[Comment] Re: The Dalai Lama's "Rider"

According to:


This Dalai Lama is the only one to have ever attempted vegetarianism. Something he has not been successful with.


[Comment] Re: The Dalai Lama's "Rider"

.. like most people who value human relationships over tradition, [he] will eat meat if it is served to him in good faith..

I don't think the concept of doing no harm, is based purely on "tradition", it is more about feeling empathy and compassion for other beings.. Thus I would have thought this was the driving force behind a buddhist's choice to not eat flesh.

… I come to your house for dinner. You do not know that I am a Buddhist and vegetarian. You serve me a steak. Because I value your personal comfort and friendship more than a beef that has already been killed, and that was not killed for my personal benefit, I will eat (and enjoy) the steak.

I honestly think this is a bit of a cop out.. I mean, of course, all beef has "already been killed", and rarely is it specifically for anyone in particulars personal benefit..

What you are saying is that if you as a buddhist, find yourself sitting down for dinner with a tribe of cannibals you would gladly share and enjoy eating human flesh too, if it is offered to you, and no questions are asked..

It seems like you don't understand that a vegetarian does not eat flesh.. If there are circumstances that you do, then frankly you are not a vegetarian. You may eat predominantly vegetarian food, but clearly you are happy and willing to make exceptions..

..There is no need to be extreme; it gains nothing, and causes unhappiness.

Making an ethical stance that you do not wish under any circumstances to support the flesh trade should not be considered as extreme. It is a choice we are all capable of making, and potentially labeling it "extreme" does not really help anyone.

LET him not destroy, or cause to be destroyed, any life at all,
or sanction the acts of those who do so.
* Let him refrain from even hurting any creature,
** both those that are strong, and those that tremble in the world.

(Dhammika Sutta, v. 19)

I think the Dalai Lama, as do many other buddhists, fails to understand this concept, and attempts to justify his actions by making unfair comparisons – Hiding or playing down the cold hard bloody facts with misleading words – tradition vs human relationship.

If you invite me to dinner and I don't tell you before hand that I am vegetarian, then shame on me.. But if it happens, I will politely and respectfully refuse to eat any animal products.. This does not mean that I will not sit with you and enjoy your company, but making my stance clear from the onset, I have found, gains me more respect than allowing myself to eat something which I would be ethically opposed to..

Mango the Fruitarian