First Animal Sacrifice & What is Animal Sacrifice?

Thinking e1539012817663Uh…God, Sir…I hope not to offend You, but that was a pretty stiff sentence.  Besides that, now Adam and Eve are running around naked; did You at least give them some clothes?

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21).

“Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come” (Rom 5:14).

“And so it is written, The first Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor 15:45).

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor 5:21).”Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil 3:21).

Note: This is the first animal sacrifice for sin, and the first reference to the blood of Jesus Christ.

1. Wages of SinThis symbolizes what is to come: The true nakedness of Adam and Eve was not their bodies, but the righteousness of God, they became fully clothed with sin, and they died spiritually, as Satan did. 

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

“Yet, Jesus’ resurrection allows us to be fully clothed with Jesus’ righteousness through faith in Him.

Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom 5:18). 

“All sin is forgiven accept blasphemy of the Holy Ghost:

2. Holy SpiritWherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matt 12:31-32).

This gift is not offered to the devil, he’s a goner, are you?

What is Animal Sacrifice?

3. Sacrificial remains of humans
Sacrificial remains of humans and animals, believed to be at least 2,700 years old, have been found in central China’s Luoyang city (map), Chinese archaeologists say. The bones are part of a recently discovered burial complex covering nearly a quarter acre (945 square meters) and containing 14 tombs, a water channel, and 59 pits from the Western Zhou dynasty. (Related: “Ancient Mass Sacrifice, Riches Discovered in China Tomb.”)

During the Western Zhou period (1100 B.C. to 771 B.C.), the sacrifices of animals—and sometimes humans—to ancestors or deities were a routine part of Chinese culture.

The sacrifices were often made to bless houses, said David Sena, a China historian at the University of Texas at Austin.

“In general, there’s been a tendency to describe Western Zhou as a more humanistic period, when the practice of human sacrifices”—which were commonplace during the preceding Shang Dynasty—”were waning,” Sena said.

“But I think the archaeological evidence shows quite clearly that human sacrifices persisted throughout the Zhou period as well.”

Animal sacrifice was a normal element in Judaism and most Pagan traditions in ancient times.  

Two and a half millennia ago, the Pythagoreans rejected animal sacrifice and all other forms of animal slaughter and abuse on the grounds of transmigration of the soul (humans reincarnating into animal bodies).

About the same time, the first Jewish temple at Jerusalem was destroyed and much of the population exiled to Babylon.

Some Jewish prophets called for a radical change in Jewish worship, from a priestly one based in sacrifice and feasting to a rabbinical one based on moral reflection on texts read aloud to the gathered community. 

In America today, animal sacrifice is mostly done by Orthodox Jewish specialists as part of Kosher butchering. 

Many practitioners of Santeria sacrifice and eat chickens and sometimes other animals. In the the religions of the African Diaspora, ebo (animal sacrifice) is normative. 

Despite the sensationalism of fiction and the disturbed behavior of a few self-styled “Satanists,” sacrifice involves a quick and humane slaughter, far less traumatic than methods used in commercial slaughter. 

Surviving instructions indicate that if the animal cries out, flinches or otherwise shows fear (“unwillingness”), the sacrifice is null and void. 

The animals were extremely well cared for. Only “perfect victims” could be sacrificed; in fact, ancient Etruscans and Romans performed a primitive biopsy on the entrails to determine the animal’s health; any imperfections were considered evidence of the Gods’ displeasure in the matter for which the sacrifice was performed. 

In Kosher animal sacrifice, the blood is considered God’s portion. 

In classical Paganism, after the entrails are examined, they were wrapped around bones, covered with layers of fat, honey, and finally, mola salsa (grain meal and salt).

4. Athenian red figure vase
Athenian red-figure vase, 430-420 B.C.

These are burned and the meat distributed in banquette halls. Similarly, after ebo, the meat is eaten.

Innuit animal sacrifice involves “entertaining” the animal ‘s spirit with a great communal feast ending with the “resurrection” of the animal for future hunts. 

Typically, animal sacrificing religions seek a mystical participation between the slaughterer/feasters and the collective spirit of the animal’s species.

The religions of the African diaspora use animal sacrifice to accumulate and concentrate ache(ah SHAY). Ache (ah SHAY) means a numinous life force, roughly equivalent to wakan, orenda, barach, and mana.

Modern Euro-American Pagans almost always follow the Pythagorean tradition in abhoring animal sacrifice among themselves.

Out of cultural and racial sensitivity, most are reluctant to shun practitioners of Candomble, Pala Mayombe, Santeria, and Voudon (religions of the African Diaspora).

Scope of regulations

In Western countries, law reaches into every stage of ritual slaughter, from the slaughtering of livestock to the sale of kosher or halal meat.

5. Votive
Votives were gifts offered to the gods by their worshippers.

They were often given for benefits already conferred or in anticipation of future divine favors.

Or they could be offered to propitiate the gods for crimes involving blood-guilt, impiety, or the breach of religious customs.

They could be given either voluntarily or in response to demands by the cult’s priesthood that the donor fulfill a religious vow or honor some religious custom. Votives were kept on display in the god’s sanctuary for a set period of time and then were usually ritually discarded.

Bronze tripods, prize cauldrons and figurines, terracotta tablets and figurines, lamps, and vases are typical examples.

Armor, weapons, jewelry and other more personalized items were dedicated in large numbers, along with marble statuettes and reliefs.

Some of the healing sanctuaries housed replicas of body parts donated in thanks for or in hope of cures. Large sculptural monuments in bronze, marble and other costly materials were routinely dedicated by either private donors or individual city-states in the great Panhellenic sanctuaries like Olympia and Delphi. Sacrifices were also thought of as gifts to the gods.

They took the form of bloodless offerings such as grasses, roots, cereal grains, fruits, cheese, oil, honey, milk and incense, or were blood-offerings like wild and domesticated animals, birds and fish.

The foodstuffs and liquids were either burnt on raised altars so that their aroma could rise heavenward or dropped or poured into wells, holes or tombs. What was left was usually consumed by the sacrificers.

In the United States, for example, courts have ruled that:

* Kosher butchers may be excluded from collective bargaining units,

* A Jewish beit din (court) may forbid trade with disapproved butchers,

* Retail sellers implicitly stipulate their compliance with rabbinic courts,

* A state law (NY) may incorporate a rabbinical ruling on kosher labeling, and

* Kashrut symbols may be subject to trade infringement laws.

Due to differences between ritual and mainstream slaughtering practices, kosher slaughter may be exempted from animal welfare laws.

For instance, in the United States, the Humane Slaughter Act (7 U.S.C. section 1901) exempts ritual slaughter, and this exemption has been upheld as constitutional.

In the United States religious slaughter is not practiced under any exemption. Instead the Humane Slaughter Act defines religious slaughter by Jews and Muslims as one of two humane methods for killing animals for food, the other being using stunning.

The kosher food industry has challenged regulations as an infringement on religious freedom.

Secular governments also have sought to restrict ritual slaughter not intended for food consumption.

In the U.S., the most prominent such case is Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah. In this case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled unconstitutional a local Florida ban on Santería ritual animal sacrifice.

According to Jewish law and to Muslim law, animals must be slaughtered by a single cut to the throat. Stunning is not allowed.

However, many Muslim authorities accept reversible stunning, such as electro-stunning, prior to the cut.

Public Debates in the 1880s

In the 1880s anti-Semites joined forces with Animal Protection Societies to campaign for anti-shechita legislation to be passed in Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavia.

Historic Bans on Religious Slaughter

Asia – Some rulers banned all killing on their land for some period each year, included ritual slaughter.

Europe – In Switzerland shechitah was forbidden throughout the whole country in 1893 after having been banned in the cantons of Aargau and St Gallen in 1867 after plebiscites, and later a ban was introduced in the whole of Switzerland after a plebiscite at Federal level.

Norway – banned religious slaughter without pre stunning in 1930. Germany banned shechita three months after Hitler came to power in 1933, Sweden banned it in 1937 and a ban was enforced in Poland with the Nazi invasion in 1939.

European Union – The European Union directive, “European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter”, generally requires stunning before slaughter, but allows member states to allow exemptions for religious slaughter.

6. Sacrifice of a young boa
Sacrifice of a young boar in ancient Greece (tondo from an Attic red-figure cup, 510–500 B.C., by the Epidromos Painter.

Preparation of an animal sacrifice; marble, fragment of an architectural relief, first quarter of the 2nd century A.D.; from Rome, Italy

Denmark – In February 2014, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Dan Jørgensen signed a regulation which banned ritual slaughter of animals without prior stunning.

Finland – Law on slaughter dates from the 1930s and allows post-stunning thereby permitting kosher slaughter and providing certain legislative protection for some forms of Muslim slaughter.

France – Ritual slaughter is permitted, with some restrictions.

Germany – On January 15, 2002 the German Federal Constitutional Court held that the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany provides a broader guarantee of human rights in the area of religious freedom than the European Convention on Human Rights. 

In an appeal by a Turkish citizen who practiced Islamic ritual slaughter, the German court struck down Germany’s former ban on ritual slaughter, holding that the German Basic Law’s guarantee of religious freedom prohibited the German government from applying a law requiring stunning prior to slaughter to observant Muslims who practice ritual slaughter for religious reasons, and that the Basic Law’s guarantee of religious freedom applies to slaughterers as well as consumers of meat.

Netherlands – Ritual slaughter is permitted, and regulated by a special convention concerning ritual slaughter.

Poland – Poland banned Jewish and Muslim slaughter in January, 2013. 

Spain – Animal welfare is controlled under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 32/2007, of November 7th. Article 6 of the act concerns slaughter of animals, including ritual slaughter:

When the slaughter of animals is carried out according to the rites of Churches, religious denominations or communities registered in the Register of Religious Entities, and the stunning requirements are inconsistent with the rules of the respective religious rite, the competent authorities will not demand the compliance with such requirements provided that the procedure is carried out within the limits referred to in Article 3 of the Organic Law no. 7 of 5 July 1980 on Religious Freedom.

In any case, the slaughter according to whatever religious rite shall be carried out under the supervision and according to the instructions of the official veterinarian. The slaughterhouse shall notify the competent authority that it will carry out this kind of slaughter in order to have it registered for this purpose, without prejudice to the authorization provided for in the European Community legislation.

7. goat about to be sacrificed
A goat about to be sacrificed by a priest in the Durga Puja festival.

Sweden – All animals except fish must be stunned before slaughter. Ritual slaughter has been prohibited since 1937.

Other countries

In the rest of Europe the legal situation of ritual slaughter differs from country to country. While some countries have introduced bans, other countries – the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands – introduced legislation protecting shehitah.

Prior to the rise of National Socialism in Germany, bans only existed in Switzerland, Norway and the German state of Saxony. 

When Hitler came to power, the German National Socialist government introduced a ban in the whole of Germany in 1933 and in Poland when it invaded in 1939.

8. Devotees
Devotees offering prayer as holy man of Hindu sacrifice buffalo.

Bans were introduced in all the countries which the Nazis occupied, as well as in the countries of the Axis allies: Italy and Hungary.

These were removed by order of the Allied Military authorities by a special order, and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms included sections on Religious Freedom that in the preliminary discussions, referred specifically to religious ritual slaughter bans.

Countries in which animals must be stunned right after the cut include Latvia, Estonia, Finland,] the Lower Austria province.

Countries that impose stunning before slaughter comprise Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Denmark, and Sweden.


Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (Matt 12:31-32).

This gift is not offered to the devil, he’s a goner, are you?

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