Hunting/Fishing and Buddhist believes?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by HerbalGuy, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. HerbalGuy

    HerbalGuy Member

    So I've been going through a bit of a personal conflict with myself and I would really appreciate the input of some like minded people :) I've been reading about/practicing Buddhism for a few years now so I am fairly familiar with basic teachings but this question still puzzles me:

    Do you believe the act of hunting/fishing is acceptable (also lets throw in if eating meat is ok)?

    Honestly, I completely understand the concept of not killing another being because it leads to suffering (everybody is somebodies parent, child, friend, loved one) but is this really a applicable idea considering for how long we've hunted? I will admit that I enjoy fishing a lot but the actual act of killing an animal, gnaws at me. I never kill for fun, fish more than my family can eat or put the animal through delayed pain till the end.

    I know that there is no completely correct answer (I realize its a personal choice) but I would really enjoy any input/guidance that anybody wants to toss in.
  2. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    The Dali Lama eats meat as do many Tibetans.

    I believe hunting and fishing are all right if done for a just reason, it's not the act of taking a life that is important, but the reason for doing so. To live is to kill, we kill countless beings everyday of our lives, such as body cells and bacteria. Driving our cars kills many insects. Using manufactured goods that rely on animal parts or harm the environment also contribute to many deaths as does the eating of certain animal products that we buy at the store. Even the consumption of honey results in the death of many bees as the hives are opened and closed for inspection and extraction of cones.

    However, trophy hunting and fishing are not alright in my way of thinking. Killing a being to satisfy the ego should not be done. Likewise I don't think catch and release is very good as you are causing another being distress just for the "sport" of it.

    In addition there are those who hold that there is an ethical hierarchy that can be considered. As a human being is a high life form, it is moral for them to consume a lower life form, if need be. However, the lower on the food chain they can go, the better.

    I don't hunt or fish myself as I can't kill an animal and I can hear the worms screaming when they go on the hook. I have fished, but never enjoyed it.

    But if I was hungry enough, or my family needed food, I'm sure I would hunt.
  3. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    Hunting and fishing for your own joy are not okay.

    Hunting and fishing because others need to eat is okay.

    Not okay to kill for sport. There is no equivocal answer here.
  4. KeithBC

    KeithBC Member

    The intention to kill, and the following through on that intention are what are harmful. The occupation of butcher is not considered right livelihood in Buddhism.

    I don't hunt or fish (or eat meat) because those activities do not feel right to me. I cannot kill for pleasure. Given that there are no nutrients that are available only from meat, killing animals for food is unnecessary. If other foods are available, it is only done for pleasure. So I don't do it.

    I recognize that there are lots of Buddhists who feel differently about this.
  5. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Well put. Don't kill unnecessarily. Harm none. Do as little harm as possible. Don't do anything that inflicts suffering.
    No, fishing and hunting are not okay anymore than homicide.
  6. Death is a fact of life.

    All is interconnected.

    You are presenting a false dichotomy and committing the fallacy of equivocation. Though I know nothing about you, I find myself wondering whether or not you are at least consistent.

    How about this for a scenario: there is a population of elk that occupies a mountainous region. There aren't many natural predators in the area, so the elk population steadily increases until they have managed to overpopulate the area. This throws off the balance of the local ecosystem, thus impacting the environment: the elk actually become a potential threat to the survival of other species in the area (as well as their own).

    What, then, should be done? Should humans intervene and regulate the elk population to some extent, or should nature be allowed to take its course--possibly claiming the lives of several other species of both plants and animals in doing so? What would cause the least amount of suffering?
  7. laughing-buddha

    laughing-buddha Relax and have fun

    Personally, I do not care a damn about any of the religions- in their present form.

    We have distorted the essence, the main content over centuries and instead of
    removing the gathered dust, we munch upon them- when our bellies are full and we have nothing else to stimulate our brains.

    Just for the sake of argument- if I tell you- you will get these answers after daily 15 min meditation/ prayers for ten years- without a break?How many of us can actually do it?

    OK, on a positive note- here is the link I liked much.
    Can you actually read it, think upon it and understand it? That should be enough to begin with.
  8. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    i was on xanax
  9. laughing-buddha

    laughing-buddha Relax and have fun

    Yes, Maser. Noted
  10. Manservant Hecubus

    Manservant Hecubus Master of Funk and Evil

    Chodpa is skillful at being a jerk, sometimes. And sometimes not.
  11. NoxiousGas

    NoxiousGas Old Fart

    I agree with Meagain, although I have no issues with worms :p

    He certainly is the most rude, mean spirited, insulting, arrogant, condescending, full-of-himself Buddhist I've ever encountered.
  12. I'm curious to see Sappho's proposed solution.

    Thinking outside of the box is allowed.

    By the way, a similar situation to what I have described has actually happened.
  13. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    i'm pretty sure its all about not adding to suffering. if you don't take more then you eat, and do so with as little causing of suffering as you can, i'm pretty sure that has to be the point.

    the meat of the day made a point about the suffering of plants in the hitchiker's guide at the end of the universe. although plants don't physically appear to have a central nervous system, what do we know of their spirit?

    if it is possible to die without suffering, and we must eat to live, and nature tolerates a certain amount of mutual suffering to eat and live. well that is one thing.

    the other extreme is when needless suffering is caused. that will come back in some way in some life.
  14. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    Sorry. Though this wasn't much of an encounter. I don't even remember what I said/did?! I think sometimes this forum bores me to tears. I come here like once a week. Not that there's not lots of nice people here. There are. Just most of the hot topics have to do with teenage sexual angst. I admit sometimes I forget what thread I'm in. I am a Buddhist. Even the lama down the street told me my wife who's Christian is a better Buddhist than me. (When he was drunk). If I called anybody names I deeply regret such folly, and while I cannot say with honesty it'll never happen again, it won't happen consciously.

    This thread I believe is about mindfulness, not the meditation stance, and pretension, but the actuality of where you use your mind while acting. The first type of use of mind is whether one feels right about doing something and whether one should then try to extrapolate and talk oneself into feeling okay about it, or whether one maintains personal integrity as against all odds and acts in comfort of their own self.

    You won't win the good ole buddy award if you won't go fishing. Maybe not even the good Buddhist award. But ultimately all awards are not as important as doing what you feel really good and right about.

    Society honors the one who greases the wheel regardless of direction the vehicle is going. The one who trys to steer or even put the breaks on will not be forgiven.

    People want a pat on the back as they fall through the abyss.

    As for this fiction here called chodpa, his usefulness has reached much an end.
  15. laughing-buddha

    laughing-buddha Relax and have fun


    I don't get it.
  16. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    I think people look from inside out when posting on the internet, taking things personally. When I post I consider what this persona really is, and it's basically a few Is and Os, has a shelf life of interest of about three seconds, and days later has already outlived its usefullness. Yes, people can read whole posts but when do they? I don't always. Basically I meant that this is about the hundred board I have been a member of and pretty slow in my interest zones. Not really sure where to go from here but I'm considering new topics. Thanks and goodnight.
  17. laughing-buddha

    laughing-buddha Relax and have fun

    Anyway, Your choice chodpa.

    Hope to see you sometime somewhere.
  18. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Well, Chodpa, that's a shame.

    Happy Trails.
  19. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    Oh thanks. I didn't say I'm out of here. That is to say, I submitted my notice. Some rejoice, some don't, most never knew.

    I was never so really really here to begin.
  20. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Oh, good! You had me worried for awhile!

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