Posted by russell (220.127.116.11) on October 27, 2000 at 08:01:10:
This is my first posting and I realize that this subject has recently been discussed into the ground, however I beleive that an essential aspect of the issue has been missed here. We live in a different world than the Gotama Buddha did. A practitioner of Buddhism should not eat meat that has been killed specifically for her use. That is very clear from all of the sources. In our day and age it is very rare to have access to meat that has not been killed specifically for your use. That was not so in Buddha's time. Companies raise livestock and kill it to sell to consumers. I dare say that everyone reading this that eats meat purchases it. When you make that purchase and eat that meat you have fulfilled the intention of that company; you have eaten the meat they killed for you. The cycle of death has been perpetuated and fulfilled when you make that purchase. When that meat is purchased the message goes back to the company in the form of the level of demand there is for meat. You have helped set that level of demand. To meet that demand, they kill more animals. It is cause and effect, the Karmic cycle, just as the Buddha taught. That meat was killed for you as surely as though you asked it to be; because by purchasing it you did ask.
Second, if you decide to eat meat that is up to you. It all depends on where you are at. It does not make you evil. However, on the way to Buddhahood you will stop eating meat (at least the way it is done today) because when you see the true nature of things you will have compassion, and asking companies to raise animals in inhumane conditions while they wait to be killed and sent to your grocery store for you to conveniently pick up is not compassionate. Lest anyone misunderstand, I do not judge anyone for eating meat, I simply say that it is not the Way.
Finally, the meat industry does much more harm than to just the animals. The Earth suffers and people suffer.Consider this: It takes 2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.70% of US grain production is fed to live stock. 5 million acres of rain forest are felled every year in South and Central America alone to create cattle pasture. Roughly 20% of all currently threatened and endangered species in the US are harmed by livestock grazing Animal agriculture is a chief contributor to water pollution. America's farm animals produce 10 times the waste produced by the human population. There is a lot of bad Karma associated with eating meat in our world today.
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