Target: Nepal Prime Minister, Khil Raj Regmi
Goal: Urge Nepal’s Prime Minister to outlaw unnecessary animal cruelty in the name of religion
In Nepal there is an annual festival, the Khokana Festival, which draws a large spectator crowd for a terrible event. A young female goat is thrown into a pond and is attacked by a group of young men attempting to assert their manhood. They claw at, bite, rip limbs and strangle the goat until she is pronounced dead. The man who is believed to have served the actual blow that kills the goat is deemed the winner, or the “hero”. This is a confusing manner of asserting masculinity because the goat is defenseless, young and disoriented from the start. This is not a viable assertion of dominance or manhood; this event is diabolical and cruel.
The Khokana Festival is held annually in August. The goat killing event takes place in the Deu Pond right next to a temple. Animal sacrificing is common in Nepal: there are no rules of regulation when it comes to animal cruelty. Animal abuse is also common because the people believe that their religious deity deems animal sacrifice favorable. According to their beliefs, the Goddess especially favors slow sacrifice.
This event, along with many other animal sacrifices in Nepal, is performed year after year because of “tradition”. There are no other reasons for this extreme form of cruelty. Traditions can, and should, be broken if they are deliberately harmful to another creature. Nepal has outlawed other traditions, such as widow burning, for obvious reasons. Religious practice, when it is not harmful to other creatures, is a positive practice for many that are seeking a guiding comfort. Cruelty should never be tolerated, even in the name of religion or tradition. This festival is barbaric and should not be allowed to continue. There are plenty of other ways to assert masculinity as a young man. Urge the Prime Minister of Nepal to see that this act must not be allowed to continue.
Dear Prime Minister Khil Raj Regmi,
There is an annual festival in Nepal, the Khokana Festival, which draws a large crowd for a popular ritual: goat sacrifice. This is an opportunity for young men to prove their masculinity. A young female goat is thrown into the Deu Pond, attacked by a group of young men and torn to shreds until she is proclaimed dead. There are many traditions in your country that involve animal sacrifice in the name of religion. These acts, specifically the goat sacrifice at the Khokana Festival, are extremely cruel to the animal victims and harmful to the mental well being of the people under your rule.
The young goat is disoriented and defenseless when thrown into the Deu Pond. She is outnumbered and vulnerable, therefore killing her is no act of masculinity. The man proclaimed the “hero” at the end of the bout is in fact just luck of the draw: the young goat had no chance of survival even if the “hero” were not involved. Religion can be a very positive force, and is a very important aspect of many of your people’s lives. Cruelty, even in the name of religion or tradition, is still cruelty. Please understand that the young men participating are in no way benefitted by murdering another creature so barbarically. Animals should not be treated as disposable.
I urge you, sir Prime Minister, to reconsider your rulings and make animal sacrifice illegal in your country. Your people look to you for guidance and knowledge. Please urge them to treat animals with respect, and to base a young man’s masculinity on his good deeds for the people, rather than the murder of a defenseless animal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Krish Dulal via Wikimedia.org