Kindness to Animals
There cannot be kindness to animals without refraining from eating their flesh. Eating animal flesh, it is common knowledge, helps and encourages the slaughter of animals. Eating one or a few types of animals is as bad as eating any animal. No human dies of not eating animal flesh. No human weakens physically or mentally by not eating animal flesh.
No mental or spiritual advancement is ever possible with the guilt of encouraging the slaughter of animals lingering in one’s mind. Kindness towards one animal, and eating the flesh of another, does not make any sense. Who are we fooling but ourselves?
Will flesh-eaters ever realize the violence that is ingrained in them? Observe them with care – cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chicken and fish are as innocent and lovable as your own pet. Eating their flesh is as bad as eating your pet’s flesh. Why do you wash the blood off when preparing the flesh you eat? Isn’t it a waste? Why not make a drink out of it.
When your mother ceased having milk to feed you, it was cow’s milk that you had to grow and live. You grow up and begin to eat its flesh. Is that your form of gratitude for your substitute “mother”?
No sensible person should respect flesh-eaters. They support killing. How can anyone respect killers? They cannot hope to get the respect even from animals. Eating animals flesh, how can they expect respect from animals – they are worse than animals.
If animals can talk, “don’t kill us” will be the first words they will utter. Their first question will be “why do you eat our flesh?” – We don’t eat yours!
An end to inhumane cattle slaughter
Recently, one of the Sinhala dailies, reported an inhuman act performed on a cattle that had met with a train accident. A Buddhist monk and some villagers, treated this innocent animal with the help of a veterinary surgeon. He was fast recovering. One morning, they found, someone had mercilessly removed a hind leg and the animal was in a pool of blood, in severe pain.
In the Indo-Aryan culture, cattle occupy a very significant place. The cow is like a mother. The bull and the buffalo provide bread and butter to all of us. We consume her milk daily. Cattle are so close to our day-to-day life and they serve us in numerous ways.
According to some statistics, about 1,500-2,000 cattle are inhumanely slaughtered daily, in Sri Lanka. Specially, as Buddhists, who are a majority in Sri Lanka, we utter the Five Precepts daily, but, should we not ask ourselves, whether, we truly, observe the First Precept, which is to abstain from killing.
It is very unfortunate, in the Dharmadvipa, cattle are slaughtered and tortured in a very inhuman manner. It is a horrible, horrendous sight to watch. This is a sight you will never ever want to witness.
If you see how these innocent animals are slaughtered the suffering that they undergo, you will never eat meat. Unfortunately, I saw this horrible sight. Some butchers, do not spare even pregnant cows.
In many of the foreign countries cattle are killed in a humane way. They tranquillize the animal so that the poor animal will not feel the pain of death. Some methods they adopt are (a) Using captive bolt pistol. (b) Stunning electrically.
If Sri Lankans cannot abstain from beef eating, it is proper, they use some kind of drug or injection, so that the poor animal will not suffer the pain of death. It would be far better, if we can totally give up eating beef, which will bring much relief to an animal that has befriended man throughout life.
In Sri Lanka, cattle are transported in Lorries and trains to slaughter houses. Most of these innocent animals come from the Dry Zone. They are not fed for days before they face the « Guillotine ».
Like our Public Transport system, the cattle are transported jam-packed. In transit, the weak fall down, some are trampled to death. In the slaughter house, the year of death, surrounds them. They keep their heads down. They hear the screams, long piercing cry of fear of the cattle, which are mercilessly slaughtered ahead of them.
They pass loose motions and urinate, when they are taken to the slaughter house. It is a concrete floor. Iron rings are embedded into it. The animal is pulled towards the ring. His head, virtually touches the floor. Verbally, they cannot express their feelings or sentiments. Tears flow, blood and mucus is spread all over.
They tie the four feet of the animal with a lasso. Then they pull the animal up and down.
Then the animal loses his balance. He falls on the concrete floor. It groans for life, fear of death and the tongue protrudes out. The men who handle the gruesome act, tighten the animal’s legs into one bundle.
Helpless, the poor animal, lying on the ground, the neck turned up and with a sharp knife, the « Air Passage is severed. Added to all these, the butchers enjoy themselves in performing this cruel act.
A story from Cambodian Folk-lore
According to a Cambodian Folk-lore, the cattle and buffalo are of Divine origin. The story goes this way:
Once the Chief God, sent his Emissary to Earth and got him to tell the people that the Chief God will ensure one square meal in three days, at least. The God who came to Earth as Emissary, forgot the Message and told the people, that the Chief God will guarantee three square meals a day to humans.
When the Emissary God, returned to Heaven and reported the message he delivered the Chief of Gods was furious.
He said « you foolish Emissary, I promised a square meal at least once in three days. Now, you have promised three square meals a day. You go back to Earth and be re-born as a buffalo and correct the mistake you made.
Sri Lanka is known as the « Dharmadvipa ». We must all get together and put a stop to this inhuman slaughtering of cattle in Sri Lanka.
It is heartening to note that President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has instructed to stop the slaughter of cattle during the Vesak Week. This is undoubtedly, quite a salutary gesture. In the wake of the President’s decree, I earnestly hope that parliamentarians will agitate to bring legislation to stop this inhuman slaughter of cattle in Sri Lanka.
For such an agitation, the ideal timeframe is this Vesak season. During this Holy season, we celebrate the three auspicious events linked with the Life of Prince Siddhartha, and the supremely Enlightened Buddha.
In winding up this article, I wish to mention a story in brief.
Once a mature bull, was advising the cattle. The Bull said « Men are the real Bulls. The only difference is they do not have horns like us. But luckily for us, they do not eat grass. Much worse, they eat beef!