It is not everyday when a group of 30 Tibetan Buddhists liberate lobsters, but then Wednesday, August 3 was the Buddhist holiday, Wheel Turning Day. To celebrate Buddha′s first sermon, any positive actions will result in many more. So the Tibetan Buddhists freed 534 lobsters from becoming somebody′s dinner. Wendy Cook, a yoga instructor and former director of the Kurukulla Center from Medford, Massachusetts near Boston, organized and led the expedition. The group often performs these seafood rescues during each year. Taking to the Atlantic Ocean in a whale watching boat, the Buddhists read prayers and held a ceremony as they released 13 boxes of live lobsters back to the sea.
Buddhist Monk Geshe Tenley, the resident teacher for the Kurukulla Center, had the honor of liberating the first lobster. The general attitude was that even if they spared the lobsters for just one day before being caught again, the extra day makes a difference in the life of that lobster. Even a local chef from Cambridge, Vikrant Bhasin, joined in the festivities. Bhasin has ceased serving shellfish and thinks the ceremony is beautiful. The event took place off shore about a mile past where lobstermen normally place their traps.
In other parts of the world, the Wheel Turning Day is celebrated also by liberating animals bred for food, such as goats, cows and sheep. Just as the case where these Tibetan Buddhists liberate lobsters they purchased, so too do the Buddhists worldwide buy the animals they save from slaughter. So say what you will about 30 Tibetan Buddhists saving 534 lobsters, at least they paid for them. They did not steal them nor caused any vandalism or such as is often the case with eco-crazies. Everybody benefits. The lobstermen still got paid, the Buddhists feel good and the lobsters are alive and well.