World Cup Animal Slaughter

For the second time in less than two-weeks, another senseless animal sacrifice is about to occur in the guise of a ritual to bless humans.  On November 24, 2009 Hindu followers in Nepal participated in a two-day religious ceremony that killed between 200,000 – 300,000 innocent animals to satisfy the deity – Gadhimai


And on December 5th the people of South Africa are preparing to stage their own brutal sacrifice to bless their success in a “game of football.” 


The FIFA Soccer World Cup is the international premier football event and for the first time in its history the game will be hosted by an African nation. 


This was quite an achievement for South Africa who beat out 203 other countries for the honor of hosting the event.  And since 2004 they have been building stadiums and the infrastructure to accommodate the large number of soccer fans that plan to watch the games in June and July 2010.  


Now that the project is completed, the Zulu king and his spiritual leaders called the Makhonya Royal Trust are calling for a “true African” way to bless the upcoming tournament.  They want to sacrifice a bull in each stadium during a festival.


The custom is called Ukweshwama and it is the practice of killing a bull with a person’s bare hands.  It typically involves a large group of young men who pull the cow to the ground and attack until he is dead.  The slaughter is painful and slow.


The chairman of the Royal Trust said in an interview with Reuters news agency, “We sacrifice the cow for this great achievement and we call on our ancestors to bless, to grace, to ensure that all goes well.  The World Cup will be on the African continent and we will make sure that African values and cultures are felt by the visitors.”


The crisis has received a lot of attention from the international media and worldwide animal rights organizations. Members of Care2 started a petition to stop the sacrifice. 


However on a local basis only one group called Animal Rights Africa took action and brought the Zulu king to court.  This resulted in a stalemate between the two sides when the judge was unable to make a decision.


It appears that the international pressure was too much for the judge and he turned it over to the South Africa High Court.  They called for a meeting with the parties involved and are expected to make a ruling soon.


Sadly, FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) which is the governing body for the World Cup has remained silent.  And no one has heard complaints from the sponsors of the event: Budweiser, Continental, MTN, McDonalds, Satyam, Castrol, Adidas, Coca Cola, Sony, Visa and Emirates.


Even the National Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is the governing body of the SPCA’s in Africa, has not objected to the slaughter.  They told the BBC their only request is that the ritual be “done in a humane way” and they “want to be involved in the process to ensure the welfare of the cattle.”


To make matters worse, one judge in the High Court told the South Africa Sapa news agency, “The activity was as important to the Zulu tradition as the Holy Communion was to Catholics.” 


The fate of the bulls is expected soon, but the odds seem stacked against them.  So more than likely, on Saturday December 5, 2009 a group of innocent animals will be led into shiny, new soccer stadiums and brutally killed by civilized people in honor of a game of football. 


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Martha L.
Past Member 6 years ago


cv wheaton w.
Cara w.6 years ago

Liza Isn't South Africa a democracy. Who "rules" your country?

Marishka k.
Marishka k.6 years ago

im so tired of animals being killed!
this has to stop, this isn't a game or a sport it is torture!

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p.6 years ago

boycott the games, the sponsors, south africa.

Darian M.
Darian M.6 years ago

No that is just a sick game to some metally sick humans if they do that. I am ashamed to be a human after some of the things we do.

Sharon B.
Sharon B.6 years ago

Oh No, how hideous!! I've just seen this now and am wondering if some poor bulls did meet an awful fate on 5 december or were reprieved (hopefully), but if they were sacrificed how any civilised person can justify it on any grounds, least of all in the name of sport!! What makes me feel worse is that although I live in New Zealand, I'm from South Africa and feel deep shame about something like many people still need to learn to respect and care for animals, and shed any strange beliefs or traditions that condone cruelty to them.

Meghan C.
Meghan C.6 years ago

This is NOT excusable. I don't care about tradition. "Because we always have" does not make something right. Or alright.

Animalib B.
.6 years ago

Cruelty to animals has no justification. And thing about culture, religion or tradition is a reflection of being backward and primitive.

Clarice C.
Clarice copia6 years ago

We believe animals have rights.This is ignorance and cruelty. It has nothing to do with religion. This people make me sad.

Lauren Hale
Lauren Hale6 years ago

This is terrible poor bulls