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The History of Animal Sacrifice

According to Crabtree (2001, p. 2), in the history of animal sacrifice the practice has ôàgone hand in hand with religion.ö Indeed, animal sacrifice is the ôritual killingö of an animal that has traditionally been associated with religion and its practices, (Sacrifice, 2005, p. 2). There is evidence that animal sacrifice has been a part of nearly all cultures in history, from the Hebrews, Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans to the Aztecs and the Yoruba. Even though most religions have abolished the practice of animal sacrifice for centuries, there are some religions and religious groups that partake in this ritual today. This analysis will discuss the different types of animal sacrifice and rituals that have existed throughout history to the present day.

One of the few ancient cultures that did not practice animal sacrifice were the Egyptians who, according to one historian, ôàtended to look down on cultures that practices this custom,ö (Sacrifice, 2005, p. 2). However, Hoffman (2002, p. 10) maintains that the Egyptians did mummify animals ôàto serve as gifts for the animal godsö or as ôàpreserved food for people in the afterlife.ö Despite the Egyptian perspective, nearly all other ancient cultures practiced the custom of animal sacrifice. The practice remains in the holy books of the worldÆs major traditional religions. The Old Testament is rife with animal sacrifice, ôsanctioned and willed by the old testament God,ö (Crabtree, 2001, p. 2). Hebrews practiced the custom in elaborate ways. Jewish law describes the methods to be used during animal sacrifice, a practice known as ôshechitah,ö (Crabtree, 2001, p. 1). The shechitah ritual was performed by a rabbi or one known as the ôshochetö who killed the animal quickly with one deep stroke of a sharp blade across the animalÆs throat, (Crabtree, 2001, p. 1). Such a method was through to cause minimal pain and ensure the quick draining of the animalÆs...

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The History of Animal Sacrifice. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:58, June 15, 2019, from