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.
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.
Vanja Palmers'Facebook Page with links to more backgrounds,
Haus der Stille (German)