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Rinpoche Asks Students to Go Veg!

Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of the FPMT, has called on his students to become vegetarian.

“When I was in hospital I saw a program about animals that were sold to be killed in Indonesia and other countries (live export), I don’t know how long this has been going on, must be already for a long time”.

On the TV I saw the goats waiting in line, between wood fences, it didn’t show how they were killed, but it showed one cow that was on the platform, with the head tied, being pulled down to be killed. The cow didn’t want to go and the man was pulling it. I thought I don’t have power to stop all this killing, but what I can do is to try to inspire people to become vegetarian and since then whatever teaching I am giving, even if it is tantra, I am trying to talk to people about becoming vegetarian, to avoid eating meat or to eat less meat so that there are less animals getting killed. I am trying like that.

Then just to mention that one person in Vietnam became vegetarian because he heard I was sick and one student from Amitabha Buddhist Center in Singapore took lifetime Mahayana precepts after she heard I was sick and one prisoner in USA also stopped eating meat. So they are really really amazing!” [9]

For the full letter, go to FPMT website.

You can read more from Rinpoche under Advice from Rinpoche. For more information on Live Export go to our Action Alerts page.  More on Vegetarianism is under our Animal Facts section.


from a letter read out to Sera Je Monastery Monks, Nov. 2010


Lama Zopa Rinpoche


“Although the letter writing may not be clear, please read it slowly.

In the Southern Continent in particular, the great Dharma king of three realms Lama Tsongkhapa’s unified pure refined gold-like teachings of sutra and tantra, not letting them degenerate through extensive hearing and contemplation the perseverance, the extremely precious greatly kind objects of refuge – the assembly of ocean of learned Sangha community – I offer this letter of request.

I, by the name of Thubten Zopa, am making a humble request to all of you, gathered here.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. At the beginning there were only the native Indians living here and no white people. Then white people from Spain and later England came and settled here. And that’s how the white community came into being in the USA. Those early white settlers they farmed and enjoyed the crops and they felt that all this was due to the kindness of the God. Therefore to say thank you to God, Thanksgiving was celebrated. So this is the History behind Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving was started over five hundred human years ago. It is celebrated by killing the bird that is known as a Turkey, by so many people. This killing on this day is a bad tradition that is harmful for oneself and others.

On Thanksgiving Day over 65 to 66 million birds (Turkeys) are killed for the American people to eat. If one human being got killed then it is shown on television and newspapers, broadcast as widely as possible, and they spend so long to analyze the reason to kill. But when an animal dies or gets killed, it seems the recognition is that it is just food to be killed and eaten. There is no thought and recognition that the animal is a sentient being- like us human beings, who also wants happiness and does not wish for suffering. It is very sad. Over 65 to 66 million Turkeys are killed.

I, on behalf of all the turkeys, request your prayers and protection.

Please pray for them. Please guide them from the lower realms.

I, representing all of them, make requests to you all Sangha community upholding the teaching of Buddha, compassionately, please help us the pitiful Turkeys, who are now going through extremely terrifying fear and suffering in the lower realms. Please guide us to Buddha field or lead us to attain birth with the eight freedom and ten richness, so that from very young age we are able to enter into the precious teachings of Buddha, get ordained and meet a fully qualified Mahayana guru, thereby our body, speech and mind never to face any unpleasantness and negativities, but always find places of pleasantness and positivity, whereby we are able to enter Sera Je Monastery and train thoroughly in the principles of the common path – the three principal paths, and train in the uncommon path -by receiving the four initiations, that sows the seed of the four Kayas thoroughly in the mental continuum and through the practice of generation stage – ripening the mind, and through the practice of completion stage – liberating the mind and thereby attaining the resultant state of the union of holy body and mind, with the precious union of seven-limb embracing very quickly.

I from the core of my heart make this request with vast, profound and swift prayers and dedication to actualize this.

I request the following prayers to be recited:

The essence of Padmaushnisha mantra

The King of Prayers

The prayer of beginning and end

The pure land prayer

For all these please offer many lights in the altar and offer Rs 20 per sangha. May this cause all beings to attain Buddhahood quickly”.

A Letter to Sera Je Monastery

A letter Rinpoche sent to all the Sangha of Sera Je Monastery, Rinpoche asked this letter be read out to all the Sangah as dedication after they did pujas and prayers

(I request the following prayers to be recited:

The essence of Padmaushnisha mantra

The King of Prayers

The prayer of beginning and end

The pure land prayer)

For the all the Turkeys that have been killed for Thanksgiving, as well as for all animals killed and all sentient beings, especially the ones doing the killing”.

Translated by Ven.Pemba Sherpa (BOD member, Co Director Cham Tse Ling, Hong Kong and resident teach Cham Tse Ling), lightly edited by Holly Ansett (from Lama Zopa’s Advice page,