The government of India has declared Palitana a meat-free city, where the slaughter of animals and sale of meat and eggs is prohibited.
Palitana is a town in Gujarat which has over 900 temples and is considered to be one of the holiest places in Jainism.
The followers of Jainism, also known as Jains, preach peace and non-violence, and even clear their path as they walk, to avoid stepping on insects. While they consume dairy products, they aren’t allowed to eat meat and eggs.
Since the Jains believe their first saviour, Adinatha, was in Palitana, around 200 Jain monks demanded the whole city be declared as a meat-free zone. Even before their protest, some nearby towns were already declared as vegetarian zones.
The monks went on hunger strike in 2014 and demanded over 250 butcher shops be closed and the slaughter of animals be made illegal in the city - despite the fact that 25% of its residents are Muslim and the majority of the population are meat eaters.
However, the government declared the city as a meat-free zone in the same year, without considering the opinion of other residents who had been living in the city for generations.
The non-vegetarian residents called the ban a violation of their rights, as they can't sell or purchase meat within the city, or even consume non-vegetarian food in their own homes.
They have accused the Jains of discriminating and hurting followers of other religions in the city when they (Jains) don't even believe in hurting insects.
Image credit: DestinationPhotographers
Sun Jun 16 2019
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