Monday, May 18, 2015

To "Meat" a Huge Demand

The Royal Government of Bhutan’s recent announcement to encourage rearing of animals for in-country meat production was bound to generate debate. Debate is good - but debates emanating from minds that espouse toxic beliefs are not good.

The government’s proposed animal farms and meat-processing plants are not activities that are anti-religion or, specifically, anti-Buddhism. It is not even an economic activity to amass wealth and affluence. In Bhutan’s context, I believe that this is a desperate act of rescue and recovery - an act akin to clutching at the straws to save this country from falling off the pulpit of doom, where we now stand.

Buddha, Guru Nanak, Jesus Christ, Laozi, Padmasambhava, Prophet Mohammad - none of these great founders of various religious belief systems have ever said that the act of food gathering for self-preservation is an act NOT sanctified by religion. In any event, I believe that we have by now evolved to a higher plane from those people and from a time when people believed that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother and the Buddha delivered from the crack of Queen Maya’s right ribcage!

For once, let us shed our delusions and fallacies and look reality squarely in the face. We are in serious trouble! You and I know that when we are done with religious zealotry, we will be left groping in the dust – sans Buddhism, sans identity, sans the Kingdom of GNH. In the name of religion, please do not torpedo a perfectly necessary endeavor that the government had the courage to try and implement.

The so-called Bhutanese religious peoples’ hypocritical interpretation of the “middle path” to mean, “eating meat is OK but killing is not” is so irrational. This belief is flawed at various levels. For one, how will you eat if you do not kill? On the other hand, the idea accepts killing by others - but not of your own. How can any credible religion promote such a viewpoint? By the way, which religion says that you cannot kill for food? Obviously, I don't have to be a Buddhist to know that mindless, meaningless killing is not right.

You want to eat and yet you do not want to kill? You do not want killing and yet you do not propose a ban on import and consumption of meat? Is this being religious? How hypocritical can you get?

However, in Bhutan’s context, this goes way beyond religion. When you have the courage to remove that veil of hypocrisy and vanity and shed that cloak of religious fervorism from behind which you speak with sugar-coated tongues, you will realize that it has to do with preservation of our national identity, our nationhood.

I am amazed that grown up people like the President of Foundation Brigitte Bardot (refer letter to Kuensel) has the cheek to get involved in our affairs. What does she know of Bhutan’s compulsions and realities? Does she know that Bhutan spends 1.37 billion Indian Rupees every year on import of meat and meat products? Does she know that such wanton import causes the noose of debt and liability to tighten around our neck ever more tighter? Does she propose that we continue to imperil our nationhood and continue to import meat that we can produce within our own country?

Does she know that the tin can that the meat is packaged in is much safer to eat, than the meat that is contained in the tins?

If she cares about Bhutan then she should know that Bhutan is way past that phase of idealism. We are in serious trouble. She has not been able to impose her will in her own country. Therefore, she does not have the moral authority to come and preach us.

Think of Sikkim; think of Tibet. Remember: it was a million monks murmuring religious Hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of thousands of temples - that contributed to the DELETION OF TIBET AS A NATION STATE.

If you know your Buddha then you ought to know that it was him who said:

“You cannot attain Nirvana on an empty stomach.”

Trust me, this land of GNH and a thousand Buddhas is running quite empty! Do not allow religious fanaticism to come in the way of the well being and preservation of the Bhutanese state and people.

NOTE: The title of this post: "To 'meat' a huge demand" is borrowed from the KUENSEL.


  1. Well, I think you have certainly managed to provoke many self-righteous minds. Am against slaughterhouses; even against the thought of rearing animals for meat…but then I know this is highly hypocritical of me even though am a vegetarian and I know this would be a very practical decision. I think the government should get the views of the common people; like hold a referendum or something…. I mean you could even ask the people who oppose whether they prefer local meat or imported…? There in itself will be the answer to the meaty question…oh, and they should really lift the one month “religious” ban on selling meat which is a hypocrisy of all hypocrisies.

  2. Kudos to you for raising this issue, albeit a little late since the government seems to have already caved in to the hypocritical clamor of the vociferous right wing religious zealots who want to impose their 'piety' on the rest of the people.If they continue to get their way, it wont be long before we become a fundamentalist 'buddhist" state.

  3. If Bhutan's half the population had half your logic and common sense...Bhutan would have progressed way beyond 50 years from now

  4. I cannot speak for every people in Bhutan but this much I can say that a change, a new change is always something to be concerned about and it's natural for people to react rational or irrational although I do agree with each and every word of yours.


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    steady ... good luck always