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No, not my goat (but if anyone can recommend some good milk goats to me, I'd appreciate it).

I was having a discussion with someone today and the topic of voodoo came up. I live in the Deep South, in an area in which it is not unusual to see a veve drawn on the sidewalk and where people still cast and believe in the effects of voodoo curses, so when I told my friend that someone I knew had put a curse on someone else it really came as no surprise. She then related a story to me about an episode of Animal Cops, which showed a goat, assumed to be a sacrificial goat, was found wandering on the street and was subsequently rehomed. It was assumed to be sacrificial because of the herbs in a bag around its neck (presumably, in my mind, a gris gris or spell bag) and by the way its leg was hobbled.

My first reaction was "poor goat," but ten seconds after that response the logical part of my brain kicked in. If indeed this goat was intended to be part of a religious ritual, then how is it different from someone finding the chalice, the loaf of bread, and the wine used in Orthodox liturgies on the sidewalk and giving them away because they did not believe in Orthodoxy? If they did not knock on doors or advertise to find the goat's owners, shouldn't they have? They were called because the goat was wandering, so would they not have made the attempt to find its owners if it had not been assumed to be sacrificial, if for no other reason to find someone to fine for the animal wandering on city streets--particularly since it's a livestock animal and most cities do not allow goats/livestock to begin with?

So then it occurred to me that they might not have done so because it is not the "animal cops'" mandate to turn an animal over to someone to be killed--although that does not necessarily hold water, since they typically turn fighting dogs and fighting chickens over to authorities to be euthanized. So again I have to wonder, since religious practices are protected by the Constitution, shouldn't they have made more of an effort to do something about the goat before rehoming it? One caveat: I honestly don't know what they did or did not do, since I no longer watch Animal Planet due to their carrying HSUS advertising.

I don't care to see a lot of animal rights rhetoric and will stop looking at the thread if the discussion develops in that manner. Putting my cards on the table right now--I feel that Wayne Pacelle, Ingrid Newkirk, and Peter Singer and their like are a blight on the United States. I feel that the animal rights movement has less to do with animals than it does with their pathetic need to have power over other people's lives. I also feel that they are a threat to my pet owning, rare-meat-eating, leather-wearing way of life and that I will oppose them every day of that life until one side or the other utterly fails.

All that being said, my question is this: if an animal is also considered a part of a religious act, should that status take precedent over the way we normally think of that animal (petting zoo, family pet, livestock), especially when those involved in the animal's care/capture are connected with the government or legal system (even at a very low level)?
 

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I think it really depends on the religion thing. We do have freedom of religion here BUT there are still limitations. You might not be able to commit an unlawful practice just because your religion says so.

There are people that have been charged with crimes or situations intervened upon even though they consider it part of their religion.

As for animals being rehomed it happens all the time. If a dog is found they often don't go looking for the owners, even though they will take them to the shelter where an owner could find them. The dogs are put up for adoption.

I also know that what is done varies from place to place. They don't always do what we think they should nor what seems right. There was a dog transporter which was stopped and the dogs taken as "fighting dogs" (these were pit bulls, which it seems any are assumed fighting dogs). The transporters were imprisoned. Not only accused of transporting fighting dogs (some of which were puppies) but also of neglect (not sure I believe it, didn't happen before, no previous complaints against them, ect). After they had no evidence what so ever that these were fighting dogs being transported to fights/dog fighters, they then went with "these are breeding dogs" and even went on to say how many litters this and that one had, ect, ect. (fabrication of their own mind) To me what they did was not within in the law and AC or not they basically stole property. Because they went on to rehome these non fighting dogs, even contacted the registry to help them do this who would have no part of it. If these dogs really were neglected in the care of the transporter then the obvious right thing to do would be to get them to their buyers, the rightful owners. The ones who paid the transporters to bring their dogs/pups to them. How they get around the law like this is beyond me. It seems they make decisions at their will of if they will find an owner and if they will return an animal to an owner.

Now with livestock in most places it isn't illegal to kill them, even if it isn't for food. But laws vary so you have to be certain that the religions practice doesn't conflict with the law. Sometimes laws are also too broad. Such as *Causing the intentional death of an animal in a cruel manner* is a whatever whatever felony punishable by whatever. It would be considered considered cruelty and obviously against the law. What do they consider a cruel manner? Seems to be whatever they decide.

True they will have certain animals PTS but that is in a way they considered humane to kill an animal and for a reason they see fit. It is different then giving an animal back to an owner to kill.
 

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I don't have a huge problem with ritual animal sacrifices, as long as they are performed in a humane manner. The BBQ gods must be placated or they get very angry. In many cities, these practices are not allowed on public health grounds. You are not allowed to kill and butcher livestock in your tenement apartment, and I believe that survives constitutional scrutiny WRT free exercise of religion. I am not a lawyer, so I might be wrong about that.
 

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While I appreciate the sentiment I have to enforce a rule here that prohibits religious discussion. This thread is now closed
 
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