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Definition of animals and their rights – sentient beings

We are Buddhist Congregation Dharmaling, i.e. the biggest Buddhist religious community in the Republic of Slovenia, officially registered since the year 2003 and one of only six religious communities, which concluded a special agreement with the Republic of Slovenia. Buddhism is otherwise one of the so-called five World Religions (which expand throughout the whole planet), while Buddhist philosophy is defined by respectful attitude towards all sentient beings, including animals. Our guideline is perhaps best encompassed by the well known saying of Mahatma Gandhi: »The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.«

In the process of preparation of the law we gave remarks to the Changes of the Law of Property Code (SPZ-B) and thereby helped that first the definition according to which animals are not only “living”, but also “sentient beings” was proposed. The last part of the definition was unfortunately crossed in the governmental procedure. We believe that such solution should be again entered in the Changes of the Law of Property Code.
Beside that we believe that one more important step could be made forward with the amendments in the legislative process, so that it would be written in Law of Property Code that animals have rights as determined by the law. In this way we would on one side recognize that animals are not just “an accessory” of the people, while at the same time individual rights should be determined by the law, meaning that regarding each such right the majority in the parliament should agree with. This would guarantee that regulation wouldn’t become illogical. In this way Slovenia would enter among the most modern countries on the field of the legal regulation of animals. 


Words of Wisdom

"O friends who would follow my tradition: Do not permit your minds to wander aimlessly. Constantly be mindful of your thoughts and try by every means to remain on the direct path to Enllightenment."
- 1st Dalai Lama

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