Saving the Elephants

Posted on October 30, 2012 by

0


 Image

Elephants are said to be one of the most selfless animals since they seem to always go out of their way to help others.  In the 1970s, over 600,000 elephants were poached and killed for their ivory and that number has been increasing every year since.  Six years ago, in 2006, 23,000 elephants were illegally slaughtered.  Does it matter that it was against the law or is it just ethically and morally wrong to kill innocent animals?  The heartbreaking realization is these murderers we call human beings just want the elephant’s ivory to sell on the black market.  Once the ivory is sold on the black market it is then distributed to temples and shrines where it is used for carving Buddha statues.  What these Buddhist monks do not realize is that elephants are endangered and they are being killed to make these miniature statues. 

Image

 

The unjust poaching business is motivated by the appeal for religious art.  Most of the monks who carve these ivory statues believe that it is acceptable to poach these animals because it is for the better good of the temples.  The religion of Buddhism is mostly an animal friendly religion, but some aspects of their mythology are notably antagonistic regarding animals.  The yin and yang of animal respect in Buddhism is almost identical in size, but are unforgiveable at heart.  Buddhist’s try to do no harm, or as little harm as possible, to elephants and try to treat humans and animals alike and as equal as possible. This is because they both have Buddha nature, they can both become enlightened, and your atman can be born into a human body or non-human body. 

            The Buddhist community does have respect for animals evidently, but yet they support this catastrophe of massacring elephants.  The negative cogitation that Buddhists have towards animals is surrounded by the concept Karma (action or deed).  The principles of Karma entails that souls are reborn as animals because they had bad karma in their previous lives.  While they are animals and cannot converse with humans and partake in good deeds, they cannot improve their karmic status, therefore they will remain an animal till their karma is worn out.  So by killing elephants for ivory, the consequence for Buddhists monks is to receive bad karma.  In the Mahayana institution, they believe that harming animals even for the better good is morally wrong; most of the bodhisattvas are vegetarian. 

            Most Buddhists think these little statues will bring them blessings, when in reality they only provide bad karma.  Ivory was banned in 1989, but the government has a hard time enforcing the law.  Clearly, 30 some years of reinforcing this law is not doing the trick.  The ivory selling business has multiplied to dozens of countries including Africa, China, and Philippines.  My guess is, at this rate, the elephants of the world will all be dead within 10 years and many Buddhists monks will have Karma to restore.

 

Image

Image

Image 

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/buddhistethics/animals.shtml

http://buddhism.about.com/b/2012/10/19/elephants-for-buddhas.htm

http://magblog.audubon.org/booming-ivory-trade-spurs-elephant-poaching-frenzy

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/ivory/christy-text

www.pinterest.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in: Uncategorized