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…