Bob Isaacson, President and CEO of Dharma Voices for Animals, was a civil rights-human rights attorney for twenty-five years, specializing in defending people against the death penalty. He presented and won a landmark case in the Supreme Court of the United States, which limits the power of the police to arrest people without sufficient grounds, when he was 27, the second youngest attorney in history to appear before the nation’s highest court. Bob Isaacson was drawn to the Buddha’s teachings on the path to the end of suffering 29 years ago and continues to be inspired. Since he began Buddhist practice, Bob has participated in 26 meditation retreats of one month or longer.
Bob currently teaches the Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings), leads two Sanghas (ongoing groups of practitioners), and leads day-long and weekend retreats in the San Diego area, having been trained in Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader Program. It did not take Bob long to realize the disconnect between the Buddha’s teachings of compassion and non-harming toward all sentient beings and the actual practice of Buddhist teachers and followers who continue to eat animals. This disconnect led Bob to join with several friends in 2011 to launch the non-profit organization, Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA). DVA is the only Buddhist International Animal Advocacy organization in the world with country-wide Projects in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the United States. DVA focuses on encouraging Buddhist temples and Buddhist communities to transition to plant-based food, supporting animal welfare legislation, and providing plant-based cooking classes at Buddhist temples.