As yesterday was the first day of Kurban Bayramı (the link is a bit of a joke), the sidewalks and streets today are dotted with pools of sheep’s blood. Any Muslim who has the means is supposed to slaughter a lamb in commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to god, and then feed his friends and family with it.
The hilarious thing is that, though I expect comments like this from my mother, foreigner friends who have lived in Turkey for a while still find this a barbaric thing to do. But I think it’s great. Why should we be separated from the killing of the animals we eat? I eat lamb, I know it was once a sheep, but don’t feel like livestock raising has to be so sanitized as to trick me into thinking a lamb is a vegetable or some other non-animal food product. Most Americans want the ‘production’ of their meat to be out of sight, out of mind so they don’t have to deal with it.
It’s not as if a observant Muslim family of means is killing the animal to make a fur coat out of it (although they will later use the wool for bedding and other things.) What is barbaric is not admitting that the thing you are eating/wearing was once a living thing.