When I see our animals, I see a soul who needs care and nurture. They are indeed blessings from our Creator. They know that we are their caretakers. Our chickens run to us when they see us come towards them. They see us put food in their coop and water in their buckets. The goats know who we are and come to us so we can pet them. This taught us that the animals have feelings and an awareness of life.
They also know they have a purpose. It most apparent at the time of slaughter. There is a Dua (prayer) that we whisper in the animal’s ears as we prepare it for slaughter:
“In the name of Allah the one who doesn’t harm with his name anything in the earth or the heavens and HE is the most hearing and the most knowing.”
بسم الله الذي لا يضر مع اسمه شيء في الأرض ولا في السماء وهو السميع العليم
As soon as the animal hears this Dua, it automatically submits. It calms down. It knows that it is time for it to be slaughtered. Seeing this has been one of the most amazing experiences thus far for us. It taught me that the animal knows its purpose in life- which is to provide sustenance to us. I also believe that the heart of the slaughter man or woman has something to do with how the animal submits for slaughter. The good hearted a person is, the easier the slaughter. But that topic is for another blog post :-)
Amirah AbuLughod, a farmer at Stony Point Center, recently spoke about her experience witnessing a slaughter at our farm. If you have a few minutes, it would be worth your time to listen to her thoughts here.