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Old 11-10-2005, 01:00 PM   #1
dj_swim
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Ai symbol Aikido and being Vegetarian

Alright, well I see that the "Aikido and being Christian" thread has drawn a lot of really good discussion (I haven't contributed but I've found the discussion very interesting)

So... I find the inter-linking of various life-philosophies very interesting, particularly because that's what got me interested in Aikido in the first place.

My first two books on Aikido were "The Art of Peace" by O Sensei and "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" by Saotome Sensei (forgive me if this isn't the proper way to address him, I'll edit it if you let me know, I'm still fairly new to this)

The one profound idea that really drew me into this study was the mission of Aikido "ban yu ai go"... in fact it was so profound to me that upon reading it, I immediately became semi-vegetarian (definition to follow) and had the kanji tatooed down my back.

Definition of semi-vegetarian: Only eating meats that are organic or free range... in most situations this becomes identical to vegetarian due to the lack of availability of these products

To me, to love and protect all things meant all living things, not just humans. And while I have no moral objection to consuming meat... it seemed like if an animal was going to give it's life to feed me, I should not support industries that do not allow the animal to have a healthy and dignified life prior to slaughter.

Now, I have since strayed from that path a bit, but I'm on my way back onto it (I just kicked cigarettes and cola in the same day, I thought if I gave up almost all meat at the same time I might explode) and I was wondering if anyone else has interpreted this like me, or even what other people thought of it.

I'll end this opening post with advice to any vegetarians out there: If you're going to fall off the wagon, "Ribfest" is NOT the place to do it...

-Doug
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:42 PM   #2
Mats Alritzson
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Hmm, I'm sorry but I don't see the relevance. How about "swimming and being vegetarian"? Don't get me wrong, I find the thread "aikido and being christian" equally ridiculous.

Sorry, I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. I've been bothered by these threads to long and if I don't post this message I will continue to be bothered.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:58 PM   #3
Lan Powers
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

I am pretty thoroughly a carnivore.......Doesn't seem all that relevant to the art od Aikido to me either, but we each interpret things in our own way.
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:59 PM   #4
Karen Wolek
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

I'm a vegetarian, but it doesn't have anything to do with aikido.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:00 PM   #5
roosvelt
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Quote:
Mats Alritzson wrote:
Hmm, I'm sorry but I don't see the relevance. How about "swimming and being vegetarian"? Don't get me wrong, I find the thread "aikido and being christian" equally ridiculous.

Sorry, I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. I've been bothered by these threads to long and if I don't post this message I will continue to be bothered.
Meat product increase your Yang, Veggie increase your Yin. In Western world, most people have too much Yang, not enough Yin.

Do you think Aikido has nothing to do with Yin/Yang?
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:17 PM   #6
Mats Alritzson
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
Meat product increase your Yang, Veggie increase your Yin. In Western world, most people have too much Yang, not enough Yin.
If that were the case wouldn't you end up with too much Yin and too little Yang if you became vegetarian?
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:23 PM   #7
Kevin Masters
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Ribfest?

Yuck, nasty.

I don't think Aikido has much to do with being a vegetarian, either. My sensei said once, "meat is an excellent substitute for tofu" or something like that.
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:55 PM   #8
Karen Wolek
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Yeah, he calls meat a "tofu substitute." <grin>

My sensei is a student of Kevin's sensei....and my sensei IS a vegetarian.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:41 PM   #9
DarkShodan
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

If Aikido is about balance and harmony, then what we put into our bodies should be balanced. They have been saying it for years! Eat a healthy balanced diet! It's true! Meat, fish, dairy, veggies, fruit....it's all good!

Beer can be used as a substitute for any of the items listed.

My next post will be "Aikido and being Alektorophobic".

Victims, aren't we all.
-- Eric Draven
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Old 11-10-2005, 04:06 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Wow, tons of non-vegetarians!

I am a vegetarian, not a vegan, but close. I eat some cheeses and try to limit my intake of diary products. No meat what-so-ever.

I think it is a personal choice, for me it had alot to do with aikido, or at least the reason I study aikido. It is about compassion and awareness for me. Based on this, I can't imagine how you can't see the correalation!

I'd recommend doing a bunch of reading of contemporary buddhist literature if you are inclined to lean this way. Thict Nhat Han is a good one.

The big thing is that it becomes a personal choice or practice. Does it make you a better person or more compassionate than a omnivores? Not necessarily as "better" is hard to really define and quantify. Also Compassion. Part of being compasionate is NOT preaching to omnivores!


Again, I think that in order to achieve the goals of aikido, you must think constantly about every choice you make and evey action you take with a sense of awareness. That includes the foods you eat, the ideas you choose to think, and the respect you show people. To me, it is very related to the study of aikido!

I can also see how someone might interpret it differently. You can also carry vegetarism to an extreme. Look at Jainism, where do you draw the lne? It is different for different people and we must respect that!

I am headed for China in two weeks to adopt our daughter, so I will see exactly how difficult it is to be a vegetarian while traveling in a country with a language and culture you barely understand!
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Old 11-10-2005, 04:15 PM   #11
aikigirl10
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
Meat product increase your Yang, Veggie increase your Yin. In Western world, most people have too much Yang, not enough Yin.

Do you think Aikido has nothing to do with Yin/Yang?
Since when are meat and veggies the yin and the yang?

To me what you eat is totally irrelevant to aikido. As long as you have a healthy body and are capable of keeping it that way then i dont see what eating has to do with it.

Im a frequent fast-food eater but as long as im not overweight i really dont see the problem.

And i also agree that the Aikido and being Christian thread is ridiculous.

Last edited by aikigirl10 : 11-10-2005 at 04:18 PM. Reason: add
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Old 11-10-2005, 04:21 PM   #12
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

I would disagree with you on the thread of AIkido/Christianity as being ridiculous. It might be irrelevant to you and your practice, but to many it is important as they attempt to integrate and reconcile aikido into their lives.

You do not live your life in tiny neat little boxes that are separated, but as the totality of how you are and what you intrinsically believe, and what you want to become.

Same topic with vegetariaism. To many it is very related to their philosophical and spritual beliefs as is aikido as a physical practice that helps reconcile their spirituality.
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:02 PM   #13
dj_swim
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Ai symbol Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

I just wanted to clarify the reason I started this thread. I started it under a few basic assumptions:

1. Everything we do in our life is interlinked.
2. All of our lives are interlinked.
3. The reasons we make a decision to do something are just as important as the reasons we make a decison not to do something.

Now I didn't start this to preach vegetarianism to anyone. In fact, if you read my first post carefully, I'm not even a vegetarian in the classical sense.

The reason I started this thread was to spark discussion about why people believe what they believe and if it was important to them in the context of Aikido.

Given that this is the "Spiritual" section of the forum, I thought that it would generate a largely philosophical discussion about belief vs. behavior, which ultimately encompasses many (if not all) of Aikido.

Now, if you think that being Vegetarian has nothing to do with Aikido in the context that I've formed it, I have no problem with that at all. What would be nice is if you explained why. It's not that I don't want to hear opinions other than my own, it's that discussion comes more naturally to me when there are justifications for them (physical, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise).

Thanks for the comments so far!

-Doug
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Old 11-10-2005, 05:28 PM   #14
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

I was vegetarian but I didnt do It correctly, not enough fruit and veg, not enough Iron, after a while I became quite fatigued, felt ill regularly, lots of head aches and other aches and pains. I tired during training quicker than I should. I started to take more vitamins and drink lots of guinness (which was fun) and this improved things, but eventually I ate meat again. One day I would like to go back to being veggie, but I'll do it properly and take my training into account

Being veggie was nothing to do with aikido by the way.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-10-2005, 08:03 PM   #15
jeff.
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

hrm... well, i've been vegan for a little over 11 years, and was lacto-ova for two years before that. go me, eh? my point?: i'm attracted to aikido for many of the same reasons i became vegetarian and then vegan: a way of compassionately interacting with the world. sounds kinda silly and maybe cheesy to many ears, but i think its important. that is: one of the things i love about aikido is its philosophical and spiritual depth(s). but philosophy is only really useful, methinks, if it can be put into action in some sense. hence, my active studying of the martial art aikido, as well as its philosophy, and my being vegan as an active means to kill as little as possible with my diet while still being healthy.

does one need to be veg to study aikido? hell no. that would be beyond dumb. as ridiculous as saying that you have to be shinto or buddhist to study aikido. in fact, it would be more ridiculous, since those two belief systems actually influenced aikido (and while osensei appears to have been veg on and off... there were some off times, ya know?). however, i feel that a vital part of aikido must be learning how to engage with our world more actively, with deepening understanding. this, i think, must ultimately mean, in part, confronting how we interact not only with one another, but with other living creatures and the earth more generally. of course, none of this requires that we reach any of the same conclusions, merely that we take the time to consider how our actions effect everything around us. after that it seems to me imparative that we figure out how then, in our individual lives, to respond appropriately.

i think this goes for any and all discussion of "aikido and ... " [fill in the blank]. just because you or i might not get anything out of a discussion about aikido and floor wax, does not mean that it is not important to aikidoka who are janitors or something. let's not forget that an important concept in aikido is "musubi", weaving together. right? can i get an amen? heehee

anyway... doug, you might be interested in this: my father's best friend is vegan except for what he hunts and kills himself. which generally only amounts to a coupla deer a year (and he uses all of everything he kills too). i've always thought it was a very interesting approach, and thought you might enjoy it since its similar to how you seem to want to hang.

((on a completely side issue: nice quote in the sig, nick! i saw refused here in the states first when they were a victory recs vegan/sXe band, and then again when they toured around the shape of punk to come. the first time was not so good... but my god were they amazing the second time around! whee!! hmm... there's a fun topic "aikido and punk"!))

Last edited by jeff. : 11-10-2005 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:08 PM   #16
roosvelt
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Wow, tons of non-vegetarians!
I am headed for China in two weeks to adopt our daughter, so I will see exactly how difficult it is to be a vegetarian while traveling in a country with a language and culture you barely understand!
Don't worry about food in China. In Western standard, most Chinese are vegetarians. They make wonderful veggie dishes. But you have to tell them up front and insist on vegetable. Because Chinese think all westerns are meat-eaters.

In big city, you'll be suprised how globalization have change the face of every city. You'll find Big Mac, Pizza Hut, KFC, Walmart, Ikea .... In the supermarket, you'll find cheese and everything that you'd find in the Whole Food Mart. There are also many foreigners in the big city. You won't stand out if you don't want to.

In the rural area though, you may find life is different.

Which city do you plan to visit? If you have questions, just pm me. I'll answer as welle as I could.

Good luck in your trip. I'll have a daughter in two weeks as well.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:14 PM   #17
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Off topic, but so what:

Try not to be scared Jeff, but, I love you. I've had a refused sig on here for like 2 years and your the first to comment. Im well jealous, I was 15 when the shape was released and in the farthest corner of england possible, so I missed em on their last tour. You first saw em promoting Songs to fan the flames? Aikido and punk are my two favourite things in life.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:40 AM   #18
Steve Mullen
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Quote:
Nick Simpson wrote:
Aikido and punk are my two favourite things in life.
I'm sure that will please emma no end

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:03 AM   #19
Nick Simpson
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

She knows her place. Below aikido and punk.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:29 AM   #20
tedehara
 
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

IIRC Hombu Dojo was close to the Macrobiotics Institute. They practice a vegetarian diet based on traditional Japanese food. There were several Japanese Aikido instructors who attended both places.

Since both Aikido and Macrobiotics are suppose to be based on a Japanese life-style, it's not unusual to find people practicing both ways. Macrobiotics is an extreme form of vegan, in that it's based on one national diet. I would be interested in reading comments from someone who practices both and seeing if both ways complement each other.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:39 AM   #21
dj_swim
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Jeff:

That's awesome about your fathers best friend... "meat I had killed myself or if I personally knew the person who killed it" was also in the category of meat I would eat as well... I come from a long line of hunters (real hunters with bows and arrows, not automatic weapons) on my dads side, so there was no way I was going to turn down some of the food they had available at holiday gatherings!

-Doug
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:03 AM   #22
RobertFortune
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Grr! Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Aloha,

My thoughts on foods we eat. It is my own belief, after some reflection, that for most of our evolutionary history, as just one more animal on this small planet ,we, like Dr. Steven Hawkins says in that Pink Floyd song - "lived just like the animals".

That being the case we no doubt ate what we were able to most easily obtain. Now plants can't run away to avoid being eaten so we could easily obtain plant foods (assuming we were in an area where they were growing). Animals on the other hand *do* have the ability to run off to avoid being caught\killed and eaten by us or any other predator, so we would have been less likely to have as much animal foods to consume than plant foods.

Of course at this point in our evolution we now have the ability to mass produce animals for our consumption which is where quite a lot of people in at least the Western world are as far as their diets. Meat-eaters with unlimited access and supply of meat food products. Is that healthy? Much of the evidence to date says it is not. Our bodies have never before in our evolutionary history been supplied a mostly meat and meat by-products diet and so there is that unknown factor.

I for one opt to be a semi-vegetarian. I *think* about what I am going to eat. I do not eat any beef or beef by-products. (I like cows. Once saw a cow in a field chewing its cud and it was just so peaceful bothering no one and nothing merely content to simply chew its cud.) I do eat fish regularly, and once in a while chicken.

Living in the US which has to be the meat-eating capital of the world the foods *readily available* for vegetarians is quite limited. Plenty of fast food restaurants all selling meat products. McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, etc... Fortunately in most areas of the US there are Chinese fast food restaurants where one can get both vegetarian and other Chinese dishes which are mostly made up of vegtables.

BTW, I disagree with any comments whether said in jest or intended to be seriously taken that beer or any alcoholic beverage is anything other than a [addictive] drug albeit a legalized, liquified one, condoned by the powers-that-be.

My understanding of Aikido and its practice to date is that Aikido is about trying to live and maintain a healthy life(style) and I do not believe the taking of an unnecessary drug soley for recreational purposes does that. I do not judge those who choose to do so, but I do believe that perhaps the beer\alcohol cheering section frequent the BudLight website where I'm sure they're cheering will be much appreciated by all. Aikido - Yes. Beer\Alcohol - No.

Peace, Justice & Love.

Aloha,

Robert
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:25 AM   #23
ironyx
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

I am a vegetarian too. (hey that sounds like an anonymous meeting - VA) While I don't agree that being a vegetarian itself has to do with the choice to become involved with aikido, I have found that some of the same feelings that made me interested in vegetarianism also sparked my interest in aikido. Everyone has their paths, and part of what put me on my path to one, helped lead me to the other.

BTW- love punk too!
Take care,
Va.
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:28 AM   #24
Fred Little
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

It may be relevant to the extent that, as with the rest of the population, increasing numbers of aikidoka are choosing to eat low-meat/no-meat diets.

So if you're the one putting the food on the table for a large number of people, insuring that there's something for the low-meat/no-meat eaters is a good way to avoid a conflict.

Sincer Thanksgiving is coming up, remember: It's all about the side dishes anyway. The turkey just puts you to sleep and gives you gas.
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:35 AM   #25
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido and being Vegetarian

Quote:
My understanding of Aikido and its practice to date is that Aikido is about trying to live and maintain a healthy life(style) and I do not believe the taking of an unnecessary drug soley for recreational purposes does that. I do not judge those who choose to do so,...
Good thing too...since quite a few aikido shihan drink like fish...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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