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Cruelty Capital USA

KFC suppliers cram birds into huge waste-filled factories, breed and drug them to grow so large that they can't even walk, and often break their wings and legs. At slaughter, the birds' throats are slit and they are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious. It would be illegal for KFC to abuse dogs, cats, pigs, or cows in these ways. KFC's own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so. Many advisors have now resigned in frustration. Please join Pamela Anderson, Sir Paul McCartney, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Rev. Al Sharpton, and countless other kind people worldwide by not eating at KFC.

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Vegetarian or not a statement by a Buddhist

As was mentioned, the topic of whether or not to eat meat continues. I have seen the discussion come up in almost all of the buddhist egroups I belong to. It came up in the dining room, when I was attending a retreat a few weeks ago. As I have watched the discussion here, one thing that I have noted is that it all has basically been in reference to "us", we "humans", the "me". I wonder what the cow, the pig, the chicken, the fish, and all other animals, sentient beings all, would have to say if they spoke our language. Should we turn the discussion around and look at the "them"? How does one explain to another that I am going to kill you and eat your flesh? And not only that, but that I will make you to live in conditions that are unnatural, unhealthy, and add to your suffering in general until I kill you. That I will raise you and take your children away from you very early and will eat them, use them in various ways. And I may just hunt you or keep you for just a part of your body, it may mean I have to torture you to get the substance, or that I must kill you for just one ingredient or part of your body. Now we could try to explain to them how really they are just "emptiness", that the body they cherish is just so much interdependently arising, perceived phenomena. Or that it is their karma to be who and what they are and that what is happening to them is because of something done in another life, or a habit in a mind stream that has put them into such unhappy circumstances. I have been going over this again in and again with this discussion. It can get very convoluted in ideas, relating various teachings and what was meant, was the text really translated correctly. (Example: was the food that the Buddha ate before his death truly meat, or was it a type of mushroom - there are discussions on just what was that morsel that he ate, but advised it not to be served to the monks that were with him at the dinner.) Then one gets into the tantric teachings, depending on what tradition you follow, and the idea of "one taste". For me, this gets very uneasy, and I am sure it is because I have not had the empowerments, the teachings to explain and also that I have not opened enough to realization to properly relate to those teachings. And so I will not personally use those teachings as a way of overriding at this time how I feel about the "other". It is for each of us to decide how we will live. What we will do. What is our intent. Stating that we are Buddhists, we say that we accept certain tenents related to the belief structure. Again, depending on the tradition, these may vary some what, but the basic teaching of the Four Noble Truths which tells us, if we don't already know, that there is suffering, also that we can do things to relieve suffering not only for ourselves, but for others. There are the Five Precepts, one of which says that one will not take life. Again, depending on your tradition, and the vows one may take, the degree of care in how one lives may differ from the next practitioner. In considering all of this, I realize for me, that I need to give up eating meat offered to me when I am a guest at someone's house. Up until now, I have accepted it, thinking that I would keep from making the host uncomfortable - that they offered something that they thought was "good" and I rejected it. How much more uncomfortable was the animal whose life was taken to provide that part of the meal? So from here on, for myself, I will tactfully, and/or carefully not eat meat that is given to me because I am a guest. Again, whether healthful or unhealthful for "us", how healthful is it for the animal whose life is taken? Just something for each to consider and make a thoughtful decision as to what to do. Shirley in Utah

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last updated : December 1st, 2011

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