Buddhist Pespective on Animal Rights

Shesh Nath Vernwal


Buddhism is not only concerned about human beings, but for all sentient beings. The human beings are not the only creature which has value according to it. Any being which is made of five aggregates – matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness are called sentient beings. Hence all sentient beings including animals have possibility to become enlightened in one or more births. That’s why Buddhism care for animals and abstain from killing or harm. Buddhism also not believe in the existence of God or soul which is unchangeable in nature, but believe in impermanence. Hence the center of the earth is not any God or soul, but all are important equally. These principles including one of five precept of non-harm to sentient being place animals equally important to human beings. Although in Thervada and Tibetan Mahayana people eat meat, but it is general perception that Buddhism are concern about the animals that can be think of the moral value for animals and animal rights.

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