The ritual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals runs counter to Hindu principles of reverence for life,
"Mass sacrifice of animals is barbaric"
In Nepal animal sacrifice is widely practiced, there are no rules to regulate sacrifice, instead the government supports blood sacrifices by providing subsidies. Apart from regular sacrifice at Goddess temples, extreme cruelty is conducted at certain festivals including the live skinning and burning of animals, slow killings through throat slitting, killing with unsharp knives, public beheading, etc. In particular, I refer to the Gadhimai Festival in the Bara District of Nepal which is "celebrated" by sacrificing around 200,000 animals. Here innocent creatures are killed in masses in an unorganized manner by devotees which includes the public beheading of 20,000 buffaloes.
Well known is the annual sacrifice taking place during Kalratri, Dasain, when the priests of the Taleju Temple kill water buffaloes throughout the night, followed by the sacrifice of 108 buffaloes by the army in the Kot courtyard during the next day.
Another is the Khokana Festival, held in August, during which a terrified goat is thrown into the Deu-pond close to the Rudrayani temple, after which it is torn apart whilst still alive by a group of young men.
A similarly horrific event is the Sasarimaiko Mela in Mahottari which is held every twelve years and witnesses the killing of at least 10,000 animals.
No one can adequately explain why these practices are carried out year after year – except to say they are "traditional". This however is not a valid argument to continue these practices. Nepal, realizing the adverse effects, has abolished a number of "traditions" in the past, including human sacrifice and widow burning.
I urge the Government of Nepal to abolish the above practices for the following reasons:
1. It hurts the animals – contrary to what many believe, animals suffer tremendously before and during sacrifice. They are generally hurt during transportation, starved and dehydrated, and often purposely killed slowly and painfully, as it is believed that the goddess prefers slow deaths. In certain rituals animals are skinned alive, torn apart by human teeth or tortured to such an extent they die from stress and shock.
2. It hurts us - cruelty against animals harms society as a whole; it signals and normalizes insensitivity in children who can become numb to the suffering of living beings. It is also known to influence certain people to commit violence to other humans.
3. It strengthens vested interests – sacrifices generally boost the interests of those who benefit from superstition-based beliefs and rituals. As Nepal is moving on to become a more fully democratic, egalitarian society, it is crucial to challenge age-old beliefs which are not beneficial and drain the resources of the poor and needy.
4. It contradicts the spirit of laws - Nepal is concerned about the welfare of its precious flora and fauna, and has signed a number of international Wildlife Treaties followed by the introduction of the Meat Act, which introduces humane killing of livestock and poultry. The cruelty displayed in these so-called traditions completely contradicts the spirit and gestures of these treaties and acts.
5. It is bad for tourism - as tourists are abhorred by such practices, the festivals will have an adverse effect on tourism, an industry which provides the country with much-needed financial returns. Those foreigners who experience or come to know the extent of sacrifice in this country leave Nepal confused and with a heavy heart, rather than uplifted by its paradoxical beauty and friendliness.
I implore you to end these violent practices and help Nepal move towards a truly peaceful country in keeping with its international image. This can be done by introducing and enforcing the much needed Animal Welfare Act to curb animal cruelty and by promoting genuine animal welfare activities across the country.
I trust that you will support these measures (which are becoming more widespread around the world) and thus promote non-violent cultural practices in Nepal. Until such a time, however, I regret that it will be necessary to boycott Nepal both as a tourist and by way of commerce and to encourage others to participate in a boycott as well.
STOP animal sacrifice in Hindu temples like Kamakhya Temple Complex in Assam, impose strict ban on live stock trading and export to Nepal. Introduce strong legislation for complete ban on animal sacrifice, replace the toothless Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 with an Ordinance at once, Abhishek Kadyan and Sukanya Kadyan are authorized to deliver this compiled petition to all concerned.
Stop halal process of commercial slaughtering, animal sacrifices and meat export from India, we appreciate tireless services of Naresh Kadyan towards animal rights and their welfare.
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