Author Topic: World Fellowship of Buddhists takes step towards promotion of animal welfare  (Read 6969 times)

Ensapa

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I believe that this is long overdue, but glad that they finally decide to speak up on this. The Buddha taught his followers to be kind to animals from the very start...but why do they only decide on this after 26 conferences? nevertheless, this is good news!

Quote
World Fellowship of Buddhists takes step towards promotion of animal welfare
by Janaka Perera, Lankaweb, July 22, 2012
Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) in its final Declaration read out at the conclusion of the 26th General Conference held in Yeosu, South Korea from June 11-16, 2012, called on humanity, among other things, to extend compassion and loving kindness to all living beings as advocated by the Buddha.
The placing of an emphasis by the WFB in its final Declaration on the need for greater moral concern to be shown for the welfare of other living beings was pursuant to the adoption of a Resolution by the WFB Standing Committee for Humanitarian Services chaired by Rev.  Ikuko Hibino of Japan (Chairperson) and Dr. Basumitra Barua of Bangladesh (Co- Chairperson)  during  the Conference to the effect that ‘ Humanitarian Services be extended to all living beings, not just human beings to be in line with the teachings of the Lord Buddha – ” Sabbe Satta Sukhita Hontu ” – ‘ Let All Beings be Happy‘.

This development in the expansion of the WFB mission to address the plight of not only human beings but also  that of other living creatures trapped in the unending cycle of Samsara was largely due to a move made prior to the commencement of the Conference by  Mr. Senaka Weeraratna, Hony. Secretary, German Dharmaduta Society, Regional Centre of the WFB based in Sri Lanka, who handed in a draft Resolution  sponsored by the German Dharmaduta Society calling for the establishment of an Animal Welfare sub – Committee to work under the aegis of the WFB Standing Committee for Humanitarian Services.

The full text of this draft Resolution reads as follows:   

Whereas


 Buddhism places an unequivocal high emphasis on peace and non –violence, expresses moral concern and respect for the lives of all living beings on the indisputable basis that life is dear to all, and extols the cultivation of loving – kindness and compassion on par with that of a mother who protects with her life her only child, and calls on humanity to cherish all living beings with a boundless heart radiating kindness over the entire world (Karaniya Metta Sutta);
 Whereas

As much as the protection of the ecological environment including its living creatures is of paramount importance, and a moral and civic responsibility has been cast on humanity to prevent the rapid diminution of earth’s resources which are finite, likewise the curtailment of the abuse and cruelty committed on animals is a moral obligation that need to be emphasized and supported particularly by Buddhist Organisations committed to the propagation and spread, and practice of Buddhism;

 Whereas

The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) has responded to the need for supporting humanitarian causes in the world by establishing a Standing Committee on Humanitarian Services;

It is Hereby Resolved by the General Council of the WFB at the WFB Korea Conference 2012 to establish a Sub – Committee on Animal Welfare under the aegis of the Standing Committee on Humanitarian Services:

i) To promote Animal Welfare generally in accordance with the Buddhist tenets of compassion for living beings,

ii)  To monitor legislation and enforcement of laws on Animal Protection and Welfare in various countries with a view to ushering in reform and updating of such legislation incorporating modern standards of treatment of animals, and

iii) To provide an Annual Report with Recommendations and Measures adopted towards the prevention of cruelty and abuse of animals; and promotion of animal welfare in the member countries of WFB, and in the rest of the world.



Klein

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It is great news that the World Fellowship of Buddhists took a big step to promote animal welfare. I think as Buddhists, it's important to relieve the sufferings of any sentient beings. Many animals are neglected and/or abused due to the lack of knowledge of animal care.

Education of animals is crucial especially for children. We must all learn to co-exist in harmony, respect and kindness. In addition, there should be a no kill policy in all sanctuaries.

Tara's Babies Animal Welfare is a dog sanctuary operated by Sangha members. http://www.tarasbabies.org/index.html

This is a video about the sanctuary and the nun who's managing it.

Tara's Babies for Website2


Manjushri

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Excellent news. You know, compassion goes beyond boundaries, it doesn't stop at compassion towards fellow humans. You know that you are really practising when you see yourself change from a non-animal lover to a somewhat-animal-lover, or generally, care for them like they are your child. Buddha taught that compassion, loving kindness ought to be shown towards all sentient beings. Why? because, showing compassion only to selected species/race/people shows that maybe...you've got an agenda towards what you've doing. So showing it to animals means that you are genuine, and sincere in wanting to bring benefit to all sentient beings, just like Buddha did. Caring for animals that cannot return a favour to you shows who you really are.

Protecting animals means that you're protecting the environment as well. Yes, everything is interlinked, and once you develop care towards all that is around you, you receive the same (and more) from others. I am glad to see this news that the WFB is moving towards the promotion of animal welfare. It is about time more people stood up to protect those who cannot speak for themselves.

Rihanna

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What is the use of resolutions?!?! Who actually even follows up? What happens if it is not adhered? I find resolutions by such conventions a total waste of resources. It sounds all grand and important but what happens next????

If every Buddhist centre in the world takes ownership of this cause and drums in to their members to care for all beings and make it their responsibility, it would be more effective.  The resources used in organising and attending such conventions can be put to better use like in to animals welfare. I am not impressed by the resolution.

Ensapa

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What is the use of resolutions?!?! Who actually even follows up? What happens if it is not adhered? I find resolutions by such conventions a total waste of resources. It sounds all grand and important but what happens next????
To be honest, it is an improvement from not giving a damm about the animals like in the past. At least the now acknowledge that it is important to care for the animals instead of ignoring them and pursuing more trivial matters in this Buddhist council. Sometimes, I feel like some of the topics brought up in these councils can be resolved with just common sense alone and should not take the resources of so many Buddhist masters, but perhaps they require a consensus to make something appear valid...hmmm

If every Buddhist centre in the world takes ownership of this cause and drums in to their members to care for all beings and make it their responsibility, it would be more effective.  The resources used in organising and attending such conventions can be put to better use like in to animals welfare. I am not impressed by the resolution.
If all the Buddhist centers in the world practice what the Buddha taught and applied it, they will naturally care for animals and people in all the ways. They dont need to form a resolution to decide that all beings are actually equally important. Everyone would be doing it naturally! But i guess we have to be compassionate to the more intellectual groups who is more interested in studying the sutras but not practice any of them, so that they can catch up.

This is a very radical viewpoint but in my opinion, I dont really see the need for these conferences other than it exposing the need to appease to our insecurity regarding our Dharma practice. The conferences were held after the Buddha's passing to ascertain the actual scriptures from the fake ones that were added in, and once they have served their purpose that was it. The modern ones dont seem to be talking about anything substancial to the world of Buddhism.

ilikeshugden

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Animals deserve their life. They do not deserve suffering. Although it is their negative karma manifesting. I find it sad. I am extremely happy that the world fellowship of Buddhists takes a step towards promotion of animal welfare. Animal welfare is a much needed thing in our society nowadays.

RedLantern

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Humanitarian services be extended to all living beings,not just human beings to be in line with the teachings of Lord Buddha.The World Fellowship of Buddhist(WBF)) has responded to the need for supporting humanitarian causes in the world by establishing a standing committee on Humanitarian Services ,
1)To promote animal welfare generally in accordance with the Buddhist tenets of compassion for living beings.
2)To monitor legislation and enforcement of laws on animal protection and welfare in various countries with a view to ushering in reform and updating of such legislation incorporating modern standards of treatment of animals.
3)To provide an animal report with with recommendations and measures adopted towards the prevention of cruelty and abuse animals,and promotion of animal welfare in the member countries of WBF,and in the rest of the world.
This is a great way to extend extend compassion and loving kindness to all living beings as avocated by the Lord Buddha.

Big Uncle

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You know the Christians are far ahead of the Buddhists for humanitarian work. In the past, certain Chinese emperors close monasteries and defrock the Sangha because he didn't understand Dharma and couldn't see how their teachings and talk is benefitting anybody. So empty talk of compassion does not move if its not coupled with action to benefit others.

Therefore, it is great news to hear about this development as it is equally important to develop more organisation that benefits others. There will always be a contemplative part of Buddhism that is of paramount importance because that is the heart and soul of Buddhism but we severely need to reach out and do more to benefit others along the way. Animal welfare should be a good training ground for all of us to go into as we get no benefit from saving an animal. That's real compassion. It is always good to start.

apprenticehealer

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This is great news that WFB is taking steps towards changing people's attitude towards animals. A little long overdue, but nonetheless, a step forward to bringing awareness that animals , like humans, are living, feeling and conscious beings.
Buddha taught that we must respect all sentient beings, and we must serve, benefit and help all sentient beings. To relieve them of all sufferings. Killing, abuse, neglect of animals are causes of suffering. These animals do not have a voice to express the pain and hurt that is being inflicted upon them, and instead of protecting them, humans hurt them very badly.
There are many countries still do not have stringent laws (if any) to protect the animals and as a result, the people get away with some of the most horrific crimes committed to animals.
It's through compassion , understanding and empathy of man, that animals can have the respect and love that they so deserve.

vajrastorm

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It's a good first step in the right direction by the World Fellowship of Buddhists. However, there is just so much that passing resolutions and writing reports and recommendations( of measures towards prevention of animal cruelty) can accomplish on the ground. Passing laws against animal cruelty and to protect animals,and enforcing them in countries which are members of WFB may be more effective. However, there are many countries that are not under the banners of WFB, where there are no such laws to protect animals.

Indeed in many of the latter group of countries, animal cruelty and violence towards animals, as well as violent, inhuman and indiscriminate killing of animals for meat ,fur and body parts are rampant. In most cases, the initiative to care for animals and protect them must be an individual initiative fueled by a disgust and intolerance of animal cruelty and abuse reaching such a pitch that one has to act , to do something about it. This in turn must be propelled by great spontaneous compassion that sees no difference between an animal's life and a human life, that sees both as equally precious.

Then when like-minded compassionate beings come together to form a coalition, then more will be accomplished.