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

The 11th Nehru Memorial Lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University
November 20th 2014
New Delhi, India, 20 November 2014 - Arriving at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, nestled on the northernmost reaches of the Arravali Hills, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was today received by the Chancellor, Prof. K. Kasturirangan, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. S. K. Sopory and other members of the administration. He spent a few minutes in consultation with them. They then escorted him onto the daïs before an audience of more than 1200 gathered under a shamiana canopy.

Addressing the Tibetan Community and Meeting with Chinese Students
November 6th 2014

The Essence of True Eloquence - Second Day
November 5th 2014

The Essence of True Eloquence
November 4th 2014

Nagarjuna’s ‘Commentary on the Awakening Mind’ and Avalokiteshvara Empowerment
November 3rd 2014

Explore