Nepal: activists denounce the slaughter of animals

Previously, the Chamar community consumed the dead buffaloes, but the young members of the community are boycotting the meat this year. Dalit activist Manoj Ram says: “It’s not just about meat, but also about self-respect. Society looks at us in disgust because we eat the remains of sacrificed buffaloes. We want to stop this.

Legend has it that the Gadimai Mela began around 200 years ago when a man sacrificed five drops of his own blood to the goddess for a wish granted. Over the years, people have replaced human blood with helpless animals.

The temple committee refused to budge on the practice despite outrage in Nepal and around the world. “We don’t sacrifice animals – people come from far away with their animals. If they are not able to fulfill their vow, their faith is broken and we cannot have it, ”said Ram Chandra Sah of the temple committee.

The high priest of the Mangal Chaudhary temple adds that it is not necessary to sacrifice animals. “You could just as easily sacrifice a coconut, or offer flowers and candy to the goddess,” he said in an interview with Bloodless Gadhimai campagin.

While activists say the festival has shamed Nepal, the temple is proud to have placed Gadimai on the world map. Worshipers view the festival’s criticism as an attack on Hinduism and accuse Western activists of a double standard so as not to be outraged when millions of turkeys are killed on Thanksgiving. French actress Brigitte Bardot and British actress Joanna Lumley spoke out against it, earning the festival new notoriety and international criticism.

Read also: Death and the goddess: The biggest ritual slaughter in the world

Yet the loudest voices against the bloodshed come from Hindus, themselves who say the holiday is not an ancient tradition and is not deeply rooted in religion. Animal rights activist Pramada Shah says the sacrifices go against religious teachings.

She says, “They are made in the name of religion. But Hinduism does not teach people to torture animals. It is a religious fault, like sati and untouchability, and we must reform it. The Supreme Court’s decision is not enough. We need tougher laws and an effective awareness campaign among the communities that practice it.

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