While I was in hospital in Australia, I saw on TV that Australia was selling huge numbers of sheep and cows to Indonesia. They showed sheep all lined up, so tiny, going to the slaughterhouse. There was the shot of a cow with a rope tied around its horns being pulled down from the platform to its place of execution. The cow didn’t want to go; it was pulling back and a man was pulling it down…..At that time I thought I cannot stop this, but now, whatever teachings I do, even tantric teachings, I announce to the world to be vegetarian, so that fewer people will eat meat and fewer animals will get killed and they will suffer less. If more people refused to eat meat there would naturally be less suffering for animals.
Not eating meat at all in the world–that is a dream. That will never happen. But fewer people eating meat can happen. So I thought to announce this to the world. It’s very simple. We ourselves don’t want to suffer. In exactly the same way, why not all others? Animals, insects, they don’t want to suffer. We can see that when we touch their bodies, they have such fear.
Animals can’t speak. They can’t demonstrate on the road or proclaim their position on TV or in newspapers. They can’t parade with placards or loudspeakers. They have no power at all. Animals are powerless, totally in human hands, to be used like toilet paper. It’s so pitiful. People have little concern about their feelings. Their mind is not open at all. That is really so bad.
Learning the Buddha’s teachings makes people understand. It emphasizes the need to generate compassion for all sentient beings. People have to understand the suffering of other sentient beings as the teachings explain.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Sun of Devotion Stream of Blessings. Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. 2016.
Something to consider before you open a bag of shrimp chips, fry an egg, or eat a burger.