Friday, October 07, 2011

LIM: Animal Release or Fangsheng

Jan asked why I thought that Soup the Malayan Box turtle may have been captured from the wild and released for merit. This is because…..

Fangsheng is an old Buddhist tradition that says we can gain merit by rescuing trapped animals and setting them free.

Animal release is part of Vesak Day and other Buddhist holidays. It is also adopted by many non-Buddhists who think animal release brings them luck.

Rather than look for birds caught in a fisherman’s net or something, people BUY animals and set them free. Of course traders make money out of this by capturing wild animals, selling them, and getting them back in the cage the moment the customer leaves.

Ironically there is also a group who say that animals are released as a symbolic act to liberation that commemorates those in captivity or tortured.

And not a thought for the thousands of animals that die from fear, stress, and broken wings, limbs and goodness knows what else during this process!

If you are in the US you may have seen that twit Richard Gere promoting this cruelty during his Visa campaign.

Here it is on  youtube but for those of you who have slow connections...

It’s the one where he goes to an Indian market, overhears a little girl say that her brother is going on a journey, and that she wants to buy and free a caged bird for good luck. When she can’t afford it, Gere rushes in with his Visa card and buys them all for her.

Honestly it makes me so mad. If you want good luck or merit or to make a symbolic gesture for those wrongly imprisoned, then volunteer at an animal shelter or go human rights organisation.

End of rant…

27 comments:

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty E,
I agree with you wholeheartedly. RG is a twit, that I agree with too. har har har *evil laughs*

Sparkle said...

You are so right! How can humans not see the inherent cruelty in this practice? I'll never understand...

Blackie Bond said...

Well said! Go volunteer at a shelter home if they want merit.
Personally, I hadn't known of such practise until you raised it. Goes to show what a sheltered life I lead, huh, being a Malaysian but not knowing what other cultures/religions are practising. But then, I'm not one who subscribes to religion.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

The first time I watched the ad, I was deeply concerned over the fate of the birds. Being caged birds, they may not have flown far due to disorientation. Many would have been killed by strays. Others would have been captured and re-sold. I keep telling people, it's not an act of penance but of cruelty. Funny how thousands of people are willing to buy fish, turtles and birds for release on a religious holiday but we couldn't even get 100 volunteers to help us clean up the temple grounds the day after. So much for wanting to do right in the eyes of God.

Marg said...

That is really horrible. Talk about cruelty to animals. I have never heard of this either. Someone needs to figure out a different way to get some good luck. Maybe not trap the animals. Hope all the kitties are well. Have a fun day.

Fuzzy Tales said...

We certainly have to agree with you there. Funny how humans think that "merit" or "luck" can be earned by this kind of stupidity and cruelty. What a bizarre species, the homo sapiens!

Fluffy and Heather said...

I always knew there was something fishy about Richard Gere. :S This is actually the first time I've heard of such a practice. People's treatment of animals just becomes more and more despicable as time goes on. :(

Kjelle Bus said...

Me and mom totally agree with you !!!
and we say like the the Fuzzy tales that homo sapiens sure is a bizarre species !

The Cat From Hell said...

People are cruel. People are strange.
Me will never get it
Nellie

Cheysuli and gemini said...

I am heart broken that everything has become so commercialized. Don't people realize that true spirituality is not from the act in a ritual but from the spirit in which it is done. How much better to free a homeless pet from their suffering by offering it a home--from joy in your heart and compassion in your being--than to carelessly buy a caged animal to free it with only the fear of what may happen if you do not.

Boo-Bah AKA Iris said...

How awful!! What is wrong with humans. Releasing and then not caring what happens to them is pretty thoughtless.
I look at my 4 and I am so happy they are loved and taken care of.
I think giving a homeless animal a forever home and love would bring good luck That good luck would be the love and companionship that the animal would give back would be all the luck anyone would need.

BeadedTail said...

This is awful! We didn't know about that commercial or the practice of releasing a bird for good luck but it's horrible. When will people understand?

Barbara said...

How crazy! How can people be so unthinking? And as for RG he needs a slap! As you so rightly point out, forget the token gestures and actually do something that will lessen suffering.

Debra Taylor said...

People think they are doing something good, but don't look behind the scenes - don't see the whole picture. And wouldn't it be great for Visa to launch a campaign to promote people using their Visa to go adopt a shelter animal and buy it supplies! I'd love to see that.


For those reading this, check out my cat blog archives for some informative posts and archived stories about the cat abandoned/feral colony I manage.
http://homelesscatcare.blogspot.com/
Debby in Arizona USA

Team Tabby said...

We had never heard of this either! We agree that this is awful, serves no purpose and we certainly don't need RG promoting it! Thanks for making us aware.

Admiral Hestorb said...

YOU said a mouthful there girlfriend!!!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Oh, thanks for answering that for us. We had no idea. And we've never seen the Visa commercial. If we had, we wouldn't have understood it.

It's a shame some folks don't get it. Volunteering at an animal shelter is a good idea instead of "merit" releasing.

Simba said...

It is interesting to learn about this ritual, and so very sad for the animals involved. Hoping for the best for Soup!

Kwee Cats said...

You guys are so right. And there's a lot of dumb twits out there. Our Mumsy figures one way she contributes good energy to life is by being kind to us furries. Thank you for purring for her. You guys are great friends.
(((hugs))) and have a good weekend.

Brian said...

I still say humans like that make a great case for spay and neuter, they shouldn't be reproducing either!

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We will never understand the strange ways of people.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

"There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Richard Gere."

Seriously, people, is it that hard to just leave animals alone?

Kitikata-san said...

Good bye Soup! Hoping you have a very nice long life!

meowmeowmans said...

We agree with you wholeheartedly! Yes, if you want good luck, merit, or karma ... go volunteer for homeless animals. :)

Declan said...

Well said. Mum told me she overheard someone say that they wouldn't adopt an animal from a shelter as they wouldn't want a "second hand pet". Boy, are some humans stupid. Some of those idiots make KC look intelligent, and thats saying something. Deccy x

Splendid Little Stars said...

And that video makes it look all so romantic and glorious!
"Pet" animals released into the wild may not have natural predators and will eventually take over.

Purrfect Haven said...

I couldn't agree more and have learnt much from your post.Love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx