Consulting democracy

The National Assembly has decided to amend the Livestock Act (2001) to remove the ban on the slaughter of animals and the sale of meat during the first and fourth months of our calendar.

I did not support the proposal to amend this Act. I did not support the proposal for a very simple reason – none of us had bothered to consult the monk body. And there are about 15,000 monks. That’s a lot of them. Enough to be taken seriously especially on issues concerning religious matters.

For a vibrant democracy: consult. And consult widely.


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  1. I thought the meat ban for two months a year for the Bhutanese community was a good rule simply for two very powerful reasons. Firstly, we are a Buddhist nation and secondly two months without meat is good for health too. many of the diseases like stomach cancer presumably is caused among the Bhutanese by too much consumption of meat. Yes, meat suppliers may complain but it is by default a good thing for them to take a break from being around flesh & blood.

  2. Opinionated Bhutanese says

    This option of what to eat and what not to eat should be left to the eaters. The government should focus on important matters, for instance the economy. I thought in Bhutan all religions have equal respect. Am I wrong?

  3. I think the monastic body should be left out of political stuff. I don’t really support religion and politics coming together, but of course decision maker should be guided by compassion, good moral and ethics.
    I don’t deny that this decision concerns all Buddhist but if people are really Buddhist, we can choose not to buy meat during these months and the rest (meaning the market) will follow automatically.

  4. It anyway was a ‘forced’ ban in a sense that people still ate meat during the two months. If the ban was intended to make Bhutanese (Budhists) more religious, it was badly beaten…. Religion is not politicians’ forte… Don’t let them mess up!

  5. i like the fact that it was brought up in this forum at all. there are also two things learnt here…..

    I think one very importnat is the fact that the amendment of the law itself… i mean 2001 is not very old… and perhaps most Minsiters whoa re there currently had that same profile. If the Act gets amended today, perhaps it should never have been made an act. there are other ways of stoping people from eating meat ( information /education).
    there are many similar laws that are forced on to people…. one i could think of is the sale of tobacco. It is band but like the meat..people either bought it in the black markets paying alarmingly higher than necessary or some just smuggle more than they would otherwise would during travel outside of the country.
    i agree that religous body should be kept outside of politics but they can be part of the eudcation system becuase it is true that the law was passed because of religious reasons in the first place.

  6. The ban was lifted as more animals are slaughtered and much earlier in thier lives due to the ban. As a Buddhist, this fact has to be respeted most compassionately.

    Given the above consideration I would say not only on those months only but meat supply should continue on all days, all months throughout the year.

    Let’s not be hypocrites. We search for meat more than anybody else.

    The ban is also negatively harming the economy? Can’t we see?

  7. The monks wanted to eat meat more than anybody else. If you consult them, they will say, “yes, ban should be lifted for meat supply at all time.” We have a degenerate group of monks whose priority is to eat and drink. They just wait eagerly for the “Lochae” season to begin!

    A thorough revamping of our monk body is required. The monks of Sri Lanka and Thailand should be the examples who eat only one meal a day that too by begging from the community!

    The NA did the right thing. We know what to expect even if the issue was discussed with the monk body.

  8. Monks are humans too… and most importantly humane….
    its okay to empathise with them….. and look at things from thier perspective… unless you only want to point fingers at others like always….
    can’t generalise always…. i have seen more “degenerate” people….

  9. First and foremost; Get rid of the Open Air Butchery. It’s practically a sore sight and hygenically deadly.

  10. You must remember that the meat eating monks are more in the villages. Please do not categorize. Most monks I’ve met are vegetarian.

  11. If we want good rules, then we must stop being hypocrites like you know who… This is one time that you should refer to the Constitution which guarantees equal rights, including the choice to eat or not, to all Bhutanese. Religion is an internal matter and I do not believe that not buying or eating meat because I am forced to do so by law makes me more religious than I already am. Democracy is about choice and denying people the right to choose is fundamental breach of its basic tenet. Any way, every one knows why you think the monk body should be consulted…

  12. I don’t remember you speaking up for our lams and lopens when the articles in the constitution relating to religious affairs were discussed. For instance, did you take time out to consult the monks on whether they should be allowed to vote or not? Let us not fool ourselves!


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