Blood drinking festival In Myagdi and Manang as food how safe for public health and cruelty to these species -Dr.Kedar Karki
Background: Every year in the district of Myagdi and Manang drinking of raw hot blood of yaks direct from the jugular vein is being organized. There is popular believe that drinking such fresh blood of yak cure many alignments and diseases .But in meat hygiene and meat science blood is not considered as edible part of meat as it is being considered that the fresh blood contents all residue of toxic by- products of metabolism of feed as well infection if it had happen . So in normal physiological process these harmful toxic metabolites in infection agents are either destroyed or excreted through urine after blood purification process. Just drinking hot fresh blood can pose a public health hazard as in this regard no any academic study has been documented. Further more for drinking hot fresh blood directly from jugular vein may cause pathetic to these innocent animal which can be considered as animal cruelty. This act may further expose these animals to many infectious diseases both from environment as well as from human.
Many cultures consume blood as food, often in combination with meat. The blood may be in the form of blood sausage, as a thickener for sauces, a cured salted form for times of food scarcity, or in a blood soup. This is a product from domesticated animals, obtained at a place and time where the blood can run into a container and be swiftly consumed or processed. In many cultures the animal is slaughtered. In some cultures, blood is a taboo food.
Religious consumption of blood: Consumption of blood as a nutrient is forbidden in Islam, except liver and spleen. The Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran, and some Anglican churches, believe that in the sacrament of the Eucharist, the participants consume the literal blood and body of Jesus Christ. The post-communion prayer of the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer describes the meal as “spiritual food”. Many other Christian denominations symbolically consume the Eucharist.
However, nowhere in Christianity is the drink consumed at the Eucharist actual blood, even among denominations believing in transubstantiation the literal transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood. The consumption of actual blood is in fact forbidden according to the book of Leviticus, part of both Jewish and Christian Holy Scriptures. The “words of institution”, which includes the words Jesus said to his Disciples at the Last Supper, would have been surprising and even unsettling to those present for this reason, especially as the Last Supper was a Passover Seder. The ban on consumption of blood by Christians was affirmed after Jesus’ death by the Apostolic Decree, chronicled in the Acts of the Apostles.
Other religions and spiritual traditions do consume actual blood as part of rituals. Some Pagan traditions, Satanism, a few Native American and voodoo traditions are reported to consume actual blood, in some cases human (usually willingly donated by participants in the ceremony). The symbolism of the blood itself and the act of drinking it varies between these traditions; in Pagan tradition, the blood of many participants is mingled in a chalice which they then drink from, symbolizing a bond between them not unlike becoming blood brothers. In voodoo, blood from various sources, including chicken’s blood, goat’s blood and even menstrual blood is a common ingredient in spells and potions. Satanism, similar to voodoo, is a nebulous collection of traditions, generally associated with devil worship and perversions of images from Gothic Romanticism, including vampiric acts such as the drinking of blood. These were originally invented by Gothic writers as violations of Christian doctrine intended to invoke disgust and horror in the reader.
The Truth about Nepal’s Blood-Drinking Festivals: Yaks are large, shaggy-haired animals related to cattle that live in the high altitudes of the Himalayas. Up there, yaks graze on herbs that villagers believe are good for digestion but aren’t directly digestible by humans. Yak blood is believed to contain the herbs’ medicinalproperties and other healthful benefits. And so once or twice a year, villagers undertake an arduous trek up the hillsides to where the yaks roam. They set up camp for about a week, rustle up the yaks, carefully slit their neck veins and cup the blood that pours forth, drinking it while it’s still hot. The staple Nepalese diet consists of rice, lentils and vegetables. Meat is a rarity in the rural parts where the festivals prevail. These communities are largely Buddhists and Buddhists are not allowed to kill animals. They are, however, allowed to eat the meat of an animal that dies by accident. Over-bleeding, is a pretty good “way to accidentally end up with a dead yak.”
Conclusion: Now in respect of both public healths as well animal welfare aspect review of this tradition has to be considered. So that public can be saved from zoonotic disease as well these animals species too.