Author Topic: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?  (Read 16101 times)

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2015, 04:00:58 AM »
Haha. That is possibly a less wishy washy way of explaining part of what I was trying to convey.

Sangharakshita once said one of the only indicators one is truly progressing is that they're a little bit less selfish. I think that lies outside of this debate.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 04:19:36 AM by Dharmic Tui »

Matthew

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2015, 04:13:27 AM »
This discussion has used highly emotive language.

In such matters it's very useful to read posts carefully, respond calmly, choose words with care and take your time. Otherwise we not only have different opinions, but the opinions and our reactions lead us to suffer - as Tobin has stated he is.

"Meat is murder" is a very tasty sound bite. I suffer muscle atrophy since getting a neck injury. The year it happened my Buddhist preceptor and a Therevadin monk both told me to put away my vegetarian diet and eat some meat; "you will die if you don't", my teacher said.

So now I eat some meat. Not daily, always eaten mindfully, and bought locally from farmers who care for their animals.

For me it is hard to get enough protein from non animal sources so, though the majority of my protein comes from lentils, beans rice and vegetables, I eat eggs regularly and meat sometimes. "Veganism is suicide" - well it could be for me.

Everything I eat is organic, I live in a town where local food is available and use those sources to fulfill most of my needs -and support non industrial small producers and shops. So the damage done to the universe by my non veggie diet is minimal. I make choices not available to many people.

Tobin, you are right that eating meat can be habitual - in fact most of it is based on an addiction: In the modern world people eat hugely unhealthy amounts. The farming methods and animal husbandry are often obscene and degrading to the animals - and the people involved - at every stage.

70% of arable land in the USA is given over to growing food stocks for animals: an incredibly inefficient way of producing food that also leads to ill health in those consuming it.

More food is thrown in the bin each day in Philadelphia than is eaten in Ethiopia.

But to reduce this to "Meat is murder" is to oversimplify and to use emotion as a weapon. We live in a very complex world where the food system, like most other systems, is over-industrialised. We live in a world where people are programmed en masse by history, culture and sometimes by human intention. We live in a world where many are very unaware of the reality they live in in many ways. Unfortunately mindfulness is much under taught and misunderstood.

Our collective food habits are killing not only many animals but also the earth we live on, however, most of those animals would not be alive if they weren't grown for food. This would be good. Every person has some ability to make a difference, to choose different, to be a part of the solution. Some people have more influence and choice in that than others. Some have no awareness that they have power.

Getting preachy doesn't tend to help other people feel comfortable about making changes or lead them to greater mindfulness.

Getting passionate will lead you to suffer. Tobin has seen the reality of that in this discussion: "Passion" is from Latin, Passare, "to suffer".

Speaking truth mindfully, with reason and with compassion for your audience won't lead you to suffer (or your audience).

It is also more likely to lead people to make wiser choices.

DT has not really been given a fair hearing here in this thread. Middleway says it well, "the righteous ego". DT was suggesting ways of being mindful of other parts of the picture.

Whenever you want to reply using emotion look within: usually you will find pain, often you will find a desire to rid self of this pain - and sometimes the easiest way of achieving this is laying an emotional trip on another person. If the trip doesn't stick you end up suffering, "hell - why don't they just get it?" ...

That's a habit worth becoming mindful of and changing ...
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Tobin

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2015, 04:17:19 AM »
I understand I am very much one sided on this topic. In retrospect, this was a poor topic to post, but I only thought that within Buddhism would be more understanding. I saw some, but realize I am still very alone. I know I need to learn to express myself better, but it might be best for me to leave these heated topics alone.

I don't agree with everything you said Middleway. I don't hate to look at myself in the mirror anymore. I went from being someone who did nothing, to someone who followed his heart. I feel great about my choices. There was a quote I once heard on a podcast that went something like, "You're perfect the way you are, and you have room for improvement." I just want to be the best human being I can be and hopefully make some lives better in the process.

Thanks to people who have pushed these issues, there has been tremendous change in the world and reduction in suffering. To me, that's reality right now, even if we are just dust in the wind.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 04:25:35 AM by Tobin »
Regards,
Tobin

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2015, 04:23:38 AM »
In retrospect, this was a poor topic to post, but I only thought that within Buddhism would be more understanding.
I think it's a fair topic to discuss, even from a Buddhist approach. I don't have an issue with your desire to be a vegan, you just have to accept that perhaps the way you view it is influenced by you, rather than objectivity, or Buddhism.
By the way, thanks to people who have pushed these issues, there has been tremendous change in the world and reduction in suffering.
Sure, but was it because they were vegans? Some of the issues you're alluding to garnish support from all peoples, irrespective of their diet choices.

Matthew

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2015, 04:25:53 AM »
Hey Tobin,

I'm really grateful you introduced this topic. It's something that is very fundamental. Just, as I said above, try and engage in a way that doesn't lead you to more suffering!

And yes, there is change in the right direction.

Matthew
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Tobin

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2015, 04:27:34 AM »
Yes Matthew.

I don't know how to engage in this topic without wanting to shake someone violently by the shoulders, so unless someone has something else to add...
Regards,
Tobin

Matthew

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2015, 04:33:17 AM »
I don't know how to engage in this topic without wanting to shake someone violently by the shoulders, so unless someone has something else to add...

Practice on that Tobin ... you will learn. EDIT: Actually this subject gives you a wonderful opportunity to grow your practice.

Quote
Whenever you want to reply using emotion look within: usually you will find pain, often you will find a desire to rid self of this pain - and sometimes the easiest way of achieving this is laying an emotional trip on another person. If the trip doesn't stick you end up suffering, "hell - why don't they just get it?" ...

That's a habit worth becoming mindful of and changing ...
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 04:37:43 AM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Tobin

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2015, 04:40:18 AM »
Thanks, I'll think it over.
Regards,
Tobin

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2015, 04:57:48 AM »
Yes Matthew.

I don't know how to engage in this topic without wanting to shake someone violently by the shoulders, so unless someone has something else to add...
I'll bite.

This is Lilly. When I rescued her, her "owners" couldn't keep her. She was grossly overweight, and has bad hips. She's a dog that loves water, and loves to go foraging. Every day, without fail, rain, hail, snow, sun, wind, whatever, at around 6am I take either down the beach, down the river, or out in a field. She's lost 15kgs and the vets are amazed at how healthy and agile she is, and she's nearly 10.



If my pet is a slave, she's not suffering too badly. How black and white is this to you?

Apologies if the pics are a bit much, I just think they're a bit more understandable than words.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 05:00:52 AM by Dharmic Tui »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2015, 05:04:58 AM »
Also I'd agree with Matthew. There was a point where debates like this might wind me up, but I've seen my own hubris, and how subjective the things I am firm about are.

bomega

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2015, 05:16:24 AM »
Don't want to add to the fire, but wanted to add my experience. I "became" a vegetarian when I was a child. Before I started school, so maybe 4 or 5 years of age. I put that in quotes because my parents are vegetarian, but didn't force me and my sister to be. My mother cooked vegetarian at home, but when we ate out, we could order whatever we wanted. My sister and I used to order hamburgers or happy meals when we went to MickeyD's. But one day we were in the drive thru, and I sitting there in the back seat while everyone else putting in their ordering, and found myself thinking about the cows and their pain at being bred for the slaughter, and I decided in a moment to order just fries and a soft drink for lunch. Right there my sister changed her order and did the same. I had tried to eat meat a couple times as a child since then (to fit in at the campfire or be polite at someone's house), and found myself physically unable to. That is, I couldn't get it into my mouth.

So, for me, becoming vegetarian more than logical or even emotional. It was a visceral decision that I arrived at much like I arrived at many other very personal decisions to improve my life or do the right thing by another. So, since then, while I can and do make the logical assertions about why to be vegetarian, it is mostly in response to other people needing from me. Either because they feel defensive about their meat-eating in the face of my vegetarianism, or they are curious about my vegetarianism and aren't fully satisfied with my visceral explanation (which admittedly isn't an explanation.)

I realized a long time ago, as a teenager, that personally I didn't want to try to change people who didn't want to change, at least over this. Really, if I wanted to pass judgement, I could find tons of other things to do it on. There were a lot of militant vegans and I didn't want to be like them. It hurts my relationships with people, and I also don't want to try to control other people. I would rather a person became vegetarian through their own intrinsic motivation, aside from the fact that I (or someone else) can't force anyone to become vegetarian (or do anything for that matter). People ask about my experience of being vegetarian, and I share it. A lot of the time they share their conflicted feelings about it. That they do feel it is wrong to eat meat, but still feel compelled. I find I would rather just support them and offer my perspective until they are ready to change. I tell people I am more worried about what is on my plate, and I have enough to worry about. They can worry about their plate. It seems people who eat meat do. I think that if people think about it more they will realize how wrong it is, and eventually that will lead to a change in their behavior. But I would rather they did it freely than guilted into it or something.

Most of the people I know that eat meat are also good people. I think they will arrive at the right thing when they are ready. Most of the vegetarians I know are also good people, but I know at least one person who doesn't eat meat who is a very bad person, by which I mean he has done morally heinous acts, and is generally mean spirited and controlling. And I know he isn't the only one. Whether they can change is logically independent of their vegetarianism.

Vivek

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2015, 05:54:55 AM »
Just want to add some perspectives to balance this discussion. The Buddha himself ate meat on occasions and he upheld that meat-eating is fine provided certain conditions are kept in mind. That being said, eating meat is a personal choice. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine recommends meat-eating for certain body-constitutions as well as health conditions. Matthew's approach to meat eating which he described above, is an intelligent and wholesome one, and is worth emulating.

Here are some links to discussions on meat eating from Buddhist perspective:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dharmadata/fdd21.htm
http://www.lakehouse.lk/budusarana/2003/06/29/Budu11.pdf

In Jivaka Sutta, Buddha discusses the topic of eating meat when questioned about whether the Blessed One himself ate meat or not. Here are links to the translations of the Sutta:

http://thaihealingalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/The_Jivaka_Sutta_-_Overview__Translation.pdf
http://profcohen.net/ltwl136/uploads/texts/jivakasutta.pdf
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Marc

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2015, 09:33:08 AM »
Yes Matthew.

I don't know how to engage in this topic without wanting to shake someone violently by the shoulders, so unless someone has something else to add...

Hey Tobin,

We are all trying to figure out how to approach this topic in a way that doesn't compromise too much our inner peace but that doesn't neglect the problem altogether. Anyway, don't regret having brought this issue to the table. Don't be afraid to speak up! Animals need our voice.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2015, 10:13:08 AM »
I agree animals should have the compassion of humans.

dhammagirl

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2015, 01:32:53 PM »


Hey Tobin

I understand I am very much one sided on this topic. In retrospect, this was a poor topic to post, but I only thought that within Buddhism would be more understanding. I saw some, but realize I am still very alone. I know I need to learn to express myself better, but it might be best for me to leave these heated topics alone.


Yeah, that's why I stopped being an animal rights activist.  I was out there with signs, handing out brochures, engaging people.  I really really dislike confrontation anyway, so I was just setting myself up to get super stressed, and depressed at the seeming futility of trying to understand why folks just didn't seem to "see the light". 
Habit, convenience, and taste doesn't seem very defensible.  But...so what?  They get defensive, you get defensive, I get defensive.  Nothing really gets accomplished.
If you get in people's face asking them to defend or explain their choices, they will get negative on you pretty quick.

Even just engaging with this post has my mind all agitated.  Ick.  But here I am!  Hello ego!

Good people here with different life experiences. 

This is a bit off topic, but to use as an example.   When I was 19, I found my younger sister right after she shot herself in the head.  My reality changed drastically within seconds.  For a long time, I tried desperately to get people to understand what I was going through, and felt tremendous rage  when they clearly had no clue what I was talking about.  I thought if I just tried different words or approaches, I could get through to them. And then it finally dawned on me.  I was asking for the impossible.  Someone who has not gone through such an experience could not possibly understand my feelings, where I was coming from.  When I met with some other survivors of suicide, the feeling of true understanding was there, and I felt less like I was going crazy and totally alone.

So....meeting/talking with other vegans may be a very helpful thing for you, Tobin.  There you can safely discuss your frustrations and difficulties.  Other people who have experienced the same, or similar, feelings and thoughts as yourself.   Just don't let yourself get pressured into doing any activist stuff unless you really really want to.  If you think engaging with a Buddhist message board can be stressful, then going face to face with antagonistic people could be very bad for your mental health. 

Take care of yourself, set an example for others, and when they are ready, you can be strong enough to help them advance on the path of harmlessness. 

Good luck!  With All My Metta, Tobin!   :) :)

p340

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2015, 12:49:14 PM »
Woah. This was a ride. I was nearly responding sometimes, but i was just to lazy to be brain picking everything. I don't care for rhetorical games anymore, which many discussion have become for me.. that is a thing with me, and should not evaluate you or your discussion.

But i enjoy how loving the community regulated this little crisis. I'm sure everybody has to find his own way in dealing with things, and i just comment if asked. I just jumped in because even while understanding why tobin was critized (and he does too now i guess) i found the arguments itself a little sketchy - and it was a thread discussing this special topic. It was mind-bait. It's interesting how little discussing minds can achieve sometimes, and how much feeling oneselfs loving-kindness and respect for others can help bonding between and transforming integral human beings...

Sometimes analysis IS paralysis i guess  :^ )


@DT: Pet that lovely Chicken for me! :) I'm not sure if you aimed at me with that pet-slave comment. I don't stand 100% behind the view presented in earthlings, but i do think it is a valid and important counterpoint to the mainstream. The pet thing is a very us-american theme i guess, and for dogs from puppy mills or breeders it's solid.

Of course you can live with a pet without being a "slave-owner". This why i want to present you Jetti. His first year of live he lived in croatia and was captured by a pound. A good friend of mine "chose" him from a website, because he was the only non-puppy nobody would pick. He was very afraid of everything, weird sounds, plastic bags etc. He was a wreck.

But after 1-2 years of constant love it began to change. He is now ca. 6 years old and the best behaved dog i have ever met. And he was never trained. He really listens, like he understands that you just want his best. He never runs away. He's playing so fully that people laugh when they see him, and he is cuddling so lovingly that i nearly cry sometimes because he moves me so deeply.

I'm so grateful for having him in my life!

p340

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2015, 12:55:05 PM »
Ah yes. And this is me i guess. ;) But we are under the banyan tree after all..

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2015, 07:32:40 PM »
I don't stand 100% behind the view presented in earthlings, but i do think it is a valid and important counterpoint to the mainstream. The pet thing is a very us-american theme i guess, and for dogs from puppy mills or breeders it's solid.
This is partially what I have attempted to touch on, it often unwise to take an absolute stance on these sort of issues. There is injustice and cruelty in most facets of the world. If an individual is concerned with these issues, then concentrate on the issues, rather than taking a generalised view to demonise certain areas - this is an unwise approach that as the tendency to lead to delusion, anger, and all manner of mental affliction.

Another example is the anti-GE (genetically engineered) foods movement. We read something about Monsanto's monopoly over seeds, or we envoke fantasies about some scary mutated plant or animal that might be created in a lab. But on the other hand, there's potential in that field to do extreme good in terms of alleviating hunger and famine. Not only that, but when you look around, you can see examples of many genetically engineered foods we put in our mouths everyday - bananas, sweetcorn, tomatoes, etc etc etc. So the takeway message shouldn't be to vilify anyone or anything supporting genetic engineering, but instead to promote responsible behaviour in that area.

The path is often called "the middle way" for good reason.

Cool pics too!

p340

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2015, 11:07:02 PM »
I don't stand 100% behind the view presented in earthlings, but i do think it is a valid and important counterpoint to the mainstream. The pet thing is a very us-american theme i guess, and for dogs from puppy mills or breeders it's solid.
This is partially what I have attempted to touch on, it often unwise to take an absolute stance on these sort of issues. There is injustice and cruelty in most facets of the world. If an individual is concerned with these issues, then concentrate on the issues, rather than taking a generalised view to demonise certain areas - this is an unwise approach that as the tendency to lead to delusion, anger, and all manner of mental affliction.

Yes. I really guess - that for progress at this stage of humanity world views or ideas need to oscillate between ambivalencies. Such a view as presented in earthlings or even in tobins initial post, are sometimes very important, even if they themselfs aren't the middle way.. It's a systemic way of looking at it.
Furthermore i can imagine.. sometimes the status quo has to be shocked to get some kind of movement into society, that may be because of the special kind of situation we drove our selfs into as a whole with all that distraction.. Many "wise masters" if you want to call them like that (f.e. Ajahn Chah) sometimes shocked their disciples.. Osho (sketchy but interesting) used it too..

It's an interesting thing to think about. As for this part: "There is injustice and cruelty in most facets of the world. If an individual is concerned with these issues, then concentrate on the issues, rather than taking a generalised view to demonise certain areas - this is an unwise approach that as the tendency to lead to delusion, anger, and all manner of mental affliction." I do think that being vegetarian or being a vegan is exactly that, dealing with an issue. There are injustices and cruelties in many facets of the world, but i like to think, that more and more people do little changes and try to make the world a less harmful place for humans and even animals.

But in my opinion you are totally right about the generalization-part. Fun Fact: Overgeneralization is a key parameter in some theories about depression. I can support that with my personal experience. When i tended to overgeneralize groups of people as "stupid" or "shallow" i was a very miserable and lonely person! Of course, you might think. But to learn that myself, and to transform deep rooted tendencies of your mind is very difficult as we all might know...

Well! I'm off to bed now! Good night!

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2015, 12:48:20 AM »
You're very right with what you've said about overgeneralisation. Very easy to forget.

Highwhistler

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #45 on: December 19, 2015, 01:59:36 PM »
Thank you Tobin for starting this thread.

As stated earlier today in my introduction as a member of the forum: I've been a vegetarian for over 45 years, and pretty much a vegan for the last 20. I'm not a vegetarian for health reasons, but for philosophical ones. However, the vegetarian-vegan diet has produced outstanding health, as I've not been sick a single day in nearly a half a century, and my mind-body-emotions are naturally relaxed and stress-free ... which is good for meditation.

Again: I'm a vegetarian purely for philosophical reasons. But I'm no angel, as I grew up in the midwest United States and was a hunter, fisherman and even a trapper of furs until the age of 18. I've killed, butchered and skinned thousands of animals. And so I have plenty of first-hand experience in killing, eating and profiting from animals.

Way back in 1970, I had a spiritual awaking. I did not think it out, or consciously plan it, or conceptualize it in any way shape or form. It just happened instantly ... in the wee hours of the morning ... while I was sleeping. One day I just woke up, and being responsible for killing all those animals completely disgusted me. It came totally out of the blue. I knew nothing about vegetarianism, but I committed myself to not eating meat for a single day. After that day, I felt just fine. And so I thought "let's go for 2 days in a row." After the second day, I felt perfectly OK. Then I thought "let's try it for a whole week." After a week, I felt so good ... I never looked back. It's now been more than 45 years without consuming any meat at all.

But, I look at this lifestyle as my choice. It's not your choice, and I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm in no place to tell anyone what to do, or if my way is better than yours. After all, I've been a killer and consumer of animals during this lifetime, just like most people on the planet. I've been on both sides of the food universe. And so I encourage you to design your own pathways, make your own choices, and to live a lifestyle that is enjoyable and healthy for you. And whatever you choose ... I consider it equal to the choices that I've made.

For instance: I'm a family man with a wife and 2 kids, tho the kids are grown now, teaching at the university level. But, I never told anyone what to eat -- never! I always respected their choices and understood them as equal to mine. Whenever my kids wanted meat, I would go buy it and prepare it for them, with LOVE.

I've never put anyone down for their food choices. They are free, and I thank them for encouraging me to be free, as well. I assume that many people have found that they are healthier eating meat. Perhaps some people find their meditations especially bliss-filled, centered and rewarding on a diet of steaks and cheese. I don't know as I'm not in their shoes. And so I trust everyone to make their own choices and to design, change and update their own lifestyles.

I've also been an organic vegetable gardener since 1970. About 70% of all the food that my family and I have consumed since 1970 was grown in our own back yard. Currently, I own a prosperous urban gardens company and manage 4 large, no-till, organic gardens. We grow a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables for our community. And so I know what it is like to grow and harvest plants, prepare, profit from them, and of course to eat them.

The vegetarian lifestyle only succeeds by killing and eating life forms -- thousands and thousands of living things. I believe that consciousness radiates from all of Creation, and from my point of view, plants are vibrantly alive, sensitive, they certainly live in communities, and they radiate consciousness, as well. And so I have lots of direct first-hand experience, and I take full responsibility, for killing and eating both animals and plants. I know what both types of killings are like, and for the last half century I've chosen to harvest plants rather than animals. To me, at this time in my life, it is a gentler more satisfying path. But again: these are my choices as I design routes to travel through life.

I bow to the choices that you are making, even tho they may be opposite of mine, and I wish you well.

For interested backyard vegetable gardeners, Mod edit: link removed please read forum Terms and Conditions
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 04:23:50 PM by Matthew »

Tobin

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #46 on: December 19, 2015, 03:08:08 PM »
Thanks for your reply. I removed myself from this conversation a while back because I had trouble remaining level headed and kind. I'm slowly learning to accept the choices of others, although I find it extremely difficult when it comes to this issue.

I see it at par with racism, rape, enslavement, etc. If someone killed a man, or raped a child, we wouldn't turn a blind eye. If the murderer or rapist had said "It's my personal choice.", it would not be an acceptable answer. So why when it comes to animals is it any different? This seems delusional to me.

We are incredibly slow at learning from our history. And it's the same story over and over and over.

Regards,
Tobin

Dharmic Tui

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #47 on: December 19, 2015, 06:25:10 PM »
It's different when it comes to animals for many people because they don't project the same value on animals as they do other humans. To some degree, every individuals morality is impacted upon by ones proximity to other beings.

If you had a situation where your action killed either your mother (or some other close person) or a goldfish, which one would you save? Most people are going to pick the person close to them. At some level you're going to make these value judgements, I'm not sure whether I'd call them delusional.

Highwhistler

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2015, 06:35:21 PM »
Hello Tobin. Thank you very much for the response.

You've been a vegan for 5 months. From my perspective, that's kicking the tires and going for a test drive. I thank you for making the effort to explore this lifestyle.

I accept and respect other people's choices because in the unfolding of my life, I've made the same choices. Tho for nearly a half a century, I've enjoyed a diet that's opposite of the masses of people who are into SAD (the Standard American Diet), still, I know that I'm equal to one and all, and I feel that we are spiritually the same. Plus, I understand that I can only control what I do, and what I eat ... and I have no interest in controlling what other people do, eat, say, think, feel, imagine or believe. Hence, my path is simply to set an example ... and I, personally, allow everyone to evolve in their own time and space.

Since you truly believe that eating meat is on par with racism, rape, enslavement and murder ... then I assume that you see your loved ones -- perhaps your mother, father, sisters, brothers, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends who have always consumed meat -- as serial killers who are directly responsible for thousands of murders. That point of view must be a frightening place to be ... knowing that you've been surrounded by mass murders for your entire life. But then again, if you ate meat for 99% of your lifetime, and have only recently taken a few months off from your killing spree, then you probably consider yourself to be one too.

And so as a vegan, what are your thoughts about killing thousands and thousands of living plants to eat? We vegans do it by cutting them away from their homes in the soil, chopping them to pieces, shredding them in machines, then we burn, boil, steam or bake them. We also eat many plants when they are still alive. This is the most horrible death of all, as you can imagine being crushed and torn apart by sharp teeth, slowly dissolved by stomach acids, then put through a small intestine only to have peristaltic action squeeze the nutritive juices out of your pulverized body. And of course we vegans take the living offspring of plants -- millions and millions of grains -- and we grind them into flour, then toss them into ovens.

All the things mentioned above are worthy of our ongoing contemplation, as vegans.

I'm not confident that I could get folks to change, if I referred to them as rapists, slave owners and life-long serial murderers. In fact, I think that will make many them go out and eat tons more meat, and enjoy the heck out of it, too!

However, I'm very confident that I would have much better chances to catalyze positive changes in friends and family, if I become an example of exquisite health, never got sick, always had abundant energy, had an authentic positive attitude, could handle the stresses of daily life with intuitive ease, was street smart, relaxed, poised, laughed frequently, had a light-heart ... and loved them unconditionally. When I meet people like that ... I'm very open to having their energies, philosophies and lifestyles rub off onto me.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 08:28:10 PM by Highwhistler »

Frightful

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Re: What made you go vegan? Why haven't you gone vegan yet?
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2015, 01:28:13 AM »
I guess I'll just jump into the fray on this one.  As this forum is entitled vipissanaforum.net I will assume that much of the ethics surrounding the practice are derived from the far east, a culture I know little about.  What I do appreciate, however, is Daniel Quinn's division of "civilized" versus "primitive", for lack of a better way to conceptually create the division.  Thus, most land- and place-based aboriginal/indigenous cultures rooted their cosmology and their ethics in what was tangible and immediate to them, their cosmology, and their existence.  So in the far east, there would have been groups that were not so enamored with civilization and may have avoided large population centers.  If they adhered  or inclined more toward hunting and gathering, then the meat versus plant argument I feel is easier to resolve by saying "today, you are the hunted, and tomorrow I am the hunted".  "Chance" reenters the equation, unlike large city-states with organized agriculture (meat AND vegetable based).  So even as I am here out of appreciation for what meditation can do for me in terms of cravings, anxieties, etc., my inclination, even as I do not live in that way, leans more aboriginal.  Personally I don't see the sense in the "sentient being" versus non argument.....whatever the heck "sentience" is, I don't see how we could ever possibly know the wail of rocks, the scream of trees, and the weeping of soybeans in monoculture.

My wife has gone pretty much vegan, save the chickens that we have that roam free, occasionally are taken by  us for meat and eggs and are more often taken by owls, foxes, coyotes, etc.  If the chickens were to disappear tomorrow, I don't think we would replace them.  While my wife is retired and is at home, I'm still working, still eat lunch and many local eateries during the lunch hour, still consume meat on many of those occasions, and understand fully that I'm contributing to a horrible aspect of our culture, society, and its treatment of the environment by supporting this industry.  How can I recognize this and still do it?  It's probably because I simply don't care enough.  Having been raised in this western paradigm (U.S. urban existence) under authoritarian parenting, certain parts of me simply don't *feel* caring or responsible.  My wife can show me any number of internet videos indicating the suffering generated from the industry and I can feel that for a moment, but it's not enough to put a dent (for now!) into the larger personal trajectory of "work hard>>feel like shit>>eat what I like for self-soothing>>meat is tasty no matter where it came from".  That's about as honest as I can be about it.  And I don't see any way possible to produce plant or meat foods ethically as long as cities exist, since that kind of disconnect between "the consumer" and "the consumed" I don't feel is sustainable.

It's not that *all* aboriginal/indigenous cultures were, by definition, ethical.  But I feel that *only* within the hunter-gatherer paradigm are the best ethical paradigms to be found.  The deer that is about to be felled by an arrow is not just "meat", but perhaps a spirit, a grandfather, and possibly other things that sustain, nutritionally and spiritually, the members of the tribe.  The hunter who felled the deer is months later taken by a grizzly...also a grandfather or grandmother....and there is simultaneously "other" and "same" in this cosmology.  And all of this is embedded within sacred land--place, not something that is portable like most "civilized" religions or practices.  So just one person's view, even if in the interest of "feeding the world", we seem to be headed in the opposite direction with ever larger cities and expansion of industrial agriculture.