Buddhist Views On Cat-Neutering 从佛教观点谈为猫绝育

Buddhist Views on Cat-Neutering 从佛教观点谈为猫绝育

The below email dialogue with a fellow reader is about the ethics of neutering cats to prevent the multiplication of strays, which might lead to their culling by animal control authorities. She is for the neutering of cats, but was posed some tricky questions by other Buddhists. (She keeps two vegan cats, one a stray and the other rescued from the pound.)

以下是与一位读者的一段讨论,探讨给猫做绝育是否有违道德。绝育是为了防止流浪猫繁殖,以免它们繁殖过量而遭有关当局捕杀。这位读者赞同绝育,却被一些其他佛友投以难缠的问题。

Q: Doesn’t sterilising (neutering) cats create negative karma?

A: No – if the intention is not to harm but to save them. Karma is created by our intentions – negative karma by negative intentions; positive karma by positive intentions. It is worth noting that even a household cat might become a stray if it runs away or gets lost. If a cat-owner has no intention or ability to care for potential offsprings of his or her cat, neutering should be considered.

问:给猫做绝育(结扎)手术难道不是造恶业吗?

答:不——如果出发点是为了拯救而非伤害它们。业来自我们的动机,恶业来自恶念,善业来自善念。值得一提的是,家猫如果离家出走或走失了,也可能变成流浪猫。如果猫主人没有打算或能力饲养更多的猫子猫孙,那就应该考虑给猫做绝育。

Q: If the surgery causes pain, doesn’t this create negative karma?

A: The pain in neutering surgery is taken care of by anesthetics, while the pain during recovery is short-lived and incidental, for the cats’ own safety in future (from being caught and culled as troublesome strays.)

问:进行手术造成疼痛,这不是造恶业吗?

答:麻醉药可以解除手术中的疼痛,而康复期间的疼痛则是短暂的。而且,相对于日后被视为麻烦的东西而遭捕杀的惨景,这疼痛就显得微小了。

Q: If cats don’t wish to be castrated, doesn’t this create negative karma?

A: Indeed, no animal would want to be castrated. But more so do they not want to be culled due to not being castrated.

问:如果猫不想被阉割,那我们不是造了恶业吗?

答:确实,没有动物会愿意被阉割。但是它们更不愿意因为没有被阉割而被杀死。

Q: Wouldn’t neutering cats create the karma of having no offsprings of our own?

A: No, since what created is the karma to save. One creates the karmic potential to be saved from being killed instead. If one neuters another with the gleefully evil intention to prevent the next generation from being born, so as to cause suffering somehow (which is different from the good intention of preventing culling), one would then create the karmic potential to not have offsprings.

问:给猫做绝育不是种下自己无子无孙的因吗?

答:不,因为所造的业是救命的业。我们种下的是逃离死亡的得救的业。如果我们给动物做绝育时,存着的是希望动物绝后的幸灾乐祸的恶念(这有别于防止它们遭杀害的善念),那么我们造的就是绝子绝孙的业。

Q: It disturbs me that cats are unwilling to be castrated.

A: Cats probably would not endorse being neutered if they could speak, but they would consent if they could comprehend the bleak reality that they are likely to be culled if not neutered. Neither would they want their many potential offsprings to be culled. Just as kids who don’t understand the purpose of taking bitter medicine are ‘forced’ to do so anyway, likewise, cats who don’t understand our good intentions are still better off neutered. Kids might not know any better due to lack of maturity, but the cats know even less.

问:猫其实并不愿意绝育让我感到苦恼。

答: 猫如果能说人话,它可能不会表示乐意做绝育。但是如果它们能明白不做绝育可能招来的被捕杀的惨重后果,它们就会同意了。它们也不会愿意让自己的子孙被杀 害。这如同小孩子不明白良药苦口的道理,但我们还是千方百计让他们吞下苦口的良药一样。不明白我们的苦心的猫最好还是做绝育。小孩子因为年幼不懂事,而小 猫懂的就更少了。

Q: Does neutering interfere with nature’s evolution?

A: It would seem so, to some extent, but it’s for the greater good of the cats. To not support neutering; to passively allow continual proliferation and mass-culling is to endorse even more destructive interference with nature, with the rights of the cats to live out their lives naturally. To passively allow culling is to allow others to interfere with cats’ lives in the worst way possible. Neutering is pro-life, not pro-death; as neutering is not abortion, but to prevent deaths. The truth is, humans are already interfering with nature in many other worse ways – via domestication of animals, pollution, breeding and eating of animals… We are all factors in nature; we are part of nature. Everything we do or not do affects the interdependent web of life. If we function with greater compassion and wisdom, we benefit nature on the whole.

问:给猫做绝育不干预大自然的进化法则吗?

答:某个程度上似乎是如此,但是这 么做是为了猫的安危 – 这是更重要的一点。不支持绝育、消极地任由猫不停地繁殖、任凭人类对猫进行大量的屠杀,才是促使更巨大的大自然的破坏,因为这妨碍了猫自然生灭的权利。以 消极的态度默许人类杀猫,就是允许人类以最可怕的方式对猫的生命进行干涉。绝育是护生的体现,而非死亡主义,因为绝育不是堕胎,而是防止死亡。实际上,人 类已经在许多更可怕的方面干涉了大自然,比如我们饲养动物、制造污染、繁殖并食用动物等等。我们都是大自然的组成部分,都在大自然里起各自的作用。我们每 做一件事或不做一件事都会影响整个相互依存的生命之网。如果我们以更大的慈悲心和智慧行动,那么我们就能在整体上利益大自然。

Q: Doesn’t letting a cat be culled cause more negative karma than neutering it?

A: Yes, the negative karma and hatred created when countless cats are killed is worse than neutering some cats, which if done with right intentions, creates no negative karma at all; and only good karma. Mass killing of animals is one of the potential collective karmic causes of conflict and wars in our world – when the animals are reborn as humans in future lives, when they encounter those who killed them.

问:比起给猫做绝育,杀猫所造的恶业不是更重大吗?

答: 是的,比起给一些猫做绝育,无数的猫被杀害的时候所造成的恶业和嗔心大得多。前者如果是在正确的善念之下进行的话, 不但没有造任何恶业,反而造了善业。集体屠杀动物造的是一种共业,为我们的世界制造更多纠纷和战争。当被屠杀的动物投胎为人并遇见过去世杀害他们的人,就 是他们复仇之时。

Q: It seems that humans are the main culprits of the stray cat proliferation problem?

A: Yes, humans are the major culprits in disrupting the environment. But karmically speaking for the cat issue, it’s two–way too. That is to say, the cats too created karma to face their current problems. However, we should not be passive about this – as karma is always dynamic, and we can create karma that changes the paths of our past karmic potential. The karma of the cats can change too, and each cat has different karma. Who is there to say all strays karmically deserve to be culled? No one – just like no humans would like to imagine they deserve to be killed when they over-populate.

Humans probably should had not domesticated any animals in the first place. From domestication arise problems like animal imprisonment, torture, exploitation by breeding for profit, proliferation of strays, culling… In the Bodhisattva precepts in the Brahma Net Sutra, keeping pets is generally considered not a Bodhisattva practice… unless it is the taking care of strays and the injured, who would otherwise suffer out there. But of course, if you already have domesticated pets, you should care for them for the natural span of their lives best you can.

问:似乎流浪猫繁殖罪魁祸首是人类?

答:是的, 人类是破坏环境的罪魁祸首。但是从业的角度谈猫的问题的话,这也是双向的。也就是说,猫本身也种下了它们当前面临的问题的因。然而,我们不可对此持消极态 度,因为业是动态而非静态,我们可以创造新业来改变过去旧业的潜在方向。猫的业也可以改变,各猫有各业,谁能说所有流浪猫都有被宰杀的业?这就如同我们人 类不会因为人口过剩而觉得自己被宰杀是罪有应得一样。

人类也许一开始就不该饲养动物。饲养动物带来了诸多问题,比如,动物被囚禁、折磨; 人类为了榨取利益而对动物进行繁殖剥削;动物繁殖过量;人类为了控制动物的数量而进行集体屠杀……等等。《梵网经》里的菩萨戒基本上是禁止行菩萨道者饲养 动物,除非是照顾流浪或受伤的动物,因为不收养它们,它们就会在外头受苦受难。当然,如果你已经饲养了宠物,你就必须尽你所能照顾它们直到它们自然老死。

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Neutering Tips:

Chinese: http://www.catwelfare.org/drupal/userfiles/docs/Newsletters/the_mews_2006_july-aug.pdf
English: http://www.catwelfare.org/faq/8