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Vegetarianism or not? Again....

This discussion was created from comments split from: Theravada Buddhism , Vegetarianism.
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  • NB1100NB1100 Explorer

    @Chaz said:
    Hello all!
    I was thinking about eating meat.Buddha allowed his monks to eat pork, chicken and beef if the monk was aware that the animal was not killed on their behalf. But think, the animals are KILLED for us, it doesn't matter if the slaughter, who killed animal, doesn't even know your name, but the animal was killed indirectly for you(if u will buy it). What do you think friends?

    I think you should do exactly what you want and forget about what others think or say.

    If you want to eat meat, eat meat and don't beat yourself up over it.

    Hello all,

    Just came across this thread. I am in the similar situation as OP's. Eating meat of course is different from killing animals, kamma is intention, therefore, the intention of eating meat is not killing animals.

    But as mentioned previously eating meat is killing animals indirectly, there is simple economic law of supply and demand, the more people eat meat the more animals are killed. We are aware of this yet we are still eating meat.

    I want to eat meat because the balanced diet it offeres, we are neither carnivores nor herbivores, we are omnivores. I used to be a vegetarian but has stopped. Nutritional balance is very important for our overall well-being and happiness, but I feel a bit loss now, when I eat meat I feel guilty, what do I need to do? How about you guys, care to share your thoughts? thanks

  • elcra1goelcra1go Edinburgh, Scotland New

    I think as we learn that mass production of meat is a major cause of environmental pollution and emissions- we should try to follow Right Action, as our aims are at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful conduct. The care of ourselves and the planet must fall within this.
    2500 years ago this may have not been the case- but because of the mass industry of producing meats we know it to be now.

    X

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @elcra1go said:
    I think as we learn that mass production of meat is a major cause of environmental pollution and emissions- we should try to follow Right Action, as our aims are at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful conduct. The care of ourselves and the planet must fall within this.
    2500 years ago this may have not been the case- but because of the mass industry of producing meats we know it to be now.

    X

    Wow who knew it was that simple......

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    The nutritional needs of humans is quite complex and has a lot to do with cultural upbringing, unique hormonal systems and to an extent ancestral (as in the past 4-5 generations) genetics. You have to find what works for you, and do the best you can with that to cause the least amount of harm.

    If you feel guilt, that is something you have to look at. What can you feasibly change? I follow a low carb diet. I eat a lot of greens but I eat a lot of eggs and a fair amount of meat. But I am pretty cautious about where it comes from so I am not mindlessly supporting factory farming and other things. I know what works for me, and what doesn't, and making myself less healthy in the name of someone else's ideals of a moral diet wasn't going to work. So I did what I could, and where I can't do anything I accept any karma that might come my way. But remember that karma has to do with intention as well. I know people who hunt for food, and to be honest, they are mostly more moral about their food sources than people who mindlessly purchase from the supermarket even though they are directly responsible for killing what that eat.

    So your guilt is something you have to investigate. If you are eating and feeling guilty, that is actually not all that healthy for you, either.

    Bunks
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 28

    I want to eat meat because the balanced diet it offeres, we are neither carnivores nor herbivores, we are omnivores.

    One does not need meat for a balanced diet. Omnivore doesn't mean you need to eat everything, it means you can eat anything. Only "obligate carnivores", like cats, need to eat meat for a balanced diet. Humans are not obligate carnivores. The longest lived people in the world eat very little, if any, meat.

    Shoshinmisecmisc1person
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "To Eat or Not To Eat...Animal Flesh !" That is the question... (or some might say some Buddhists dilemma )

    Perhaps by pondering on what one 'personally' consider to be a "Sentient Being" will help make up one's mind...

    Because in the long run what one does ( one's choice of whether or not to eat animal flesh) is up to oneself (and one's partner in crime AKA conscience) ie, so one should do what one feels is morally the 'right' thing to do (for "oneself" )...

    "Ehipassiko" ... See for your 'self' and do the least harm possible... (to your 'self' and to those whom you consider worthy of your compassion and respect) ...

    dhammachickmisecmisc1
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @seeker242 you don't know what each individual person in the world needs. I have known numerous people who followed veggie or vegan diets who were told by their doctors that they need to get some meat for multiple reasons.

    And the longest live people tend to be from countries where the quality of life is rated the highest. Of major countries, Japan is the only one to make the top 5 (depending whose information you look at of course)and they eat plenty of meat, mostly in the form of fish. Their longevity is largely pointed to the fact they eat little processed food, not that they don't eat meat. And the more urban regions who now eat more processed food are finding they have the same health problems as everyone else.

    If you look to the ethnic diets of cultures around the world, you find the same thing...util the point that processed foods entered their market and significant portions of the population switch over they were quite robust and healthy, too. The low life expectancy wasn't due to heart disease and cancer, it was due to the risks of living and lack of health care. A lot of the reason we live longer now is due to our sheltered lives and health care. But many of us don't live a quality life. To have both a long life and a good life where the last decades aren't wrought with misery, pain and disease and endless medications and doctor visits is pretty rare. But in areas that have it, it is because they still retain a modicum of ethnic foods, which yes, for most cultures, include meat of some type.

    federicapersonlobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 28

    @seeker242 said:

    I want to eat meat because the balanced diet it offeres, we are neither carnivores nor herbivores, we are omnivores.

    One does not need meat for a balanced diet. Omnivore doesn't mean you need to eat everything, it means you can eat anything. Only "obligate carnivores", like cats, need to eat meat for a balanced diet. Humans are not obligate carnivores. The longest lived people in the world eat very little, if any, meat.

    The bolded part is both inaccurate and not even necessarily true.

    Please ensure all data quoted is reliable and verifiable.
    Oh hang on, you didn't give any; My bad. ;)

    lobsterdhammachick
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 28

    @karasti said:
    @seeker242 you don't know what each individual person in the world needs. I have known numerous people who followed veggie or vegan diets who were told by their doctors that they need to get some meat for multiple reasons.

    Yet many Doctors have no education or knowledge in nutrition whatsoever. A doctor is generally not the person qualified to answer questions of nutrition. People with actual nutrition education are. There are several studies published in peer reviewed medical journals documenting the fact the nutrition training of medical doctors, at least in the US, is woefully inadequate.

    Japan is the only one to make the top 5 (depending whose information you look at of course)and they eat plenty of meat, mostly in the form of fish.

    And the longest lived Japanese are the traditional Okinawans. And what do they eat? Mostly plants and very little meat and very little fish.

    @federica said:

    @seeker242 said:

    I want to eat meat because the balanced diet it offeres, we are neither carnivores nor herbivores, we are omnivores.

    One does not need meat for a balanced diet. Omnivore doesn't mean you need to eat everything, it means you can eat anything. Only "obligate carnivores", like cats, need to eat meat for a balanced diet. Humans are not obligate carnivores. The longest lived people in the world eat very little, if any, meat.

    The bolded part is both inaccurate and not even necessarily true.

    Please ensure all data quoted is reliable and verifiable.
    Oh hang on, you didn't give any; My bad. ;)

    Oh, my bad. I didn't realize that every comment on new Buddhist needed peer reviewed research citations. But that's not a problem. Please see below. =) As for your link, it's quite clear that vegetarian does not necessarily mean healthy. After all, chips and coca cola are vegetarian. The point being made here is: "not eating meat is not unhealthy and not inherently unbalanced." Those are two very different points. Don't conflate the two. The bold part is accurate and is most definitely true and backed up by large amounts of data and study.

    "Blue Zones: What the Longest-Lived People Eat (Hint: It’s Not Steak Dinners)"
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/food-matters/blue-zones-what-the-longest-lived-people-eat-hint-it-8217-s-not-steak-dinners/

    Most people living in the Blue Zones enjoy physical activity incorporated naturally into their daily lives (like gardening or walking); a sense of purpose (like caring for grandchildren or civic volunteering); low stress levels and a slower pace of life; strong family and community connections; and a diet characterized by moderate caloric intake, mostly from plant sources.

    "Mostly plant sources" = Little meat. Except the Seventh day Adventists of Loma Linda CA. They don't eat any red meat at all. More than 300 papers in the bibliography of health-related research studies are among Seventh day Adventists. They are one of the groups that have the longest lived people. You want links to all 300 research papers? =)

    None of the groups who have the most centenarians eat a lot of meat. The fact that the longest lived people in the world eat very little, if any meat, is a fact that is undisputed by those who have actually done research into it.

    It's undisputed that Okinawa has the some of the longest lived people in the world. So what is the traditional Okinawa Diet? Less than 1% of the diet was fish; less than 1% was meat; and less than 1% was dairy and eggs. Most of the diet was based on vegetables and beans. These are facts, not opinions. =)

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Oh, my bad. I didn't realize that every comment on new Buddhist needed peer reviewed research citations. But that's not a problem. Please see below.

    No not every comment does. But when passing on statistical information, every little helps.

    Thanks for the above, though. :)

    My comment was meant in fun - hence the wink.

    Moderator note - to no-one in particular and everyone concerned:

    I really hope though, that this thread doesn't get confrontational particularly as (a) the topic has been discussed ad nauseam and we should all know by now, that opposite opinions and views exist and (b) depending on which school/Tradition one follows there are different options and choices.

    Respect is the order of the day.

    many thanks.

    dhammachick
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Except most of us are not Japanese or Okinawan. Humans cannot be simplified into "This is good for them, therefore it is good for all of us." We are much more complex than that though I know you like to believe that, it's not true. Okinawans thrive on their diet because they largely stuck to a traditional ethnic diet. They don't eat a ton of greens. 70% of their diet comes from purple sweet potatoes, actually, and they also eat pork.

    When you go back a few decades and look at average lifespan by country BEFORE the onslaught of processed food, say 1960, you find it doesn't paint the same picture. Western Europe particularly Scandinavia, had the highest avg. lifespan. Most of them were into the 70s. Finland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark...all in the low to mid 70s. Even the US was at 70 because a lot of families were still eating ethnic favorites as they had largely still remained in clusters of their own culture at that point.
    Japan was at 67 average life span in 1960. But when you look at the difference, Japan has added almost 20 years onto their current avg lifespan. The US has added...9. Europe has added 10-12. As global trade in food became more prolific and food became processed, it spread and the lifespan gain slowed way down in areas that adopted a processed diet. Japan is one country that has kept their ethnic foods more than others despite that onslaught of crap food. Thus why their lifespan has increased. Not because they eat veggies, but because they still eat ethnic foods. If Scandinavia had kept up that trend, they would probably still be ahead of Japan. And guess what they eat? A LOT of fish, seafood, reindeer and butter because to sustain yourself in a northern climate you need a very different diet versus sustaining a human body in Okinawa.

    Scandinavian folks likely wouldn't thrive and increase their life span on a Japanese diet, because their genes have different needs. No matter how fast the food game has changed, our bodies don't adapt in that way, that quickly. We still largely thrive on the foods that genetically are best suited for us, especially if we have staunch genetics in one direction or another (rather than being mutts, for lack of better word lol). A Japanese child born in the US would still thrive better on a Japanese diet. But having melted ourselves into a pot, especially in the US, this is less clear for a lot of people because their genetics are so combined. So it's trickier to figure out now than it was even 40 years ago. I thrive on a high fat diet. That doesn't mean I live on steak. But I eat a lot of cheese, eggs, fish, cream, butter, and seafood and for the first time in most of my adult life, I feel fantastic and every single health marker has improved. That doesn't mean I think someone in Japan should take on that diet, but my very Finnish genes take to it quite well.

    Lastly, no, doctors aren't the best nutritional folks to get advice from. But when they suspect you have nutritional issues, they usually send you to a person trained in nutrition which is what I was more so referring to. The HHDL sees doctors at the Mayo clinic (which is in my state and part of my health care system) who told him he needed more meat. Most likely it was nutritionists that told him so. He wasn't the only one told that and I'd bet his Tibetan genes thrive on butter, yak, mutton, coat, cheese and grains.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    Please ensure all data quoted is reliable and verifiable.
    Oh hang on, you didn't give any; My bad. ;)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Cheeky....

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    the comparison of avg. life span by country in 1960 and in 2015.
    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN?year_high_desc=false

    Traditional diet of Tibet:
    http://www.flavorandfortune.com/dataaccess/article.php?ID=736
    (there are numerous pages including wikipedi that describe it in detail)

    Traditional diet of Finland
    http://finlandinsider.com/food/traditional-finnish-foods/

    Okinawan diet specific to the sweet potato
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/purple-sweet-potato-secret-living-7795593

    We've discussed the HHDl and his diet often enough and I'm tired of copy/pasting.

    Weston Price's book is actually super interesting. Some nutters have used it to further their own agendas, but the information in his studies is fascinating and discusses in depth the details of the degeneration of the human body in many ways in comparison to the traditional diets they ate versus their exposure to more modern foods (and that was a long time ago, far before the "modern" foods we have now.)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 28

    Average lifespan is not what's being discussed. The longest lived groups of people is what's being discussed. What do they have in common? They eat very little if any meat. What does this mean? It means meat is not required for a balanced diet.

    The HHDl was advised by Tibetan doctors involved in Tibetan medicine, not people actually knowledgeable in areas of vegetarian nutrition. What do Tibetan doctors know about vegetarianism? Very little. People love to bring up the HHDl in conversations about eating meat but they conveniently always forget to mention that the kitchen at his home is strictly vegetarian. Why is that? Near all of the evidence based nutrition experts consider Weston Price to be a complete joke.

    However, none of that changes the definition of what a carnivore is and what a omnivore is. Humans are omnivores, not carnivores. Only carnivores need to eat meat.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    One of the largest predictors of longevity is social connected-ness. When you look at the top countries for longevity, that is a major part of their way of life as well, something that the west has largely let go and continues to do so. It is much more complex, the whole thing, than meat vs non-meat. You are way over simplifying the vast complexities of the human experience based on your agenda and experience. It doesn't get more egotistical than to say "I know what is best for EVERYONE ELSE." It's simply not true. I any case, at least I know not to waste time sharing evidence because you're not interesting in listening to anything but your own bias anyhow. Your rigidness on the topic is not going to sway anyone and is likely to have quite the opposite effect. People have different needs. There is no way around that. If there were, we'd have found what works for every human on the planet and we'd all be doing it and in perfect health. Yet that is not what happens, not even with vegetarian diets.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 28

    Strong social connectedness is one thing that the longest people lived people have in common. What other things do they have in common? Answer is they eat mostly plants and very little meat. And I have yet to see any actual evidence disputing that. Rhetoric is not evidence, anecdotes are not evidence. The idea that some people need meat, and other people don't, has no basis in actual science. All the actual evidence points directly at a whole foods plant based diet being the healthiest diet for a human being. Also, the idea that if people knew what is healthy, therefore they would be doing it, is completely contrary to the actual evidence. There are plenty of things people know are unhealthy but still do them anyway...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Does it not exist or do you only seek evidence for your bias? Because it's out there. Nordic people continue to be among the healthiest on earth and as a result, their diet has garnered a lot more attention and study in the past few years. Quite a few more ongoing at this time as well. But if you were actually interested in doing anything other than stroking your own bias, you'd know that. In any case, here are a few (with more to be had if you actually care) and with that I'm done, as I should know better than to engage you in this discussion and it probably chases aware more newer people than any other topic.

    http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/01/03/STROKEAHA.116.015019

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150105081800.htm

    http://tidsskriftet.no/en/2017/05/review-article/recommended-nordic-diet-and-risk-markers-cardiovascular-disease

  • I had fish for supper :3 Yum B)

    dhammachickHozan
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    None of what you posted says meat is required for a balanced diet. Why not? Because there is no such thing. That's correct, it doesn't exist.

    A Nordic diet based on the authorities’ dietary advice and consisting of Nordic foods affects a number of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The effect in terms of reduction in cholesterol level and blood pressure is equal to the effect observed with a Mediterranean and other equivalent diets

    That's nice but completely irrelevant to the question of meat being necessary for a human being to consume. Just because a Nordic diet is healthier than a typical western diet, says nothing at all about meat being necessary. But what exactly is a "Nordic Diet". Let's look.

    • Eat often: Fruits, berries, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, rye breads, fish, seafood, low-fat dairy, herbs, spices and rapeseed (canola) oil.
    • Eat in moderation: Game meats, free-range eggs, cheese and yogurt.
    • Eat rarely: Other red meats and animal fats.
    • Don't eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meats, food additives and refined fast foods.

    Even a Nordic diet is a low meat consumption/high fruit vegetable diet...Of course it's going to be healthier when you cut out fast food, limit meat consumption and increase fruits, vegetables and whole grains...

    lobstermmo
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    While we are discussing the luxury of 'choices' of what and what not to eat...meanwhile back in the real world the starved just want enough to eat to survive...

    Perhaps we should just be thankful for our choices and eat well, eat wisely and don't make a big deal about it.... :)

    :+1:

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 29

    @Shoshin said:
    While we are discussing the luxury of 'choices' of what and what not to eat...meanwhile back in the real world the starved just want enough to eat to survive...

    Perhaps we should just be thankful for our choices and eat well, eat wisely and don't make a big deal about it.... :)

    Thank you @shoshin. A timely reminder.

    Shoshin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    My point, @seeker242 is that it is required for some people and that no matter what studies show, they cannot remove that individual factor. All the studies in the world don't matter to a person who doesn't thrive on a vegetarian diet. You might not believe that, but it's true. For some people to thrive, grow, develop and reduce/resist disease, meat is necessary. Can they survive without it? Yes, but surviving and thriving are not the same thing. The longevity you keep bringing up is a result of thriving, not surviving.

    The health of people who eat meat also largely depends on what the animal ate. If you are going to eat nothing but factory farmed ground beef, that isn't remotely the same as game meat or fresh caught fish. Neither are vegetables bought 2 weeks after they are harvested as healthy as sticking to what is seasonably available in your area. Guess what is seasonably available in cold climtes? Nothing. They grow what takes little time in a short growing season and can be stored long term - thus the root vegetables. Just because we can buy pineapple in Minnesota doesn't mean it's ideal for us. We won't thrive on it. But people in Hawaii probably do. There's a reason why we crave certain foods at different times a year. Cultures that thrive on vegetable based diets largely have them truly seasonably available year round. And I don't mean trucked in from Mexico weeks later.

    Traditional Nordic diets are not high in fruit. They eat berries when they are in season, which is a few weeks a year. I'm not talking about the best selling Nordic Diet book here though, but rather traditional diets. Which are based in butter, dairy, reindeer, fish, seafood and root vegetables. Not that different from a Tibetan diet, actually, minus the seafood/fish.

  • My personal anecdote:

    I had been very resistant to vegetarianism for a while. Somehow I was convinced that my body needed meat to feel well. I seemed to feel light headed and empty if I wasn't consuming meet for over a couple of days.

    But as time went on I just could not justify to myself eating meat in the First World environment that I am finding myself in. The thought of what the animal goes through and me eating the outcome of that started to become more and more sickening. So I started taking longer and longer breaks between eating meat and somehow my body seemed to be ok with that. Looks like I just brainwashed myself into believing otherwise.

    Fast forward to today, I hardly ever touch red meat. I eat poultry about once a week during family gatherings. I am still somewhat ok with doing so in social settings when someone else goes into trouble of cooking. I also eat sea critters like fish or shrimp about once a week on my own- somehow I do not feel as much sincere empathy for those. Other than that, I buy, order and cook vegetarian only.

    As time goes by, I seem to become more and more averse to eating others. I am contemplating going full veg even at the cost of disappointing some folks: my body seems like it'll be fine with that.

    lobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited November 30

    @karasti said:
    My point, @seeker242 is that it is required for some people and that no matter what studies show

    My point is that there is no scientific basis or scientific evidence for this claim. "I tried being vegetarian and it didn't work", that's not evidence. However, there is plenty of scientific evidence that the longest lived people in the world eat little, if any, meat.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Umpteenth "Vegetarian vs Meat Diet" and we don't seem to be more enlightened in the fine art of respecting other people's choices.
    Much meata to everyone.
    Sorry: much metta to everyone...
    ❤️ 💚 💜

    Yes, it gets to that in spite of entreaties for people to be respectful of the choices and comments of others.
    It's amazing how such discussions degenerate; people forget themselves in trying - or wanting - to be right and persistently prove a point.

    That for my part, is why I ceased contributing. Better a closed mouth that gathers no foot...

    Ah well, it seems the less favourable of human qualities can arise at any time and give measure... particularly on topics ans subjects when feelings run high.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited December 1

    In reality, the choice to eat meat negates the very meaning of choice because the animal that had to be killed to procure the meat had no choice in the matter at all. If one's choice deprives another of their choice, that's a choice that's not worthy of respect.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    We cannot take on the conscience of the whole world. We can only deal with our own, and everyone has a right to do that without being guilt-tripped or made to feel culpable for the entire workings and existence of the meat industry.
    d
    Theravada teachings clearly direct us towards making a choice base on these Instructions.

    Remembering also that, although many Theravada laypeople look to these guidelines for their own discipline, they were originally created for the Ordained community.

    Being browbeaten and held to task is not a helpful avenue. it is not skilful nor is it appropriate.
    Furthermore, it just makes those being browbeaten or held to task, merely dig their heels in.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    If statements that disagree with one’s personal opinion are all characterized as “unenlightened” or “browbeating”, then yes there no possibility of any rational discussion!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I don't care whether you eat meat or not. I really don't.
    Your choice.
    It seems, however, that you DO care what others do, and as such, it comes across as if you are adopting a moral high-ground, which is not conducive to a balanced and structured discussion.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    You’re right. I do care what others do, when that action causes innocent animals to suffer and die. It makes me sad and I want it to stop. I don’t see why that’s a problem.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @seeker242 said:
    You’re right. I do care what others do, when that action causes innocent animals to suffer and die. It makes me sad and I want it to stop. I don’t see why that’s a problem.

    It's a problem when you project blame, guilt and confrontation.

    On this forum, specifically, it's not acceptable.

    You're among friends and like-minded people here, and you're among friends whose opinions, choices, views and decisions are different to yours.

    Let it be, please, and move on.

  • jwredeljwredel Albuquerque Explorer

    @seeker242 said:
    You’re right. I do care what others do, when that action causes innocent animals to suffer and die. It makes me sad and I want it to stop. I don’t see why that’s a problem.

    So, one nightmare scenario of artificial intelligence is that some machine, in seeing the prevalence of human suffering in the world might determine that it would be simply better for us to never exist in the first place. The human sufferings of birth, separation, sickness and death could be so easily solved.

    It is 100% guaranteed that without the need for meat, very few chickens, cows, pigs, etc. would ever experience life - however much suffering and however that life ends. There are many reasons to argue against eating meat - can we truly say with certainty that we know the right answer here?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    All good points, @jwredel: Ceasing to eat meat will not solve the problem. It will merely create millions more new ones.

    What can be created in sufficient quantity to replace the meat loved by so many?

    How would these new non-meat-eaters be fed? How would you cultivate sufficient crops and food - without harming, spoiling or encroaching upon the precious free and wild environment currently existing?

    Animals procreate. It is instinctive to do so. What would be done with all these domesticated animals who procreate and reproduce, multiply and expand in numbers?

    @seeker242, if you want us to stop eating meat, you will have to respond to these questions and resolve them too.
    Otherwise, your sentiments are wishful thinking.
    While worthy, they are incomplete.

    If you want to resolve something, you need to have a plan.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @federica said:

    @seeker242 said:
    You’re right. I do care what others do, when that action causes innocent animals to suffer and die. It makes me sad and I want it to stop. I don’t see why that’s a problem.

    It's a problem when you project blame, guilt and confrontation.

    On this forum, specifically, it's not acceptable.

    You're among friends and like-minded people here, and you're among friends whose opinions, choices, views and decisions are different to yours.

    Let it be, please, and move on.

    So it’s OK and allowed to say “it’s OK to eat meat” But it’s unacceptable to say “ it’s not OK to eat meat.” That’s not a balanced discussion, that’s completely one sided. So on this forum it’s unacceptable to present the other side of the story. Alright then, that’s all you had to say. So much for everyone being entitled to voice their opinion...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I'm not trying to silence your opinion.
    I'm trying to stop you pillorying others for their choices.
    There's a difference.

    Nobody is doing the same to you.

    Well ok then, if you wish to continue discussion, answer the points raised above.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited December 1

    @federica said:
    I'm not trying to silence your opinion.
    I'm trying to stop you pillorying others for their choices.
    There's a difference.

    Nobody is doing the same to you.

    Well ok then, if you wish to continue discussion, answer the points raised above.

    I would be happy to address any points above which particular points are you referring to? Do you mean the point you made about
    pillorying? That’s the problem! Characterizing the very opinion as “pillorying” is what is silencing the opinion to begin with. It Is the opinion of the animals that they don’t want to be killed. They hold the opinion that you should not be allowed to choose to eat them. When simply expressing that opinion is characterized as equivalent to “pillorying” guilt tripping or moral high ground, etc. it is therefore being silenced. It’s a disingenuous characterization because it automatically makes the very opinion not allowed to be expressed.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    No.
    These points:

    What can be created in sufficient quantity to replace the meat loved by so many?

    How would these new non-meat-eaters be fed? How would you cultivate sufficient crops and food - without harming, spoiling or encroaching upon the precious free and wild environment currently existing?

    Animals procreate. It is instinctive to do so. What would be done with all these domesticated animals who procreate and reproduce, multiply and expand in numbers?

    @seeker242, if you want us to stop eating meat, you will have to respond to these questions and resolve them too.
    Otherwise, your sentiments are wishful thinking.
    While worthy, they are incomplete.

    If you want to resolve something, you need to have a plan.

  • jwredeljwredel Albuquerque Explorer

    @federica said:
    What can be created in sufficient quantity to replace the meat loved by so many?

    How would these new non-meat-eaters be fed? How would you cultivate sufficient crops and food - without harming, spoiling or encroaching upon the precious free and wild environment currently existing?

    The above questions seem similar, and actually, a given plot of land can support 50% more people on a vegetarian diet when compared to a traditional US diet. (a Cornell study)

    Animals procreate. It is instinctive to do so. What would be done with all these domesticated animals who procreate and reproduce, multiply and expand in numbers?

    Clearly a vegetarian diet would phase in gradually and there would simply be fewer and fewer chicken and cow factories which would ultimately be converted (back) to traditional farms - so no real problem here either.

    But more to the (real?) point. How do we get our eyes to open to the true nature of dependent origination? That's the challenge of our practice. The fact is that we are who we are, we think what we think, we act and not act for a myriad of reasons that none of us will ever likely understand in ourselves and certainly never truly understand in others. And for these exact reasons, we should realize that we all will never even come to an agreement on even this one idea.

    But for most of us here, may the desire to understand never waiver.

    Shoshin
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    No.
    These points:
    What can be created in sufficient quantity to replace the meat loved by so many?

    Plant based food!

    How would these new non-meat-eaters be fed? How would you cultivate sufficient crops and food - without harming, spoiling or encroaching upon the precious free and wild environment currently existing?

    You would not need to cultivate new tracts of land. In fact, land that is already being cultivated, for the purposes of animal agriculture, can be returned to the forest. Animal agriculture is what is harming, spoiling and encroaching upon the precious free and wild environment currently existing because animal agriculture inherently involves excessively large amounts of plant agriculture. Animals eat plants too! If people ate the plants directly, less land would need to be cultivated to begin with.

    Animals procreate. It is instinctive to do so. What would be done with all these domesticated animals who procreate and reproduce, multiply and expand in numbers?

    Large numbers of domestic animals wouldn't exist to begin with because humans would not be breeding them in such large numbers to begin with. The large herds and flocks of animals are not here because of natural procreation. They are here because humans are breeding them on purpose. For the domesticated animals that would be here, it only takes 5 minutes to turn a bull into a steer. A steer is not able to procreate just like my male dog is not able to procreate. Spaying and neutering is the responsible thing to do with regards to domesticated animals.

    If you want to resolve something, you need to have a plan.

    I didn't enter this thread with any intention to try and convert anyone. There was no plan to engage in any debate. I made a statement to the OP and that statement was attacked by others and I simply defended it. Then those statements were attacked and I defended them and it continued on from there. It wasn't me who started any debate. If you engage someone in a debate like manner, one should not really be that surprised when the other person begins participating. I do take a special issue with the whole respect the choice to eat meat thing, especially so when it's characterized as somehow "unenlightened". Because "respecting choices" and "eating meat", is a direct contradiction from the animal's point of view. So it's like saying taking the animal's point of view is somehow wrong. Well no, it's not wrong to see it from the animal's perspective. It's empathetic to see it from the animal's perspective and having empathy is not somehow wrong. Empathy is something that should be cultivated, not criticized.

    Shoshinelcra1go
  • jwredeljwredel Albuquerque Explorer

    @seeker242 said:
    Well no, it's not wrong to see it from the animal's perspective. It's empathetic to see it from the animal's perspective and having empathy is not somehow wrong. Empathy is something that should be cultivated, not criticized.

    This is all well and good, but your are still missing the point. You will never know the animal's perspective. Never.

    As a thought experiment, say you raised a chicken from birth with the intention to one day kill it and eat it for survival. As you were about to snap it's neck is there a chance that it might somehow "say" ... "thank your for my life, as short as it was, for to have lived and died in this way seems infinitely better than to have never lived at all".

    If you are honest with yourself, you cannot say that could never happen.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @seeker242 said:

    @karasti said:
    My point, @seeker242 is that it is required for some people and that no matter what studies show

    My point is that there is no scientific basis or scientific evidence for this claim. "I tried being vegetarian and it didn't work", that's not evidence.

    Sorry but this is a fact.
    I am also among those people who have tried to be a vegetarian but healthwise cannot, in my case, because my iron reserves are extremely low.
    A vegetarian diet depleted my reserves and left me on the verge of anemia.
    I still try to eat meat as sparingly as possible, but a completely vegetarian diet has been ruled out for me.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited December 2

    @jwredel said:
    your are still missing the point. You will never know the animal's perspective. Never.

    I disagree! And so does the Buddha.

    All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. ~Dhammapada 130

    A slaughterhouse is a violent place and the only thing that takes place there is death, the deprival of life. Therefore, no being wants to go there as one who is going to be slaughtered.

    for to have lived and died in this way seems infinitely better than to have never lived at all". If you are honest with yourself, you cannot say that could never happen.

    Actually, I can say that would never happen because rebirth would make it impossible for that being to never have lived at all. If that being were not born as a chicken, it simply would take some other rebirth.

    @DhammaDragon said:

    My point is that there is no scientific basis or scientific evidence for this claim. "I tried being vegetarian and it didn't work", that's not evidence.

    Sorry but this is a fact.

    Yet it's not inappropriate to ask to see some proof that this is a fact.

    elcra1go
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    Unfortunately, I did not keep the hospital record to add as screenshot, @seeker242.

    Lucky me, I do not have a death certificate to present either.

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited December 2

    @DhammaDragon said:
    Unfortunately, I did not keep the hospital record to add as screenshot, @seeker242.

    Lucky me, I do not have a death certificate to present either.

    The proof would actually be your daily food intake, with an accounting of all the micro and macro nutrients calculated up, to prove that it actually was a vegetarian diet that caused it and not an improper vegetarian diet that caused it.

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