For quite sometimes, social media was flooded with public opinions of varying disparity against the introduction of slaughter houses. The loud echoes of unhappiness against it dwindled gradually or seemingly decreased, may be, for the government clarified to the public, it as an omission on the part of department of livestock or else, the Bhutanese kind-of-compassion is not perennial enough to quench the once voiced thirst of disparity. But either way; be it government with its supposed superficial policy in introduction of slaughter houses or the public on their unhappiness on governments decision, both did not live long!
The government of the day didn’t admit it as one of their decision and instead blamed the department of livestock; maybe for having such policy or for having put that into public domain. But, the logic behind the birth of any policy, which is either governments initiative or with insights from the government, fails to substantiate the blame-game. If it so happened with departments own initiative and without any knowledge of the government, the precedence of bringing the accountable offices under the rule of law for bypassing the government or the cabinet had already been initiated with the surrendering of secretaries earlier this year, and should be no exception here.
On the other hand, the whiff of displeasure expressed either through media or at individual level faded with time, though obscene in it succeeded in pushing the government to clarify, at least. If, it is a genuine compassion and no political discernment, the need to voice discontentment is avoidable. The ban on sale of meats’ or compulsory closing of meat shops on auspicious months and days won’t have occurred only, if we are not fan of Sha kam pa, Sikam, Ma-ru etc. Also, upon insight about possibility of such policy, did any of us think of turning vegetarian? If, even one of us did think of turning vegetarian, the chances of functionality of such policy is minimum, and think! What if we all turn vegetarian? Definitely! Supply will cease if demand does.
If we (those who are against its introduction) in principle, carry pride in compassion and consider ourselves unpretentious Buddhist, keep aside the policy, even a constitution on introduction of slaughter houses will not see the light. Like a draconian tobacco act that didn’t last long, a superficial policy will not be an exception either.
Bhutan as a nation, whose foundation being laid by no other than Zhabdrung; a Buddhist master, should not, even in its wildest dream consider to trade the lives of less fortunate beings, even if it cost its very existence, keep aside the already defunct economy. In a Buddhist country, is the introduction of slaughter houses really sensible? Is it the only way to boost the economy? Is it the only way to stop the meat import? Is it the only way to stop rupee outflow? Or is it the only alternative? Or is it the only solution? Can’t we turn vegetarian? From a holistic perspective, imposing a higher tax on meat imports will be as sensible as imposing green tax. Isn’t taxing on meat imports equally viable as exporting meat to economy?
Every time we elect a party and entrust the power, we do with a hope that at least they would care the sentiments of the electorates, if not of the nation. In a democracy, to woe an electorate is a daunting task, and by default, the policies and the system will incline towards it. But at the end of the day, five years regime of superficial policies and draconian acts to please a section of society won’t guarantee the ticket in the next.
Should we continue to blame the government for introducing slaughter houses or we blame ourselves for being meat lovers?