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...

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