All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.
All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill.
Buddha Dhammapada 54
This November in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha who taught non violence towards all beings, thousands of animals will be slaughtered in the most horrific manner imaginable as part of a ritualistic mass sacrifice. The Gadhimai Festival takes place every five years and is probably the world’s largest mass public slaughter in the name of religion. About 5 million people participate in this hideous festival of barbarity.
Watch the film below. Please be aware it contains violent scenes of appalling cruelty towards animals who are mercilessly sacrificed not only in the name of religion, but also in the name of superstition, fear and profit. It is estimated that during the last festival in 2009 as much as two million Euros was made from killing the animals, which were given freely by poor people who paid an exorbitant price to purchase the animals to offer as sacrifices. Than further money was accrued when the savaged brutalised remains of these unfortunate creatures was sold by religious leaders to meat and hide companies. Many people will spend up to two months wages to buy an animal for sacrifice, after being told by these unscrupulous priests that they must appease the Goddess if they wish to avoid bad luck, or conversely to receive good fortune, relief from ill-health and suchlike.
Believe me the cruelty is shocking. Much worse than you see in the film.
Also note the involvement of children:
For more details see my article written after the 2009 Gadhimai festival:
More information and shocking photos of this frenzied blood bath of pure barbarism and unfettered cruelty and insanity :
How the hell can any sane rational person commit such violence, so much suffering to innocent creatures, who not knowing what is about to befall them stand peacefully by.
This year in November 2014 this hideous festival will take place once again and thousands of animals will be brutally slaughtered.
This festival of sickening violence towards defenceless animals has to be stopped.
This is not religion, this is not Hinduism – you can read quotes from Hindu Scripture in my article mentioned earlier as you will read there is no place for such brutality in Hinduism – this is appalling and barbaric cruelty, this is superstitious fear exploited by greedy people who will make money from the misery and fear of both human and non human animals as a result of this festival.
Actions you can take
There is a considerable number of suggested actions for you to take, please do not feel overwhelmed just do what you can.
Firstly please sign the following petitions:
Please visit the following website
The following is a website promoting awareness and action against animal sacrifices in Nepal: Stop Animal Sacrifice http://www.stopanimalsacrifice.org/
The “Stop Animal Sacrifice Campaign” is a 5-year campaign conducted by the Animal Network Nepal aimed at phasing out animal sacrifice in Nepal and the region. Please help this campaign by taking whatever action you can.
Write to Nepalese government officials
Please read the information below and write now to Nepalese government officials, and tell them of your shock that the festival was allowed to continue in 2009, and ask that they intervene and not allow a repeat of this event in November 2014.
Click the link below to e-mail letters to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and to the Ministry of Agriculture Development, Department of Agriculture and The Ministry of Agricultural Development Department of Livestock Services:
There are template letters included which you may edit and personalise.
Further down you will find further template letters
Please write to Nepal’s Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and the President of Nepal and other officials now – preparations for this festival are already in progress – ask that they use their influence to stop slaughtering animals at the 2014 festival and adopt a more peaceful alternative. One suggestion has been to substitute fruit and vegetables.
Prime minister Nepal Sushil Koirala
Rt. Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Sushil Koirala
Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers
P.O. Box: 23312
Minister of Culture, Tourism and civil Aviation
Mr. Bhim Acharya
Honourable Minister Mr. Bhim Acharya
Tel.: 977-1-4211870, 4211879, 4211607
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Agricultural and co operatives
Minister Mr Hari Prasad Parajul
Hon Minister Hari Prasad Parajul
P.O. Box: 23312
Email: email@example.com Ministers:
Honourable State Minister for Foreign Affairs
Hon Mahendra Bahadur Pandey
Address: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
Tel: 977-1-4416011, 4416012, 4416013, 4416014, 4416015
President Ram Baran Yadav
Right Honarable President Dr Ram Baran Yadav
Office of the President
Sheetal Niwas, Kathmandu
Fax no ++ 977 – 1 – 4416495
If you have the time please at least write a letter to President Ram Baran Yadav and also to the prime minister and other ministers listed above as I personally consider that a letter is more effective and more likely to be read.
However, e-mail or letter all are helpful ways to let the Nepalese Government know how you feel about this cruel festival. An event that should be consigned to history along with all the other barbarous acts perpetrated upon all animals the world over down through the centuries, including present day factory farming and other atrocities.
Also contact your local Nepalese embassy or consulate in your country:
You can find a whole list of other contacts here:
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10202424350983491&id=152547194813334 includes sample letter.
A selection of sample letters
The above facebook link contains a sample letter which you can send as it is but for more effect please edit/personalise if possible using your own words. But if for some reason you can’t do this please just send it as it is.
You may be angry and outraged as am I, but please try to be courteous in your correspondence. In my experience insults and abusive language only impedes amicable progress.
Below is a another sample letter from the in Kinship Circle’s blog: 11/30/09: How Could They? 250,000 Animals Butchered Alive In Nepal Sacrifice. This was written just after the 2009 festival took place.
“From Kinship Circle:
Nepal’s government upheld the ( 2009) Gadhimai Jatra mass animal sacrifice, despite strong global protest. On Nov. 24-25, some 250,000 animals were mutilated and beheaded in what may be the world’s largest religious slaughter. We’ve modified our pre-festival sample letter and urge everyone to send comments. This grotesque butchery must end.
The animals and our humanity are the losers following this despicable sacrifice. Scenes such as these defy belief and lead to both despair and anger. Please channel this anger into positive action. Please write to the government of Nepal once more to express your horror and despair at this suffering. Please join the many thousands of compassionate voices from within Nepal and internationally calling for a end to the sacrifices. For the sake of the animals, please be their voice.”
Sample Letter from Kinship Circle
(You will need to edit if possible, this is just an example to give you a few ideas. It refers to the festival of 2009. Note the festival occurs every five years not semi-annually as the letter states.)
Honourable Prime Minister and Officials of Nepal:
I am stunned by the magnitude of cruelty in the semi-annual Gadhimai Jatra festival in Bara, Nepal. Fields fill with blood as sword-bearing butchers casually hack apart baby buffalo and their elders. How can Nepal justify the mutilation of hundreds of thousands of goats, buffalo, pigs, chickens, rats and pigeons as “sacrifice” to the Hindu goddess of power, Gadhimai?
The Gadhimai alienates potential tourists, like myself, who object to the senseless brutalization of animals. Furthermore, it desensitizes your own children, teaching them to ignore suffering and celebrate violence.
Please ban all blood festivals. I urge the Nepalese government to enforce stronger animal protection laws that shield animals from all forms of abuse, including grotesque rituals such as the Gadhimai Fair.
The November 24-25, 2009 festival didn’t fail to repulse any human with a conscience. One filmmaker noted that the butchers killed in a frenzy, unable to sever heads quickly. “Baby buffalo searched for mothers. One touched my tripod. That was when I felt I’d pass out if I continued filming. When I left, I had to step over bodies and heads and wade through animal blood…”
As you know, the two-day contest involves men armed with knives who vie to slaughter the most animals. Contestants are awarded a fee for each kill.
Death does not come quickly. Based on the “panchhbali” (five offerings),
competitors slit the throats of five different species. Buffalo take so long
to die that men cut them apart, starting with their back legs.
I am shocked that Nepalese officials not only allow this festival, but also
pay to confine animals before it begins. Religious leaders themselves have
proposed fruits and vegetables in place of animal sacrifice. I respectfully
ask you to embrace this nonviolent option and/or do everything within your
power to permanently cancel the Gadhimai festival.
Different cultures may not understand each other’s customs, but all humans
comprehend cruelty. The world recognizes the Gadhimai Jatra as outright
animal torture. It’s time that Nepal’s government does too.
Kinship Circle’s Blog: http://kinshipcircle.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/250000-animals-butchered-in-nepal-sacrifice/
Important this is old information on Kinship Circle’s blog and the contact address are invalid. See above for the current contact details of Nepal’s government officials.
A shorter template letter for you to copy or edit from Asia for Animals Coalition:
Please try to use your own words as much as possible the idea of sample letters is to highlight points. But if you really cannot write letters, not all of us can, just copy and paste into your e-mail or word processor if you are sending a letter. Whatever you write even if it is simply a passionate plea of only a few sentences for the festival to never happen again and to ban all animal sacrifices, it will reflect world-wide opinion and the more of us who write persistently the more hope there is that things will change. We have to keep up the momentum, now that this dreadful festival and the daily sacrifice of animals in Nepal has finally received international attention we must never allow it to fade into obscurity.
Write to animal rights/welfare organisations
It may also be helpful to write to other animal rights and animal welfare groups to ask them to get involved, for as far as I am aware only the groups mentioned above and in my article appear to have much information or took much action against this event. I think this is due to the fact that for reasons I cannot understand this festival and its horrendous agenda has somehow escaped international notice. Prior to the festival I had never heard of it despite my having read many books about the culture of Nepal and nearby Himalayan countries.
Here is a short list of Animal rights/welfare groups you may consider contacting to suggest that they take up a campaign to stop this ever happening again.
Be sure to contact PETA India –http://www.petaindia.com/ –
Viva! – Vegetarians International Voice for Animals UK http://www.viva.org.uk/
Animal Liberation Victoria: Fighting for animal rights http://www.alv.org.au/
The Gadhimai massacre is certainly the world’s most shocking example of animal cruelty, but lets not forget factory farming and the slaughter of about 1,5 billion animals each year when such vile atrocities take place such as tiny male chicks being put through a grinder alive, or chickens arriving at the scolding tank fully conscious to be scolded alive after being improperly stunned or cows hung upside down to have their throats cut having also not been rendered unconscious.Factory farming and the mass slaughter of animals of course continues relentlessly.
Bringing about the cessation of factory farming and the horrendous and inhumane slaughter in the abattoir away from human gaze, which is no less barbaric, is unlikely to end in the forseeable future, but we do have an opportunity to at least bring an end to the Gadhimai festival and save thousands of animals from shocking suffering.
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world. (and) I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”
Some of the above information and more is included in the following webpages on my website: