The Vegetarian Lion Little Tyke~The true story of a lioness who refused meat from birth

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The Vegetarian Lion Little Tyke
The true story of a lioness who refused meat from birth.

A Great Inspiration To All

Little Tyke is an inspiring book about a vegetarian lioness who, during her    brief life on Earth defied traditional notions about felines as violent, meat-   eating, animals. Under the loving care of her caretakers, Margaret and Georges

Westbeau, Little Tyke lived in peace and harmony with her animal friends on a ranch near Seattle, Washington, USA.  The Chinese version of the book was published in 2011 by the Formosa (Taiwan) Daqien Publishing Company.

Scientists have long promoted the idea that lions are natural carnivores and    thus must eat meat to survive.  However, from birth Little Tyke showed an unusual aversion to animal flesh, steadfastly refused any foods tainted with animal meat or blood, and remained healthy and happy all her life. On the ranch, she mingled peacefully with her many animal friends, often cuddling or playing with them.

As the fame of this vegetarian lion spread, more and more people became inspired by her gentle, loving nature.  Her presence and story brought much emotional comfort to both adults and children around the world.  All those who had been in her presence or seen her on TV or on appearance tours were greatly touched by her peaceful demeanor. Tears would roll down their faces as if they were being blessed by an audience with a great saint.

A Timely Rescue
There are many cases of animals born in zoos that are rejected by their mothers.  Such was the case with Little Tyke, whose mother had been born free in Africa before being brought to a zoo in the United States.

The zoo curator watched outside the mother’s cage alongside his friend, Georges Westbeau who rescued the newborn cub.

The zookeeper soon put the three-pound cub in the care of Mr. Westbeau, who kept an animal park on his Hidden ValleyRanch in the nearby city of Auburn, Washington.  As he held the pitiful, innocent animal in his arms, Mr. Westbeaus could not help but exclaim, “You poor little tyke!” Thus began a loving, nine-year-long relationship between the Westbeaus and the amazing lioness named Little Tyke.

Back on the ranch, Georges Westbeau and his wife Margaret dressed Little

Tyke’s wounded leg and began the arduous task of nursing her back to health.  Every three hours, day and night, they would cuddle Little Tyke and feed her warm milk.  Mr. Wesbeau said that he never needed an alarm clock to wake him for the morning nursing duty.

Based on the advice of the zookeeper, the Westbeaus began to wean Little Tyke to solid food at the age of three months.  But when they offered her the bones of freshly slaughtered cattle, she would throw up violently!

In order to make Little Tyke accept meat, the Westbeaus wrote to the experts at the New York Zoo for advice.  The zookeepers suggested mixingmilk with animal blood, but Little Tyke would have nothing to do with it.

They then reduced the amount to ten drops of blood in the milk, but still had no luck. Next they tried five drops, and finally one drop, but after one smell of the milk, Little Tyke refused to drink it.  The Westbeaus could do nothing but switch to feeding her grains and other protein-rich, non-meat-based foods, which Little Tyke ate with great pleasure.

A Vegetarian Hero
The Westbeaus continued to worry about Little Tyke’s nutrition and health, and when she was four years old they even offered a thousand-dollar reward  to anyone who could teach them how to make Little Tyke eat meat. But all formulas failed.  Then one day a little boy who was visiting their ranch set the Westbeaus’ minds at ease.  He asked them if they had ever read Genesis 1:30.  Later when they checked the verse, it read, “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth,  wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat:  and it was so.“   At that point, the Westbeaus finally accepted the fact that Little Tyke was born a vegetarian and it was meant to be. With a diet of milk, grains, grass and other  roughage, Little Tyke was given a clean bill of heath by the local veterinarian. Not only that, she was pronounced healthier than the average lion!


A Gentle Giant
Little Tyke grew up to be a gentle giant.  She was kind, loving and patient to all the animals on the ranch.  And as her fame spread, many people came to visit the vegetarian lion.  The US media even gave her the nickname “Mother Saint Lioness.”

Little Tyke seemed to be equipped with the six sense and was able to tell good people from bad.  She would nuzzle up to those she liked, which included most people, but would sometimes show her dislike by staring down at a person.  On one occasion, her veterinarian had to fix a wound under her jaw.  With a small surgical lancet hidden from sight, he approached Little Tyke.  But Little Tyke sensed his intention, flattened her ears and snarled at him.  Needless to say, there was no operation that day.

Another time, the Westbeaus took Little Tyke to their friend’s place in the country for a visit.  Late that night they found Little Tyke missing from her sleeping car.  After a long search, they found her in the barn where she was confidently pacing back and forth behind a long row of horses and cows, like a general inspecting her troops!

Also, Little Tyke once helped a boy who was the Westbeau’s neighbor       suffered from a lack of confidence and was always bullied by his schoolmates.

When he came to visit the Westbeaus’ ranch, he timidly asked, “Can Little Tyke pull me on the sled?  Will she bite me?”  Then through the Westbeaus ’arrangement, Little Tyke miraculously accomplished her first sled mission.

The picture of a lion pulling a sled with a little boy on board became a headline on the front page of the state of Washington’s largest newspaper.    Afterwards, the CBS network requested an interview with the boy hero and his new lion friend.  Under the flashing lights of cameras, the boy lost his shyness and became a confident young man.

Another incident also reflected Little Tyke’s characteristic gentleness.  One day, in a fit of excitement, a playful burro named Bonnie, one of Tyke’s best friends on the ranch, raised her legs and accidentally kicked Little Tyke on the jaw. Poor Little Tyke fell down and blood gushed from her mouth. She suffered some loosened teeth and a lacerated tongue, but fortunately her jaw was not broken. Mr. Westbeau said that it was reassuring to know that Little Tyke never desired revenge for the many such hurts she suffered, and continued to be friendly with all the animals at Hidden Valley Ranch.

As Little Tyke became a celebrity, invitations came in for her to appear on TV shows and in films. On one occasion, during the shooting of a movie, Little Tyke had to mingle with a flock of baby chicks.  She started to lick one of the chicks, and with one slurp of her huge tongue, the chick popped into her mouth. Little Tyke didn’t know what to do. At that moment, Mr. Westbeau came over, saw the peculiar expression on her face and asked, “Tyke! What have you got?” Instantly, Tyke’s mouth opened and out popped the little chick, completely unharmed. From then on, Little Tyke carefully licked the chicks with only the tip of her tongue.

A Tragic Death
Movies that Little Tyke made for Hollywood producers made her a big star.  Millions of people in the United States and beyond were touched by the gentleness and loving nature of the 350-pound African lion.  They wrote fan letters to the Westbeaus to say that they felt spiritually uplifted at seeing a lion and a lamb lying down together. Such a peaceful, harmonious scene truly reflects the deepest desires from people of all races around the world.

However, during several weeks of shooting a movie, the hot weather and demanding production schedule took a toll on Little Tyke, and she contracted viral pneumonia. Even after a few weeks of recuperation back on the ranch, she finally succumbed to the disease, and one day in her beloved home, Little Tyke fell asleep and never woke up.


A Lion Who Inspired True Love
Lions are commonly known as the ultimate carnivores. However, Little Tyke, the gentle African lioness, was born a vegetarian. She defied all scientific evidence that lions need to eat meat to stay healthy. Also, her very existence and her affection for her caretakers, for the animals around her, and for everyone she met exemplified non-violence, love and tolerance.

In her short life on Earth, Little Tyke touched the hearts of countless people, reconnected them with the all-loving God and enriched humankind’s spiritual life.  The seeds of peace she brought to the world have spread to many countries, and continue to grow and flourish. Little Tyke was indeed a messenger from God.

It is predicted in the Bible that one day there will be a Heaven on Earth, where “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock.” (Isaiah 65:25). Little Tyke gave us faith that the time will indeed come when all beings will become vegetarians, the world will be free of violence, hatred and fear, and our dream of Heaven on Earth will be realized.


About The Chinese Version
As a vegetarian, Liang Congming, owner of Daqian Publishing Company in Formosa (Taiwan,) has long contemplated effective ways to spread the vegetarian message, which to him is not just about a diet or a way of life. In the larger scheme he feels it is about how the meat-eating lifestyle harms people’s health and how meat production damages the environment. Vegetarianism is also about love and compassion for all beings.

Once when Mr. Liang received a book list from a US copyright company, he noticed the book Little Tyke, about a vegetarian lion, wondered if it was a   true story and later learned that it was. He then wondered if this lion born of a wild mother captured in Africa had been made a vegetarian by her caretakers. It turned out that Little Tyke had been a vegetarian from birth and had always steadfastly refused food with even the slightest trace of animal flesh or blood.  Mr. Liang was deeply impressed.

“A vegetarian lion! What a wonderful story!” he thought, “If people learn that even a carnivorous animal such as a lion can ‘lie down with a lamb,’ the message is clear: Humans should also lie down with the lamb instead of eating it!” He felt that Little Tyke would be a highly effective tool in accomplishing his mission of spreading vegetarianism, and immediately decided to publish a Chinese edition of the book.

Regarding her gentle, loving nature, Mr. Liang commented, “Little Tyke was the manifestation of perfect compassion taught by Buddhism. She was born with such compassion.  She loved all her animal friends on the ranch without discrimination.  She defied all common notions of lions being vicious animals. Her life is truly boggling to the human mind.”

Mr. Liang added, “Here we have an animal with the body of a lion but the heart of a saint.  Only a liberated saint could have a heart as gentle and loving as Little Tyke’s.”

In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah described a state of peace and tranquility on

Earth—the Golden Age—in which animals of all types lived in perfect       harmony. In a time when the lion can lie down with the lamb, such a utopian dream will come true. Indeed, back in the 1940s, a vegetarian lion had already set an example for us all. It is time that we humans raise ourselves

to her standard and create a peaceful world for all, including plants and animals alike.



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加入時間: 2010.12.26


加入時間: 2010.12.26





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The Vegetarian Lion Little Tyke~The true story of a lioness who refused meat from birth