Wednesday, October 18th 2017

Spiritual Surf: Buddhists’ loving kindness goes down the river

A group of Buddhists ran afoul with the state of New Jersey, when they bought hundreds of eels, frogs and turtles and released them into the Passaic River, the Trentonian reports.

The state says the Buddhists needed a permit to stock the river with the exotic animals. The Biologists say that the action may have done harm to other species living in the river. One of the Buddhists says: “When I pass by the fish market, I cry. I tell people: ‘Stop killing them.’ Then: ‘Don’t eat them.’ Then your heart goes to mercy.”

Did the Buddhists do the right thing? It is often argued that people should not buy animals from illegal traders because it supports the industry and continues to make it lucrative to capture them in the first place. The same argument might be used here. Chinatown fishmarkets no doubt saw a profitable day when the Buddhists bought hundreds of their animals.

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4 Comments on “Spiritual Surf: Buddhists’ loving kindness goes down the river”

  1. no it certainly isn't a reason to stop. those right on buddists saved hundreds of souls that day. more power to them, although eels do seem kinda heinous :)

  2. Cyndi, you're right about the eels. As much as I love and respect animals, I would have picked turtle duty over eel handling. Thanks!

  3. [...] of other religions may have a tough time understanding the connection. Buddhists, for example, go out of their way not to hurt animals. But Christian hunters often hunt to cultivate their appreciation of life and with a deep respect [...]

  4. Pride or ignorance?

    Hopefully these budding buddhas learned a valuable lesson that day.

    Perhaps this is an example of how even the slightest hint of self-interest can corrupt even the best of intentions. It is wonderful when the desire to help other beings arises, unfortunately, when one thinks "I....I am helping", then pride has already seeped in.

    Perhaps I assume too much. It could be that these well intentioned individuals were merely ignorant of the potential for harm and of local laws.

    I think that the release of captive animals is a wonderful and worthy practice, but in this modern era we must pay extra attention to the intricate web of our ecosystem.

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