Dr. Sharon Methvin is a biocultural anthropologist. She has been a professor of anthropology since 1988, teaching engaged citizenship in the classroom and conducting research resulting in over 25 papers and publications. In 1997, she was honored with a human rights award for her research on poverty. Her humanitarian concerns extend beyond human rights to the rights of animals as well. In this regard, she frequently provides public lectures and expert testimonies. In 2007, Dr. Methvin was invited to teach in Beijing, China. It was during that time; her research and activism took her into the animal markets of China and the lives of the brave animal activists there. Her efforts in Asia continue today, including launching a TNR (Trap, Neuter Return) cat sterilization initiative in Nanjing, China. And, in Nepal, teaching classes on health and science to improve English for nuns at Kopan, her teacher’s monastery.
Sharon’s journey to being vegan began as a cat/dog loving child whose mother would save scraps and leave them for street animals. As her journey continued, she became vegetarian over 30 years ago after reading Peter Singer’s, Animal Liberation and watching the Witness. Shortly thereafter, she realized it made little evolutionary sense to consume other species’ milk and eggs. What first began as an awareness of the immense suffering humans inflict on animals, shifted to a more fundamental life view, namely; that all beings have intrinsic value as co-participants in this beautiful dance of life. It is this perspective that ultimately led her over a decade ago to Mahayana Tibetan Buddhism which focuses on compassion to all sentient beings. Her root teacher is Lama Zopa Rinpoche (pictured here), the spiritual director of (FPMT) the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition. In her hometown of Portland, Sharon is an active member of the sangha of Maitripa College. When not in Portland, she can be found in Nanjing, China helping street cats and practicing martial arts or volunteering at the Institute for Lama Tzong Khapa, an FPMT Buddhist Center (ILTK) in Italy and Omega Institute in upstate New York.