National Heritage Day, September 24, has inexplicably been turned into National Braai Day. Instead of celebrating the considerable creative talent in South Africa, we have chosen to focus on violence and blood.
Millions of farm animals in South Africa have died to satisfy the celebration of a primitive ritual - cooking a once-living, sentient being over an open fire - often rotated over the flames on a steel bar shoved through its anus and emerging through its mouth.
People would shriek with horror and run screaming to the SPCA if the animal on the spit were their loving cat or dog - why don't we extend the same compassion to other creatures?
Why do we lavish love on some animals but stick a fork into others?
This is a "cultural" ritual that should be dumped in history's dustbin, where slavery and apartheid and other obscenities have been buried.
It is obviously easy to slip into a comfort zone of denial - refusing to admit that the charred chunk of meat on your plate was cut out of the body of an animal horribly killed after a lifetime of suffering.
We live in an increasingly violent society.
Celebrating silly, vacuous and vicious events such as a National Braai Day perpetuates the cycle of violence.
Catherine Molyneux, United for Animals, Johannesburg