Kathmandu, October 7, 2010 – Today the goddess Kali demonstrated a group of fifty devotees how to sacrifice in a Symbolic Puja at Dakchhinkali Temple. “I do not need animal blood. I am happy with fruits and vegetables so please offer me vegetarian sacrifices,” the blue-tongued goddess said before slashing a pumpkin into half.
The devotees followed the fierce looking goddess Kali (played by actor Durga from Shilpee Theater) in sacrificing kubindos and coconuts, in a ritual that according to the campaigners has a firm basis in the country’s ancient traditions.
The puja was organized by AWNN as part of a novel campaign against animal sacrifices that take place during Dasain festival.
Earlier this year AWNN launched a 5-year campaign against animal sacrifice and cruel sports. The homegrown movement was born during Gadhimai festival which saw the killing of some 200,000 animals in the span of 24 hours in November 2009. The campaign is supported by a growing number of spiritual and society leaders, including the well known comedian duo MAHA.
The network is requesting the President, Prime Minister, army and police to cancel state funded animal sacrifices during Dasain. “Nepal is the world’s key implementers of animal sacrifice, a practice that promotes superstition and violence, drains the poor and prevents Nepal from becoming a truly advanced country. Decapitating a bleating buffalo or goat should not be the symbol of the Nepali civilization,” AWNN urges.
AWNN also argues that a vegetarian diet improves people’s health and helps to save the planet. It is believed that 90% of random meat samples in Kathmandu are contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella. As a result, the majority of typhoid cases in city dwellers are caused by infected meat.