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Raw Evil Captured in Footage from Festival of Sacrifice

On Friday, I watched the video included above, not because I wanted to, obviously, but out of some sense of obligation. Perhaps that’s a projection on my part, inasmuch as I wish those who typically choose to look away from such horrors would, just once, stare them in the face, however sickening and heartbreaking doing so might be.

The video, disseminated by Animals Australia, shows men in Gaza savagely slaughtering animals in observance, ostensibly, of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice. But nothing — no custom, culture, or religion — can excuse the kind of raw evil I saw in those images.

Watching the footage of men enthusiastically torturing cattle and cutting the terrified animals’ throats, I heard myself yell, “Make it stop!” although no one was home to hear that hopeless demand.

I could certainly hear the victims’ cries, albeit from thousands of miles away and long after they’d been brutally silenced.

“What the fuck is wrong with people?” I found myself asking, rhetorically and for the umpteenth time, feeling physically ill and acknowledging intense feelings of anguish and rage.

I also found myself wondering what might result if those who typically choose not to see would, just once, open their eyes.

Within an hour or so of watching the video, I reached for my notebook and a pen and wrote the following.

Why everyone should watch …

Everyone would see the same thing: men brutally killing terrified animals.

Those who force themselves to watch, without looking away from the horror, will never be able to unsee the evil or the suffering, the madness or the fear.

From that moment onward, they’ll see … terror and death everywhere. And unless they have no compassion, they’ll want it to stop.

I sat quietly for a while, struggling with the fact that at that very moment men were causing terrified animals to suffer while other men looked the other way.

I wrote a few more words.

feel helpless to stop the madness, and capable of …

And then, for some reason, I crossed out each of those words, with the exception of helpless.

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