The Dalai Lama Calls for an End to Animal Experiments
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.