Man! by the 3rd fur test i thought id never make photoshop fur look acceptable. But it cinda got picked up by the 5th attempt! Comes to show that prectise makes perfect!

Bright Aisles, Dark Alleys

A brief address by Tashi Nyima to the Richardson Interfaith Alliance (TX) during the Thanksgiving Observance

There is a quote that reads: “Having abandoned the taking of life, refraining from the taking of life, we dwell without violence, with the knife laid down —scrupulous, full of mercy— trembling with compassion for all sentient beings.” ―Buddha Shakyamuni

When people think of Buddhist monks, if they think of us at all, they imagine that we dwell in clouds of incense, smiling serenely, unperturbed, meditating on nothing. But, as you just read, we are not called to drift placidly in emptiness, but to “tremble with compassion for all sentient beings”.

[…]

Not all abuse happens in dark alleys. Much unspeakable cruelty takes place in the brightly lit aisles where we purchase the flesh of animals, their eggs, their milk, their skin, their wool, their feathers, and their fur. Those brightly lit aisles conceal the horrible darkness where animals are confined, enslaved, tortured, and slaughtered for our pleasure. I will not share with you the gory details, but the awful truth is there for you to see, as plain as day.

What makes some beings worthy of compassion, while others seem to merit only our disdain? Is it intelligence? Is it the ability to speak? Is it the actions we perform? No. Are we not called to feel compassion for the dull, the dumb, the infirm, and the disabled? Beings are worthy of compassion because they are sentient —they suffer, they feel pain.

To desire only to reduce the suffering of human beings is nothing but extended selfishness.

I come to you not to judge you, but to implore you to look upon ALL our fellow sentient beings, human and non-human, with compassion. If we cannot prevent the cruelty they suffer, at least let harm not be inflicted for our pleasure, paid with our money, and executed in our name.

We cannot speak sincerely of compassion while confining, abusing, and slaughtering our fellow sentient beings. Compassion begins in our shopping carts, in our closets, in our kitchens, on our plates.

If I have made you uncomfortable, I apologize. I am not here to fight, but to get in the way. I humbly stand before you, as the Buddha instructed, trembling with compassion …for you and for all beings. May all attain the union of wisdom and compassion!

om mani peme hum