Posted by Kathryn (188.8.131.52) on September 17, 2000 at 06:55:33:
I keep thinking about the subject of eating meat and I have come up with a way of understanding it that makes sense to me: but I have a two questions. Obviously our early ancestors ate meat (as did they gather food) and I suppose that explains those incisors we have in our mouth. Now I have thought about Eskimos and other Native Americans and if they were to suddenly embrace Buddhism completely (avoid killing) they would have more than likely starved, especially 100 years ago. But here is my question...is it a fundamental flaw of Buddhism to only allow a vegetarian diet if people face death to follow it? Or is it as I see the Buddhist message of no absolutes and what the Buddha gave us was a set of guidelines? If this is the case I see Buddhism as very adaptable and therefore think that maybe if there is a point in your culture or your personal life that you can live without eating meat, then don't eat it. Obviously one cannot risk starvation of self or family so if necessary, eat meat. Still respect animals and do not waste the meat. The Native Americans did set a good example of this. Who knows, maybe where we are physically or spiritually in regards to our abilities to follow these guidelines set forth by the Buddha might be some indication of where we our on our own karmic map so to say. Any answers or opinions? Thank you.
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