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Anyone vegan here?

Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/8/17 8:25 PM
Considering the abstaining of taking life or participating in taking life.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/8/17 11:57 PM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.
Good for you! ;-)

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 3:21 AM as a reply to Peter S.
I again am reminded of the countless thousands of worms, ants, beetles, grubs, slugs and other ground-dwelling lifeforms that I slaughtered daily as I cultivated the organic gardens at Gaia House for the vegetarian meals we had there that summer in 1999 when I did a work retreat there. We participate in the murder of beings on an unimaginably vast scale for even the simplest of foods. Not saying don't go vegan, just realize that just to ship the foods you eat in a truck involves mowing down countless insects as they splatter on its windscreen in the summertime. We are killers, us humans. It is how we live. Blood is on our forks, spoons and knives. Add in bacteria we kill, and my life on this planet has likely resulted in the death of billions of living things if not trillions and will continue to kill them at an incalculable rate. I leave death and destruction in my wake, truly. Such is our karma.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 10:57 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I think that Buddha said that it is volition or intenation that builds the karma.

There are people that die in car accidents on the roads, and we still have roads and cars. They are not built with the intent of killing people.

The same with animals. When I step or work in the garden or build a house I kill many sentient beings with no intent of doing that.

But when I do groceries and have the option on where I spend my money, I think it is in that moment that I can make a choice, knowing very well that the animal products on the shelf are products of extreme suffering. Those animals were tortured and killed by other people with the purpose of making money.

When I choose to pay for that I see it as paying a hitman to do the dirty job on my behalf.

I agree that there are many things that we have no control of and produce suffering for other sentient beings.

But there are many things we can do. And veganism is just a start. There are many other thing we can do on top of that to elliviate the suffering of other sentient beings.

But I was wondering if in this forum where people seek realization, what is your opinion on this matter and if some of you are not vegan, how do you reconcile this with your spiritual path.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 11:05 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Please don't take this as being judgemental. If it sounds like this I appologize, my writing is not very good as English is not my first language.

I am very happy to meet you all here, we share many common interests.

If I am asking this is based on genuine concern on the matter of morality and spiritual path. And how they relate. And what kind of insight each of you have.

It just so happens that I was a vegan long before having any spiritual interest. I just had that realization at that point in time and chose to change my life based on that insight.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 11:37 AM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.
Are you confident that Veganism isnt a form of rite or ritual for you? 

In my random internet crazy opinion, if it increases your feeling of well being and universal love - then go for it.  If you think it is somehow a moral requirement or makes you superior to meat eating vulgarians, then it probably is something you should tantricly explode by eating pork chops with extra pork sauce if you want to be free. I know this seems counterintuitive, but it is true. 

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 11:39 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I see veganism as a way of being consistent with myself. As in when I say that animals matter than I should follow up on that.

I see it also as a form of justice.

Regaring your questions, I am not sure. Is someone that is not racist morally superior to one that is racist? Or is one that is not sexist morally superior to one that is sexist?

Do people that are not sexist have a sense of well being and increased universal love?

Would you recommend them to be sexist just to be liberated from these concepts?

Or it is different just because some matters are for people (therefore more important), while other matters are for animals?

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 12:06 PM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.
Yeah, I am sorry for my response.  I didnt mean to be obnoxious, it just comes naturally. 

In my experience, believeing in an economy of suffering and moral responsiblity is a diificult web to let go of.  It seems so obviously true and close to love.  Freer states of mind reveal that no one is in control of her actions and that suffering itself is a mental formation and not something of actual consequence.  Wrapping yourself in doing good in the world is the right thing to do from a human ethics perspective, but is conditioned and delusional when you really inspect it.  It is hard to be free when holding on to ideas like superior and inferior and personal choice. 

Happily, you can know it is nonsense and still be a kind and open hearted person, infact you wont have a choice.  Really free people are also really free to love and to act.   

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 12:18 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
I think I understand what you mean.

In the large scheme of things nothing really matters in the way we think it does.

But still here and now we choose to do what we consider the right thing. We accept the moral percepts of non-violence and not harming other sentient beings, human or non-human.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 12:27 PM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.
I think non judgmental, non attached loving is the most effective way to navigate the world.  It leads to freedom and aligns with our most human intuitions.  If you can do it with out any expectations that your actions will have knowable results, you are already free. 

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 3:24 PM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.
Patricia Soldan:
Considering the abstaining of taking life or participating in taking life.

Vegan here. You could reframe it as.... "considering of lessening  my contribution to suffering by choosing an easy alternative to animal eating", and that would be indeed the most reasonable and ethical thing to do. There is really no argument that justifies animal eating and its associated torturing and killing (apart from some unimportant exceptions). 

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 3:33 PM as a reply to jonjohn.
jonjohn:
Patricia Soldan:
Considering the abstaining of taking life or participating in taking life.

Vegan here. You could reframe it as.... "considering of lessening  my contribution to suffering by choosing an easy alternative to animal eating", and that would be indeed the most reasonable and ethical thing to do. There is really no argument that justifies animal eating and its associated torturing and killing (apart from some unimportant exceptions). 

Very well said jonjohn. Veganism is easy. And we cannot justify the exploitation of animals in the absence of necessity. And those situations are indeed very rare.

Apart from those situations we can live well as vegans reducing our particpation to this vast amount of suffering that we induce to animals.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 3:48 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I again am reminded of the countless thousands of worms, ants, beetles, grubs, slugs and other ground-dwelling lifeforms that I slaughtered daily as I cultivated the organic gardens at Gaia House for the vegetarian meals we had there that summer in 1999 when I did a work retreat there. We participate in the murder of beings on an unimaginably vast scale for even the simplest of foods. Not saying don't go vegan, just realize that just to ship the foods you eat in a truck involves mowing down countless insects as they splatter on its windscreen in the summertime. We are killers, us humans. It is how we live. Blood is on our forks, spoons and knives. Add in bacteria we kill, and my life on this planet has likely resulted in the death of billions of living things if not trillions and will continue to kill them at an incalculable rate. I leave death and destruction in my wake, truly. Such is our karma.

With the same reasoning, some serial killer would justify killing children beacuse " We participate in the murder of beings on an unimaginably vast scale for even the simplest of foods. We are killers, us humans. It is how we live. ".

The fact that some killing is inevitable doesn't  justify much much more killing and sufffering than is inevitable, and that is exactly the unethical part of eating animals in the modern world.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 3:53 PM as a reply to jonjohn.
jonjohn:
Daniel M. Ingram:
I again am reminded of the countless thousands of worms, ants, beetles, grubs, slugs and other ground-dwelling lifeforms that I slaughtered daily as I cultivated the organic gardens at Gaia House for the vegetarian meals we had there that summer in 1999 when I did a work retreat there. We participate in the murder of beings on an unimaginably vast scale for even the simplest of foods. Not saying don't go vegan, just realize that just to ship the foods you eat in a truck involves mowing down countless insects as they splatter on its windscreen in the summertime. We are killers, us humans. It is how we live. Blood is on our forks, spoons and knives. Add in bacteria we kill, and my life on this planet has likely resulted in the death of billions of living things if not trillions and will continue to kill them at an incalculable rate. I leave death and destruction in my wake, truly. Such is our karma.

With the same reasoning, some serial killer would justify killing children beacuse " We participate in the murder of beings on an unimaginably vast scale for even the simplest of foods. We are killers, us humans. It is how we live. ".

The fact that some killing is inevitable doesn't  justify much much more killing and sufffering than is inevitable, and that is exactly the unethical part of eating animals in the modern world.

I think that if we can morally justify the exploitation of animals, we can basically justify anything, anything that in this world we consider being wrong or immoral.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 7:01 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Yeah, I am sorry for my response.  I didnt mean to be obnoxious, it just comes naturally. 

In my experience, believeing in an economy of suffering and moral responsiblity is a diificult web to let go of.  It seems so obviously true and close to love.  Freer states of mind reveal that no one is in control of her actions and that suffering itself is a mental formation and not something of actual consequence.  Wrapping yourself in doing good in the world is the right thing to do from a human ethics perspective, but is conditioned and delusional when you really inspect it.  It is hard to be free when holding on to ideas like superior and inferior and personal choice. 

Happily, you can know it is nonsense and still be a kind and open hearted person, infact you wont have a choice.  Really free people are also really free to love and to act.   
People far wiser than you, who would affirm that everything is predetermined, like the Ramana Maharishi, have emphasized the necessity of being compassionate toward living beings. He said, if they could speak they would demand their rights.

BTW, the Buddha himself held on to ideas like superior and inferior personal choice, hence all the sermons about what is skillful and what isn't. He also once prevented and spoke against animal sacrifice.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 7:00 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I again am reminded of the countless thousands of worms, ants, beetles, grubs, slugs and other ground-dwelling lifeforms that I slaughtered daily as I cultivated the organic gardens at Gaia House for the vegetarian meals we had there that summer in 1999 when I did a work retreat there. We participate in the murder of beings on an unimaginably vast scale for even the simplest of foods. Not saying don't go vegan, just realize that just to ship the foods you eat in a truck involves mowing down countless insects as they splatter on its windscreen in the summertime. We are killers, us humans. It is how we live. Blood is on our forks, spoons and knives. Add in bacteria we kill, and my life on this planet has likely resulted in the death of billions of living things if not trillions and will continue to kill them at an incalculable rate. I leave death and destruction in my wake, truly. Such is our karma.

You gloss over the fact that living beings have differing levels of sentience and capacity to love and experience suffering. A grub is not the same as a dog. Those ukrainians who ate their children during the famine in the 1930s could justify themselves with the above.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/9/17 8:39 PM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.
Patricia Soldan:
Considering the abstaining of taking life or participating in taking life.

Hi Patricia,

I recently went vegan, actually WFPB (whole foods plant based) which limits everything that's refined.
I did it for three reasons:
1.) My health. Watch 'What the Health' for an overview and check out nutritionfacts.org for the science. Cancers and inflammation can be reduced with intermittent fasting and WFPB, but all forms of heart disease can virtually be eliminated, by getting cholesterol levels under 150 and LDL levels under 100, according to some nutritional biologists that I've read anyway.  WFPB accomplishes this. 
2.) Our planet. Rainforests are being decimated for agribusiness, and it takes massive amounts of water to produce meat and dairy. These are limited resources. Factory farming is a top cause of ozone depletion and global climate change. Shit from the animals, on that industrial scale piles up as a major biohazard. See the doc 'Cowspiracy' for an overview. I don't think you can be an environmentalist, knowing the facts, and still eat meat and dairy in this day and age.
3.) The Animals.  The way the factory farms treat animals is unconscionable,  and I could no longer continue to support that. It's illegal to film those facilities, but if you investigate what's happening, with clear sight and any amount of compassion, it's just too much. I don't think you can call yourself an animal lover and still eat meat or dairy, without being willfully ignorant.

I'm 43 years old, and a bit amazed that it took me this long to make the change, but better late than never. As to Daniel Ingram's response, I agree that's the overall human condition, but that type of view is a defeatist one. As compassionate practitioners we do what we can to limit the suffering of the earth, and of other sentient beings. That same excuse could be used to justify all sorts of horrendous acts of violence and destruction.

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/10/17 4:47 AM as a reply to Edward Prunesquallor.
Ah, apologies if I was unclear. I don't mean that as any sort of rationalization, just pointing out something that is true. It is definitely not the whole story. I point it out to remember how bad I felt about even killing all of those insects and other animals, much less those with more sentience. I feel bad about each butterfly that dies on the windshield of my car. It is easy to imagine that humans, being the hyper-dominant killing machines we are, are a plague upon the earth and that justifying being alive at all involves remarkable mental gymnastics, but then promoting suicide clealry must be unethical in at least most cases, yes?

While also a slippery slope argument, it is understandable to hold the view that killing bacteria is not at all the same as killing beings we believe to be more sentient, realizing that we have no idea how sentience arises, what it is, how to measure it, and now to prove that bacteria aren't particularly sentient except by secondary evidence filtered through our own biases based on our form of sentience and life.

Clearly, for the health of the planet, breeding less animals for food makes things more sustainable, unless you are looking at the planet from the point of view of some species that likes the atmosphere hot and the oceans acidic, such as jellyfish, which apparently can be turned into a nutritive meal, I mean deserve respect and shouldn't be eaten, I mean should be eaten as they are breeding out of control in some ecosystems and interfering with fish populations that appear more sentient to us than jellyfish and so should be preferentially protected, I mean...

Clearly, taking into account the feelings as we understand them of the animals means that breeding them for slaughter involves a painful death and sometimes a very painful life. Some might counter that providing more animal lives in which reincarnating beings are more likely to earn good karma by doing things like caring for their young, etc. than, say, if they were born as hungry ghost, hell being, or some jealous waring deva, is meritorious. In an optimal world, we might ask the animals themselves if they prefered to live for a while or never have lived at all, but we can't do that, so we have to take our best guess.

Clearly, there is good evidence to support some of the health-promoting benefits of veganism and vegetarianism.

Jellyfish seem pretty grotty to me to eat but yet might be sort of like tofu, meaning able to absorb the flavor of whatever you cook them in. Speaking of tofu: overconsumption of tofu for my 8 years of vegetarianism gave me a goiter and caused me thyroid problems that persist to this day some 15 years later. That said, for dinner I had beans, rice, kale and squash, and I sometimes go days without eating meat, unlike most omnivores.

Anyway, I totally get the ethics, aesthetic, and spirit of those who are vegan and vegetarian and might be that way again myself some day.

Yes, that might all be way overthinking it, but then again...

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/10/17 5:48 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Lets imagine some situations 

There is fire in the house and one of the two will be burned to death, which one do we save? An anaesthetized human or an awake human? Because if with the injection of a simple chemical we can induse coma, we have far more reasons to thing that animals or organisms that don't have central nervus system at all, would not have santiense too. (let aside somthing that doesnt even have a body :-) reincarnation is deeply ungrounded. 

How about our ethical despotition to the cutting of a broccoli in to four peices and the act of cutting an old lady in to 4 peices. 
Because even if broccoli has sentiense, it is far more primitive and thus less importand in terms of suffering than that of humans (pain absense can be reasoned also because plants are imobile organisms and the function of pain is not important)

Even if plants had the ability to suffer and even if the suffewring of a plant was equaly important to an animal's (both of which are totaly unreasonable) the killing of animals would still be the imoral thing to do because animals have to be fed multiple times of greens to be raised. 

How about the farming of human children in order to later cut their throughts and eat them? Would it be better than not be born in the first place? 

As for suicide, in terms of suffering and its absense (which is the only  thing that matters in this world), to simply kill yourself doesn't leads to lessening of it. You could be living and be a positive force in the world instead of a dead with zero force. Even if it was inevitable to lead to more suffering (like the exceptions of being a bushman or a survivor in a deserted island with only animals to eat), which is not true for the 99,9999999999 percent of the situations humans are faced with, it would still be  a much more understendable choice ethicaly for there is their very sam life at stake and not like  the choices of modern human that contributes to animal torturing and killing simply because is to lasy to eat from the vast easily and accesible variety of plant products.

And then of course is the environmental and health reasons that can be added. 

All these seem to me that point to the simple and ethicaly powerfull truths of veganism :-)

RE: Anyone vegan here?
Answer
9/10/17 10:24 AM as a reply to Patricia Soldan.