Posted on November 29, 2015: “The Enlightened One instructed his followers 2,500 years ago never to harm fellow living beings, which is why the Buddhist monks and nuns have taken vows to care for the animals left at the temples,” informs biochemist-turned-photographer David Wooster on his Kickstarter campaign page. When you hear Buddhist monks and temples, you think of big cats at a monastery in Thailand, don’t you? But it's not just big cats that these monks look after, you will find cats, dogs, birds and every animal who was plausibly too difficult to take care of by the citizens. To you, these might be a monastery but to the rescued or abandoned animals, it is a home, often called ‘Forest Temple.’
Wooster did his medical research for 10 years in Montana and California. He also helped clone the cystic fibrosis gene into a cell line for his Ph.D. work in 2002. Finally in 2007 he took a break from research and began traveling. It was in 2007, that he flew to Thailand, and started photographing temple animals, especially the cats. Now he wants to finish what he began in 2007.
What is the project about?
He has initiated a beautiful project of capturing these living animals, especially cats in the temple and present it in a form of a book and a website so that every animal lover can have access to the hidden menagerie of the South Asian Monasteries. “I've decided this project means too much to me to publish the book ‘on the cheap’. Consequently, it will be done professionally, not the type of self-published book that looks like it was printed at a department store,” he assured.
He is looking for funding to pay for his travel expenses and for the printing and publishing of a photoessay/coffee table book of photographs of temple cats and dogs and the monks that care for them in monasteries across South Asia.
Additionally, David plans to have his photographs printed onto postcards, an e-publication and other branding material. These he was offering as a Thank You to his donors. At last count, David was unsuccessful at raising the requisite $4,500.
Here’s a video by David Wooster, featuring some of his work.