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Tibetan Volunteers for Animals: Campaign in Nepal

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A report by Chonyid Zangmo (Boudha)

The Tibetan Volunteers for animals, headed by Rapsel Tsariwa, in liaison with Ex-Varanasi Students’ Association of Boudha, (kathmandu) has launched an information campaign in Nepal to educate people on the cruelty of the meat industry and to encourage people to adopt a vegetarian diet. Braving the heat and pollution of Kathmandu valley during this auspicious Saga Dawa, the volunteers have held programs on May 18-20, at the Boudha stupa and at all the Tibetan schools and Monasteries. The campaign includes the distribution of booklets, Semchen magazines (their first ever magazine on animals’ rights) and VCDs, plus posters, banners and the viewing of a film showing animals being butchered at an Indian slaughterhouse. As a result of this campaign hundreds of Tibetan and other Buddhist people have signed their names as a commitment to be life-long vegetarians. This list will be offered to H.H the Dalai Lama on his 70th birthday for the dedication of his longevity. Also the Namgyal Middle School, through the urging of the students, has promised to provide only vegetarian food at the school. The campaign will move to Swayambunath tomorrow and then continue in Jawalakhel and Pokhara.

The Tibetan Volunteers for Animals (TVA) has been active since 2000 in urging people to become vegetarian, explaining the spiritual, environmental, social and medical benefits of a vegetarian diet.

The campaign in Boudha has already had a surprising effect: the owners of local meat shops near the stupa complain that fewer Tibetans have been buying meat in the past few days! We Buddhists are finally practicing what we preach compassion for all sentient beings. Instead of just hypocritically saying OM MANI PADME HUNG while drooling in anticipation of chicken curry or buff momos, we can honestly and sincerely look the mother sentient beings in the eye, wish them well, and pray for them with true loving kindness and compassion.

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