DVA considers the Buddha’s teaching on compassion for all beings as central to the development of one’s spiritual practice, and as a clear call to protect animals and their interests. To help you learn more about, and to begin to follow, the essential Buddhist teaching on compassion and the ethical treatment of animals, we’ve compiled this list of steps you can take toward cruelty-free living.
All beings fear danger, life is dear to all.
When a person considers this,
he does not kill or cause to kill.
1. Read a book or article or watch a video to get clear on the Buddhist perspective on compassion towards animals and to understand what happens to animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses on their way to our plates:
- Watch our film Animals and the Buddha.
- Read about the Buddha’s Teaching on Right Eating.
- Read the book The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights by Norm Phelps on the Dharma’s message of compassion and non-harming to all beings.
- Read the book Buddhism & Veganism: Essays Connecting Spiritual Awakening & Animal Liberation, edited by Will Tuttle, with essays by several DVA contributors.
- Consult our Resources page for more.
2. Start the transition to a more compassionate diet that does not contribute to the suffering of animals. Many people find it easiest to start slowly. Consult the How to Go Vegan guide for specific tips to support your compassionate choice, and read about nutrition to ensure that you are eating a balanced, healthy diet, from sources such as the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and Nutrition Facts.
3. Avoid wearing animal products, and avoid using personal care and household items that are tested on animals or contain animal products.
4. Engage with DVA by becoming a member, joining one of our locals chapter, volunteering your time and talent to the organization, and signing our current petitions.
5. Request that your Sangha follow our DVA Cruelty-Free Sangha Guidelines or that the retreat center you visit follow our DVA Cruelty-Free Retreat Center Guidelines.