Today’s Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants will be presented in Thai, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

Today, in the second part of a two-part series, we celebrate the work of Shining World Compassion laureate Ms. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert the vegan founder of the Elephant Nature Foundation that protects and rehabilitates abused elephants in Thailand.

Situated in Chiang Mai province, some 60 kilometers from the city of the same name, the Elephant Nature Park, which was established by the Foundation, has served as a rescue center and sanctuary for elephants since 1995. Currently, the Park houses 34 elephants who all previously led horrendous lives as they were forced to do hard labor, circus tricks, or other degrading activities, often while chained.

We have helped over 200 elephants. Most of them we can’t bring here. We help the owners look after them for a while and return them to their owners. Most of the severely injured elephants were in the logging industry, elephants which walk the streets, homeless beggar elephants, performing elephants and elephants which give tours in the jungle.

The 386-hectare refuge, which includes “Elephant Haven” a separate natural area located a few hours away from the Park, has been featured in such publications as National Geographic magazine and been the subject of documentaries produced by the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, the BBC, CNN, KTV, RAI, and major Thai TV channels.

In 2005, Ms. Chailert was named “Asian Hero of the Year” by the respected news publication TIME Magazine. The elephants of the Park are very close and look after one another like family.

The elephants are very smart and love each other very much. There is another couple, an old elephant who was 75 years old and a crippled elephant. They loved each other very much. Every day we saw that when the old elephant fell asleep the crippled elephant would stand and watch like a lifeguard by the beach. The old elephant stayed here three and half years.

I can tell you that the love of an elephant is pure. It is love with no conditions. It is a love that humans should consider. They are animals with compassion, they do not eat meat. They are the greatest of vegetarians

Sangduen Chailert is truly an altruistic person. Thus it is no surprise that the Elephant Nature Park is also a welcoming home for a variety of other animals.

We try to teach everyone here to live in harmony with all types of animals including insects, crickets, lizards and all beings that live here. We must see their importance. We try to teach everyone who comes here. We have 20 cows, nearly 30 buffalos, 70 dogs and 30 cats, maybe more at the moment. We also have horses, pigs, wild pigs, anyone we can help, we help. This bird we have also rescued, but not caged.

Once we have rescued them we will look after them in a birdcage. And when they are well we let them go. Whoever abandons their animals here we accept. Actually we don’t have a policy to accept abandoned animals. However if they are abandoned here we can’t push them away. We try to explain to the people who come here that even a spider you shouldn’t kill them.

We should live with all beings in harmony. Live together in peace. We will teach everyone this. We try to explain that every animal that lives on this Earth has a purpose. Our cows and buffalos have come from the abattoir. There has been news about every type of animal that has escaped from the abattoir. People who have helped these animals, but don’t know where to care for them bring them here. And we can’t turn them away.

A protector of all life, Ms. Chailert promotes the plant-based diet and lets the public know about this wonderful, compassionate lifestyle.

We try to tell our guests to be vegetarian. We have quite a lot of guests who are not vegetarian and some of them don’t believe our concept. But if we love animals… it’s like you say you love elephants, but why don’t you love pigs? You don’t love cats.

Every living creature if we have an opportunity to really connect with them they will communicate with us. Pigs are very smart animals. Every living creature loves life just like us. This is what I have seen. I have been involved with animals since I was a kid, and I was very lucky that my family gave me this opportunity.

When we return, we will hear more about the benevolent work of Ms. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert and feature highlights from the presentation of the Shining World Compassion Award to her. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to the Shining World Compassion Award series, featuring Ms. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, founder of the Elephant Nature Foundation. Elephant Nature Park is located in Chiang Mai province, with a valley, a flowing river and forested mountains to help revive the gentle spirits of rescued elephants who have come from all parts of Thailand.

To Ms. Chailert, each of the elephants is like a close family member. What lies ahead for the Elephant Nature Foundation and Elephant Nature Park? We asked Sangduen Chailert about her organization’s future plans.

This is only the start of the project. Our main project is the elephant home. We have prepared land for an elephant home. It is quite a big piece of land. There are waterfalls and a lush jungle. The first group of elephants we release there will be healthy elephants. They will get to live in their natural habitat. We will let them be free. Tourists will not be allowed to have contact with them. They will get to live in their real home. They will get to live in their natural habitat.

Tourists will only be allowed to view them from a high tower. The people who go to the tower must not disturb the habitat, mustn’t smoke or make lots of noise. It will be like their real home where humans do not disturb them. Even though we go in to watch them, we must go quietly. And this home, apart from elephants, we plan to help other animals such as gibbons.

No animal will be caged; they will be able to roam naturally. Currently we are preparing the jungle so that it becomes like the natural state so that we can release them in five years time. We will have a new home for them.

For her open-heart and sincere concern for the elephants of Thailand and other animals, Supreme Master Ching Hai recently honored Ms. Sangduen “Lek” Chailert with the Shining World Compassion Award. The following is an excerpt from a warm letter sent by Master:

This Award is presented in recognition for your outstanding efforts to protect the Asian elephants of Thailand, lovingly caring for them, and for your selfless spirit of sacrifice to better the lives of our co-inhabitants and thus create a kinder world. Thank you noble caregiver, for uplifting our world with your inspirational example of love in action. You are making a difference to the wellbeing of these gracious beings.

May all our co-inhabitants thrive in safety and happiness, surrounded by love. For selflessly caring for elephants in need, for your vision, wisdom, high-ideals and kind- hearted benevolence, and for being a dedicated and noble role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of the saintly Lek, Ms. Sangduen Chailert, founder of the Elephant Nature Foundation. With Great Honour, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai

Ms. Chailert also received a beautiful crystal Award plaque. Inscribed on it is the following: In Recognition Of Pure-Hearted Loving Concern And Selfless Service Safeguarding And Caring For Thailand’s Magnificent Elephants Creating A Brighter Future For Humanity And All God’s Creatures With Compliments And Gratitude For Your Inspiring Noble Dedication To The Welfare Of Our Animal Friends

Our local Association members presented Ms. Chailert with an assortment of Master’s CDs and DVDs, as well as her #1 international best sellers “The Birds in My Life,” “The Dogs in My Life,” and “The Noble Wilds.” Supreme Master Ching Hai also provided the Elephant Nature Foundation a gift of US$10,000 to advance its objectives of saving the Asian elephant from extinction and fostering their welfare.

I would like to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for this recognition of what I have done. This has given me more inspiration and I am greatly honored that you have given me this Award and that you have seen the importance and you are aware of the importance of the Thai elephant the Asian elephant.

I thank you so much. I have followed the work of your organization for a long time and I am very impressed by the way you inspire people around the world so that people around the world turn to the pure foods of the vegetarian diet which I think is a must. In my eyes you are a wonderful person. I am also vegan. To get to where I am now I know that most people believe that they need to eat meat.

But when the day comes when a person like you stands up and becomes an inspiration for the world to return to a plant-based diet, a diet which doesn’t disturb the life force of the Earth, I think this person is extraordinary and I am in agreement that your work has benefited the world. Thank you very much for bringing your team here to give me this Award which is a great honor.

I am very proud of this. I would like to thank you and your team immensely for your love and compassion for the world’s animals and I hope that what I do can help bring support to your cause. Thank you very much.

Sangduen Chailert, we thank you again for your impressive and noble example of kindness to the gentle giants of Thailand. May Heaven continue to bless you in all the work that you do for the elephants and all other animals!

I like the way you smile and let me watch a while I love the way you make me feel I’d give the world away to spend each waking day alone with you, my Love.

For more information on the Elephant Nature Park, please visit or

Gracious viewers, thank you for joining us today on our program. Up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May stories of goodness and truth inspire us all to be the very best we can be.