Hi I am from Singapore.

Vegans and non-vegans alike are welcome.
Post an intro here first to have your account authenticated by a mod, then you'll be able to post anywhere.
Even if you're here to lurk, please drop a short intro post here to let us know you're not a spammer so you aren't accidentally deleted.

Forum rules
Please read the full Forum Rules
Lilith67
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:16 am
Religion: Buddhist
Diet: Meat-Eater

Hi I am from Singapore.

Post by Lilith67 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:22 am

Hi, I have been following Theraveda Buddhist teachings for many years and my friend has recently introduced Nichiren Shoshu buddhist teachings to me and it really conflicts with what I have learnt so far. Hope to get more clarity and learn from others.

User avatar
NonZeroSum
Master in Training
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:30 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: North Wales, UK

Post by NonZeroSum » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:46 pm

Lilith67 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:22 am
Hi, I have been following Theraveda Buddhist teachings for many years and my friend has recently introduced Nichiren Shoshu buddhist teachings to me and it really conflicts with what I have learnt so far. Hope to get more clarity and learn from others.
Welcome Lilith,

Is your friend also vegan? I'd be interested to read what first had you questioning meat eating.

I read into various early Buddhist, Mahayana Buddhist and even some funny modern communist buddhist interpretations of Shin Buddhism in my teens, as I grew up on new age storybooks where reincarnation felt like a better connection to the world than Christianity, you can get a taste in this somewhat cheesy song.

There's also the DharmaWheel forum encase you didn't already know which would be good at answering questions specifically on buddhism.

Hope you like it here.
Unofficial librarian of vegan and socialist movements, video and writing culture.

PhiloVegan Wiki: https://tinyurl.com/y7jc6kh6
Vegan Video Library: https://tinyurl.com/yb3udm8x
Activist Journeys YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y9vwdcj3

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9272
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:02 pm

Lilith67 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:22 am
Hi, I have been following Theraveda Buddhist teachings for many years and my friend has recently introduced Nichiren Shoshu buddhist teachings to me and it really conflicts with what I have learnt so far. Hope to get more clarity and learn from others.
Welcome Lilith, the most important thing you can learn about Gautama's teachings on meat is context: early Buddhists often relied on donations of food, so strict vegetarianism wasn't always practicable for them when they had no money.
This is also true for the poor today, who rely on food banks etc. It's unfair to judge people on their actions when they don't have a choice.

The definition of veganism is always about practicable and possible, which means if you're starving and you don't have any choice of course you have to eat what's available.

Mahayana Buddhism developed vegetarian practice in the context of land ownership, which meant they could grow food, so because they had a choice in what to eat (and grow), of course they should not have eaten meat.

So the question modern people have to ask is this: do I have a choice? And if that answer is yes, then the ethical choice is to choose plant based, and that's in line with what Gautama taught. When we purchase meat today, animals are ultimately killed for us. In the historical context, donations were basically alternatives to waste so early Buddhist were more like freegans -- a practice which doesn't cause more animals to die, because you eat only what would have gone to waste.

User avatar
NonZeroSum
Master in Training
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:30 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: North Wales, UK

Post by NonZeroSum » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:48 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:02 pm
Early Buddhists often relied on donations of food, so strict vegetarianism wasn't always practicable for them when they had no money.
Potentially, though a monastic class may have propped up the same level of meat production. Traditionally they believed the person who did the killing has the sin, so still today some will buy from a muslim person owned meat market for example.

Interesting justications in history for this could have been monks spread higher philosophical thought and played a diplomatic role traveling far and wide. Also whether a country with high human welfare, needed to use fishing boats as an efficient way for people to live in city states maintain all kinds of industry and not get conquered by the larger empire next door causing a fair bit of bloodshed.
Last edited by NonZeroSum on Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Unofficial librarian of vegan and socialist movements, video and writing culture.

PhiloVegan Wiki: https://tinyurl.com/y7jc6kh6
Vegan Video Library: https://tinyurl.com/yb3udm8x
Activist Journeys YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y9vwdcj3

User avatar
Red
Supporter
Supporter
Posts: 2854
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Toluca Lake

Post by Red » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:27 pm

Hey Lilith, welcome to the forum. :)
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9272
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:38 am

NonZeroSum wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:48 pm
Traditionally they believed the person who did the killing has the sin, so still today some will buy from a muslim person owned meat market for example.
I believe there's also a prohibition on seeing the animal killed, or it being killed for you. The latter is a little ambiguous.
When people participate in the economics of meat production, certainly the animals are being slaughtered for the consumer.
Not so when extra meat is being donated (something that may have gone to waste).

Of those who believe *only* the person who does the deed bears the sin, and not those who pay for it and order that it be done, I wonder how they feel about ordering a hit on somebody: is that perfectly fine because you only paid for and ordered it, and the hit man is the only one who bears any guilt? I somehow doubt it.
NonZeroSum wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:48 pm
Interesting justications in history for this could have been monks spread higher philosophical thought and played a diplomatic role traveling far and wide.
But at what point does a philosophy get watered down and corrupted so much that it's no longer of positive value to spread?
NonZeroSum wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:48 pm
Also whether a country with high human welfare, needed to use fishing boats as an efficient way for people to live in city states maintain all kinds of industry and not get conquered by the larger empire next door causing a fair bit of bloodshed.
Fishing is an interesting case: it's hard for ancient cultures to *not* use that resource and remain competitive and secure.
The same is conceivable of draft animals in ancient times, and the unfortunate eating of them when they go lame etc.

Of course today over fishing is a serious problem, and there's no longer a reliance on the resource for sustenance in modern countries. Nor for draft animals.

Utility based arguments really only apply to the ancient world and undeveloped countries.

User avatar
NonZeroSum
Master in Training
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:30 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: North Wales, UK

Post by NonZeroSum » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:52 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:38 am
Not so when extra meat is being donated (something that may have gone to waste).
Aye, would just be curious if there became so large a monastic class not looking for ways to earn to live vegan, that people spent longer out fishing or in today's more affluent society bought more meat to be ready each time asked, rather than simply giving what would have been wasted or accepting going without having as much themselves each time.

In Thailand they have an embarrassing problem of some popular monks living a luxery lifestyle from money donations to temple, where they were bringing some shame on the culture, flying first class and generally flaunting their money around abroad. In ancient times the only tension I'm aware of is monks accidentally trampling on new rice saplings, so them creating a month holiday for introspection around this season.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Of those who believe *only* the person who does the deed bears the sin, and not those who pay for it and order that it be done, I wonder how they feel about ordering a hit on somebody: is that perfectly fine because you only paid for and ordered it, and the hit man is the only one who bears any guilt? I somehow doubt it.
That's a good analogy.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
NonZeroSum wrote:Interesting justications in history for this could have been monks spread higher philosophical thought and played a diplomatic role traveling far and wide.
But at what point does a philosophy get watered down and corrupted so much that it's no longer of positive value to spread?
I mean from a strong atheist perspective I think you have to acknowledge the corruption at the beginning of any religion, believing in hallucinations as real events. But just to be curious about why a culture wished it to be true, how it conditioned people to be better or worse to one another and what we can admire about those philosophical interests and idiosyncrasies in the culture today.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Utility based arguments really only apply to the ancient world and undeveloped countries.
For sure historically context specific, just an interesting clarification to sometimes people's faulty intuition often when you bring up veganism, the imagining you're saying all the stories they have of their ancestors that lead to the world they were born into was done out of some malice or necessarily wrong.
Unofficial librarian of vegan and socialist movements, video and writing culture.

PhiloVegan Wiki: https://tinyurl.com/y7jc6kh6
Vegan Video Library: https://tinyurl.com/yb3udm8x
Activist Journeys YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y9vwdcj3

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9272
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:44 am

NonZeroSum wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:52 am
Aye, would just be curious if there became so large a monastic class not looking for ways to earn to live vegan, that people spent longer out fishing or in today's more affluent society bought more meat to be ready each time asked, rather than simply giving what would have been wasted or accepting going without having as much themselves each time.
Yes, that is a risk of unintended consequences, which is why freegans today shouldn't accept meat gifts (such as from family).

Of course, in the Early days of Gautama's life I don't think that was an issue.
Red wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:57 pm
For sure historically context specific, just an interesting clarification to sometimes people's faulty intuition often when you bring up veganism, the imagining you're saying all the stories they have of their ancestors that lead to the world they were born into was done out of some malice or necessarily wrong.
Right.
I mean, it even applies to slavery during an era of tribal warfare where the options were to kill or enslave, otherwise the people would come back for revenge. And imprisoning them wasn't an option due to lack of resources.
Today it seems barabaric to give rules around slavery when it's just wrong, period. But it's wrong today because we have the resources to imprison criminals and we have far less tribal level warfare: warfare is less personal, and we can make peace with our nation-state level enemies which act more as rational agents and not as angry families out for more blood for their kin.

Now that's a powerful analogy for Christians to show how you can't see the Biblical condoning of meat as condoning it today unless you believe the same about slavery in such vastly different contexts.
I wonder if there's a good Buddhist parallel?

User avatar
NonZeroSum
Master in Training
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:30 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: North Wales, UK

Post by NonZeroSum » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:06 pm

brimstoneSalad wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:44 am
Now that's a powerful analogy for Christians to show how you can't see the Biblical condoning of meat as condoning it today unless you believe the same about slavery in such vastly different contexts.
Mmm I'm sure it's true of some tribal situation somewhere in history, it's just such murky territory, I don't think it's realistic to imagine when the Talmud or Bible was being composed they were referring to necessary wars for security at the outset of the Roman Empire. Plus there would have been no justifying at the time of writing the indentured slavery and genocidal wars. Maybe the Athenian Empire with its reliance on piracy, but even at its outset, they have unnecessary wars of conquest where they kill the men rather than go the trouble of enslaving them and the women become a class of sex slaves. So any later abstract justifications even that Aristotle, for example, tries to give to this is I think the initial mistake that props up the future wrongs.
brimstoneSalad wrote:I wonder if there's a good Buddhist parallel?
I think with Buddhism it's the lack of clear condemnation, just some passages with wry cynicism towards it as Eisel puts it. So I think it's not till the end of the colonial period and emergence of revolutionary politics, where they begin fighting for the liberation of all people in their own country to conduct their own affairs. The Portuguese with their Jesuit priests were probably the first to preach condemnation of slavery in the idea of all being equal slaves unto God, but obviously, in reality, this meant a form of slavery to the church and army, encouraging people to put to the sword the unbelieving village next-door and torture racks of the Inquisition. Eisel just put out a really interesting video book review on slavery in the Americas, so I'll ask if he has anything to add here.
Unofficial librarian of vegan and socialist movements, video and writing culture.

PhiloVegan Wiki: https://tinyurl.com/y7jc6kh6
Vegan Video Library: https://tinyurl.com/yb3udm8x
Activist Journeys YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/y9vwdcj3

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9272
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:10 pm

NonZeroSum wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:06 pm
So any later abstract justifications even that Aristotle, for example, tries to give to this is I think the initial mistake that props up the future wrongs.
It's all in how it's used.
It can be more to gently bring people around to the understanding that their cultural practices or scriptural justifications are simply outdated and impress the need for adopting more progressive views across the board.
So that people won't reject your call to change based on the perception that you're calling their beliefs or ancestors fundamentally evil (in which case they might not listen at all). More of a "They weren't evil, just a product of their times and these things made sense then, but times have changed" kind of thing.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests