The Real Alternative

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Chernobyl – 30 years after

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Animal casualties of the 21st century – the extinction list

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A Japanese fleet killed 333 whales for ‘research’

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Simulated dog barking deters killer racoons

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Sharks facing extinction

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Hindus criticize bullfights’ return on Spanish TV

Bullfight in Barcelona, Spain.

Bullfight in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Special to

Hindus have strongly criticized return of live bullfights to Spanish television after a six-year ban.

Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that instead of thus promoting the barbaric, inhumane, horrendous, cruel and unacceptable practice of bullfighting (corrida); Spain should follow example of its regions Catalonia and Canary Islands and ban the age-old tradition of bullfighting altogether. Spain could easily find other ways to entertain its citizens and visitors, Zed added.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged other countries of the world to outlaw bullfighting practice. European Union should impose a Europe-wide ban on all blood-sports. People, whose jobs were thus affected, should be rehabilitated in other jobs with related training.

Zed stressed that non-violence was a greatest virtue. We had long been out of the caves. Let us get rid of these outdated traditions. World would be a better place without these blood-sports.

Bullfighting was just plain cruelty and unnecessary tormenting and abuse of the animals and not an art form. At its traditional time of six pm in Spain, it was well within the children’s viewing time, Zed pointed out.

Television Espanola reportedly broadcast a live bullfight on Wednesday evening from the northern city of Valladolid. Bullfighting ban took effect in Catalonia from January one this year while it has already been banned in Canary Islands since 1991.

Besides Spain and France, bullfighting is also practiced in Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Colombia, and Venezuela. A typical bullfight usually is of 20 minutes in which a bull is stabbed several times before the final blow with a sword pushed between its shoulder blades. Nobel Prize winner author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was reportedly a fan of bullfighting and mentioned this tradition in his work “Death in the Afternoon”.

According to Utrecht (The Netherlands) based CAS International: Every year, more than 250,000 bulls and cows are tortured and killed worldwide during bullfights and similar events.


Review – Animals: Friend or Food?

Goat kids will stay with their mother until th...

Image via Wikipedia

Title: Animals: Friend or Food?
Writer/Director: Jason Young

Additional Authors: Kent Martin, Jason Young
Editor: Lawrence Jackman

Media: VHS, 74 min. 2 sec.
Produced by: National Film Board of Canada, 2003

In this National Film Board of Canada production Jason Young buys a farm to prove to himself that he can kill the meat he eats. Footage of animals being treated harshly should upset some viewers. Ethical issues are explored, particularly the Biblical view of animals and humanity’s evolutionary place at the top of the food chain.

Young overcomes his initial resistance as he makes his first few kills. He doesn’t practice any organized religion but likes the idea of ritual. From this he creates an outdoor killing space called the “sanctuary,” premised on the belief that animals will be happier in nature just prior to their death. The idea backfires, however, when one pig is forcibly dragged out squealing to the sanctuary. This is sad footage. And why didn’t Young just kill the poor animal right away instead of prolonging its suffering with a prefabricated philosophy of kindness?

On the whole, however, the cinematic treatment of the slain animals is respectful. But it is difficult. The paradox of not wanting to harm innocent creatures while meat-eating doesn’t really disappear, despite Young’s running philosophical commentary. And Young doesn’t want it to. To his credit he discusses his own misgivings and pangs of guilt.

This documentary is not for the faint of heart. But it wouldn’t be fair to confuse the film’s harsh content with its educational value. It is extraordinary, if upsetting.



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