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« The Greatest Olympic Protest Ever | Main | We are all Confucians now (or we can be if we want) »

March 31, 2008


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I agree with you. Laozi and Zhuangzi were definitely not vegans.

But Laozi and Zhuangzi would definitely have practised zhai - the purification rites of ancient Chinese religion, which would include a restricted diet in preparation for rituals.

(Virtually all ancient religions have similar purification rituals, which hint at the common spiritual inclination of all people.)

From the perspective of Daoist alchemy, you aren't supposed to force yourself to practise veganism. Instead, as meditation and alchemical practices gradually alter your body physiology, you will naturally desire meat less and less.

How sad that people can believe there was someone in the past who was wiser than anyone today can be. Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha.
(Thirty-year vegan)

Nonsense. Those who only can quote Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu simply reveal their own ignorance. T'ai-Shang Kan-Ying P'ien or alternatively Yin Chih Wen. Nemo

Quite to the contrary, modern academics don't differenciate between "philosophical" and "religious" Taoism. Thus the vegetarinism of most Taoists should take precedence over quotes from one or two ancient texts. See Peter Goullart, The Monastery of Jade Mountain for an example of how Taoists actually lived before Mao's revolution.

let's join our hands together to stop this kind of wrong doings. It may risk lives in the future if we just let them continue.

In Shaolin Temple we have a saying; All living creatures are one with the Tao(Dao). Life sustains life, and all living creatures need nourishment, yet with wisdom the body learns to sustain in ways that all may live.

To extinguish life, is to extinguish light. In our Temple we light candles, and our Temples become brighter. We increase the light. If you extinguish light/life, your Temples become darker.

I study Shaolin Gung Fu, yet am Daoist and no animal fleash for 37 yrs.

But the "Ancients" did say?

Tao gave them birth;

The power of Tao reared them,
Shaped them according to their kinds,
Perfected them, giving to each its strength.

Therefore of the ten thousand things there is not one that does not worship Tao and do homage to its power. Yet no mandate ever went forth that accorded to Tao the right to be worshipped, nor to its power the right to receive homage. It was always and of itself so.

Therefore as Tao bore them and the power of Tao reared them, made them grow, fostered them, harbored them, brewed for them, so you must
Rear them, but do not lay claim to them;
Control them, but never lean upon them,

Be their steward, but do not manage them.
This is called the Mysterious Power.

~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

A horse or a cow has four feet. That is Nature. Put a halter around the horse's head and put a ring through the cow's nose, that is man.

Let man not destroy Nature. Let not cleverness destroy the destiny of the natural order."

~ Chuang Tzu

Buy captive animals and give them freedom.
How commendable is abstinence that dispenses with the butcher!

While walking be mindful of worms and ants.

Be cautious with fire and do not set mountain woods or forests ablaze.

Do not go into the mountain to catch birds in nets, nor to the water to poison fishes and minnows.

Do not butcher the ox that plows your field.

Taoism. Tract of the Quiet Way

Making the transition toward a vegan diet and lifestyle is the single-mos­t effective step an individual can take toward living sustainabl­y on the planet. For further evidence of this fact, please read about the 2006 report from the United Nations: 'Livestock­'s Long Shadow'. By making vegan choices, people can lessen their ecological footprint more than with any other lifestyle change, as well as gain control over their health, take part in eliminatin­g world hunger, rediscover their connection with the many different animals who share our world, and make a powerful personal contributi­on toward the beginning of peace on earth.

•Global warming – Animal agricultur­e generates 40% more greenhouse gas than all cars, trucks and planes combined.

•Water – It takes far less water to generate vegan food. A vegan could leave their shower running year-round­, and still not waste as much water as a non-vegan.

•World hunger – Most of the world’s grain is fed to food animals. On a plant-base­d diet, we could feed the entire human population­. Millions of people who are starving (including 40,000 children who die every day) as a result of the unfair distributi­on of food could be fed by the many tons of grain that are currently cycled through animals.

•Pollution – Animal agricultur­e is the single biggest polluter of the planet.

•Human health crises such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, asthma, osteoporos­is, and many more would be greatly reduced. Diseases created by intensive animal agricultur­e would disappear.

•Environme­nt – Animal-bas­ed food is the primary cause of issues such as rainforest destructio­n, topsoil erosion, desertific­ation of grassland, degradatio­n of underwater ecosystems­, and the declining population of endangered species.

•Global violence – A non-violen­t lifestyle would create a more compassion­ate, gentle population­.

When examining issues of such catastroph­ic potential as global warming, species extinction and mass starvation­, it is understand­able that individual­s who care can feel helpless. It is easy to fall victim to the debilitati­ng belief that we might really have no future. The vegan solution contains within it the power to solve the biggest problems we are facing, on every level from personal to planetary. The vegan ideal is nothing less than the next evolutiona­ry step for humankind. We must embrace the ethic of non-violen­ce if we are to evolve; and we must evolve, if we are to survive.

Sorry but the character for "small fish" (literally) in passage 60 is not the character that denotes a fish in Chinese. When you work from translations you are just a tool of the translator and his misconceptions. Tabuism (above ) has captured the essence very well.

How, then, would you translate passage 60? And why are Ames and Hall, among many others, wrong?

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