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Buddhist Vegetarianism

Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:50 am

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not this morning;
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Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:02 pm

A Philosopher wrote:So, Dear Linda and Fukasetsu, since/if you have cats and feed them meat, what do you do about not exposing other animals to tortures and excruciating suffering? Can you describe some concrete measures and steps you take?

Thanks!


I don't take any steps, I just go to the pet store and buy them dry food, that's all they eat (besides some treats and what's on my plate too, since I also like to share) Pretty sure the meat in the cat industry is "waste" meat from human consumption, so I don't see how any animals would be directly slaughtered for what I get out of the pet store, I would not feel comfortable buying meat for my cats directly from the butcher.
But that might just be me.
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Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism

Postby fukasetsu on Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:05 pm

Linda Anderson wrote:Food for Thought:



“If you think that people should be nice to one another, then by
all means be nice. But when you project that belief onto the
people and the world around you as if it were an objective reality,
or worse still, as if it were their job to be nice to you, you put
yourself at odds with what is, and suffering will surely follow.”
~Adyashanti
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
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Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism

Postby A Philosopher on Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:37 pm



It's a book "THINKING OF BECOMING A VEGETARIAN? WELL, YOU CAN’T" by a fellow philosopher Andrew Smith, Ph.D.

I have not yet read the book so I will just rely on the author's responses to various folks who shared their concerns on the blog looked above. (I am planning to read the book.)

First off, it's very good food for thought because the author is very thoughtful. The title of the book seems to me a bit misleading or (perhaps intentionally) provocative. The main point is not really that we cannot be vegetarians in a "popular" sense of this term. In fact, Smith says that he himself is a vegetarian (in so far as it is possible, or even though it is impossible). The main point is that, because of interconnection of all things, plants depend on matter produced by animals (including their bodies). So, in effect, even vegetarians depend on animals.

But does it mean that vegetarians are not really vegetarians? I myself would take an issue with this point. It is not like plants eat animals, or kill animals and then eat them. Rather, animals die, their bodies decompose, organic matter decomposes further, and plants depend on matter that used to be part of animal bodies. So, it's not like humans who eat plants (vegans) or plants and dairy (vegetarians) eat animals or even eat other organisms that eat animals. A quite discernible sense of being a vegetarian/vegan seems to be identifiable.

Another of his main points is that, whatever we do, we can do it in more or less harmful and responsible way. In particular, it is not guaranteed that a vegetarian diet is overall less harmful than omnivorous diet. I agree with this point. To illustrate how it relates to me but one example. From time to time, I eat at the dining hall of the university where I work. I do it for the sake of convenience and verity -- it's just a bit draining and time consuming to to always make your meals at home. In the past, sometimes my dining hall would not have vegan meal that I would like. In such cases, I would settle on a vegetarian meal. This seemed to me less harmful that using energy, gas, and time and drive across town looking for a vegan option. In addition, I would try to engage chefs and managers in a conversations about animals harms. again, I tried to be respectful and corneal and not to make a scene for this seemed to me the least harmful and most compassionate approach. Over a period of time, I noticed that more and more vegan options started to appear on the menu. These days I can typically choose from 5 or 6 different options.

back to the book, the author agrees that, typically, vegetarian or vegan diet is overall less harmful than alternatives.

Thank you for the link!
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Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism

Postby A Philosopher on Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:46 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
A Philosopher wrote:So, Dear Linda and Fukasetsu, since/if you have cats and feed them meat, what do you do about not exposing other animals to tortures and excruciating suffering? Can you describe some concrete measures and steps you take?

Thanks!


I don't take any steps, I just go to the pet store and buy them dry food, that's all they eat (besides some treats and what's on my plate too, since I also like to share) Pretty sure the meat in the cat industry is "waste" meat from human consumption, so I don't see how any animals would be directly slaughtered for what I get out of the pet store, I would not feel comfortable buying meat for my cats directly from the butcher.
But that might just be me.


Thanks!

I hope you are right and totally understand the point at the philosophical level. For example, if one of my meat-eating friends gives me scraps or bones for my ladies, I accept and use them. It's much better, it seems to me, than to just throw the scraps away. (By the way, my dogs are "basically" vegan, plus scraps they get and some seafood they may occasionally find on the beach, when they roam off leash.)

But I am not sure how it works when we buy commercially produced food. It's likely that, for producers, it's but a matter of cost/benefit analysis. If they can use "waste" for pet food, then it increases their profit. In effect, it gives them economic incentive to produce more meat using the typical ways they do it (including the factory farms).
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Re: Buddhist Vegetarianism

Postby fukasetsu on Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:54 am

Thanks Philosopher,
I couldn't possibly say I totally understand the point philosophically, for that I need to be a production insider I figure.
You do raise an interesting point, as I said I can't be sure about any of it.
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