Posted by russell (220.127.116.11) on October 28, 2000 at 00:50:12:
In Reply to: Re: vegetarianism posted by Sergio on October 27, 2000 at 13:17:59:
First, I say all of this with respect for your freewill and without judgement, although I know it may sound like I do. I am doing my best, and I am trying to help others move towards Buddhahood.
I did not say one is a better Buddhist for being a vegetarian. The issue is that eating meat is an attachment and causes harm. In light of the facts that I presented in my first posting, can anyone truly say that they believe that eating meat is good for anyone or anything? The meat industry is clearly doing great harm. There is no reason to take part in the destruction that eating meat causes, so why do it? The only reason that I can think of is that I am still attached to eating meat, which I do believe is in accord with the precepts. If you can think of a reason to eat meat that is based upon the precepts or the eightfold path (and not just what others have done (look to the Dharma not imperpect beings)) then eat it. Otherwise, you have already vowed not to. Our world is different than Gautama's and if he lived today I can't believe he would think we should help perpetuate the meat industry.
The discussions I usually see on vegetarianism state that vegetables are alive,insects are killed, etc., which is all true. But does that mean that we should not minimize the suffering and damage to the best of our ability? It is not an either/or issue, it is a matter of degree. It is like saying, "I can't stop all of the killing so I can't stop any of the killing". Not eating meat is taking a step towards greater compassion and it also serves as an example to others that can help foster compassion in them. And just having positive thoughts while you eat the meat is not addressing the issue, it just makes you feel better. Would it make it okay to murder a man if you were thinking positive thoughts? It is important to be thankful and cognizant, but it is essential to take action also. Buddhist practice is about action after all. And by the way, organic farmers do not use pesticides and Gautama ate poison mushrooms not bad pork, a misconception resulting from a poor translation.
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