I’ve written about how animal slaughter is not compulsory and that we can give to charity by other means.
But ‘animal sacrifice’ is sadly still the norm and most people are content to give a financial donation to an entity and let them settle the slaughter.
Most people don’t even know how the animals were brought up and they won’t witness how they die. Myself included.
As a Muslim Vegan, I hesitate to give to such entities because I know that the money will all go to the slaughter.
And to be honest, I haven’t given much to charity since coming out of university 3 years ago. I just didn’t know how or where to give that doesn’t involve slaughter.
Besides random beggars on the streets, I’ve also given some of my money to an animal sanctuary.
Even then I don’t give often.
Right now I can thank my parents for giving to charity on behalf of the whole household. So in a way, my part is covered.
But I know I can’t let this go on if I’m to align my actions with my values.
If Eid Adha is all about giving to the needy, then I could give money directly to an orphanage, old folk’s home or animal sanctuary.
Yes, they may use the money to buy meat. But at least you know that it did not go directly to the managing of the slaughter.
And If I could, I’d also provide a full vegan meal for my family, neighbours and the needy.
I admit that I have little knowledge and experience in this. But as I earn more (inshallah), I know it would be my responsibility to give more. For now, I’ll do what I can and what feels right, being mindful every step of the way.
Another Important Thing We Can Give
That’s the greatest resource we have.
We can spend time with our family and relatives.
We can spend time with the orphans and old folks.
We can spend time with the homeless on the streets.
Yes, they all need food, shelter and money to survive. And I’m sure many of us have given to charity. That’s just our human nature to help people.
But what’s also important is the human connection. The exchange of endearing words. The physical touch.
And since most of us are busy chasing our dream life, working more than 40 hours a week, why not take this moment on Eid Adha to spend some precious time with loved ones.
Like really be present in the moment.
Put our phones away and enjoy a meal.
I believe that’s the very least we can give.