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Vanja Palmers (1948- )

Zen Priest Hans Vanja Palmers, Dharma Heir of Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi (1938-2002) of the Japanese Soto school, is an animal rights activist for over 30 years.

Together with his friend Brad Miller in 1980 Palmers started Buddhist Concerned for Animals, BCA, while living at Tassajara, a Zen Buddhist monastery in California. They sent to all Buddhist centers in the US Peter Singers' Animal Liberation and Kapleau Roshi's To Cherish All Life. Over the next two years, Palmers and Miller produced about a dozen BCA newsletters. Later they changed BCA to HFA (Humane Farming Associaton) in order to reach a wider audience. Within the field of animal protection the HFA is very active on various levels and has now almost 200,000 members. Back in Europe, Palmers started Alle Wesen, Buddhismus und Tierschutz ('All Sentient Beings, Buddhism and Animal Protection'), an initiative in German which is inactive at the moment.

In 1989 together with the Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast, he founded Puregg, Haus der Stille ('House of the Silence') in Austria.

Amongst other initiatives, Vanja Palmers is the co-founder of the animal rights and meditation center Felsentor ('Rock Gate'). Felsentor is a small Zen-Buddhist inspired community which finds guidance in the meditative and contemplative traditions of all religions. In addition to organizing workshops and seminars, the community is in the process of establishing a center for animal rights with an animal sanctuary. During the summer months the community runs a small vegetarian restaurant.

Homepage Felsentor
Vanja Palmers'Facebook Page with links to more backgrounds, including videos
Humane Farming Association
Homepage Haus der Stille (German)
Grunzmobil (German)
Alle Wesen (German)

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