Chatral Rinpoche (1913-2015)


DVAXX photo Chatral halo

Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, DVA supporter and advocate for animals, passed away recently at the age of 102.   Chatral was widely regarded as one of the most highly realized living Dzogchen masters.  When Father Thomas Merton first met him in 1968, he famously remarked that Chatral Rinpoche was “the greatest man I ever met.”

Rinpoche was one of the most vocal opponents of meat-eating in Tibetan Buddhism.  During the traditional long retreat and at all of Rinpoche’s monasteries, temples and retreat centers, only vegetarian food is served.  Rinpoche was renowned for releasing large numbers of fishes from the Calcutta fish markets every year as well as saving many birds and land animals from slaughter.

Chatral was married to Sangyum Kamala Rinpoche and had two daughters.

We encourage you to read more about his remarkable life.


DVA continues to grow…


Bob Isaacson, Dharma Voices for Animals’ President and co-founder, talks about his recent trip to Germany, England, and Sri Lanka:

I want to share with you an amazing trip I just returned from…

DVA photo Sri Lanka school group


DVA Welcomes Bhante G as a Member



Dharma Voices for Animals is very happy to welcome Bhante Henepola Gunaratana to the DVA community. Author of the classic book Mindfulness In Plain English, Bhante G, as he is affectionately known, was born in Sri Lanka and became a monk at the age of 12. Prior to coming to the United States in 1968, he spent five years doing missionary work with the Harijanas (Untouchables) of India and ten years in Malaysia.

In 1985 he co-founded the Bhavana Society and became its abbot. He teaches in a direct, compassionate style and is known for his emphasis both on samadhi and on metta bhavana (the cultivation of loving-friendliness) as part of spiritual training.

In 1996, Bhante G received the title of Chief Sangha Nayaka Thera for North America. This acknowledged his status as highest-ranking monk of his sect in the United States and Canada. In 2005, the Sri Henepola Gunaratana Scholarship Trust, which provides education for poverty stricken children, was founded under his guidance.

Bhante G has been a longtime vegetarian, and his discussion of this can be seen in the film Animals and the Buddha.


Animals and the Buddha

A film by Dharma Voices for Animals
Watch now

Subtitles available in: Chinese, Spanish, German, Portugese, Vietnamese and Indonesian
Disponible con subtítulos en español
Untertitel in Deutsch verfügbar
Disponível com legendas em Português
Có phụ đề Tiếng Việt
Teks bahasa Indonesia tersedia

Animals and the Buddha

Featuring interviews with world-renowned monastics and lay teachers including Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Jetsuma (Ven. Master) Tenzin Palmo, Ven. Bhante Gunaratana (Bhante G), Christopher Titmuss, Ven. Geshe Phelgye, teachers from Spirit Rock Meditation Center and many others.

In addition to watching the film on YouTube, it can be downloaded here.

If you are interested in screening the film for your sangha or local community, please see our information sheet.  If you have any questions, please contact us at

In keeping with Buddhist tradition, Animals and the Buddha is presented at no charge.  If you are able to help support Dharma Voices for Animals and the important work we do on behalf of animals, your donation is greatly appreciated.  Donations are tax-deductible



Click here to JOIN a DVA Chapter Now



DVA Mission

Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) is an organization of those committed both to practicing the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma) and to speaking out when animal suffering is supported by the actions of those in Dharma communities and by the policies of Dharma centers. We want to be the voice of the animals who cannot speak our language and are unable to ask, “Why are you paying people to do this to me?” or “Why are you supporting my suffering?” We want to support those who are willing to speak out about the harm we cause other sentient beings when we eat them, use their body parts as clothing and in other ways, or use household and personal hygiene products that are tested on animals. While DVA recognizes the challenges of living in a complex, modern society, we wish to promote the choices that provide the greatest reduction of animal suffering. It is our intention to be inclusive in honoring the different views of those who sincerely intend to minimize the suffering of animals.

Dzogchen Master and DVA member and contributor, Chatral Rinpoche:

“If you take meat, it goes against the vows one takes in
seeking refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Because when you take meat you have to take a being’s
life. So I gave it up.”

 Become a DVA Member at no cost and support the efforts to raise awareness of the suffering of animals in the Dharma community.


Become a DVA Member and become a voice for animals. Membership is free. We also encourage you to sign our current Petition. You may also read and reply to one of our Articles. We value your privacy and will not share your email address.

How to discuss animals and the Dharma issues with your Sangha.

Featured Article

Bright Aisles, Dark Alleys

A brief address by DVA Board member, Tashi Nyima, to the Richardson Interfaith Alliance during the Thanksgiving observance.

Video Highlight

We highly recommend this video to gain a deeper understanding of the suffering of animals. This video contains graphic content.

Glass Walls