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First Fruits

To Whom It Concerns,

I am writing today to share my disturbance regarding the ritual Ukweshwama, or the First Fruits Ritual, which is scheduled to occur {in December}. I have learned that this event is characterized by the methodical torture and slaughter of a bull by Zulu men in a demonstration of manhood, a ceremony celebrating the passage from child to man. During this event, a bull is systematically brutalized, his tongue, eyes, and tail ripped out; the testicles are further tied in a knot and sand and mud is forcibly shoved down his throat while he is beaten and skinned. This unremitting torture is inflicted on the bull while he is fully conscious, subjecting him to what can only be considered excruciating pain and prolonged suffering: death typically does not occur for almost an hour following this savagery. With utmost respect, I plea with you to intervene to cease this animal cruelty.

This event is considered a cultural tradition, a celebration of heritage and a demonstration of manly courage and strength. While I would never embrace such an egotistical belief that my opinions take precedent over established and sacred customs, any “tradition”, however, that is built on a foundation of extreme animal cruelty, exploitation, and suffering, and which inflicts pain and fear on innocent, sentient animals, is neither justified, nor an expression of historical or manly pride. There can be no honor amongst those who condemn animals to such depraved actions substantiating my disturbance that such animal cruelty is perpetuated by the inaccurate conviction that this ritual confirms manhood.

I understand approval is being extended based on the Constitution, Section 31, which provides freedom of religious beliefs; however, religious tolerance ends when innocent beings are targeted for harm and death. Just as one human cannot legally or morally harm another human based on freedom of religious expression, neither can a group expect immunity during rituals that clearly violate the Animal Welfare Act and any international standards concerning the practice of such. Furthermore, it is my understanding that KZN maintains the highest rape occurrences in the country, a sad and violent statistic to embrace, reinforcing the fact that violence only breeds more violence: when animal cruelty is received with cultural tolerance, both violence and acceptance escalates, the result of which is societal impunity towards human suffering.

As such, I, along with a global contingent of concerned citizens, respectfully request that you intervene to share your hope of peace that can only begin once all creatures are embraced in this vision of harmony and nonviolence. Only upon acknowledging the inherent right to life free from suffering for all creatures can humans fully realize and experience serenity and equity amongst ourselves. Please provide your voice for others to observe their obligatory duty and responsibility by protecting animals, not condoning their torture; your ethical gesture of compassion would serve as an international model of empathy.

Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent issue.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Ulrike Hartner-Okafor permalink
    November 19, 2015 1:43 pm

    Please end this Horror for the animals.


  2. christine burgess permalink
    November 23, 2015 4:26 pm

    this needs a petition


  3. keivan raissi permalink
    November 25, 2015 6:38 am

    لطفا این وحشیگری را خاتمه دهید


  4. Audrey permalink
    November 30, 2015 8:29 am

    What is the matter with these people!! That’s horrendous.


  5. Sara Nicole permalink
    December 1, 2015 4:50 pm

    Please stop torturing these living, breathing, innocent souls!! This needs to stop! They have feelings too!!


  6. Timmy permalink
    December 1, 2015 4:52 pm



  7. Audrey permalink
    December 1, 2015 4:53 pm

    Please end this torture for these animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. Cathy marsh permalink
    December 11, 2017 11:36 am

    This is a not needed an should be stopped now


  9. Cathy marsh permalink
    December 11, 2017 11:39 am

    This is not needed an should stop now


  10. Virginia Perkins permalink
    August 3, 2019 3:11 am

    Please, please stop this cruelty. I understand it’s part of the culture, but not all cultural traditions are good. This is barbaric and no animal deserves to die like this. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Don Hughes permalink
    September 24, 2020 1:27 pm

    There people who should not be allowed to live.

    Where are the addresses?


    • September 24, 2020 2:16 pm

      Hi, Don. Thank you for your interest. The original alert was via PETA, and it is no longer active so the letter is for personal use, I was unable to get additional or updated information from PETA. If you get any information yourself, however, please let me know, thank you.


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