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Thread: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

  1. #1

    The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    With the talk about Nansen and his cat, and then talking about Mu, I had a question:

    Since we know that dogs and cats have Buddha-nature, can they also have attachments, delusions, conceptions and the like?

    If we say they have Buddha-nature, doesn't that imply that they must also have the same problems we do? Is a dog or a cat always showing Buddha-nature? If not, what kind of delusions or attachments can a dog or a cat have?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hogo's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    The best I can come up with:
    I go to the fridge to grab a snack, followed closely begind by my dog. As the door swing open the steady 'thump..thump..thump...' of his tail against tile begins as hit butt hits the floor and the eyes light up. Oh boy Oh boy that smells good!.... Just maybe?... yet he has never been fed a scrap of human food........this is doggy delusion?
    Gassho
    ~Dave

  3. #3
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Chris, what do you expect to get out of asking these sorts of questions?

    There is no way to "know" metaphysical information. One can intuit, feel, or believe, but certain knowledge is impossible. Why chase delusion?

  4. #4

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Chris, what do you expect to get out of asking these sorts of questions?

    There is no way to "know" metaphysical information. One can intuit, feel, or believe, but certain knowledge is impossible. Why chase delusion?
    What do I expect to get? I should think that would answer itself. I don't expect anything. I do try to understand and the way to do that is to begin with inquiry. I do believe that having a basis of understanding in these sorts of things, by asking these types of questions, gives me (and others) an entry point in to the stream that is Zen. I do also believe that sitting, shikantaza is the core activity that we need in order to bring buddha-nature into everyday life. I don't believe that one should ever go without the other. That only leads to big heads or sore butts.

  5. #5

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Dday
    The best I can come up with:
    I go to the fridge to grab a snack, followed closely begind by my dog. As the door swing open the steady 'thump..thump..thump...' of his tail against tile begins as hit butt hits the floor and the eyes light up. Oh boy Oh boy that smells good!.... Just maybe?... yet he has never been fed a scrap of human food........this is doggy delusion?
    Gassho
    ~Dave
    Give your dog a break. My dog will be 16 soon and I've always shared a taste of the 'good' food with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    Chris, what do you expect to get out of asking these sorts of questions?

    There is no way to "know" metaphysical information. One can intuit, feel, or believe, but certain knowledge is impossible. Why chase delusion?
    What do I expect to get? I should think that would answer itself. I don't expect anything. I do try to understand and the way to do that is to begin with inquiry. I do believe that having a basis of understanding in these sorts of things, by asking these types of questions, gives me (and others) an entry point in to the stream that is Zen. I do also believe that sitting, shikantaza is the core activity that we need in order to bring buddha-nature into everyday life. I don't believe that one should ever go without the other. That only leads to big heads or sore butts.
    Chris, don't let this zen stuff go to your head. Just sit down and shut up as brad says. AS soon as we open our mouths we are wrong.
    /Rich

  6. #6

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    I don't know that I believe that. If that were the case no one would teach.

  7. #7

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    What I mean to say is this. I know and believe that Zen is a transmission beyond words, but let's be honest. We need words. We do. We need to talk, to discuss. We are not enlightened yet (at least I'm not) so just sitting won't do it all for me. Part of this is to learn. Not just intellectually, no not at all, but you need the knowledge to begin the process. Other wise it would be like going to a great teacher who never said a word to you before they died. You'd probably think you learned something, but I doubt you would have. There seems to be a large segment of people who think they know. To be honest, I don't feel like I know anything.

  8. #8

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    What I mean to say is this. I know and believe that Zen is a transmission beyond words, but let's be honest. We need words. We do. We need to talk, to discuss. We are not enlightened yet (at least I'm not) so just sitting won't do it all for me. Part of this is to learn. Not just intellectually, no not at all, but you need the knowledge to begin the process. Other wise it would be like going to a great teacher who never said a word to you before they died. You'd probably think you learned something, but I doubt you would have. There seems to be a large segment of people who think they know. To be honest, I don't feel like I know anything.
    If you know that 'Zen is a transmission beyond words' then why are you insisting on intellectual answers to the question of 'Does a dog have Buddha nature?' and 'can they also have attachments, delusions, conceptions and the like? ' I'm not suggesting that we don't need words. I'm suggesting you might be intellectuallizing too much and practicing too little. But I think you are on to something with the 'I don't feel like I know anything' That 'not knowing' can cut thru a lot of shit and bring you to something called - well I don't know - is it reality? or do you prefer 'buddha nature'?
    /Rich

  9. #9

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    the same problems we do?
    What's the problem?


    Gassho

  10. #10

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    If that were the case no one would teach./


    Listen to what Shunryu has to say about that:

    Even though your speech is good, many things will happen just because you picked up one thing. If you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. But because we do something many things will follow. That is actual fact. So we call it "Genj?-k?an." ["Actualizing the Fundamental Point," a fascicle of D?gen's Sh?b?genz?.] That is our k?an to solve—actual k?an we have.

    If you don’t pick up anything, it means that if you understand what is the real teaching of Buddhism, it means what is the purpose of Buddhism. Purpose of Buddhism is not to establish Buddha's teaching, Buddha's groups, but to help people. And to help people going their own way. Just because they are not following their own way. So Buddha gives them some warning: "If you do not follow the right path, you will be lost." That is only reason why Buddha left his teaching for human being. So he doesn’t want to pick up anything. Or there is no need to pick up anything if all sentient beings follow right path. But most people or some Buddhist will make big mistake. They try to establish something for sake of Buddhism in its small, narrow sense. Then that is big mistake

    The real purpose of Buddhism is to bring about the time when we do not need Buddha's teaching, when we do not need Zen Center or anything. Without teacher, without Buddhist teacher, we can follow our own way. That is best. That is the goal of Buddhism. The goal of Buddhism is to bring about human life where there is no Buddhism. So not to pick up anything or to bring about a human life where there is no need to pick up anything is why we make our effort.

    And personally, because we always try to pick up something and to establish something in its small sense, is small mind. That is why the more we make effort, the more we have trouble [laughs]. That’s very silly—if we establish something just to have more trouble [laughs], it doesn't make sense.
    http://www.cuke.com/Cucumber%20Project/ ... cture.html


    Gassho

  11. #11

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    I agree with you Will, but as you said, that is why Buddha left his teachings. We aren't there yet. At least I don't feel like I am. Perhaps I will hear enough and read enough, and learn enough one day to say, "wow, this is it, and I don't need that stuff I learned anymore to be right here." But I don't think you'll ever hear me say that I didn't need to learn it first to help me get on my path to there.

  12. #12

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    If you know that 'Zen is a transmission beyond words' then why are you insisting on intellectual answers to the question of 'Does a dog have Buddha nature?' and 'can they also have attachments, delusions, conceptions and the like? '
    This is hard to explain but, I believe without these questions, or rather without inquiry, discourse, conversation and communication with those wiser than me, it would be like someone say taking an accountant into a forest and saying,"Ok, your 10 days from anywhere, but here's a plastic spork, so we expect you to survive and get back to civilization." Sure, it could happen. But my money's on the forest winning. On the other hand, and again please make sure you all read the following:

    I am in no way saying that intellectualizing will get me to enlightenment. I do not believe that understanding and memorizing facts will enlighten me. I am saying that conversations on the Way and the Dharma, can spur the (stealing from Will's post from Suzuki Roshi) small mind into opening to the Big Mind.

    Anyway, on the other hand asking these questions, inquiry and learning from those wiser than myself would be like taking the same accountant to the same forest and giving him a knife and a wilderness survival guide.

    I'm suggesting you might be intellectuallizing too much and practicing too little. But I think you are on to something with the 'I don't feel like I know anything' That 'not knowing' can cut thru a lot of shit and bring you to something called - well I don't know - is it reality? or do you prefer 'buddha nature'?
    As to my practice, I wish I could say that I never neglect it...but I don't want to lie. It may be that I am doing just that, thinking too much and practicing too little. You actually wouldn't be the first to say that. But is that correct? Or perhaps, am I miss-communicating my meanings and intentions? There's the crux for me. I don't know if I am over thinking or under explaining.

  13. #13

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    With the talk about Nansen and his cat, and then talking about Mu, I had a question:

    Since we know that dogs and cats have Buddha-nature, can they also have attachments, delusions, conceptions and the like?

    If we say they have Buddha-nature, doesn't that imply that they must also have the same problems we do? Is a dog or a cat always showing Buddha-nature? If not, what kind of delusions or attachments can a dog or a cat have?
    Let me put it this way, as one view on this ...

    We do need certain intellectual knowledge for this Practice, for all of life. How to fluff a Zafu, how to ring the bells, how to understand basically some basic Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, the mechanism by which the fiction/non-fiction of an abiding 'self' is created, a bit about impermanence and such. We also need a --basic-- (emphasis on basic) understanding of more abstract ideas such as Emptiness, or of "Buddha-nature" in the sense that we realize we are all as perfectly Buddha as the Buddha ever is or was ... Buddha-nature ... and may not see that fact clearly, though having the potential.

    But our practice also tells us to SIMPLIFY the mind about many things, silence certain thoughts and emotions and listen (and lose ourself) instead to the silence, drop certain questions as the "answer" (if there is an "answer"). The rest is then clearly shown as being much like arguing about 'how many angels can stand on the head of a pin', or whether 'a tree in the forest makes a sound when nobody is around to hear it', or whether 'the New York Yankees would win the World Series if it were played on Mars.'.

    Saying that we do not need a more detailed knowledge of "Buddha-nature" is not an intellectual cop-out. Far from it. Rather, it is just like saying that one does not need an intellectual understanding of the vanilla ice cream cone in one's hand (it's chemical make up, point of origin of the vanilla beans, the name of the president of the company that manufactured it) to savor and know the sweetness and coolness on one's tongue. THAT is the Reality of the vanilla! One does not require knowledge of the latin scientific name of the rose in order to bask in its scent, feel the sting of its thorns. One does not need an intellectual understanding of what "LOVE" is, and its biological mechanism, to know love and love one's partner with all one's heart. That kind of "KNOWLEDGE".

    One can analyze a dog by its atoms and molecules, the genetic properties of its DNA, its feeding and breeding habits (I think that is vital and necessary knowledge that has its place). You can debate whether a dog can or needs to practice Buddhism or not (If you ask me, I think that is more like debating about how many Yankees can stand on the head of a pin. A bit of wheel spinning. ).

    But our Zen Practice teaches us to find a certain kind of "knowledge" about that dog that drops all that ... and to see that Dog as constantly changing, as you me and the most distant star in the Dog Nebula, as just perfectly what it is beyond all human thought of perfection and imperfection. If you ask me, that latter kind of "knowledge" is its "Buddha-nature", as is tasted through our Practice.

    Anyway, whether a dog or cat has delusions and attachments or not, I will say that this Buddhist practice allows human beings to overcome and move beyond our animal natures (one reason the Buddha always emphasized how fortunate it is to be born a human being, and have the opportunity to practice this Practice).

    So, does a dog have delusions? Mu!

    Does a cat have attachments to its litter box! Cut that cat in two!

    Maybe ask this fellow ...



    Suzuki Roshi mentioned this famous line from Dogen Zenji in Fukanazengi ... "If there is a thousandth or a hundredth of a gap, the separation is as great as that between heaven and earth; and if a trace of disagreement arises, we lose the mind in confusion. "

    Sitting still, silent, wholly in Zazen ... all is clear. Start thinking about things, and the gap becomes as wide as that between heaven and earth. So, there are some questions to ponder ... many question to drop and just let sit and be sat. About the really important questions ... SIT MORE, philosophize less.

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Let me add my own thing for what it is worth, merely nothing...

    Buddhism is not a system which provides answers to all sorts of question, it is an experience available that values questions as ways to open up, not boxes to tick and essays to write. If an anwer comes, it is not verbal or conceptual, it is in blood, bone and marrow that the answer is heard and seen. It takes you to a place where questions and answers swallow each other and collapse. As Stephanie points out, metaphysical stuff is a comple and absolute loss of time.

    gassho


    Taigu

  15. #15

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    As Stephanie points out, metaphysical stuff is a comple and absolute loss of time.

    gassho


    Taigu
    I am going to shorten what I originally posted here, cause I wandered off point ...

    I will make a rare departure here from Brother Taigu, as I enjoy a bit of metaphysical speculation myself from time to time. But, yes, it is not central to our practice, a side issue, a game. The Buddha usually resisted metaphysical speculation as not pertinent, a side issue, a distraction to our practice.

    To rework something I like to say ...

    If a dog has Buddha-nature, or delusions or attachments ... chop wood and fetch water.

    And if a dog does not have Buddha-nature, or delusions and attachments ... chop wood and fetch water,

    Gassho, J

  16. #16
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    With the talk about Nansen and his cat, and then talking about Mu, I had a question:

    Since we know that dogs and cats have Buddha-nature, can they also have attachments, delusions, conceptions and the like?

    If we say they have Buddha-nature, doesn't that imply that they must also have the same problems we do? Is a dog or a cat always showing Buddha-nature? If not, what kind of delusions or attachments can a dog or a cat have?
    LOL. All this focus on rather tangential stuff.

    Do you know what 'Buddha-nature' is? How about your delusions and attachments? Isn't that where it starts? Isn't that where direct realization occurs?

    Chet

  17. #17
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    I agree with you Will, but as you said, that is why Buddha left his teachings. We aren't there yet. At least I don't feel like I am. Perhaps I will hear enough and read enough, and learn enough one day to say, "wow, this is it, and I don't need that stuff I learned anymore to be right here." But I don't think you'll ever hear me say that I didn't need to learn it first to help me get on my path to there.
    I don't think you understand even the very basis of the Mu koan. To even ask 'Does a dog have Buddha-nature?' is to have expressed profound delusion.

    You resist correction even when told repeatedly that the very nature of your question is terribly flawed. You won't learn anything by insisting that the premise of your question is valid even when repeatedly told by nearly everyone that your premise is fatally flawed. You won't realize how flawed your questions are until you engage in direct practice.

    So...why exactly are you here? I don't ask that question in order to dissuade you from being here - I ask it genuinely. Why are you here if you refuse to accept any correction that doesn't fall in line with preconceived notions you have? How many times and in how many ways are you prepared to be told that you are misguided?

    Chet

  18. #18
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Apparently I stepped over a line with that last post (I'm going on faith here). JCM, please don't take anything I said as a challenge to your legitimacy to be here. It was most certainly not intended that way.

    Chet

  19. #19

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by disastermouse
    Apparently I stepped over a line with that last post (I'm going on faith here). JCM, please don't take anything I said as a challenge to your legitimacy to be here. It was most certainly not intended that way.

    Chet
    Yes, I think the points you were making, Chet ... which were not meant by you in a hostile way I know, and were meant to be constructive and helpful ... could have been a bit less confrontational in tone. Perhaps it is just my ear, but I read it as a bit berating. As you say, you did not mean them to come across that way.

    The points you were trying to make, however, are important for JCM and all of us.

    Gassho, J

  20. #20

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Here’s the thing. Taigu was absolutely right, in my humble opinion. Questions are a way of opening up and definitely not a box to tick off or an essay to write. This was exactly my point. And while there was no answer in any of the posts from my original question that read, “Yes, if a dog or cat has Buddha-nature, they have delusions, etc.” or “What are you crazy? You want a dog to sit zazen? I’d love to see a schnauzer in the full lotus!!! No, no delusions or attachments!!!” There was an answer.

    Everything from Will’s post asking what the problem was, to Jundo’s older post on being grateful about life, and Taigu’s words about opening up, all the posts from my question on, were the answer that I needed to hear, I think.

    It wasn’t an intellectual answer, based on data and findings and stuff like that, but it was an answer, and I don’t think I could have asked for one better. That’s why I ask in the fist place. The answer I get might be “Mu!” or “sit down and shut up” or “know vanilla” or what ever. But if I didn’t ask in the first place…………..


    P.S. Thanks to you too Chet, I suppose it does start a bit closer to home. Don't worry about the post thing, I know you mean it in a corrective way.

    I was thinking about this the other day. I heard someone say that old adage about “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” And my immediate response, in my head since they weren’t talking to me, was, “Enjoy your omelet.”

  21. #21

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    So...why exactly are you here?
    By the way, interestingly enough, that question is probably the very question that eventually led me to this forum. “Why am I here?” I probably spent years on that question. And to be honest, especially in the light of this most recent of conversations; which consequently resonates deeply with a conversation I actually had with my mother when I was 14 years old or so, I think the answer to both forms of that question are the same. We talked about the meaning of life and she asked me what I though the meaning of life was, and my answer was, “To live.” Although I knew this intuitively, I almost certainly had more of a nihilistic bent to it at that age.

    So, “Why am I here?”

    To be here, and to be here as well as I am able.

  22. #22
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    So...why exactly are you here?
    By the way, interestingly enough, that question is probably the very question that eventually led me to this forum. “Why am I here?” I probably spent years on that question. And to be honest, especially in the light of this most recent of conversations; which consequently resonates deeply with a conversation I actually had with my mother when I was 14 years old or so, I think the answer to both forms of that question are the same. We talked about the meaning of life and she asked me what I though the meaning of life was, and my answer was, “To live.” Although I knew this intuitively, I almost certainly had more of a nihilistic bent to it at that age.

    So, “Why am I here?”

    To be here, and to be here as well as I am able.
    I used to ask 'Why am I here?'...but it's slowly over the years turned into 'What is here?'

    People always seem to be looking for meaning...for purpose. There are the small, practical purposes of course... But the big 'Purpose'? The question has never really meant much to me either.

    Chet

  23. #23

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    This is totally off subject here, but it's been killing me since I started on this forum. Your screen name, disaster mouse, it that at all related to the old cartoon Danger Mouse? Because, I really loved that cartoon and my wife and I were just talking about it the other day.

  24. #24
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    This is totally off subject here, but it's been killing me since I started on this forum. Your screen name, disaster mouse, it that at all related to the old cartoon Danger Mouse? Because, I really loved that cartoon and my wife and I were just talking about it the other day.
    Crikey DM! Penfold!



    Da de da dum, da de da dum, da de da da da de dum!

    He's the greatest! He's fantastic! Where ever there is danger, he'll be there. He's the ace! He's amazin! He's the strongest, he's the quickest, he's the best!

    Dangermouse!
    Dangermouse!
    Dangermouse!

    Da de da da...BANG!

    Sorry...couldn't resist...a flashback to my childhood.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  25. #25

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats



    Don't worry, gentlemen. It's cabaret time. I shall begin my performance as emperor of the world with the execution of Danger Mouse.

  26. #26

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Hi.

    DM: Penfold, I think this clock is a time machine!
    PENFOLD: DM...aren't all clocks time machines?


    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  27. #27

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnsonCM
    With the talk about Nansen and his cat, and then talking about Mu, I had a question:

    Since we know that dogs and cats have Buddha-nature, can they also have attachments, delusions, conceptions and the like?

    If we say they have Buddha-nature, doesn't that imply that they must also have the same problems we do? Is a dog or a cat always showing Buddha-nature? If not, what kind of delusions or attachments can a dog or a cat have?
    Sorry bro... I can't help you to answer these questions.
    First, I'm human not dog or cat.
    Second, why don't you ask your own dog by your self and find the answer?

    Gassho, Mujo

  28. #28

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    I think it is good to ask questions. That's how Siddhartha
    Gautama became the Buddha. Sometimes the way we
    describe Zen seems very cold, very disconnected, I think.
    Almost like a New Age pamphlet. I am not my ego, but
    I am a real person. I exist. I can smile. I can cry. I can
    make love to another person. I can take someone's life.
    Don't tell me not to question why I am here. That is a
    fundamental question. I find the answer only when I
    find my "self" in others. It's all about service. To be
    awake doesn't mean to be disconnected from reality. It
    means to face reality even when it is something other
    that what we want. To be there for others, that is the
    Dharma.

    "To meditate is to look deeply...once there is seeing
    there must be action. Otherwise, what is the point
    of seeing?" Thich Nhat Hanh

    gassho
    greg

  29. #29

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    This thread inspired today's "Sit-a-long with Jundo & Tinky" ... to mark the start of April ...

    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p ... more-15957

  30. #30

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by ghop
    I think it is good to ask questions. That's how Siddhartha
    Gautama became the Buddha...
    Hi Greg,

    Questions are fine but I don't think Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha by just asking questions.

    Gassho,

    JohnH

    (now to practice a fast, breathless and erratic version of Kinhin while walking the Labrador)

  31. #31

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    now to practice a fast, breathless and erratic version of Kinhin while walking the Labrador
    lol

  32. #32
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROZNMAa-z54[/video]]This interview is very illuminating if you speak Dog :mrgreen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pheiKPZAWGA[/video]]Kaiser is also a very helpful interviewee.

  33. #33

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    both dogs in these clips yawn during their interactions with the amused humans...this is a sign of anxiety...i'm really not amused...sorry, it's not cute. i wish it was. call me extreme... non-humans exist for their own reasons. not for "our" entertainment...

  34. #34

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    ...

  35. #35

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by mahakalaugh
    btw, it wouldn't be cute to fuck with mentally-challenged or young humans of like mental capacities.... speciesism makes it perfectly ok...and makes me so sick.........have fun responding to my over-reaction.

    gotta go sit w/ this...
    I think cats are already enlightened (dogs too). They don't need all this Buddhism mucking about.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/arch ... ensei.html

    Rocks and trees are enlightened (and enlightenment) too ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/arch ... stone.html

    But needing to move around and make choices like you and me, well, that's the real test of Wisdom and Compassion. Enlightenment is easy if ya just need to sit still in the garden day after day, or decide whether to have a nap or chase a dustball across the floor.

    Gassho, J

  36. #36

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    or decide whether to have a nap or chase a dustball across the floor
    Unless, of course, your wild/stray. Not all Cats/Dogs are domesticated.

    Gassho

  37. #37
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by mahakalaugh
    both dogs in these clips yawn during their interactions with the amused humans...this is a sign of anxiety...i'm really not amused...sorry, it's not cute. i wish it was. call me extreme... non-humans exist for their own reasons. not for "our" entertainment...
    Really?

    I'm always bemused by the people like you who post comments about how people are abusing or mistreating their animals when I see no such thing at all. Dogs and humans play with each other. Sometimes dogs amuse themselves by teasing us (my sister's dog getting a pair of shoes and running because he knows he'll get chased, which he finds enormously fun), sometimes we amuse ourselves by teasing them. Just like we sometimes have fun with our friends by joking and teasing each other. Mild anxiety is a component of humor, regardless of what species.

    Dogs are resilient. They will get over moments of annoyance or anxiety, just as humans do--probably more quickly, because I doubt they have the capacity to brood and hold on to things like we do.

    Same for cats.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxLG2wtE7TM[/video]]This will probably send you into an apoplectic rage, but it makes me laugh my ass off every single time.

  38. #38
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by mahakalaugh
    btw, it wouldn't be cute to fuck with mentally-challenged or young humans of like mental capacities.... speciesism makes it perfectly ok...and makes me so sick.........have fun responding to my over-reaction.

    gotta go sit w/ this...
    Not everyone is engaged in a failed attempt to be you.

    'Speciesm'? Someone's taken post-modernist political correctness WAY too f'in far!

    Chet

  39. #39

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    I think everyone should read Never Cry Wolf.

    _/_

  40. #40

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    MU!

  41. #41

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Mu to you too Sensei.

    Gassho

  42. #42

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    haha...

    wow...actually stirred something up this time....guess it takes a strong opinion on a divisive issue sometimes.

    steph, i'm not saying those dogs are being abused. just making note of something most people don't notice or care anything about. i have to admit, i was also in a bad way the day i wrote that comment. but, no, i'm certainly not going to launch into "an apologetic rage"... "people like [me]", huh? interesting...

    chet, your smug comment comes as no surprise... that's what i love about your posts, btw. i'm serious about that (for the record) - not facetious in the least. please clarify the "...failed attempt at being you" thing though - i'm pretty dense (obviosly). regarding the "postmodern politically correct" thing: ..uhh, ok...if you say so. i'm sure you're not alone in that assessment - lucky you. i honestly don't have a response to that. how can i? when an opinion is maginalized using widely-accepted derogatory rhetoric, any response is simply playing defense. if you (or anyone else) would honestly be interested in discussing that term/issue without resorting to loaded sloganeering, let's start a new thread...

    jundo, nice try mitigating! again, i posted hastily (which is ridiculous). not an apologetic rage, just accepting/acknowledging the role my emotions played. anyway, thanks for jumping in the way you did. always diplomatic...

    gassho to all


    ps, let the next round of attacks begin :twisted:

  43. #43

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    ok, a bit more on this:

    jundo, tin tin may be a master in the sense that he (she?..not sure, sorry...assuming "he" as most orange tiger/tabbys are male) generally appears to reside "in the moment". unfortunately tin tin may not be said to be a master in the sense that "he" is also a slave to his genetic predisposition to domestication. and, he is also bound to his immediate desires (food, affection, etc). tin tin's "lesser" developed frontal lobe does allow him the luxury of avoiding many human-type concerns and neuroses. but, it also binds him tighter to many "primal" drives (which we're attempting to move beyond in the practice of zazen, no?)

    chet (and all), my position on the treatment and status of non-human animals is definitely not PC. it is frequently dismissed as such b/c it is easly lumped in with other liberal/progressive hippy/feel-good political BS. it is quite the opposite, however. it is politically and socially very incorrect to radically challenge "our" root perception of other species. to put it another way, most people seem to readily accept that there is a clear and distinct difference between "us" (homo-sapiens) and "them" (all other species). challenging this in theory might be fun...but challenging it in any tangible real-world way is a serious threat that tends to be fought tooth and nail. takes "us" out of our "special" cosmic status or something, i guess...but it's ultimalety not accepted as the "correct" view by most standards. this is scientifically/intellectually dishonest to say the least. but it remains the prevailing view. can you tell you pushed a button here? anyway, enough of my soapbox...yikes, i totally gave in to "playing defense"...shame shame on me. "i'm only human" :wink:

    again, i welcome all responses... i think this should be considered separately in a discussion under the "topics about life" section, though. i know similar topics (vegetarianism, etc) have already been discussed on these forums, so...whatever. maybe it's a boring and played-out topic too... i dunno. we can always agree to disagree as well. i'm easy.

  44. #44
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    The dismissiveness of my post has more to do with the 'I think this is important, hence EVERYONE should think this is important' aspect. There's a distinct 'I am better/more evolved/a deeper thinker than you element to that particular tone in your response. The funny thing is that there is more anthropomorphizing going on in your stance than the common one. While it's empathetic to put yourself in the place of a non-human being, how can it not result in a bit of elevationism?

    So, I'm not saying you're wrong so much as I'm pointing out the egotism in taking offense at things most particularly not said specifically to offend. There's a 'Here, let me enlighten you about what's wrong with you' sort of tone. Stephanie was not trying to offend and you sort of had to go out of your way to be offended. The best part was the Zen cliche 'I'll have to go sit with that'. Really?

    You have the right to draw up your moral lines however you wish, of course - but to expect the rest of the world to care is unrealistic. You COULD generally enlighten us if you want about the specifics regarding why you drew your lines where you did - but expecting us to validate it is also unrealistic.

    Chet

  45. #45

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    I asked Tin Tin about all this. He went back to sleep.

  46. #46
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Domesticated dogs and cats are different from wild dogs and cats.

    I would be offended to see a wild animal being kept, and treated, as a pet.

    But domesticated animals would not exist if we did not keep and care for them.

    It strikes me about organizations like PETA that the people involved seem to know very little about animals, and their outrage comes from assuming animals are like humans. I have thought for a long time PETA is not really an organization for animal lovers, but for misanthropists. People who enjoy judging, hating, and offending other people.

    Though you seem to be making a similar objection as I make in the above paragraph, you actually seem to be doing the same thing. It's one thing to be offended by a dog being beaten, or being left chained out back, neglected, underfed; another to be offended by people playing with their pets in ways that cause a mild degree of annoyance to the pet.

    I have watched my fair share of dog (and cat) videos on YouTube. I don't have a pet right now and just watching animals makes me smile. Which I often need at the end of a long, tiring week. And I've seen countless times, people making similar comments as you. Someone will post a cute, light-hearted video of their dog or cat, an animal that is obviously well taken care of and loved, with bright eyes, lively energy, and a shiny coat, doing something funny. And inevitably, someone will post in the comments, "You should be ashamed of abusing your animal like that!" The reasoning being something as obscure as what you just came up with--"They're yawning, so they're clearly anxious--" It's ridiculous on so many levels.

    People in American culture practically worship their pets, pamper them and give them every luxury. And yet it's not enough for some--perhaps they should be massaged daily, and have "pet therapists" to help them work through the "anxiety" their owners make them feel by talking to and playing with them in ways that hurt their self-esteem? Come on. Dogs are resilient. Even horribly abused and neglected dogs can heal and regain trust when put in the care of loving humans. Unlike us, with our precious egos and the ways we nurse grudges, animals just move right on into the next moment.

    I am floored by the number of people who are passionate about "animal rights" who seem to know nothing about animals. PETA's propaganda requires a vast amount of ignorance about animals to be able to subscribe to it, and a willingness to anthropomorphize dramatically and with total faith in one's projections. Being offended or upset by videos such as the above requires a certain amount of projection and a total discomfort witnessing even the slightest discomfort. The world is a tough place, and in order to get through it, you have to at some point put on your big boy (or girl) pants and not expect all human (and human-animal) interaction to involve holding hands and singing "Kumbaya." If you can't take seeing a dog yawn in anxiety while its owner "talks" to it, good God, you might as well seal yourself away in a bunker, because life is going to throw a lot more intense things at you than that.

    There's a reason the "set up" for Joshu's famous MU koan works so well. It's because the layers of abstraction, projection, and investment in thinking that are required to ponder about the Buddha-nature of dogs is so intense it's a clear demonstration of "You're doing it wrong" when it comes to waking up to Reality. Throw all that junk away! Do you want to get to know your dog? Then drop out of your "Speciesism: How to Free Our Oppressed Animal Brethren!" class at University of Colorado, Boulder, and plant a big ol' kiss on your dog's nose! Is he anxious? Is he a Buddha? Does he have a soul? Or Buddha-nature? What does he think about the Republican Party? Does he approve of the work Defenders of Wildlife is doing?

    WOOF!

    er,

    MU!

  47. #47

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    Stephanie, that was good post . Made me laugh. My dog is going to be 16, I should do something special for him like get him a plain hamburger at McDonalds

  48. #48

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    let me say this...

    sincere thanks for all of your responses. they seem genuine.

    chet, much thanks for pointing out the perceived egoistic nature of my post(s). i will certainly consider this and make an effort to take it into account in the future.

    stephanie, i'm truly disheartened by your readiness to generalize and dismiss me/my position as a "PETA-type" nit-wit...but i'll consider the possibility that i asked for it. you mentioned something about PETA-types not knowing about animals. again, that's a generalization...but, i will say for me that: 1) i am not afilliated w/ that organization. 2) i AM sympathetic to their cause. 3) i am (and have been for many years) an animal-protection professional. and, 4) i am most certainly concerned with the perfectly scientific understanding of non-human animal behaviour and a wholisitic view of the impact of "their" use/exlpoitation. it seems as though this project is a joke to you...so, if this is is the case, there's nothing left to say.

    rich, your dog will love the mcdonald's...the cow will not...maybe an even exchange...the joke is lame...just an opinion, not offended judging the comment, not the commentor....gassho.

    [trite "zen" adage] gonna go sit with this...no, not really...

  49. #49
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    To the deer in the field, the wolf is the devil himself.

    That does not really make the wolf a devil though, does it? I tried vegetarianism for four years and it nearly killed me (directly or indirectly). There is an assumed moral superity in your stance that is not justified, IMHO.

    Chet

  50. #50

    Re: The Truth About Dogs and Cats

    no moral superiority...i can only say: 1) perhaps you didn't have the support and knowledge necessary to maintain your diet, 2) maybe you fall into the small minority of humans strictly dependenant on (some) animal protein for survival, and 3) i'm not advocating an sort of absolutist moral plan...

    the "wolf" and "deer" in your scenario are not analogous to the current situation regarding the human / non-human relationship... nice try.

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