How true! Treatment to animals in a civilization whose foundation had been laid by Buddhist philosophy was among many great things Sri Lanka was known for from time immemorial. The colonial foothold in Sri Lanka was certainly beginning to make a negative impact in our civilization which treated animals as equally as humans. The slaughter of animals with unprecedented numbers and cruel methods used by non-Buddhists especially by colonists and the populations converted to their religions was widespread in the areas under colonial rule. Though the Buddhists continued to maintain their compassionate attitude towards animals by largely being as a relatively less flesh consuming community, the large scale slaughter happening around them and the widespread flesh eating practice made some impact among them.
The recent incident involving minister Mervyn Silva who rescued a large number of animals about to be slaughtered in Munneswaram and Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana threatening the minister to face grave consequences if he goes ahead of preventing large number of animals to be slaughtered on the eve of the Haj festival brings to the fore us to think twice about our stand on this matter especially as a nation whose foundations are largely laid by the Buddhist philosophy.
While I do not generally accept most of the rash and foolish actions by the minister Mervyn Silva nor him as a person I appreciate the initiative made by the minister though it was also not done proper manner. However, the attention created by the minister's action should be a stepping stone for all of us to join hands to start a campaign aimed at eradication of cruel and inhuman treatments towards animals.
We should mainly pay our attention to the bloodcurdling, horrific and cruel manner in which the cattle are slaughtered in Sri Lanka. We should also certainly pay our attention the sheer number of cattle being slaughtered in a single day in Sri Lanka with terrifying treatment meted out. No sensible person with even an iota of kindness in the heart would ever dare to eat beef if he/she witnesses the cruel and horrific manner in which the poor animals are subjected to suffer while slaughtering.
At time Sri Lanka is in an important juncture with the dawning of peace after defeating terrorism and while celebrating 2600 years of Sambudhdha Jayanthi setting in motion to embark on a righteous society, it is very much pertinent to focus our search light how animals are treated especially when slaughtering, the number of animals being butchered and how we can eradicate this practices shameful to entire humanity. Then only Sri Lanka can boast again as a great nation which we were known for centuries.