Author Topic: Eating insects  (Read 9003 times)

Skanzi

  • Member
  • Doing whatever I can to improve
    • Doing Vipassana, Anapana and Ashtanga yoga
Eating insects
« on: May 18, 2014, 06:29:32 PM »
I've decided 1 month ago that I wanted to become a vegetarian, so I did. Cut off with the flesh first, then with fish. I eat other things that replenishes the proteïnes that I don't derive from food anymore.

Now, after returning from serving on a course yesterday, I found that a magazine I was subscribed to, had delivered a grasshopper in a bottle to eat. They covered the consumption of eating insects this month.

Unlike most western people, I wasn't afraid to eat the grasshopper. Instead, I felt pretty excited to try one. It tasted a bit like popcorn, or a rice waffle. Pretty good.

But... During the courses you have to abstain from killing any animal, which is including insects. Perhaps I can see the point, because then you generate negativity.

But how about eating them? It seems like both a healthy and globally supportive decision. Mammals and fish will be spared, you will get good nutritions, and every kilogram of insect requires a lot less maintenance, space and environmental problemns.

I don't really think insects have souls and can truly suffer. Therefore, there wouldn't be any moral conflicts.

What do you guys think about this?
Do you have a conflict? A doubt which you don't know the answer for? Try this:

- Advise yourself like you would advise a friend.  If you can easily advise your friend, why not take the same advice to yourself?

If you're still not sure, just admit you're not sure and just make a choice.

Peace

Tobin

  • Member
  • Seeking Truth
    • Samatha & Vipassana
    • Curious
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 09:50:03 PM »
I have to disagree... but then again I go out of my way to remove all living creatures including bugs from my home without killing them. You could try justifying it, but insects are still living creatures no matter which way you skin it.
Regards,
Tobin

Re: Eating insects
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 06:13:18 AM »
Sure, when we have shortage of veggies in the future we will think of this, but not now.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 03:17:02 PM »
Hi Skanzi,

There are a couple of misconceptions in your post. Firstly you do not have to be vegetarian to follow the path. Tricycle magazine has been publishing a recent series called "10 Misconceptions About Buddhism", one covers this subject and can be found here: http://www.tricycle.com/blog/beggars-can%E2%80%99t-be-choosers

But in a way this doesn't apply to the current situation as you are not begging or collecting donated food (Dana) but going to the supermarket, therefore your choices do lead to killing.

You talk of insects having no soul, well, neither does a cow or you or any creature according to buddhist teaching so the harm does not come from there in any case. Tibetan teachings on this say it's better to eat a steak than a prawn cocktail as you are taking part of a life on one hand and a bowl full of lives in the later case. Might the same apply here? - you'll surely need to eat lots of insects to get the protein of a steak! But then again the Tibetan position is highly influenced by the necessity of eating meat when you happen to live on a high mountain plateau and can't digest tundra grass.

It is also highly suspicious, questionable and, I feel, hypocritical that in Tibet all the butchers are Muslim - so that Tibetan people themselves escape the karma of killing. What about the double-whammy of eating an animal you have caused to be killed and the karma of trying to escape karma and leading another to kill?  Don't think they thought that one through properly!

Personally I am not vegetarian at the moment, both my teacher and a friend who is a monk advised I eat neat on health grounds (I suffer muscle atrophy). I try and eat organic meat where the animal has lived and died well. I'm moving away from eating meat more now though as there is such inherent suffering involved including to the animal, the environment and to other humans (due to the inefficiency of meat production vs vegetable protein sources).

I have a suspicion that, in part at least, the benefit of not eating meat comes directly from not ingesting the stimulating hormones therein such ad adrenalin. But as the tricycle link says monks were only told not to eat meat if they knew it had been killed to feed them: so this is clearly linked to not feeding the ego as killing an animal back in the day was significant as there was no great excess of animals to be killed.

It seems to me there are no straightforward answers to this except on health grounds, that if you are generally healthy a vegetarian diet is healthier for you and the planet.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

PeasantProphet

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Beginner
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 09:27:56 AM »
Is there a way to get a hold of the full Buddhist teachings in an easy to read format? I thought only certain "sects" of Buddhism teaches the no soul concept, and other teach there is a soul or reincarnation?

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 05:51:43 PM »

But then again the Tibetan position is highly influenced by the necessity of eating meat when you happen to live on a high mountain plateau and can't digest tundra grass.


This reasoning comes from the assumption that the survival of us humans is necessarily more important than the survival of other beings. My question is: Who are we to decide that our lives are more important than the lives of any other being, including an insect? Afterall, a life is a life, whether it is human or not. Infact, if we were to ask Mother Earth, she would probably want to do away with the human rather than the insect considering the amount of pressure a human puts on the planet's resources and ecosystem.

Having seen a lot of survival shows (like Man vs Wild for example), I sometimes wonder what I would do if I am in a survival situation. Would I kill an animal and eat it to survive? If I were to go by my impulse I would probably do it, but if I were to apply logic, then it wouldn't make any sense to take a life simply to continue another because it would be a zero sum move.

If there were a stronger and more intelligent species than us humans, then we'd all be raised in farms and be cooked as food for them. How would we have felt in such a situation? What does the forum junta think?

CP

"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Tobin

  • Member
  • Seeking Truth
    • Samatha & Vipassana
    • Curious
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 10:20:27 PM »
Is there a way to get a hold of the full Buddhist teachings in an easy to read format? I thought only certain "sects" of Buddhism teaches the no soul concept, and other teach there is a soul or reincarnation?

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but http://buddhanet.net/ is a good source. They have a massive collection of Buddhist information/books, mostly in PDFs.
Regards,
Tobin

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 02:42:17 PM »
Is there a way to get a hold of the full Buddhist teachings in an easy to read format? I thought only certain "sects" of Buddhism teaches the no soul concept, and other teach there is a soul or reincarnation?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ offers many translations of suttas and commentaries. You can also buy the four major Nikayas (collections of discourses) for around $180 total or, if you want some of the core texts, "In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (Teachings of the Buddha)" by Bhikkhu Bodhi and with a foreword from the Dalai Lama might be a good choice, it's about $13.

Regarding the soul anatma literally means no-self (not no-soul) and the Buddha taught there is no constant part of self created by God and reincarnated, but that the conditions of mind at death condition the mind in the next life through rebirth. It's an area of the teachings I struggle with to be honest and others too: there is some debate about whether Buddhism denies the soul or not. This teaching is also quite political in historical context as it is clearly contrary to the prevailing pre-Hindu brahmanic traditions that taught an endless cycle of reincarnation into the same life and caste, Buddhism offered a path contrary to this understanding.


But then again the Tibetan position is highly influenced by the necessity of eating meat when you happen to live on a high mountain plateau and can't digest tundra grass.


This reasoning comes from the assumption that the survival of us humans is necessarily more important than the survival of other beings.

I didn't say I agree with this logic or the assumptions - quite the contrary, I pointed out some rather stark problems with it.

If there were a stronger and more intelligent species than us humans, then we'd all be raised in farms and be cooked as food  them.

Agreed totally - for years I have used exactly this argument in discussions about the subject, it arises largely (in monotheistic traditions particularly) from the idea that humans are the custodians of the earth as God gave it to us - not something that concurs with my reason at all.

What does the forum junta think?

Ouch. Junta? Have I offended you CP?

Kindly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 05:33:29 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 03:39:10 PM »

Ouch. Junta? Have I offended you CP?


Haha no not all Matthew. Pardon me if my post came across as negative. What I meant to say was that I would love to read people's opinion on this. I have been debating on this topic with myself for years now. I really find Buddha's teachings very reasonable, but if there is one thing I do not understand, it is his teaching that monks DO NOT insist on vegetarian food as long as they know that the meat they are offered has not been killed specifically for them. If the Buddha made so many rules for monks, all he had to do was make another one - that monks shall only take vegetarian food. Can you imagine the countless beings that would have been saved if lay people knew they could not offer meat to monks?

I grew up in Jain tradition which has an exceptionally strong view on vegetarianism, so maybe my thinking is influenced by it. But I would still like to hear what others, including you, have to say about this.

Warmly,
Shreyans
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 03:43:52 PM by Crystal Palace »
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 05:48:52 PM »
Lay people's main way of generating merit for a good rebirth was through Dana offered to the Sangha in the form of food. As I understand it there are two main elements as to why the Buddha did not ban monks from eating donated meat:

Firstly, and quite simply, "beggars can't be choosers".
Secondly, to refuse donated meat would have reduced opportunity for lay persons to generate merit.


junta/ˈdʒʌntə,ˈhʊ-/
noun

    a military or political group that rules a country after taking power by force.
    a deliberative or administrative council in Spain or Portugal.

!
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

PeasantProphet

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Beginner
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 08:14:49 PM »
Thanks fellas

PeasantProphet

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Beginner
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2014, 08:17:49 PM »
Quote
contrary to the prevailing pre-Hindu brahmanic traditions that taught an endless cycle of reincarnation into the same life and caste
This is what peaked my interest. Late at night I would think about what this meant as I had seen it on other websites. Do our souls reincarnate eternally in to different lives? Or only until we reach nirvana in our accumulative lives?

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 07:58:38 AM »

junta/ˈdʒʌntə,ˈhʊ-/
noun

    a military or political group that rules a country after taking power by force.
    a deliberative or administrative council in Spain or Portugal.

!

Whoops! All this while I thought junta meant public. Thanks for pointing this out.  :)

Shreyans
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Alexander

  • Member
  • ...
    • Anapanasati
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 08:32:45 AM »
I often think that with morality it's best to build a fence perhaps just a little further outside your firm beliefs just to cover these grey areas.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 11:11:25 AM »
Quote
contrary to the prevailing pre-Hindu brahmanic traditions that taught an endless cycle of reincarnation into the same life and caste
This is what peaked my interest. Late at night I would think about what this meant as I had seen it on other websites. Do our souls reincarnate eternally in to different lives? Or only until we reach nirvana in our accumulative lives?

Well, according to Buddha there is no reincarnation, no self-existing self to be reincarnated. There is rebirth in which the mind stream at death conditions the next life. This is where I find an inconsistency in the teachings I cannot comprehend.

Which brings me to the subject of thinking about this. According to the teachings such knowledge is a matter of direct realisation and speculation/thinking about it before you reach a level of realisation to know directly is unhelpful, does not aid you in walking the path. Basically any such thinking is an outcrop of conditioned ego and feeds itself.

Kindly,

Matthew

~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Skanzi

  • Member
  • Doing whatever I can to improve
    • Doing Vipassana, Anapana and Ashtanga yoga
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2014, 02:48:26 PM »
Well, seems like I started a deep philosophical discussion  ;D

Briefly going back to my post (yes, I know, I don't want it all to be about my topic and my post, but I can't help because i'm too young in vipassana to intellegently discuss about much of the rest you guys are talking about)

I think it's a viable choice to eat insects if you would assume that insects can't suffer. That their pain-responses (or heat, cold, and other types of suffering, both psychological and physical, we humans know) are purely automatically and they can't actually suffer from it.

Then, it could be justified, right? I mean, if you kill an insect yourself, that is bad and harmful intention, but if you eat it purely for the nutrients (and perhaps the taste), then there is no harmful intention. And assuming insects can't suffer, you can't condemn it.

That is, if insects don't feel, physical or psychological pain (physical pain actually causes/is psychological pain, I discovered during meditation). That again is a whole discussion in itself. But i believe insects are life forms too basic and therefore do not know actual suffering like we humans do. I do believe though, that mammals and a lot of other animals in the animal kingdom can suffer because they have a soul. But I don't want to discuss about souls right now, too many different visions and opinions on that.
Do you have a conflict? A doubt which you don't know the answer for? Try this:

- Advise yourself like you would advise a friend.  If you can easily advise your friend, why not take the same advice to yourself?

If you're still not sure, just admit you're not sure and just make a choice.

Peace

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2014, 06:46:56 PM »
Skanzi,

Apologies for the philosophising ... the question kind of invites it though!

Regarding whether insects feel pain/suffering I don't think that has any relationship to having a "soul" - whatever that may mean.

I remember when I was quite a young child sitting in the garden with a magnifying glass and focusing the rays of the sun on little ants running around ... they definitely took action to avoid being burned alive, trying to run from the focused beam of light ... I also remember, not so long ago (2005 I think), when I was contemplating eating fish rather than meat of mammals and was asking myself the question, "do fish feel pain?" - about a week after I started this internal debate the universe kindly provided an answer: scientists at Cambridge University found fish have exactly the same pain receptors ("nociceptors") as humans have. The only insect I can find reference to having nociceptors is the fruit fly.

I suspect from the above that insects "feel" pain, though I have no way of knowing *how* their feeling or pain is similar or dissimilar to my own or yours. No insect passes the mirror self-awareness test, and so science argues to the main part that they don't feel pain - even though, as in the ant-frying experiments of my youth, they are known to take action to preserve their lives. This is asserted to be a "robotic" type reaction by most of the references I have found, however, even though ants have no central brain or spinal cord, they do have a nervous/neurological system comprised of nerves and ganglia (groups of nerves) distributed throughout their bodies.

Who is to say they have no form of consciousness or no sense of pain? Interestingly, in the article linked below which goes into these issues, the authors conclude that the ethical thing for researchers to do is to anaesthetise the nervous systems of insects before experimenting on them ...

http://nature.berkeley.edu/~kipwill/ESPM40_stuff/2011%20lec18%20Insect%20pain/Eisemann.pdf

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

bomega

  • Member
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2014, 01:08:37 AM »
I'm new to this forum, but wanted to contribute, since I already posted something requesting help/advice/perspective. I hope this isn't too controversial.

I've been vegetarian for most of my life, and became vegetarian as a small child because I suddenly, in a moment, felt like I was doing something wrong when eating meat. It was an emotional decision...not a logical one, before I learned to read, although I guess I may have learned the idea somewhere. I feel like so many discussion about vegetarianism/eating meat stay in the mind, and neither side really gets too much into the subjective experience of being vegetarian or eating meat. I bring this up because I think an equal beneficiary of being vegetarian is the person eating, not just the animal (or insect) being eaten. So, if I was to take a moral stance on this, I would say one should be vegetarian because eating meat generates negativity...in the eater of it. For example, I don't eat meat, but I experience so much anger and aggression as I am washing ants down my shower drain. The ants are dead but then there I am in the shower with my rage, and I'm barely awake. When I see a millipede in my house,  the fear and anger I feel makes me wish extinction upon the species at times. That feeling...hurts me more than the millipede, and I am consciously aware the millipede is actually more afraid of me than I am of it, but that doesn't stop my loathing of it.

At the end of the day, I think human morality exists for our own self-preservation...from ourselves. And our moral rules for our food intake adapted along with our adaptation of our ability to acquire food. Large apes and their social units had primacy over all the fruit and greens, so we got good at hunting animals (and gathering nuts and berries.) Then we became good at planting things. Then we got beasts of burden to do the work (probably the real reason cattle are sacred in Hindu cultures. To keep people from eating them and accept the delayed gratification of crops.) We also pastured animals for their meat and milk. All in the pursuit of the survival of the species. And even now here in the new millenium, some advocates of vegetarianism make it a morally good behavior because the earth cannot support the food needs for our current population growth, and so there is a movement making meat eating wrong...for the Earth. So, I think our morality adapted along with our own need for self-preservation, and as such, I think human morality is one of the most selfish things humans have invented with our minds. So trying to invent a some calculus of souls or lives or life-units eaten or pain units caused in another life-unit of a different species might be a way to cover for its ultimate selfish-ness. But I'm not sure it does if the reason for doing it comes from the mind and not the heart.

Disclaimer: Having said that, by no means am I suggesting a belief in relative morality to justify anything our ego wants, or that doing things because we think they are morally right (or the converse) shouldn't be done. I just mean that morality's "goodness" can be somewhat suspect based on where it is coming from. Also, I do think people should be vegetarian because I think eating meat is wrong.  :)

Middleway

  • Member
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2014, 04:23:57 PM »
Ban the salads...the lettuce we eat is alive even while we are chewing it. The chicken we eat is at least dead by the time it arrives on our dinner tables. It is according to the natural law that all animals (humans included) need to eat other organic matter to survive. Therefore, I do not see anything wrong with eating meat. The moral thing to do is to kill/cut to eat only minimum that we need for survival. Anything more is immoral.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Tobin

  • Member
  • Seeking Truth
    • Samatha & Vipassana
    • Curious
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2014, 10:10:29 PM »
Ban the salads...the lettuce we eat is alive even while we are chewing it. The chicken we eat is at least dead by the time it arrives on our dinner tables. It is according to the natural law that all animals (humans included) need to eat other organic matter to survive. Therefore, I do not see anything wrong with eating meat. The moral thing to do is to kill/cut to eat only minimum that we need for survival. Anything more is immoral.

This is all opinion. Nothing you have said here is fact. Sure we need to eat organic matter to live, plants are also organic and we can survive perfectly well on them. I am not vegetarian but I suspect that eventually I will become one. We have a moral obligation to reduce the suffering of all creatures on this planet because we are intelligent enough to do so. Unfortunately, we do the opposite. Are you aware of the conditions and the amount of pain an animal goes through before it "arrives on our dinner table"? Your comment struck a nerve with me because it's incredibly naive and lacks the basic awareness most people choose to ignore because it's easier than facing the truth.
Regards,
Tobin

bomega

  • Member
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2014, 03:54:03 AM »
@Middleway: I suspect you are trying to be funny, but in all seriousness, if eating lettuce alive constitutes violence to you, you can be at peace with your salad, as fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens can be (and usually are) harvested without killing the plant.

Middleway

  • Member
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2014, 07:45:34 PM »
This is all opinion. Nothing you have said here is fact. Sure we need to eat organic matter to live, plants are also organic and we can survive perfectly well on them. I am not vegetarian but I suspect that eventually I will become one. We have a moral obligation to reduce the suffering of all creatures on this planet because we are intelligent enough to do so. Unfortunately, we do the opposite. Are you aware of the conditions and the amount of pain an animal goes through before it "arrives on our dinner table"? Your comment struck a nerve with me because it's incredibly naive and lacks the basic awareness most people choose to ignore because it's easier than facing the truth.

@Middleway: I suspect you are trying to be funny, but in all seriousness, if eating lettuce alive constitutes violence to you, you can be at peace with your salad, as fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens can be (and usually are) harvested without killing the plant.


Tobin/Bomega, my apologies if I hurt your sentiments. That was not my intention at all. I wanted a make a point that all life forms should be treated as equal. We do not know for sure that plants do not suffer when we cut them because they do not have the central nervous system. I believe that all life forms have consciousness and therefore suffer one way or the other (in my opinion). My life is no different than an insects life although my ego wants to believe otherwise.

I look at this issue from a global perspective. I live in Canada and most of my groceries come from abroad. Lettuce comes from California, orange juice comes from Florida, mangoes and avacados come from Mexico and Dominican Republic etc. Massive amounts of green house gases are released by the trucks that bring these groceries to me in Canada. The resulting climate change puts tremendous pressure on the marine life (due to increase in ocean temperature) and ecosystems elsewhere. The fertilizers and pesticides used in growing these vegetables and grains poison our rivers and lakes and cause sever stress on the aquatic life. The spraying of the chemicals kill billions of bugs and insects. This is equally true for farming of animals.

Ever since humans formed agrarian societies, their population exploded due to stable supply of food and life expectancy has gone up. More forests were cleared to make way for farmers fields and caused severe distress to animals and pushed some animal species into extinction. As a matter of fact, if all 7.2 billion people decide to become vegetarians today, there will not be enough farmers fields available on earth to feed them veggies and grains. Where would all the animals go when all the forests are gone?

What I am suggesting is that we eat less and minimize wastage. "The waste that we throw away in Europe and North America is about equal to all of the food that sub-Saharan Africa produces.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/food-waste-overeating-threaten-global-security-1.2436729

warm regards,

Middleway

« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 09:36:52 PM by Middleway »
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2014, 12:31:26 AM »
Hello Middleway,

I agree with much of what you say and understand the frustration and anger you express. Humankind has much to learn, many false beliefs to conquer, much selfishness to overcome and needs a big dose of humility.

One thing I'm not so sure about is this:

Quote
As a matter of fact, if all 7.2 billion people decide to become vegetarians today, there will not be enough farmers fields available on earth to feed them veggies and grains.

It takes huge quantities of grain to produce meat from farmed animals. Now many people depend on seafood for protein and I haven't done all the sums but here is a big clue as to the possibilities:

"While 56 million acres of U.S. land are producing hay for livestock, only 4 million acres are producing vegetables for human consumption."
Source —U.S. Department of Commerce, Census of Agriculture

On top of that 40% of south American rainforest has been felled in 40 years, mainly to produce hamburgers for obese citizens of the USA - and displacing huge numbers of people and animal species.

There is much change needed but the greatest change is the change within, the personal transformation, cutting the roots of greed, hatred and ignorance, for only then can we be powerful agents of change through speaking clearly and wisely, influencing others without getting dragged into either negative internal states or external conflict.

We live at a time of great change, there is every reason to have confidence that the change we need to make are entirely possible. Its very easy to get disillusioned or disheartened, personally I choose not to.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Middleway

  • Member
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2014, 02:43:15 AM »
Thanks for those statistics Matthew. They perhaps explain this quote from the link to the CBC article I provided. “If everyone in the world chose to live like your average North American, it would require four Earths to produce all the necessary food,” Prof. Benton says".

I am not sure if we can change the world and where it is heading. We think we have control on ourselves but do we really have it? For over 13 billion years this universe existed and is following a natural course. We humans came along very recently and somehow think we have control. But that is another topic. Earth has time on her side but humans don't. With or without humans, earth will follow the natural and inexhaustible law.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

KingMe

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • S. N. Goenka
Re: Eating insects
« Reply #24 on: June 26, 2014, 10:15:11 PM »
I suggest following your conscience.

I won't be a part of animal slaughter unless I'm starving to death. But I eat fish on occasion. And farmed fish are brutalized as well. But it doesn't weigh on my conscience much. Neither would insects. But I still have a very strong aversion to eating insects. Apparently they are full of protein, but I get plenty of protein from plant based food.

I hope all my friends watch Forks over Knives, the movie, and see if they adjust their traditional eating practices.

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
3995 Views
Last post July 26, 2009, 06:15:47 PM
by pamojjam
7 Replies
7318 Views
Last post November 12, 2012, 04:05:00 PM
by Sylvia1982
9 Replies
4138 Views
Last post January 12, 2014, 02:53:21 PM
by Renze
20 Replies
5376 Views
Last post August 19, 2014, 09:35:54 AM
by Matthew
4 Replies
2192 Views
Last post June 09, 2017, 03:29:32 AM
by LoneWolf
4 Replies
974 Views
Last post October 15, 2020, 02:59:02 PM
by milco
1 Replies
489 Views
Last post October 10, 2021, 10:54:23 PM
by Matthew