Indian official lynched for stopping crocodile show called "sacrifice"

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:

Indian official lynched for stopping crocodile show called “sacrifice”

    BANGALORE–Madan Naik,  54,  assistant conservator of forests in Danduli,  Karnataka,  India,  was on May 6, 2012  allegedly dragged from his car and stoned by a group of 16 drunken visitors to Crocodile Valley,  a tourist attraction illegally operating on the bank of the Kali River near the Dandelappa temple,  inside the Dandeli-Anshi tiger reserve. Read more

EDITORIAL: Seeking an end to animal sacrifice

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  June 2012:

Editorial feature: Seeking an end to animal sacrifice

Among all the many uses and abuses of animals which persist for a cultural pretext, animal sacrifice is perhaps the most widely practiced,  in a variety of different forms and contexts,  and the most difficult to address in an effective manner,  leading to fewer animals being killed–or ideally,  none.

The difficulty of stopping animal sacrifice occurs in part because the perspective of people who practice animal sacrifice tends to be almost incomprehensible to those who oppose it.  Opponents are sometimes many generations and often oceans away from any ancestors who ever sacrificed animals.  Killing animals to be eaten at traditional holidays remains as ubiquitous as the slaughter of turkeys at the U.S. Thanksgiving.  Yet,  from the perspective of people who believe in a just and merciful god, which includes about 85% of humanity according to recent global surveys of religious belief,  the theology of practitioners of overt animal sacrifice might seem to many to be blasphemous.

What sort of god would demand that animals be killed?  Even the priests of the Spanish Inquisition,  who accompanied the conquistadors to the New World and “converted” Native Americans to Catholicism through genocidal use of sword and flame,  theorized that animal and human sacrifices were so self-evidently evil that the gods of the practitioners of such sacrifices must be diabolical.

From a secular perspective,  animal sacrifice is relatively easily recognized as a set of rituals which permit the practitioners to kill and eat animals without guilt–whereas,  in other societies,  killing and eating animals is rationalized by arguments which draw exaggerated distinctions between the sentience of animals and humans.    Read more

Haj & Eid abuses exposed again

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2010:


Live transport, crude amateur slaughter
at the November 16, 2010 celebration of the Eid
“Feast of Sacrifice,” slaughter in front of
children, poor animal welfare leading to the
spread of disease–including the often deadly
tick-borne Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever–and
misuse of the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca as a cover
for wildlife trafficking all came to light in
2010 post-Haj reportage. The most encouraging
sign of change may have been simply that much of
the critical reportage was done by leading media
in Islamic nations.

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Money is an acceptable substitute for a chicken

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2010:
“Money is an acceptable substitute for a chicken,”
explains Hasidic rabbi Yonassam Gershon

Washington Post photojournalist Carol Guzy in her October 9,
2010 coverage of Kaporos mentioned that the participants “cover the
blood” of the chickens they kill as a purported sign of respect for
victims. This has occasioned question about what covering the blood
means, and why it is part of the Kaporos ritual.

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Culturally Rationalized Forms of Chicken Sacrifice: The Kaporos Ritual & the Chicken Project

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2010:

by Karen Davis, Ph.D., president & founder, United Poultry Concerns

The idea that some groups were put on the
earth to suffer and die sacrificially for a
superior group or ideal goes far back in time.
This idea is deeply embedded in human cultures,
including the culture of the West, which is
rooted in ancient Greek and Hebrew modes of
thought, incorporated into Christianity, where
these roots combine.

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KaZulu-Natal bull sacrifice continues, but Bali sea turtle sacrifice is prevented

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:


JOHANNESBURG, DENPASAR–Opponents of animal sacrifice failed
to halt ritual bull-killing at the annual First Fruits Festival in
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but thwarted an attempt to revive sea
turtle sacrifice in Bali.
Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Nic van der Reyden on
December 4, 2009 rejected the request of Animal Rights Africa for
either an injunction against the bull-killing or authorization to
witness and videotape it. Van der Reyden accepted the testimony of
Zulu professor Jabulani Maphalala that the ARA complaint was based on
inaccurate second-hand information, which ARA members could not
personally confirm because only Zulus are allowed to see the ceremony.

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No more treating sentient lives as trash

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2009:

Horse racing evolved as “The Sport of Kings,” since kings
were among the first people who could afford to breed and race highly
valued animals kept by others mostly for work.
Animal fighting, regardless of any terms applied to the
human participants, by contrast evolved as “The Sport of Trash.”
The plastic garbage bags full of “sexed” male chickens
awaiting live maceration at any hatchery serving the egg industry
illustrate why. Cockfighting, bullfighting, and dogfighting each
originated through the quest to find profitable uses for lives that
would otherwise be snuffed out and discarded: birds who would never
lay eggs, cattle who would never give milk, and barge-born mongrel
pups who might combine big-dog stamina with small-dog feistiness,
but would grow up to be too small to pull carts, too big to hunt rats.
Gambling money and the evolution of paying audiences for
animal fighting eventually separated the lineage of most gamecocks,
fighting bulls, and fighting dogs from their barnyard and waterfront
ancestors, but not entirely. The public participatory forms of
bullfighting practiced in India as jallikattu and dhirio, for
example, and the Brazilian version called farra du boi, are little
changed from ancient origins.
Surplus bull calves in early agrarian societies might be
castrated and trained to draw plows and carts, but relatively few
were needed for work. Bull calves might also be raised as steers,
for beef; but until the advent of mechanized grain production, few
people could afford to keep and fatten cattle just to be eaten.
Yet many tried. Around the world, agrarian societies
typically tried to feed most of their young and healthy animals
through the winter, then culled them at midwinter solstice and
spring equinox festivals. The killing was sometimes ritualized as
sacrifice, sometimes as sport and entertainment, and often as all

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Editorial feature: What is the future of Islamic animal sacrifice?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2008:
Editorial feature

What is the future of Islamic animal sacrifice?

At each of the past two Eids, the Feast
of Sacrifice that culminates the Haj or Islamic
season of pilgrimage to Mecca, ANIMAL PEOPLE
publisher Kim Bartlett and son Wolf Clifton were
in cities where many Muslim people practice
animal sacrifice in honor of the occasion:
Mumbai, India and Luxor, Egypt.
Also in Egypt for the 2007 Eid was Animal
People, Inc. alternate board member Kristin
Stilt, an Islamic legal historian on the faculty
of Northwestern University law school in
Evanston, Illinois. Stilt had been in Jordan
the two days prior to the Eid, helping with an
Animals Australia investigation of the livestock
trade, but had returned to Cairo by the time the
Eid began. It was not her first Eid in the
Middle East.

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Progress toward abolishing animal sacrifice in Nepal and India

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2007:
KATHMANDU–“Though a ceasefire between the government and the
Maoist guerrillas has held for over a year now,” India News Service
reporter Sudeshna Sarkar wrote from the Nepalese capital city of
Kathmandu on October 19, 2007, “Nepal is passing through one of
its goriest periods with thousands of animals being sacrificed daily
on the occasion of Dashain, the biggest Hindu festival in the
“On the eighth day of the nearly fortnight-long
celebrations,” Sarkar explained, “animal killings reach a
crescendo, with buffaloes, goats, and chickens being slaughtered.”
But since the recent dissolution of the Nepalese theocracy,
Sarkar noted, dissent against the sacrifices–formerly personally
led by the king–has emerged.

Read more

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