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The Dalai Lama Calls for an End to Animal Experiments

Written by PETA | June 14, 2007

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Yesterday, the Dalai Lama gave a speech in Australia with a very clear message about the way we as a society treat animals. In addition to criticizing companies that “remain indifferent” to animal rights by experimenting on them (see, for instance, Covance), the Dalai Lama made some powerful statements about the horrors and the inhumanity inherent in killing animals to eat them:

“Hunting. Beef, sheep farms. Piggeries. Millions, billions die. We can be so cruel to animals.”

He went on to discuss vegetarianism—noting that he himself gave up meat, dairy, and eggs in 1965, though he has occasionally eaten meat since then. In my few years in the animal rights movement, I’ve learned from experience that animal issues like these can sometimes be tough for people to take on board. When you’re asking a person, or an organization, to make a fundamental change in the way they’ve always done things, tensions are likely to flare, regardless of how compelling your argument is. Which is why moments like these are so important. If anyone’s looking for advice on how to live a compassionate lifestyle, the Dalai Lama’s a pretty solid choice for a consultation. We’re so used to listening to experts when we make decisions about how to live our lives, and it follows that we should sit up and pay attention when an expert on something as essential as kindness makes a pronouncement. I hope a lot of people pay attention to this one.

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  • josefina suarez says:

    I think that we human kind see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear and in the long run we denied the reality

  • Chet says:

    Flora: Meat is bad if you contract hepatitis B actually. Good grief.

  • Danielle Hawley says:

    Is the Dalai Lama vegan? If he is why isn’t he teaching it to his followers? If he isn’t how can he not know that there is no greater wisdom than kindness to all sentient beings? THAT MEANS GO VEGAN

  • Debby says:

    I don’t accept the hepatitis argument. I just looked up this issue on a Hepatitis support forum and it would appear from that site that a veg. diet is better for liver diseases than a meat inclusive diet. The Dalai Lama seems to be a good and kind man but I think this illness has given him a nice excuse for indulging his appetite. And if he did decide to go veg. all the way I highly doubt that anyone is going to prepare a meat dinner knowing that he will be a guest there. That would make the host “country” look like an ignorant boor. Sorry don’t buy any of it.

  • Flora says:

    once and for all In the mid 1960s the Dalai Lama was impressed by ethically vegetarian Indian monks and adopted a vegetarian diet for about a year and a half. Apparently he consumed primarily nuts and milk. Unfortunately he contracted Hepatitis B and his liver was seriously damaged. For health reasons he was advised by his personal physicians to consume meat. While he has eaten meat in moderation ever since the Dalai Lama has repeatedly acknowledged that a vegetarian diet is a worthy expression of compassion and contributes to the cessation of the suffering of all living beings. However he eats meat only on alternate days six months a year. He is a semivegetarian though he wishes to be a full one. By making an example of cutting his meat consumption in half he is trying to gently influence his followers.

  • Ocean says:

    I love everyone who proclaims veganism particularly religious leaders and the fact that the Dalai Lama has consistently spoken out in favor of humans growing more compassionate toward all our fellow animals causes me to wholeheartedly embrace His Holiness as a major vehicle in our efforts to open the hearts of all people and to mobilize them as a huge force of compassionate protection for those who cannot protect themselves. Let’s all support the Dalai Lama in every way we can!

  • Geri says:

    I have great respect for the Dalai Lama. I would think the times he eats meat are when it is prepared and offerednot his own choice.In many cultures if you refuse their cuisine you are considered rude and offensive.The Dalai Lama respects others cultures whether he agrees with them or not.His purpose is to teachnot overpower.

  • Dalai Lama is human says:

    The Dalai Lama is a hypocrite. I don’t get how you preach to be kind to all then chow down on veal and outright refuse vegetarian meals. wtf.

  • K says:

    WTF? Why the hell does he occasionally still eat meat? It’s commendable he speaks out against such atrocities but I do not get how he can be on both sides of the fence..

  • K says:

    I’m confused as to why my comments aren’t showing up?

  • sunshine says:

    how fabulous!!! huge step for animals everywhere!! oh look it is haley again!! find a new hobby like oh i dont know go volunteer at a shelter or a zoo then lets see how you feel or maybe go work in the labs where they torture these animals you probaly would like it there!! you nasty girl!!

  • Michael Conley says:

    I love you talking llama!

  • Mary says:

    I really respect this man. I was very pleased to hear also that the late Pope John Paul also said that animals have souls and should be respected. I read this recently on the Peta website I never knew this before. If all the great spiritual leaders are now saying to be kind to animals we should be listening to them.

  • Jason Head says:

    The Dalai Lama is a vegetarian in India and the Western World! When he lived in Tibet his was not because life there is very hard and they have not many other possibilites. I saw a report on this even if Tibetans are very animalfriendly they have just one special type of wheat and if the harvest was bad they have to eat meat but they always try to avoid killing their animals and get the meat from elsewhere. Sometimes in winter the ground there is so hard that they cannot bury their dead so they let them for the birds! This I saw on TV with my own eyes.

  • rojo says:

    A vegetarian who occasionally eats meat would still be omnivorous. There are different levels of veganism meat consumption isn’t in any of them. The Dalai lama was vegetarian for 18months in the sixties and resumed meat eating in 1967every other day through to 2004. Now he only eats meat “when traveling” which seems to be quite often.

  • Haley says:

    Even the Dalai Lama can’t resist the deliciousness of some good old meat every once in awhile…

  • Maya says:

    It should be mentioned that during his visit he spent a long time with Terri Irwin and her kids and had wonderful things to say about the late Steve Irwin how he wishes for more compassion like his. I know some people did not like the late Irwin but it’s worth putting on the record that His Holiness did think he did good and compassionate work.

  • claudia marrapodi says:

    His Holyness the Dalai Lama is one of my favorite religious celebrities. I was shaking hands with him years ago when he spoke at the famous ‘Paulus Academy’ in Zurich. Also then he talked against cruelty to animals and it’s now at least 17 years but I never forget that powerful encounter and in the meanwhile I intensified my studies in Buddhism. This is a mighty and holy message indeed the message to be mercyful towards all living beings! And that day I understood the higher a human’s spiritual lifestandard is the higher is his respect towards A L L living beings! So later on I took the Boddhisattvawows that means that I shall come back to this earth as long as there shall be a suffering living being! and thanks to His Holyness the Dalai Lama I find the strength until today to fight for the most helpless beings of all the animals! Thank you Dalai Lama I never shall abandon!

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