- Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and his controversial Deputy Minister Palitha Thevarapperuma vehemently condemned the brutal act too and vowed to take action against the perpetrators
- Animal welfare activists use their sophisticated expressions like ‘endangered’ ‘imperilled, ‘threatened species’in describing the Diviya variety
It was 23 centuries ago,on Poson Poya Day in the 236th Buddhist era, that Arhant Mahinda Thera arrived at the Ambastala rock, Mihintale from Jambuddveepa carrying with him a noble message. His first act was to intervene and stop the monarch killing a deer; not because of it belonged to an endangered species, but in his own words“…the birds of the air and the beasts on the earth have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou.”
The villager’s act has been condemned not only by animal lover organisations backed by NGOs, but every sensible and compassionate individual, especially on the killers’ follow up with disgusting and barbarous celebrations
Devanampiya Tissa, was out on hunting in the hill range with a few of his upper class men and soldiers. He was about to release the arrow from his bow to kill a deer when Mahinda Thera called out ‘Tissa, Tissa’. The Royal party was frightened on seeing for the first time men in yellow robes and with shaven heads thinking them to be some evil spirits. Arhant Mahinda impressed them - the King dropped his bow and worshipped. It was merely an act committed through compassion for both the animal and the King which led to the King and a large section of his subjects giving up slaughter of animal for consumption.
The writer is rather baffled why the people make such a huge hue and cry, especially, the ‘Buddhists’ over an act of a single beast being destroyed as a protective measure or in self defence, a right preserved in the Law of the Land, [of course, it could have been avoided] especially, in this thrice blessed island where they brutally slaughter around 1000 cattle heads, millions of birds and gather a few tons of fish every day, which continues unabated.
A Sri Lankan leopard named Panthera Pardus Kotiyaa subspecies native to the island had reportedly attacked nearly 10 people, before the villagers of Ambalkulam in Kilinochchi had captured and killed it. The villager’s act has been condemned not only by animal lover organisations backed by NGOs, but every sensible and compassionate individual, especially on the killers’ follow up with disgusting and barbarous celebrations. Authorities recommend action taken against the people who ‘cruelly tortured’ and killed the leopard. The police who had little time in catching contract murderers and robbers who have been increasingly threatening the society are already on the job seeking nearly a dozen villagers who beat their Siruththai enemy to death after it strayed into a village and attacked their people.
The leopard had leapt out of a shrub and tried to attack several persons during the search, prompting the men to assault and slay the animal with rods and sticks. A video of villagers attacking the animal went viral on social media which raised a question mark on the responsibility of the Wildlife officers whom according to information were sluggish and took time on acting on the complaints. Ten people injured by the leopard had been admitted to a local hospital. A wildlife officer suffered injuries too and was rushed to the hospital.
Animal welfare activists use their sophisticated expressions like ‘endangered’ ‘imperilled, ‘threatened species’in describing the Diviya variety. The most endangered however, are the Amur Leopard, a rare leopard found only in Russia’s Primorye district. According to records only 21 animals are in existence. A list of animals called Red list carries our Leopard in their ‘1964-founded ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature’ [IUCN] Red list of ‘global conservation status of biological species’, the proponents of which seem to be totally ignorant of the numerous theories on evolution of animal kingdom as put forward by Charles Darwin and his associates and contemporaries. Populations and species of organisms change over time. British naturalist Charles Darwin proposed the theory of biological evolution by natural selection. Evolution is the thought that species modify over time, give rise to novel species, and share a common forerunner. The mechanism is natural selection. Resources are restricted in nature, organisms with inherited character that favour endurance and reproduction will be inclined to leave more progeny than their peers, reasoning the characters to enhance in frequency over generations. As long as there is genetic variation and dissimilarities in surroundings there has to be evolution.Can we conclude, for Panthera Pardus Kotiya to survive; it has to overcome the theory of natural selection?
However, many scientific theories are explained indistinctly; for instance, ‘species’ in environmental science cannot be defined precisely owing to many unclear areas. Nonetheless, the notions and ideas can be reasonably and practically applicable. Darwin assumed that one species had divided off and evolved into a fresh one, but the dynamic progression or the uninterrupted flux makes it unworkable to demarcate where one species ended and a fresh one appeared.
Role of Minister of Buddha Sasana
Sustainable Development and Wildlife Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and his controversial Deputy Minister Palitha Thevarapperuma vehemently condemned the brutal act too and vowed to take action against the perpetrators. They have right to do so.
It clearly defines Buddhist attitude in relation to harming other conscious beings. Buddhists are trained to restrain from butchery in three habits- direct killing, indirect killing and refraining from acting in such a manner that others would harm or kill
As reported, Former Wildlife Minister and present Minister of Buddha Sasana, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera has said it was a shameful act committed by the youths adding that it was a disgrace to humankind. He further emphasised that stern action should be taken against the culprits. But when it comes to ruthless killing of millions for human consumption, the Minister and the constitutional guarantee to protect Buddhism is ineffective and toothless.
Arhant Mahinda Thera and Fauna and Flora
The first sermon by the Thera includes the words Fauna and flora- “O’ great King! the birds of the air and the beasts on the earth have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou. The land belongs to the people and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it.” This undoubtedly is one of the oldest, if not the oldest recorded communication on nature protection. Prior to this day, like in non-Buddhists nations, hunting was enjoyed by the elite of society, a practice that changed under the Buddhist thinking of respect for all forms of life – killing was prohibited. The symbiotic relationship between human actions; the pleasant co-existence of all conscious including ecosystems and humankind are instituted in the foundation of Buddhist dogma. Buddhist teachings are essentially connected to the issues of animal welfare; thereby it provides a Buddhist insight into the origins of animal cruelty. It deals with rigid procedures to reduce its harmful consequences.
King Devanampiya Tissa reverently accepted the wisdom of the Buddha and acknowledged it. Cultured civilization commenced to appear with the launch of the Bhikku Sasanaya, plus other basics of religious rituals, song and dance forms, art and architecture; literature prospered. King Tissa whose leisure was hunting, became a vegan followed by a significant section of the island’s population: agriculture surpassed slaughter in early Dhammadveepa. The Dhamma trains us to be watchful and conscious of the misery of the others. It clearly defines Buddhist attitude in relation to harming other conscious beings. Buddhists are trained to restrain from butchery in three habits- direct killing, indirect killing and refraining from acting in such a manner that others would harm or kill.
Flesh eating cause harm to many creatures; which is, always avoidable. Becoming a vegetarian does not engage huge sacrifices. One needs only a little self-control and concern. Today, there are a variety of cheap, appetizing, nutritious vege foods that are easily obtainable. The option of becoming vegan is, of all moral choices we can make, is one of the most advantageous. By opting for a fleshless-diet would not only assist us to engage a healthy existence by accepting enhanced nutritious eating practice; but will also guide to an added eco-sensitive actions being adopted by communities which eventually add to the general well being of animals and to the decrease of the overall effects on type of climate. According to the UN, the meat industry is one of the most noteworthy provider to the environmental disasters encountered.
Vegetarianism & animal welfare
Rising consumption patterns of meat and other animal products has led to the expansion of animal husbandry based industries that adopt commercial methods of manufacture. These comprise more labour concentrated, industrial farming practices, in which they subject animals to inconceivable cruelty, pain and harm. Animals are raised for food with injected hormones that speed up the breeding course. Housing and transportation methods used are appalling. The cruelty encountered in butchery in meat production are deplorable; and much worse than the treatment meted out to the Leopard by the Kilinochchi gang.
The cruelty in meat production; much worse than the treatment meted out to the Leopard by the Kilinochchi gang
Whichever way we look at it, let it be moral or economic, man has a vital requirement to look after this biodiversity. Governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals, need to work jointly if we are to save our rich natural resources. No human organisation can make the Panthera Pardus Kotiya survive forever, for the human species itself is subject to imperilled and disappear from the planet, giving way to a new ‘Homo …..?’
May all beings be happy!