Lucknow: To commemorate the occasion of Bakri Eid, Muslims have since time immemorial, slaughtered animals to honour Ibrahim’s spirit of sacrifice. However, this ritualistic sacrifice of animals has often been questioned, with many saying that tradition is not an excuse for cruelty. Also Read - 'Orders From God': 72-Year-Old Odisha Priest Dreams Human Sacrifice Will Ward Off Coronavirus, Chops Off Man’s Head Inside Temple

Every year, gruesome photos emerge on social media, depicting the ritual bloodshed of animals in the name of a tradition that has been branded as barbaric.

Now, a month before the festival, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has started a campaign to stop the sacrifice of goats. At many places in Lucknow, PETA has put up billboards proclaiming “I am ME, Not Mutton. See the Individual. Go Vegan.”

Often during this festival, animals are crammed into severely crowded trucks which causes suffocation and broken bones. They are beaten to keep them moving while marching them to the place of sacrifice, and slaughter by untrained people who slit their throats with dull knives in full view of other animals.

PETA India’s Legal Associate, Amir Nabi, said: “All religions call for compassion, and no religion requires eating meat. I celebrate Eid by distributing fruits to the needy. Goats feel pain and fear, have unique personalities, and value their own lives, just as we do.”

PETA India has also called on states to stop any illegal transport and killing of animals in the lead-up to the festival. The Supreme Court has already ruled that animals can be slaughtered only in officially licensed slaughterhouses.

One of the most important festivals in Islam, Eid-al-Adha takes place after the end of Haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to give up his beloved son on Allah’s command.

This year, Bakrid will be celebrated on July 31 or August 1.

(With IANS inputs)