Or view the video on the server at:
Nice video of our little mission of saving the lives of fishes, eels and frogs destined to end up on the dinner plate in the next few days…
This afternoon, Tsem Rinpoche, Ladrang Liaison Seng Piow, Beng Kooi, Fat Monk, and Monlam were in a fish shop in Cheras to look for some fishes for the Ladrang’s pond.
Rinpoche took the group for a meal in a restaurant nearby. While in the restaurant, Rinpoche saw many fishes in 2 crowded glass tanks, and Rinpoche couldn’t bear it as Rinpoche knew the fate of these fishes – they will take turn to be on dinner plates throughout the Chinese New Year period. The fishes were huge, about 8 or 9 inches long and all of them will be gone in a few days!
Immediately, Liaison Su Ming was called and she put together a Ladrang “fish rescue team”, with Bonita, Wai Meng, Shin and Datuk May who headed over to Cheras fast. At the same time, Nicholas went over to make arrangement with Kepong Metropolitan Park management to stay open till late for animal liberation. (Datuk May is a grand senior lady, but she has no issues ever to get her hands dirty and get involved.)
After some negotiation, Fat Monk convinced the restaurant owner to sell the fishes at a reduced price. The owner also gave us all their eels free, knowing that we bought the fishes to be liberated. We also took all the frogs in the restaurant. They were so kind that they told us to liberate the fishes fast and come back to pay later or the next day! They let us go without any payment! I think they were touched by Rinpoche’s act of kindness and reciprocated. No restaurant will let go of their fishes easily during this period as supply of fishes are scarce, and the festive season is the peak period to make maximum profit.
On the 40-minute journey to the park, Wai Meng continuously scooped up water and poured it back to the tank so that the fishes get better aeration, along with reciting Medicine Buddha and Setrap mantra so that the fishes will make it to the park. At one juncture, Wai Meng even said words of encouragement to the fishes, “Just 5 more minutes, hang in there!”, haha!
We finally reached Kepong Metropolitan Park around 9pm and liberated all the animals. Just as we liberate the many animals tonight, we dedicate that many beings will be liberated through Kechara World Peace Centre (KWPC). We also pray that may the obstacles for Kechara and the growth of Buddhadharma be eliminated immediately, and also for the long life of our Lama.
These are the lives saved from the restaurant tonight:
33 Talapia fishes (72 kilograms)
3 Cat fishes (6 kilograms)
1 Patin fish
25 Eels (7 kilograms)
30 Frogs (17 kilograms)
The total cost was RM3435 (around USD1,122)
Write up by Shin Tan..
I use the write up by Shin above as it is well written…but to add:
1. The restaurant owners were a bit skeptical in the beginning and then believed us finally. They didn’t want to sell in the beginning. They had pre-ordered the fishes for the holiday season. Together with fish orders, people order alot more food and it’s big business for them…yet they were willing to let the fishes go..
2. It turned out they are Buddhist too, but they said, they were ‘stuck’ in this business to earn a living. When the owners talked to us, you can see they had a lot of guilt in their voices and they are decent people.
3. They really hated the slaughter and especially the eels that would not die easily they said. They are not going to do the eels anymore and gave us the eels for free…
4. They decided to sell to us at the price they bought it..because they knew we wanted to do liberation.
5. At first I didn’t know whether I should approach them or not, but in the end decided, what is there to lose. Those fishes will be killed. So I decided to have my students talk to them and convince them…I waited in a car nearby within birds eye view to oversee what is happening…
6. Unfortunately we were able to liberate most except for 10 fishes that has been ‘booked’ for next few days dinner….sigh…
7. After transferring the fishes, the owners told us to go off quickly otherwise the fishes would be depleted in oxygen….WE CAN PAY THEM LATER….WOW!! THEY TOTALLY TRUSTED US AND LET US GO..and we had never met before..
8. I asked Fm and Suming to go the next day to pay the owners. I also gifted them with two Setrap statues and two Setrap boxes. There are two owners. They were shocked and appreciated the statues so much. Fm and Suming took the time to explain to them regarding Setrap as they had a Shakyamuni at home already. They were very happy about it…
It was great to liberate those animals. I want to set up an animal ‘brigade’ in the future to do more of this….All the people involved were very happy to liberate the fishes, eels and frogs..and it was done just before Chinese Lunar New Year’s so it is considered very auspicious to do something good just before the old year is finished…
When I went into the resteraunt, I saw this. I was very unsettled and had to do something more than blow mantras on them….
We were very fortunate as we were able to buy over all their frogs also….
The restaurant owners were moved by what we were trying to do and they gave us the eels to liberate for free..Yeah!!!
Weighing the frogs etc to sell to us…
These poor fishes were just ready to be ‘swimming’ in someone’s stomach….NEVER EAT MEAT…NEVER EAT SEAFOOD..NEVER EAT ANY SENTIENT BEING..
The fishes being transported in the car…Wai Meng worked very hard to create oxygen by circulating the water on the 40 min ride to the huge lake where they were released…
Wai Meng who is a very compassionate person, scooping water constantly to create more oxygen…..
Finally releasing the fishes, frogs and eels into the lake where they went to freedom….
PS. People sometimes wonder how I choose or select individuals to go for these expeditions or spontaneous good works..well it depends on you…If you are available and your schedules are free to help then I will remember you or your name will be suggested to me… If you are called for this event, that activity, this meeting or what not and you are always or most of the times not available, then I tend to not disturb you or call you in the future because I figure you are not ready…..of course that is not permanent..I am not saying what you planned ahead is not important either and that is why you can’t make it…. It is not anything except how much you wish to be involved and I guage in that manner…If I guage you really are enthusiastic and you make yourself available for most activities you are invited to, then I make a mental note. Whether you show up on time and your enthusiasm as we are doing the work helps me so much to know if you are happy to be here or just came because I called you…I don’t want to force…… As time goes on, the ppl who are always available and do these things and join me in these works, I get to observe you as a person and perhaps will request you to be in a dept or division…that is how it’s all started. Many people in divisions or depts I place in come about in that manner…I do not mean to judge ppl, but it is my only way to guage. Some ppl I would like to definitely do more things with as I see they have potential, but they are not always available most of the time, so let it be…but I do thank everyone for everything…
February 3, 2011