A site for those with an interest in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, past or present, and related subjects.
Posts : 226
Join date : 2010-07-12
|Subject: Killing 6/25/2011, 8:48 am|| |
By my previous posts it may seem otherwise, but I have more respect for the views of people here than anywhere else in the Whole Wide Internet. I think there is a collective wisdom here that is remarkable. So I wanted to throw out a question about something that has been puzzling me for a while.
It's about killing:
For more years than I care to count I have been some combination of vegetarian/vegan. I've always been a strange herbivore in that I never really thought it was very natural to not eat meat. The archaeological data set gives us a clear time-line of meat-eating humans going right back to before we were h omo sapiens. In fact most pre metal age site reports are catalogues of countless butchered animal carcasses.
So my reason for not eating meat was because I was sensitive to the suffering of animals, and the thought of wiping out a creature's consciousness always made me shudder. I always thought that there was a good chance that my body (and especially my brain) was missing out on some macro and micro nutrients that our species had evolved to rely on. I accepted that lack.
Enter the sweetest little girl in the universe into my life.
She is 2 now and has been brought up vegetarian so far. But she is small for her age and I worry that by making her share my eating habits she will not get what she needs (especially her brain). I have shown her videos of bears catching and devouring fish and she loves it. I ask her what she would like to do with fish and she says "om om om" (which means "eat").
I would never buy farmed meat as I find domesticated animal husbandry abhorrent. The only way I would feed my little girl meat is if I hunted and killed the (wild) creatures myself. I live in a location where I can easily fish mackerel, lobsters, shrimps and shellfish from the sea. Part of me rejoices at the thought of giving her the food that our species has been eating for so many tens of thousands of years........but..........I would be killing things.
And I do believe in karma (kind of).
I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on all this. What should I do? Should I kill?
Last edited by glorfindel on 6/25/2011, 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : bypass word filter)
Posts : 80
Join date : 2010-11-21
Location : uk
|Subject: Re: Killing 6/25/2011, 10:19 am|| |
I think you are right to consider your little girl.
I believe there are different blood types that are more able to cope with a vegi diet .I think the
Dalai Lamas blood type doesnt support the best of health on a vegi diet, and he was warned when he changed over from his meat eating Tibetan diet that it would effect his health. And I think he will now only eat meat that has not been killed especially for him.
My sisters son is now nineteen, and he has been vegi all his life, all six feet four inches of him, without an oz of fat anywhere. I myself have been vegi for about twenty five years, like yourself for compassionate reasons, if it turned out that my body needed meat, I would have to reconsider that
position, maybe I would go for organic but only a little, not really sure though. Bringing up my own sons I never imposed on what they wanted to eat, and probably couldnt have done anyway.
As for going out and pulling the trigger and killing a poor beast, dont think I could do that.
But who knows, given the circumstances, maybe I could.
Maybe your little girl will lead the way with her own preference, it sounds like she is already doing that.
Posts : 265
Join date : 2010-08-29
Location : West Linn, Oregon
|Subject: Re: Killing 6/25/2011, 12:22 pm|| |
In my years since leaving the OBC, I've learned from wise teachers that karma is not so cut and dry, black and white as what I seemd to have been taught at Shasta.
It isn't just entirely the act, but the intent of the act which is defining (my simplified definition)
I personally don't eat meat for the same reasons you don't. And you're right that there are nutritional benefits that vegetarians lack. When I was living at the Abbey, at least when we had goats, Vitamin B was added to the milk. And if you didn't drink the milk, then you were encouraged to take a B complex supplement. If I remember correctly, B6 is very difficult to get as a vegetarian. I didn't drink the goat milk or eat the goat cheese because I didn't like the taste, so when I started taking the B complex, I really noticed a difference in how much better I felt. And I didn't cry as much!
When my Annie-dog was so sick before her death, I cooked her free range chicken. I also went to the deli and bought her roast beef, slamon, lots of things -- I would have drained my own blood if I thought that would've helped. As I prepared the meat for Annie, I was very mindful that this was the flesh of another creature and so I'd say thank you and wish them well on their journey.
So maybe, you and your little one could say "grace" before you eat the meat or the fish or whatever. Personally, I think her health and development is of utmost importance. And wouldn't your intent of providing those things she needs to be healthy and happy create "good" karma? But if by chance it was really, really bad karma for you and you were destined to the realms of hell, wouldn't she be worth it!!!
Posts : 124
Join date : 2010-08-30
Age : 79
Location : norfolk uk
|Subject: Re: Killing 6/25/2011, 12:59 pm|| |
Glorfindel, john , Mokuan ,Perfect timing for me , thank you .
I read your posts keenly - would have eaten them if i could .
I've been a vegetarian about 30 years ,
I'm 68 now , and 3 days ago , i ate a little tin of mackerel .
i feel it still swimming in me ,beautiful shimmering blue , and i shudder ,
but i enjoyed it . i mixed it with my home grown lettuce , and said and felt' this is good .'
And i'm going to eat more fish - carefully chosen , nothing caught in those huge and terrible nets that skim the oceans floor .
I'm baffled by my behavior , and can only think, sense , i have a need to break my own taboos . I'm strong and healthy and normal size , i dont think i need extra protein , its more i need to consciously choose . One fear is that im doing this flesh eating out of aggression ,( i did say thank you to the fish ! ) i dont think so , though i am strongly at the moment doing as i want from the way of painting to the way of meditating to losing- using time in my way , and yes eating .
I feel slightly guilty , darn i do , ( i dont at all go along with ,or, understand karma ) but on i'll go on unless i get too schizophrenic .
Any comments ?
Oh yes , Gloryindel , no dont kill , thats too much , in the past i did do that , i mean i find buying a fish is the one step away i can cope with , maybe thats not quite facing up , but thats how we are , or i am . and i imagine your little girl will choose , wont she ?f
|Subject: Re: Killing 6/25/2011, 3:37 pm|| |
Just a brief sharing of experience here. My wife and I raised a mostly vegtarian daughter. She had plenty of meat when she visited grandparents, but she seemed drawn to vegetarian as a choice. Once exception seemed to be hot dogs, until she discovered Worthington Leanies- a soy based product. I don't know how it happened but the whole ethos of not taking life, of considering non-human beings as fellow companions on this planet, just seemed to fit naturally for her. She is now 35 and steadfastly vegetarian, not a problem in her 9 year marriage to a Catholic man. And she still eats and loves leanies. (and so do we). She now has an infant daughter, so it will be interesting to see how she approaches this with her. I should add that she was raised with dairy and eggs.
Posts : 25
Join date : 2011-06-11
|Subject: Re: Killing 6/25/2011, 5:47 pm|| |
- Nicky wrote:
I read your posts keenly - would have eaten them if i could .
I was once in a similar discussion and a monk cautioned the vegetarians amongst us against being slightly smug about not eating meat. A carrot or a cabbage, he noted, loses its life in being consumed as food just as a chicken or cow does. Many people feel that the objective is to do as little harm as they reasonably can as they go through life, and that eating vegetables does less harm than eating meat. Some people may have nutritional needs that are better served by including meat in the diet, and I'm guessing that children may be of special interest in this regard.
Seems to me that the important thing is to be respectful and grateful as we turn to our food. As the verse says, we must consider the ways and means by which this food has come. To do so is to face the reality that we live at the expense of other beings, animal or vegetable. It's not possible to live otherwise. Respect, moderation, and gratitude arise naturally in this practice.
Posts : 554
Join date : 2010-06-27
Age : 68
Location : Vancouver
|Subject: Re: Killing 6/25/2011, 7:15 pm|| |
"Killing" The title of your posting sums it all up for me.
Life consumes life or it dies. Everything that lives continually depends on another's death to do so. We just happen to have the luxury of choosing what life we kill in order to live another week.. We also have the luxury of making these choices according to health, moral, spiritual, philosophical or environmental reasons......or not.
My choice of being a vegetarian for 37 years comes from seeing it as a vehicle that creates less discernible suffering in the world around me. Perhaps it only demonstrates what ones' priorities in life are. Being a vegetarian is that bit of an effort that says since everything else has as much right to live as me, how can I best satiate my hunger in a way that causes the least amount of overall pain in the world ? Perhaps vegetarianism is just one path of many on the pilgrimage towards more harmlessness.
For this father, some of that pilgrimage helped expose some common Dharma ground that I now happily share with my 20 year old daughter. There are countless ways to actively suppliment any of your daughters nutritional shortfalls but I think the real shortfall to watch will always be how we as parents face life in our childrens presense.
Best wishes with these early steps with your daughter.
Posts : 226
Join date : 2010-07-12
|Subject: Re: Killing 7/1/2011, 4:54 am|| |
Just popping in to thank everyone for all the good and helpful thoughts. When I get time this weekend I will write a response to the things that people brought up. thanks
|Subject: Re: Killing || |