In a, no doubt, sincere attempt to demonstrate their peaceful intentions towards all life forms and obtain good karma for themselves, Buddhists in Hong Kong may well be committing species genocide. According to the South China Morning Post it is the practice of some Buddhists to buy horseshoe crabs caught by fishermen and then, rather than eat them, release them back into the sea. The fishermen of Hong Kong, realising the lucrative possibilities of this ritual, are catching more and more of the prehistoric arthropods to meet the increasing demand. It is claimed by Hong Kong Release Live, a Buddhist group that organises the mass release of horseshoe crabs at sea, that one hundred and forty million crabs have been returned to the wild in the last three years alone.
The problem is that the horseshoe crab is a fussy creature that has very specific requirements when looking for a place to live. If these requirements are not met then the poor animal pops its clogs. The “releasing” of horseshoe crabs any old where in the sea means certain death for the supposedly fortunate creatures. Rather than creating good karma through their actions the Buddhists are in serious danger of creating a new addition to the endangered species list.