Banning Cattle Slaughter.
Posted on October 8th, 2021

By Lakshman I. Keerthisinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

Banning Cattle Slaughter

If slaughter houses had glass walls the whole world would be vegetarian” – Linda McCartney-US Musician and Photographer

PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, few months back submitted a proposal to ban cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka. The Parliamentary Group of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) approved the Prime Minister’s proposal. It is well known that meat consumption is the cause of many ailments.

 As Linda quoted at the outset states if people observed the misery suffered by animals at slaughter houses they would undisputedly become vegetarians.

 Innocent animals being dragged into slaughter houses and slaughtered, drained of blood cut into pieces packed sent to supermarkets and sold generates money for those engaged in the trade. Irrespective of religious beliefs human beings are generally kind and humane in nature.

 The pets they nurture as their own children bear testimony to this fact. The desire for meat or fish consumption do not interfere in this morally reprehensible activity leading us to spend out hard earned money to buy flesh for consumption. 

In ancient Sri Lanka cattle slaughter was banned by kings of yore and our forefathers were great farmers who used carbonic fertilizers and produced rice, vegetables and fruits to maintain a healthy strong population. The banning of agrochemicals which lead to many diseases was indeed a wise move by the President although some hardships have to be faced initially.

 Each year some 77 billion land animals and over 100 billion marine animals are slaughtered for food around the world. It is a holocaust, and it is the longest, most colossal holocaust in all of history. 

And on what grounds do we, as consumers, justify our contribution to this holocaust? The core of the issue is this – if it’s unnecessary to kill and eat animals to survive, what justification do we have for doing so? Animals have been victimised by man to such a massive degree that they aren’t even considered victims anymore. They are mere commodities with number tags, stripped of the inherent value of being a sentient being. But in reality they are living, feeling beings just like human beings, and they are the most oppressed helpless beings on earth. 

What they are going through is a terrible suffering of proportions unparalleled to satisfy human greed for flesh. In issues of injustice, we must always see things from the perspective of the oppressed, not the oppressor. 

Remove yourself from the perspective of a human and for just a moment try to imagine being a prisoner from birth, being torn away from your loved ones, living a miserable life denied of freedom, and then, finally having your throat slit so that someone may feast on your flesh for some momentary pleasure. A consumption pleasure that costs that animal its entire life. This is how it is for factory farm animals, and for any other non-human being reared for its flesh. 

How do we morally justify doing these things if it’s not a dire necessity? Are one’s taste buds worth more than the entire life and wellbeing of an animal? In a democratic’s decision to consume animal products is a personal choice, and being a personal choice, vegans should stop condemning animal eateRs Live and let live, as they say. Well, vegans ought to stop condemning people for their choices once animal eaters stop condemning animals to slaughterhouses to have their throats slit open so they can enjoy a burger or a meat curry. 

Something is no longer a personal choice when there’s a victim involved, Marketing labels and advertisements of ‘happy cows’ distract people from the grim reality, so that they can make a profit off exploiting animals. A good example of this is the term ‘free range.’ When we see those ‘free range’ labels on eggs in the supermarket, we assume the hens that produced those eggs live a good life, wandering around freely, and most importantly, living without fear, exploitation or pain. However, it is very much the opposite. 

Free range hens come from hatcheries where male chicks are thrown into a blender to be macerated alive within moments of their birth, all because they are viewed as a waste product. Female chicks and egg-laying hens are shoved in small cages with such little space that they can’t even turn around or lie down.

 In conclusion, although the sentiments expressed in this article may not be appreciated generally,as the great majority in the world consume meat, a day will dawn when human beings of their own volition would give it up as the corona pandemic has taught a lesson to humanity on what suffering is. In the meantime, Prime Minister’s laudable proposal on banning of cattle slaughter must be supported by all kind, humane, right thinking Sri Lankans irrespective of diverse religious beliefs. 

Writer is an Attorney-at-law with LLB, LLM, MPhil. (Colombo). 

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