Dharma Voices for Animals US Centers Project

Dear friends in the Dharma,

We hope this website finds you and your sangha well, and know that we send you good wishes as you live and spread the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha.

We are members of Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA), a non-profit organization. We are the only international Buddhist animal advocacy organization. We are active in the USA and have extensive projects in the Buddhist countries of Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Our mission is to represent the voices of animals in the global Buddhist community. We serve to be the voice of animals, because they do not speak our human languages and therefore cannot make their voices heard in society and in the Buddhist community.

We created a downloadable resource guide called "Plant-Rich Menus. Your guide to delicious, compassionate, animal-free menus." This guide will tell you more about our US Centers Project and provide additional resources, tips, tricks, and tools, to help your center to be even more closely aligned with the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha's teachings.

Just fill out the short form below, and we will send a copy to you.

And as a special bonus, we will include a copy of the Dharma Voices for Animals U.S. Centers Project Plant-Based Recipe Guide. This guide contains recipes, nutrition information, and resources to help you prepare several delicious and compassionate favorites. Be sure to get your copy now!

Dharma Voices for Animals US Centers Project has also launched our Circle of Compassion Grant Program. This grant program provides a financial incentive for US Buddhist centers that have significantly changed their menu or food policy within the last six months. We are offering grants for three different types of change. Follow this link to learn more about our Circle of Compassion grant program.

Compassionate menus for compassionate people

All beings fear danger.

Life is dear to all.

When a person considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.

(Dhammapada, Chapter 10, 129)

Who We Are

Director of DVA's US Centers Project

President and Co-founder Dharma Voices for Animals

DVA Board Member

DVA Advisory Council

DVA Advisory Council

DVA Advisory Council

DVA Advisory Council


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“The Triple Gem of the North is a Buddhist Meditation Center, located in Chaska, Minnesota where the teachings of the Buddha are practiced. Our food policy is to serve the food which best reflects the Buddha's teachings of compassion and non-harming. All of the food served to yogis on retreat and the monastics who live there and visit is fully plant-based which supports compassion for animals, our planet, and the health of our families and ourselves. Triple Gem has been in operation since 2003, and we have not heard a single complaint that the food offered was completely vegan.”

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“At the Detroit Zen Center we practice a lifestyle of doing no harm. One of the most sincere aspects of that practice is not consuming animal products. There is no question harm is done by consuming animals; to the animals, to ourselves, and to the world we live in.

We believe that a whole food plant based diet is a healthy choice because it is in line with our biology. With the epidemic of disease due to dietary excess we have found, from lived experience, that people can and do heal by eating whole plant based foods. This process is part of spiritual practice.

In addition locally, we have seen through the years, that many Detroit neighborhoods are food deserts. There is no way to access plant based fresh food in these areas and transportation to available food can be a challenge for many Detroit residents. It has been a part of our mission past, present, and future to act as a model of food sustainability and do what we are able to provide delicious affordable food to anyone who wants it.”

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“The Lotus Institute was founded by senior dharma teachers Larry Ward and Peggy Rowe Ward. Our teacher is Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and our root community is Plum Village. Our monasteries and retreats have always been vegetarian. We share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet

As practitioners in the Plum Village tradition, we are encouraged to move in the direction of a plant-based diet. So since 2007, our monasteries and our retreats offer vegan meals. As teachers, we have had to work with facilities that prepare the meals for our retreats. Some have been more open than others. Our best experiences have been where the cooks were open to working with our community and we offered tasty recipes. We want the food to be vegan and delicious so that people can experience the impact of eating in such a way that a future may be possible.”

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“Fo Guang Shan (aka Buddha's Light Mountain) has been practicing vegetarianism since the establishment of the sangha in 1967. Under the guidance of our founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, in all of the 300 temples we have globally, we practice compassion and respect towards all beings, advocating a vegetarian/vegan diet in all food served at the temples. Being vegetarian not only to protect the animals, it is also a way for us to respect our environment and mother earth. We also encourage everyone, Buddhists or not, to pledge www.vegdays.org and see the impact you can make by opting for a vegetarian/vegan diet. Together, we can be more compassionate and respectful towards all living beings.”

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“Manzanita Village Retreat and Sanctuary is a plant-based retreat center, serving only vegan food for the last several years. We have found that the vast majority of people who come here actively welcome the opportunity to eat healthy food. Not just plant-based, but often locally sourced, non GMO, non factory-farmed grains and produce. We are fortunate (and privileged) in ways many people are not to have access to such things.”


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“I would very much recommend working with DVA and Balanced if the situation presented itself.

The process of working with both organizations has been rewarding, easy, and very informative. I recognize the dedication of both organizations. I think what makes it possible is the fact that everyone has been gentle, not demanding, and responsive to me in real-life situations. Both organizations are very human without dictating or correcting. They are very patient and not critical. They are nonjudgemental and they do not shame. There is a feeling of 'you’re doing the best you can right now' and that’s important. I believe in and support what they are offering.

Since we started working with DVA, we’ve reduced our consumption of red meat, introduced more vegetables, instead of white rice we prepare whole grains, and we use more beans and legumes now. We have the intention of including a vegan burger and ground flax seed in the future. Connecting with the nutrition consultants at Balanced has been very meaningful because it’s really important to me that I pay attention to my diet.

What influenced me the most to add more vegan and veg options to our menu was that I wanted for myself to have a more healthy diet and wanted to provide that opportunity to others. It is important to me to find alternatives because we are concerned about how the animals are treated in the meat production industry in this country.”

Michael Freeman is a co-founder and the current resident teacher of Southwest Sangha in San Lorenzo, New Mexico. They have been in operation for 28 years and operate totally on Dana.

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“I know the people at DVA well since they have visited my Pagoda many times. They join our Sangha on Vesak and New Years' days. I like working with them to help encourage our Sangha to stop eating animals. I recommend working with DVA to any Buddhist Center.”

Endorsement from the Venerable Thich Tin Man, abbot of the Chua Vien Quang Pagoda in San Marcos, California

Thank you for being a voice for animals

Dharma Voices for Animals is the only international animal rights/advocacy organization in the world.

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© Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) 2022 All Rights Reserved ~ DVA is a registered 501(c)(3) Nonprofit ~ Tax ID: 45-5372693

The DVA US Centers Project is a project of Dharma Voices for Animals and Balanced. To learn more about DVA visit our website at www.dharmavoicesforanimals.org