Are you okay with sacrificing tortured animals on Eid?

Published: October 10, 2013

A screengrab of Raja the sheep. SOURCE: EXPRESS NEWS

Hello people.

It’s been ages since I have written, but recently ET released a mini-story on Raja the sheep that made my blood run cold.

Trigger warning for anyone who loves animals, but this is the sad reality of Bakra Eid, which I have covered before in: Please don’t kill my goat and Please dont kill my goat or camel (II).

Raja the sheep is owned by Jaffar Khan, a ‘sheep enthusiast’ who needs to be put in jail for the horrifying torture he has subjected his pet to.

Let’s leave aside the fact that he plans to slaughter a creature he loves; this grinning brute of a man has fed Raja aslee ghee as well as four kilogrammes of milk every day…

The sheep now weighs 120kg – nearly double of what its normal weight should be.

Raja’s legs can barely hold him up; he finds it excruciatingly hard to even walk.

He totters and falls often. Raja is now a display ‘thing’ – a carnival ‘freak show’ that humans come to see and laugh at and taunt.

Does anyone here need to be reminded what a sheep’s natural diet is?

Does anyone here need an explanation of the terror an animal would feel is such a situation?

Raja is helpless. He is at the mercy of this brute of a man who has caused this darling sheep to suffer since birth.

I’m sorry Raja. My words and my tears cannot help you. I do not have enough of either, because yours is just one story of thousands of goats, sheep, cows and even camels who are now subjugated to such years-long abuse in the name of profiting off a religious day.

People cheer and clap and walk away with a sense of pride, having secured what they think is a worthy sacrifice for this holy day. They show off, then relish in the excess flesh they have secured for a hefty sum.

Am I the only one who finds this wrong?

Does no one look into the eyes of these sad animals and recognise what we are doing to them?

Someone please tell me I’m not the only one…


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.

  • Khalid Irfan

    control your emotions girl :PRecommend

  • MacC

    I agree with the writer on the part where the animals should be treated as close to their natural ways as possible. Feeding them Ghee and Milk only causes the animal pain. Also Qurbani is for Allah and not showing off… so i agree most parts of this articleRecommend

  • darbullah

    Human life is not valued in Pakistani culture, then what chance do animals have.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Don’t worry, next week this goat will be in heaven !Recommend

  • saima fasih

    people are idiots, they have lost complete value of what the religion is supposed to be, complete morals and ethics, everything has become a business and to procure the HIGHEST BIDDER/ THE MOST SALE, they will set up their shops (religion), and display their faulty wares (animals stuffed like pillows). these people have no fear of god. it is true if you want to see how a nation progress’s see the way they treat their animals. this country is doomed as are the people who live in it.Recommend

  • True colors

    I think, the way a person treats an animal is very revealing about his true colours.
    We have constitutional laws & religious guidelines,that make it illegal to kill people-so a majority of people abide by those laws.But there seem to be no strict laws about cruelty,to animals- and here’s where we can see,who indulges his blood lust and who’s GENUINELY humane (even without external laws)Recommend

  • chin2


    2 question
    1. is there a jannah for goats or do they go the same jannah as human?
    2. if they go to the same jannah, would they be sacrificed or eid again?Recommend

  • Nb

    Just because animals have no souls to send to jannah isn’t a reason for people to become monsters and jeopardize their own souls by torturing those creatures.
    They are meant to be kept with kindness & compassion.Recommend

  • Sabia Ashaq

    I am a vegetarian. Slaughtering animals for human consumption is inhumane, unnecessary and detrimental to man. Meat does not benefit the human body, animal consumption today is behavioural not necessary. Meat eating inhumane slaughter of innocent animals that are incapable of defending themselves. Does who eat meat are uncivilized and lacking in humanity. As humans we have a responsibility to protect, defend and speak for those that have no voice. We are deluding ourselves with the idea that meat consumption is necessary, healthy and natural, when all it really is, is culturally acceptable genocide.Recommend

  • Nathan

    No Nadya, you are not alone. Even wild animals kill only for food. tigers don’t kill when they are not hungry and certainly don’t torture. This is unique to some human beings.


  • Aqilmun

    ‘curled’ blood aside which I assume is a typo; your sentiments are justified. Unfortunately the ‘brute’ as you term that man is driven by profit motives and the person (s) purchasing such a sheep completely fail to care to understand the spirit or meaning of Eid-ul-Adha. A shame really.Recommend

  • Man with a Beautiful Brain

    Before giving any Judgements, consider that, there are no vegetables growing in North and south pole. People there have no option but to eat meat.Recommend

  • faizaan

    ‘meat does not benefit the human body’
    this is the first time, i am hearing this.Recommend

  • islooboy

    ha ha burgers and there compasionsRecommend

  • islooboy

    well when i am hungry i go to chacha bangali shop in pindi for some nice 2 kg chicken for making some tasty roast is that a crimeRecommend

  • islooboy

    how much do you think a sheep this big would cost this eid?Recommend

  • Usman Masood

    Have you ever been to a farm? You generally fatten the animals up before you eat’em. Torture is always wrong, as in this case where the “proper” diet wasn’t given.

    At tree hugging hippies who are “vegetarians” . Please, don’t go about judging the rest of us for consuming meat. Its awesome and we aren’t going to stop any time soon. And btw, Even the hindus let their armed forces eat meat. Apparently you need meat to be “strong”. Who would’ve thought =oRecommend

  • Dr.Anon

    I don’t advocate complete vegetarianism.However,I do agree with red meat being bad for health…it’s also bad for the environment & meat eaters do leave a larger carbon footprint.
    Going by morals-I’m unsatisfied with slaughter methods-none are humane,including halal slaughter.
    Also am unsatisfied with the quality of life the animal lives,prior to slaughter.
    In Japan- Beef is obtained from cows that are pampered and comfortably kept..given massages & exposed to music etc.
    While I don’t suggest mandatory massages …I certainly would be less reluctant to eat an animal that has lived a happy life and died a painless death.
    Inhumane slaughter methods have made me give up eating beef & mutton for many years now.Recommend

  • Atif

    You are not the only one who thinks and feels like that.Recommend

  • Abū Bakr

    Made me sick. This was hard to read because of what was happening to the defenseless animal. Absolutely horrible.Recommend

  • talat

    You are not the only one who grieves and cries for Raja ………. I do too …………. u are not alone!Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)

    The God of Jews, Christians and Muslims is according to the mindset of the writers of their horror tales……………..cruel and bloodthirsty!

    How can a human ever attain Peace when there is is so much noise and violence in the mind…….towards others and towards one’s own body?Recommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    the whole idea of people ameaturishly killing animals on the bakra eid baffles me. a butcher is a professional, while there are several videos seen online where a person is hesitant to strike the animal and the suffering goes on for hours in some cases, clumsily making the cuts,

    shouldn’t just the animal purchased and a butcher is paid to slaughter it?Recommend

  • Farida Nighat

    but in pakistan there is plenty of vegetation.Recommend

  • Farida Nighat

    sure and you will ride on that on your journeyRecommend

  • Farida Nighat

    like it.Recommend

  • Farida Nighat

    I am glad you have plucked up the courage to write such an article. i feel the same and proud to say that i never killed any animal yet gave the qurbani money to poors and needy people. love animals as my prophet told us to do.Recommend

  • Manish Rohera

    I don’t know when Hindus can change and stop pathetic In-humane customs like sati, dudhpitti,caste system,animal sacrifice and also purdah is almost going out from urban India at-least why can’t one change this sacrifice I have always said “Humans are not because of Religion Religion is because of Human” so every one should be at-least humane in following religion.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You certainly are a tireless crusader on this subject…….and I admire you for that.
    I like animals and the older I get the more convinced I have become that an animal is a creature of God, deserving respect and people who disrespect animals are the lowest form of humans possible.Recommend

  • layered squirrel

    but u don’t mind eating plants that give us something as important as oxygen?Recommend

  • rk

    Sabia, thanks for writing. As a vegetarian of deep convictions and love for all animals the very thought of killing and eating animals is very revolting and disgusting to me. Please do spread the good word.Recommend

  • Dante

    In that case, we should jail and prosecute all carnivorous animals who eat other innocent animals. I also have a story of my old pet cat mercilessly slaughtering a hen, parrot, and attacked even a rabbit! Then a dog came and attacked my pet cat who luckily escaped. They should both still be jailed and put to trial…..woof woof, meowwwwwwwww.

    Meat is necessary for human body. Your diet cannot be balanced without a good mixture of both meat and vegetables. Sure, you can have protein shakes, genetically fortified vegetables and so forth, but those don’t come cheap.

    Your vegetarianism is a lifestyle and I respect that. I thought those who ARE civilized and have HUMANITY engraved in them (such as vegetarians) don’t go calling their “normal” counterparts inhumane and participating in a genocide. Next time, don’t go crushing ants and cockroaches under your shoes because that would be pretty inhumane too.Recommend

  • IAbdussamad

    No it’ll be in someone’s stomach!Recommend

  • Reaper

    Oh no … Liberal outrage. What must we do now?

    Lets hug trees because thats how humans became the dominant species Recommend

  • Jimmy Ray

    the paki mentality is trapped in the dark ages…Recommend

  • Zo.

    @c0b4741df500c4773f49b01e9547f446:disqus Eating vegetables is also inhumane. They are also living things. If you listen closely while eating, you can hear the cries of the carrots!!! As a human it is your job to defend the poor vegatables, whose own voices are very feeble.

    You should live off a diet of your own saliva.Recommend

  • gp65

    Sati? You will be glad to know thatSati is illegal. The last time an incident was reported was in 1980 and even at that time it was so rare that it hit national headlines. Also I don’t know what dudhpatti is even though I am a Hindu and greew up in India and bulk of my family still lives in India.

    As far as caste system is concerned – what is unacceptable is discriminating against people on the basis of caste or denying opportunity on that basis. Otherwise a caste identity is no different than linguistic, national, racial, religious identities and not inherently problematic. Fortunately in cities at least opportunities are not contingent on caste. Unsure what the situation is in rural India but if discrimination exists, it should be eradicated as it has not place in a modern India.Recommend

  • Zohair

    well vegetables /plants are living things as well…as science has proven they do feel as well…so what to do here (Plastics, paper, dirt and rocks are injurious to health)Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Mmmm’ee’eee’hhhhh mmm’eee’eeehhh….Recommend

  • rk

    That is a silly thing to say. Of course humans have to eat something to survive. Plants happen to be the lower form of life the we can survive on. Besides, plants are plants, not animals which bleed, have a nervous system, a brand and fee the pain.Recommend

  • Teena

    Do you torture the chicken before you eat it? The post doesn’t say don’t eat meat. It says let the livestock live in peace untilnyounslaughter them.Recommend

  • Sane

    What about Mickey’s (American) mentality? Is that trapped in Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghuraib in Afghanistan?Recommend

  • Reader

    1. Comparing a cat’s behaviour to humans is out of place…a cat can’t be in’human’e (she would be in’cat’e). Humans are not supposed to behave like animals.[ so your cat shouldn’t be your role model-let her be a cat & you be a human ]
    2. Animal meat isn’t the only source of protein-there’s poultry,seafood,pulses,soya,cheese,tofu,nuts,milk,yoghurt,eggs ..
    3. Red meat is bad for cardiovascular health (contrary to traditional belief )
    4. Eating red meat is bad for the environment.It’s not sustainable & contributes to larger carbon footprints.Recommend

  • Cholesterol free

    Plants don’t have nervous systems. No pain.No fear.
    People on plant based diets also live longer.Recommend

  • Live longer

    Well animal meat ( 4 legged animals) is a source of protein & iron-but it’s a source of bad fats &,yeah-it’s very bad for health.
    Poultry & fish meat & vegetarian sources sources of protein like pulses,nuts etc supply the protein,without the harmful animal fat.Recommend

  • Be humane

    It’s not a crime as long as the chicken led a happy life running around in sunny fields…and it’s head was lopped off in a second-so it didn’t even see death coming or any pain at all.
    Also killing chickens very quickly is possible,but not so with 4 legged animals.
    Eat chicken,but have a heart… Be humane.make sure,the harmless creature wasn’t troubled.Recommend

  • Nb

    You mean only hippie vegans are humane ?
    We don’t have to go to that ridiculous extreme…this article isn’t advocating,people to switch to tofu & dandelion shakes for life.
    No vegetarianism… Just about not treating animals like you’re an incarnation of Nero or Vlad the impaler.
    Non-vegetarians can also be kind to animals-happy life,painless death,zero fear.Recommend

  • Oye

    Sati ? What’re you man…Rip van winkle ?

  • Silly Zo !

    You can’t hear a mooing cow’s voice,but you can hear carrot voices ?Recommend

  • Sane

    All vegetarians eat animals’ food. If the whole world becomes a vegetarian including the Chinese, then what would herbivorous animals eat. Besides plants are living things too. They breathe, grow and reproduce… don’t eat them please.. it’s INHUMANERecommend

  • Sane

    how do you know that… they breathe , grow and reproduce and now research shows they move too. the yare sensitive to weather and light. who knows a research comes up showing them as more sensitive than animals feeling more pain.Recommend

  • afza

    poultry and sea food is fine but red meat is not??? please keep your personal preferrences aside and dont judge others by your own definition of humanity.Recommend

  • Manish Rohera

    Ma’am even I know Sati is illegal but it’s not important(the law) as it has vanished from our society and so has been distinguishing someone on basis of caste, creed and gender as mentioned in our constitution though prevalent in uneducated rural parts of our country but these customs were from ages but as modern ideas prevailed not only now these are considered archaic but In-Humane I was just giving them an allegory that if we can change so much from what we were till recent 19th century why can’t they in 21st century.Dudhpitti was killing a girl child by drowning her in milk vessel won’t say this mess has gone as it will be untrue as child abortion based on gender are still very prevalent but we will improve due to education.I hope know you understand my point.I’m a Hindu but as I said I will again repeat it “Humans are not because of Religion Religion is because of Human”Recommend

  • cscraja

    Usman, it is not just about the armed forces. About 80% of hindus are non-vegetarians though many of them may not eat beef. There isn’t really a dos and donts guide book for hindus and people are pretty much free to do what they think is moral. The eastern belief system is that your thoughts and actions are influenced by what you eat (which is also reflected in the fact that unlike in western sciences, ‘medicine’ is typically more of a certain food or less of another). Those who are supposed to have a far higher level of control on mind and body typically were the ones who would avoid non-vegetarian foodRecommend

  • Jimmy Ray

    two points:

    1. where did Amreeka (the great Satan which all Pakis love) come into the picture?


    2. two wrongs dont make a right.Recommend

  • maheen

    Sabia, if you’re not a muslim. you have a right to your ‘no-meat’ preference. however, if you are a muslim, then i’m afraid you seem to be defying what Allah has permitted. he has permitted meat to Muslims. meat that is obtained according to the islamic law. which means bread and slaughtered according to the way Allah has mentioned in the Quran. However, what is wrong in today’s time is the way people are breeding these animals in order to gain more meat, more milk etc. if you stand against that, you are right. but by being a vegetarian, you are being na-shukra to Allah’s bounties.Recommend

  • junaid

    So we are discussing animal nervous system vs plants… great.. people stop being judgemental. If you believe in somethibg follow it .. just dont think that people who have a different point of view are inhumane or vice versa…..Recommend

  • Ahem ..

    1. Poultry & seafood aren’t bad for health unlike red meat
    2. Fish don’t lead lives,tortured by humans in cages etc.
    3. Red meat consumption is bad for the environment,unlike consuming seafood.
    4. It’s much easier to behead a chicken quickly thus reducing its pain & fear- this is not possible with larger animals.Recommend

  • Basic biology

    I don’t know if you’re being funny..
    Anyway,plants don’t have brains,a nervous system,fear,adrenaline…they can’t see, think or process fear- you are certain that a cow/goat feels fear,pain and sadness ..right ?Recommend

  • Ajay

    Did God give you carnivorous teeth like lions or tigers or cats? No!
    While these animals do not have other options, we humans have been given vegetarian and milk options by God. So He allows us to pick our options. Then, I suspect, He decides on our next destiny. This Jaffar Khan, owner of Raja the sheep and other sheep owners like him are going to the next Raja’s to be fattened since birth. God follows a logical pattern in life, He does do things randomly, otherwise there is no explanation why Raja has to go through and Jaffar won’t. Actually today’s Raja is yesterday’s Jaffar!Recommend

  • Ajay

    When there are no options, then it is justified. For example if you and me were stuck up in a snow mountain in a plane crash, hungry and dying with no rescue in sight, it would be justified for me to eat you up if you happen to be dying faster than me. The logic being it is better to save at east one.Recommend

  • Ajay

    If you believe in God, then you need to think what did God intend for you. If you were living in stone age, God would have expected you to use your brain to carve up stone tools to kill animals to feed yourself and mean while start using God-gifted-brain-power to figure out how to live more appropriately in other ways, which is what humans did- they figured cultivation, community living, etc. You do not have carnivorous teeth.

    On a more emotional level, if you love your pet such as a fish in your aquarium, will you also eat it up? if no, why not?

    Also, if you eat one meat, what is stopping you from progressing into eating all other kinds of meat? including h-uman at some point! Chinese have been known to barbecue scoprions, ants, etc. Indonesians even cut off snake’s head and squeeze its blo-od in a glass and add some salt before drinking. Japanese or Koreans even eat dogs. Many eat live fish- they cook half of it and eat it while it is still moving. Now, would you do all of this? Would you like anybody to do all this to you? Imagine earth being discovered by Aliens who are superior to us humans and lets say they like how we taste. How would like becoming a Raja or a ying-yang fish- in othr words a half cooked human, served on a plate.Recommend

  • Aamina Suleman

    First thing, it is no use to feel sad for anything in this country… the best that you could do…is to actually do something about it than to just write. The problem with media is that it “only” reports, it doesn’t really do anything.

    Secondly, if Raja is tortured then it is better that he dies in the way of Allah now… because expecting something good from people in Pakistan is just a hope.

    Thirdly, I cannot believe that Tribune accepted your small write up, since they usually have a problem with everything!

    Fourthly, you shouldn’t tell ‘what wrong is happening in this city or country’ … you should tell ‘what can be done to stop this and how can it be done’.

    Well, don’t waste time in just being sad and depressed all the time… we should do something about it to stop it.Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ali


  • amir

    Dear scientifically plants also inhale oxygen. …they also can breath. ..then y don’t u leave eating veg…..
    We should love animals. ..
    And who told u that meat does not benifet to humen body…
    Be real ok…….Recommend

  • rex minor

    There is no reason for animals to be killed as a sacrifice on Eid day!! The act of sacrifice should be treated sybolicaly only.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • waqas

    For your kind information , plant and vegetables are also helpless when it comes to plucking them away from the roots .They too, can feel the pain which any other living being could possibly experience. They cry and can get the feeling of elation aswell .. How do you justify that now? stop eating plants if you are worried to much about hurting living beings. When god has giving us the permission to eat halal food, who else could possibly challenge this verdict then?Recommend

  • Salman Saleem

    Eating meat is human, as it is allowed to be consumed. Islamic method of slaughtering causes least pain to the animals. Majority of people don’t torture their animals of sacrifice. They love them and try to keep them in natural way of living. It includes the vegetarian diet for the animals. Wrong behavior of few persons should not be attributed to whole nation.Recommend

  • piddler

    Muslims love animals especially those they can eatRecommend

  • Human 2.0 (Improved Version)

    Eating Meat is allowed in Islam but that does not mean that It is compulsary to eat meat. A person can be a vegetarian and a Muslim at the same time.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    So many problems with that comment:

    1) Are you excusing bad human behavior because animals do it too? Animals also pee wherever they want. What do you say?

    2) Meat is NOT necessary for human body. We have an abundance of fruits, vegetables and vegetable-based artificial foods that can fulfill our nutritional requirements.

    3) Normalized indecency is still indecency. Until a few centuries ago, slavery was pretty “normal”, and the slave owners and traders were just as civilized as everybody else. Not that I’m comparing meat eating with slave trade, but you do realize that human morality evolves with time?Recommend

  • Dante

    1). no I’m not. sacrificing animals and eating meat does not constitute bad behaviour, the same way cats killing other animals does not constitute bad behaviour. That was my whole point.

    2) Meat is absolutely necessary for health, and as a component of a balanced diet. Humans have evolved to eat both vegetables and meat. Yes you can obtain the components from eggs, yoghurt, milk but these are all animal products. Plants don’t make eggs or produce milk.

    3) Classifying animal slaughter and meat consumption as “normalized indecency” is a cultural and personal notion. We call homosexuality as indecency yet many cultures and courts are now accepting it. “Slavery” is a term that is very relative. People employed in a private organization are also “slaves” and can be fired anytime. Yes some animals may be kept as “slaves” and tortured, and I absolutely don’t endorse this practice, but slaughtering them and eating should not be equated with “indecency”.Recommend

  • Dante

    Yes, our canine teeth serve a good purpose of tearing the meat. The fact we can chew, swallow, digest and grow healthy eating meat is a proof God meant for us to eat meat. God hasn’t given us just vegetarian and milk options, but we have a whole community of animals that we can also eat.Recommend

  • Dante

    1. Humans are also animals. We have a good thinking brain and we should not behave like animals on a majority of occasions, but eating animals is not inhumane. Animals and animal products are very necessary for our health

    2. Yoghurt, eggs, cheese, poultry, seafood are all animal products. remember seafood is also meat and seafood is also living animals. Plants cannot give you these products

    3. That’s true, but moderation is necessary. You cannot just rely on meat, but should have vegetables as part of a balanced diet. That’s the whole point.

    4. Good hypothesis. Now go design a study to prove your point.Recommend

  • Dante

    Plants are living organisms also. That should be enough to make you shudder at the thought of tearing them off from their roots and cooking them at extreme temperatures.Recommend

  • Dante

    The tigers do grab their prey’s neck and asphyxiate them. They can rip off their carotids also. That’s pretty darn torturous.Recommend

  • Anon

    That’s a myth..that method of slaughter is not humane.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    1) You did not address the fact that we don’t decide which behaviors are good or bad by looking at the animals. Like I said, animals pee wherever they want. Is that the kind of behavior you would advocate for humans too?

    2) I’m a doctor, and no, meat is not necessary. One simply needs to be a bit more careful to ensure he’s getting all the essential amino acids and vitamins by eating a range of vegetables and fruits. I’m not necessarily opposed to milk and eggs, by the way.

    3) Causing pain and killing animals is always indecent. Let me clarify that I’m a meat-eater too, but at least I recognize that making animals suffer because those burgers taste good, is problematic.Recommend

  • Dante

    1) I don’t need to address it because I don’t think animals killing other animals is bad behaviour. The same applies to humans. Peeing has nothing to do with sacrificing animals to eat so I suggest you let go of your obsession with peeing

    2) You don’t need to remind me of your profession for strengthening your argument. I’m a doctor too, and I think meat is absolutely necessary as a part of balanced and healthy diet. That doesn’t mean you go on chomping 5 pounds of red meat every day, but a reasonable balance between this and other vegetables goes a long way. How many athletes in this world have you seen that are vegetarians?

    3) I agree causing pain and torturing animals is indecent. But quickly sacrificing (I prefer to avoid the term killing) animals to minimize their pain is not indecent. You may have a different definition of the term indecent though, but that doesn’t mean it’s a universal one. Quickly bleeding the carotids of an animal numbs the brain the same way orthostatic hypotension causing syncope does. And the compelling thing is, when you suffer syncope and fall and hit the ground, the pain almost never wakes you up.Recommend

  • Madiha

    I am muslim and despise this! No sacrifice for me, I’ll feed myself and the poor my own way, the sustainable way, the vegan way. Go vegan!!!!Recommend

  • Anusha

    I’m perfect vegetarian,,not because I’m a Hindu,,but bcoz i want to follow atleast some ideas of gandhi!!!!Recommend

  • f
  • D.G. Sampath

    I am one with U to share the agony of the helpless animals. I have written short stories in kannaDa language about the pathatic position of the speechless animals of even hindus doing the similar crime in the name of God. Shame on the part of the cruel people.Recommend