A common conceptualization of development as a binary relationship between trustees and target groups is inadequate. This article proposes the metaphor of development as an entangled cultural knot, constituted by multiple power relations. It uses this concept to analyze a recent slaughter renunciation movement, in which some leading Tibetan Nyingma masters from Larung Gar have suggested that Tibetan herders give up selling their livestock to the slaughter market for religious reasons. The movement reflects an alternative form of development articulated by several leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers, particularly Khenpo Tsultrim Lodroe, yet it goes against the state project of developing the yak meat industry. This movement has been criticized not only by state officials, but also by secular Tibetan intellectuals, as well as by herders. This article argues that the complex relationships among Tibetan Nyingma teachers, state officials, Tibetan secularists, and herders; their shared and competing interests; and the apparently contradictory positions they take on various issues require a much more sophisticated conceptual tool than the simple dichotomous conceptualization of development.

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