Winter 2012 Poultry Press NEXT
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Buddhist Temple Celebrates Tortured Chicken Teriyaki

In September, UPC received the following Internet alert:

“The Watsonville Buddhist Temple holds several annual events that are fun, informative and usually involve delicious food!

“Got chicken? Assembling over 3000 chicken teriyaki dinners is a huge undertaking, but after more than 50 years we are experts. Get your tickets early to sample our secret recipe and all the trimmings. Annual Chicken Teriyaki Dinner, September 22, 2012.”

what_can_i_do (10K)

Politely (in your own words) Urge the Temple to Celebrate Life with Compassion, NOT Cruelty

Contact Rev. Hanayama
Office phone: (831)724-7860
Fax: (831)724-8167
Address: 423 Bridge Street, Watsonville, CA 95076

Chickens are Sentient Beings and Should be Cherished

Dear Rev. Hanayama,

I was so sad to learn about your annual chicken dinner in which you prepare 3,000 young, tortured chickens for a festive meal. To use the chickens for food does not follow the teachings of Dharma. This event is not a display of “cherishing others” and is not a path to self-enlightenment. How can it be if it is not in line with The Four Immeasurables?

The Four Immeasurables

May all sentient beings have happiness
and the root of happiness.
May they be free from suffering
and the root of suffering.
May they not be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering.
May they dwell in the great equanimity, free from attachment to those near and aversion to those far.

As has been said in the teachings, the path to enlightenment is really very simple – all we need do is stop cherishing [caring only about] ourselves and learn to cherish others. All beings deserve to be cherished. If we genuinely want to realize our potential by attaining full enlightenment, we need to increase the scope of our compassion until it embraces all living beings without exception. Through meditation we can extend and deepen our compassion until it transforms into the mind of great compassion – the wish to protect all living beings without exception from their suffering. Improving this mind of great, or universal, compassion will eventually transform into the compassion of a Buddha, which actually has the power to protect all living beings.

I hope you will observe your festivals by being compassionate and choosing to not eat animal flesh and byproducts. In this way, you can celebrate life. As you know, animals used for food production suffer horrible lives and horrible deaths. Where is the compassion and the desire to protect all living beings, without exception, from suffering? I believe the true path to enlightenment is to be vegan.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ronnie Steinau
United Poultry Concerns Correspondent

compassion for all beings
The Mother of Compassion Blesses Our Fellow Beings – "May They Be Happy and Free From Suffering"
by Beth Lily Redwood
Winter 2012 Poultry Press NEXT