Last year a high court in Himachal Pradesh in Northern India banned an ancient tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and barbaric, and saying such rituals must change in the modern era.
Some Hindus follow religious rituals blindly, and justify animal sacrifice by stating "These are Hindu practices from ancient times that are written in the Hindu scriptures", even though Indian religions (especially Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism) preach compassion towards all living beings. The ban on animal sacrifice is a welcome change that was long overdue in a compassionate religion practised all over the world. Yet this practice of animal sacrifice is only found in a few temples in the world. Many have already changed with the times.
However, there still remains another major ancient ritual of abuse that needs to be changed. The practice of pouring dairy milk, yoghurt and butter to cascade down the heads of Hindu deities in Abisekhams, is a widespread abuse of dairy cows.
Consumption of dairy in the US is facing a reduction due to abuses of cows and calves. It has decreased by as much as 80% since 1970, and is a worry to the dairy industry. However the usages of milk in Hindu temples have maintained a steady level.
Dairy cows must be kept artificially inseminated to produce calves and a continuous supply of milk. Slaughtering of these calves in India is culturally unacceptable, and many farmers respond by ridding their bull calves and surplus non milking cows from their property. These animals die from dehydration and starvation. Leaving them to die prolonged deaths by starvation is perceived as holier than selling them for slaughter. Many calves are also exported to the Middle East where they are slaughtered.
Please sign this petition by requesting to use alternatives such as soya, rice, or almond milk to reflect compassion in Hindu religion towards these gentle, harmless, and trusting animals.