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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Bob Isaacson’s (vegan) Insights on The Buddha’s Love of Animal Kingdom People, Part 2 of 2



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As we discovered in the first episode, Mr. Bob Isaacson is a lay Buddhist teacher who has profound compassion for all sentient beings. “And then also there’s a couple of teachings in the Noble Eightfold Path. Specifically, it talks about different professions and occupations 2,600 years ago when the Buddha was alive, that we should avoid. And one of them is raising animals for slaughter. So, it goes beyond just eating them.”

“So Chinese monastics are vegetarian, actually all, almost a hundred percent vegan; same for the Vietnamese (Aulacese) monastics. And so there are pockets, and it's a lot of people, but there are lots of monastics, monks and nuns in other countries, where there's very few vegetarians, let alone vegans. So, what we decided when we realized that many Buddhists were not vegetarian, they were eating animal flesh, (was) that we needed an organization.”

“So first we picked Sri Lanka. We had wonderful connections; we have an audience with the President of Sri Lanka. Now we have a cookbook and we’re just on the verge of passing a major country-wide animal welfare bill in Sri Lanka.”

Dharma Voices for Animals has also had success in Âu Lạc, also known as Vietnam. “And what we’re accomplishing is unbelievable in Vietnam (Âu Lạc). We have 50,000 monastics (who) are members of the Vietnamese Buddhist Saga (VBS), and the Venerable (Thích Thanh Huân) is one of three people on the executive committee of VBS that sets the policy, sets the agenda for Buddhism in his country.” Thailand is another country where DVA is promoting a compassionate diet to Buddhist communities.

Mr. Isaacson spoke fondly of Supreme Master Ching Hai, and has visited several Loving Hut restaurants throughout his international travels. “This is amazing; this is the way you actually make a difference in the world. You think about all the work that your Master has done. I mean, this is a true series of acts of compassion; this is the way to specifically save the lives of millions, maybe billions of animals from where it starts in the heart.”

We are so grateful to Mr. Isaacson and the Dharma Voices for Animals teams in each country for the noble work that they are doing. “So animals are sentient beings. And just as we want to be free from fear or terror, so does every animal want to avoid slaughter. So just intuitively we know this in our hearts, that animals want to be free from pain, and they want to live a life of peace, just like we do.”
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