PETA: STOP Fooling Us, I Know What You're Doing With Jallikattu

Pratip Vijayakumar Pratip Vijayakumar in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 19 January, 2017

Jallikattu. We've been hearing this for a week. It's everywhere in Tamil Nadu. Yes, only for the past week and somehow only before the Pongal week is everyone showing interest in Jallikattu. Rest of the days they were worried about trolling some Celebrity or Watch Jodi.No.1 and Nagini on TV (Engerndhuda thideer paasam varudhu ungalukku).

I want to just stick to the Politics behind the ban but first, let me educate you a little bit. This is required for many because, you know, we just follow the trend without questioning or reasoning and the same follows in the case of Jallikattu. Herd Mentality. (As far as I’ve seen.)

So what is Jallikattu?
In Tamil we call it Eru Thazhuvudhal (ஏறு தழுவுதல்), which is loosely translated into 'embracing the bull' which is a sport celebrated on the Maatu Pongal day (A special day to thank bulls and cows, because they were used in farming activities). This is what Jallikattu is all about.


In every village, Jallikattu bulls are trained from adolescence. Feeding and maintaining a bull for Jallikattu is no joke. People spend significant sums on the bulls' nutrition to make them strong. Bulls are brought together from various villages around the host village.



How is the Jallikattu Sport conducted? 
As far as I’ve known and seen, before the sport starts, both bulls and the players will have to take a test. Bulls will be tested on various parameters to make sure they aren’t injured. Players they will be tested by Government Vets to make sure they're not drunk. No player is allowed to carry any weapons because that's considered cowardice.

Once the tests are over, the bulls are freed one by one. Vadivaasal is the only variant that happens in Jallikattu. Vaadivaasal is when the bulls come out of the tent and players are to embrace the bulls' humps until a predetermined end point.


If a player succeeds in doing this, they are awarded a cash prize and if the player fails, the bull owner receives a cash prize.

The players and the bulls will have to go through a test to make sure they come out of the field with no injuries.



What happens to the failed bulls?
After the Jallikattu event, the bulls that won or in other words the bulls that didn’t let the players embrace them until the predetermined end point will be used for mating purposes. It is understood that these bulls' genes will produce more nutritious bulls or cows in the future.

The bulls that lose will be taken to their respective owners' homes and they will be trained again. After a number of attempts it's the owner's decisions to keep the bull or to sell it in Maatu Santhai.




Why the ban?
Now, time to dig deeper and jump into the real issue. In 2004, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Agencies (FIAPO) and PETA India protested against conducting Jallikattu. The Animal Welfare Board of India filed a case in the Supreme Court against conducting Jallikattu. In 2014, they succeeded and the Supreme Court issued an order to stop Jallikattu from taking place in Tamil Nadu.



In 2010 the Supreme Court allowed Jallikattu to take place in front of District collector, Zonal Sub-Inspector of Police, and Government Vets. PETA India and Animal Welfare Board of India protested again, stating that Jallikattu isn’t happening according to the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. They also produced video footage and claimed that it was shot on the day of Jallikattu. After Supreme Court’s announcement the officials had made sure to paint the horns of the bulls with a JK number (much like a Jersey number worn in other sports). The video footage by PETA didn’t have these JK numbers on bulls' horns.

Well, I suspect that the video was staged.

In 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Forest banned the use of bulls as performing animals. When did a bull became a wild animal. Isn’t it a domestic animal? Even so, why only bulls? When not make the Elephant a domestic animal? 


Why not ban elephants from being used in Temples and other festivals?

What I think
I infer from all of the above mentioned incidents that PETA played a big role in bringing down Jallikattu. From my understanding, they are a group of vegans funded by deep pockets from unknown sources. They have shit loads of money to recruit top paid lawyers and shake the society every now and then.

I personally tried to comment on PETA’s Facebook page defending Jallikattu. They shared just one video on the topic in the past 6 years and they really have no other evidence to show. These are the guys who didn’t give a damn about 'Spanish bull fights'.

They didn’t stop Spanish bullfights because they can't be bothered about bulls or animals in general. But they'd like to decimate the proportion of Indian bull breeds and as a chain reaction, Indian cattle breeds will vanish.

Exotic breeds like Jersey, Holstein, and some more genetically mutated bulls will be imported, which are rich in fat and also have the tendency to induce diabetes. Kids these days get diabetes at an earlier age and ost of the packaged milk is made from these exotic breeds of cattle. They produce close to 40 litres of milk a day.  

The dairy industry is flourishing. Indian native cattle breeds produce A2 milk and these exotic breeds produce A1 milk. It took some time for them to understand that native Indian and African cattle breeds are the only ones that produce A2 Milk. Ulterior motives, PETA?

Visit this link where PETA secretly slaughtered kittens and pups in the name of making a shelter house in the US. When I shared this on their FB page, the response I got was “This incident happened in the US and PETA India is an individual organization”.

Last words
Jallikattu is part of Tamilian tradition and many who don’t care to understand it call it a 'barbaric sport'. Apart from being a traditional sport, Jallikattu also plays a major role in saving native Indian bulls, especially the breeds in Tamil Nadu, like Kangeyam, Umbalamchery, Bargur, Pulikulam.

We support Jallikattu because we want to preserve our native cattle breeds. You should too.