Religion & animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July 1996:

The first deed of the shortlived Hindu fundamentalist
government of India, inaugurated May 24 only to
resign five days later, was to introduce a bill to ban cow
slaughter. Killing cows is against the Hindu religion, practiced
by 750 million Indians, but 110 million Moslem citizens
eat beef. Paradoxically, though Moslems are only 14%
of the total Indian population of 930 million, 10% of all the
Moslems in the world live in India; only Pakistan has more.
The Shaolin Temple, in central Henan province,
C h i n a, on June 6 won a lawsuit against the Luohe Canned
Food Factory, which had used actors depicting the Buddhist
monks of Shaolin in a TV plug for ham. Devout vegetarians,
the Shaolin monks devised and still teach the martial art of
kung-fu to avoid using lethal weapons in self-defense.

In a nationally televised May 16 ceremony, the
Thai royal astrologers offered two oxen a choice of seven
trays, containing unhusked rice, corn, green beans, whisky,
water, grass, and sesame seeds. “According to priests trained
in Hindu and Buddhist ritual,” Associated Press reported,
“the oxen’s choice of paddy rice and local rice whisky bode
well for Thai agriculture.”
The Hare Krishna sect, founded in 1966 by A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, will be 30 on July 11,
with an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 American adherants
including about 4,000 residents of temples. Despite a decade
of internal conflict after the 1977 death of the founder, the
Krishna movement is reportedly stronger now than ever, with
active vegetarian food missions in multiple major war zones.
Fifteen of the 20 buildings at the Lama Foundation
commune in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, were razed by a
May 9 forest fire, despite the efforts of a thousand firefighters
and squadrons of tanker aircraft–– but the new vegetarian
kitchen and prayer center survived. The commune was begun
in 1967 by vegetarian teacher Ram Dass.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency
office in Goma, Zaire, announced June 14 that in partnership
with a local agency, it intends to plant 400,000 trees over the
next three years to form a buffer zone around Virunga
National Park, last refuge of the endangered mountain gorilla.
“Arkansas’ most popular gospel music disk jocke
y , ” claims KBHS 590 A.M., is “John Seales, your good
neighbor each Sunday morning.” Don’t retort that he couldn’t
get elected dogcatcher: he’s been animal control director for
Hot Springs so long that the new shelter is named after him.
“I was trained to carry on,” said the Reverend
Stephen Grey, vicar of St. Michael’s Church in Bamford,
England, who completed communion on May 2 as a stray ferret
raced up his cassock and ran three times around his body.
“I must admit,” Grey added, “that my prayers speeded up.”
A 17-year-old high school student from
Lancaster, California, whose name was withheld, was on
May 24 charged with cruelty for killing a baby chicken on
March 27, outside the pet store where he bought her for use as
a prop in a class debate on abortion. Said the boy’s attorney,
Clifford Nichols, “We do not believe that society will tolerate
singling out a young man because of his position on abortion,
when similar acts are condoned by hatcheries.”
Concluding an 18-month undercover probe of the
traffic in wildlife parts for Santerian sacrifice, the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service on May 16 arrested Miami residents Jose
Luis Torraguitart, 29, and Barbara Torraguitart, 32, husband
and wife, for alleged illegal possession of a human fetus, a
manatee skull, a frozen baby puma, a frozen bald eagle, four
live baby barn owls, and other remains of protected species.

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