This is a video I shot on my iPhone in Kathmandu yesterday. It’s self-explanatory and so needs little preamble except perhaps a warning that it contains graphic images of animal slaughter that shouldn’t be watched by the sqeamish.
It does, however, point to an interesting debate about moral relativism. Do we in the West have any right to criticise a Hindu tradition which sees a few hundred buffaloes and goats decapitated every year when we practise barbarity on an industrial scale to ensure our BLT sandwiches and fried chicken can be bought on the cheap? Certainly some Nepalese tweeters gave the position short shrift.
There does seem to be a prima facie justification for the accusation of hypocrisy – and yet eating a chicken nugget sourced from a factory farm because of moral cowardice somehow seems more palatable than revelling in the violent death of a cow before your very eyes. But maybe what we westerners take for morality turns out to be nothing more than sentimentality.
** UPDATE on October 7, 2011 **
The Nepalese government’s news agency, RSS, published an article today saying animal sacrifices were going out of fashion in more rural areas.
The full text can be read here.