Art By: Aasha Poudel
“I am a living being and I am afraid of dying. Moreover, I am afraid of dying a cruel death.”
We all find it painful and unjustifiable when someone dies a cruel and unfortunate death, be it as a result of murder or an accident. If so, why can’t we understand the pain that animals face when they are killed?
This shows that humans are yet to mature, yet to develop a reasonable amount of common sense!
Animals are also living beings and they also feel pain. But the majority of people are closing their eyes to the way the animals are treated in the name of social beliefs. They are speechless when it comes to animal abuse and sacrifice.
Many animals are sacrificed during festivals in the name of God. Nepal, being a country rich in religion and culture, celebrates many festivals, the majority of which are accompanied by animal sacrifice. If we look at the data, every five years half a million of animals are sacrificed or beheaded in a mass slaughter in Nepal, popularly known as Ghadhimai Jatra (source: theguardian.com). More than 100,000 animals were beheaded in the Gadhimai festival of 2014. The worshippers believe that making sacrifices will please Gadhimai, the Hindu Goddess of power, bringing them luck and prosperity. There are also festivals that demand sacrificing an animal in a cruel way. Festivals like Khokana Jatra, which is held every August in Nepal, demands a young female goat be thrown into a pound where it is attacked, bitten and torn apart by a group of young men while it is still alive. Animal sacrifices have been continuing despite many campaigns and petitions launched against it.
I believe the main reasons for such sacrifices are superstitious beliefs that the majority of conventional people in Nepal embrace. Many people offer sacrifices to God for their bright life and future. Moreover, the man who kills most of the animals, either goats or male buffaloes, is considered a “hero.” Similarly, whenever they are in a difficult situation they immediately pray to God and offer sacrifices. The worshippers are afraid of the almighty God and hence they turn blind eyes towards the pain the animals go through as a result of such sacrifices. They only think about themselves, their prosperity and their beliefs towards God. This is selfish!
Devotees with happy faces covered in blood, animals roaring in panic and pain, some drinking the blood from the headless—such sights are unimaginable as well as unbearable.
Although there are many organizations involved in protests against such crimes, they haven’t been able to stop mass slaughter. However, they have been successful in reducing the number of animals that are sacrificed. Organizations like Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Nepal (SPCAN) and Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) are continuously formulating many plans and policies to stop such slaughter and the cruel killing of animals.
Such vicious and cruel ways of killing animals should be stopped. Slaughtering animals in the name of religion and festivals should be banned. Festivals should be celebrated with joy with family members, friends and our loved ones, not by slaughtering innocent animals.
Protest against the Khokana animal sacrifice that is going to take place this August.