Feb 15, 2010
Recently I attended a roce wherein I witnessed a 'Voje' procession where they brought a pig turned upside down with its legs tied to a stave! Everyone enjoyed and had fun when they saw the Voje (the load) coming in. People danced, clicked pictures and were enjoying the scene. In fact the very sight was nauseating to me and I did not have fun seeing this! My eyes were just glued watching this pig in agony throughout the voje procession.
I could see the pain in the pig’s eyes as it had to take the support of its limbs to carry its body weight! Apart from the pig there were other animals in the Voje procession. There was a hen which was held gently by a man and a goat which was walking free with one end of the rope around its neck and the other end held by a man. All this was fine except for the torture of the pig which I felt should have been avoided.
After reaching home I broached this subject with my aunt who gave me some insight about the tradition of catholic marriages. She convinced me saying it has been the tradition way back since the roce ceremony has come into vogue in Catholic weddings. Despite her trying to convince me I could not agree with this old and inhuman practice of torturing animals. Just because it is a tradition is it appropriate on our part to amuse ourselves looking at the helpless animal tied upside down and hanging on a stick? I do agree we slaughter animals for our food. At least we don’t see the animals pain that time. Agreed! The food chain never stops. It is an ongoing process. Animals like tiger, lions, cheetah etc., are carnivores animals depending on other animals for their food and it is natural.
Man has been using animals training them to ride bicycles or jump through a ring of fire in circus. But alas! They don’t have any choice! Man has been very selfish and has been using animals to amuse himself in the process torturing these animals. I very well know one cannot bring the pig the way a goat is brought in the Voje procession as the pig may bite people or may just run helter- skelter. But can’t we Catholics stop getting a pig to a roce function at least? While most of us have stopped this age old practice there are a few who practice this inhuman custom in the name of tradition.
Hope this article brings in awareness among all those concerned and whenever we see this kind of practice it is our bounden duty to make them understand the futility of putting an end to this macabre practice. I hope at least in future we don’t get an instance of seeing a pig hanged precariously with its legs tied on a stick with its head upside down !
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