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BOULDER, CO - June 23: His Holiness the Dalai Lama duplicates sign language from an audience member expressing "I love you" during the Compassion in Action event at the Coors Events Center June 23, 2016. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

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Animal activists were dragged off stage Thursday as they interrupted the Dalai Lama's lecture at the University of Colorado-Boulder. 

The activists had climbed onto the back of the stage with a banner that said "meat is violence not compassion." Direct Action Everywhere, a Berkeley, Calif.-based activist group that is working to challenge speciesism throughout society, took responsibility for the protest, saying the Dalai Lama supports the consumption of animals.

The group said the protest was "a vigil mourning the Dalai Lama's lack of compassion for animals."

Boulder police said officers and U.S. State Department officials dragged the activists off the stage as the Dalai Lama continued his lecture unfazed.

The protest follows an ABC "Nightline" story that aired Wednesday investigating dog farms that provide meat for the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China - where the Dalai Lama is from. The activists said that conditions showed in footage of the dog farms is akin to what is found in U.S. farms where animals are bred for consumption.

"It is a standard business practice for every farm to kill animals for food, which is not justifiable," activist Aidan Cook, who was removed from the stage, said in a statement. "The Dalai Lama should be supporting compassion for all beings, regardless of whether they are dogs, cows, pigs, chickens, or fish, by not only ending his own consumption of animals but by spreading a message to end the violence that is happening to animals every single day."

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Contact Tiffany Ditto: 636-0304

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