Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

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Are their many vegetarian Jedi Realists and if so why are you a vegetarian? Also if you are a meat eater would you kill anything to eat yourself, or are you happy for other people to kill what you eat, but would never kill anything yourself.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

Roasted or baked Bantha... once you get over the smell, it's not too bad of a meal.

******

I was a VERY picky eater as a kid and barely ate veggies... except raw carrots.
AND, not a heck of a lot of meat either.  Mom swore I lived on scrambled egg sandwiches and peanut butter.

Of course, once I hit college age and above, I actually TRIED foods and learn to eat salads and pizza and tuna fish and mushrooms and more.  Looking at me today, no one would think I suffered in the food department.

That confessed, I am on a more balanced menu these days and looking at going 'more veggies -- raw and steamed -- and brown rice and minimal fried foods of any sort (( though it is what my folks grew up on and still eat ... fried and something with gravy.   :P  Some habits are tough to kick when you hit 80 and over. ))

******

Would I kill if I had to for food?
IF I had to yes, though I admit, I have never learned to gut a fish nor pluck feathers (and quills) nor how to properly skin a critter so one can somehow treat and use the fur/leather/tendons/bones.   I would like to learn... or at least have books which might enlighten me but.. for now, I hunt the well lit jungles of the big box markets for those elusive finds of low fat/no fat/low cost munchies.   :wookie

******

and yes, meat... pretty much for 'survival mode';  since the body needs some minor modicum of protein which is essential for certain bodily processes, healing, and skin kind of dealies.  Though I would like to think I would also learn how to plant to survive.... be my luck I'd eat the poisonous toadstool or work all season to see the crops fail due to some quirky deal or another.  Would mean some very lean, hungry winter months if I couldn't snare a little fuzzy for food once in a while.
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David (Phoenix) replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

I went vegetarian for six months.  I did it because I was trying to bring balance back into my diet, and this was a sort of jumping off point for me.  Then after 6 or so months I introduced white meat back into my diet (which by the way...was not a fun night...to say the least).  Then a year and some change later I've come full circle back to eating everything in my diet.

Why did I do it? Because I could.  Would I do it again? Maybe with some more knowledge.  I begun to find that living in America and being vegetarian were very hard in deed.  There are no vegetarian fast food places, and when you work, go to school, have family commitments etc, that became a huge challenge.  And SOME meal preps can take a while.  But on the other side, I felt lighter, healthier, and starved(that last one is a joke).

So its a hit or miss thing.  Coming from the Jedi point of view, we have to eat what we need to fully function and survive.  If being vegetarian works, we have to make sure we are getting supplements for the important minerals and other essentials we are missing from meat.  Definitely recommend going to the doctors before starting this diet change.  And I know as a disclaimer that would make sense, but it wasn't until AFTER I started the vegetarian diet that I learned some unhealthy side effects that needed addressing (such as the supplements).

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"...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. " ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

Personally, I don't require a large amount of protein to function.  My body tells me when I'm low by giving me meat cravings but I can usually go a few days before that happens.  However, my wife absolutely requires red meat to be mentally stable as her body doesn't hold onto B vitamins and needs constant replenishment.  Sure, she can take supplements but it isn't as effective.  So we continue to eat meat.  I'd like to be more and more vegetarian but it's not feasible with my life right now.  Instead I'm trying to find easy sources of more ethical meats.  That will be easier when we move to the other side of town.  As it is we buy range free eggs and chicken and ground beef.  But I can't find the same for cuts of meat like steak, or pork products.  We'll get there though. 
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replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

I was thinking of the issues around killing just to eat, when its not really necessary, taking a life is a very serious thing as we discussed before, how can you eat some thing that has been killed by some one else and not be part of that killing, and I know how most animals are Slaughtered, and even if you do it very quickly the animals waiting their turn are watching and smelling the blood and in great fear they know whats coming even if you do it so they can`t see, you can feel the fear or at least I could, I know all this because I worked on a farm for a short time. So taking life causing suffering how do we sit with this. I must point out I am not a vegetarian I was for about 3 years from about 14 to 17, my daughter is though and has been for about 4 years. I do not seperate myself from the killing of these animals as I would do it myself and have done so, many  times.

My point is should we be thinking about such things or are they not very important to the Jedi way.
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

Of course it's important, but at the same time we can't all as individuals raise our own animals and butcher them all and still pursue our own careers.  our society has evolved so there are people that raise food for others, animals and plants.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep in mind what sacrifices go into our food.  People can choose to say a prayer of sorts before eating, recognizing and thanking the animal that was sacrificed, as well as all of the people that were involved in that process.  Then there's less separation. 

I'm trying to get to the point of only ethically raised and slaughtered animals, though we don't have control over what other people buy and prepare.  So we have a choice.  We can stick rigidly to an ideal and offend others for not making the same decisions we do, or we can have some flexibility and try to change the system that creates the system that we have which isn't really that safe and definitely unethical. 

While I was in Abu Dhabi our food choices were literally 5 meat dishes, occasionally (a few meals a week) we'd have a vegetarian entree, a potato product, and mixed vegetables.  I refused to even try lamb as I don't believe in adding even more meat sources to my diet, especially baby animals.  Not even when we went to down and people had very good quality lamb I didn't eat it on principle.  I mostly ate fish which are slightly more humanely raised...maybe.  While there I watched food inc which made me want to eat meat even less.  Now that I'm back I'm trying to find where I can buy humanely raised animals.  It's the best option for me.

As for the direct butchering, I've cleaned fish as a child, but don't really know how to do it now.  If I had to do it all myself I'd probably limit my protein intake to eggs for a while until I was sure I could do it with minimal pain.  But I wouldn't be happy about it.  Should only people who are able to kill animals be allowed to eat them? 

You know, in the end we're still part of the food chain.  It's uncommon but we could still end up the dinner of some other predator.  We are also predators.  We can choose not to eat meat, but you aren't going to change the opinion of everyone.  They like meat.  Personally I'd be happy if people simply respected animals, both food animals and others.  That'd be a drastic step forward right now.  In time we may be a predominantly vegetarian culture, and that'd be good too, assuming we could take care of our bodily needs.  Like it or not, we need certain proteins to be healthy.  Yes, there are protein substitutes but they all have their drawbacks and dangers. 
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

Animals being herded and watching those before them... and the pain/death awareness.

I read Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin earlier this year.  Ms. Gradin, who was diagnosed with autism, was able to work with this disability to garner multiple advanced degrees and go on to design a third of all the livestock handling facilities in the U.S. -- specifically could imagine herself as the cow or sheep or other stock and understand those issues which would cause them discomfort or panic distractions.  She also worked with the Jewish 'kosher' facilities to make even those calmer, safer, and less stressful to the animals being killed for food.

As humans, we should do all we can to make the handling of animals as humane as possible... which should include how we process them as 'food source'.  True, we are not like in the African savanna where we would either run our prey to ground (or see they run from us) nor should we blindly go out and kill a species to extinction as we did with the bison/buffalo.   We 'do' eat meat and there are always smarter and more humane ways to do things.   Having thousands of chickens standing around in a hot house environment is not the best... nor the places where a stumbling cow is chained and dragged along the way to slaughter.   That is when proper treatment is set aside for laziness and expediency;  not good.

But we can go to the other absurd extreme of taking in wild animals as more then pets and treat them almost like kids... and sooner or later the wild part comes out and people get hurt or killed.

In the extreme of worrying to 'not kill a living thing'... would you hold that stance of not wanting to 'harm or kill' the living bacteria which has grown into a major infection which then proceeds to destroy internal organs of a very sick child?   Common sense must be a part of the equation in how we deal with 'the world around us'.

Or, even when looking at the religious / ethical stance... one looks at the scholarly sources.
Typically, the first 'oh ya' is someone spouting off how one of the commandments is 'thou shall not kill'.
This is wrong... it is actually, 'thou shall not murder'.

Yes, in the beginning, we are instructed to 'only eat the fruits and veggies' (Genesis 1: 27-30) but, once the whole Noah/Flood thing takes place we see where we can eat meat and more.  (Genesis 9:1-7)

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 Every living creature of the earth and every bird of the sky will be terrified of you. Everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea are under your authority. 3 You may eat any moving thing that lives. As I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 But you must not eat meat with its life (that is, its blood) in it. 5 For your lifeblood I will surely exact punishment, from every living creature I will exact punishment. From each person I will exact punishment for the life of the individual since the man was his relative. 6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by other humans must his blood be shed; for in God’s image God has made humankind.” 7 But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; increase abundantly on the earth and multiply on it.”


We get the okay to eat meat.... and the idea of corporal punishment is introduced.

Meanwhile in the Nirvana Sutra as well as the Mahaparinirvana Sutra and the Provisional Mahayana Sutras, the Buddha specifically says letting even edible food touch meat is a no no.

Food is often used in Buddhist texts to explain complex ideas in an easily understood manner. Buddhism rejects the asceticism of fasting and denial found in many religious traditions. After the Buddha fasted for six years, he rejected the extreme of starvation as a route to salvation. Instead, he used the experience of eating and digesting food as a means to understand the instrumentality of food. The element of heat transmutes food into body during the process of digestion. Thus, eating is an important metaphor for understanding bodily existence and the transformation of matter and substance. Eating literally makes us human and embodies us.

The Buddhist path is the middle way requiring monks and laity to eat to maintain life and nourish the body but not to cling to the sensual pleasures of eating. In this philosophical interpretation, it is not material substances such as food that block salvation but the craving for them. When Buddhists gain right understanding, they can use this analytical knowledge to guide daily life, as well as for meditation. Food as an object of meditation is a metaphor for the foulness of the body. Monks concentrate on the repulsiveness of food in order to reduce their craving for food. The cessation of craving food is equated with the cessation of the body and the end of the cycle of rebirths.

So... learning to NOT let eating / food become an obsession or passion which can lead to the 'dark side'.
Sounds darn familiar.



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ren replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

I dislike vegetarians. All my life I've been good friends with the vegetables, and while I am perfectly aware of the circle of life (It eat them, they "eat" what will be left of me when I die), I dislike the way some people feel they can alter their dietetic behaviour in favour of their kind (animal) at the expense of ren's long-time friends, roots and tomatoes. ;D
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

What about plants that eat meat?  :ponder

(Sundews, bladderworts, butterworts, Venus Flytraps, Cobra Lilly, etc.)

Seems 'we' all cross the line in one phylum or another.  ;D
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Jedi, vegetarian or meat eater

To bring this back into seriousness a tad (though that was amusing Ren, thank you) I think the key is respect.  You can be a vegetarian and still not respect life, while a meat eater can be respectful.  It's all a matter of intent and focus.  We have to do what is healthy for us, or at least attempt to, and be respectful and minimize our harm in the process.

Kol, thank you for that reference.  I'll try to check out that book in the future and I'll remember to check the kosher sections more.  I bet if I looked I'd find some better meat markets in the area instead of the usual grocery store options.
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