Friday, October 17, 2008

Vegetarianism: A Common Topic


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mundoo/377341807/

Question:(unedited)
I have been told that it does not matter if you eat meat or not. I personally do not. The reason they stated was that no matter what you eat some sort of being was harmed in the harvest. This seems wrong to me because isn't karma based on intention? The intention to harm another is there when you eat animals but not vegtables. Another reaason that they gave was that here are many products made from animals that we need to use such as soap, which in some cases is made from animal fat; but isn't one of the main buddhist ideas is that if you can't help at least do no harm? Any way I guess the question is: is it o.k. or not to eat meat, and why?

My comment:
Thank you for asking me.

I shall come straight to the point. It is OK to eat meat. It is not wholesome to kill life intentionally.

The dietician will tell you that you are what you eat. The fashion designer will tell you that you are what you wear. The Buddha told us that we are what we think, speak, and act. You see the difference?

The world is surrounded by good and bad things. It is the very nature of this world to be such. That was why the Buddha led us to SEE the real nature of this world. Once we realize this truth, we will gradually come to terms with this contradiction, the dichotomy of good and bad. The Buddha referred this as "Dukkha". It is always this Dukkha that we have to live and contend with. If you watch the National Geographic or Discovery Channel programmes, you will see this Dukkha overpowering our lives. Every moment, when a life lives, another life has to be sacrificed. This is great Dukkha. But we are blind to this fact. We ignorantly think that we can live without others dying for us. I shall not go further giving examples to convince you of this truth. The real exercise to realize this truth is to free our mind of all our preconceived ideas, and to open our minds, and then to think and observe rationally whether we can really survive without any being dying for us. No amount of reasoning or argument will convince you of this fact unless you step back, relax your mind, let your intellectual faculties take a rest, and watch National Geographic or Discovery Channel! This is not a joke.

Coming back to a more down to earth explanation. The idea of not eating meat is to avoid KILLING. When we eat meat we are eating DEAD meat. Of course there is some justification to say that we are encouraging others to kill when we eat meat. If anyone feels that way, then there is no commandment from the Buddha that you must eat meat. By all means eat only vegetables. One thing for sure, you will be very healthy. It is actually very wholesome to be a vegan. As for me, I try my best to consume less meat.

Another controversial subject is eating fish instead of red meat. It is debatable and many will disagree with me on this point, maybe even condemning me. But you decide. Go to the beach and wait for the fishing boats to return. You see the dead fishes. Then go to the abattoir and see how they slaughter animals and the cries of the animals! Are the two scenario the same?

As I said before, the best is to be a vegan. No doubt about this.

Now we come to the analysis of what constitute "Killing"? A person will be fully responsible for the killing if the following 5 conditions are fulfilled:
1 There is a living being.
2 His knowledge that the living being is alive.
3 His intention to kill
4 His act of killing.
5 The being is dead as a result of his act.

So you see, eating dead meat is not killing!

Smile from justinchoo :-)

5 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Buddha advised us not to kill.

For example, if those work in abbatoir subscribe to this teaching of Buddha, we would have no meat to eat, unless we kill the animal ourselves.

Just remember, don't kill.

Justin Choo said...

A True malaysian,

During my younger days, you got to slaughter ducks and chickens by yourself.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

Probably you were not exposed to Buddhism during younger days. Intention then were to fill up your stomach than killing per se.

To me, I dare not slaughther livestock.

Justin Choo said...

No I didn't kill them. Just watched. But I still could remember the incidents and feelings. A person's spiritual affiliation is inborn, this I believe.

A true Malaysian said...

"A person's spiritual affiliation is inborn", spot on Justin, I believe in that too.

I like gardening and I don't even kill grasshoppers and insects that destroyed my plants. I let them had 'good meals' and let nature strike its own balance.

I don't use insecticide and pesticide.

Related Posts with Thumbnails