A lying non-vegetarian quits being a Buddhist

I don’t call myself “a Buddhist” anymore. I was compelled to embark on a secular pursuit of morality and life due to many reasons, some deep, some shallow, I will now tread on the shallow end of the waters for a while.

It is expected of a Buddhist to refrain from killing and lying – I lie and encourage killing, the hypocrisy and the self-deception that mainstream Buddhists dwell on, claiming that “I am not morally obliged to refrain from consuming the flesh of an animal that wasn’t killed specifically for me” is a disgrace to common sense and logic – being aware of the free market theory of demand and supply – all such self-deceiving Buddhists contribute to thousands of animals slaughtered a day, I won’t waste my time pondering on the moral supremacy of a vegetarian, but at least I don’t lie to myself each dawn that I shall not kill.

And then, lying – I lie- in fact that was mandatory to get into a popular college. I lie for both fair and unfair reasons. It’s difficult to survive in this rat’s maze unless. But the worst sort – of the most counterproductive – petty sort of lie is to deceive yourself – by a self-promise “I shall refrain from lying”.

But at least I am comfortable in the knowledge that I won’t lie to kill or harm, and never would I kill for religion, someday a very emotional pivotal shift might make me a vegetarian – there is always that possibility – but till then – I won’t lie about it.

It’s a ghastly scorched planet out there; where lady desire strips you out of your innocence, where the illusive allure of worldly wealth seduces you into running a rats’ race against those of identical fate, where the scorching emotion of self-preservation evaporates all moisture out of you, and at a certain point, people, religion leaves you unprompted- it happens, it really does, it is that we are made such – weak willed by nature, yet forced to withstand – religion the artificial guide, leaves you. And you take it for granted, to carry its nominal weight instead – for shame!

The real test is one of integrity, your own integrity, and your self-conceived morality – that is rooted so deep, never wilts. Quite ironically, in most cases where it does, religion happens to be the culprit.

I could build on this principle and leave my future offspring’s religion blank, leave it for him to decide once he’s grown up. He will hobble off to school with his backpack, and the so called “religious” will confront him, they will call him an imbecile, an infidel, a disgrace, they will torment him, trod on his tender ego before sending him home with a message pinned to his flesh “You forgot to tag this one asshole!”

How could I, through his tears, explain to him my principles that I hold so close to me? Principles he can’t possibly comprehend, how could I get away with telling him, when the time comes, he will have to decide ? How could I protect him with my integrity intact? Impossible – I shall have to wipe his tears off and teach him his first lie.

“Son, Tell them that you are a Buddhist.”

Religion has made us so that life begins with such separation and fallacy.

Article by – Vajira Sooriyarachchi

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9 Responses to A lying non-vegetarian quits being a Buddhist

  1. hmm. seems this guy had to give up buddhism cos in his mind, a buddhist has to be a vegetarian. why didn’t he become a vegetarian then? it’s one thing to choose ur food based on ur spirituality. but to choose ur spirituality based on what u want to eat? that is a bit cheap isn’t it?

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    • Food is more important than spirituality. All organic molecules including carbs, amino acids, nucleotides and other biochemical products ultimately come from food. We can live without spirituality. But, we can’t live without food.

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  2. does ‘secular morals’ make no fuss about killing and eating animals? makes me wonder, is it ‘secular’ after all? why doesn’t secular morals include not killing animals and/or vegetarianism? something worth thinking about. cos i know a culture that has a pretty similar view.

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    • Oh man! This is the most embarrassing comment so far from srilankanatheists on this blog. Your account is hacked ot what? On what basis you concluded that cows don’t feel pain? Also, there is no scientific basis to differentiate between cows/dogs/elephants on the basis of “consciousness”. All the three are higher order mammals and are self-aware to more or less the same degree.

      You are going by a popular misconception of rating animals on the basis of how close they mimic human behavior and how connected they can become with humans. That is not a very good basis to go by. If you go by the scientific basis, you may want to go by the complexity of the brain and the neural system and how closely their neural system relates to those of humans.

      I actually take a human centric view on this and ‘kindness to animals’ in my world has a human centric purpose. I would not elaborate it here now. But your comment that cows don’t feel pain is quite disturbing.

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    • Vajira Sooriyaarachchi says:

      If an unfortunate one wishes to leave such a fascinatingly daft comment, they might as well use their personal profile to do so, rather than using the public profile – therefore representing the whole community.

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      • OK, that explains. If the account ‘srilankanatheists’ is shared between multiple people, then I also suggest that that account should only be used for administrative purposes and when responding to discussion threads, folks should use their own personal profile.

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        • I agree with you guys..The account srilankanatheists hereafter would only be used to administrative stuff.

          I understand that it is counter-intuitive to declare that many of the animals are just unconscious machines and therefore do not feel pain. However, when it comes to the topic of animal consciousness, most of our natural assumptions are inaccurate. Animals do express facial expressions of wide variety of emotions. Based on such observations, we naturally assumes that animals are conscious. However, experiments are done, where robots mimic the facial expressions of different emotions, and all of the subjects attribute consciousness to the robots, which are, after all, just metal machines. Therefore, most of our intuitive assumptions can not be used as a guide to determine whether animals are conscious.

          One way to get an idea about if an animal is conscious is to observe how the animals reacts to their own image in a mirror. If the animal is self aware, and if the animal has a concept of “myself” (and therefore conscious), animals should recognize itself in a mirror. Cows do not recognize themselves when they see it from a mirror. Many animals such as elephants, dolphins, chimps, gorillas, baboons recognize themselves when the see their image in a mirror. Actually, based on this reason, I concluded that cows are not conscious. However, my belief is not something inscribed in a stone. It is a tentative theory. It may change as I get new information about nature.

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    • Why should secular morals make a fuss about killing animals? Of course, it depends on what kind of animal you kill for food. Some animals such as elephants, dogs, are at least semiconscious. Other animals such as cows are not conscious at all. Cows don’t feel pain.

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  3. Most issues fixed…but I got the order of comments messed up…pardon me

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