The hypocrisy of those condemning Jallikattu, while eating meat everyday

Jallikattu is a festival that shares the deep connection that we have with our land and the animal that helps us till that land. The Bull used in Jallikattu is especially reared for the occasion, and is brought up like a family member. Yet the hypocrites, in the guise of “animal rights activists” are trying to get this centuries old festival completely banned, and had it not been for the Tamil people defying the idiotic supreme court imposed diktat, Jallikattu as a festival would have perhaps ceased to exist, and along with it a portion of Tamil heritage and culture would have died a silent death.

Almost all the religions forbid killing of any sentient being, but other than Jainism none prohibit eating of meat. In fact, Jainism is perhaps the only religion in the world that has put a BAN on meat consumption, and even though love, compassion, mercy and kindness are fundamental to most religions across the world, animal sacrifices for religious practices dates back to the time various religion across the world were established. Yet, we don’t see much outrage from the pseudo-liberals and hypocritical animal rights activists against animal sacrifices in the name of religion.

Personally, I am a vegetarian, I find that killing of animals for consumption as meat is deplorable, and should be banned outright. But does that or should the fact that I don’t eat meat give me the right to call those who eat meat different derogatory names?

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I think not.

What inspired me to write this short article is the fact that I was taken aback at the viciousness of the comments many people made against Jallikattu festival. Most of the people were have called those who celebrate Jallikattu with various derogatory names – “Barbaric,” “Monstrous,” “Uncivilized”, “Uneducated” “Jangalee” and so on.

Let me get some basic facts in front of you, for India the per capita consumption of meat currently stands at around 4 kgs/person. Take a moment to think about it. The amount of meat consumed in India every year comes down to almost every man, woman and child in India eating around 4 kgs of meat per person.

Now do a simple math roughly 4 kgs per person X 1.2 billion citizens = 4.8 billion Kgs of meat is currently being consumed in India each year.

This amounts to killing of 63 Lakh Beef/Buffalo (at average weight of 753 kgs/cow) being slaughtered yearly, or 17000 of them being killed on a daily basis

If it were chicken it would amount to killing 220 Crore chickens (at average weight of 2.4 kgs/chicken) every year, or around 60 Lakhs chickens killed every day.

Is this not, ‘Barbaric,’ ‘Monstrous,’ ‘Uncivilized’, ‘Uneducated’ ‘Jangalee’ on our part?

It is easy to point fingers at others and blame them of cruelty, when we are ourselves indulging in the same cruelty every day.

Here are is an example

India today stands as one of the LARGEST CARABEEF (water buffalo) EXPORTERS in the world, with an annual production of 40 million metric tonnes. You might be surprised to know that Buffalo meat has emerged as India’s highest agri-export ahead of Basmati rice, and that after 2012, in fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, India became the world’s No. 1 beef exporter, beating such perennial beef powerhouses Australia and New Zealand.

India also ranks very high in terms of Fish, Poultry and Goat meat export and consumption.

So who are all these people who are eating all these meat?

According to NSS Survey nearly 40% of Indians are strictly vegetarian, which means majority of us are not. So those of us who eat and consume meat, should we have any right to call others names for following their religious beliefs and practices?

Most of us who have friends in USA and Canada recently congratulated them on Thanks Giving and Christmas, liked the pictures they posted of roast Turkey and commented on how Yummy it looked, do you know how many turkeys were killed this year alone for Thanks Giving? OVER 45 MILLION… are they not animals? Where was our outrage then? Every year in Bakri-Eid millions of cattle and other animals are killed every year, no one seems to mind.

If you think Jallikattu is cruel, try living near a slaughter house anywhere in India. I do, and I know what pain the animals have to go through.

Most of the bigger animals – Beef, water buffalo which you eat, are not killed in one swift move, rather they are repeatedly hit on their forehead by a big hammer, the aim being crushing their skull and smashing their brains. Can you imagine the pain these animals, which you consume every day, have to endure? Muslims kill the animals by slitting their throat and wait for the animal to bleed to death. Is that not cruel?

Most of the Pigs are repeatedly stabbed near their left front leg, till the pierce finds its heart and it dies, the pig screams in agony, which those of us who live near the slaughter house get to hear every day.

The Goat and Chicken that you enjoy an eat get their heads chopped off. Aren’t those CRUEL??

Most of us see meat hanging by a hook in our cities and towns every day, have you ever wondered how that meat arrived there?

So let us not be judgmental to others, unless we want ourselves to be judged. It is beautifully put in Bible, Matthew 7:1-3 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Religion and traditional practices that may seem irrational today have been based on some amount of reasoning in the days when they started such practices, in terms of Jallikattu festival, it is practiced to protect the local (desi) breed of cow and bulls. This is not based on religion, this is based on pure scientific fact, any Ecologist worth their salt knows the fact that Indian cows and bulls produce healthier milk and are environmentally more beneficial than the industrial livestock that are reared in western countries.

One thing, I am sure of is that, Jallikattu festival alone cannot be made a target, definitely not unless you can ban/stop people from killing Turkeys in Thanks Giving, or Goats/Lambs/Camel in Bakr-Eid which happen every year, or STOP people from EATING MEAT altogether which happens on a daily basis.

Even though I am from Darjeeling, Gorkhaland in North East India, I support Jallikattu festival, because it is a festival of the farmers and deeply engrained in the culture of Tamil people.

Here is a message to anyone who class for banning Jallaikattu, unless you are willing to stop people from eating Turkey in Thanks Giving, or Goats/Lambs/Camel in Bakr-Eid, you have NO RIGHT to call it cruel or ask for its ban.

So instead of pointing out fingers at those who go to Jallikattu festival once every year… can we prevent killing of animals which happens and is happening at our own homes – EVERY DAY?

(Upendra M Pradhan writes the column Voice of Darjeeling for www.darjeelingtimes.com and is editor at large at The Darjeeling Chronicle.)

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