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#402279 - 04/03/08 05:10 PM Vegetarianism in Buddhism
Jeanette - Editor Offline
Chipmunk

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1881
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
This week's article is about the practice of being a vegetarian among Buddhist.

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#402280 - 04/03/08 05:13 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Jeanette - Editor]
Alexandra Offline
Zebra

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 3313
Loc: Verulamium, England
There is no obligation or compulsion, anywhere in Buddhism, that says you must absolutely not ever eat meat, as a layperson....

If you practise Mahayana Buddhism, you are greatly encouraged to be Vegetarian, and as a Monastic, it is an absolute obligation.
If you practise Theravada Buddhism, whilst you are encouraged to try to avoid meat, there is no obligation, even in most (but not all) monastic traditions.
I am Buddhist.
I am not vegetarian.
But I am Mindful of what I eat.

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Edited by Alexandra (04/03/08 05:16 PM)
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#402282 - 04/03/08 05:17 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Alexandra]
Jeanette - Editor Offline
Chipmunk

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1881
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Hi Alexandra! Thanks for your input.
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#403085 - 04/05/08 06:51 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Jeanette - Editor]
Alexandra Offline
Zebra

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 3313
Loc: Verulamium, England
Man I am soooo good at this....

killing threads stone-dead.....!!
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#403685 - 04/07/08 09:03 AM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Alexandra]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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I think people are sensitive about vegetarianism and not wanting to get their head chopped off smile

I do agree that we should all be very aware of what we eat. It could very easily be that eating a chicken who lived a long, happy life is far more "ethically sound" than eating a vegetable that is raised by child slave labor where children are whipped to pick it and end up dying from diseases as a result. There are always trade-offs in the world.

Our bodies need protein to live. If a given body needs that protein in meat form for whatever reason, I don't think others should throw stones. There is more than enough improvement in each of our lives, before we start telling others how to live ...

I think eating meat in moderation is fine for some people. For people who choose not to eat meat - and whose bodies can handle that - that is fine too.
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#403710 - 04/07/08 12:18 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Alexandra Offline
Zebra

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 3313
Loc: Verulamium, England
Lisa, you might be missing the point here...
but there again, you may not know that.

First of all please be assured that what I am about to write, is not a personal attack or criticism. And I will tell you why, shortly.

There is much in buddhist literature that advises against eating meat, not only for dietary reasons, but also because it involves killing a sentient being, either directly or indirectly.
Now, that said, in Tibetan Buddhism (which as I discussed elsewhere,is of the Mahayana Tradition,) meat eating is permitted, because culturally and geographically, growing crops in the mountainous regions of Nepal and Tibet is very difficult, and inspite of trade, import and export, buying vegetables is still a challenge in remote areas. So allowances are made in certain circumstances. (This is why buddhism is such a favourable path to follow... you're NOT damned if you do, and NOT damned if you don't - !!grin)
However, the killing of a sentient being, or the direction given to someone else, to kill such a being for you, is very strongly advised against.

The final factor, is the well-being of the animals, bred exclusively for meat, dairy or eggs, themselves.
Intensive farming can be extremely cruel. Great suffering is known to be inflicted in some cases, upon the animals, both during their lives, and at the time of their deaths.
Buying conveniently packaged lumps of meat in handy blue polystyrene and cellophane wraping does not absolve us from the responsibility of the welfare of these animals. Period.
There is much medical evidence to show also that children raised with a good and balanced vegetarian diet overall show a higher IQ and responsive ability in classes than meat eaters. I say 'children with a good and balanced vegetarian diet'... as with any diet, there are wise and unwise elements.... chips, crisps, fries, and a generally unbalanced vegetarian diet may result in being just as damaging as an unbalanced carnivorous or omnivorous one - !
And there is not a single protein available as a meat, that is not equally available as a protein from a vegetable source.
Meat is also known to lead to high blood pressure and heart problems, too.

So really, the arguments in favour of vegetarianism far outweigh the counter arguments. The one reason that stands head above shoulders for a meat eater, is to honestly say that -
"I eat meat because I want to, and because I like it."
That's good old, down-to-earth, no-nonsense honesty. Because quite frankly, any other counter-argument, can be shot down in flames.

Now:

I eat meat.

I eat meat because I was advised to due to a severe blood condition. (I was born with a defective liver, and very jaundiced. I also have a condition called Thalassemia.) I needed a specific protein found in red meat, liver and offal. For these reasons, I have been eating meat all my life.
Now, in close partnership with my Doctor, and a qualified, medical dietician, I am slowly weaning myself off meat, because for me, morally, ethically, conscientiously, reasonably, Spiritually and ecologically, it is the right thing to do.

It's going to take me about a year, to switch, and to permit my body to adapt to a different regime. Anything too sudden, and my system may go haywire. So I'm working together with them to kick the habit, and to keep me healthy. And they know why, and they're fine with this.

Any form of industry designed to put food onto our table, is going to cause problems at one point or another, during the process. Heck, ploughing a field to plant crops, is going to kill creatures....

As Buddhists, we simply have to be Mindful of what we do, and try and aim to be as skilful as possible, in the execution of our thoughts, words and deeds.

Because, as far as we're concerned, Kamma means you don't get away with anything.
And it all counts.


Edited by Alexandra (04/07/08 12:22 PM)
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#404206 - 04/08/08 11:58 AM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Alexandra]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 01/05/04
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Isn't that about what I said - that you should be mindful of what you eat? smile

"There is much medical evidence to show also that children raised with a good and balanced vegetarian diet overall show a higher IQ and responsive ability in classes than meat eaters."

Do you have any links for me to read? The vast majority of Mensans I know are very avidly meat eaters ... smile Also, a lot of IQ seems in my research to be genetic, and then only modified from that starting point by environment (diet, childhood experiences, etc).
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#404214 - 04/08/08 12:30 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Alexandra Offline
Zebra

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 3313
Loc: Verulamium, England
OK... First of all I humbly apologise and unreservedly retract the above comment. I badly misread some information, and am now eating Humble Pie (vegetarian, of course....!!)
It was a mistake to write what I wrote, and I am sorry for the misleasding comments.

However, what misled me, was the memorty of this article, which appeared some time ago.
It took me a while to find it, but I knew i'd saved it somewhere.....!

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#404245 - 04/08/08 02:14 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Eng Culture Nicola Jane Offline
Parakeet

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 910
Loc: Kent UK
It is unfortuanate the English government is trying to turn every one into veggies then!
Not me!! I love meat. However, when I recieved stuff about mensa it was very prideful, it read 'you can meet with people of your own intelligence' like everyone else was below average and would not understand your wisdom! It came across like a IQ dating club!
Lisa I definatly agree that some is inherited, but much can be stunted depending on emotional damage. I am so glad people are now waking up to the fact that emotional intelligents is so very important, in fact vital. there is a book by Daniel Goldman called emotial intelligence that is worth a read. things like fear can have a devestating effect on IQ. Any way I have gone off course..........Sorry!


Edited by Eng Culture Nicola Jane (04/08/08 02:18 PM)
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#409252 - 04/20/08 09:27 PM Re: Vegetarianism in Buddhism [Re: Eng Culture Nicola Jane]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Posts: 20500
The article in question says:

Lead researcher Catharine Gale said: "The finding that children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults, together with the evidence on the potential benefits of a vegetarian diet on heart health, may help to explain why higher IQ in childhood or adolescence is linked with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease in adult life."

So it is that people who are smarter end up, over time, choosing a more healthy diet. I would wholeheartedly agree with that. Now what's funny is that they say that diet can include fish and chicken and be the same rate. So the *only* think they are counting out is beef. I assume they aren't thinking about venison, buffalo and other "unusual" meats.

So am I saying that beef is bad? Well, I eat steak and hamburger. So I do eat them. I don't think eating them is any better or worse, emotionally, than eating fish. Which is why it's so funny that so many vegetarians eat fish because they're "just fish". That all being said, I am very aware that I am eating animal flesh, aware of where it comes from and am thankful for thier protein donation to my health. I try my best to eat animals who were raised in a healthy way. So I tend towards I suppose the "native american" attitude in that sense. I eat them as I would eat corn and peas. They are all alive, and I respect them all. Studies have shown that plants can react to sound and feel pain. So to say they are "better to eat" than a fish doesn't strike a right chord with me.

That all being said, I think in general people should be more aware of what they eat. I don't eat tons of fatty char-broiled protein. I eat lean, grilled protein. Just as I eat grilled and steamed veggies. The more we are aware of what we eat, the better we can maintain our bodies.

Nicola - you are SO right that a starting intelligence level can definitely be damaged by stress, by emotional damage, by nutritional damage and MUCH more. It is really scary how much you can "stunt" a child and not allow them to reach their full potential. Raising a child is an awesome responsibility. I fully believe that every single human here should have had a higher IQ potential and none of us reached it for various reasons. Is it really something to "mourn"? Probably not, we all lead pretty charmed lives compared to most of the globe's population. Still, it's something to be aware of.

Finally, on the point of Mensa being a dating service - most Mensans I know really do treasure its community far more than anything else. It's not so much the dating part. It's simply the "not being thought of as a boring nerd" part. If I am really into database coding, for example, most people would find that enormously boring. Other Mensans will find it fascinating because they understand the things I'm doing. So it's almost the opposite of prideful. It is more like a "I am an outcast and finally someone accepts me".
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