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> ...arrival of Buddhism from Korea in the 6th century. At that time, the Japanese were meat eaters. Venison and wild boar (which was sometimes called yama kujira, or “mountain whale”) were popular. Aristocrats enjoyed hunting and feasting on deer entrails and wild fowl. > > Yet Buddhism teaches that humans can be reincarnated into other living beings, including animals. Meat eaters run the risk of consuming their own reincarnated ancestors: not a very palatable thought. Buddhist principles of respect for life and avoidance of waste, especially in the case of food, slowly began to shape Japanese culture and seep into native Shinto beliefs. > > In 675 A.D., Emperor Tenmu issued the first official decree banning consumption of beef, horse, dog, chicken, and monkey during the height of farming season from April to September. As time went on, the practice would be solidified and expanded into a year-round taboo against all meat eating. Also worth reading https://www.kikkoman.co.jp/kiifc/foodculture/pdf_09/e_002_008.pdf --- I have come to this after reading https://standardebooks.org/ebooks/etsu-inagaki-sugimoto/a-daughter-of-the-samurai/text/chapter-4 > I was about eight years old when I had my first taste of meat. For twelve centuries, following the introduction of the Buddhist religion, which forbids the killing of animals, the Japanese people were vegetarians. In late years, however, both belief and custom have changed considerably, and now, though meat is not universally eaten, it can be found in all restaurants and hotels. But when I was a child it was looked upon with horror and loathing.
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Book Recommendation - Less is More
I'd like to share a book here which I've recently read that helped me development a new world view for myself. The book, written by the economic anthropologist Jason Hickel, is called: *"Less is More - How Degrowth Will Save The World"* Although the subtitle only mentions Degrowth, it's much more than that. In the first half of the book, Hickel mostly talks about the history of Capitalism, its character and why it fails in regards to true sustainability and equality. The book may focus on climate change and how we should combat it with Degrowth but the author also takes on other issues, such as the global North-South divide. In the second half, he presents his solution which is called "Degrowth". Degrowth is fundamentally about getting rid of excessive economic growth and the profit-driven mindset of Capitalism for a more sustainable and just world. The book is very well written, down-to-earth and easy to understand with fleshed out, rational arguments and explanations. So, if any of you have some time to read and are interested in the topic then I highly recommend giving this book a try!
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I took this as an audit few years ago (not completed), and the part about conformity and groupthink actually made me contemplate about my religious stance. I can't entirely vouch for the consistence of the findings, but I think it introduce a lot of interesting social and psychological concepts. Another course I would recommend is Science of Everyday Thinking (EdX), which explains various biases and flaws in our decision making and how science incorporates preventions of these.
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