Buddhism And Animal Welfare
Posted in the Buddhism Forum
#1 Feb 28, 2012
All living things fear being beaten with clubs.
All living things fear being put to death.
Putting oneself in the place of the other,
Let no one kill nor cause another to kill.
(Dhammapada verse no. 129)
Buddhist to be proactive: By Dr. Daya Hewapathirane Ontario Canada
"Buddhists should be more proactive in animal welfare work and Campaign for law reform in this area because Buddhism more than any other religion (except Jainism) recognizes the right to life of all living beings rather than only humans. In addition Buddhism extols compassion to all forms of life.Kill and eat' is not a Buddhist tenet. Compassion is the cornerstone of Buddhism and is it being compassionate for a Buddhist to overlook killing, cruelty and abuse of animals that happen in their surroundings? Some talk loud for human rights as the path of purifying the tarnished image of our country. They should reflect upon the statement of Mahatma Gandhi that 'The greatness and morality of a nation must be judged by the way it treats its animals '.
Killing and cruelty towards animals happen without proper restrictions in Sri Lanka, owing to outdated laws and weak enforcement of these laws. There is also, political interference on behalf of animal killers and butchers running illegal operations. The Police are there fore prevented from performing their duty of protecting the helpless animals.
Animal Welfare Laws:
Animal welfare laws need to be enacted for the protection of animals, and heavy penalties and punishment including long sentences of imprisonment and confiscation of vehicles used in illegal transport of animals should be imposed on these killers and abusers. There are many Animal welfare Societies in the country. These societies can be registered and empowered to collaborate and liaise with Police in the enforcement of animal protection laws. These societies should link with the numerous animal welfare societies around the world, including many in India, are identify alternative ways of countering this menace.
Government should not encourage the public to engage in vocations involving the abuse and killing of animals. These vocations constitute wrong livelihoods. Owing to adverse colonial and other influences, some Buddhists may have adopted the unbuddhistic practice of consuming animal flesh, and thereby promoting the killing of animals. It is time that there people are helped to regain their Buddhist values. Helping can come in different forms, legal action to ban killing is one.
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