Dashain, the 15 day celebration of good over evil in Nepal is a time of great joy and happiness - but only for the humans involved. Hundreds of thousands of animals - mostly goats and buffalo, though also pigs, ducks, and chickens - are sacrificed to the goddess Durga and her nine avatars. While the idea of animal sacrifice in itself is throwing up controversy, the animals may not all be well-treated, or die painlessly. (Nepal is not a shining example of animal rights - other traditions of the country include drowning goats or a group of men killing a goat with their bare hands.)
Activists have suggested sacrificing fruits and vegetables in the stead of animals, and religious arguments have offered that the Hindu gods do not require animal sacrifice and would likely not be appeased anyway. In fact, a traditional celebration of the festival seems not to include animals at all. Please sign this petition urging the people and the government of Nepal to:
Consider sacrificing fruits and vegetables in lieu of animals
If the animals are to be sacrificed, make sure that their meat is used for consumption and not dishonored as garbage
Make sure that any animals involved in any festivities are treated humanely and do not suffer
Reinforce laws against any and all animal cruelty and promote awareness on the subject
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