Interspecies Ethics: Interconnectedness and Compassion in a Tibetan Buddhist World

Name of applicant

Harmandeep Kaur Gill


Postdoctoral Fellow


University of Oxford


DKK 1,326,436



Type of grant

Reintegration Fellowships


This project will follow a group of Tibetan Buddhist individuals who provide care for stray animals in Dharamsala, Northern India. It will explore how people practice and develop compassion-based ethics through their encounters with animals and whether it cuts across species. The project aims to place emotions and Buddhist perceptions of selfhood at the centre of its approach its ethics.


Buddhism emphasizes that everything is interconnected. It informs an ethics that is grounded in compassion for all sentient beings. By working with Tibetan Buddhists who take care of strays, this project will explore how their work transforms their sense of self and relation to other people/species. By doing so, the project will generate insights on compassion, violence, ethics and selfhood.


I will carry out 6-8 months of fieldwork in Dharamsala to follow about 5-8 individuals, men and women, during their daily rounds of providing food or medical care to animals. Narrative-based and life-history interviews will be done with an additional 10-15 individuals. Data will also be collected through photography and filmmaking, in order to capture the emotional aspect of ethics.

Back to listing page