Fortnightly Commentary No 67: 10th October 2014 circ. 2000 people


Dear Members and Friends,

Sacrifice as a concept is beautiful. One form of sacrifice involves depriving oneself of something basic or beloved in order to give something to someone else, be it a god or another entity, animate or inanimate. I made a huge sacrifice when I chose to live most of my life in India, and less of my life in America, when adorable mother was alive. In another form of sacrifice, yearning serves as a marker to help remember god, or a  beloved, or to meditate. My daughter told me that if, as a vegan, I ever yearn for ice cream, I should use that yearning as a point of meditation on the suffering of cows. Sacrifice is not meant to be an exchange, buying favors from a god.  Diwali, Eid, Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, Rakhi—all of these are occasions for love. Hurting another to express love is symptomatic of a suffering soul. As educators, as people trying to inspire good, I think we need to keep broadcasting as loudly, merrily, angrily, joyously, and passionately as we can, that animals are ours only to cherish. Gadhimai and all the animal sacrifices taking place every day in small village temples need our voices to ring yet louder today than they rang out yesterday; louder tomorrow than today. 

Living Free

Living Free: Gandhigiri for Animals was a massive success! Tens of people volunteered and more than 4,000 people reached out to all over the country, in just one day!

Activists in ten cities organized events such as stalls, leafleting, talks, lectures, and spread the message of compassion for animals. The events were received with much enthusiasm by the general public, with many people joining the campaign as volunteers and several deciding to make the switch to a plant based diet. Come, be a part of the phenomenon called Living Free! We will support your outreach efforts monetarily also, by providing funding through our Quick Grants Scheme! Sign up to participate in Living Free by emailing, and kick start your education and outreach efforts today!

Fruits of Collaboration

Close on the heels of the camel signature campaign, the Jaipur federation has succeeded in persuading the north western railways to hold a training workshop for its staff on ‘humane handling of live cargo’ between the 10th and 15th of December. The Pune federation on the other hand, has secured an agreement in principle to it’s member organisations being included in the annual internship programme for veterinary students of the Maharashtra Agriculture and Fisheries State University.

More good news followed as PFA Angul, was recently awareded the Biju Patnaik Award For Wildlife Conservation by Forest and Environment Department, Govt. of Odisha.

This, and the interest shown by IFA participants from Varanasi to Jodhpur in supporting federative work means animal protection is only going further mainstream!

Holy Cow

Jaipur is fast on its way to becoming a safe haven for all animals, including the highest factory farmed animal, broiler chickens. After the successful workshop on Farmed Animals, volunteers have started collecting data on chicken shops in the nooks and streets of Jaipur.  The collected data will help implement existing licensing and food safety laws. Since many of the chicken slaughterhouses are illegal, this will be one of the first steps to reducing with the intention of eventually eliminating chicken slaughter. It will take many years, but working to end cruelty to these beautiful birds feels good.

Join us at the Nepalese Embassy to protest against the Gadhimai slaughter festival!

Lakhs of Indian Animals Marked for Bloody Death in Gadhimai Animal Sacrifice in Nepal 

Tens of thousands of animals are due to be marched, exhausted, across the poorly-patrolled India-Nepal border to meet death by decapitation and stabbings.

The mass animal killing slated for November 27 in a Barivapur temple (Bara District) in south Nepal is close enough to Bihar and UP that Indian devotees of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess, pour across the border eager to join the frenzy of bloody sacrifice.

The blood revelers however, may have their party –staged every fifth year and last held in 2009–interrupted this year, as animal activists around the world rally in protest against what Delhi-based animal activist and writer Rukmini Sekhar calls a “unparalleled depraved madness” in an opinion piece published on 5 October . Read more here. 

Click here to see pictures of Living Free: Gandhigiri for Animals!
Tonk Royals abandon practice of sacrificing animals

A 150-year tradition of sacrificing camel on Id ul-Zuha inside the Nawab Mahal in Tonk has ended. “In order to maintain communal harmony in the region and for respect on the law of the land, we have decided to discontinue this tradition,” said Nawab Hamid Ali, Tonk royal family member.Read more here.

This Bakrid, log on to buy sheep

Lest the Times of India gets credit for reporting bias in favour of life over death for animals, read this obnoxiously cheerful piece about the rise in sheep slaughter as antidote to rising cost of goats. Read more here and here. 

Sacrifice should not hurt others

The Times of India carried an article featuring statements of regret about animal sacrifice by a Muslim community leader. Read more here.

Elephant illegally brought to Chennai from Trichy rescued

After receiving a tip about an illegal performance at a marriage ceremony, Chennai officials of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and volunteers on Wednesday rescued a 38-year-old elephant  that had been transported from Trichy.The elephant was forced in a cramped vehicle without any provisions for food and water. Read more here.

The reason animal “husbandry” is so slow to improve lies right in the name. If they’d change it to animal “wifery” maybe they’d get somewhere. Wives rock. I’d like several of them, I really would.  I myself am the perfect housewife except for one itsy-bitsy detail. I hate cooking. In the early days of my marriage of course I lied about this. It is a marvel to me that people actually enjoy grating the coconut, picking the stones out of the dal, examining the rice for husks, adding a bit of crushed clove, pulling the stems off of spinach, let alone standing over a Chula in 50 degree radiant heat flipping rotis. And most mysterious is how satisfied the cook seems to be when, upon slaving for two hours, her masterpieces, beautifully presented with color and garnish, are dead and gone within 10 minutes, and all she gets for it are eaters who say “mmmm, thanks” before they belch. But feeding animals gives me enormous pleasure. I like listening to them chew. I like seeing their sparkling eyes as they wait for the bowl. I love the surprise of the low bass tone “mmmuhhhh” of an orphaned calf calling for her bottle and the insistence of cats who can’t stay off the countertop while I’m making my morning coffee. And like me, they’re happy to eat fast, no fuss, right out of the pan.
Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.
Best wishes,
Erika Abrams

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