Please don’t kill my goat, or camel (II)

Published: October 26, 2012
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What’s worse – many children (some as young as 10 to 12-years-old) are encouraged to hold the knife during the actual moment of throat-slitting. PHOTO: REUTERS

What’s worse – many children (some as young as 10 to 12-years-old) are encouraged to hold the knife during the actual moment of throat-slitting.  PHOTO: REUTERS Kids in Pakistan are actually encouraged to love their sacrificial animal, so that when it is slaughtered, they more closely understand what sacrifice and loss feels like. PHOTO: REUTERS

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It’s that time of the year again, and what can I say that I haven’t already lain down in my first blog post:

Please don’t kill my goat

But if there is anything that I am, it is persistent. So without further ado, here is a list of even more gripes I have with bakra Eid and the way it is conducted.

1. Many animals that are slaughtered on Eid tend to be murdered by amateur butchers that crop up all over Pakistan hoping to make a quick buck by running a knife any which way through the millions of animals that are lined up to be put down.

2. What’s worse – many children (some as young as 10 to 12-years-old) are encouraged to hold the knife during the actual moment of throat-slitting. You know that moment right? The moment when there is maximum pain and suffering for the animal. Yeah, great idea having a fumbling child or adolescent’s hand holding a knife being pressed down on a terrified living creature by an amateur butcher. Very mard-e-momin or what-have-you, and yes I say mard, because I don’t recall ‘ever’ seeing a woman partaking in this slaughter.

3. Blood is everywhere. It is congealed at my doorstep. It is in my lawn. It is sprayed across the newly whitewashed walls of my neighbourhood. It is pouring onto the streets and no one, I repeat, no one seems to have any civic sense or an iota of responsibility regarding the clean-up. I understand that we are a filthy nation with no regard for each other, but it’s a religious festival – shouldn’t this be the one (sorry, three) days where we at least pretend to care?

4. In an agriculture-based, poverty-stricken dump of a country like ours, one would think that meat eating would be considered a distant second to a healthy, vegetable or grain-based diet, but no!

“To hell with our Hindu roots”

I have literally heard that yelled out at a family gathering, meat is the pinnacle of the Pakistani diet; the fundamental food stuff everyone must aspire to, regardless of whether they can afford it or not, and whether it is healthy or not. Meat is just cool. Nowhere is this exemplified more than on Eid, where meat, glorious meat is literally all anyone eats for a day, no wait, a week, no wait, a month after.

5. Beggars and scam artists generally get my goat (pun intended), but on bakra Eid the degree to which beggary and scams are encouraged is just outrageous. Whether it is the unscrupulous behaviour of our political parties and banned organisations (shame on you all) fighting it out over animal skins or donations, or the incessant ringing of the doorbell as beggars become the ‘meat gathering mafia’ complete with emotional blackmail and the occasional assault and forced entry, the meaning of Eid becomes simply this: gorge, feast, material gain, gorge again, puke, get a plastic bag, horde and gorge again.

6. Camel sacrifice. ’Nuff said.

If you haven’t seen a camel being sacrificed in Pakistan, please do so and let me know at what point stabbing an animal 12-20 times in the neck as it runs around screaming in a circle while a crowd of people cheer is not a barbaric inhuman violence-celebrating spectacle, as compared to say, something spiritual that Islam condones.

I’m going to stop now. The horror of it all makes it really, really impossible to go on.

Eid Mubarak!

Read more by Nadya here.

Nadya.v

Nadya V

Social critic and part-time gossip monger

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.