Posted by SkySitter (220.127.116.11) on October 27, 2000 at 22:32:41:
In Reply to: Re: vegetarianism posted by Sergio on October 27, 2000 at 13:17:59:
: Buddhism is not again to the consume of meat, except for monks. The historical Buddha died at the age of 80ís because he ate meat visiting a man who invited him.
: The point here is the motivation of the action of eating meat, not the action itself. If the idea of not eating meat was to avoid killing, then we could not eat anything, because when you cook your vegetables you are killing millions of micro-organisms (I heard this argument from a Tibetan Monk). So the main point is why you eat meat and what you think when eating, even vegetables. We donít eat meat or vegetables because we like to kill animals, but because we need to feed. This is not a negative motivation, but either positive. This is why when a Buddhist is going to eat, he/she must think about all sentient beings who did something to make your food be in your table. Not just the animals or micro-organisms that were killed to for you, but also all people who worked and did something to guarantee your food: the man who drove the bus that carried the products, the man who killed the cow creating negative karma, the cooker who burned the vegetables. And then we must feel a deep gratitude to all them. This makes that our motivation be positive, and we should also think that we are going to work for all those beings who fed us and help them to get enlightenment in future lives. This neutralises the negative karma created by the negative action of eating these beings, and if this mental compassion is strong enough, you could even generate a strong positive karma.
: Of course, if you want to be vegetarian, for Buddhism is Ok.
: I hope it be useful.
Well said, and I am with you.
As a vegetarian, I can't stand the sight or the smell of meat. I am lucky for I don't have to. However, I don't think it is wise (or within Buddha's teaching) to say: I am a better Buddhist than you are since I am a vegetarian and you are not.
It is OK (at least in my view) to say: being a vegetarian has been good (than not being a vegetarian) from my own direct personal experience. However, a simple term carries very complex meanings.
My friends like to tease me: "Would you buy the vegetables and fruits when you know how many bugs have been killed by the farmers?" I used the same lines as meat-eaters: the killing has been done by the time I come to the markets. One thing we did do with care: do not kill bugs when we grow our own vegetables and fruits.
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