Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Animal rights advocates lambast festival offerings

FORGOTTEN DEAD:Animal rights groups said an ad on TV inspired them to speak out against the offering of meat, saying that the commercial was ‘infuriating’

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

About 50 animal rights advocates yesterday held a memorial service for dead animals ahead of Tuesday’s Ghost Festival, calling on the public to replace meat offerings for the dead with fruit and vegetables.

The bulk of offerings are usually laid out over the weekend closest to the Ghost Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, as this is when the gates of the underworld are said to open.

“Animals that are used for food offerings are the forgotten dead,” National Taiwan University Animal Rights Club consultant Chang Chia-pei (張家珮) said at the event, which was held outside Taipei’s Ximen MRT Station and saw participants offer cookies and roses to images of animals.

Inspiration for the memorial was prompted by a TV commercial produced by Carrefour Taiwan for the Ghost Festival, Chang said.

“In the commercial, a man is seen painting an extravagant tattoo, which turns out to be on a pig’s leg that a family is about to offer to the dead for the Ghost Festival,” Chang said.

Many viewers praised the commercial’s creativity, but Chang was infuriated.

“In Taiwan, 345,243,955 land animals were killed for food last year, not including sea creatures and imported or privately slaughtered animals,” she said.

“People cannot eat animal meat and meanwhile make fun of them,” Chang added.

Veganism for 30 Days group convener Wu Chi-huei (吳智輝) said he gradually turned to veganism 14 years ago.

“I learned about the cruel process of animal slaughter from a book on diet,” he said. “Coincidentally, my father fell sick at that time. I promised the gods that I would stop eating meat if his illness could be cured.”

Wu and other group members read the Declaration of Animal Rights, written by Aylam Orian.

“Animals are not the property or commodity of humans and are not theirs to use for their benefit or sustenance,” they said.

Meanwhile, advocates in London, New York and other cities also staged marches to promote animal rights yesterday.

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