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Tenzin Gyatso Dalai Lama XIV (1935 - )

H.H. Dalai Lama promotes a vegetarian lifestyle wherever he can. His own kitchen is 100% vegetarian:*

"Thousands - millions and billions - of animals are killed for food. This is very sad. We human beings can live without meat, especially in our modern world. We have a great variety of vegetables and other supplementary foods, so we have the capacity and the responsibility to save billions of lives. I have seen many individuals and groups promoting animal rights and following a vegetarian diet. This is excellent (...) I think that our basic human nature is vegetarian - making effort not to harm other living beings. If we apply intelligence, we can create a sound, nutritional program."

In recent years the Dalai Lama has also frequently spoken about the importance of wildlife conservation. In April 2005 he launched a campaign by Care for the Wild International and the Wildlife Trust of India to combat the illegal wildlife trade along Tibet's border with India and Nepal. But he gave a particularly strong message direct to Tibetans from Tibet during the Kalachakra religious ceremony at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, in January 2006. On the final day of the empowerment the Dalai Lama said he was "ashamed" to see images of Tibetans decorating themselves with skins and furs of animals like tigers and leopards. He told Tibetans from Tibet and exile communities:

"When you go back to your respective places, remember what I had said earlier and never use, sell, or buy wild animals, their products or derivatives."

The Governement of Tibet in Exile
The book: Worlds in Harmony, Dialogues on Compassionate Action

Video H.H. Dalai Lama's 2006 Kalachakra Speech Pro Veg Against Fur (Tibetan)

Tibetan Text of H.H. Dalai Lama's 2006 Kalachakra Speech Pro Veg Against Fur
[PDF- 44 KB]
Amature Video of Burning Animal Skins in Tibet After H.H. Speech
Also available via Shabkar.Org: H.H. Dalai Lama on Envirnoment [PDF- 425 KB]
See also RawVeg.Info

* When H.H. Dalai Lama is in the company of non-vegetarians, he sometimes says "I am a Tibetan monk, not a vegetarian" and occasionally takes meat. As an observation one could say that especially for (Western) vegetarian Buddhists it is not easy to understand why amongst the many ideals and practises H.H. Dalai Lama lives up to, abstaining from eating meat under all circumstances is not one of them. However within Buddhist Dharma it is not done to proudly judge a man like His Holiness because of statements and outer actions we might not understand. See also the article of André Kalden and the article of Catherine Clyne: Vegetarians and the Dalai Lama;

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