It’s been called cruel, but it hasn’t been successfully stopped. Hindu worshippers in Nepal have taken to a small village called Bariyapur (close to the Indian border) where they have been slaying thousands of animals as a religious massacre during the festival of Gadhimai. The religious belief behind the mass animal slaughter is to honour the Hindu goddess of power.
Apparently, how it works is that the worshippers obey a few rituals and then start sacrificing the animals. Some of the animals that have been sacrificed include buffalo as well as other animals. To start the mass slaughter, a pigeon, goat, rat, pig and chicken were killed. Although animal activists, horrified by the event, have tried to stop this mass slaughter from happening, they have been unsuccessful. Organizers of the event will not undertake any actions to end the suffering of these animals.
After the killings have been conducted, trails of animals’ blood can be seen on temple grounds and heads of buffalo are usually thrown into a large pit in the ground. As for the flesh of other animals such as the goats or chickens, the meat is given to villagers who want it. Animal hides can be given to contractors who will make use of them.
The irate animal activists, such as those from the Animal Welfare Network Nepal, have claimed that temple authorities have been making money off people’s religious beliefs. In fact, it has been said that some priests will make people believe that they will have their desires granted if they offer an expensive animal to the festival.
In 2009, approximately 300,000 animals were killed during the festival, which has made it the world’s largest sacrifice of animals in one location. A campaign has been established to ban this festival, which has gained support from celebrities, including British actress Joanna Lumley.
The Asia for Animals (AfA) Coalition has written to the Nepalese government as well as international embassies to try to put a stop to this festival that allows the merciless killing of innocent animals.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons