Let Vesak inspire other religions to commit to slaughter-free religious events

At the heart of Buddha’s teachings is the accountability factor. You and only you are accountable for the good or bad one does.  Following the Dhammapada – path of the Dhamma we build ourselves a moral foundation.  The core of that is the 5 precepts of which ‘hurting’ and ‘killing’ all sentient beings plays an integral part. Sri Lanka has set an example for the rest of the world to follow. Vesak is not only a festival of colour and lights but it is also a week that there is no slaughter of animals. Just as we have followed customs of Abrahamic faiths, why not they too consider declaring a slaughter-free religious festival?

Start with one festival and see the change.

All beings tremble before danger, all fear death. 

When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. 

All beings fear before danger, life is dear to all. 

When a man considers this, he does not kill or cause to kill. 

Whosoever tries to find happiness through hurting other beings, will not find happiness.



It is in reading these lines that we understand that not just humans but animals also feel joy and pain, fear and sadness just like humans.  No arguments can oppose this fundamental fact & truth.

Since age of discovery and Abrahamic invasions, native cultures, traditions and rituals were not only replaced but they were made to believe the later-day arriving new cultures and traditions were superior. People followed them and many continue to do so too alongside their own rituals.

How about this time round, these Abrahamic faiths extend their moral superiority to another level by drawing their attention to Buddha’s humble call to give life to animals, at least by declaring they too will have slaughter-less religious festivals and instead enjoy their festivities without denying the life to an animal for their joy & meal


Let the joy of any festivity manifest into giving freedom of life to an animal. No ‘feast’ can be a happy event when an animal’s life has been nullified for it. Festivals of this nature tragically cause death not to thousands but to millions of animals.

Follow the magnanimous precedent set by Sri Lanka in legally enforcing a closure of all slaughter houses and ban on sale of meat for Vesak and also on Poya holidays. Two days of meat-free Vesak will do no harm but it will mean the lives saved to millions of animals.


With COVID-19 man is forced to change his set ways. One essential element of importance is that we can never return to a daily routine we had been used to. Nature has again reminded us that humans are only a guest and not the master. Animals are not invited guests either. Man and animal need to coexist with compassion and humaneness.

Let there be No bloodshed on religious days.

Shenali D Waduge

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