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Stop the Gadhimai Jatra Festival ever Happening Again

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Actions to take - Updated December 14th 2014

The rest of the page will be updated as soon as possible.

Gadhimai Festival, Animal sacrifice latest Actions

The 2014 Gadhimai festival is now over,  but there are actions you can take to increase awareness, such as Tweet #Gadhimai  to let the world know,  send a message to the Nepalese president and a new a petition included in this link:

After Gadhimai: It Must Never Happen Again:
http://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/after-gadhimai-it-must-never-happen-again/

In Memory Of the Helpless Animals Sacrificed at the Gadhimai Festival.

http://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/in-memory-of-the-helpless-animals-sacrificed-at-the-gadhimai-festival/

Article on this website
The Gadhimai Festival: Why it Must Never Happen Again

Please note some of the references included in this article now no longer exist on line, the articles have either been removed or moved elsewhere.

The article below concerns the 2009 Gadhimai festival, the contents will be updated as soon as possible to include information concerning the 2014 Gadhimai festival

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Mohandas Gandhi

Be a part of the change take action today!

The website Stop Animal Sacrifice is promoting awareness and action against animal sacrifices in Nepal: STOP ANIMAL SACRIFICE IN NEPAL NOW!

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 click the link above and help this campaign by taking whatever action you can.

For ease of reading all quotations appear in a purple font

If you are familiar with the facts concerning this horrific animal sacrifice, the largest of its kind which results in the bloody massacre of thousands of defenceless animals and wish to skip to "Actions You May Take" please click Here

Stop the Gadhimai Jatra Festival Ever Happening Again

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be
measured by the way in which its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi.

Despite protests and campaigns world wide this cruel massacre of thousands of animals took place on November 24th & 25th, 2009. In the run up to the barbaric event free lance Journalist Anthony Dias interviewed Pramada Shah, president of the Animal Welfare Network Nepal and wife of the king's nephew, for the Guardian Newspaper. In the interview she describes the shocking cruelty which takes place at this festival:  

Sacrifice in itself is gruesome. Unsystematic mass sacrifice such as the one in Gadhimai is no less than barbaric. The worst killings are those of panchhbali – five offerings – in which the throats of five kinds of animals (buffaloes, goats, pigs, roosters and rats) are slit with a knife. It is not done quickly. The animals die a slow, extremely cruel, violent death while the priests sprinkle the blood across the idol and its surroundings.

Right after the panchhbali, it is the buffaloes’ turn. Wielding swords, men enter a fenced yard where around 20,000 buffaloes are kept, and start hacking at the buffaloes’ necks. As the killers cannot chop off the buffaloes’ heads at once, they first cut the hind legs. After the animal falls on the ground the men hack until the buffalo’s head is separated from the body. It takes up to twenty five attempts to kill a big buffalo. The suffering is unimaginable.

Please take time to read the complete article:

'The mass sacrifice of animals is barbaric'

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/nov/23/nepal-animal-welfare

The Humane Society International HSI in co operation with their local partners in Nepal, Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre  and AnimalNepal, along with other animal protection groups such as Quaker-concern for animals campaigned tirelessly to stop the festival from taking place.

Read SLAUGHTER AT THE GADHIMAI MELA from the Quaker Concern for Animals website, an extract from which appears below.

On our site, we try to be as positive as possible, believing that such an approach encourages us all to keep working for the animals.

However, we feel we have to make an exception in the case of this ritual slaughter and are posting brief details of what happened this week in Nepal, with three photos, chosen from among many which surely would appal the vast majority of people of all faiths and none.

Also note the comment from a representative of the Hindu academy.

The Hindu Academy fully support the Quakers in getting this practice banned. Hinduism endorses the idea of extending reverence for living things to include the animal kingdom hence such horrific practices go against the central teaching of Hinduism and ALL Hindus should sign petition asking for the Nepalese government to intervene and not allow a repeat of this event in five years time.

Be sure to visit Stop the World's Largest Animal Sacrifice a link to which is also included in the Quaker webpage above where you will find links to a considerable amount of information, also photographs which are very disturbing and heartbreaking, but I can well imagine that there are even worse scenes of this dreadful carnage which is nothing more than an orgy of appalling sickening violence towards helpless creatures.


Shocking photos of this frenzied blood bath of pure barbarism and unfettered cruelty:
occupyforanimals.org/gadhimai-festival-in-nepal.html

 

 

 

 

 

 


A butcher chases an injured buffalo which survived his first attack during a mass sacrifice ceremony at Gadhimai temple in Bariyapur.

It ill becomes us to invoke in our daily prayers the blessings of God, the compassionate, if we in turn will not practice elementary compassion towards our fellow creatures.
Mahatma Gandhi

There is no place in any civilised society or religious belief for such an atrocity which is for the most part fuelled by fear and greed. As you may have read in the Guardian interview above this event is about making money from superstitious dread, the exploitation of people's fears, and most importantly appalling cruelly to defenceless animals. 

Below is an extract which appeared in the Kathmandu Post which includes an appeal by Maneka Gandhi to the people of Nepal to stop killing animals at the Gadhimai Festival, in her appeal she explains how fear is used to turn the festival into a profitable enterprise making it a means of exploiting both humans and animals.

Referring to Maneka Gandhi

A minister in four governments, the Indian politician, animal rights activist, and environmentalist said that this is not a way to honor the goddess, who will be instead be dishonored by the deaths and suffering of the animals. "Priests frighten villagers into believing that terrible things will happen if the goddess is not placated with animal sacrifices," she wrote.

She detailed the ways in which the festival is a profitable enterprise for priests, moneylenders and animal sellers. "The festival is a business, and profit is the motive for killing so many animals. Villagers go into debt to buy the animals to be sacrificed. Debt leads to bankruptcies, and when the small farmers’ lands are confiscated to become the property of large landowners, then the former farmers become day laborers," wrote Gandhi. "The festival exploits both humans and animals."

The above extract from the Kathmandu Post was quoted in The International Daily News Wire Environment News Service where you will find more comments and information concerning the festival by clicking the link below.

Sacrifice of 200,000 Animals Proceeds Despite Pleas, Prayers

This festival must never happen again and we must do all we can in next three months to prevent it from taking place in 2014.

The involvement of the international community is crucial to the campaign’s success. The support of the world at large will act as a catalyst by creating an atmosphere of shame among those who continue to sacrifice innocent creatures and motivate lawmakers to introduce a legal and administrative framework.

The movement is already gaining momentum and will continue to grow after images from the killings fields of Gadhimai are broadcast across the nation and the world. Animals cannot speak for themselves. Until now it has been the priests and business community to speak for them: bring more, kill more animals. It is high time for every concerned citizen to speak out and stop inhumane killings in the name of religion.

Pramada Shah quoted in the above Guardian article

Personally I am shocked as this image of brutality, an anarchism which should no longer be part of any civilised society and is most certainly not in keeping with the image which many people have of Nepal as one of the leading places of spirituality, the birthplace of Buddha. Neither is such barbaric treatment of animals in keeping with the concept that many people in the west have of Hinduism which they equate with vegetarianism, the peaceful actions of Gandhi and the principle of ahimsa, which means non violence to all beings. in fact vegetarianism stemmed from Hinduism. For an explanation of ahimsa visit the Hindu Website : Ahimsa or nonviolence in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism where the extraction below appears

In Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions the concept of non violence is translated into the practice of the following virtues

  • non-injury to all living beings
  • not causing pain and suffering to others including plants and animals.
  • compassion towards all living creatures
  • abstaining from animal and human sacrifices
  • cultivation of forgiveness, universal love and friendliness
  • non-violent reaction to violent thoughts, words and actions.
  • mental and verbal violence towards  self and towards others
  • abstaining from meat eating
  • abstaining from hunting animal fights and similar practices in which animals are subjected to cruelty and suffering.

I rather think that most Hindus condemn this festival as do most of the people of Nepal. Many local people including religious leaders see the festival as barbaric.

Below are quotations from Buddhist and Hindu traditions which clearly show that such cruelty to other living beings is generally not a part of either religion:

Buddhism

"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. Whosoever tries to find happiness through hurting other beings, will not find happiness."
The Buddha Dhammapada 129-131

As a mother even with own life protects her only child, so should one cultivate immeasurable loving-kindness towards all living beings.
The Metta Sutta

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Compassion and living kindness are the hallmarks of achievement and happiness.
The 14th Dalai Lama

There are three ways of killing that we, as Buddhists, have to restrain: either by directly killing, indirectly killing, or rejoicing to see others be killed. Not only does this apply to human life, it should be also extended to all living beings.

Zen Master Thich Thanh Tu Vietnamese Buddhist Monk
Buddhism for Beginners

Hinduism

One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures.

Bhagavad Gita

The concept of harmlessness towards all has been created by Me alone.
Krishna  Bhagavad Gita 10:5

He who injures harmless creatures from a wish to give himself pleasure, never finds happiness in this life or the next.

Manu-samhita 5.45

We need to vigorously protest in order to prevent this atrocity or anything like it occurring again.
 

TAKE ACTION To stop the 2014 festival taking place

Please sign the following three petitions:

Care2

Stop Nepal's Gadhimai festival animal sacrifice
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/436/418/920/stop-nepals-gadhimai-festival-animal-sacrifice/

Compassion in World Farming:
http://action.ciwf.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=119&ea.campaign.id=29144

Stop animal sacrifice Gadhimai Festival Nepal mass animal sacrifice http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-animal-sacrifice-gadhimai-festival-nepal-mass-animal-sacrifice

Please visit the following website

Website promoting awareness and action against animal sacrifices in Nepal: STOP ANIMAL SACRIFICE IN NEPAL NOW!
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 click the link above and help this campaign by taking whatever action you can.

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 this link 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:

http://www.stopanimalsacrifice.org/how_to_help.php

There is a template letter which you may edit and personalise.

More sample letters and addresses including postal:
 

Write to Nepalese government officials

Please write to Nepal's Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and the President of Nepal now to to 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
Singh Durbar
Kathmandu, Nepal

P.O. Box: 23312
Email: info@opmcm.gov.np

Tel: 977-1-4211000
http://www.opmcm.gov.np/en/contact-us-5.html

Minister of Culture, Tourism and civil Aviation

Mr. Bhim Acharya

Honourable Minister Mr. Bhim Acharya
Singha Durbar,
Kathmandu,
Nepal

Tel.: 977-1-4211870, 4211879, 4211607
Fax: 977-1-4211758

E-mail: info@tourism.gov.np, tourismnp@gmail.com
E-mail: tourismnp@tourism.gov.np
Website: www.tourism.gov.np


Ministry of Agricultural and co operatives

Minister Mr Hari Prasad Parajul

Hon Minister Hari Prasad Parajul
Singha Durbar,
Kathmandu,
Nepal


Tel: 977-1-4211000
P.O. Box: 23312
Email: info@opmcm.gov.np  Ministers:http://www.opmcm.gov.np/en/contact-us-5.html

Honourable State Minister for Foreign Affairs

Hon Mahendra Bahadur Pandey
Address: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
Tel: 977-1-4416011, 4416012, 4416013, 4416014, 4416015
Fax: 977-1-4416016

Nepalese President

 

President Ram Baran Yadav

 


http://presidentofnepal.gov.np/Contents/contact.html:

 

I have found the following address for the President here

 

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 minister 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 the local Nepal 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

The above link contains a sample letter which you can send as it is but please edit/ personalise if possible for more effect 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.

Sample Letter from Kinship Circle

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. Please use our letter (below) or write a letter of your own and post or fax it to the officials listed.

You will need to edit, 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 biannually 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.

Sincerely,


FROM KINSHIP CIRCLE: Nepal's government upheld this year's 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.

250,000 ANIMALS BUTCHERED IN NEPAL SACRIFICE « Kinship Circle’s Blog

Important this is old information on this website and the contact address are invalid. See above for current contact details

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

More Information

SNAPSHOTS FROM OBSERVERS
Tue, 24 Nov 2009 / Manoj Gautam, Representative of Roots and Shoots Nepal:
"Thousands of buffaloes were standing in an enclosure when butchers holding
swords started hacking randomly at the animals. Baby buffaloes were bleating
and searching for their mothers. They were hunted down by the men. Needless
to say, not a single animal survived the blood bath..."

Krishna Singh, Programme Manager Animal Nepal: "I visited Gadhimai before
the killing... A baby goat died from a lack of food and water... The baby
buffaloes wanted to be petted. They were scared and needed some comfort."


Bibi Funyal, photographer: "I was assigned to film the festival... In the
beginning butchers were able to cut the heads of buffaloes in one stroke.
Later it took them a long time to severe heads. Buffaloes were mooing -- it
was a terrible sound... I had to step over thousands of bodies and heads and
wade through animal blood. It was something I will never do again..."

Lucia de Vries, Director Animal Nepal, international campaigner: "I am
convinced that these killings are among the worst forms of animal cruelty in
the world. I pray that when the images come out the international community will agree that we have to stop this."

Bibi Funyal, photographer: “I was assigned to film the festival… In the
beginning butchers were able to cut the heads of buffaloes in one stroke.
Later it took them a long time to severe heads. Buffaloes were mooing — it
was a terrible sound… I had to step over thousands of bodies and heads and
wade through animal blood. It was something I will never do again…

A shorter template letter for you to copy or edit from Asia for animals coalition.


http://asiaforanimals.com/coalition-voice/latest-news/item/100-mass-animal-sacrifice-at-nepal-s-gadhimai-festival

 

Please write letters, e-mail and sign the petitions, we must do all we can to prevent this and similar sacrifices of animals ever happening again.

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 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 list of Animal rights groups you may consider writing to, to suggest that they take up a campaign to stop this ever happening again.

Home | PETA.org.uk UK

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): The animal rights organiza USA

PETA India

Viva! - Vegetarians International Voice for Animals uk

Animal Liberation Victoria: Fighting for animal rights

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist 1901–1978

Be a part of the change take action today and for as long as it takes to get such atrocities stopped!

Evil thrives when good men do nothing
Edmund Burke

Not to hurt our humble brethren the animals is our first duty to
them - but to stop there is not enough: we have a higher duty - to be of service to them whenever they require it."

St. Francis of Assisi

Hopefully now that the world is more aware, most likely due to the influence of the internet, there is hope that this event will never again drop into obscurity.

We must never allow this bloody carnage to happen ever again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 How can anyone not have compassion for this animal. Frightened calves watched their mothers slaughtered, before they themselves are killed.

 

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."
Mahatma Gandhi

Why this this festival escaped international attention until 2009 I cannot imagine but lets not allow it to ever fade into obscurity ever again or forget the other festivals involving cruel brutal sacrifice and the daily sacrifice of animals in Nepal and elsewhere. This grotesque festival and others like it must forever be consigned to history where they belong.

Please do all you can to stop animal sacrifice, take action now and continue taking action until it is irradiated for ever.

More information about the  Gadhimai Jatra festival festival

I hope to add more information as I come across it to compile a comprehensive list which I hope may prove useful for anyone wishing to take up this cause or for anyone doubting the barbarity of this massacre for both animals and humans. Note the child watching in the photograph at the top of the page and included in the Quaker Concern for Animals website SLAUGHTER AT THE GADHIMAI MELA. Also of concern is the possibility of the spread of disease such as Bird flu, swine flu, goat plague, TB, food poisoning, see article By Avantika Regmi  further down.

Read the shocking facts about the frequency of animal Sacrifice in Nepal :

Beastly instincts an eye witness account:

Read an Eye witness account of a photographer, Jagdish Aarohi , who wished to take photographs of Nepal's indigenous culture, the atrocities he witnessed at Gadhimai Jatra festival turned him into a "tireless campaigner for the abolishment of animal sacrifice" that is after Jagdish recovered from suffering terrible nightmares

I was not born a campaigner. I was born in Kalaiya, headquarters of Bara, in a vegetarian, quiet, middle-class farming family. I mainly worked as a farmer but enjoyed doing a little bit of social work in my free time. I never thought I would be the one to carry placards and distribute leaflet to devotees at the world’s largest killing fields of sacrificial beasts.

The first thing I witnessed at Gadhimai was the killing of five different kinds of animals as in panchabali: Buffaloes, goats, pigs, roosters and rats. The animals’ throats are slit with a knife. It is not done quickly. The animals die a slow and extremely cruel, violent death while the priests sprinkle the blood across the image of the deity and its surroundings. Legend has it that the longer it takes for the animal to die, the happier the goddess will be.

 

The whole affair stunned and nauseated me. I never knew that such kind of cruelty existed. But the worst was yet to come. Right after the completion of panchabali sacrifice comes the buffaloes’ turn. Drunken slaughterers—they are made to drink as a sane person cannot do such a task—enter the fenced yard where around 20,000 buffaloes are kept. Wielding swords, axe and khukuris, the men start randomly hacking the buffaloes’ necks.

The sword-bearers cannot chop off the buffaloes´ heads at one go because of the thick size of its necks. To make their task easier, the hackers first cut the buffaloes’ hind legs after which the animal falls on the ground. They then start hacking the neck until the head is separated from the body. It takes 20 to 25 swing of the sword to annihilate a big buffalo. The suffering the animals go through is unimaginable.

No sane person can endure such barbaric killings
Extract: Beastly instincts by Jagdish Aarohi

Please read the full account;
MYREPUBLICA.com - News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual  you can add comments which will help influence world wide opinion concerning this atrocity.

Another article from My Republic: Medieval madness in God's name
By Avantika Regmi 

From November 24 onwards, the Gadhimai festival will be held in Bara district. If it weren’t for the outcry in the international media and the reporting by our local media, you might not even have known; festivals such as these up to now are conducted in a quiet manner. The commercial interests of such jatras are enormous and the organizers do not appreciate interference from human or animal activists.

Nepal now has acquired the reputation of catering to and supporting the world’s largest animal sacrifice. Social campaigners are shocked by the fact that the government actually supports the unmonitored, cruel killings by donating Rs 4-5 million to the organizers. Officials from animal and human health departments dread the potential outcomes of the unchecked sacrifices: Bird flu, swine flu, goat plague, TB, food poisoning, et al...

For decades, a lone crusader, Dr Jagdish Arohi, a Bara resident, was the only voice against this medieval madness. He stands with his posters and banners against the sacrifices. This year an anti-sacrifice alliance has been formed between religious groups, social activists and animal welfare organizations, both from Nepal and India.

It’s almost 200 years since the first anti-animal cruelty law was enacted and almost 150 years since India came out with statutes against cruelty to animals. Different Indian states prohibit animal sacrifice, which is why the majority of Gadhimai devotees are in fact Indians who travel to Nepal in order to continue the age-old sacrifice rituals. Gadhimai locally is actually known as ‘Indian Mela.’

Please read the full article:
MYREPUBLICA.com - News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual medieval Madness

The Environment News Service:

Sacrifice of 200,000 Animals Proceeds Despite Pleas, Prayers

KATHMANDU, Nepal, November 22, 2009 (ENS) - Emotional appeals to Nepalese officials by animal advocates from around the world have not persuaded them to call a halt to the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of animals and birds planned for November 24 and 25 at a village in Bara district in southern Nepal.

Every five years, animals and birds are slaughtered in the name of the Hindu deity Gadhimai. The event on the premises of Gadhimai Temple in the village of Bariyapur is believed to be the largest ritual sacrifice anywhere in the world and draws thousands of visitors from India and Nepal.

French actress and animal advocate Brigitte Bardot is one of those who sent a letter to Nepal's President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, who is a Hindu, pleading with him to stop the Gadhimai sacrifice. "I have dedicated my life to protect animals and the best gift I could receive for this lifelong struggle would be the announcement of the stopping of ritual sacrifice of animals," Bardot wrote. "I personally find it hard to imagine that your heart can withstand such cruelty, knowing that you, being the head of the country, are ultimately responsible."

Pramada Shah, director and vice president of Animal Nepal, explains what will happen during the Gadhimai event. "The fair reaches its climax on an 'auspicious' day, when thousands of buffaloes are sacrificed. The blood letting that takes place turns the entire area into a marshy land of blood," she says. "It is expected that this year some 60,000 young he-buffaloes will be killed, as well as an additional 140,000 chicken, goats, pigs, birds and other poultry."

Please read the rest of this article
Sacrifice of 200,000 Animals Proceeds Despite Pleas, Prayers

The Gadhimai Jatra festival, some times referred to as the Gadhimai Mela, (Mela is a sanskrit word meaning fair) is not the only time that animal sacrifice takes place in Nepal. Along with a number of other smaller events it is an everyday occurrance

Palden Dorje Plans to Give Blessings to Pilgrims and to Protest Animal Sacrifice at Ancient Festival

In Nepal, from November 19th to the 24th, 2009 Palden Dorje a.k.a. Ram Bahadur Bomjan (Ram Bomjon) will bless pilgrims at the site of the Gadhi Mai Fair which is likely the largest animal sacrificing festival in the world.

Palden Dorje Plans to Give Blessings to Pilgrims and to Protest Animal Sacrifi

Comments from Internet bloggers:

Animal Rights Blog

Gadhimai Mela: Nepalese religious slaughter

Every five years, a religious festival takes place in the Bara district of south-west Nepal in which hundreds of thousands of fully-conscious animals are hacked to pieces by drunken men. It is partially funded by the government of Nepal - the fair brings in tourists and money. The festival is done to “honor” a goddess who represents motherhood (including of nonhuman animals), a deity who is supposed to help release worshippers from sin, anger, desire, stupidity. It is interesting that a group of male priests decided that the best way to worship the essence of motherhood is through the brutal killing of her children.

Blogging about this isn’t easy. Nepal is far away, there are injustices perpetrated against animals in our own backyard. Still, it is hard not to imagine the terror and fear these animals experience. It is no different than what any animal experiences, no matter their location. I just cannot get out of my head the vision of drunken humans bearing down upon frightened, screaming buffaloes, goats, pigs, chickens, rats, pigeons…hacking, tearing, covering themselves in the blood and excrement of dying animals. It breaks my heart.

A thought provoking article worth reading
Gadhimai Mela: Nepalese religious slaughter | Animal Rights Blog

What happens at Gadhimai? Karmadorge's blog

Statements by Gadhimai Campaigners and Other Observers

Manoj Gautam, Representative of Roots and Shoots Nepal : ‘I am in total shock after watching the killing of the buffaloes. I have no words to describe the scene. Thousands of buffaloes were standing in an enclosure when butchers holding swords started hacking randomly at the animals. No one was holding the buffaloes – many tried to escape. Baby buffaloes were bleating and searching for their mothers. Soon they were walking around in a pool of blood. They were hunted down by the men. Needless to say, not a single animal survived the blood bath. In fact, some animals had already died before the sacrifice from the transport and the lack of food and water. They were left in the same spot with the living ones. It was a scene I will never be able to forget. Now I just want to go home and wait for the courage to continue our campaign.’

Read more by clicking the link below to Karmadorge's blog

What happens at Gadhimai? « Karmadorje’s Blog this link is no longer active the blog has been removed.


I would like to quote some excellent advice from Karmadorje’s Blog :

This morning I sent an e-mail to Nepal’s Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal. info@opmcm.gov.np I will write to him or his successor every week until he & his government bans animal sacrifice at Gadhimai Festival & hopefully, animal sacrifice in Nepal. That will be a total of 260 e-mails until the next Gadhimai Festival is due to occur. If 10 people sent a weekly e-mail, Nepal’s Prime Minister would receive 2,600 e-mails a year about Gadhimai. You see where I am going?

The Government of Nepal expects a public outcry in the lead up to Gadhimai, but I imagine they also expect interest to die down after the festival is over. Let’s make the topic an itchy boil that never quite goes away. Collectively we have the power to change things for the better. However, there needs to be enough of us involved to create this change.

Be a part of the change take action today!

Animals cannot speak for themselves. Until now, it has been the priests speaking for them: Bring more, kill more animals. Few seem to realize that the Gadhimai organizers plan to raise millions through tenders and beheading fees. Animal sacrifice is a big business. For how long will we remain mute and let this inhuman killings in the name of religion continue?
Jagdish Aarohi

Be a part of the change take action today and for as long as it takes to get such atrocities stopped!

To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to the protection by man from the cruelty of man.
Mahatma Gandhi

More links to articles and other comments concerning the 2009 festival:

Below are quotations from various media around the world, blogs, websites and other comments concerning the festival both prior, during and after the event. We must do all we can to keep the momentum going and bring an end once and for all the Gadhimai Massacre and other animal sacrifice. 

Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals begins

Cheers and protests as thousands of buffalo are decapitated at start of festival in Nepal honouring Hindu goddess Gadhimai
 

In the main event, 250 appointed residents with traditional kukri knives began their task of decapitating more than 10,000 buffalo in a dusty enclosure guarded by high walls and armed police.

Frightened calves galloped around in vain as the men, wearing red bandanas and armbands, pursued them and chopped off their heads. Banned from entering the animal pen, hundreds of visitors scrambled up the three-metre walls to catch a glimpse of the carnage.

Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals begins | World news | guardian.co.uk

Comite' Canda Tibet

Buddha Boy to fight for animal rights

The locals go by legend to believe that animal sacrifice helps them get rid of desires, anger and stupidity. They believe that they are
invoking goddess Gadhimai to liberate them from sins. But, Geshe Ngima Tamang, coordinator of the Namo Buddha Tapoban Conservation and Promotion Committee does not believe in the sacrifice as liberating one from the sins. Instead, the murder, violence and animal sacrifice will only jeopardise peace process in the country, he argues.

The belief that the divine blessings can be achieved through animal sacrifice is a mirage. It goes against the very fact that all living beings are a creation of the god," he argues, appealing
all to refrain from killings or harming the animals.

Canada Tibet Committee | Newsroom | WTN

Crossborder campaign against Gadhimai butchering
AKANSHYA SHAH

“It is ironical that such practices have been stopped in India, but in our own Land of Buddha, people are taking to violence in such cold-blooded manner in the name of religion,” Dr Govinda Tandon, a culture expert and former member of the Pashupati Area Development Trust said.

He added, “The festival is baseless too as it started when a priest dreamt of the Goddess asking for sacrifice.”

In the carnival, which is observed every five years, over 350,000 animals, mainly buffalos, piglets, chickens, rats, goats, baby goats, roosters, and pigeons, are to be sacrificed to please the deity Gadhimai.

MYREPUBLICA.com - News in Nepal: Fast, Full & Factual article world animal day

Animal sacrifice is more wide spread that you may think

Comments  about the Gadhimai festival and conflict with Indonesian government over Bali Hindu proposal to sacrifice endangered turtles

Hindu mass animal sacrifices to Gadhimai, goddess of power

The Hindus on the Indonesian resort island of Bali are in conflict with the Indonesian government over their desire to sacrifice endangered sea turtles during their religious ceremonies. The Associated Press reports Bali Hindu leader Ngurah Sudiana complaining, "The central government should understand the need for green turtles as part of traditional ceremonies because it relates to our faith. Prohibiting it will hurt Balinese people." Sudiana did not say how saving endangered green turtles from slaughter for religious faith/superstition will hurt the Balinese people.


When asked about the cruelty to the animals who are slaughtered in a painful and terrorized way, one Hindu attempted to justify it simply because it is tradition. He also added, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled.

Hindu mass animal sacrifices to Gadhimai, goddess of power

Activist Upset Gadhimai Sacrifice

By Krishna Mani Baral

I have no words to describe the scene. Thousands of buffaloes were standing in an enclosure when butchers holding swords started hacking randomly at the animals. No one was holding the buffaloes – many tried to escape. Baby buffaloes were bleating and searching for their mothers. Soon they were walking around in a pool of blood. They were hunted down by the men. Needless to say, not a single animal survived the blood bath.

It was a scene I will never be able to forget. Now I just want to go home and wait for the courage to continue our campaign.’ Roots and Shoots representative Gautam said. Let stop sacrificing animal in the name of god

 

Extract from Animal Rights Nepal, pleaser read full article
Animal Rights Nepal » Activist Upset Gadhimai Sacrifice

Nepalese butchers laud mass animal sacrifice

By Deepesh Shrestha (AFP) – Nov 25, 2009

BARIYAPUR, Nepal — Kabir Jung Rana is a Nepalese bank clerk by profession, but this week he took a break to butcher buffalo at the world's biggest animal sacrifice.

Worshippers travelled long distances, many coming from neighbouring India, to attend the Gadhimai festival which is held every five years in southern Nepal to appease the Hindu goddess of power.

"It is not an easy task to kill the animals but once I entered the slaughtering field with my sword I felt blessed with some kind of divine power and that kept me going," Rana told AFP after the two-day event ended on Wednesday.

"I slaughtered around 20 buffalo in 2004. This time I managed to behead about 70. I wish the sacrifice has not ended."
 

Please read the rest of this article:

I cannot understand such a shocking mentality, to consider that butchering gentle creatures has anything to do with spirituality is nothing short of insanity!

AFP: Nepalese butchers laud mass animal sacrifice - link no longer available

For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.
Pythagoras, mathematician

Now please read the article on this website The Gadhimai Festival: Why it Must Never Happen Again

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I am not an animal expert of any kind just your average person who loves animals, all animals, and feels deeply about the plight of many of our fellow creatures. Neither am I a writer, or any other expert. Therefore please keep in mind that the information included in this website has been researched to the best of my ability and any misinformation is quite by accident but of course possible.

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