Buddhist groups step up reminders to followers to avoid releasing animals on Vesak Day, The Straits Times, 28 May 2018

The Straits Times carried an article which noted that the Singapore Buddhist Federation and other experts encouraged devotees to refrain from releasing animals to mark Vesak Day. Yale-NUS Assistant Professor in Social Sciences (Anthropology) Neena Mahadev, who specialises in the study of religion, explained that the practice of releasing animals on Vesak Days and on other special occasions is known as “fangsheng” among Chinese Buddhists, and “jiwitte dana” (the gift of life) among Theravada Buddhists. She also explained that Singaporean Buddhists “tend to be mindful of the broader ecosystem and are educating themselves on which animals are appropriate for release, and which will survive in the wild”.


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