Dalai Lama Joins Campaign Against Battery Hens

September 3rd 2010

New Delhi, India, 1 September 2010 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama has condemned battery hen farming and is urging consumers to switch to buying eggs from chickens kept outside of cages, a statement said Wednesday.

"Turning these defenseless animals into egg-producing machines with no consideration for their welfare whatsoever is a degradation of our own humanity," the Buddhist spiritual leader said.

"Switching to cage-free eggs would reduce the suffering of these animals," the Dalai Lama said in the statement issued in support of a campaign against battery hen farming by Humane Society International.

Most caged birds have less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper as their living space, noted the Dalai Lama who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

"The abuse we inflict on hens has always been particularly disturbing to me and I have always been particularly concerned toward how these animals are treated in industrial food production," he said.

The Dalai Lama's statement comes as animal rights campaigners around the world have been pushing for an end to factory egg farming.

Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Norway have already banned battery hen cages. European Union countries are phasing them out and there will be a total ban on the farming practice by 2012.

Cage-free does not always mean "cruelty-free" but cage-free hens generally have 250 percent to 300 percent more space per bird and are able to act more naturally than caged hens, said a Humane Society spokesman.

India's factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in battery cages, according to Humane Society estimates, and there is little "cage-free farming."

 

Latest News

Addressing a Sino-Tibetan Conference
August 28th 2014
Hamburg, Germany, 27 August 2014 - Shortly before leaving to embark on his journey back to India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama first addressed a conference of Chinese and Tibetans taking place under the theme ‘Finding Common Ground.’ He began by welcoming participants: “I’d like to greet all of you, Chinese brothers and sisters, who have gathered here from many different places."

An Avalokiteshvara Empowerment Followed by Meetings with the Tibetan Community and Tibet Support Group in Germany
August 27th 2014

Concluding ‘The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ and ‘37 Practices of a Bodhisattva’
August 26th 2014

Explaining ‘The Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’
August 25th 2014

Discussing Secular Ethics
August 24th 2014

Explore