My two cents on “Dark Tourism”

(So – I didn’t blog yesterday. I was suffering from an affliction commonly caused by the consumption of red wine. Don’t judge me.)


I saw the most dreadful thing the other day while watching Netflix’s new series Dark Tourism. I can’t remember which episode it was, but it was the one where he’s in Indonesia attending a funeral ceremony that can be adequately described as… pretty disturbing. To me though, it was horrifying. It was not the fact that the deceased person had been dead for 2 years that bothered me, (the body had been mummified) but rather the sacrificial rituals involving live animals that completely turned my stomach. 

Countless of buffalos and pigs were killed in this ritual, by locals chasing them around a small yard and stabbing them to death with knives while the poor animals panicked and tried to get away. Once they were dead, they proceeded with chopping them up on the spot and passing around intestines and meat to be put in a grill of sorts to be cooked. It was, quite literally, a bloodbath.

I’m not joking when I say that there was a small child, probably around the age of 5 or 6, carrying a brain in his hands, happily shouting to his friends. Am I weird for finding this so revolting?

I know I’m a hypocrite, like many others, for being concerned about animals yet still eat meat. I was actually a vegetarian for over 3 years, but it didn’t work out in the end because of health issues. At least I try to make sure that the meat I buy is ethically produced.

Ok, so the brain thing is morbid, plain and simple, but I guess it’s viable when you think of the differences in culture and society. The reason why I and so many others would find this so revolting is that we aren’t used to this kind of thing. I suppose anything can be ok when you look at it like that – but does that make it right? Does that make it ethical?

As soon as you enter “religion/culture/tradition” territory, you’re in trouble. People are very protective of their traditions, ourselves included, but one would hope that seeing them from an outsiders’ perspective might induce a bit of critical thinking. Especially since the presenter David Farrier couldn’t even stay throughout the ritual, he had to get away from all the squealing and death. It was obvious how offputting he found it, and hopefully, some of the locals would have noticed that too. If his reaction could create even the smallest doubt regarding their treatment of animals, then at least I would consider it (more) justified.


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