How would you like to walk up on this first thing in the morning?

Click 2 Houston is reporting that beachgoers in Galveston discovered headless carcasses of goats, chickens, and a pigeon at around 6:30 am on Sunday, February 5. The police in Galveston believe the animals were killed in a Santeria animal sacrifice ritual.

Apparently, Galveston Beach has been used for animal sacrifices in the past as this isn’t the first time animal carcasses were discovered there.

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Is animal sacrifice legal?

Animal sacrifice when used as part of a religious ceremony was ruled as protected acts of faith by the US Supreme Court in 1993.

But that doesn’t mean those who conducted the sacrifices are completely off the hook.

First of all, the people who conducted the sacrifices could be issued citations for not disposing of the animal carcasses properly. Additionally, if it’s discovered that the animals weren’t sacrificed in a humane manner, those conducting the ritual could face animal cruelty charges.

What is Santeria?

According to Britannica, Santeria combines elements of African religious traditions and Catholicism, with sacrifice being an integral part of the tradition:

Santeria is based upon the development of personal relationships through divination, sacrifice, initiation, and mediumship (see medium) between practitioners of the religion and the orisha deities, who provide their devotees with protection, wisdom, and success and who guide devotees in times of crisis.

The religion has been spread throughout the United States primarily by Cuban immigrants. While there are no official statistics, it’s believed that around 75 to 100 million people around the world practice Santeria.

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