Petition to King of Bhutan
The kingdom of Bhutan is a Buddhist country, its constitution declaring that “Buddhism is the spiritual heritage of Bhutan, which promotes the principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance.” But despite this declaration of adherence to the Dharma, the Bhutan government has begun implementing plans to develop 11 mega-meat processing projects throughout the country.
These projects are so contrary to the fundamental Buddhist ideal of not killing that the country’s central monastic body submitted a petition to the prime minister calling for a halt to these projects. The request was rejected, and the plans are moving forward.
In a renewed effort to bring a halt to these projects and preserve Bhutan’s legacy as one of the great Buddhist countries of the world, DVA is starting its own petition. With your support, we will be asking the king to act with the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha and reconsider these plans. Please join in signing it.
Update on Sri Lanka Petition –
Success is Near!
DVA is very pleased to share some good news.
In 2010, an important bill was introduced in Sri Lanka’s Parliament. The legislation, known as the Animal Welfare Bill, was the first of its kind since 1908 and included a number of urgently needed reforms that would have provided important safeguards for animals in the Buddhist nation. Unfortunately, at that time, the bill never advanced.
In 2012, in order to revive this legislation, DVA posted a petition on its website that garnered over 2,000 signatures. In his October 2015 trip to Sri Lanka, DVA President Bob Isaacson made it a central theme of his visit.
Now, thanks to this collective effort, the campaign has borne fruit. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s Cabinet has officially approved the Animal Rights/Welfare bill! After a few changes in the draft, it will be sent to Parliament for passage, and we are very hopeful that with President Sirisena’s approval the bill will now become law!
The most important feature of the Bill is the establishment of the National Animal Welfare Authority which will function independently, working with its line Ministry. The bill will also spare countless laboratory animals by adopting strict guidelines for the use of animals in testing cosmetic and hygiene products and drugs.
Congratulations and thanks in particular to Senaka Weeraratna, our Colombo, Sri Lanka, Chapter Leader, for his leadership both in drafting the bill and in advocating for it. Our deepest gratitude to President Sirisena and his Cabinet, all of you who signed our petition, and those of you who supported Bob’s trip to Sri Lanka.
Thanks to Kim Sturla
Kim Sturla is a long-time voice for animals. As co-founder and Executive Director of Animal Place, she devotes her life to rescuing farmed animals and changing people’s behavior through advocacy and education.
Kim is also a co-founder of DVA and for the past four years has served as Vice-President of its Board. Her service to DVA has been invaluable, and during this time she has helped us grow into a worldwide organization. Kim recently announced that she will be stepping down from her official duties, and we would like to offer her our deepest gratitude for all of her contributions to our organization and to the plight of our animal friends.
Article by Dr. Nicholas Ribush
In 1972 Nicholas Ribush, having graduated from medical school eight years earlier, decided to become a Buddhist monk, ordaining for 12 years. Helping to establish Wisdom Publications in 1975, Nick has devoted much of his life to preserving and helping disseminate the teachings of the Buddha.
The subject of animals is very close to his heart, and in 2013 he published an article on why he became first a vegetarian and later a vegan. He has graciously allowed us to reprint this informative and insightful article on our website, and we encourage you to read more about Nick and this important subject.
Article by Mirjam Lupold
Mirjam Lüpold is an authority on Tibetan Buddhism and animal-human relations, and in a fascinating article she takes a look at the practice of animal release, which has become an increasingly important facet of Western Buddhism. We encourage you to learn more about these ceremonies, animal release in general, and the important ethical questions raised by this practice.
Animals and the Buddha
A film by Dharma Voices for Animals
Subtitles available in: Chinese, Spanish, German, Portugese, Hindi, Burmese, Vietnamese and Indonesian
Disponible con subtítulos en español
Untertitel in Deutsch verfügbar
Disponível com legendas em Português
हिंदी में उपलब्ध उपशीर्षक।
Có phụ đề Tiếng Việt
Teks bahasa Indonesia tersedia
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.
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
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.