The suffering of animals

"We can see how animals suffer. We can see how people abuse them, hit them, and use them cruelly in medical experiments. We can see how we exploit them as draught animals, and how they are sacrificed for their meat. We should develop kindness to animals. We should take account of their suffering, and consider that maybe one day we might be reborn as an animal ourselves.

"Thousands of animals, or rather millions and billions of animals, are slaughtered for food. This is distressing. But my sadness reaches its height when I think of intensive rearing methods. In these cases, the poor animals undergo a veritable hell. From the Buddhist point of view, all living beings — that is, beings with feelings, experiences, and sensations — are considered equal. Human beings can live without eating meat. As human beings, I think that deep down our nature tends towards vegetarianism and leads us to do everything in our power to prevent harming other species."