With the above headline, it’s hard to believe we’re entering the year 2010, right?
For all the world’s modern advancements and enlightenment, it’s shocking to come to grips with the fact that more than 300,000 animals will be sacrificed in Nepal starting tomorrow. The religious ceremony, which happens once every five years, will involve the slaughter of more than 15,000 buffaloes and 300,000 birds, goats and sheep. Supposedly, it’s all done to earn favor with Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power. From the AFP,
Nepal’s government has refused to put a stop to what it says is a centuries-old religious tradition, and has pledged 4.5 million rupees (60,000 dollars) in funding. “People have deep faith in the goddess and they believe that sacrificing animals will bring them good luck and prosperity for their families,” said Tharu. “I don’t think the mood will be spoiled by the animal rights campaigners. They have the right to raise their concerns and we have the right to continue with our age-old tradition.”
Joining animal rights organizations in protest of the sacrifice is French actress Brigitte Bardot. She wrote Nepal’s President earlier this month urging him to put a stop to the festival. “Thousands of terrified buffaloes will have their heads cut off by drunken devotees,” she wrote. “Honorable president, I have dedicated my life to protect animals and the best gift I could receive for this lifelong struggle would be the announcement of the stopping of ritual sacrifice.”