AGMS conducted a program to rescue cattle from slaughter, as a part of the Vesak celebrations in 2016. Cattle to be slaughtered for meat were purchased and given to dairy farmers who would take care of them while using them in their livelihoods. This was carried out in keeping with the Buddhist principle to spread loving kindness and compassion to all living beings. Milch cows, pregnant cows and calves were given priority so that farmers in rural areas could benefit from them.
Animals were provided to famers on strict conditions to ensure that rescued cows don’t get sold back to the slaughter house. AGMS rescued 51 cows and this large herd was sent to the village of Shrawasthipura in the Anuradhapura district to be used by dairy farmers. The Chief Incumbent of Sri Bodhirukkharama temple Ven. Rajangane Saddhananda Thero along with the “Dayaka Sabha” coordinated and extended support in selecting suitable families to donate the cows. Cows were purchased from slaughterhouses in Medawachchiya, Wilachchiya, Thanthirimale, Habarana and several other locations. Each cow cost around Rs.35,000 to Rs.50,000 depending on the weight of the animal. Eleven pregnant cows and 12 milch cows included in the herd.
Recipients highly valued the project saying that they had been unable to buy cows so far due to financial difficulties and that the AGMS project was truly a blessing. AGMS is proud to have carried out this project as per the Buddhist principle of ‘Metta’ which explains that “Sympathy and empathy for sentient beings is at the core of Buddhist compassion,” and according to Dhammapada “all fear the rod of death, all are scared. (Understanding others) from one’s own example, one should neither kill nor cause to kill”.