party! I thought food was for kids ... [the Truth is out there]

    Shoshinmmo
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Steve_B Indeed, I'm sure there are many people who are the same. But it's amazing how many are not, who truly put no thought into what they are eating and how it comes to be on their plate. I know middle aged adults who don't know what animals the cuts of meat they buy are even from. I don't know how that happens!

    I guess when I suggested people should know, it wasn't meant to be from a view of forcing themselves to be repulsed by the process. But more so to be informed so they can make decisions that are right for their morals and emotions as well as just their nutrition and taste buds. But that is just how I am, and I'm sure many are not. I have always wanted to know all of the hows and whys of everything so I knew my decisions were the right ones for me and not just things I picked up from culture or my upbringing etc and held onto without looking at why.

    Steve_B
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @lobster that video clip cracked me up :lol:

  • ^^^ very much an adult movie. I thought it was kid friendly :3 Not suitable for children, nuns or lobsters ... I enjoyed it anyway ... American humour at its most outrageously funny ...

    Sergeant Pepper: Fruits are a go! Go, fruits!

  • @Dalia2016 said:
    I'm a Tibet Buddhist and just wanted to know if eatting meat is fine or should you be a vegetarian ?

    When you say "should" you are asking for a moral calculation and for that you need to establish your own moral values.

    If you value reducing all suffering and not cultivating any suffering then, to be rational with your morals, you should be a vegetarian. That seems just inescapable.

    In terms of Dharma, I know I know what the papers say, but I cannot fathom how one can practice dharma whilst causing suffering for pleasurable mouth sensations.

    Unto each their own.

    Shoshinperson
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Moderator note:

    Please note, above answers are not necessarily the view of 'the management'. We don't enter into judgements here.

    @thickpaper, The OP has already been advised that whether she 'should' or 'shouldn't' is entirely her choice and we cannot make that decision for her or attempt to influence her either way.
    If you'd like a hand getting off that high horse, I'll gladly bring some steps... ;) Up to you.

    dhammachick
  • @federica said:

    Moderator note:

    Please note, above answers are not necessarily the view of 'the management'. We don't enter into judgements here.

    @thickpaper, The OP has already been advised that whether she 'should' or 'shouldn't' is entirely her choice and we cannot make that decision for her or attempt to influence her either way.
    If you'd like a hand getting off that high horse, I'll gladly bring some steps... ;) Up to you.

    I do not wish to engage with you on this @federica.

    I answered the OP with my opinion. This is a discussion forum:)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    By virtue of your answer, you are engaging. And I shut your thread for the reasons therein given.

    Yes. this IS a discussion forum. Not a 'finger-pointing or blaming and shaming, "how could you do this?" forum. Attitudes of that kind are as just as intolerable as trolling or spamming. It borders on flaming.

  • I have not pointed any fingers, I even said how I am guilty of this. I also said "Unto each there own".

    I do not want to get into an argument with you, or ban threats etc.

    My question remains about how the the cultivated suffering of animals for our consumption could be compatible with Dharma.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    And the answer is each one must decide that for themselves. Dhamma is the teaching, Interpretation an implementation is for the individual.
    Have you posed this question to any Buddhist monk who eats meat?

  • @federica said:
    And the answer is each one must decide that for themselves.

    Completely agree. Be your own light!

    Dhamma is the teaching

    The core teaching is not the cultivation of suffering.

    Interpretation an implementation is for the individual.

    Agree. An interpretation of the teaching. I would like to know how I can eat meat and it not be fundamentally against the teaching.

    Have you posed this question to any Buddhist monk who eats meat?

    No.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited October 2016

    @thickpaper said:
    Completely agree. Be your own light!

    Hallow, kettle, have you met black pot? ;)

    The core teaching is not the cultivation of suffering.

    No, the core is the understanding of suffering and its transcendence.

    Agree. An interpretation of the teaching. I would like to know how I can eat meat and it not be fundamentally against the teaching.

    You tell me, it's your choice, not mine... I don't think or decide for you.

    Have you posed this question to any Buddhist monk who eats meat?

    No.

    Then first do so. Then come back and tell us how they answer you.

    dhammachick
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Perhaps @thickpaper you could then show us the sutra where it says one should not cause any suffering, in humans or animals?

    In pragmatic terms such a thing is impossible... if you look deeply into the computing device that you are using to post these words, you will find metals mined by potentially harmful methods, oil burned in smelting those metals, acid rain caused elsewhere, glasses manufactured from silicates extracted unsafely, insects and animal habitat destroyed in various places, and so on.

  • Hi Kerome

    @Kerome said:
    Perhaps @thickpaper you could then show us the sutra where it says one should not cause any suffering, in humans or animals?

    It is the very first precept. It is very easy to find references to it.

    Abandoning the taking of life, the ascetic Gautama dwells refraining from taking life, without stick or sword, scrupulous, compassionate, trembling for the welfare of all living beings.

    Brahmajala Sutra

    Or

    Here, a noble disciple, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life.

    Anguttara Nikaya 8:39

    Or

    How can I inflict upon another what is displeasing and disagreeable to me? Having reflected thus, he himself abstains from the destruction of life, exhorts others to abstain from the destruction of life, and speaks in praise of abstinence from the destruction of life.
    Samyutta Nikāya 55:7

    One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill.
    Nalaka Sutta

    Or

    Whether they be creatures of the land or air, whoever harms here any living being, who has no compassion for all that live, let such a one be known as depraved.

    Sutta Nipata

    That seems absolutly clear to me. How about you?

    In pragmatic terms such a thing is impossible... if you look deeply into the computing device that you are using to post these words, you will find metals mined by potentially harmful methods, oil burned in smelting those metals, acid rain caused elsewhere, glasses manufactured from silicates extracted unsafely, insects and animal habitat destroyed in various places, and so on.

    There is an aspect to this point about intention. I do not intend to cause suffering by using this computer. But if I eat cheese or pig I know I am intending to choose to engage with the suffering of animals as a causal agent. How can it be otherwise?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited October 2016

    Well, for a start, give up using anything made of natural materials, such as wood - because that destroys the habitats of animals - as you must well know - buy only synthetic fibres, because unless cotton and wool is responsibly sourced, humans are exploited for cheap labour (and even apparently 'responsibly sourced' is a farcical statement) and buy clothes where you know the source of manufacture is both humane and well-paid.

    How far do you want to take this?
    In all these methods of production and merchandising, sales and distribution, beings - sentient beings - suffer to supply your needs.

    dhammachickmmoperson
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @thickpaper, I don't think those examples are particularly clear no, I think you are reading in them what you'd like to see. What they in fact say is "do not take life" and "do not harm a living being". They don't say anything about making use of animal remains which have already been killed by other hands.

    Given the Buddha's instruction on the eating of meat to his monks, I think that that could be extended to all animal products. It's ultimately an individual choice, i agree @federica... we all agree on not killing, but how far you take not eating meat or not using animal products is very personal. They are indirect effects that get more and more removed from the personal.

    It's like asking, if you were a Buddhist postman, would you refuse to deliver mail to the slaughterhouse because it allows their business to keep functioning, and by doing so you would be complicit in the deaths of countless animals?

    I think the intention argument is spurious. Whether you buy a pair of Italian leather shoes or a Chinese tablet, there is a certain effect and responsibility for changes to the environment that goes with that, intentional or not.

    mmoperson
  • @Kerome said:
    @thickpaper, I don't think those examples are particularly clear no, I think you are reading in them what you'd like to see. What they in fact say is "do not take life" and "do not harm a living being".

    Exactly. Which if you are not vegan then in pretty much every case you will be harming a living being.

    They don't say anything about making use of animal remains which have already been killed by other hands.

    I agree. For example roadkill would not be dukka in most cases, I think.

    we all agree on not killing, but how far you take not eating meat or not using animal products is very personal.

    But if you eat meat or dairy you are responsible for killing and suffering. You might not pull the trigger, but you are part of the karmic net of that animals suffering and death.

    I think the intention argument is spurious. Whether you buy a pair of Italian leather shoes or a Chinese tablet, there is a certain effect and responsibility for changes to the environment that goes with that, intentional or not.

    I disagree that it is spurious. We live in a complex world of consumption where our only power is as consumers. It isn't like the Buddha's day.

    Do you really think the Buddha would look at modern dairy practices and say that was OK to have that milk in his rice?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited October 2016

    @thickpaper said:...But if you eat meat or dairy you are responsible for killing and suffering. You might not pull the trigger, but you are part of the karmic net of that animals suffering and death.

    Yes, but we don't metaphorically poke people in the chest for it, o put them on a back foot, or criticise them, or tell them in subtle ways that they are wrong and we are right....

    I disagree that it is spurious. We live in a complex world of consumption where our only power is as consumers. It isn't like the Buddha's day.

    In some ways some things are better. In some ways they are worse. The Dalai Lama seems to deal with modern life ok...

    Do you really think the Buddha would look at modern dairy practices and say that was OK to have that milk in his rice?

    Who are you to presume what he would or wouldn't think? Are you now adopting role of psychic judge and jury? I think he would neither condemn not criticise. That would denote an attachment to Views...

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @thickpaper said:

    Exactly. Which if you are not vegan then in pretty much every case you will be harming a living being.

    So how do feel about those organisms you kill when cooking your vegetables?

    The Dalai Lama said his religion is simple, his religion is kindness. I think HH makes a good point.

    Don't be a dick is another way the West can sum it up......

    Steve_B
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited October 2016

    Why does it matter to you what anyone else does with their practice? There is a reason it is a "practice" rather than a "perfect." Everyone starts somewhere, and progresses within different things. You don't know where people come from (not just geographically speaking) to be able to question why they do what they do with their lives.

    There are a lot of different aspects in play, including medical conditions, availability of foods in different areas, cultural traditions, finances, and other things. The bottom line is, everyone determines what works for them and they owe you no explanation. Worry about yourself, and not everyone else. And don't think that you are the first person to attempt to question people to get them to think about it. Search the page and see how often the topic comes up. Do you really think that people who practice Buddhism don't routinely question these kinds of things? But we all arrive at different answers because our paths are different, and because of the reasons above. Do you honestly think being judgmental, condescending and presumptive about people who aren't like you is helping them?

    Because that is what you are doing. Any time you say something that sounds like "How can you call yourself a Buddhist if..." then you are being condescending. What if, instead, you ask yourself that question and work on the ways you aren't a perfect Buddhist? Because being as you have not been enlightened and stopped your birthing process, you aren't there yet either.

    We should all work to reduce harm. But the ways we are capable and able to do so is going to vary. And it is impossible to eliminate it.

    dhammachickWalkerSteve_Bperson
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    You know I find it very telling that thickpaper is pointing the finger outwards and away from self criticism and criticising, carte blanche, a bunch of people he/she knows NOTHING about.

    Says more about them than they think...............

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Dalia2016 said:
    I'm a Tibet Buddhist and just wanted to know if eatting meat is fine or should you be a vegetarian ?

    Just be a Buddhist and the rest will come to you.
    _ /\ _

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @Kerome said:> It's like asking, if you were a Buddhist postman, would you refuse to deliver mail to the slaughterhouse because it allows their business to keep functioning, and by doing so you would be complicit in the deaths of countless animals?

    A more relevant question is whether as a Buddhist we choose to buy meat, knowing that this adds to the demand and the harm caused, and also expecting somebody to kill and butcher on our behalf.

    Shoshinseeker242
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    .> @SpinyNorman said:

    A more relevant question is whether as a Buddhist we choose to buy meat, knowing that this adds to the demand and the harm caused, and also expecting somebody to kill and butcher on our behalf.

    Sadly it is a case of supply on demand wherever there's a demand a supplier will oblige (with making a profit in mind) .....Can't have one without the other....

    Steve_B
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited October 2016

    Following on from @Shoshin's post, above, let's take that a step further:

    The Buddhist Right View, which would definitely improve our Kamma, would be to be vegetarian, (or Vegan, even). Fine. So, let's wave the magic and, and suddenly, Voila! everyone complies with your train of thought, @thickpaper. Sorted. Just like that. Wonderful. Brilliant.

    Now tell me how you - personally you, because you have obviously followed this through to its Kammic consequence - tell me how you are going to change the lives of every single person employed in the meat industry. From farmers all the way to butchers. Including those who work in abattoirs, road haulage, management, the lot. What will you do for them, to make up the livelihoods they have lost? How wil you re-train, re-employ and re-pay them?

    See, if you believe something needs doing, you have to consider every parameter, because what brings you positive Kammic results will almost always ensure something or someone else suffers as a consequence of your actions. There is no escaping this.
    When you make a Life-decision that means you will benefit, somewhere along the line, you will invariably cause another sentient being to suffer to some degree.

    dhammachickkarasti
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited October 2016

    @thickpaper said:

    @Kerome said:
    @thickpaper, I don't think those examples are particularly clear no, I think you are reading in them what you'd like to see. What they in fact say is "do not take life" and "do not harm a living being".

    Exactly. Which if you are not vegan then in pretty much every case you will be harming a living being.

    No, you are only possibly harming a living being at second-hand. Harming a living being is taking a knife to the throat of a chicken and cutting its head off.

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