Ritual Animal Sacrifice at Gadhimai Festival: Is It Permissible In The Modern World?
In Nepal, the Gadhimai Festival takes place every five years, and has been gaining a great deal of notice for the amount of animal bloodshed that takes place during the religious festival.
There are many religions that have rituals and rites that seem to conflict with the world around them. As time has passed and technology has grown, these social conflicts with the religious rites around the world have begun to stand out in greater relief than before. One of the religious rites that are being frowned upon more and more in modern society is animal sacrifice.
The Gadhimai Festival
The Gadhimai Festival takes place every five years, bringing people from hundreds of miles away to celebrate the religious goddess of power. The farmers and workers who perform these sacrifices look to win favor with the goddess by performing the animal sacrifice.
— CNN International (@cnni) November 30, 2014
While this festival has a long-running history, many people are now crying foul over the presence of immense animal sacrifices that take place during the gathering. The problem is not necessarily seen as the act, but the incredible scale of animal sacrifice that takes place over the two days of the festival. There have been estimates that place the amount of animals killed throughout the celebration at 500,000. Animal sacrifice includes buffaloes, goats, rabbits, chickens etc. This has spawned several lawsuits and petitions that are looking to put an end to this practice.
Many animal rights groups have tried to place restrictions on the festivities that are occurring this year. One of the restrictions they’re hoping to put in place is not allowing animal shipments into Nepal for the purposes of sacrifice, a call that has been only answered by India. The animal sacrifice has been widely condemned by the government of India, whose Supreme Court has recently issued an order that seeks to prevent animals from being transported into Nepal illegally. While supporters have been rather sparse, the public outcry from surrounding nations is beginning to take hold as they paint a grisly picture of the bloodshed occurring in Nepal. With thousands of animals still being illegally transported, patrols along the border have increased.
The question that remains on everyone’s lips is: when do religious rites and rights end in the face of animal sacrifice and slaughter?