Tsering Dorje, Tibet

Every year, thousands of Tibetans make pilgrimages to Dharamsala, India, to hear the Dalai Lama's Kalachara teachings. Last year, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader struck an unusually secular note, warning against the exploitation of endangered species. Tibetans are among Asia's largest consumers of tiger pelts and leopard skins. They use the fur to trim their robes, in rituals and as rugs; tiger claws and dried leopard organs are also used in traditional medicine, and Tibetans dominate the illicit trade in animal parts between India and China. The Dalai Lama's word traveled fast. Buddhists in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, burned their pelts in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!