Eid al-Adha Mubarak !
Krishnan and I visited Mongolia in 2015 and came away with a deep appreciation for their culture and history. Neither is Genghis Khan simply a “barbarian” as history would like us to believe nor did China ever rule over Mongolia. This beautiful landlocked country has some of the most benevolent practices under the harshest of conditions. Half the year, Mongolia faces -40 Deg temp and the other half of the year is pleasant, the Gobi desert vast and nothing grows there, 90% of the population is nomadic and except for meat and dairy, there is not much to eat. Most of the Mongolians are Shamans or Buddhists. Krishnan and I are vegetarians, but we managed to get food everywhere in Mongolia thanks to our vegan guide Nara and we learnt about the benevolent treatment of the animals they do kill for food. Mongolians have herds of goats, horses, camels and cows as their property. Till recently hardly any vegetable could be grown there, so they had to eat meat, but there are no slaughterhouses ! As a rule they only kill the oldest animal, never the calves or the new born. Before killing they pray to the animal to forgive them as they need to kill it for sustenance and also thank it for becoming their food. They kill it quickly and every part of the animal is used up fully – even the bones become toys for the children. The skin obviously is made into felt that is used to wrap around the “gers” (the round tent like homes). There is no hurting the animal. They are deeply connected to Mother Earth and all living beings.
Contrast the above with these images below –
These fully grown goats are “packed” into this van and there is hardly any space for them to safely stand. Every time that driver veers to the left or right, they get pushed around, hit their head against each other or the sides or the gate. The sure-footed goats have abject fear in their eyes because they know they are getting chopped up soon.
The timing of this post may be inconvenient but it has to be said, for the greater good of humanity. I saw this twitter post from Mr. Tarek Fateh, with a tweet added by Maria Wirth and that made me read up about Bakrid or Eid al-Adha.
I am extremely uncomfortable even posting this picture :(:(, not because am a vegetarian but because of the way the animal is being killed and the smiles on faces of young boys who are watching it. Why not just sever the head of the goat ???? Put it out of misery and enjoy the feast if you must.
I read about Eid al-Adha on wikipedia and it says this – “It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.” If God provided a lamb to sacrifice, did he also insist that it had to suffer hours till its blood oozed out for it to be pure? That’s a rather cruel God.. Imagine if a human being is sacrificed in this manner. Cultures all over the world have had instances of human sacrifice and they have given up on that barbaric practice except maybe some tribes that refuse to have contact with the larger world. Cruelty is part of the human psyche, the hope is when we get more civilised we question the cruelty and stop practices that support it.
Where are the animal activists who get all antsy when a dog is hurt… is this goat any less of a sentient being? is a cow or pig any less than a dog ? Any animal activist who supports the rights of just one animal is a hypocrite of the highest order – guess the whole gang would end up in the hypocrite corner !
I have no problems with meat eating, its a choice and every human being is free to choose what they eat, wear, speak or do. I have a problem with selective outrage and I have a huge problem with cruel killing practices – imagine a human child in the place of that lamb and then make the cut. :(:(
Human beings need to be “humane” …irrespective of the religion they belong to.