A recent press report revealed that about five thousand Heads of
Cattle are being slaughtered in this country of ours where we practise
This indicates the extent we are consuming beef. This colossal
destruction of those innocent creatures is an alarming crime.
In the days of yore our Sinhalese kings decreed that slaughtering
cattle as an offence and those who consumed beef were rejected by
society. Cattle were then considered as a national asset. In India,
slaughtering of cattle is forbidden in many of its states notably in its
Capital city New Delhi, where the ethnic ratio of Hindus and Muslims is
nearly 50:50 and there is no beef for sale. Indians consider cattle as
Apart from the religious point of view it is a national crime to
destroy cattle considering the diverse benefits that we accrue
particularly the ordinary farmer or the village peasant.
Based on the press report mentioned above and on a rough estimate the
number of cattle slaughtered annually exceed a million.
The main livelihood of our people for generations has been
agriculture and it is even so today.
Our national economy rests mainly on agriculture. Cattle are a living
tool in agriculture specially to the paddy cultivator, who engages
cattle, be it trampling the muddy fields before sowing or in the
threshing floor after harvest.
The female is a milking mother while the male ox or the bull is being
engaged in heavy work, puling carts etc. We are now drifting away from
the use of chemically made fertilizer and are being geared towards the
use of organic manure, Cow-dung is mainly used in the preparation of
organic manure and the slaughtering of cattle deprives us a valuable
ingredient - cow-dung.
There is a cry to day to ban the slaughter of cattle but the most
prudent and the sustainable alternative in preventing the slaughter of
cattle is to discourage the habit of beef eating.
Beef is sold in beef stalls run by different individuals on a licence
issued by the relevant local authorities.
The local authorities rent out these stalls. It is therefore clear
that the local authorities can contribute to a higher degree in curbing
the slaughter of cattle, if all of them decide to abolish the practice
of renting out stalls for selling beef notwithstanding a couple of
rupees lost as revenue. No selling points of beef or the absence of beef
stalls means less slaughtering and less consumption.
My humble appeal therefore to all Local Authorities is to desist from
the present practice of renting out beef stalls and to decide not to
issue licences to run beef stalls, which act would turn a new page and a
landmark in the local government administration.