Can Upaya be forceful?

This isn’t about engaged Buddhism, though Upaya (skillful means)
should certainly be the standard on which you judge your own level of
engagement.

My wife and I were talking about the new Starbucks flavored instant
coffees. She said, “One day everyone will realize that it’s cheaper to
just make things Vegan.” I then went off on a tangent about farm
subsidies as I often do when we talk about why things aren’t vegan.

Meat is cheap. Dairy is cheap. Eggs are cheap. However, this isn’t
because the cost, in resources and money, is low. This is because the
government subsidizes meat, dairy eggs, & grains. You notice, how
fruit vegetables, legumes, & leafy greens aren’t mentioned here?
That’s right the US government pays farmers and ranchers high-fat, low
nutrient sources of protein and indirectly obesity, diabetes, and
skyrocketing healthcare costs.

I’m a big proponent of cutting all subsidies. None for anybody. If the
veggie and fruit production industries can make it on their own so can
everyone else. The right loves to talk about market forces. Well lets
the market force free and see what happens to the darlings of the
USDA. The USDA, by the way was created to promote the US Dairy and
Meat industries in this country. Never trust those bastards. I
digress…

Is it skillful means to cut subsidies? Would it be skillful, to FORCE
whole industries to find more skillful employment? This would man
hundreds of thousands of job conversions. That would mean chicken
farmers would have to start growing beans. Cattle ranchers would have
start raising switchgrass for fuel (It’s way better at producing
ethanol pound for pound than corn). Of course these people would be
“out of work” during the conversion and the market forces would take
years to convert the economy.

It might be more skillful to cut subsidies for meat, dairy, eggs, and
corn and enact subsidies for beans, fruit, vegetables, & leafy greens.
Then those farmers would have to change their way of life but there
would be incentives to do so, beyond compassionate ones.

Regardless, the point is that Upaya should be the guiding principle to
how we do things. I recently had a series of interactions on facebook
where someone I did not know was explaining that all things are
conditional, top someone I do know, but doing it in such a way as to
be very rude and bordering on obnoxious. Something to the tune of
“it’s all your fault.” I agree that when you realize that we all are
interconnected that everything is my fault and your fault and their
fault. These pronouns are pretty darn meaningless as they are relative
constructs we use to create relational distinctions. Big words….blah,
blah. We are the tips of the waves in one big damn ocean of the
Unborn/unconditioned universe aka Buddha nature/nirvana. OK went way
off again. My point was that all things are conditional but telling
someone that all of their problems are their fault when they aren’t
ready to accept that is not skillful means, it is jackass.

Just my two cents.

Oh wait, obligatory Vegan progaghandi: stop eating meat , dairy, and
eggs it’s bad for you and contributes to suffering for everyone even
those involved in its production, not just the animals. The only
winners are corporate agriculture machines and their shareholders. End
VP.

In Gassho.

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