Taiwan's 'Prayer Animals' Wreak Havoc

In Taiwan, the faithful annually release some 200 million animals into the wild, or think they do, in an effort to accumulate good karma. However, it’s actually taking a frightful toll on both animal rights and the island's biodiversity. Across much of Asia, particularly in Buddhist temples, making merit has been described as a kind of bank account of good deeds laid up to move the individual along the path to successful reincarnation. However, the increasingly wealthy Taiwanese seem to have carried it to extremes, releasing animals in batches of hundreds or even thousands, to the increasing detriment to the environment.

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