Author Topic: Watching animal slaughter. Abhorent treatment of animals for religious killing.  (Read 921 times)

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Watching slaughter 

Joseph Mayton | 16 November 2010   

On Tuesday, I ventured out early in the morning with the intention of taking some photos of animals being slaughtered in Cairo. While I managed to take a few, for the most part, those partaking in the ritual slaughter refused to allow me to capture the killing. I was able to witness an incident that went straight to my heart. As I turned the corner, a goat was sprinting down the street. Some half dozen men were chasing it. The goat was screaming and it was easy to see the blood dripping from its injured limbs. I stood in the street, stunned at what I was witnessing.

Following the group around the corner, I happened upon a makeshift pen where another two goats stood, waiting impatiently for their turn at the knife. The sounds of sadness emanating from the animals was heartwrenching. The men tied the attempted escapee to a nearby wall and prepared for the kill. I had never seen an animal slaughtered in front of me and I believed I would be able to take images to show the world, but as soon as the knife was pulled out the goat began to squirm and scream for its life. Those who argue that animals are not knowledgeable about what is happening are sorely mistaken.

Finally, one of the men stepped forward, lifted the goats neck into the air and sliced down. For a second I thought he hadn’t done anything, but then the goat began to writhe and try in vain to get free. The blood began to soak the cement below, turning everything within reach red with the animals blood. The goat continued to scream, squirm and jump for the next few minutes. It was clearly in massive amounts of pain as it waited to die. My camera was laying loosely on my shoulder. It was too much to see any living creature be subjected to this kind of torture and murder.

In October, the Green Prophet ran an article by a Jordanian woman talking about her first recollections of Eid – the holiday to commemorate Abraham’s sacrifice to God – and how the animal she saw did not suffer and was killed “humanely.” How can killing be done humanely? How can death be without suffering? The author is wrong that the animals don’t suffer when their neck is slit and blood is drained from their bodies. Would it be humane to execute human beings in this manner? I think not.

What shocks me about the Eid al-Adha “celebrations” is the overall lack of compassion and equal consideration that animals deserve. They are not here, unlike many religious scholars from all faiths, to serve human purposes. Animals, much like our now deceased goats, live in families, have relationships with one another and want to survive. Obviously, anyone who witnessed the goat sprinting down the road today must think otherwise than to believe that sacrifice can be done humanely.