The tradition of sacrifice is not only Muslim tradition. All the divine religions exhort the adherents to offer sacrifice for the same perpose.
Book of Genesis:
Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering. (Ge 4:4)
So the humnity never failed to keep the practice alive. Islam is the last version of the divine guidance. It is supposed to have retained all the unpoluted doctines and pure practices of the previous religious tradtions.
So the objection is directed towards all the Abrahamic religions.
It has always been clear to the mankind that the animals have been given in service of men. Now if you can use something for your personal needs for example to kill hunger then why is it inhuman to use it in a nobler abd sacred cause. When we can take an animal's life for eating we can take it (initially) for sacrifice. It makes no difference for the animal whether it is slaughtered for sport or for eating or for sacrifcie. God does not receive the flesh of the slaughtered animal. It is again us who use it.
Edited by - tariq hashmi on February 14 2004 17:06:57