Anyone who doubts the sacrality of animals is already in Hell. Excuse me, Folks, I’m going into crazy-talk mode, because there’s no other way to speak of such horrors.
The whole point of Christ, of communion, is to get past the ritual sacrifice of animals and humans, the blood sacrifice. That was a huge civilizing step up from the Roman amphitheater to the Catholic altar. The communion wafer is the Western World’s greatest pacifier — well, it works for some people. Now, of course, we also have zen.
There’s something worse than blood sacrifice: the irreverent slaughter of animals or humans, in which the lives being extinguished are not even acknowledged as unique, precious, valuable — aka “God-given” — in which killers dead to compassion, reverence, or remorse become less than human.
My vegan friends are way ahead of me on this one.
For a government agency to practice the torture and vivisection of goats in the name of “training” its members to save lives — is, to put it mildly, ironic. Not that irony is ever really mild.
To paraphrase an online source:
Ceremonial animal sacrifice, from which Greek tragedy derives its name, expressed the human community’s awe and fear of its own murderous potential. Ritual animal slaughter, in a ceremony evincing the sacrificers’ reverence for life, distances the participants from the possibility that they could kill without compassion or remorse. Human sacrifice is the dreadful threat contained in animal sacrifice. Tragedy, the song of the sacrificial goat, brings the hidden threat to light.
Theater — on a good day — imaginatively performs our potential for murder while detaching us from the passions surrounding the impulse. Theater is the single greatest civilizing force.