Dalai Lama Said “Life is Dear for All Creatures”
The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet (1950-present) is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and winner of 1989 Nobel Peace Prize and is a vegetarian. He encourages others to become vegetarian for health and compassionate reasons. About becoming a vegetarian, he says,
“I was not vegetarian till about five decades ago, but when I saw hens being abused on an animal farm, I decided then to become vegetarian.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said with regard to human and non-human animals,
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.
The Dalai Lama said about non-human animals,
“They not only have life, but feelings of pleasure and pain too. We should treat their lives with respect, which we Tibetans are accustomed to do.”
He has remarked that in Tibetan culture there is a strong belief that if you can show concern for small creatures like insects and birds, you are more likely to be properly respectful and caring about your fellow human beings.
At the World Compassion Day 2012 in Mumbai, India, about the definition of what it means to be a sentient being, he said,
“Brothers and sisters, I am very happy to be able to participate in this meeting to encourage compassion and the greater protection of animals. My friend and scientist, the late Francisco Varela and I had long discussions about the definition of what is a sentient being. We concluded that it means a being that can move from one place to another of its own accord, which includes everything from amoebas to the animals we see around us. Sunflowers, for example, may turn towards the sun, but they do so due to a chemical reaction rather than of their own accord.”