The Compassion Project

“A Prayer for Compassion” Film

A Prayer for Compassion is a feature length documentary that strives to inspire and encourage those already on a religious or spiritual path, to expand their circle of compassion to embrace all life, regardless of species, and make choices in alignment with this value. The film follows Thomas Jackson on a quest across America, that ultimately takes him to Morocco for the UN Climate Conference … Continue reading “A Prayer for Compassion” Film

Compassionate Diet in Vietnam

Update on DVA’s Vietnam Project & Film Release

DVA’s Vietnam Project, our second nationwide Project, was launched in September of 2018, bringing a Buddhist voice on behalf of animals to this country of “tens of millions” of Buddhists. Here’s an update on some recent activities. New Film on Compassionate Diet in Vietnam DVA’s Vietnam Project received a huge boost by the release of a documentary film about a compassionate diet in Vietnam. One … Continue reading Update on DVA’s Vietnam Project & Film Release

Lion's Roar

Friends, Not Food

By DVA President Bob Isaacson This article was first published in Lion’s Roar magazine, April 2019. If you stopped people on the streets of Chicago or London and ask them if Buddhists are vegetarian, the most likely response you’d get is “yes.” The public perception, at least in the West, is that since Buddhism is based on reverence for life, followers of the path don’t eat … Continue reading Friends, Not Food

Tara Brach

DVA Welcomes Tara Brach

DVA is extremely pleased to announce that Tara Brach is now a member of our Advisory Council. Tara Brach, Ph.D is an internationally known meditation teacher and author of bestselling Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. She is founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC, offers a popular weekly podcast and teaches meditation workshops and retreats in the United States and Europe. … Continue reading DVA Welcomes Tara Brach

Animals & the Buddha

“Animals & the Buddha” Film

Learn about the Buddha’s teachings on compassion to all beings in DVA’s free documentary Animals and the Buddha. The 45-minute documentary includes interviews with world-renowned monastics and lay teachers including Jetsuma Tenzin Palmo, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven. Bhante Gunaratana, Ven. Geshe Phelgye, Christopher Titmuss, teachers from Spirit Rock Meditation Center and many others. Watch the Film Now Click the image below to begin watching.   Subtitles … Continue reading “Animals & the Buddha” Film

Buddhism and Veganism

New Book with DVA Contributors

A collection of essays exploring the relationship between Buddhism and veganism is now out. Edited by Will Tuttle, of DVA’s Advisory Council, Buddhism & Veganism: Essays Connecting Spiritual Awakening & Animal Liberation includes essays by several DVA members, including President Bob Isaacson, former board members David Blatte and Sherry Morgado, chapter leaders Vicki Seglin, Andrew Bear, and the late John Bussineau. This important and timely collection asks whether we can awaken spiritually … Continue reading New Book with DVA Contributors

Olivier Nguyen

DVA Welcomes New Chapter Leader in San Diego

DVA welcomes new San Diego, CA chapter leader Olivier Nguyen. Olivier first discovered Buddhism by reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s books in 2010. After several years of practice in the Plum Village tradition, he enrolled in the mindfulness meditation teacher program lead by teachers Tara Brach (DVA’s Advisory Council) and Jack Kornfield in order to share the practice of Buddhism, mindfulness, and compassion with the world. He became … Continue reading DVA Welcomes New Chapter Leader in San Diego

George Sturano

DVA Welcomes New Chapter Leader in Brazil

DVA welcomes our new chapter in Brazil and our new organizing chapter leader, George Sturano. George began practicing Buddhism in 2007 and is an experienced yoga teacher. He is an active member of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society and teaches both English and Spanish in addition to his native Portuguese language. Learn more about DVA’s Chapters & Chapter Leaders. Continue reading DVA Welcomes New Chapter Leader in Brazil

Sri Lankan Petition

Sri Lanka Petition for Animal Welfare Bill

For many years, animal rights organizations in Sri Lanka have been working in support of the passage of an animal rights/welfare bill. Recently, a group of citizens launched an online petition calling for the immediate enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill to replace the outdated colonial era law. After the petition garnered over 100,000 supporters, it was handed over in January, 2019 to the Sri Lankan … Continue reading Sri Lanka Petition for Animal Welfare Bill

3rd Asian Buddhist AR Conference

DVA’s 3rd Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference

Launching DVA’s Vietnam Project (Countrywide Project #2) (September of 2018) DVA President Bob Isaacson boarded a jumbo jet in San Diego and flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, the first leg of his trip. After a short stop in Tokyo, he was greeted at the Hanoi airport some 20 hours later by the Venerable Thich Thanh Huan, who would serve as the Director of DVA’s Vietnam Project. This … Continue reading DVA’s 3rd Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference

2nd Annual Asia International Buddhist Animal Advocacy Conference

DVA’s 2nd Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference

Sri Lanka, October 26, 2017. More than 600 people filled the auditorium in the Buddhist Cultural Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka for DVA’s second annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference.  Speakers, panel discussions, and outstanding plant-based food highlighted our event. The main goal of our Conference is to launch DVA’s Sri Lanka Project which plans to move Sri Lankans to a plant-based diet by: 1) growing our … Continue reading DVA’s 2nd Annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference

Sri Lanka Project

DVA Launches Sri Lanka Project

Dharma Voices for Animals is happy to announce the launch of our latest and biggest campaign – The Sri Lanka Project. The Project will focus on the 15 million Sri Lankan Buddhists, encouraging them to transition toward a compassionate plant-based diet. In October DVA President Bob Isaacson traveled to Sri Lanka to officially launch DVA’s Sri Lanka Project. The trip to Sri Lanka included four … Continue reading DVA Launches Sri Lanka Project

Extending compassion to all beings

DVA’s Response to Lion’s Roar Article

In a recent article in Lion’s Roar magazine, a number of prominent Buddhist teachers discussed the current political situation in this country and made a call for action, asking us to stand up against social injustice in whatever form it takes. While the goal of skillful interaction with the world is certainly laudable, the message did not go far enough. In pointing to racism, gender- … Continue reading DVA’s Response to Lion’s Roar Article

DVA Moves Spirit Rock to Stop Serving Meat

In 2016, it came to our attention that during a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader retreat at Garrison, New York, fish and steak were served during meals. Since we were very concerned we wrote a letter to Spirit Rock teachers and leaders asking them to reconsider this policy.  UPDATE: We are happy to report that we heard back from Spirit Rock that moving forward only … Continue reading DVA Moves Spirit Rock to Stop Serving Meat

DVA’s Buddhist Animal Rights Conference a Huge Success

During September and October, several DVA leaders traveled to Asia to attend the World Fellowship of Buddhists Conference and our very own Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference, and visited South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, four countries home to millions of Buddhists, to spread our message, increase our membership, open new chapters in Singapore and Penang Malaysia, and give a number of public talks. Continue reading DVA’s Buddhist Animal Rights Conference a Huge Success

Giving a Voice to Animals at World Fellowship of Buddhists

During September and October 2016, several DVA leaders traveled to Asia to attend the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) Conference and our very own Asian Buddhist Animal Rights Conference. We visited South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, four countries home to millions of Buddhists, to spread our message, increase our membership, open new chapters in Singapore and Penang Malaysia, and give a number of public … Continue reading Giving a Voice to Animals at World Fellowship of Buddhists

vegan

On Becoming Vegan: When Vegetarian is not Enough

By Nicholas Ribush This article was first published in Mandala magazine, July 2013. Veganism is not just a diet. It is not just a ‘lifestyle.’ It is a nonviolent act of defiance. It is a refusal to participate in the oppression of the innocent and the vulnerable. It is a rejection of the insidious idea that harming other sentient beings should be considered a ‘normal’ … Continue reading On Becoming Vegan: When Vegetarian is not Enough

Trip to Sri Lanka

DVA President’s Sri Lanka Trip

I want to share with you an amazing trip I just returned from. Germany First, I traveled to Cologne Germany on October 3 and met our Germany Chapter Leader and Board Member, Christina Haenlein, and her Chapter for dinner, enjoying a delicious vegan meal. The next day we drove across Germany to Berlin where I gave a talk at Das Buddhistische Haus, the oldest Buddhist … Continue reading DVA President’s Sri Lanka Trip

Pema Rinzin

An Interview with Pema Rinzin

To this day, I haven’t heard of any teaching of the Buddha which supports harming other beings for our own happiness or benefit. I think all the teachings of the Buddha support being a vegan because a vegan lifestyle is fully against harming other living beings. -Pema Rinzin Please begin with telling us your name and where you live. My name is Pema Rinzin. I … Continue reading An Interview with Pema Rinzin

Tashi Nyima

Bright Aisles, Dark Alleys

―a brief address by Tashi Nyima to the Richardson Interfaith Alliance (TX) during the Thanksgiving Observance Not all abuse happens in dark alleys. Much unspeakable cruelty takes place in the brightly lit aisles where we purchase the flesh of animals, their eggs, their milk, their skin, their wool, their feathers, and their fur. Those brightly lit aisles conceal the horrible darkness where animals are confined, … Continue reading Bright Aisles, Dark Alleys

The Hidden Temple

World Fellowship of Buddhists to Decide Whether to Give a Voice to Animals

I am the President and co-founder of Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA), a non-profit organization, originating in San Diego, California, USA. We have over 760 members worldwide in 40 countries. Our mission is to give meaning to the Buddha’s teachings by being the voice for animals in Buddhist communities throughout the world. The World Fellowship of Buddhists’ 27th General Conference in Baoji, China, at the … Continue reading World Fellowship of Buddhists to Decide Whether to Give a Voice to Animals

Right Eating: What the Buddha Taught

Introduction As practitioners of the Buddhist dharma, we continually strive to act in ways that reduce the amount of suffering in the world, both for ourselves and for others. When it comes to animals, the single greatest impact we have on their suffering is the decision to eat – or not to eat – them. In considering a diet that is consistent with the dharma, … Continue reading Right Eating: What the Buddha Taught

Chatral Rinpoche

Renowned Rinpoche Endorses DVA

DVA is the first western organization ever endorsed by Renowned Tibetan Dzogchen Master Chatral Rinpoche, who fully supports our mission in advocating for vegetarianism. Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche is one of the few living disciples of the great master Khenpo Ngagchung and is widely regarded as one of the most highly realized Dzogchen Masters. Chatral Rinpoche also studied with some of last century’s most renowned masters, including Dudjom … Continue reading Renowned Rinpoche Endorses DVA

DVA Raises Issue of Animal Agriculture at Vipassana Teacher’s Conference

Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California hosted an International Vipassana Teachers Conference June 10-13. Before the conference began, DVA learned that the teachers were planning to discuss climate change/global warming, how to reflect the urgency of climate change in their teachings, and how to encourage students to get involved. Concerned that the enormous impact of factory farming on global warming would either be ignored or … Continue reading DVA Raises Issue of Animal Agriculture at Vipassana Teacher’s Conference

Community Discussion: Humans, Animals, and Non-Harming

 [Note: At Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis, MN, on 27 June 2013, a discussion on “Humans, Animals, and Non-Harming” took place at the invitation of the Center’s guiding teacher, Mark Nunberg. Presenters included Dr. Mark Berkson, Religious Studies Professor at Hamline University, Dr. Deane Curtin, Philosophy Professor at Gustavus Adolphus University, and Dr. Greta Gaard, an ecofeminist activist-scholar and Professor of English at University … Continue reading Community Discussion: Humans, Animals, and Non-Harming

Animals & the Dharma - Day Long Retreat

Great Turnout for Animals & the Dharma Retreat

Twenty-seven people attended a day-long retreat sponsored by Dharma Voices for Animals in San Diego on Saturday, July 20. The teacher was Bob Isaacson. We met in the home of two DVA members. Those that are vegetarian, vegan, and those who are neither, were invited to join. We meditated together, talked in both small and large groups about the Dharma practices of non-harming and compassion … Continue reading Great Turnout for Animals & the Dharma Retreat

Animal Advocate at Spirit Rock

Update: Animal Advocate at Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Dharma Voices for Animals presented to Spirit Rock our petition for an Animal Advocate along with the names of 280 people who signed our petition. DVA requested that Spirit Rock create an Animal Advocate position on its soon to be formed Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC), which will report to the Board. Although Spirit Rock will not be creating that position, as a result of our … Continue reading Update: Animal Advocate at Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Introduction to The Great Compassion

This article is taken from the Introduction to The Great Compassion by Norm Phelps (Lantern Books, 2004). Buddhism ought to be an animal rights religion par excellence. It teaches the unity of all life; it holds kindness and compassion to be the highest virtues; and it explicitly includes animals in its moral universe. Buddhist rules of conduct – including the First Precept, “Do not kill” … Continue reading Introduction to The Great Compassion

On the Boddhisattva path I stopped off for a burger

by Bob Isaacson and Norm Phelps  The following unabridged article by DVA President Bob Isaacson and DVA contributor Norm Phelps was published in an abridged form in the Fall, 2011 edition of The Inquiring Mind. Both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions teach the development of two qualities that are essential to the spiritual path. The first is panna, the wisdom that sees through the illusions … Continue reading On the Boddhisattva path I stopped off for a burger

The World Peace Diet

Samadhi and Shojin

By Will Tuttle, Ph.D. This piece is adapted by Dr. Will Tuttle himself from his best-selling book, The World Peace Diet. Dr. Tuttle, a member and contributor to Dharma Voices for Animals, is an educator, musician, former Zen monk, and co-founder of the Prayer Circle for Animals. Meditation is foundational to the Buddhist teachings, and is not seen as an exotic or specific activity, but as … Continue reading Samadhi and Shojin