- Papa Benedetto XVICatholic Church
- Michela V. BrambillaMinister of Tourism
- Francesca MartiniAnimal Welfare
STOP the barbaric "tradition"!
Every year in Italy many animals (Horses, Donkeys, Geese, Pigs etc) are tortured, and often killed, in the name of "religion". These horrific expressions of human evilness are blessed by the Catholic Church, these "sagra, palio, festa" are bloody traditions that are not worthy a "civilized, progressed" Country. The worst day is Aug 15, Ferragosto, the day dedicated to the Mother of Jesus Christ: in her name many animals are exploited, and killed. This is not religion, this is cruelty. It's time to STOP abuses and abusers!
Every year in Butera (CL), they "celebrate" the traditional festival "U sirpintazzu and the goose" where a real goose (killed for the occasion) is hanging to be roughly abused under the public eye. Keeping the tradition alive, should not lead to the killing and the subsequent mistreatment of a helpless animal, either alive and dead. The fact that such barbarity goes on for more than 200 years, in no way justifies the death of the goose; the tradition must continue, but with full respect for animal dignity: use a fake goose, be humane and compassionate as your religion says you should be.
- Catholic Church
Papa Benedetto XVI
- Minister of Tourism
Michela V. Brambilla
- Animal Welfare
I am writing today to share my grave disturbance regarding the rituals Ferragosta, U sirpintazzu and the goose, and all o...ther celebrations surrounding the deliberate and barbaric slaughter of animals. I have learned that these events are characterized by the depraved and savage butchery of animals, mutilated, tortured, and killed as an observance of religious tradition. This unremitting torture is inflicted on these terrified animals, fully conscious, subjected to what can only be considered excruciating pain and prolonged suffering, inflicting what can only be considered heightened states of fear, agony, and misery. With utmost respect, I plea with you to intervene to cease this animal cruelty.
These events are promoted as a religious tradition, a celebration of heritage, spirit, and theological commemoration, but mitigating words and euphemistic descriptions cannot conceal the inherently barbaric nature of these rituals. Any celebration built on a foundation of extreme animal cruelty, exploitation, and suffering cannot be justified as an expression of religious tradition or doctrinal observance and worship; indeed, condemning animals, to any torturous ceremony, regardless of religious interpretation or disguise, is indefensible. Celebrating religion is admirable, yet subjecting innocent creatures to such primitive and evil rituals only demonstrates your country as an apathetic and unprincipled society.
I understand the significance of religious expression; however, religious tolerance ends when innocent beings are targeted for harm and death. Just as one human cannot morally harm another human based on religious expression, neither can a group expect immunity during rituals that clearly violate any international animal welfare standards concerning the practice of such. Furthermore, this event sets a dangerous societal precedent, reinforcing the fact that violence breeds more violence: when animal cruelty is received with cultural tolerance, both violence and acceptance escalates, the result of which is societal impunity towards all suffering.
Animals are sentient creatures who, as humans, experience love, fear, pain, suffering, and who value their lives as you value yours. I am respectfully asking that you provide immediate relief on behalf of these innocent, sentient animals who cannot be targeted as legitimate sacrifices for religions not practiced, observed, or exercised by them; it is an irrational belief to excuse bloody, unnecessary, and depraved acts as religious ceremonies to conceal human indulgences. Surely any logical person would accept that such cruelty cannot be sanctioned as traditional. Our shared cultural histories are punctuated with such barbaric illustrations of inequity and mass killings upheld at the time as valid religious conflicts but that are now recognized as extreme indifference and barbarism and denounced as evil acts.
I therefore implore upon you to act swiftly and responsibly by enacting an immediate moratorium on these savage events. Regrettably, until such a time, I feel my only recourse is to promote a boycott of Italy with respect to both tourism and products as well as to encourage friends, family, and members of large online community networks to participate in boycotts as well. Please provide your obligatory duty and responsibility by protecting these animals; your ethical gesture of compassion would serve as an international model of empathy.
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