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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Can “National Heritage” status save elephants in ever more crowded, faster moving India?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)

DELHI, GUWAHATI– The largest of land animals, but neither
faster than a poacher’s speeding bullet nor more powerful than a
locomotive, elephants are now officially protected with tigers as
“National Heritage Animals of India,” declared Indian environment
and animal welfare minister Jairam Ramesh on October 21, 2010.
Unclear is whether National Heritage status will help elephants any
more than it has helped tigers, who since gaining their National
Heritage designation in 1973 have been poached and illegally poisoned
for preying upon livestock to the verge of extinction across most of
National Herit-age status helped to secure land and funding
for tiger conservation, and for about 30 years the tiger population
was believed to be recovering, but more recent findings have shown a
steep decline that was not previously noticed due to faulty research
and corrupt management in some tiger reserves.

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BOOKS: The Divine Life of Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:

The Divine Life of Animals:
One Man’s Quest to Discover Whether the Souls of Animals Live On
by Ptolemy Tompkins
Crown, c/o Random House (1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019), 2010.
256 pages. $22.99/e-book or hardcover.

Despite the subtitle “One man’s quest to discover whether the
souls of animals live on,” the primary objective of The Divine Life
of Animals is not to prove that animals have souls (because
scientifically, such a claim cannot be truly “proven” by any known
means), but rather to demonstrate the absurdity of claiming
otherwise. If humans have souls, Tompkins argues, then of course
other animals do as well–a statement most animal lovers will
intuitively agree with, but which he supports with a formidable body
of research gathered from a wide variety of religious and spiritual

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Iranian cleric issues fatwa against keeping pet dogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2010:


TEHRAN–Acknowledging that the Koran does not explicitly
prohibit contact with dogs, the Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem
Shirazi, 86, nonetheless decreed in a June 19, 2010 fatwa
published by the Iranian newspaper Javan Daily that dogs are
“unclean” and should not be kept as pets.
“We have lots of narrations in Islam that say dogs are
unclean,” Shirazi said in his fatwa, or religious opinion,
disregarding that most mentions of dogs attributed to the Prophet
Mohammed himself are favorable and that some of his inner circle kept

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BOOKS: Kinship & Killing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2010:

Kinship & Killing:
The Animal in World Religions
by Katherine Wills Perlo
Columbia University Press (61 West 62nd St., New York,
NY 10023), 2009. 256 pages, paperback. $27.50.

Kinship & Killing: The Animal in World Religions is
unfortunately more learned than readable, cutting back and forth
among the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,
and scholarly commentaries with what might be dizzying speed if the
connecting passages were not plodding academic jargon. Hinduism is
mentioned in passing, but not discussed in depth, for reasons not
very clear.

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“God is not Dracula”–but sacrifice continues

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2009:


KATHMANDU, MULTAN– “God is not Dracula!” protested Animal
Save Movement Pakistan president Khalid Mahmood Qurashi via posters,
web postings, and press releases as the annual Eid ul Azha began in
Saudi Arabia on November 27, 2009, and continued around the world
for four days.
Qurashi reminds fellow Muslims every year that Islam requires
charitable acts at the Eid, not blood sacrifice. This year Qurashi
found himself reminding Hindus, too, as the Eid slaughters were
compounded by the sacrificial massacre days earlier of more than a
quarter of a million animals in Bariyarpur, a Nepalese village near
the Bijar border.

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BOOKS: The Fatwa of Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi on Slaughter & Transport of Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2008:

The Fatwa of Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi on Slaughter & Transport of Animals
Egyptian Society of Animal Friends (30 Korshed St. /Rd. 293, New
Maadi, Egypt; <>;
<>, 2008.

ANIMAL PEOPLE noted in a June 2008 cover article on the
resumption of live animal exports from Australia to Egypt that even
if Egypt fails to enforce secular law governing animal transport and
slaughter, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the Chief Imam and Shaikh of
al-Azhar, Egypt, had issued a fatwa, or religious opinion, meant
to reinforce the observance of the intent of the hallal slaughter
laws, meant to minimize animal suffering, that are central to
Islamic practice.
The Egyptian Society of Animal Friends has now published the
fatwa as a handbook, also including the “Five Freedoms” and
Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.

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BOOKS: Animal Welfare in Islamic Law

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2008:

Animal Welfare in Islamic Law by Kristen Stilt
94 pages. Hard copy: <>
PDF: <>

It would be difficult to review Animal
Welfare in Islamic Law more thoroughly, or to
praise it more strongly, than is already
accomplished in the preface by Al Azhar
University professor of Islamic law Abd Allah
Mahbrook Al-Najjar. The professor is a member of
the Council of Islamic Research at Al Azhar
University, which is widely viewed as the most
eminent institution of Islamic scholarship.
According to Abd Allah Mahbrook
Al-Najjar, Animal Welfare in Islamic Law author
Kristen Stilt “supported what she wrote that is
related to the principles of Islamic law with
sound legal rules from the Qur’an and the
Prophetic Sunna. She was faithful in her
treatment of these sources, interpreting them
correctly…Nothing in the book deviates from the
Islamic Sharia or contradicts its principles.”

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