Author Topic: Buddhist attitude towards animal life  (Read 4272 times)

lotus1

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2012, 03:18:47 PM »
Just like human, animal is also from one of the six realms of Samsara. We are no different from animal as we are all not enlightened yet and still in the sea of sufferings. The only different we from animal is that as human, one can have the precious human body, and may have the 18 opportune conditions to learn and practice Dharma. Therefore, it does not give us any special privilege that we can hurt or harm them as we ourselves will be reborn again and most probably in the three lower realms – where animals are coming from.
Instead, like dsiluvu mentioned, in lamrim, it is said that all sentients beings (including animals) are our mother of past lives. Do we want to harm our mother? Therefore, it is best we treat them equally and show them compassion and love by not eating them, not using them for product testing or laboratory, abuse them, etc.

Q

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2012, 05:03:52 PM »
IF WE believe that animals were created by someone for men,it would follow that men were also created for animals since some animals do not eat human flesh.Animals are said to be conscious only of the present.They live with no concern for the past or future.Buddha was very clear in his teachings against any form of cruelty to any living being.Man's cruelty towards animals is another expression of his uncontrolled  greed.
Since every creature contributes something for the maintanence of the planet and atmosphere,destroying them is not a solution to overcome our disturbances.We should take other measures to maintain the balance of nature.Our environment is threatened and if we do not take stern measures for the survival of other creatures.our own existence on this earth  may not be guaranteed.

Mankind has always been exploiting things and even living beings as long as they can dominate it... Some people even exploit out people for their own benefit. Lets not even look as far back as during the times when slavery is still prominent, just look in your own office and you'll see it. So, what's so strange about people exploiting animals when they can even do it with humans... And who's to blame if it's not our non-existent, fake, false interpretation self called greed.

Not always animals are being ill treated for so called 'food'... but people even kill them for fashion, and worst, some for fun... why can't these people go karaoke for fun or something?

How is it that some people just fail to see that animals have feelings too? That every time they kill one, it is like stabbing themselves with a knife that bleeds them off their positive karma? I just hope that people will start to realize that mistreating animals or living beings is just plain wrong before they destroy our planet...

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 08:25:11 AM »
Here is an interesting view I gathered from someone who happens to think otherwise based on a simple billboard I put up for discussion on choices we make about who we eat. What do you guys this of his comments?
Quote
The meat available in the marketplace is an inanimate object, not a living thing and, therefore, cannot be an object of compassion.

What many people fail to see is that it is nothing beyond that. It is simply a personal choice one makes as to ones diet. It has no moral, ethical, virtuous, or spiritual implications. The Buddha himself explained this quite clearly even establishing for Ordained Sangha rules specifying the conditions under which monastics should obtain their meat. They may not have been a participant in, or witness to, the slaughter, and may not suspect that the butcher slaughtered that particular animal exclusively for consumption by monastics. Beyond these restrictions {which only apply to monastics} there are no moral or ethical problems related to the consumption of meat. This is the teaching of the Buddha !
With respect to the notion of being vegetarian on the basis of it being an act of compassion, my Lama taught thusly: Once an animal has been slaughtered, from the actual moment of it's death, it is no longer a living being. Its "being" has ceased and the remaining physical body IS an inanimate object {i.e. not a living thing}. An inanimate object cannot be an object of compassion. To think differently is to misunderstand the teaching of the Buddha.

This is an often misunderstood topic {the relationship bet. Buddhism and Vegetarianism} and that misunderstanding has been exacerbated both by later period Mahayana scholars and a general public ignorance of Buddhist ideas. And it was to others who might be reading our comments that my remarks were directed. The message and intent of the billboard is quite obvious and the parallel that it is trying to draw {that if you eat meat, you love some animals and not others} is not only completely wrong {even from a Buddhist perspective} it is divisive speech intended to marginalize and condemn those who do not agree with vegetarian ideas.

There is a widespread misconception that Buddhism and a vegetarian diet have some unique relationship. Some Buddhists are vegetarians, though the vast majority of them are not. Other than that, there is no unique relationship between the two. In the first millennium after the parinirvana of Shakyamuni and at least once in the 20th century, there were attempts by some Mahayana scholars to push a vegetarian agenda. Devadatta {Shakyamuni's cousin} tried to do this during Buddha's lifetime, even trying to wrest control of the Holy Sangha from the Buddha. The Buddha rejected this and it cost Devadatta his relationship with both the Buddha and the Sangha. My Lama said that there were often attempts by later Mahayana scholars to create an new "clarification" of the Buddha's teachings on certain topics and creating the impression that eating meat is not in harmony with the Bodhisattva Idea was one of these. He further stated that when later writings, esp. among the Mahayana scholars, are in direct conflict with or contradict the teaching of Shakyamuni, the work of the scholars is to be understood to be incorrect and disregarded.



Yes! Ofcourse, it is a personal choice one makes as to one’s diets whether to eat meat or not. However, in my point of view, it does contribute towards moral, ethical, virtuous, and spiritual developments, if not implications. That is if, you are a Buddhist.

 “The Buddha himself explained this quite clearly even establishing for Ordained Sangha rules specifying the conditions under which monastics should obtain their meat. They may not have been a participant in, or witness to, the slaughter, and may not suspect that the butcher slaughtered that particular animal exclusively for consumption by monastics. Beyond these restrictions {which only apply to monastics} there are no moral or ethical problems related to the consumption of meat. This is the teaching of the Buddha !
What the Buddha meant, if I read correctly from the above quote, is that, the Sanghas when going out for their alms round, should abide to the above RULES and REGULATIONS.

The Buddha said, “the Sanghas may not suspect that the butcher slaughtered that particular animal exclusively for consumption by monastics.”  Simply meaning, do not doubt the kind gestures of the alms giver whether or not they’ve purposely slaughtered a particular animal for the Sangha’s consumption because, when going out for alms round begging for food, the Sanghas must be thankful and accept anything given by the alms giver (due to their kindness in giving).

Why DO NOT SUSPECT that the butcher slaughtered that particular animal exclusively for consumption by monastics?
Simply because the Sanghas do not consume meat as their daily diet if given a choice!

Why do you think Buddha said the Sangha may not have been a participant in, or witness to, the slaughter?
The first Buddhist vow is, THAT ONE SHOULD NOT KILL.

And beyond these restrictions (which only apply to monastics), why only monastics?
Because all the Sanghas have taken their monk’s vow and hence should abide to their vow and refrain from the act and contributing to the act of killing. There should be no moral or ethical problems related to consumption of meat, IF AND WHEN ALL THE ABOVE RULES ARE CLEAR!

Once an animal has been slaughtered, from the actual moment of its death, it is no longer a living being. Its "being" has ceased and the remaining physical body IS an inanimate object {i.e. not a living thing}. An inanimate object cannot be an object of compassion.
A piece of meat is not a living being, IT WAS. The compassion should have started way before the slaughtering, and the act of consuming meat, is a form of support the killing.
SIMPLE, LESSER DEMAND, LESSER KILLING. Compassion by just not consuming meat.


The Buddha’s teaching has been consistent throughout. Some places in the world where the Sanghas consume meat, it is because the condition of that land is not suitable for farming. Hence they resort to consuming meat to, SURVIVE
The TOPIC is often misunderstood. By who? The people practising COMPASSION or the people who chose to switch OFF their COMPASSION?


The message and intent of the billboard is quite obvious and the parallel that it is trying to draw {that if you eat meat, you love some animals and not others} is not only completely wrong {even from a Buddhist perspective} it is divisive speech intended to marginalize and condemn those who do not agree with vegetarian ideas."
It is one’s wrong view to see the billboard as being divisive and as intend to marginalize and condemn non vegetarians. It is just to create awareness to the public to develop understanding that all animals can feel love and pain because like us, they have a mind. That IS to promote the very teaching of Buddha to have kindness and loving compassion, for all sentient beings.

(Please do not confuse the words of Buddha for making oneself feel better consuming meat.)

A Buddhist View of Animal Slaughter and Meat Eating

“There is a causal relationship between the cruelty, torture, and death of human beings and the ongoing slaughter of millions of pigs, cows, fowl, and sheep, not to mention whales, dolphins, and seals, must be obvious to anyone aware of the interrelation of all forms of existence and of the karmic repercussions of our actions. By our consumption of meat we allow this carnage to continue and are part perpetrators. And because of the cause-effect relationship, we are also part victims. How is it possible to swallow the carcasses of these slain creatures, permeated as they are with the violent energy of the pain and terror experienced by them at the time of their slaughter, and not have hatred, aggression, and violence stimulated in oneself and others? “While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts,”

“How can we expect any ideal conditions on the earth?”

This sentiment is echoed in an ancient Chinese verse that vividly describes the evil karma generated by the killing of animals:
For hundreds of thousands of years the stew in the pot has brewed hatred and resentment that is difficult to stop.
If you wish to know why there are disasters of armies and weapons in the world, listen to the piteous cries from the slaughterhouse at midnight

DORJE PAKMO

ratanasutra

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2012, 05:53:26 PM »
As a Buddhist practitioner, we are practice loving and compassion. So Buddhist attitude towards animal life should be like following;
 
•   Not harm other beings, including animals – First precept : not killing
•   Show loving-kindness to all beings, including animals – Metta/Karuna (pali language which mean compassion) : Bodhisattva mind
•   To avoid work which dealing in living beings (including raising animals for slaughter as well as slave trade and prostitution) or working in meat production and butchery. – Right Livelihood in the The Noble Eightfold Path

Rinchen

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2016, 06:27:32 PM »
It is very true of what is being said that if animals are created for men, then men is created for animals as well. With that said it is agreeable and logical that humans should not be eating animals since animals do not eat humans as well.

Sometimes, due to some security breaches or the carelessness of human beings, other people get eaten by these animals. Immediately when that happens, the human beings will put the animals down as they have killed the human beings. What we fail to think is that, why are we not putting ourselves down since we are killing the animals.

Like mentioned by others, Earthling is a great movie to watch for us to understand the kind of pain that is being induced onto other animals because of our crave and longing for meat. When what we crave and long for do not do any good for us at all.

Shugdener

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2016, 02:59:54 PM »
It doesn't really matter whether we are Buddhists, Christians or etc, we should still treat animals as sentient beings. Animals are living beings who like us have feelings. They fear of being hurt and being killed just like us. Just because they don't speak our language, it doesn't mean that we should use this to our advantage and use them.

As Buddhists, we believe that sentient beings such as animals were once our mothers in previous lives so it is only right that we treat them like we would our mother now.

Klein

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2016, 03:27:31 PM »
First of all, as Buddhists, one of our refuge vows is no killing. So this applies to all sentient beings. If we consume meat, we are indirectly killing the animal because without demand, there is no need for supply. This is simple economics.

Second of all, as Buddhist, we practice compassion to all sentient beings. So definitely we should respect, love and care for animals just like how we care for our family members and friends.

pgdharma

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2016, 04:40:26 AM »
In Buddhism, one of the five precepts is to avoid killing or harming other living beings. As Buddhists, we are encouraged to practice loving kindness for all sentient beings and not restrict the compassion for only human beings. Animals do have pain and fears and it is unfair for us to deprive them their living rights.

SabS

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2016, 05:40:35 PM »
To me, Buddhist equates to practice of love and compassion to all sentient beings. As such the animas being a sentient being in the realms of Samsara, we should uphold our practice towards them. We should see them as a being equal to us, a being in need of love and care, a being understanding love and happiness, a being who suffers pain just human do and a being wanting to live life to the fullest too. Watching the videos of animal slaughter house, the expression of fear and cries of pain of the animal is just the same as would a human being killed. We had been taught of mother sentient beings, that understanding karma, we know all animals could have been our mothers in our different lifetimes. I think we need to habituate these thoughts and practice seeing the meat in your dishes as the flesh of your mothers from past lives. Or even as you eat the meat, imagine you being eaten when you were the animal in past lives.

As a non Buddhist, it is simply compassionate to stop killing and understand the pain of the animals bred for murder. So what if you were not the one to kill? You had created the demand for the supply of killing so you are just as guilty. Having said all that, it is a personal choice to practice as one's perception allows and i hope its a choice of kindness and compassion.

Tenzin K

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2017, 05:33:32 AM »
I think compassion is the key for our act. Be it animals or any other beings the foundation to treat them is the same which is not to harm. I always belive this phrase that if we can’t help at at very least don’t harm. We may not have the wisdom, knowledge or experince to help but not to harm is definitley within our control. Some people see animals as threat or food. Animals live for food. If we have the same view as them aren’t we just the same as them mentally? We are fortunate to take rebirth as human and given a consciousness to think and some due to positive karma and merits able to meet and learn the dharma so we should take this good opportunity to make the different in our life to practice compassion and live in harmony with other beings.

Animals unable to speak up for their feeling but doesn’t mean they don’t have one. If we care enough we are able to understand them but if we can’t at very least don’t harm them. In a very basic mutual understanding, do you want to be treated as how you treat the animals? Think!

Within our capability we are able to do a lot for the animals, it a choice whether we want to do it.

vajra-NMD

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Re: Buddhist attitude towards animal life
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2017, 12:20:28 PM »
Whether we are a Buddhist or Non-Buddhist, we should be kind to all animals. Let's put it this way, we'll changed ours role to become an animal, and humans are hunting, abusing and slaughtering us, how we feel? Do we like that kind of feelings?

My point of view : When i look into the eyes of animal, i do not see an animal. I see a living being, i see a friend, i feel a soul.

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