Having traversed all the quarters with the mind,
one surely finds none anywhere dearer than oneself.
Thus for each of us love the self the most—
therefore, one who loves the self should not harm another.
(Piyā) Mallikā Sutta
Guarding oneself, bhikshus, one guards others; guarding others, one guards oneself.
This action I want to do with the ___ — will it harm me, or harm others, or harm both?
Is it an unwholesome
___ action with painful outcome, painful result?
Amba,latthika Rahul’ovada Sutta
So whenever you have a dilema think would I like to be in a similar situation if you were the subject of the action.
THREEFOLD PURITY OF ____. Having reflected thus,
he himself abstains from ____,
he exhorts others to abstain from ____, and
he speaks in praise of abstaining from ____.
If it is a dilemma about the precepts, abstain and encourage others as well, and praise abstinence.
Bhante, as regards such ____ conduct, when resorted to, unwholesome states increase and wholesome states decrease, such ____ conduct should not be resorted to.
But, bhante, as regards such ____ conduct, when resorted to, unwholesome states decrease and wholesome states increase, such ____ conduct should be resorted to
When in a dilemma look inwardly to see increase or decrease in wholesome and unwholesome states.
Also look if the action is very proximate to the consequence. Growing a plant in a pot on a balcony can kill, if it falls on a by standard at the wrong moment. You are not motivated to kill hence there is nothing wrong with this. If something like this is a trap then it is unwholesome. Using paper is not an issue as long as you do not have a dilemma as the case is too remote. Killing and trading in meats and rearing animals to kill in Buddhism is discouraged but not eating meat. Former aims at curtailing the supply and distribution, but consumption is not forbidden as this is somewhat remote in the chain of events, but you should not see, hear or think the animal was killed specifically for me. If you have the dilemma the animal was killed for me or due to me being a non vegetarian then it is wise not to eat. After all it is mind and volition which decides the consequences, and undesirable consequences are unwholesome, may it be a worrisome mind or the karmic consequences. The dilemma may create the Karma itself. There is a story of a low birth due to dilema of breaking a leaf by a very pious and good monk. I cannot locate the story but hopefully it will apear here: A Monk Reborn in a Lower Realm for Breaking a Leaf. It is an example where even being overly worried about little things can snowball into a large Karmic result.
To reiterate, sakes of cookery may lead to deaths if someone uses the knives to kill and rob. Also there can be gas accidents which might kill someone. But the sale of arms and weapons are used to kill. Developing a dilemma on selling items for cooking has a remote chance of killing while selling weapons increase a chance to kill and aids the process how it is done. So selling weapons may also give a dilemma if some weapons used to do a mass shooting. Selling weapons is more close to the event. In case of killing for meat you have 3 phases. The supply side which is butchers killing to produce meat. This is unwholesome. Then comes distribution. This should be avoided. Then comes the consumers. They do not have volition to kill if they are buying already dead carceses. Also the butcher is not killing say I am killing for a so and so or Mr. X or Mrs. Y. In such cases the killing is remote enough so you do not get a dilemma.
To look inwardly look at sensation.
On cognizing a mind-object with the mind,
one explores a mind-object that gives rise to pleasure,
one explores a mind-object that gives rise to pain [displeasure],
one explores a mind-object that gives rise to equanimity
Sal-āyatana Vibhanga Sutta
Your dilemma will give rise to sensation which are pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.
TWO KINDS OF ____ FEELINGS.
Here, when one feels a certain kind of ____ feeling, unwholesome
states grow in him and wholesome states lessen;
Abandon such a kind of ____ feeling
but when one feels another kind of ____
feeling, unwholesome states lessen in him and wholesome states grow.
Attain and dwell in such a kind of ____ feeling
Adopted from Kīta,giri Sutta
Look at pleasant, unpleasant and neutral sensation giving arise to wholesome and unwholesome states. Adopt if it give arise to wholesome states and abandoned it if it gives arise to unwholesome states.
Or look at sensation which arise with the dilemma with equanimity and knowing it is arising and passing / impermanent. Equanimity displaces the root of craving and aversion and knowing it is impermanent and dependently arisen displaces the root of ignorance. [Pahāna Sutta, Avijja Pahana Sutta 2] Perhaps you could also identify the 121 mind states and 52 mental factors by sensation. [Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma by Bhikkhu Bodhi]
Skillful action are the actions executed with no bad roots but meritorious may have bad roots. E.g. You are giving expecting fame, which is meritorious but not skillful.
It is only wise to have a dilemma is you have volition to act in an unwholesome way and your action orchestrates it.
NB: In a repetitive quote where just one word changes I have left the word as ____ than quote the multiple instances.
Also be careful of no harm as this can be harmful if you get attached to it. Even on a non harmful decision see if this is by attachment to an ideal or not, if so it is harmful