Phajoding is a place of peace for everyone and also for the wild animals. All the sentient beings are welcome here. Many wild animals often come nearby the temples and especially many types of birds come to visit us since we used to feed them.
This peace and trust amongst the birds has sadly recently been broken here at Phajoding.
A few days ago, while some monks were collecting firewood in the nearby forest, they saw some hunting string hanging from the trees, which is used to trap and kill the wild birds.
On hearing this news, Chimi Dorji and I immediately deployed many monks into the forest to destroy the hunting string but sadly they found one Himalaya Monal bird (a type of pheasant) already dead hanging upside down from the tree. One visitor who works at the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) told me that the Himalayan Monal bird is becoming rare even in Bhutan and that hunters believe that the meat from this bird is a kind of medicine.
The good news is that a blood pheasant was saved since luckily only her legs got entangled in the string so we could save her precious life.
Instead of coming to Phajoding with knives and string to kill the birds, how wonderful would it be if the hunters came carrying rice or other food to feed the birds? Imagine how happy we would feel if some stranger gave us food when we have been many days without food?
Everywhere around the world many animals are being killed for meat, fur, medicine, feathers and skin. As you read this blog many innocent sentient beings are suffering cruel and horrible deaths.
From the Buddhist point of view, we believe that we have been reincarnating on this earth since limitless time. Each time we had a mother who cared for us so in this way we can see that all the sentient beings must have been our mother at some point during our numberless previous lives. Then, how can we even think of harming our mother beings?
Also, all the sentient beings, even a small insect, is just the same like us – looking for happiness all the time and trying to avoid suffering. So it’s a great shame to kill innocent animals in order to make us happy. That’s why Buddha said: “if you can’t help them its ok, but don’t harm them”.
We get angry easily just like a snake rears it head to others even when we hear that someone is criticizing us but it doesn’t make any sense that we don’t even care when we harm and kill other innocent animals who did no wrong to us. If we can’t endure the pain of even a small thorn in our finger or foot, why is it that we are able to put a very sharp hook into a fish’s mouth without feeling the suffering that we cause? When goats, yaks and cows and many other animals are no longer useful to us for milk, butter or cheese because they are too old, we kill them. How cruel is this act given that throughout their life they provided us with food so we could be happy then we betray them and kill them swiftly. I have personally seen yaks and cows cry just before they are going to be killed when I was a young boy in the village… it is so horrible to watch.
All our friends, please lets try to avoid harming other animals even a small insect that are just like us – wanting happiness and seeking to avoid suffering. In this light we should all try and reduce our intake of meat. Do we really need to eat meat to survive?