Belated Eid-ul-Azha Mubarak! As you may be aware, it was Eid day on July 31 or August 1 depending on where you live, and I have written a myTake about it a few years ago. Just like every single year, seems like somehow Islamophobes all turn vegan once a year to hate on us for sacrificing animals. Western media is the worst culprit in this, making it seem like the slaughter of the animals and the blood gushing out of the cut is the highlight of our celebration that we 'rejoice' over.
They will show you this (with such provoking titles...)
Muslims slaughter cattle, camels and sheep in bloody sacrifice to celebrate Eid al-Adha https://t.co/wdN74xbrVD— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 2, 2020
... but not these million-dollar smiles on the faces of poor and needy Muslims all over the world.
They ask 'Why do you have to offer this bloodbath to God to please Him?'
Qur'an 22:37. Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.
This verse should make it clear that the sacrificial animals themselves are no offering to Allah.
Why do Muslims enjoy this killing so much?
All blatant lies. We do get emotionally attached to the animals as we feed them and take care of them. Personal story time: I still miss the ox that we sacrificed about six years ago, I was especially attached to him to the point I actually cried on Eid. I would get attached to animals like that, and I asked dad why can't we just keep them as pets. My dad, who does the slaughtering, has admitted to feeling hurt in doing this.
This is the true essence of 'sacrifice'. They are living beings, it is natural to feel some attachment as you take care of them. You buy this animal by selecting this one among many others, you buy it food, feed it and bathe it with your own hands, take care of it by giving your own precious time and spending your own hard-earned money on it, and then after you sacrifice it you spend a few hours on butchering and handling the meat, and in the end you give away more than half of the meat to other people. The Media won't tell you how altruistic this whole thing is. They will only highlight the slaughter that takes less than a minute and call it 'barbaric' by ignoring what happens before and after that.
Why do Muslims have to kill animals to donate meat? Why can't Muslims donate without animal sacrificing?
We already do it! That's what Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr is for! Many mosques provide free food for the poor for the whole month! During Ramadan- The 9th month of the lunar Islamic calendar- we dry fast everyday from dawn to sunset. It is an obligatory practice for all Muslims, and besides learning self-control and discipline to strengthen our spiritual relationship with Allah, we also learn to empathize with the poor and donate them with things like food and new clothes (and we do donate during the rest of the year as well). The end of Ramadan is celebrated with this Eid, known as 'Festival of Breaking the Fast', a day when everyone gets to eat good food and wear good clothes. Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are the two big holidays for Muslims and BOTH of them surround the concept of giving to the poor and needy so that they are not left out to celebrate and enjoy.
But what are those horrifying 'bloody' images shows by The Daily Mail?
The bloodbath that they speak of doesn't even last a long time. The slaughter itself takes only seconds, and all the blood is already washed off by afternoon and then you can't even tell there was ever any animal there. If the drainage system in your area doesn't suck then it should be a really easy cleanup.
I believe the media deliberately picks the worst pictures to show to the world. I grew up in a family that sacrifices cows and goats every year as well as many others in our neighborhood, so I have witnessed many slaughters myself, but I never saw it being as bad. They will describe the few seconds of gore with details to provoke emotions but they won't tell you about what happens before and after that.
The Hypocrisy of Islamophobes
An infamous ex-Muslim Atheist Feminist posted a status on Facebook, and she stated that if a God ever existed He would not allow killing animals in His name. It is fine to eat meat, enjoy all kinds of meat dishes, but don't slaughter animals in the name of God! I don't even know how she claims to know everything about Islam, because if she did she would know that we remember Allah before doing anything: Eating, sleeping, waking up, everything!
Even worse, there is a picture of her on social media eating a variety of different meat dishes, one of them being the famous Peking roast duck (Běijīng kǎoyā). If you don't know how it is prepared, then you should know that the duck is force-fed four times a day for a period of 15-20 days before being killed. She is okay with an animal being tortured like this just for the sake of enjoying a delicacy but we are the barbaric ones!
If you're okay with eating dishes like the Peking Duck and Foie Gras but not with the sacrifice of animals on Eid-ul-Azha then that's very hypocritical. Heck, if you are okay with meat in general that's coming from factory farms and sold in restaurants then you should look up how they are treated. They are caged, tortured, raped, killed with no mercy and humility. Eggs and dairy also have so much cruelty behind them with male chicks being killed right after hatching, and mother cows being entirely separated from their calves and even beaten in dairy farms. What they are fed with don't even count as food to me.
The Islamic process of taking the life of an animal for food is literally the least cruel way possible. The rule is to take care of the animals when they are alive, by giving them good food, healthcare, opportunity to move around and living their lives to the fullest. Even when slaughtering, one animal shouldn't witness the other's slaughter, it shouldn't be seeing the knife until the very last moment. The key is to ensure that the animal is not suffering in any way throughout its life and minimize its pain and fear as much as possible during the slaughter.
I personally noticed that the cows that are sold in the market for Eid behave differently depending on how they are raised. The ones raised with love and care by farmers are healthy, have shiny fur and are very friendly with humans, and their meat is leaner and healthier; whereas the ones from factory farms are scared, can get aggressive easily because they feel threatened, and seem rather sickly.
Why not stun/sedate the animal before sacrificing?
As if the technology to stun or sedate an animal for killing existed back in the days of prophet Abraham! I doubt it's available in abundance everywhere even today. Besides just minimizing the suffering of an animal prior to taking its life for food, it is also important to drain out as much blood as it is possible to ensure better quality of meat, as consuming blood is forbidden. Here's a link to a study showing how gas-stunning small animals prior to killing decreases the quality of meat compared to Halal slaughtering. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4093272/
Stunning also increases the risk of the animal dying before it is slaughtered, so it won't be Halal to consume anymore.
Qur'an 5:3. Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah; that which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety.
Hopefully this myTake cleared up many misconceptions that people have about Eid-ul-Azha. Thanks for reading!