Finally Gadhimai temple bans mass animal slaughter
It is a victorious day for the activists as Nepali temple authorities stated Tuesday they would end a centuries-old Hindu practice of mass animal massacre that brings in numerous countless worshipers. The festival which is celebrated every 5 years, sees crowds of devotees from Nepal and India flock to a temple in the Himalayan nation’s southern plains to give up countless animals in the hope of appeasing the Hindu goddess of power, Gadhimai.
“We have actually chosen to entirely stop the practice of animal sacrifice,” stated Motilal Prasad, secretary of the Gadhimai Temple Trust, which organizes the celebrations.
“I understood that animals are a lot like us, they have the same organs as us and feel the same pain we do,” Prasad told AFP.
The practice of animal sacrifice at Gadhimai has a long history in Nepal, with followers offering buffaloes and goats to gods throughout significant celebrations in the hope of finding health and joy. Some 2.5 million worshipers sacrificed an estimated 200,000 animals throughout the most recent celebration of the Gadhimai festival held last November in the town of Bariyapur near the Indian border.
“It will not be easy to end a 400-year-old customized but we have 4 years to convince people that they don’t have to give up animals to kindly the goddess,” Prasad said.
Animal rights protestors applauded the choice, which came after years passed lobbying temple authorities and the Nepal government in a campaign that drew in support from celebrities including British actress Joanna Lumley and French film legend Brigitte Bardot.
“It has been a long effort, we took a firm stand and it has finally worked,” stated Manoj Gautam, president of Animal Nepal Welfare Network.
“We realize that people have been victimized by superstitious notion so constructing mass awareness is vital, but I am really enthusiastic that we will certainly see a bloodless celebration in 2019,” Gautam informed AFP.
According to legend, the first sacrifices in Bariyapur were performed numerous centuries ago when Gadhimai appeared to a prisoner in a dream and asked him to develop a temple to her. When he awoke, his shackles had fallen open and he had the ability to leave the prison and construct the temple, where he compromised animals to provide thanks.