World religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism all embody a traditional and sometimes bizarre set of animal sacrifice rituals in their holy texts. These practices, despite being borderline barbaric and not in keeping with modern ideas of animal welfare, are still in use today by religious communities all over the world, including in the most modern countries. Although it might seem reasonable in the West to allow butchers to sell halal food, at the core of this familiar label is weird ritualistic behaviour that belongs in the dark ages. The ideals of pluralism have blinded us to the stark reality that some religious practices are simply unacceptable. Animal rights campaigners have joined forces with moral activists to try and curb religious ritual slaughter of animals. The general public associate blood rituals involving animals with Satanism, not realizing that they were all invented and are still practiced by mainstream religions – and that Satanism does not involve animal sacrifice. We compare scriptures below and look at some of the gory and shocking rituals that God directly asks people to do in the Jewish Scriptures / Old Testament. As modern governments continue to legislate against cruelty to animals, we will find that it is the world’s mainstream religions’ adherents who retreat to shady basements and hidden locations to perform secret rituals to kill animals, rather than Satanists or Pagans.
- Halal and Kosher Meat
- Animal Sacrifice in World Religions
- Law Should Apply to All
- Scientific Experiments
- Appendix A: Animal Sacrifice in the Jewish Scriptures and Christian Old Testament
1. Halal and Kosher Meat
1.1. Animal Suffering During Religious Slaughter (vs Stunning)
“Scientific evidence shows that these animals face severe pain and distress.”
Vegetarians International Voice for Animals1
Some debates over how to reduce animal suffering have centered around Halal food preparations. Muslim religionists have refused to use any modern scientific techniques for causing the least amount of pain while killing animals. Modern techniques are safe, quick and painless, but they are resisted by religious authorities who prefer the methods laid down in their religious books. It is fair enough to be wary of using drugs to dull animal’s pain if those drugs find their way into the meat, but, with the stunning technique, there are no contaminants involved.
Some still think that their religious practices are better for the animal, but, scientific studies have proven that stunning an animal first removes its pain, whereas hanging them upside and cutting their throat, doesn’t.
“Research in New Zealand has shown that animals being slaughtered without pre-stunning do feel pain. The investigation was carried out by Dr Craig Johnson and his colleagues at Massey University, New Zealand. They were awarded a prize for their work this week by the Humane Slaughter Association.
The research shows that calves do appear to feel pain when slaughtered by dhabiha (Muslim) and shechita (Jewish) ritual methods, which involve hanging the animal upside down and slitting its throat, allowing it to bleed to death. “I think our work is the best evidence yet that it’s painful,” says Craig Johnson.
The NSS has been pressing the Government for some time to ban the exemption from pre-stunning in connection with these forms of slaughter. Christopher Wathes of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council said the findings increase pressure on religious groups that practice slaughter without stunning to reconsider. “It provides further evidence, if it was needed, that slaughtering an animal without stunning it first is painful,” he said. Craig Johnson commented: “It wasn’t a surprise to me, but in terms of the religious community, they are adamant animals don’t experience any pain, so the results might be a surprise to them.”
1.2. Draining Blood
Many of the odd religious rituals surrounding animal slaughter are to do with superstitions involving blood. In most traditional religions blood is a principal ingredient in the most powerful forms of magic – in the Old Testament God itself performs such rituals in order to make promises to Humans. Blood must otherwise be completely absent from meat, but to achieve this aim some religionists stick to some pretty outdated methods as described by their religious literature. Such texts – written by the educated men who could write at that time in history – might have known what was best practice in the first millennium but do it is not so in the third. It has been shown that stunning animals does not interfere with blood drainage at all. One such study was published in the New Scientist in 2006:
“Most Muslim slaughterers believe that drainage will only be complete if the throat of the animal is slit without stunning it first, but now Haluk Anil of the University of Bristol, UK, and colleagues have shown that the amount of blood drained from the animal, and the rate of blood loss, is the same regardless of whether or not it is stunned first.”
New Scientist (2006)3
2.1. European Law
Cesari, a scholar who writes on Islam, notes that sometimes public opposition to ritual slaughter “gathers such power that the right to the ritual slaughter of animals is called into question entirely”:
“Laws regarding the ritual killing of animals are also usually recognized under host country law, with the exceptions of Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. In most cases, existing legislation on Kashrut (Jewish dietary law) has been broadened to include references to Halal meat; in some countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, special legislation has been created for Islam. Resistance to the ritual slaughter of animals (in countries such as Germany, Austria, and Belgium) is generally not born of legal constraints; most frequently, it is the product of opposition from the civilian population (e.g., animal rights movements). In certain cases, this criticism gathers such power that the right to the ritual slaughter of animals is called into question entirely.”
2.2. Muslims and Jews Versus UK Law
In the UK, the battle has been partially won. It is a legal requirement for animals killed in abattoirs to be stunned first, and over 90% of animals ritually killed for Halal preparations are stunned1. There is widespread acceptance of stunning in both Muslim and Jewish circles. But nonetheless the government was pressured into making an exception: Animals killed by Jewish and Muslim religionists are exempt from the law, and about 10 million animals per year suffer as a result1.
“In Britain today, millions of farmed animals face having their throats cut while fully conscious – and it’s perfectly legal. […] Scientific evidence shows that these animals face severe pain and distress. The Government’s own advisory body, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, has recently called for the banning of religious slaughter. Viva! has opposed religious slaughter for many years.”
Vegetarians International Voice for Animals1
Unfortunately there are no requirements for producers to tell their customers how animals that were the source of meat were killed. The UK‘s Food and Farming Minister took up this cause in 2008:
“Food and Farming Minister Lord Rooker provoked controversy last week by expressing his opposition to halal and kosher meat, which he said should not be allowed to slip into the country’s food chain. “I object to the method of slaughter,” Rooker said. “My choice as a customer is that I would want to buy meat that has been looked after and slaughtered in the most humane way possible,” he was quoted saying by the Independent.
His opposition comes despite religious slaughter being exempt from the provisions of Britain’s Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995, which insist that animals such as cows, goats and chicken should be stunned first. The veteran minister said he accepted the legality of religious slaughter but added customers should be warned when they might be eating meat killed in such a way. “The country, source of origin and method of slaughter for meat ought to be on the label because that way I could stop the bloody halal meat that is excess to the industry’s requirements being slipped into the food chain without people being told,” he said. This echoes recommendations made in submissions from the NSS to consultations by DEFRA, the relevant Government department.
The UK government no longer keeps statistics on animals slaughtered under religious methods, but figures in a Meat Hygiene Service report in 2004 suggested 114 million halal animals and 2.1 million kosher animals are killed in Britain each year. The NSS has asked for a parliamentary question to be put down to have these figures compiled and published in future.”
Most of the UK‘s food industry complies with animal welfare law, but some does not. A recent police report exposed an illegal abattoir, and many such (horrific) places are rife with disease, health and safety risks, and generally produce meat for religious clients based on religious preparation criteria. As health and safety inspections have suppressed the more traditional methods of animal abuse/slaughter, some of these practices have gone firmly underground. So the secret religion-based blood-rituals involving the killing of animals are actually those perpetrated by Jews, but mostly Muslims, who find their traditional religious practices threatened by the decency of the law.
3. Animal Sacrifice in World Religions
“One thing God really loves is the sweet stench of burned flesh. In fact, He loves it so much that there are several detailed passages in the Bible on just how to slaughter an animal, what to do with its blood and how to burn its remains just right – all according to God’s taste.”
“Sophia Bestiae” by Edward O’Toole (2006)
The Hebrew Scriptures, edited and used by Christians as their “Old Testament”, contains a great volume of text on the correct methods of animal sacrifice, which is usually by burning, and God itself on many occasions states its love of burnt offerings, especially of the first-born. Adam and Eve’s children are the first to sacrifice produce and give it to God. Cain gives vegetable products, and Abel gives “the first-born of his flock and the fat thereof” (Genesis 4:4). God rejects Cain’s offering, and praises Abel’s. Meat-eating and animal sacrifice remained as God’s preferred actions throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. For example, when Noah finally got back to dry land, the first thing he done was to sacrifice some of his creatures, whereupon God “smelled a sweet savour” (Gen. 8:21).
This emphasis was actually a common feature of many Sumerian religions too, and the Cain and Abel story was a copy from an older Sumerian myth involving the brothers Enkimdu and Damuzi, and “both myths represent the ancient feud between the desert and the sown land, between nomad and farmer”6.
Judaism became a very technical religion, ruled by its priests, who also produced its scripture. The Jewish law details the methods that are to be used during the ritual slaughtering of animals, and is called shechitah. The person who performs the killing in called a shochet. (Shechitah and shochet are both from the Hebrew root, transliterated; shin-chet-tav, which means to kill or eliminate), and must be an adult Jew7.
In the Jewish community all birds and mammals that are to be eaten are slaughtered according to Jewish law7. Jews may not eat animals that died of natural causes (Deut. 14:21) or eat animals killed by other animals. No flaws or diseases must be present in the animals. These restrictions do not apply to fish; only to the flocks and herds (Num. 11:22). During shechitah the animal is killed with a quick, deep stroke across the throat with a perfectly sharp blade with no nicks or unevenness.
The draining of all the blood is part of the shechitah ritual which is considered necessary by Jewish law7, and is attested to multiple times in the Hebrew Scriptures – for example see Gen. 9:4, Lev. 17:10-12 and Deut. 12:15-16. Those verses are also clear that the “don’t eat blood” rule is not to be interpreted so strictly as to mean you can’t eat meat. Shechitah is recognized as a humane method of killing an animal, more so than a bullet, which is often an inaccurate method, and safer than poison or chemical methods that can leave traces of dangerous chemicals in the meat. Other ritualistic components are that the shochet who performs the shechitah must not simply be a butcher, he must be well trained in Jewish law, particularly as it relates to kashrut. The Jewish rabbi and the shochet were often the same person in older times, or in smaller communities.
In the old testament of the Bible, there are many instances of ritual animal slaughter for non-material gain, i.e., for spiritual purposes. It was common practice to slaughter a non-blemished, non-diseased “perfect” animal by slicing exactly down its center, from head to tail, and then separating the two halves of the animal by two feet. A pact was then sealed by walking in between the two animals. Other rituals frequently involve sprinkling the animals blood around the altar and on the human recipients, sometimes on parts of their bodies (such as right thumbs, right ears and right toes), and manipulating, removing fat from certain parts of the animal, and washing parts of the insides. The bits and pieces are often burnt ‘as an offering to the LORD. Such gory specifics are detailed nonchalantly by God in its instructions. Many requirements for burnt sacrifices are given in the OT without any theological reasoning at all. Elisha was seen plowing with 12 yoke (pairs) of oxen, but he wasn’t allowed to stop farming and follow the prophet Elijah until he had boiled the oxen’s flesh – after which Elijah accepted him as a follower (1 Kings 19:19-21). For more examples, see Appendix A.
There are many occurrences of animals being killed, slaughtered and ritualistically abused for the god portrayed in the Bible, particularly the old testament. However, these are not generally carried out in modern times, they are generally disregarded.
The Old Testament is rife with animal sacrifice, sanctioned and willed by the old testament God. God actively participated in these. They also occur in the New Testament. For example Joseph and Mary (the natural mother and father in law of Jesus) sacrifice “a pair of doves or 2 young pigeons” [Luke 2:21-24] without receiving any chastisement. According to Mark 5:1-13 and Luke 8:26-33 Jesus sacrifices a herd of 2000 pigs in order to banish a legion of demons that had possessed a man (Matthew 8:28-32 also tells the same story but says there were twopossessed men). It is quite possible (given the way exegesis works) to argue therefore that psychoanalysts could sacrifice pigs when dealing with severely problematic patients in order to help them symbolically; but no-one follows such a line of reasoning in this precise case. Or do they? The highly influential Christian theologian of the 5th century, Saint Augustine of Hippo, argued explicitly that because Jesus “sent the devils into a herd of swine” then refraining from the killing of animals for any reason is “the height of superstition, for judging that there are no common rights between us and the beasts“8. In other words, animals have no rights, and if there you can gain an advantage from killing one, then you should do so. To refrain is to un-christian and superstitious! Thankfully very few treat Christian theology seriously enough for such logic to be followed through, and the rise of informed moral deliberation in Western and developed countries has meant that animal rights are indeed taken into consideration in the modern world.
Islam is the most infamous of all religions for its current laws on the rituals surrounding the preparation of animals for consumption, and for a series of other rituals involving animals.
“Ritual slaughter with flowing blood is repeated countless times across the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, on the [Muslim] feast of Id al-adha … but the tradition carries” disease and health risks.
Source:National Geographic (2007)10
3.4. Paganism / Mithraism
Historical pagan practices have also included ritual animal sacrifice and utilized animal parts within ritual and magic. Traditional religions such as Christianity inherited their attitude towards blood and animal sacrifice from pagan origins, such as the way in which the Abel and Cain story was copied from the Sumerian story of Enkimdu and Damuzi6. Neo-paganism, the modern attempt at re-inventing polytheism, did not include any animal-sacrifice elements and modern Pagans are very animal-rights orientated and a higher than average number of Pagans are vegetarians and vegans.
In the Persian holy texts, the Avesta, a Messiah will appear at the end of time and bring the triumph of good over evil and make a potion of immortality for mankind from the fat of a great bull mixed with Hamoa juice. The bull is seen as a symbol of Spring, of rebirth, and a very common carving is of Mithras cleansing himself in the blood of a bull. Ritual killing of bulls and washing in its blood was believed to be necessary for cleansing, eternal life and salvation. This was followed by a meal of the bulls flesh. Life anew could be created from the flesh and blood of the sacrificed bull. The events were…
“… bloody rites in which an animal was the sacrificial victim.[…] In the rites of the Taurobolium, or bull-sacrifice, a bull was slaughtered on a perforated platform, through which the blood poured down to bathe the initiate standing in a pit beneath. Afterwards the initiate was considered ‘born again’. Poorer people made do with Criobolium, in which a sheep was sacrificed, and were literally ‘washed in the blood of the lamb’!
The Mysteries of Mithras, like Christianity, celebrated these sacrificial rites symbolically rather than literally. An icon of Mithras slaying a bull was used as an altar-piece, rather than enacting the actual sacrifice. […] ‘Thou hast saved us by shedding the eternal blood’ reads an inscription – not to Jesus, but to Mithras, although centuries later Christians would express gratitude to their saviour god-man in exactly the same language. An anonymous Egyptian poet also adores his sacrificed and resurrecting saviour Osiris with words that could equally well be addressed to Jesus:
‘Have they sacrificed thee? do they say that thou hast died for them? He is not dead! He lives for ever! He is alive more than they, for he is the mystic one of sacrifice. He is their Lord, living and young for ever!’
3.5. Animal Sacrifice has been a Traditional Element of Religions since Ancient Times
Animal sacrifice has gone hand in hand with traditional and old religions14. The cradle of religion, animism, is rife with it. In the 17th century BCE, African slaves in Brazil were noted, on those rare occasions when they were given time off, for coming together and performing rites of their religion, including animal sacrifices15.
It is only the post-Roman Empire secular world that has fully rejected animal sacrifice. It remains in the holy books of the world’s major traditional religions and is still practiced by many. It has in the past been a part of common, folk culture and folk religion; the resurgence of magic books, general occultism and popular belief in charms, luck, fate, etc, in recent centuries, led to a renewed interest in dusty old ritual magic. Will Emrish of the German Society for Protection against Superstition (DEGESA: Deutsche Gesellshaft vor Aberglauben, founded in 1954), who was also a former president of the German Animal Protection League, complained that “the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses had led to the painful deaths of numerous cats, chickens, moles, and toads by followers of its magical cures”.16.
Here is the introduction to my page which argues that as laws are made for good reasons, they should apply equally to all. Secularism is the striving for politics to ignore religious bias by not permitting exemptions from the law to religious groups.
People act in all kinds of ways for all kinds of reasons. When it comes to actions that cause suffering, the basis of the person’s justification doesn’t matter – all we are interested in is making it clear the action is not acceptable. When religious ideas of morality and blasphemy are institutionalized, inequality results as other religions are overlooked or even indirectly proscribed. Neil Kressel in his book on religious extremism lists “the enshrinement of religion in the fundamental rules of the state” as one of religion’s most dangerous attributes (out of three)17 . Many countries grant that laws that protect religious belief also protect non-belief – the UK has had such secularist law since 200618, and in late 2016 the USAalso adopted this stance19. “Secularism” is the idea that in order to treat people fairly, all special religious rights should be abolished as democracies should not legislate on beliefs, but on actions (regardless of religion). Therefore, it is rarely required to mention specific religions in law, or to exempt them from law.”
5.1. Satanists and Animal Sacrifice
Satanism defies expectations and defined itself against the stupid superstitions of popular religion. In order for Satanism to be out of the ordinary, it would have to actually reject animal worship. Satanism does see man “as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours“20, so it can be expected that Satanism has an untraditional attitude towards animal sacrifice.
Why would a Satanist want to slaughter an animal? The Satanist’s god is his own person, himself. So, a Satanist would want an animal killed for himself, be it by his own hands or by proxy. Satanists respect life as being much more useful, worthwhile and therefore Satanic whilst it is alive and kicking, and able to benefit us, than when it is dead and useless.
Benefits of an alive animal:
- It is able to be taught to do our bidding.
- It can give us satisfaction, attention and affection on a more simple level than human beings, with less problems.
- It is an asset, financially, and can be sold.
- If you do not own it, then taking care of it if it is unwell will earn you gratitude from its owners.
- Well trained animals can make people respect its trainer and keeper.
Disadvantages of killing an animal:
- Its owners, if any, will disrespect you.
- You may have to dispose of the carcass.
- You may suffer the legal consequences of killing it.
- The animal now has none of the advantages of a living object, it has become de-animated.
- People, in Western society, shun people who are known to “kill animals” for illegitimate reasons. It can cause you social problems.
Reasons for killing an animal:
- For food, if you have the skills to cook it safely.
- For clothes, if you have the equipment to prepare its skin.
- For other materials as are required for your own existence, i.e., bones for tools.
- For self defence, if the animal is a risk.
- Psychology: If the animal is in permanent pain, has an incurable disease or unrecoverable injury then it psychologically benefits you to kill it (and you are likely to be free of legal punishment).
Killing by proxy, as efficiently as possible (i.e., economics of scale), are seen as the best ways of killing animals for food or material, as they will likely be guaranteed safe to a higher standard than you could personally accomplish.
However, as far as killing animals in the name of Satan goes, the Church of Satan does not require it, and indeed we frown upon it as an act of stupidity. There is no gain in killing an animal for anything other than the reasons listed above. Even if Satan existed as a real person, why would it want animals sacrificed to it? LaVey in The Satanic Biblechapter “On the choice of a Human sacrifice” points out clearly that animal sacrifice is an insult, pathetic, in comparison to other types of sacrifice, and as such Satanists do not sacrifice animals.
5.2. Criticism of Religious Intolerance
Satanists are not expected to, do not see the point, and frown upon animal sacrifice. But, say some, “Even if Satanists do not do that, then they are supporting it by supporting Satanism!”. That is stupid. Are Christians promoting animal sacrifice because the Bible contains animals sacrifice? No, they generally, are not. So how can this claim be made of Satanists when animal slaughter is not only missing, but is scorned in the Satanic Bible?
Throughout history there have been no discoveries of small or large scale killing of animals by Satanists. Some immature youths will cry, “Satan wanted me to!”, but this is nothing to do with Satanism. Just because Adolf Hitler was a confirmed member of the Catholic Church does not mean he was a Catholic, and just because someone says “Satan made me do it” doesn’t mean they are a Satanist. And in fact, if they are performing animal sacrifices, they are likely not a Satanist. On the other hand, history provides us with untold examples and practices of other religions conducting detailed, or barbaric, animal sacrifices.
Dualistic religions do more to promote animal killing, by having it in their holy books, than do Satanists. In fact, a plentiful place to find details of how to sacrifice animals is in the Jewish Scriptures (Torah) of the Judeo-Christian bible! And the Koran.
“The double thinking of people who throw up their hands in horror at such ‘barbarous’ religious practices, and who then with a good conscience sit down to eat veal from a crate or a battery chicken, never ceases to amaze me.”
It is apparent that the suffering farm animals go through as a result of commercialism is a much greater source of concern than religious animal sacrifice (which are normally done using methods to reduce pain). So not only are people misguided when they criticise Satanism for animal sacrifice, they are very likely ignorant-hypocrites too!
Satanic Rule Of The Earth Number 1020
“10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food […] This serves to act as a prompt to those who think that Satanism involves animal sacrifice. Harming animals is stupid and pointless. Once this statement is understood, along with others, to be a kind of disclaimer as to what Satanism is not about, you can also understand the exceptions to this rule. For example farmyard animals are frequently killed for food even if not for your own food. Sometimes killing animals that are suffering and in pain is good. These exceptions distract from the literal interpretation of this rule, but not from the intended function of this rule which is to point out that Satanists are not (and should not be) immature animal torturers.
People are messed up and some of these messed up people find their way to Satanism. If they take it seriously, such advice will aid their development past rebellious and misguided behavior that involves animal abuse.”
6. Scientific Experiments
6.1. Religious and Secular Protestors: Some Contradictions
When it comes to the ritualistic methods of animal slaughter proscribed in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, religious irrationalism means that animals suffer more than they need to. Ironically, when it comes to doing scientific biological research on animals, which often runs the risk of causing suffering to animals, religionists protest!
In most religions that feature an all-powerful creator-god, such a god has created the natural world in such a way that an incredible amount of animal suffering occurs naturally. If there are such a thing as “absolute morals” and such a god is benevolent (perfectly good), then, it follows that causing harm to animals as an unfortunate part of a good-hearted scheme does not go against God’s moral system. If it did go against it, then, God (if it is ‘good’) wouldn’t have created the cycle of life on Earth in such a way (e.g. predator/prey systems as to cause lots of pain to animals.
Aside from religious extremists, there are many more protesters against animal testing, especially in Europe where they tend to be secular (non-religious). This is expected because in Europe there are a high number of vegetarians and animal welfare charities, and a low number of religious people compared to the USA. This translates into law: Europe has the world’s most restrictive laws on animal experiments22.
6.2. Caution and Benefits
Experiments on animals do not exclusively benefit humans; they often benefit animals too. Veterinary science, whose practitioners help countless animals in clinics, benefit endlessly from medical science in general.
Advanced animals are rarely used in research, but, “In America, chimpanzees are being used to develop a vaccine for hepatitis C because they are the only creatures, other than humans, to be afflicted by the disease”23. Great apes are allowed to be used in experiment in theory only “when using these species becomes essential to tackling a disease that threatens people. In practice, no great apes have been used in Europe for years and there are no breeding colonies from which to take them”22.
Scientific establishments have ethics boards who debate the details of any experiment that involves animals, and their aim is genuinely to avoid as much animal suffering as possible. It is not as if scientists want to cause harm to animals. One way to reduce harm for countries’ scientific establishments to share more data, therefore reducing the number of independent experiments that are unknowingly done.
“Some 12m animals are used in scientific procedures each year in Europe. Most are mice and rats. […] The European Commission said in November 2008 that it wanted to update the rules to better protect laboratory animals throughout Europe. […]
Sharing information freely should help to reduce the number of animals scientists use. Today they usually publish the results of their research only if they are positive, but if there is more data about negative results, scientists are less likely to repeat experiments needlessly.”
7. Appendix A: Animal Sacrifice in the Jewish Scriptures and Christian Old Testament
Book of Genesis:
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering. [Genesis 4:4]
And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the Altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet saviour. [Genesis 8:20-21]
And He said unto [Abraham], Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece against another. [Genesis 15:9-10]
And He said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. [Genesis 22:2]
Book of Exodus:
And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God [Exodus 10:25]
An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen [Exodus 20:24]
And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar. And thou shalt cut the ram into pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head. And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram. Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons’ garments with him. Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that coveth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration. [Exodus 29:16-22]
Book of Leviticus:
And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. [Leviticus 1:5-9]
And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. [Leviticus 4:24-26]
And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from the neck, but shall not divide it asunder. [Leviticus 5:7-8]
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar. [Leviticus 6:8-14]
And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf a he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin. [Leviticus 23:12-13]
Book of Numbers:
And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. [Numbers 15:27]
But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto the LORD. [Numbers 18:17]
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. [Numbers 28:11-13]
And one kid of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. [Numbers 29:5-6]
Book of Deuteronomy:
And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh. [Deuteronomy 12:27]
- Elisha was seen plowing with 12 yoke (pairs) of oxen, but he wasn’t allowed to stop farming and follow the prophet Elijah until he had boiled the oxen’s flesh – after which Elijah accepted him as a follower (1 Kings 19:19-21).
A verse less concerned with the correct sacrifice, blood and fire rituals but concerned instead with diet, appears in the Psalms, hinting that Angels too eat meat:
…He commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven. And had rained down manna [food from heaven] upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. [Psalms 78:23-25]
Current edition: 2008 Jan 19
Last Modified: 2016 Dec 19
Originally published 2001 Jan 20
Parent page: Religion and Morals
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National Geographic. Magazine. Published by National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, USA.
The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..
The Bible (NIV). The NIV is the best translation for accuracy whilst maintaining readability. Multiple authors, a compendium of multiple previously published books. I prefer to take quotes from the NIV but where I quote the Bible en masse I must quote from the KJV because it is not copyrighted, whilst the NIV is. Book Review.
Breuilly, O’Brien & Palmer
(1997) Religions of the World. Hardback book. Subtitled: “The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals”. Published by Lionheart Books. By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O’Brien & Martin Palmer. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books.
(2004) When Islam and Democracy Meet. Paperback book. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, New York, USA.
(2002) “Satanic Social Ethics and Teachings on Morality in Satanism” (2002). Accessed 2017 Aug 02.
(2017) “Mithraism and Early Christianity” (2017). Accessed 2017 Aug 02.
(2009) Grimoires: A History of Magic Books. Hardback book. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Davies is Professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire, UK.
(2006) Sophia Bestiae. Paperback book. Pre-release edition. Published by Aestheteka Press. 2006 Jun 06..
(1993) Vegetarianism: A History. Paperback book. Originally published as “The Heretic’s Feast” by Fourth Estate, London, UK. Current version published by Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, USA.
- Vegetarians International Voice for Animals. “In God?s Name – Religious Slaughter in the UK” on www.viva.org.uk, accessed 2008 Jan 16.^^
- National Secular Society, Newsline (2009 Oct 16) . Added to this page on 2009 Nov 27.^
- New Scientist (2006 Dec 02) article “Halal-standard slaughtering doesn’t need animals awake“.^
- Cesari (2004) p62. Added to this page on 2011 Apr 26.^
- National Secular Society, Newsline (2008 Apr 11) .^
- Spencer (1993) p113 . The author cites S.H. Hooke, Middle Eastern Mythology, Penguin Books, 1963. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 26.^^
- Breuilly, O’Brien & Palmer (1997) chapter 1 “Judaism” p37. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 25.^
- Augustine “The Catholic And Manichean Ways of Life”, Book 1, Chapter 17 para 54. Gallagher & Gallagher (translators). Published in 1965 by The Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C., USA.^
- Added to this page on 2015 Jun 25.^
- National Geographic (1899 Dec 30) volume 212 number 4, p90. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 25.^
- “St Paul – History, Biblical Epistles, Gnosticism and Mithraism” by Vexen Crabtree (1999)^
- “Mithraism and Early Christianity” by Vexen Crabtree (2017)^
- Freke & Gandy (1999) p65-66.^
- Momen (1999) for example, African, p401-402.^
- Momen (1999) chapter 15 “ Official Religion and Popular Religion” p401. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 25.^
- Davies (2009) p254. Added to this page on 2010 May 23.^
- Kressel (2007) chapter 4 “Dangerous Books?” digital location 2122-2123.^
- Equality Act (2006), part 2, section 44.^
- The Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act amended the Religious Freedom Act (1998) on 2016 Dec 16 so that non-belief has the same protections as religious belief. Reported on religionnews.com/2016/12/19/…/, accessed 2016 Dec 20. It condemns “specific targeting of non-theists, humanists, and atheists because of their beliefs” although its language is confused – it ought to say “non-religious” but most American language confuses “atheist” and “non-religious” because they’re not familiar with non-theistic religions like Buddhism. See Different Types of Atheism and Atheist Beliefs.^
- The Nine Satanic Statements by Anton LaVey (1969).^^
- Frederick Lamond (a Gardnerian Wiccan of some 40 years standing), “Religion without belief – essays in Pantheist theology, comparative religion and ethics” p108.^
- The Economist (2009 May 09) article “Europe has the world’s most restrictive laws on animal experiments” p18,84 .^^
- The Economist (2009 May 09) “Europe has the world’s most restrictive laws on animal experiments” p18, p84.^