A holocaust is taking place right now. Millions of animals are enslaved for our entertainment, sexually abused in the dairy and egg industries, tortured in factory farms and research laboratories, and slaughtered every day for our fashion and nourishment. This is no time for timidity, equivocation, or misplaced sectarian loyalties.
If these were human beings, would we be mincing words to avoid offending those whose sophistry and indifference continue to justify these atrocities?
All sentient beings share the same nature. If our Buddhist friends are not ready to hear that the Precepts they claim to uphold demand that they restrain their appetite for flesh and blood, we need to educate our friends. If our Buddhist ‘teachers’ cannot see the harm that they perpetrate and condone, they are cut off from the very root of enlightenment.
In the Surangama Sutra, the Buddha admonishes:
After my parinirvana in the last kalpa, different kinds of ghosts will be encountered everywhere, deceiving people, and teaching that they can eat meat and still attain enlightenment. How can one who hopes to become a deliverer of others, himself be living on the flesh of other sentient beings?
Should we intend to skirt the Precepts by claiming innocence of the deed if others do the killing for us, the Buddha says in the Kshudraka Agama:
We should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should we incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
Where is or compassion? Where is our commitment? Let us boldly speak for ALL sentient beings, free from timidity and equivocation. It is not enough to whisper timidly. Let us truly become Dharma Voices for Animals.
This is not a call to become mere vegetarians or vegans, but faithful, practicing Buddhists!