SuttaCentral

Eating meat in a restaurant


#42

I was a vegetarian for more than 10 years and thinking of becoming a vegetarian again. But I came across this article that says Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands:

At least 100 mice are killed per hectare per year (500/4 × 0.8) to grow grain. Average yields are about 1.4 tonnes of wheat/hectare; 13% of the wheat is useable protein. Therefore, at least 55 sentient animals die to produce 100kg of useable plant protein: 25 times more than for the same amount of rangelands beef.

Replacing red meat with grain products leads to many more sentient animal deaths, far greater animal suffering and significantly more environmental degradation. Protein obtained from grazing livestock costs far fewer lives per kilogram: it is a more humane, ethical and environmentally-friendly dietary option.

That is why it’s said grass-fed beef involves less killing than grain-fed beef. Can anyone give a reason why should I become a vegetarian again?


#43

Well, I’ll tell you what I tell everyone regarding food: I won’t tell you what to eat because I don’t know your nutritional, dietary, and medical needs. I am not qualified to give advice on such aspects. Whatever diet you choose to practice, it must be conducive to your well-being and happiness.

Yes, I’ve made this point before. While living in samsara, our very existance – directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally – negatively impacts other living beings.


#44

Even if everyone in the world becomes a vegetarian there will still be animal deaths and therefore, it does not really matter whether one eats grass fed beef or grain fed beef. What is IMO is important is to realize that death and sicknesses are inevitable irrespective what we eat. Since we have to eat in order to survive, I would continue to be a vegetarian avoiding the two extremes of going hungry and too much pampering, so to say. In SN 12.63, the Buddha said;

"Would they eat that food for amusement or for enjoyment or for the sake of physical beauty and attractiveness?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Wouldn’t they eat that food only for the sake of crossing the desert?”

The desert is Samsara of which this life is only an episode.

With Metta


#45

Craving for the taste of meat is a fetter like any other, but a corrupted mind is far worse. Cleansing the mind will naturally involve development of disillusionment with taste. Some circumspection can be used to avoid indulgence, but excessive self-flagellation is not worthwhile, IMHO.

From https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/StNp/StNp2_2.html :

Killing living beings,
hunting, cutting, binding,
theft, lying, fraud, deceptions,
useless recitations,
associating with the wives of others:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

Those people here
who are unrestrained in sensuality,
greedy for flavors,
mixed together with what’s impure,
annihilationists,
discordant & indomitable:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

Those who are rough, pitiless,
eating the flesh off your back,
betraying their friends,
uncompassionate, arrogant,
habitually ungenerous,
giving to no one:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

Anger, intoxication,
stubbornness, hostility,
deceptiveness, resentment,
boasting, conceit & pride,
befriending those of no integrity:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

Those of evil habits,
debt-repudiators, informers,
cheats in trading, counterfeiters,
vile men who do evil things:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

Those people here
who are unrestrained toward beings,
taking what’s others’,
intent on injury,
immoral hunters, harsh, disrespectful:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

Those who are very greedy,
constantly intent
on hindering and killing;
beings who, after passing away,
go to darkness,
fall headfirst into hell:
This is a raw stench,
not the eating of meat.

– Buddha Kassapa


#46

Just a heads-up this sutta can be found in SC, it’s the Snp2.2
:anjal:


#47

The sutta seems say that focusing on precepts, right livelihood, craving, aversion etc is more useful than wider concerns about what is in your diet.

with metta


#48

I think I’ve come to a conclusion eating meat maybe beneficial ecologically but dhammically it may not be the case, it could be attachment to view. Killing animal and eating meat are two different things. Our body needs balanced nutrients but craving for food is a different thing.


#49

Do you like cows?


#51

I don’t have them in my backyard :sweat_smile:


#52

Perhaps you could adopt one as pet? :yum:

Years ago I did a solitary retreat on a farm, and stayed in an old caravan in the corner of a cow field. I got to know some of the cows quite well, they were very good listeners, particularly when I scratched their heads… :laughing:
After that experience I found that I didn’t want to eat them anymore.


#53

I stayed in this treehouse a couple of times, once for a two weeks self-retreat. The cows come grazing every day, and there is this sound when they are chewing the grass… They became friends - how can I eat them?


#54

Did you have any plants in your backyard? :wink::rofl:

with metta


#55

Well as I said eating and killing are two different things. Ecologically and ethically becomes vegan maybe the best solution but as stated before from dhamma point of view that may not be the case, unless you follow mahayana tradition, food can’t purify a man. I know there are many accomplished practitioners who are not vegetarians. Humans eat animals has begun maybe since beginningless time?


#56

The cows are on the neighbouring property, and between them and the garden where the kuti is there is a fence. Is this what you meant?

The tree with the kuti is just at the very border of the garden so that the cows are strolling directly underneath - which is very nice indeed! :cow:


#57

Still I couldn’t do it…


#58

I have tried scratching the heads of onions but they really don’t appreciate it. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#59

Then don’t do it…


#60

Does anyone know how can meat industry increase the supply of meat (rapidly) to meet the market demand? It takes approximately 2 years, for example, for a calf to fully grow. What do they do specifically to meet the high demand for meat? Sorry if this question sounds silly. Thanks.


#61

I’m sure they have their metrics. Like a lot of commodities, prices (i.e. based on supply and demand) are determined at auction in the USA. So for instance, if there is a high demand for pork, it will cost more because buyers want more of it from farmers or agricultural businesses. That would on the back end mean they would bring more to market the next time I would think. But because prices go up and down, its a numbers game. They could risk bringing too much to market and lose money. But because demand for most meats I would think is fairly stable and doesn’t increase or decrease too much, it isn’t much of a problem. I did hear that the demand for pork bellies (bacon) has skyrocketed in recent years.

I read an article that shrimp has become the most popular protein, which was surprising. I believe those are factory farmed mostly.


#62

Thanks for your reply.

Talking about supply and demand, does a vegetarian really make a difference? I think their own individual meat consumption won’t make a difference compared with the scales of production decisions that meat companies make, human population grows much faster and bigger in quantity compare to the growth of vegetarian/vegan population. So how can a vegetarian really make a difference?