There are two groups of people in this ban environment- those who want to eat meat (A) and those who do not want to eat meat (B). Both A and B have their beliefs supported by their reasons and justifications. In this meat ban environment, B is the winner and A is the loser.
This ban has left many questions unanswered.
1) Was B preferred over A because B’s reasons and justifications were based on science of life and nutrition? 2) Was B preferred over A due to a representative sample of the population of the Bhutan of B’s belief over A’s belief. Do all the people in Bhutan want this ban? What group of people wants to impose this meat ban? 3) Who were involved in making this decision to favor B over A?
4) What were the principles of successful personal living a life used to favor A over B?
There are certain universal principles on which human existence are based. Breaking those principles bring suffering to anyone and everyone.
“The right and freedom of a person ends where the nose of the person begins.” This meat ban, by favoring B, went far beyond the nose of the A who wants to eat meat. This ban does not respect the right and freedom of choice of group A.
Beliefs and aspirations of a person are accepted as long they do not cause conflict, physical harm and injury to another person. A does not cause harm to B. So this ban is a pure violation of this principle.
Obviously, the writer of this article has a firm grip of the obvious. While I feel nothing but compassion for the misplaced passion with which you write, what saddens me the most is your extensive quotation of the Dharma. I applaud your vast reading (sorry that I cannot call it knowledge for knowing has totally missed you), and I urge you to continue, maybe someday or some lifetime you may feel for so-called animals that feel pain and joy.
The compulsion I feel for leaving this comment is for the fact that a respectable paper such as The Bhutanese would publish your article and the harm that it could cause (for the love of freedom of expression). I admire the fact that you speak of feeding and treating the animals well and of, painless or least painful slaughter. Do I even have to say how wrong that sounds and that too on so many levels. I recently shared a quote which said “to know what ‘humane’ is, ask yourself if you can allow it to be done to you; well! I ask you my dear friend, would you like to be fed and treated we’ll find then painlessly (if such a method exists) slaughtered? While I could go on and on, I would like to introduce you to my two friends “Google” and “YouTube” and ask you, no insist that you type animal-farming and see what comes out of those searches. My best wishes to you and my heartfelt invitation to join the “Jangsem Monday” movement. Tashi Delek!
It is well documented that Buddha’s last meal was pork served by a blacksmith.
The debate to me is not about imposing self righteousness of meat or non-meat on others or neither is it to conclude on who is a saint or a sinner? Just because one is a vegetarian does not make that person a saint just as it does not make anybody a sinner because one consumes meat. The debate to me must be about authentic sources linking back to the words of the Buddha himself and what he says on these matters. There are many un-broken lineage holders and Master Scholars alive today who speak and teach on the matter from the viewpoint of all three vehicles of Theravada, Mahayana and the Vajrayana.
The author seems to be trying desperately to justify eating of meat by quoting (or misquoting) the Buddhist scriptures before the roll out of slaughterhouse plans in Bhutan. This is not about banning meat but starting of commercial mass slaughterhouses in the country.
First and foremost, Buddha’s wisdom is beyond the duality of vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism. Then the notion that Buddha sanctioned ‘clean meat’ eating to Bikkhus (monks) is taken out of context. The idea was to accept ‘whatever’ that was offered during the begging rounds so as to give an opportunity to earn merit and make a Dharmic connection with the offerer (mostly villagers).
Meat for a sick Bikkhu was allowed only if it was deemed really necessary for his recovery (this was more than 2500 years ago, so can it really apply now when we clearly know that there alternatives to getting the particular nutrients?). Besides, I’ve never heard of millions of humans dying due to vegetarianism! The author seems to be living in a delusory world.
If Buddha has allowed the Bikkhus to eat meat in the preliminary teachings, he has also forbidden in the later Mahayana teachings such as Lankavatara sutra etc.
To comment on an issue related to Buddhism, scholars and masters like Dzongsar Khyentshe Rinpoche need to be consulted before spreading spiritually materialistic notions such as compassionate meat eating. There is no compassion in killing or eating meat. I am a meat eater myself in the process of becoming a vegetarian but I have never imagined using the dharma to justify my actions. It reminds me of people using the concept of karma not to help people saying it’s their own karma so we should not help when in fact what happens in the present is their past karma but what happens to their future is in our own hands and including the choice to help and change that future .
Let’s not speak Buddhism here, when a scholar like Lopen Kado in Lhuntsho Gompa who has completed meditation (more than 12 times losum, amounting to 36 years of) and mastered almost all Buddha Sutra, Kanjur and Tenjur says eating meat is the number one sin in the 10 unvirtuous act, who is this master doing a day research with all the wrong motivations to justify killing. I am going to go to Chapjay Rinpoche surely and will request him to clarify this.