Author Topic: A cow or a sardine fish - for food  (Read 25185 times)

Tammy

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A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« on: April 05, 2012, 07:52:57 AM »
I have been thinking about this for quite a while, not that I eat meat (been a vegetarian since last April!!), but it is an interesting to see how this is being debated upon:

Which scenario created more negative karma for a single meat eater?
1. One hundred meat eater sharing the meat of ONE cow, or
2. One meat eater having 5 sardine fish for dinner?

Both are killing right? does this mean a single beef eater in (1) above commit less negative karma than the one who eats 5 sardine fish in (2) above??

Down with the BAN!!!

nagaseeker

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 06:24:43 AM »
Good question !  :D

let see ...
(1) kill 1 life with another 99 meat eater
(2) kill 5 life alone with no 'help'

most of us will think (1) commit less karma if compare to eat 5 sardine fish but put it this way , cow contribute more if compare to sardine .

for example : -

A: Cow that have been bred to produce more milk than their calves can drink are milked so that humans can drink that milk. Raw milk is also made into other various dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, ice cream and butter.

B: Cow provide manure to be used as organic fertilizer for gardens, fields and pastures, they are a very cheap and natural means of keeping and using the grass to grow.

And as for sardine........not sure ~ so, i guess (2) commit less karma? ?   ???

Anyway , just stop eating meat !!!

Tenzin K

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 03:58:36 PM »
Interesting question!

The way I look at it:
Scenario 1: Killing 1 life, 100 meat eater to bare less negative karma due to 1 killing.
Scenario 2: Killing 5 lives, 1 meat eater to bare more negative karma due to more killing to full fill the attachment.

The more lives to scarifies for our selfish attachment the more negative karma we collected.

But anyway killing is still bad and we should contemplate to be free from our attachment to meat and save more lives instead.

triesa

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 04:42:45 PM »

Which scenario created more negative karma for a single meat eater?
1. One hundred meat eater sharing the meat of ONE cow, or
2. One meat eater having 5 sardine fish for dinner?


Definitely scenerio 2 commit more negative karma.......it is as simple as addition....1+1+1+1+1+1 lives were killed to feed one's palate versus 1 live was killed to feed 100 people.

I remember hearing my friend who told me that in Tibet, people would kill a big animal, like a yak to feed their whole families for a long time simply becasue killing anything smaller would mean they have to keep on killing to feed everyone.

The karma of killing an animal is less than killing a human being which in turn is less than killing a bodhisattva. I am not encouraging killing animal at all here but just to show that there are different levels of negative karma resulted from killing....

A human being has the potential to gain realization and hence enlightenement in his life time, therefore killing a human being collects more negative karma than killing an animal. And killing a bodhisattva collect more negative karma than killing a human being because a bodhisattva can use his life to benefit so many people, so cutting short his life means we deprive many people from receiving dharma and help from the bodhisattva and hence enlightenment.

Since we are on the topic on killing and its karma, I heard that in the monastary, some monks have to work in the field for food, they will chant a special mantra and than spit on their shoes before going to work in the field. In this way, as they un-intentionally step on any insects and kill them, the insects will take rebirth in the higher realms.

Would anyone here by any chance know this mantra?

Midakpa

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 01:33:59 AM »
I'm not sure what the monks recite when they go to the fields, but there is a mantra that one can recite to ensure we do not collect negative karma when we accidentally step on small creatures like ants etc. It is called "Blessing the feet": "Om Kretsara Ghana Hum Hri Soha". We recite the mantra 3 times and spit on the soles of the feet.

Whether we eat part of a cow or five sardines, it is still negative karma. So it is better to refrain from eating meat. If we believe that all sentient beings had been our mothers or our relatives etc in previous lives, then it is like eating our relatives. If we believe in karma, this means that in a future life we will suffer the consequences.

In "Food of Bodhisattvas", Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol says if we eat the flesh and blood of beings who were once our mother or our fathers, we will, in a future life, take birth in the hell of Screaming, which, of the eighteen, is one of the hot hells... And even when we are born again in this world, for 500 lives we will take birth in monstrous and devouring forms. We will become demons, ogres, and executioners. It is said too that we will be born countless times among the outcasts, as butchers, fishermen, and dyers, or as carnivorous beats thirsting for blood: lions, tigers, leopards, bears, venomous snakes, wolves, foxes, cats, eagles, and hawks."

Thus,  it is clear that meat-eating is a major obstacle for the gaining of a high rebirth as a human or a god.

vajraD

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 06:17:24 AM »
I was told of such story before some years back. I would say that ill have the cow to feed 100 people then to kill 5 fish to feed one people. If the fish is not pregnant you are lucky that is just one life but if is pregnant then that is more then one life because fish carries more then 1000 eggs plus. If you watch National Graphic there is a lot of huge fish in India and is famouse country among anglers.

ratanasutra

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 04:38:25 AM »
Either we eat food made from cow or a sardine fish, we are collect negative karma, just the matter of which one is more heavier. The best is to not eat any meat and eat vegetable.

i will say that instead of focus on which one is better why not choose the best, in this case to not eat meat then no need to worry about this anymore.



Jessie Fong

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 05:08:56 AM »
Regardless whether you are part of a team that contributed to the death of one life of the cow or the only person that was the cause of five deaths of sardines, the fact that we are the contributor means that we have already collected negative karma.  We are not going to go round the market thinking it is better to eat beef than the sardines because the karma would be lighter.

Like Ratanasutra said, it is better to steer clear from meat and go vegetarian, which would be a healthier diet for all of us.

sonamdhargey

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 07:06:32 AM »
Well in my opinion negative karma is negative karma. To kill 1 or 5 to feed many or few makes no difference. The motivation is wanting to eat them.The negative karma accumulated over time, eating less or killing less does not mean less. The point is that when you eat 1 time or less, you're still eating it. Every time you eat meat, you enforce your negative karma, you enforce your habituation to eat more which will lead to more and more action like this. Best is to give up meat altogether and 1 less way to accumulate negative karma.

The issue of people still continue eating meat is due to their habituation and inability to kick that habit. It is similar to smoking. Everyone knows that smoking is bad for health and yet still heavily smoke. Why? Because they are unable to kick the habit and it is much easier to continue smoking. The consequences are there but due to instant satisfaction they continue satisfying themselves immediately and not bothered to much or rather ignore that fact that it may kill them one day. Same goes for meat eaters, it is the same theory. They have not experience the effects of negative karma of eating meat, therefore they continue.

I've met a restaurant owner who specialized in seafood. He enjoyed good business for 30-40 years. However now he can not eat meat anymore due stroke and sickness and doctor advised to refrain meat if he wants to live longer. He basically like a vegetable himself. He can't walk or even feed himself and depend on a wheelchair to move around. Now he only can look at his restaurant and can't eat any meat or seafood in his own restaurant.

Positive Change

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 07:27:49 AM »
Well... personally killing is bad enough, why go into how many we killed really! The karma of killing even one sentient being is heavy let alone many. However in this scenario, the cow being more beneficial alive could mean that the karma of killing such a being could outweigh the 5 in the can (sorry sardines).

It is like the example of killing one's mother/father versus killing a stranger. Both are killing and very bad but killing the former is certainly the worse! So for me there are other factors apart from just the numbers. Buddhism teaches us to think and not merely make mathematical equations I feel!

Klein

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 08:13:25 AM »
I remember some of my dharma brothers and sisters told me to eat less seafood (such as prawns and clams) before I was a vegetarian. This was because I'll be killing a lot more lives compared to just eating a piece of chicken or beef or mutton.

So with regards to a cow or 5 sardines? I'd say it's heavier negative karma to kill 5 sardines. That's 5 lives compared to 1.

Anyway, it's best to be vegetarian. It's eating without having to kill. So you stop creating the cause for being reborn in the 3 lower realms. I've been a vegetarian for 2.5 years. It wasn't easy for the first 6 months. I took a 1 week break every month of being vegetarian. But after that my body started to feel sick and uncomfortable after eating meat or seafood. So I became a full time vegetarian thereafter.

My point is, it takes practice and after awhile our body will reject it. I don't have any urge to eat meat anymore. As a matter of fact, I cringe when I see meat or seafood. It's like eating a human corpse. Yuck!

Tammy

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 08:17:04 AM »
Thank you to all those who contributed to this discussion, so far. I hope more will come forth with interesting and in depth views.

As a continuation to this topic, I just like to share that since being a vegetarian and trying my very best to avoid killing (stepping on ants, squash a roach, etc. etc. that we are so used to do without second thought), when I scope out oats for breakfast every morning, I would wait at least 20 minutes before pouring boiling water in to the bowl. This is to give the bugs (sometime a lot) a chance to escape. I would hate myself when I see any bug killed by hot water in the bowl of oats... To me, a life is a life, doesn't matter the size..

Thank you for the mantra to bless the feet.. Comes in handy, doesn't it ?
Down with the BAN!!!

pgdharma

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 11:09:09 AM »
Killing is killing whether it is one cow or five sardine fish as the motivation is to kill to please our palate and stomach. Both create bad karma. Killing one cow to feed 100 people, indirectly the 100 people will also collect negative karma. Killing five sardine fish, mores lives were killed to feed one person. Either way it is 100 people or one person collecting negative karma.

Killing lives will be the cause of our negative karma arising as having bad health or short life. Thus it is better to refrain from eating meat and be a vegetarian instead.

Galen

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 12:35:13 PM »
A sardine or a cow, it is still killing of a life. The best would be not to kill and be vegetarian.

If it is impossible and that you have to eat meat, then I would think eating beef would be better because a cow is sacrifices to feed many people.

For the consumer, there would be more negative karma for eating 5 sardines cos there are 5 lives being killed. But when we look at how a sardine can contribute to the world, then it is not much as compared to a cow.

My take would be, even though the act of killing accumulated negative karma, the negative karma accumulated for killing a sardine will be lesser than the karma for killing a cow.

Think before your eat.
 





Positive Change

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Re: A cow or a sardine fish - for food
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 01:05:35 PM »
A sardine or a cow, it is still killing of a life. The best would be not to kill and be vegetarian.

If it is impossible and that you have to eat meat, then I would think eating beef would be better because a cow is sacrifices to feed many people.

For the consumer, there would be more negative karma for eating 5 sardines cos there are 5 lives being killed. But when we look at how a sardine can contribute to the world, then it is not much as compared to a cow.

My take would be, even though the act of killing accumulated negative karma, the negative karma accumulated for killing a sardine will be lesser than the karma for killing a cow.

Think before your eat.

Yes indeed.... BE A VEGETARIAN if at all we need to debate on to kill 1 cow or 5 sardines really! I like the phrase "think before you eat"... however, take it a step further and the phrase "you are what you eat" very apt. I certainly do not want to be in the hoofs of a cow or the fins of a sardine!

Being vegetarian is not hard to be honest. As a vegetarian for many years now, it really is not hard... in fact it gets easier and after a while the "craving" for meat subsides. I choose my words carefully when I say subside because it really does not go away... I would somehow still "crave" for something I used to have a taste for but given what I know now in this day and age, coupled with Dharma in my life, it becomes the obvious choice to continue to be vegetarian!