Inflation Is Hurting More Than Wallets For Eid Al-Adha Festivities

While folks are making kofta kebabs and ironing new outfits for Eid al-Adha, a wrench has been thrown into many Muslims' holiday plans this year. Typically, festivities include sacrificing a goat or lamb and sharing the meat with poor community members, reports USA Today. However, this year, many families are finding themselves unable to participate in the holiday's most integral tradition — and it's because of inflation.

Gaza Strip livestock purveyor Mahmoud Abu Holy reports customer traffic is substantially down from its expected volume as the holiday approaches. "We stand here the whole day without selling any of our animals," Abu Holy says, via Reuters. It isn't just happening in Palestine, either. One livestock merchant at a market in Egypt says sheep prices have gone up 50% from last year to $4.77 per kilo. Lebanese butcher Makhaber Hassan says sheep prices have jumped to around 7.5 million Lebanese pounds. For reference, he explains that many employees in Lebanon make between 1.5 and 2 million pounds in a month. The reason for the sudden price increase? It's all about the animal feed.

Animal feed prices drive up livestock costs

The spike in animal feed prices is a result of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Among the main ingredients in goat feed are grain and soybeans, both of which were major exports from Russia and Ukraine before the countries became war-locked, according to The Guardian. The shortages have initiated a global food crisis, and food for animals isn't exempt.

According to The Wall Street Journal, not only do livestock sellers have unhappy customers on their hands, many families are feeling guilty for not being able to afford to celebrate this important religious holiday. Eid al-Adha is an Islamic celebration of the Quran's Abraham and his faithfulness to God, as well as marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, per USA Today. The sacrifice emulates Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son as requested by God, according to the religious text; Eid al-Adha literally translates to "Festival of Sacrifice," via People. For this reason, says the news outlet, the holiday is considered to be even holier than Eid al-Fitr. The animal sacrifice is a big deal — and for many Muslims, it will be impossible this year.

One YouTuber, Shadan, who has been covering goat prices, predicts costs to dwindle as Eid al-Adha nears, reports Indian news outlet The Okhla Times. However, consumers waiting until the last second to get a good deal run the risk of ending up empty-handed when the holiday comes, since it's difficult to know for certain whether prices will drop.