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Vegetarian Or Not

Hi I'm new here and I want to know do I have to be vegetarian to be a buddhist

Comments

  • Will_BakerWill_Baker Vermont Veteran

    No, but there are other things...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @skye27 said:
    Hi I'm new here and I want to know do I have to be vegetarian to be a buddhist

    Depends which tradition you follow and just how closely you follow it.
    some say yay, others nay.

    So, how about you? Where do you stand?

    Apart from on our porch, that is. Coming in?Tea or coffee....? You're welcome.... ;)

  • @skye27 said:
    Hi I'm new here and I want to know do I have to be vegetarian to be a buddhist

    There are many opinions on this. Seek for yourself.

    If you eat animals you are probably involved in their murder. At the very least, it seems you are encouraging the murder of animals by your dinner choices.

    If you want a little scholarly direction then I suggest you read the Dhammapada. This is probably the most canonical of Scriptures. There is lots in there which seems to pretty clearly teach that one:

    "All beings...one does not kill or cause to kill."

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    No. But this thread comes up almost any time someone new joins the board :) If you scroll through the first 1-3 pages of discussion you will find some other ones. We had one recently that was quite lengthy. Opinions vary widely. No one is there to force you to be vegetarian. The Dalai Lama won't show up and scold you. Not everyone has the same choices in their diet that everyone else has, despite the world we live in. Most people can benefit from a vast increase in a variety of vegetables for many reasons, simply increasing them will decrease the other animal products you eat. It's a start-if that's the way you are wanting to go.

    The one thing you will find with your practice is that it takes you places. You do not have to force.

    There is also a search box at the top of the page that will find keywords. Type in vegetarian and you'll find lots of reading. Just make sure you don't comment on threads that are more than a year old.

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @thickpaper said:

    @skye27 said:
    Hi I'm new here and I want to know do I have to be vegetarian to be a buddhist

    There are many opinions on this. Seek for yourself.

    If you eat animals you are probably involved in their murder. At the very least, it seems you are encouraging the murder of animals by your dinner choices.

    If you want a little scholarly direction then I suggest you read the Dhammapada. This is probably the most canonical of Scriptures. There is lots in there which seems to pretty clearly teach that one:

    "All beings...one does not kill or cause to kill."

    Some would contend that 'killing' and 'murder' are two very different things.

  • @techie said:

    Some would contend that 'killing' and 'murder' are two very different things.

    I am sure some would. I am not sure, if they really thought about it, how they would be able to establish a difference.

    Of course, the issue for Buddhists isn't just the murder, it's the suffering too. If you eat meat or dairy you are causing suffering. Often horrible, brutal suffering. And in the vast majority of cases, it's just for mouth pleasure.

    Not very buddhist, imo.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    I'm sure sure you don't speak from any position of judgement, @thickpaper, given that Right Speech is not only a precept, but one of the fundamental tenets of the 8fold path.

    Perhaps, as we have a new member asking the question, it might have been kinder, more compassionate and more skilful, to have more thoughtfully phrased your response....?

  • @federica said:
    I'm sure sure you don't speak from any position of judgement,

    I have no idea if the OP is veggy, vegan or a carnie so I cannot possibly judge. Even if I knew, I am not one to judge.

    @thickpaper, given that Right Speech is not only a precept, but one of the fundamental tenets of the 8fold path.

    As is Right Action, which is very very clear on harmlessness and not taking of a life.
    As is Right Livelihood, which I think is being strayed from when one supports the butchery, rape, imprisonment etc of the meat and dairy industry.

    Perhaps, as we have a new member asking the question, it might have been kinder, more compassionate and more skilful, to have more thoughtfully phrased your response....?

    The OP asked us all a question, I gave my answer. How should I have phrased it better? I cannot see.

    It strikes me as infinitely kinder, more compassionate and skillful to not support the suffering of sentient beings for cheese and ham.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Meat can come from many sources. It doesn't have to come from factory farms, and people who choose to eat meat and dairy should be aware of where their food comes from. But sometimes they cannot afford the better alternative. It is quite expensive to get farm raised meats in many areas (sometimes not even possible). Many people here hunt their own food, which is ideal if you are going to eat meat (and can manage it, which many cannot).

    It has been clarified by many, many teachers that intention is a major part of breaking precepts. Not all killing is simply murder. There is much more that goes into it. In killing a tick, am I committing murder knowing that said tick may well carry diseases that spread to animals and humans, causing much more suffering than the very swift death the tick experienced? Are those who live in climates where meat eating is much more necessary for survival all murderers? Not so, say pretty much all the teachers. It depends on so many factors, and for many people who are vegetarian or vegan, they arrived at that place over time. Attributing strict interpretations of precepts (and not everyone has even TAKEN precepts) to every and all Buddhist at any place on their path just does not help anyone. It just makes Buddhism appear rigid and difficult and people give up on it for reasons such as this. "I can't be vegetarian/I'm not ready to, so I guess I can't be Buddhist." You might be surprised how often this happens. it's simply not true.

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 26

    @skye27 said:
    Hi I'm new here and I want to know do I have to be vegetarian to be a buddhist

    No!
    You can even be a bad person, soldier, crazy etc and be a Buddhist. Just do your best.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_vegetarianism

    Try not to be a vampire but we take them too ...
    https://buddhism-for-vampires.com/buddhists-who-kill

    We are so egalitarian cool. (You don't have to be cool to be Buddhist)

    Hope that helps o:)

    person
  • @karasti said:Meat can come from many sources. It doesn't have to come from factory farms

    Of course. I think there is a difference between roadkill or a massai hunted antelope and industrial meat. But most of the meat we eat today is industrial.

    But sometimes they cannot afford the better alternative.

    Plants are far cheaper than meat.

    Not all killing is simply murder.

    I agree. But if you buy a burger you are in the causal chain that contributes to the murder of that/those cows.

    It just makes Buddhism appear rigid

    The Dharma is pretty rigid on a few things, like honesty and ahimsa. As so it should be?

    "I can't be vegetarian/I'm not ready to, so I guess I can't be Buddhist."

    "I can't stop stealing and bullying, so I guess I cant be Buddhist"

    Are they not the same?

    It's simply not true.

    My opinion is that one simply cannot say they are committed to the skillful practice of the Dharma if they willingly, intentionally and directly support the creation of suffering. That is not a judgement, it is a befuddlement.

    If you think you can, good on you. I don't get that at all.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    See what you started, new guy/gal? Just kidding.

    Murder is done with 'bad' emotions connected to.

    Killing animals for sustenance/food isn't done with any particular emotion good or bad.

    There are certain nutritional needs that cannot be met without the intake of certain meats, according to articles I've read - and my own personal experiences seem to bear that out.

  • @silver said:

    Killing animals for sustenance/food isn't done with any particular emotion good or bad.

    Killing with indifference to killing, you mean?

    There are certain nutritional needs that cannot be met without the intake of certain meats, according to articles I've read - and my own personal experiences seem to bear that out.

    B12 Supplimentation. Ebay. Anything else?

    It is just done for mouth pleasure. That is the sad reality.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @thickpaper said:

    @silver said:

    Killing animals for sustenance/food isn't done with any particular emotion good or bad.

    Killing with indifference to killing, you mean?

    There are certain nutritional needs that cannot be met without the intake of certain meats, according to articles I've read - and my own personal experiences seem to bear that out.

    B12 Supplimentation. Ebay. Anything else?

    It is just done for mouth pleasure. That is the sad reality.

    Do birds and mammals (other than us humans) stop and pray for forgiveness when they capture and eat worms, bugs, and other typical prey animals? Why do we humans get above ourselves and think we have such an effect on everything else in life?

    I'm sure it's more than just B12 (and probably most of the B vitamins) - I read about another just the other day but at this moment can't remember what it is - zinc maybe and yes there are supplements).

    I find it very easy to respond to say No, it's not just done for 'mouth pleasure'.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Supplements are not nearly as efficient as real food though. And no, I'd never say someone who lies or steals can't be Buddhist. It's a practice, not a club where you check things off a list before you are eligible.

    Plants might be cheaper where you are from, but that simply is not the case everywhere. Cold climates often cannot get things like that shipped reasonably. Here, for example, a pound of asparagus is $8 compared to a pound of sandwich steak which is $2. And you're lucky if half that asparagus is usable as it often freezes and turns to mush. You should do what is best for you best on all factors but it's important to understand everyone lives with different factors and not all of them are easily done away with for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes they are simply not equipped with the information to do so, and the changeover has to be gradual. Looking down on them and telling them they are doing Buddhism "wrong" is simply not helpful. People who live in urban areas take for granted how much affordable access they have to things year round. At least 50% of the people I know hunt for food. More like 75% fish for food. It is very common where I live. That's not to say it's common everywhere. But when you post things like you do, you make giant assumptions about the entirety of the human race which simply are not true.

    silverpersonlobsterdhammachick
  • @silver said:
    Do birds and mammals (other than us humans) stop and pray for forgiveness when they capture and eat worms, bugs, and other typical prey animals?

    Is this not the difference between natural and noble?

    Why do we humans get above ourselves and think we have such an effect on everything else in life?

    Because we imprison and slaughter millions of animals a year?

    astounded

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @thickpaper said:

    @silver said:
    Do birds and mammals (other than us humans) stop and pray for forgiveness when they capture and eat worms, bugs, and other typical prey animals?

    Is this not the difference between natural and noble?

    Why do we humans get above ourselves and think we have such an effect on everything else in life?

    Because we imprison and slaughter millions of animals a year?

    astounded

    I think natural is best - what is so noble about thinking too highly of one's self and the impact we may or may not have in life?

    There is a new and much better trend with farmers/farming these days (thank god). There are going to be more and more free-range chickens and other animals like cows for instance - because of customers demanding better surroundings BECAUSE most people truly ARE grateful for their food, no matter where it comes from. I've signed many a petition to promote and bring these changes to fruition. We are trying to make things better and it is working... change takes time.

    Most of us don't see the 'millions' but when confronted with someone who starts a petition accompanied by videos taken of the horrible stuff, many of us jump to sign the petitions and get improvements done!

    Tigger
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited February 26

    Moderator note:

    Rude, argumentative, provocative, disrespectful. Gone.

  • @Bunks said:
    No. You don't have to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist OP. But some people choose it as a way to cause less harm to sentient beings.

    <3 Ah the easy ones first. Good answer.

    @Will_Baker said:
    No, but there are other things...

    [lobster faints] Other things? We have to wear a uniform? I don't want to know! :scream:

    Not meditation? Can't we just be beginners for a while? o:)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Hmm well, soon coming to a burger chain near you...

    http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/answering-how-a-sausage-gets-made-will-be-more-complicated-in-2020

    The upside is, there will no longer be any killing of conscious beings involved.

    Bunksperson
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    No. You don't have to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist OP. But some people choose it as a way to cause less harm to sentient beings.

    Pretty much what I was going to say. ;)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @skye27 said:
    Hi I'm new here and I want to know do I have to be vegetarian to be a buddhist

    It's highly recommended.

  • edited February 27

    @Kerome said:
    Hmm well, soon coming to a burger chain near you...

    http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/answering-how-a-sausage-gets-made-will-be-more-complicated-in-2020

    The upside is, there will no longer be any killing of conscious beings involved.

    @Kerome Just thinking of all the possible effects this will entail is quite exciting. Animal agriculture is already heavily subsidized. Freeing up all the grain and water and space will make for enormous changes. Not to mention the environmental impact: less methane emissions from livestock; less toxic biochemical waste; preservation of the ecosystem.

    Thanks for posting that Kerome, that's got me thinking. Pro-action seems to be the way forward; restraint keeps the game in check. O.o <3

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    No you don't HAVE to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist. But all the cool cats think they're better if they are :wink:

    karastisilver
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Hmm well, soon coming to a burger chain near you...

    http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/answering-how-a-sausage-gets-made-will-be-more-complicated-in-2020

    The upside is, there will no longer be any killing of conscious beings involved.

    I'm exited by the possibility. I'll be one of the first in line.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I do wonder how lab-grown meat is going to be accepted in the US by the giant agri lobbies. Grain farmers get huge subsidies (which is why so much of our farming is grain for animals instead of actual food right now-they had to make it worth while for farmers to change over). They aren't going to be happy to lose them. Neither are ranchers going to be happy to lose money either. Unfortunately, anything deemed progress is usually fought tooth-and-nail by the large lobbies because lots of people stand to lose money as a result. Even my 8 year old understands that we'd be better off putting our time and energy into harnessing renewable energy over fossil fuels. But those who continue to get rich aren't going to give that up, no matter what it costs the planet as a whole. I am not so sure farming won't be the same way. I think it's going to be a fight, at least in the US. In Europe and similar places perhaps not as much as they are leagues ahead of us in those types of things.

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

    I find it hard to believe that "those who continue to get rich" don't realise that beyond a decent house and a holiday every year, there isn't that much to spend the money on... until you make enough to retire, and at that point you might as well become spiritual.

    I've lived my whole life on about £20k a year, even when I was earning four times that. I just never had a need to spend more, life was rich enough for me. It was finding Buddhism at age 41 that made the biggest difference...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    They aren't just focusing on themselves though. They usually have families and focus on passing down the business and its success with them. Rich people wouldn't even agree on what a "decent house" is. Their idea of what is livable is vastly different from what an average person considers livable. even the rich people who are philanthropic have gigantic houses that are way more than a person could ever even attempt to live in. I don't think it really crosses their mind to consider what good money does beyond a certain point. Most of them anyways. We live in a world of "the more you have the better you are" and that is how they operate. Most of them take holidays much more regularly than every year and would consider it hardship to not be able to do so. They usually have multiple homes in multiple countries. They don't drive themselves, cook for themselves, clean for themselves, fix anything, and often don't even raise their own kids. Even Bill Gates does most of this and he's limited how much his kids will ever get and set up to help the world in various ways long after he's gone. But he still lives a life of extravagance that most cannot even imagine. So does Eckhart Tolle, who is supposedly enlightened. Apparently contributing immensely to consumer culture is part of that. Who doesn't need an Eckhart Tolle card deck?

    Anyhow, straying off topic which wasn't my intention. I just think money is going to play a part in where we go with food. Because it seems to play an even larger part in everything every year. The craziest thing to me is that these advances could help solve poverty and hungry problems but because of the cost to develop them, the people who need them most still can't afford them and it's not like we'll be so happy as to gift food to an entire nation.

  • Tara1978Tara1978 UK Veteran

    After gradually reducing meat consumption for a few years, I stopped completely this year and don't miss it at all. I find my new recipes more interesting and it has encouraged me to try new things. As a cheap and easy start any recipe using minced beef, just replace with green lentils, spaghetti Bol, moussaka, shepherds pie, chilli, all yummy.

    One thing I do miss - extra strong mints, made with beef gelatine :o

  • NMADDPNMADDP SUN Diego, California Explorer

    As many said already, you do not have to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist.

    Listen to many masters' lectures, WISDOM and COMPASSION are the two main qualities in practicing Buddhism. If we wants to be more compassion, then we do not want kill, harm, or eat any other beings. All beings have Buddha nature.

    Also, if we believes in Karma and rebirth in Buddhism, if we do eat other beings, then we will create a karmic consequences with those beings within this life or future lives.

    Most Buddhists follow Mahayana are vegetarians. Some eat vegetarian their whole lives. Some eat vegetarian like for 2 or 4 or 10 days a month. Or 1 or 2 or 3 months out of a year, etc. Some vegetarians are very strict that they are avoiding the five pungent plants (Onions, Garlic, Scallions, Chives and Leeks). Regarding pungent plants, can google to find out more information why avoiding these plants.

    Most Tibet Buddhists are not vegetarian. However, the 17th Karmapa (http://kagyuoffice.org/karmapa/), who is in exiled in northern India, he now also becomes vegeterian:

    Below is one of the 17th Karmapa teachings on eating meat or not:

    http://kagyuoffice.org/should-buddhist-practitioners-eat-meat-spring-teachings-day-6/

    HISTORY:
    the original history about vegetarian Buddhist is started from this Emperor Wu.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Wu_of_Liang

    ...

    It is unclear when Emperor Wu began to be a devout Buddhist, but by 517 Buddhist influences on his policies began to be plain. That year, he ordered that imperial textile factories not weave gods and animals on clothes, because when the clothes undergo further manufacturing, the patterns might be damaged, showing disrespect to the gods and hurtfulness to the animals. In a further break from Confucian tradition, he considered making sacrifices to imperial ancestors vegetarian, instead of traditional animal sacrifices of goats, pigs, and cows, and the sacrifices were first changed to using dried meat, and then eventually to mock animals made from flour, vegetables, and fruits, and this change was despite popular opinion that this would bring displeasure from the ancestors.
    ...

    A Mi To Fo

    Bunks
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited February 28

    I find it very hard not to eat meat so I pay very close attention to these types of posts as I am conflicted by my actions. I heard that if you are vegetarian because you don't want to kill any animals then eating vegetables simply doesn't do it because of the various insects that are killed on vegetables through pesticides. This leaves organic food. To be honest, I cannot afford a day to day diet of organic foods. I don't know how it is everywhere but in Canada, Toronto anyway, Vegetables are expensive....don't get me started on organic.

    I guess I have a lot of bad Karmic action that I need to replace with good Karmic action. I'm not perfect and I'm okay with that but I would like to follow that precept with more discipline in the future.

    silver
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited February 28

    Every way of life results in the death of other beings. There is no way around it. All we can do is regularly look at our own lives and determine in which way we can cause the least harm while still sustaining our lives. I eat meat, but I decided I wanted to focus on locally raised meat, which is also very expensive. But it was important to me, so I reduced how much meat I ate in order to be able to afford the better meat. I get game meat when I am able from family members, which is ideal to me if you are going to eat meat. Previously in my life, I was unable to afford that, and just did what I had to do to keep food on the table for my kids. Just depends on what is going on in your life, our resources and where you live. Do your best and always watch for room to improve. Our grocery bill went up $80 a week when I switched to vegetarian breakfast and lunch. Not everyone can manage it.

    Edit to add:
    Also, there is always a cost. I prefer to shop local, we live in a small town with almost entirely family owned businesses. But, there are many things I cannot get here because either it is way too expensive or they simply don't have it. Which means having to travel 100 miles round trip and shop at a large chain store. It really all becomes a balance of your values and the best ways you can find to live them out. Most of us have to sacrifice something, somewhere and it's definitely not always easy to know what is the right thing to let go of.

    BunksTiggerdhammachick
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Tigger said:
    I find it very hard not to eat meat so I pay very close attention to these types of posts as I am conflicted by my actions. I heard that if you are vegetarian because you don't want to kill any animals then eating vegetables simply doesn't do it because of the various insects that are killed on vegetables through pesticides. This leaves organic food. To be honest, I cannot afford a day to day diet of organic foods. I don't know how it is everywhere but in Canada, Toronto anyway, Vegetables are expensive....don't get me started on organic.

    I guess I have a lot of bad Karmic action that I need to replace with good Karmic action. I'm not perfect and I'm okay with that but I would like to follow that precept with more discipline in the future.

    In spite of close examination on this to veg or not to veg question, it doesn't seem to bring us any closer to a consensus. There's always going to be non-veg Buddhists. Are you going to call them heretic?

    I don't think even the Buddha himself would consider it wise for one to go veg via intimidation. This point has been brought up before, about Buddha and all monks accepting and eating meat when it's offered when they go on their rounds to get some lunch.

    BunksTiggerdhammachick
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    It is something I struggle with. I love animals so much and it hurts when I see how inhumanely they are treated so to continue eating meat does not make me feel good. Someone mentioned (can't find who) that farmers are doing a better job at treating their animals better - Hooray!

    I know this is something I will do in the future but for now, kinda tough.

    Bunks
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    https://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=sb-top&v_t=webmail-searchbox&q=petitions+for+improving+animals+in+factory+farms

    If you go to this page, you'll see endless petitions to this end...ending factory farms and improving their lot in the meantime. I get and sign oodles of petitions from change.org and others as well.

    Bunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 28

    Well since we are on the subject of "To eat or not to eat" other sentient beings...

    We live in the 21st century and from what I gather most members here are from the bountiful West where there are options galore for the creative thinkers eg food shops, fruit & vege shops that provide options or if one is in the fortunate position one can order online ie, online shopping, the lists go on and on plus most homes have fridge freezers etc ...There are many alternatives to animal flesh and many ways and means of obtaining meals without squeals...

    However to get the obvious excuses out the way (bearing in mind an excuse can be genuine) eg If one is under doctor's/specialist's orders to eat 'some' animal flesh eg for health reasons...Or one is not in the position to 'choose' eg, still living at home and having to eat what's on offer etc etc ...

    For those who don't fit into these 'need' categories (and might be pondering the vegetarian or vegan option)...The big question on every vegetarian & vegan's lips ( pun intended :) )

    Why do you "choose" to eat sentient being flesh when there are other tasty nutritious options?

    In answering my own question ( after years of feed back "pun again intended" and if the animal flesh eaters are being "honest" with themselves) ...most like the smell and taste of cooked animal flesh, and for the most part it's as simple as that...(both from the uncontrolled craving of the senses + the old arch enemy "Conditioning" )

    "The Truth Will Set You Free"

    In the long run tis different strokes for different folks and whether or not one (by choice or necessity) eats animal flesh, is no business of mine, ie, no skin off my flesh...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Taste pleasures certainly are part of it, but I think there are a lot of wider considerations as well. Food is well-established in traditions, comfort ,attachment to our family and many other things. Most young people leaving home and starting out simple carry forth with what they were raised with. Those first years of living on your own can be really challenging. It usually takes someone to be quite established before they can consider something that is such a staple for their whole life, and take the time to consider it beyond just something to fill their stomach with. Many people consider it, I think, but determine they just can't or don't want to deal with the complexities that can arise-dealing with family holiday traditions, dealing with going out with friends, dealing with the people you live with, learning a whole different way of cooking, what all those foods are, what you are supposed to do with them, etc. I bought my first Moosewood cookbook when I was like 24, and holy moly. I didn't know what most of that stuff was. 17 years later, now I do. But it's been a journey that has taken many years!

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited February 28

    @Shoshin said:
    Why do you "choose" to eat sentient being flesh when there are other tasty nutritious options?

    See that question is always loaded, even if you start off with the best of intentions. In my experience, asking that question is always going to guarantee a shit fight somewhere along the thread. So I never answer it because in the past (not necessarily on here either), there's always been one individual who likes to throw the answer in my face later on to try to prove me wrong - in their eyes. Kinda like the "discussions" some atheists initiate with theists then throw the whole burden of proof chestnut at theists when they don't change their minds.

    In answering my own question ( after years of feed back "pun again intended" and if the animal flesh eaters are being "honest" with themselves) ...most like the smell and taste of cooked animal flesh, and for the most part it's as simple as that...(both from the uncontrolled craving of the senses + the old arch enemy "Conditioning" )

    Yeah. And? It's none of our business when we've got our own issues to work on.

    In the long run tis different strokes for different folks and whether or not one (by choice or necessity) eats animal flesh, is no business of mine, ie, no skin off my flesh...

    Exactly :+1:

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    From what I gather the OP wanted to know if one has to be a vegetarian in order to be a Buddhist..... Simple answer no, anybody can be a Buddhist, (most Buddhists I know personally choose to eat animal flesh they like the taste..and when Geshe-la come over to give a Dharma talk, he too consumes animal flesh at meal times with no complaint)....

    I'm guessing the OP has (somewhere along the line) hear that many Buddhists adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet...and is possibly coming to terms with the whole sentient being thing and the do no harm (or do the least harm possible under the circumstance ie, the Middle Way ) Buddhist theme eg, having to kill or have killed another sentient being so one can consume its flesh or go the whole hog (pun intended) and become vegetarian or vegan...

    It's widely known that some practitioners internally struggle when it come to eating what they "enjoy" the smell and taste of ie, cooked animal flesh...knowing that a sentient being has been killing in order for them to consume/enjoy it...hence the big obstacles of the path, one's craving and conditioning ....

    My observation was based upon what I saw as the deeper meaning to the OP question...and I tried to cover all angles...

    It all boils down (another pun) to this ...If one has a choice...then choose wisely and learn to be content with ones choice ... .

    My apologies if some have found my comments not to their liking, however i was just stating the obvious, when it comes to the choices one has when one commits to practising the Dharma ......

    Tis different strokes for different folks

    lobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin I wasn't having a go at you. I'm sorry if it appeared that way to you

    _ /\ _

    ShoshinBunks
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited March 1

    @karasti said:
    Taste pleasures certainly are part of it, but I think there are a lot of wider considerations as well. Food is well-established in traditions, comfort ,attachment to our family and many other things. Most young people leaving home and starting out simple carry forth with what they were raised with. Those first years of living on your own can be really challenging. It usually takes someone to be quite established before they can consider something that is such a staple for their whole life, and take the time to consider it beyond just something to fill their stomach with.

    Most non vegetarians I know,say animal flesh is easier to prepare and cook, it is (through one's conditioning) more convenient....However after a while vegetarian and or vegan food becomes easier to prepare and just as quick to cook...

    Many people consider it, I think, but determine they just can't or don't want to deal with the complexities that can arise-dealing with family holiday traditions, dealing with going out with friends, dealing with the people you live with, learning a whole different way of cooking, what all those foods are, what you are supposed to do with them, etc.

    This can also be liken to when people consider the benefits of meditation,but just can't be bothered having to sit and meditate, because they have so many other things to consider/do....

    I bought my first Moosewood cookbook when I was like 24, and holy moly. I didn't know what most of that stuff was. 17 years later, now I do. But it's been a journey that has taken many years!

    Like most things in life, with practice and commitment we achieve our goals...And just as when one contemplates the Buddhist path, serious thought must also be put in when contemplating a vegetarian or vegan diet...People need to really do their homework...

    Some people might rush into it, thinking a carrot and some lettuce will suffice and develop unhealthy eating habits and start to feel drained/ill and then blame it on what they consider to be the vegetarian or vegan diet, when in fact it's just them not knowing how to prepare and cook vegetarian or vegan food...

    Please note....I'm referring to those who are contemplating a vegetarian or vegan diet and not to those who are content with the non vegetarian or vegan diet they are on now...

  • @Shoshin said:

    Like most things in life, with practice and commitment we achieve our goals...And just as when one contemplates the Buddhist path, serious thought must also be put in when contemplating a vegetarian or vegan diet...People need to really do their homework...

    Many people are insecure about their lifestyle choices and have a tendency to make post hoc rationalizations when faced with practices that appear to conflict with their own. Many of my peers are content to be spoon fed information (and what a lot of information we're getting all the time; how kind of them!) as it is the path of least resistance. Unfortunately this is learning by repetition. Were this not the case then there would be much more confidence and the subject of food would not be such a touchy subject.

    If we look at what we are told vs what we know then a different picture emerges. For example, did you know that milk is species specific? The amount of casein present in milk determines the rate of growth of the specimen in question. Cows milk contain 3.3 mg per liter of protein with a time of 47 days to double birth weight. Human milk contains 1.2 mg per liter of protein with a time of 120 days to double birth weight. Casein concentrations can alter acidity in the gut producing inflammation and are implicated with loss of iron. Increased acidity in the blood from non human milk has reported association with leaching of calcium from the bones and increased risk of osteoporosis. Population studies show a correlation between bone fracture risk and milk consumption. Did You Know.. Milk contains caso-morphine, which means that it's a highly rewarding pursuit?

    Bear in mind that's just a 'did you know', not a 'told you so'. If you're fine with told you so then no need to investigate. Of course we do live in a toxic environment so it's par for the course. No need to be neurotic about our choices, right? That doesn't mean it has to be this way. If history is anything to go by it certainly won't be

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited March 1

    I have known people who switched to "vegan" diets and lived on pasta and got so ill feeling and unhealthy, and then blamed the diet, lol.

    There is a way through most challenges if a person is willing AND able to do what it takes to get through them. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. But cultural traditions are very, very strong in families and it's not the same as "not wanting to meditate because one is too busy." It is very hard for many people to stand up to something their family has done for generations and say they no longer want to take part. They have to face the vast attachments of their family who often do not understand and get very upset. It's a very hard thing to do to show up to American Thanksgiving dinner and tell your family you aren't going to get 90% of what they have on the table. The reason food is such a sensitive topic is largely because of tradition and culture. That doesn't mean it's not worth investigating within oneself. But it is still hard to combat when you have to deal with others. Obviously people manage it. But how well it works depends on a million factors and I have no doubt it is a consideration when people start thinking about a major diet change. "What will my family think? What will I do about Thanksgiving?" Because it has been for me, even during the brief periods I do a vegan diet, and it has been for every other person I've ever talked to it about. My husband's family, for example, are all from farming families (some still farm) and to go to breakfast and refuse to eat what is offered would be the ultimate rude slap in the face to them. They would have a major problem with it.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @karasti said:
    I have known people who switched to "vegan" diets and lived on pasta and got so ill feeling and unhealthy, and then blamed the diet, lol.

    The healthiest person I know has been a vegan for 30 years.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @SpinyNorman but there is a whole lot to health beyond what we observe in someone's outward appearance and habits. I know health vegans, too. But I also know unhealthy vegans who live on pasta, like I said. The label can mean a million things, and not all of them mean healthy. I know people who aren't vegan who are quite healthy because their meat choices are wise and their diets are varied. It just depends on so many factors and health is far, far more than a baseline of a few medical blood tests (though of course can include those tests).

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