Day after day many of us hear or read about the terrible things that humans subject animals to. We try our best to make a difference in stopping these atrocities by signing petitions, eating less/no meat, protesting and some of us even put our lives on the front line to make a difference. Still it can feel like a heavy cross to bear at times. Just when it seems that it is all too much something promising seems to happen that helps to spur us on.

This week the latest one almost took place in Sri Lanka, a very remote and poor third world country. An annual ritual at the Munnewaram temple was about to take place involving around 700 goats and chickens that were to be sacrificed during a traditional religious ceremony. The temple is located just north of the Colombo which is the capital city of Sri Lanka and last year about 300 goats had been slaughtered during the ceremony.

It is a very grisly ritual in which the goats are decapitated in public by using a large hatchet. Blood is spilled everywhere and that is the purpose of the ritual because it is believed by the local people that the blood will help chase away any evil spirits lurking around. This cruel and bloody ritual was originally banned in the 1980's but was revived again as the superstitions began to take hold of the people.

This year a legal challenged was put forth to stop the ritual by animal activists from the Sri Lanka Animal Welfare Trust. They had also appealed to President Mahinda Rajapakse to stop the ceremony. The legal challenge from the petitioners was that it was unclear who had authority over the temple and that the slaughter was cruel. On Monday of this week the Appeal Court directed the police to prevent the slaughter of animals that was about to take place.

But then on Tuesday the Appeal Court reversed the temporary ban for the following reason:
"The Court noted it was a very serious matter involving constitutional interpretation and customary laws and very short notice to stop it was inappropriate where the rituals is being carried out for centuries and fixed the Writ petition to be taken up on October 14." So a final decision has been delayed by the court until October of this year.

Although this is a temporary setback in Sri Lanka, it is still part of a strong chain reaction against animal abuse in the world going forward. As more and more animal activist groups begin to protest and take legal action against these outdated, many times religious based acts of cruelty against animals, the world begins to look just a little bit brighter. And a ray of hope begins to shine again.

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