ABSTRACT

The cow protection movement in Sri Lanka has had enormous recent success in part because it has been able to excite support amongst technologically fluent Sinhalese youth. Social media sites such as Facebook have acted as a space where young Sinhalese have been able to congregate and share their views about cow protectionism and, more specifically, their opposition to halal. One major Facebook group is the International Buddhist Council of Sri Lanka, which runs numerous articles and advertisements denouncing the consumption of beef, mistreatment of cattle, and it is also a major proponent of halal abolitionism. The Hindu veneration of the cow has taken root among tribal communities and is still spreading. Cow protection is sometimes even extended to buffalo and other bovine animals. There is another important ethnic group in Sri Lanka that has a vested interest in the protection of cows: the Hindu Tamils.