The following is an excerpt from an email conversation with a good friend of mine…
That said, I will continue to eat all of the life forms that taste good on this earth. Whether I am liberating some part of them in the process I am not certain, but the eating is good :)
Agreed. Of course, if you consider that predation is part of Nature (and not only among humans), you could make a case that it’s part of the Will of the fish to be eaten. In that way, you’re *helping* it to fulfill its central purpose. You didn’t think fish were put here just to eat, fuck, and swim around, did you?
Not only that, but if you believe the Buddhist clap-trap about souls being reincarnated as fish as a result of their bad karma, then who are we to decide how that karma was meant to play-out. If you become a fish because of eating too many fish, then you’re *supposed* to be eaten, no? Eating the fish allows him to balance out his earlier indiscretions and get on with his spiritual evolution.
Anyway, I think the whole purpose of the precepts is to train us to become part of Nature and to do so with full awareness. So if I see a fish walking down the street and I just step on it and kill it with no purpose in mind, I’m not only exhibiting a complete lack of awareness of the cycle of life, I’m also doing something that is not in keeping with the nature of either humans *or* fish (not to mention passing up the opportunity to cash in on the world’s first walking fish show ;-).
If I kill for food, even if the fish happens to look me in the eye with short-term disdain, I can inform him with some degree of confidence that, in the long run, his death was pre-ordained simply by the fact that he’s a fish and humans happen to EAT fish.