Pak liberals oppose sacrifice of animals on Eid

Islamabad: With Eid-ul-Azha round the corner, some liberal Pakistanis are again trying to persuade the faithful not to sacrifice an animal during the festival.

"Muslims have a duty both religiously and culturally to evolve with scientific and moral progress. The meaning behind Eid-ul-Azha will always stand, but in today's world, we must look at things practically," wrote Bina Ahmed and Farah Khan on, a virtual hangout for Asian Muslims settled in the West.

They argued that Muslims should take into consideration "the undeniable cruelty involved in killing millions of God’s creations, how environmentally damaging it is to raise animals for food, how unhealthy meat is for human consumption, and the lack of an actual requirement in Islam to eat meat".

They wrote: "Muslims, especially those of us that live in the Western world, have a duty to end the animal sacrifice of Eid-ul-Azha and replace our good intentions in other ways."

Last year, an animal activist organisation, which is now almost defunct, had run a campaign asking people to "save" an animal instead of "sacrificing it" after the devastating floods that left over a million animals dead in Pakistan.

"Buy a goat - and this year, instead of sacrificing it, send it back to a village to replace what was lost and help people back onto their feet. Goats can provide an ongoing income for families through the sale of milk, ghee, meat and kids, as well as supplement their own diet and agriculture," was the appeal from the Karachi-based organisation.

Not many have taken kindly to the suggestion even as the sale of "Billos" and "Lailas" is peaking at 'bakra mandis' (goat markets) and in the virtual world.

But the liberals are sticking to their point. "When it comes to Qurbani they turn into staunch followers of Islam, and when it comes to selling cats, they forget the teachings of Islam for their own financial gains, what hypocrites these people are!" read a comment on an animal rights' group's page on Facebook.

Two years ago, too encouraged the faithful to celebrate the spirit of Islam and spare the animals.