Friday, December 26, 2008

Do you want others to kill you?


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Question:(unedited)
Hello!
This is a passage from the Catholic Bible:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."

I wrote this passage from the Bible because i'd like to ask you about the animals and the way they are treated by people. I'm not thinking about pets that people have at home and sometimes, unfortunately, treat them very cruelly. My question is broader and applies to eating animals. I'm thinking about slaughterhouses and many other places where animals are kept and very often inhumanly treated by people. My question is, do we have the right, reflecting upon the above passage from the Bible, to do such things with animals because God gave us dominion over them. I know that we can eat animal meat and maybe there is nothing wrong with it, but the procedure of killing animals is performed on such a big scale that sometimes i can't imagine it myself. There are also many other companies which produce cosmetics or medicines, killing at the same time animals, to improve their products. I'm just wondering is it all right because, once again, we have dominion over these creatures? What's your attitude as a Buddhist? How do you think!?
thank you!


My comment:

Hi L...,

Thank you for asking me.

I wonder whether your bible gives you the right to kill all animals?

The Buddhists, view all living beings as simply "living beings". All beings have the right to exist. To know whether we have the right to kill; simply put yourself in the shoes of the victim. Do you want to be killed by others? Do you have fear of death? In terms of scientific anatomy, an animal is no different from a human. The only difference in the Buddhist perspective is the level of "mental consciousness". "Life" is a manifestation of this mental consciousness attaching itself to a "life form", be it an animal or a human. From this Buddhist interpretation, life is life. Every life has the right to exist in its own way. As Buddhists, we are advised not to harm life to the best of our ability, and to have compassion for all lives.

Killing and eating meat are 2 different aspects. Killing means the termination of life. Eating meat means eating "dead" meat. I may be eating meat; but I do not commit the act of killing. To some who do not wish to associate with meat have decided to be vegetarians. This is a wise and wholesome decision, and certainly a very healthy one.

8 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

I agree fully with your answer,

"As Buddhists, we are advised not to harm life to the best of our ability, and to have compassion for all lives."

Take for instance, if every human being, or should I say, living being adhere to this advice of not harming & killing, then everyone of us will be vegetarian.

As Buddhism is revolving around the concept of Law of Karma, the sufferings of living beings have very much to do with this harming & killing act of living beings.

We can actually contribute to lesser sufferings by eating less meat, be it dead or live meat, and eat more vegetable. In this way, our cholesterol level will be on healthy level and overall, a healthier person with less suffering.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

Nowadays I try to eat less animal meat.
Notice I said "animal meat"?

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

'Meat' by itself, is meant 'animal meat' in my context.

Any significance here?

Justin Choo said...

A true malaysian,

What about fish?

A true Malaysian said...

Fish is also an animal, a living being.

All seafood are meat to me.

A true Malaysian said...

Not forgetting, the old goat all over your blog.

PM said...

Killing animals should be looked at either intentional or non intentional. To me if there is a requirement and not a wastage but to appease ones hunger,why not. Sakyamuni last meal was a piglet.

But if there are other things to eat ie Vegetables why kill an animal for food.

Plants,grass and vegetables with water,sunshine and air grow big making food for themselves. Cows,goats and other animals eat them and they grow fat.

So Why don't we eat the vegetables and other plants and grow instead of letting the animals eat them first then we the animals.

Less red meat and more vegetables will regulate the blood ph. If the blood is too acidic we have lot of sickness.

Justin,the passage "Let us make man in our image," Somehow I don't subscribe to the idea of gods creation. Presently through stem cells human can be created by scientist but has been opposed by the church otherwise the scientist call be called god.

The books written by Zecharia Sitchin will provide more regarding this.

A true Malaysian said...

PM,

Very true indeed what you commented. If man did not start the habit of killing animals for food (some for hobby and fun like hunting), the world will be a very different from what inherited. Definitely there will be less sufferings in this world if that is the case. Then, there may be no Gautama Buddha whom decided to leave his comfort in search for answer for sufferings that living beings need to go through.

Let us start with ourselves by eating less meats and eat more vegetables.

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