Animal rights advocates yesterday staged a ceremony in Taipei to protest animals killed at Ghost Festival activities.
The protesters presented the body of a rat they said was found killed and asked those in attendance to respect different forms of life.
The event took place in the city’s Ximending (西門町) area from 6pm and was attended by 25 people, who held a moment of silence for dead animals.
The rat, which event organizer Chang Chia-pei (張家珮) said was found in an alley earlier in the week, was the inspiration for this year’s event.
The rat seemed to have been dumped in the alley, as there was no blood on the ground, and it was believed to have been killed by someone who caught it stealing food, Chang said.
Such an incident might be insignificant for most people, but a creature — however abominable it might seem — is still a form of life and should be respected, she said, adding that people should not kill because of bias.
Instead of killing rats in the home, people should capture them in a safe and humanitarian manner and release them in places away from residential areas, Rodents Care Association founder Peter Pan (潘定澤) said, adding that it is difficult for him as a vegan of 10 years to care about only one animal species.
While hamsters and guinea pigs are often kept as pets, many other rodents are treated as repulsive creatures or even used as laboratory animals, Pan said.
“Wild rats are a thorny issue for animal rights advocates, given they live close to human beings and most people find them repulsive,” he said.
Ghost Festival falls on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which was yesterday, when people prepare food and other offerings for deceased ancestors.
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