Revenge of the Cow

By Jeffrey Goldberg

This story is an advertisement against ritual animal sacrifice:

A spooked cow killed a Palestinian man who was trying to slaughter the beast on Saturday during the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha, a Gaza health official said.

Muslims around the world slaughter sheep, cows and goats, during the four-day holiday that began Friday, giving away much of the meat to the poor. The Muslim holiday commemorates the sacrifice by the Prophet Ibrahim, known to Christians and Jews as Abraham.

But accidents are common as people frequently buy animals to slaughter themselves instead of paying professional butchers. The festive atmosphere at the site of the slaughtering also tends to make the animals fidgety.

The 52-year-old man who died was trampled to death, and another three people were seriously injured when the cow ran wild in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah, said health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

In all, he said some 150 people were hospitalized in the Palestinian territory with knife wounds or other injuries caused by animals trying to break away.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/revenge-of-the-cow/264217/