|Animal Sacrifice is not part of Hinduism
|Animal Sacrifice is not part of Hinduism
by Mohan Shenoy.
| Animal sacrifice is not part of true Hinduism. The news report ‘Nepal Hosts biggest animal bloodbath’ (Newspaper
dated 25-11-2009) is also not a correct statement. The animal bloodbath that takes place during the Haj in Saudi
Arabia is the biggest in the world and more than a million animals are sacrificed there in a short period of time.
Whether in the name of Islam or Hindu, or any other religion, the practice of sacrificing animals to appease gods is not
acceptable to the modern mind.
Compared to the ghastly manner in which these sacrificial animals are killed, the method followed by the slaughter
houses in advanced countries is certainly more humane. The animals are stunned and then killed for their meat etc.
Only a governement can put a stop to this kind of cruelty as shown in the picture accompanying the report.
It is bewildering to know that this practice is being followed in the name of Hinduism. Similar practices are routinely
seen in many places in India albeit not at the scale mentioned in the report.
Superstition is the bete noire of wisdom and only knowledge and wisdom can erase these minds of superstition.
Other than the religious objective, the practice of slaughtering animals in these fairs may have some other motive.
There may be monetary gain for the authorities of the religious shrine following the sacrifice. There may be demand for
the carcasses of these sacrificed animals, the sale of which fetches a big bundle of money.
A big question is about killing animals for food. Animals all over the world are killed for food. The people who live on
the coast harvest fish from the seas and oceans every day for food. Cattle are reared and fattened in large numbers in
most of the developed countries of the world for meat. Thousands of goats and sheep are slaughtered in sacrifice
every day to appease Allah, in Medina, Saudi Arabia, and then their carcasses are processed for their meat. Birds
such as the chicken are killed in very large numbers every day in all countries. Hundreds of ways to cook chicken,
lamb, mutton, beef, and fish are described in literature.
Each country has its own manner of cooking non-vegetarian food, just as they have for vegetarian food. If this is the
story then where is the need to discuss the question of killing animals for food? In India the Jains consider it cruel to
hurt any animal, let alone kill it for food. A large percentage of Hindus also think on the same lines and detest killing
animals for food. Especially Braahmins and Veerashaiva(s) (followers of Lord Basavanna) do not eat meat, fish, or
foul. There is no doubt that killing animals for food is cruel. But those who eat non-vegetarian food claim that animals
are created for the human beings to eat. They also claim that if animals are not killed for food then there will not be
enough vegetarian food for every one. Those Hindus who eat meat, fish or foul claim that they do not kill the animals
themselves, and so the term cruel cannot be applied to them. They are not animal-killers; they are only animal eaters.
For the parents there is a choice to either introduce their children to non-vegetarian food or not. In view of the cruelty
aspect it is advisable to refrain from cooking non-vegetarian food at home. So long as the vegetable food is available
in plenty in the market, eating non-vegetarian food could be avoided. We observe that the children of vegetarian
parents grow up to be vegetarians. If the parents discourage their children from eating non-vegetarian food in the
restaurants, in the parties they attend and in foreign countries they visit, then the children can maintain their
Vegetarianism all their life.
Vegetarian food has less fat in them than in the non-vegetarian food. Fat is supposed to cause thickening of arteries.
Thickened arteries get blocked with clots easily. The arteries of the brain might get blocked and lead to stroke and
paralysis. The arteries of the heart might get blocked and produce damages to the heart thereby a heart attack. Heart
attack may result in death. Thickening of the arteries occurs in many other conditions and not just in non-vegetarian
Diabetes is a major cause for thickening of the arteries. Those Hindus who suffer from diabetes must refrain from
eating fatty food. Fish and foul have slightly more fat than what is present in vegetables.
Beef and pork have a large percentage of fat in them. Hydrogenated oils like the Vanaspathi have plenty of harmful
fats in them. Some of the oils have more poly-unsaturated fats in them. The poly-unsaturated fats are safer than the
saturated fats such as are found in the hydrogenated oils.
Therefore it is but natural that in spite of being a vegetarian, if a man consumes more saturated fats then his
vegetarian diet will not prevent the harmful effects of his diet on his health.
(Reference: Minimum Hinduism Practice by Dr. Mohan Shenoy)
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