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edited June 2005 in General Banter
i've been itching to get this one going again. you've all probably nocked it about before, but as i am new please humor me. please let me here what you all have say about vegetarianism?


  • edited April 2005
    Starving the body of what it needs is in my opinion unnecessary. Animals, like humans, were born to die, I personally don't feel it is necessary to save them, even the cute ones. Wonder what these vegetarians will do once the sun gets blocked out by volcanic ash and no sunlight gets through...
  • edited April 2005
    you are one modern buddhist Justin.
  • BrianBrian Detroit, MI Moderator
    edited April 2005
    I'm sort of like the Tibetans about this one. Let me explain:

    In Tibet, it would have been extremely difficult to be a healthy vegetarian. Because of the rough terrain, the inhospitable climate, and the altitude, farming wasn't a huge part of the normal Tibetan lifestyle. Tibetans eat a lot of meat, even including the Dalai Lama. However, no good Tibetan buddhist would ever order the death of a living animal for his or her consumption. They wouldn't intentionally have an animal slaughtered for their own benefit.

    If the animal already happened to be dead, however, they may as well eat it because it would be silly and wasteful not to ;)

    I've always heard rather light-hearted responses about this question from buddhists. I've never met a vegetarian or vegan monk.

    Put it this way, if you want an animal to die just because you want to eat it, that's not good for your kamma. But eating the flesh of a dead animal is not good or bad, it is only eating.

    That's my personal opinion. I could go either way. I enjoy the taste of meat, which is just another attachment I have to get over. I tried eating no meat for three months and I did indeed feel better, but in the end, the thought of barbeque ribs did me in :p
  • edited April 2005
    But isn't vegetarinism denying mother nature her own order? Animals eat the plants, we eat the animals, insects eat us, ect... Shouldn't we continue this path? This is not to say that willy-nilly killing of everything that moves is good. Everything has it's place. However, I don't know that I can jump on board with Brian eating roadkill. I may live in the south but not that deep... :lol:
  • 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 April 2005
    In answer to your comment on the Dalai Lama eating meat, Brian, HH is medically obliged to eat meat, under orders from his medical advisers, but he'd rather not.... :) he contracted hepatitis (I believe) on his escape from Tibet in '59, and is under medication (he had to reluctantly cancel a whole khalachakra some time ago due to this very reason) and needs animal protein to keep his system in balance. But he has more than once stated he would rather adhere to a vegetarian diet.
    I was born severely jaundiced, and was in hospital, under a UV light for a long time. I too would prefer to be a veggie, but my system also requires a portion of animal protein.

    Also, I try not to impose my beliefs, opinions or views on others, so if I'm invited out to dine, I accept their generous well-meaning hospitality and eat what I'm given. Incidentally, I'm no goody-two-shoes - I took that bit of advice out of a book, written by a Lama!
    However, I do always silently offer a word of thanks to the creature "sacrificed", and pray its' reincarnation is a good one.... It seems a bit of an easy way out of the argument for me, and to some, it may be. But each persons' conscience is their own..... ;):)
  • edited April 2005
    Has anyone ever read "Eat Right for Your Blood Type" it may solve a lot of questions as to why some of us prefer meat and some prefer grains.
    Although it is difficult today due to Mad Cow Disease, Chicken Virus/Flu, and Mercury Poisioning in the waters affecting the fish and sea food, it is just a difficult to eat only vegitarian because of acid rain and polution to get what we need from grains and veggies.
    My suggestion would be "Listen to your body" it will tell you what you need. I always give thanks to my food for its contribution to my nourishment, no matter what I am eating.
    Saying a prayer over your food before you eat it can bring it to the correct vibration for you body and your own highest good.
    Some of us are protien eaters from a long line of hunters, depending on when we were incarnated. Some of us are more prone to grains and veggies from the Agricultural era. When man stopped roaming and settled down in one location and realized he had to store food for the winter months.
    How you eat usually depends on who your anscestors were.
    Irene Bornn
  • edited May 2005
    Goodness, I need to send some people to this thread. You know, the ones that say a person can't be Buddhist if they aren't vegetarians - and they usually are meat-eating Christians (no offense to Christians, but they are in the majority here). I pretty much agree with Justin. Plants are alive too, death is natural, eating meat is natural, etc.

    I do believe in moderation. Eating too much meat is unhealthy and ecologically greedy. I certainly don't condone animal cruelty beyond what's necessary to prepare the animal for my plate. Unfortunately, I generally don't have much info on how animals were treated before I ate them (ignorance is bliss, perhaps). Of course, I don't delight in the idea that animals were killed to make me dinner, but I'm not going to let it bother me too much either. I know that I could not personally be a vegetarian and be the healthy, energetic person I want to be.
  • edited May 2005
    You know,

    I think that what I choose to eat or not eat is strictly up to me; I have friends that are vegetarian, vegan, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, and so on and so forth. I also have friends like me that eat whatever food they like. To each his or her own is my take on the whole affair.

    Adiana :);):lol: :whatever:
  • edited May 2005
    I think everyone here has some valid points about eating meat out of necessity.

    The only problem I have with some of the remarks is that you seem to be blurring the issue of the deaths of these animals. I doubt that any of the animals that arrive on your plates died of natural causes. In fact, I'm fairly certain they were all slaughtered.

    I wonder how you can retain that you wish to end sufferring to all (ie be a buddhist) and passively participate in slaughter?

    Do these animals have no other purpose than to feed you? Personally I they do.

    I guess you're all wondering why I'm taking such a hard line approach on this subject... maybe you're not! The fact of the matter is that I have had to kill animals myself, in the past, for compassionate reasons.

    Once a rabbit happened to hop into our back garden and I went up to it and noticed that it did not notice me. It had been infected by the Mixamatosis virus (which results in deafness, blindness and evertual starvation [man made btw]). In order to save the rabbit from being eaten alive, by my dog or a fox, I struck it over the head. The resulting sound haunts me still, 10 years down the line, as I could only really compare it to the shrill death cry of a human baby.

    The point I'm trying to make it that all sentient beings fear death and feel real pain when life is taken away. Even true Buddhist masters have remarked upon leaving: "I really don't want to die."

    In my opinion, killing asserts one's ego and hence is in conflict with the Eight Fold Noble path. Just because you didn't directly kill the animal it doesn't mean that it didn't DIE in order to nourish you.

    These are things that have come to me (from where ;) ) during my practice and I offer them to you in order to help you, not condemn you.

    Peace and silence,

  • 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 May 2005
    I have a friend in italy, who desperate to work, accepted a job in an abbatoir.... he is now vegetarian.
    here in France, hunting is a way of life, in the countryside where I live, but they only hunt for the community, and never overly so... the animal population is kept in balance, and there are some extremely strict rules about when you can hunt and when not, and what you can hunt and what you can't. Everything they catch, they use.
    It is an extremely sensitive subject,a nd one liable to put folks on the 'defensive' if they are sincere Buddhists who happen to eat meat. For me, it comes under the topic heading of "not going to resolve this overnight, if ever at all...." and while I completely sympathise with your stance and reasons, BeautifulSpringtimeFist, your compassion for a suffering animal to my mind outweighs the suffering you put the rabbit through.
    I don't for one moment pretend or believe anything I buy from a supermarket died of natural causes, but not eating meat eventually makes me ill. I have eaten meat substitutes, and enough Tofu to keep China in business fro the next decade or so(!) but this is one that folks are going to have to wrestle with, resolve or come to terms with on their own. Just pray that the underlying reasoning is covered by 'Right Action'..... ;):) Love and warm embraces to all.
  • edited May 2005
    life consumes.. humans consume both meat and veggies, we have the power to make the choice but naturally we are hunters, just like the wolves and the lions..... lions dont just eat what is dead, they eat what is available to them. obviouslly if the food source dies out, lions die out, so they dont over indulge... but the same thing goes for the prey, if there were no lions eating them theyd reproduce too much and eat all their food supply up (grass/water/ect) and die anyways... I strongly believe nature had it right...i think this is how humans should be... if we are extincting a species for our own greedy wants then it is very bad karma, but if we are maintaining a ballence and eating only what we NEED, then it is okay as long as we are humane about it...
  • edited May 2005
    federica wrote:
    I have a friend in italy, who desperate to work, accepted a job in an abbatoir.... he is now vegetarian.

    I think this is key to what I was tryinh to say. If people were to slaughter their own meals they would (mostly) find it unpleasant and disturbing.
    Just something to think about the next time you have a menu in your hands.

    My upmost respect to all,

  • emmakemmak Veteran
    edited June 2005
    i think indecline has good points. There is a reason that we humans are at the top of the food chain, as they say. There is a fine line , however. my partner is an electrician and occasionally does some work in an abbottoir, he says it is quite disturbing, but also says that the animals we eat are ther for us to eat. i am vegetarian, former vegan. (I like cheese too much) I am only vegetarian however, because i do not like the taste of meat or the texture.
    My parents have a small property and kill their own meat, so at least they have had a nice life and have only been killed out of necessity.
    I dont really know. its a tricky subject that i generally dont talk about because people jump to conclusions too quickly. at the end of the day its a personal choice and neither way is right or wrong...
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