Goats started to line the streets in the week leading up to Idul Adha. Tied on short leads to fence posts, and feeble.
The smell of manure mingled with the stench of the city in the heat of the day, as the goats breathed in the spluttered smoke of bajaj, kopajas and other fuel-inefficient vehicles.
The goats disappeared this morning.
I watched 10 goats and two cows get sacrificed in a car park from the safety of my window. My stomach turned. Children held the ropes tied to the legs of the cow to hold them still. It’s educational, I was later told.
The animals’ throats were slit. Their bodies thrashed before dying.
From my window I could see my housemate taking photos of the undertakings. I went down to see the results. The intestines. The blood. Goats tied upside down, hanging from a tree. A cow’s head in a plastic bag. Men tending to the meat, a third of which will be distributed to the poor.
The mosques continued to call the city dwellers to prayer on the Festival of Sacrifice — the day I decided to become a vegetarian again, perhaps for good.
I walked back inside the house. Ibu and her family sat watching TV. They offered me beef rendang. I couldn’t stomach it, but it was rude to say no.