Geshe Thupten Phelgye
Geshe Thupten Phelgye (born 1956) is a Tibetan Buddhist lama who is known for promoting vegetarianism and humane treatment of animals, and for his work as a peace activist. Geshe Pelgye represents the Gelug tradition in the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.
Geshe Phelgye was born as Dorje Thinley in the Riwoche District of the traditional Tibetan province of Kham, China. In 1959, three-year old Dorje and his family fled. He attended school in India at C.S.T. Changlang and S.F.F. School Dehradun.
He became a monk in 1973, at age 17, at Seraje College, Sera Monastic University.
After completing the traditional 18-year course of study for the Geshe degree in 1991, he received his doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy from Sera Monastic University in 1991, and went on to study at Gyumed Monastery. Starting in 1993, he spent five years in retreat near Dharamsala in the Dhauladhar mountains.
Geshe Phelgye saw the inside of a slaughterhouse as a child, and as a result, he became a strong advocate of vegetarianism. As the first President of the International Gelug Society, he helped pass the resolution for vegetarianism for all residents of Gelug monasteries and nunneries. He helped pass a 2003 bill in the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, where he is a representative of the Gelug tradition, which encouraged Tibetans to become vegetarian, by declaring 2004 the "Tibetan Vegetarian Year." He was re-elected to the Parliament in 2006.
He has also founded a charitable trust, the Universal Compassion Movement (UCM), with the mission of bringing people together to help animals who are slaughtered or suffer cruel and inhumane treatment.
His US speaking engagements have included Amherst College, Gonzaga University, Harvard University, Naropa University, North Idaho College, University of Idaho, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of San Francisco, and Wheaton College. He has given teachings at Sravasti Abbey  and other US Buddhist centers.
Charitable activities and peace work
Geshe Pelgye is active in interfaith dialogue. With respect to the differences between Buddhism and Christianity, a student newspaper described his position as follows: "The main issue ... [is] to focus on the day-to-day practice of 'how to be nice and how to be good,'" and also noted his emphasis on practical, "every-day practice" to serve others.
- Community of Faith: A Buddhist perspective on mindful eating, guest editorial
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- De Leon, Virginia (July 18, 2009). "One of a kind: Famed Tibetan Buddhist monk Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye brings his message of compassion". Spokane, WA. The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
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- "International peace delegate to speak in Nevada City". The Union.com, Serving Western Nevada County, California. Feb. 27, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye Returns to Mount Shasta". Mount Shasta Friends of Tibetan Culture. Feb. 2, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "Buddhist monk blesses pets at Marymoor Park event". Redmond Reporter. Retrieved May 28, 2012.