Spilling Blood: Conflict and Culture over Animal Slaughter in Mongol Eurasia

  • Timothy MayEmail author
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series book series (PMAES)


During several periods of the Mongol Empire, the issue of how animals were to be slaughtered became a key point of contention between the Mongol elite and their Muslim subjects. The traditional Mongol method of slaughter prevented blood from being spilled into the ground, while Islamic and Jewish methods did. Despite being an ostensibly small issue, it remained a source of anxiety for Muslims as they adapted to the new reality of Mongol Rule. Furthermore, and while the tensions between the Mongols and Muslims over animal slaughter is well documented, there is no indication of any other groups facing similar persecution. The question is thus whether the variances in animal slaughter created strain via religious differences or whether it was caused by cultural differences concerning the treatment of animals. Indeed, while the Mongols’ reputation for ferocity was merited, it is also easy to forget that they did not perceive their animals (of all sorts) in the same way as most sedentary groups.


Animal slaughter Mongol Eurasia Blood Halal Islam Judaism 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North GeorgiaDahlonegaUSA

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