Author Topic: Eating Meat?  (Read 2503 times)

westex1

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Eating Meat?
« on: July 24, 2009, 12:34:57 AM »
Hello,
I'm new to meditation and to this forum.
I was reading some of the post and I saw a few discussions on eating meat.
Some of the post said it was ok to eat meat, some just a little is ok, and some not at all. What is the official word on this subject? Is ok to eat meat if you hire someone to kill it for you? Will some one who hunts, or works in a slaughter house be unable to be liberated? Is ok to put out poison for cockroaches?
I read in one post that Hindu's wear screens over their mouth so they wouldn't  breath in bugs and kill them, then he added that they must be stepping  on them.
 I have read that playing music for plants will make them grow faster. Is a plant a life form to be revere? Some day, if we find a plant growing on Mars will the vegetarians want to go up there and eat it?
Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating the wholesale slaughter of everything living , but even the act of meditation , the breathing in and out through your nose , involves impaling  small microscopic organism on your nose hairs.
So please, what is the official word on this? Is it all life or just the cute ones?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Eating Meat?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 01:20:31 AM »
Welcome to the forums,

There is no "official word" as such in Buddhism. The Buddha set rules that denied monks from eating meat in some cicrumstances. Some have debated if this was if they "knew, suspected or thought" it was in their bowl - or if they "knew, suspected or thought" it had been killed for them. It was one or the other.

However, the Buddha died seemingly after eating a poisoned dish of meat. He did not let any of his followers eat it.

It is more Jains than Hindu's who take an extreme stance on nonkilling. Jainism has much in common with Buddhism though it is seen as a branch of Hinduism (though I am not sure all Jains would agree - some Hindu's say Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism which it is not - it was a cultural reaction against Hinduism).

The reasons behind the Buddha putting his followers off eating meat may well have been related to a reduction in harm in the world or even as it will help you meditate.

Have you ever killed an animal to eat? It's not all that nice. If you can't bring yourself to kill it yet want to eat it you are lying to yourself somewhere. Not lying to yourself is the fundamental reality of walking the meditative path.

The idea you can "put the Karma off" onto someone elses back if they kill the meat you eat is STUPIDITY. It is a less wholesome act to try and avoid the Karma of your desires by unsubtle subterfuge and inducing another to kill than by killing animals yourself. Ten fold.

Animals suffer pain. Raising animals is much more intensive on soil. If we did not eat meat no one would starve. But then equally if Americans were not obesely overweight no one would starve.

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

Philadelphia Population:   1,517,550

Ethiopia Population:     78,254,090

Our world is out of balance.

Whatever you do aim for balance.

Matthew
« Last Edit: July 24, 2009, 01:25:56 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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westex1

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Re: Eating Meat?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2009, 12:23:14 AM »
Matthew, Thank you for your response.
 Yes, I have kill and eaten meat. It's been a few years since I've been hunting, but I have done so. A few years back I told a young lady I worked with that I was going deer hunting. She looked at me with disgust and asked me how could I kill a deer. I reminded her that she just ate a hamburger for lunch and she responded " yeah, but deer are cute!" So, her  line in the sand for what was fair game is "cuteness"
What I'm trying to find out is where Buddha drew the line in the sand. As I said I'm new to meditation. Will I be blocked because I eat a steak for nourishment, will I be blocked if I  drive at night and smashed hundreds of live insects on my windshield just going from point a to point b ? Which life form is precious and which is not. Do some live forms  have a soul we should respect and others not. Is it ok the chop down a tree and burn it for warmth, but not ok to kill a rabbit for food? Is it ok to end a life as long as it doesn't have a face?
Matthew, maybe I'm just being to clever here, I don't know. It just seams to me if one life is form is precious the all life forms should be. Maybe we can respect them all with out choosing one over the other.

More of yours and others insight would be appreciated

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Eating Meat?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2009, 05:35:32 AM »
You're thinking a lot. Meditation can fix that if you work at it.

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

pamojjam

  • Guest
Re: Eating Meat?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 06:15:47 PM »
What I'm trying to find out is where Buddha drew the line in the sand.

As far as I can see, there are two distinct sets of instructions by the Buddha: for laymen vs. those for monks. The rules for monks grew over time when the need arose. And for laymen it's really a line each draws for himself.

There are 5 trainings precepts for laymen:
Not to hurt with words, deeds, stealing, sexual misconduct and taking intoxicating drinks, where one could become negligent in the former.

Which are trained gradually with the deepening understanding for these precepts.

As I said I'm new to meditation. Will I be blocked ...

.. when you feel blocked: that's the time to check if there's maybe something in your behaviour which you could understand as blocking your meditation ..

Which life form is precious and which is not.

It is common sence to have relatives and friends - which are more precious than acquantances or strangers. This is similiar to animals or plants, some will feel more precious - more prone to pain - than others. That's how it feels naturally and no need to fight this prematurely with 'shoulds'.

It's already very good you don't kill humans. It's better if you wouldn't have to let animals be killed for food - and if you could do without a car it would be even better also for other reasons than only the insects on your windshields.

And a step further: Wouldn't it be best to do without possesions? Once you really feel that way you could become a monk. But maybe better not to overdo - if you can't feel it that way, yet.

Deeds can become very determining. However, not as much that even a mass murderer like Angulimala (killed 99, some say 999 people) in the time of the Buddha couldn't cut through, once he realized his blockage, rectified and became free.

best wishes..