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Making merit? Birds in bags spark outrage over Buddhism business


A photo of four birds crammed in a plastic bag, on sale to Buddhists who want to give them freedom to earn merits, sparked anger online today.

The photo, released by Facebook page “Friends Not Food – Thailand,” which exposes the cruelty behind slaughterhouses, was said to have been taken outside the historic P้anan Cheong Temple in Ayutthaya. A bag containing animals comes with a piece of paper outlining what type of “merit” they’ll earn from giving the animal its freedom.

“There were dozens of vendors selling fishes, turtles, and birds. These animals are caged in a plastic bag all day long. Look at their living conditions. How could the vendors do this?” the photo caption said.
It continued: “The animals come with a piece of papers saying releasing turtles will make you live longer, releasing birds will give you luck and so on. So moronic!”

While releasing captive animals has long been a way to make merit for Thai Buddhists, there has always been debate on whether buying caged animals from people who capture them in the first place is considered making merit or if this is sinful.

“Folks, because there are no authorities to fix this, no monks to say that this is not the Buddhist way to these gullible people, let’s put these vendors out of business,” the Facebook user wrote.

He encouraged people to drive the “evil” businesses out of the country by not buying from them.”Please share this photo and tell your friends, coworkers, families and loved ones to do the right thing. Let’s get rid of this awful business. We Thai Buddhists must stop being gullible and follow the true teachings of Buddha!”

Thai commenters agreed that giving these animals freedom — so they could be captured again by greedy vendors – constituted animal abuse. Some called for authorities to enforce the animal cruelty law on the vendors.
One user commented that the vendors usually drug the animals so they would return to captivity after being released.

Source : Coconuts Bangkok

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