Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

When Animal Sacrifice Meets the USDA

The USDA shut down an operation by a North Carolina farmer who allowed Muslims to come to his property to slaughter their own lambs. His customers came to celebrate the Eid al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice. That's right, these amateurs got to kill their own animals.

To Muslims around the world, this is an important ritual -- a tribute to Allah and to the prophet Abraham, who in both the Koran and the Bible is said to have offered his son as a sacrifice to God.

To research scientist Ahmed Mamai, 40, a native Moroccan, performing the sacrifice on Rowe's property allows him to maintain an ancient tradition that would be difficult to square with his lifestyle in suburban Raleigh. If he slaughtered an animal in his backyard, Mamai said with a smile, "My wife would sacrifice me."

Sooo, it's important enough to do every year, but not in your own backyard. Uh huh.

The article goes on:

Animal sacrifice on Eid al-Adha is not a requirement in Islam, but it is suggested by the Prophet Muhammad. A feast with family and friends typically follows the slaughter, and some of the meat is given to the poor.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, many Muslims find the sacrifice impractical; instead, they may choose to donate money to poor families.

I'm not one to normally tell people how to celebrate their religious holidays, but I think killing your own lamb or goat ought to be phased out of this one in the US. It's one thing to eat meat. It's another for some Lab Scientist to practice killing a lamb once a year, as I doubt they can do it humanely. Not that conditions at slaughterhouses are very good, but at least they have some regulation.

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