Kathmandu, May 25, 2010 – The Animal Welfare Network Nepal (AWNN) requests temples and clans which sacrifice animals during on Buddha’s birthday to make vegetarian offerings instead. Buddha Jyanti this year will be celebrated on May 27. 

According to AWNN, animal sacrifices  are common during Buddha Jyanti. Different clans on this day celebrate their annual kul puja, or community worship, while in different temples the practice of animal sacrifice continues as usual.  “Killing innocent beings on the day when Buddha’s birthday is being celebrated in Nepal makes the sacrifices even more controversial,” argues AWNN.

The seven animal welfare organizations coordinated by AWNN argue that on Buddha’s birthday alternative sacrifice rituals will be welcomed by Buddhists and Hindus who oppose animal sacrifice. “We trust priests and clan committees do not want to hurt the sentiments of their countrymen and fellow clan members,” AWNN says.

AWNN earlier this year launched a 5-year campaign against blood sacrifices and cruel sports. The network already requested the army and police to abolish state-funded animal sacrifices.

AWNN targets various clan sacrifices, which according to campaign coordinator Mahesh Sharma ‘have become controversial at this modern time and age as many clan members are in fact against blood sacrifices’. Sharma argues that clan pujas should be a harmonizing, enjoyable experience for all members, including children. “Abolishing animal sacrifices and introducing alternative sacrifice rituals using fruits and vegetables will re-establish kul pujas as important, fun and positive experiences.” …

According to the campaigners, animal sacrifices harm society as a whole as it signals and normalizes insensitivity in children who can become numb to the suffering of living beings, and it is also known to influence certain people to commit violence on other humans. “Now that the armed conflict has ended, Nepal needs peaceful practices that educate the next generation for a harmonious society,” AWNN argues.

For more information:

Pramada Shah, President.

Mahesh Sharma, Campaign Coordinator.

www.animalnepal.org     amir