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On Vegetarianism

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I'm not vegetarian. I have no intention of becoming entirely vegetarian either... except maybe at lunch. =) I believe in balance and moderation, which includes a meat and non-meat diet.

We were never asked to be vegetarian; we were only asked to observe a few main principles. Refraining from eating meat was just one of the interpretations.

I'm sure many, if not all, of the highest Buddhist clerics, as close to enlightenment as we will ever know on Earth, are vegetarian. But the most hypocritical, delusional, dark-hearted person I know, also happens to be vegetarian and aligns himself with "Buddhism".

You're not any more right, noble or compassionate than anyone else because you are vegetarian or identify yourself under a banner or label. You will be more right, more noble, more compassionate than others when you are more right, more noble, more compassionate than others.

We'll harm many things in our lifetime. Eating requires killing, whether it's an animal or a plant. Plants are living organisms too. They satisfy all the criteria: they move on their own, they grow, they respond to stimuli, they reproduce, they consume nutrients, they expel waste, they have cells that demonstrate specific cell grouping/organization.

Some cultures don't consider eating certain animals to be eating meat. In many places, fish are not considered "animals" as land animals are. They're not vegetables either, but traditionally in Vedic cultures and many Asian cultures via the spread of Buddhism, fish don't have higher intellect, "a third eye" or the spiritual centre that other animals have. This is why many vegetarians will eat fish and insect meat. Their culture and belief system are not wrong for classifying living things differently and they certainly don't deserve the narrow-minded snarking I've seen.

Every step you take, there's a chance you'll trample an insect or some living creature. If you live in a house, apartment or any kind of modern structure, you've contributed to the demand that involved trees being clear cut and forest animals being displaced. No matter how careful you think you are, how participatory or non-participatory you are in whatever way, in whatever society you choose to live in, you'll always be a part of a long chain of events that involves killing and destroying at some point. Even if you live completely "off the grid", you need to eat, you need to survive. That's always been the natural cycle of life.

Use what you need, but be modest about your needs. Be mindful of the origins of your resources and consequences of your usage. And if those criteria are satisfied to the best of your abilities, then there's no sense worrying about things that are truly not yours to worry about.


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sapientmusings
Jan. 8th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
Right on - moderation in all things, and accept that there is a certain amount of harm done in everyone's name so that they may live as they do. We clear trees, we kill animals, we create waste. But the alternative, most people would agree, would be a rather dismal and uncomfortable existence, and few would be willing to relinquish the comforts of a sturdy roof over their head, clean water, and a steady food supply. So it should be that we use our minds to guide our resource usage in a responsible, moderated way, and this is true from the individual to national level.
bride
Jan. 8th, 2006 07:27 am (UTC)
Exactly.
nicosian
Jan. 8th, 2006 10:27 am (UTC)
" I'm sure many, if not, all the highest Buddhist clerics, as close to enlightenment as we will ever know on Earth, are vegetarian. But the most hypocritical, delusional, dark-hearted person I know, also happens to be vegetarian and aligns himself with "Buddhism".

You're not any more right, noble or compassionate than anyone else because you are vegetarian or identify yourself under a banner or label. You will be more right, more noble, more compassionate than others when you are more right, more noble, more compassionate than others. "

I know a few people like this. Apparently the mere tagging of yourself as a buddhist, vegetarian, activist, christian means you're automatically bestowed of those traits as if it were a downloadable program.


(Anonymous)
Jan. 9th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
I will continue to eat steaks because I enjoy them. I will continue not to eat snails and weird bugs, because I do not enjoy them. I continue to limit carb and fat intake, except on special occasions or when I feel like I deserve it or when I just don't care for a short lapse of good judgement.

Life isn't fun if you can't enjoy what you want. But you also don't want to enjoy whatever you want, and then prematurely shorten your life.

Ben (concept.blogspot.com)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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