Suppose a human derived from the common ancestor of primates. As time went on, human was evolving. We will consider the eastern hemisphere of the Earth, where by Neolithic Revolution people had the cattle. Homo-sapiens shifted from primitive economy of hunting and gathering to agriculture. There was a process of transition from savagery to barbarism (which is when there is a private property and the social hierarchy). First of all people domesticated cattle, which gave more meat for people. Earliest ritual murders as worships of gods for the gifts of nature (which is a consequence of the lack of understanding of physical, chemical and biological laws) appear with the advent of cattle appear. Half-moon is like bull's horns in the equatorial zone. Human begins to worship the moon, and the bull becomes deified animal.
The reason why the moon becomes the object of worship is that it more graphically expressive than red-hot sun in the burnt sky by heat: we can contemplate the moon long time without screwing up eyes and without tiring. It's difficult to look at the sun. The poets of the Early epoch realized that the world is made of mirror opposites - night/day, up/down, cool/heat. In this pairing system the role of a kind genius and father of all things was assigned to the night luminary. Night is time of cool, love and hunting.
It's today the moon and the sun are ideal romantic couple in poems, Adam and Eve. But then the moon was still kind Avel who was pasturing a myriad of stars, and the sun erases them from bleached heaven by the heat when it comes. It's a tyrant! The right to glare, to hotly shine is the duty of only cursed sun! The moon became a deity in the southern latitudes. It taught a human to draw a circle, to create the material idol - disk made of clay and stone. And to esteem all round things: such subjects are pleasing to God. Merciless sun was banishing the people from equatorial latitudes. Who deified bulls - earthly and heavenly - were following the herds where juicy grass.
Relation to the moon was changing as human was moving to higher latitudes. Nights were becoming colder and belief in the omnipotence of the moon was cooling. She was continuing to shine, but the light was no longer associating with blissful cool, but with cold. At first, Moon worship gives way carefully, but as further north, frenetic belief in yesterday Devil (in the Sun!) is rising! Now it's the divine ancestor, alone without any stray Venus! The Moon is turning into an enemy of the Sun, the evil demon!
It's impossible to put a transition from one to next form of consciousness into the usual for us framework of chronology. Maybe tens or even hundreds of thousands years, youthful humanity was gaining, increasing and decaying like a swarm of bees into many swarms, in lands treated kindly by overnight lamp, but the first signs of sun worship culture we find in Eurasia within time, dating by objective chemical-physical methods. In the Upper Paleolithic - 40-30 thousand years ago.
Moon worship was not completed at once and everywhere. It was lasting almost to the present day. Especially in cultures that remained in areas where the climate was favoring the worship of Moon and Venus. But other tribes had to change religion, going to the north or mountainous areas, where nature is harsher.Written language begins to emerge just thanks to the bull and the moon as symbols. Bull/moon becomes first word, which appeared and was expressing in the form of sound «mun/moon» or «mul/mool» (this is how bull grunts and somebody could hear as «bun/bul») and representing in the form of an arc/half-moon like horns. For negation of word, priests made umlaut «men/ben» that identified the voice of small ruminants (sheep) as the opposite of cattle (bulls) and depicted upside down inverted arc. Also for negation they were introducing characters, like the lance (wand), which was the murder weapon. At time of the murder, they had been hearing the sound like «ha» (or «a»), which has become a suffix denial of a word. So, it turns out that «sun» = «the killed moon».
Language was developing. Deaf consonants were varying in different ethnic groups from «m/b» to «p/f». As a rule, vowels change more intensively: some people can have a sound «u», others – «ʌ», etc. For example, in many classic languages the root «mess» meant the sheep. Meat appears from this word «mess»: «the killed bull» = «beef, meat» = «sheep». This discovery spread in the Indo-European cultural union: manzo – beef (it.). Protoform menz> mianz confirmed by examples: mensa – meat (old prus.), mienso (pol.), mieso (serb., croat.), meso (slovak., bulg.), miaso (east slavic), maso (czech.). It's distorted beyond recognition in mamsam – meat (old ind.). Synonymous reading «mas», probably, together with the Buddhism gets into the Mongolian mah, mahan – meat. The form without prosthetic vowel in the ending survived in «mis» – meat (arm.), mish (alb.), mit, mith (germ.), meet (eng.). Transformation happened in an adverb in which the bull was named as munh – muh – muz, mus. In more detail about it’s possible to read in the book of Olzhas Suleimenov «Language of Letter».
In Indo-Iranian surroundings the moon transformed into the root from «mun» to «mes/mas». Slavs in the transformation of sound «m» - «p» get the word «pah» (pas) - horns, cattle. As a result, it creates verbs «pasture», «plough». Those who haven’t lost a sacred relationship to the sign "the killed bull» is author of Spring Holiday: pas + ha (Pascha; latin: Pascha; greek: Πάσχα, Paskha; aramaic: פַּסחא Pasḥa; from Hebrew: פֶּסַח Pesaḥ).
First meanings: «the killed bull»> «not bull»> «small cattle» (calf, goby> baby), «sheep». As a result of contamination «baby» + «sheep» = «baby sheep», «lamb». The presence of features of negation brings meaning - "the death of lamb." It leads to the synchronous line of parallel semantic series: 1) «not moon» - «sun», 2) «the middle of month», 3) «vernal equinox» and others.
And this is only part of the poetic interpretations that were engineered to Easter rituals and ceremonies, supported by legends. Meanings were increasing for millenniums, that in the era of the prophets, this holiday of sun worship came also to new religions.
Holiday of first month in year, the spring equinox, the ploughing and beginning of pasturage accompanied by the sacrifice of a lamb. Catholics don't eat mutton every day, but for Easter lamb is required. Jews slaughter one-year old lamb after end of 14th day of first spring month. (If in the month - 28-30 days, the line that crosses the sign of month, divide this number in half. At the same time it represents first month of year). The rite of spring meat-eating was common in Ancient Near East long before the colonization of Semitic ethnic groups, that is, up to the third millennium before the birth of Christ. Old Hebrew name of the holiday (Pesah) is the result of metatony (Pas-eh) under the influence of light variant of lexeme (Pes).
Interpreting custom, Jewish priests made their versions into history of the exodus of Jews from Egyptian captivity. It turns out that slaughter of lamb should resemble about "immunity to first-borns", because god went over Egypt before the Exodus and killed all firstborns - humans and animals. And so, in order to save their firstborns, Jews were bringing the substitutionary sacrifice - killing a lamb. "Perfect" biblical story, Abraham (Islamic - Ibrahim) must slaughter his firstborn, in order to prove his devotion to God. But at final moment, God stopped his arm with a knife and pointed to the lamb tangled by horns in the bushes. Most likely, rejection of the killing his son was just a protest to protect the innocent child.
However, the killing of children wasn't at all by god, but people. During the Exodus and King Solomon, Jews were worshiping the god Moloch. Moloch worship was distinguishing oneself by sacrifice offering of children through overall cremation. Besides Jews, Ammonites and Phoenicians were worshiping the Moloch (who was known as Melkarta). Similar cult was practising also by Moabites. Moloch, apparently meant the supreme deity, also known under the name of Baal. Greeks identified him with Kronos, Romans - with Saturn. Moloch as supreme deity was object for sacrifice offering of the most precious - children. And Phoenicians were killing most often boys, but is frequent also girls, and generally from aristocratic families. Usually children at age before half a year were victims. Quite often newborn. In some cases the age of the child was reaching four and more years. The sequence of terrible ritual was such is. Child was at first killed, then was burned on bronze hands of a statue of god who had the face of a bull. He was rolling down from it and "falling to the some chasm full of fire". Phoenicians were considering that souls of the murdered children rise directly to god and since then protect the homeland and their family. The Bible speaks about burning of children in the valley of the son of Hinnom (Gehenna) near Jerusalem, in honor of Moloch, when Hebrew kings. Sacrificing of children was taking as the most pleasing sacrifice to gods. Such sacrifices were called in Phoenician «molk», «molkh», «molek» or «molock», in Hebrew «molech», from which arose the word "milk".
As it's known, Christianity was formed from Judaism by followers of Jesus, and Islam - by the Prophet Muhammad, who basically invented the a little something new. Judaism was originally polytheistic religion and then it became monotheistic. Even the name of the supreme deity El (or Eloh, that later gave its name to the Arab god Allah). «El», as impersonation of fruiting start, was being named the bull, which also rings at the Semitic language. In some traditions the bull portrayed as a partner of fertility goddess. In Mithraism, sacrificing of bull for Earth was symbolizing penetration of male element into the female, fire (sun as a source of fertility) into the wet.
Bull can serve as a lunar and as a solar symbol. In ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Indian culture, a bull was image of the lunar deity (such as Sin, the Mesopotamian moon god, was depicted in the form of bull with blue beard). On the other hand, in the Assyrian mythology, a bull was considered son of the sun god Shamash (from the Semitic root sh-m-sh - sun), which is depicted with toothed and crescent-shaped knife. It was with known purpose - knife (or spear) is a symbol of the murder of the Moon/calf. Egyptian fertility god Apis appears as a bull with a solar disk between the horns. In Greece, bulls were dedicated for sun god Helios.
Also, in some traditions the bull was a symbol of thunder god (that is, as a rule, the supreme god): Greek Zeus transformed into a bull, abducting daughter of Phoenician king Agenor, Europe; Romans were sacrificing a bull for Jupiter; Slavs were sacrificing a bull for Perun, ancient Turkic peoples were sacrificing of bulls (and later horses, sheep) for Tengri. By the way, in ancient Semitic language the calf even rings like a death goddess Mara (from the same word are monetary units - marks). Perhaps, this fact is why in all of ancient cultures, a bull was symbolizing the idea of authority. According to the interpretation of Hieronymus, the evangelist St. Luke is often accompanied by an ox or bull, usually having wings.
The bull was Vahana (vehicle) of Hindu god Shiva. Cow and bull worship was a common practice in many parts of the world, beginning in Mesopotamia around 6,000 B.C. and spreading to Northwestern India with the invasion of the Indus Valley in the second millennium B.C. by Aryan nomadic pastoralists who established the Vedic religion. Belief in ahimsa (not harming) and in aghnya (not killing) possibly arose as a reaction against the Vedic religion and social order that sanctified animal slaughter, the Brahmins being the highest priestly order in the Hindu caste system that supervised the killing.
Between the eighth and sixth centuries B.C. a new wave of philosophical treatises emerged that included references to ahimsa, and also reincarnation and karma, that were not included in the Vedas. These treatises, along with the emergence of the religious traditions Buddhism and Jainism that espoused ahimsa, were a challenge to orthodox Hinduism and may have led to the Brahmins prohibiting cow slaughter and promoting ahimsa. Yet still today thousands of animals -- buffalo, sheep, and goats especially -- are slaughtered in Hindu temples.
Vegetarianism in India, like ahimsa, has as much, if not more, to do with concerns about reincarnation, one's personal degree of spiritual purity, and place in society (caste) than with immediate concern for animals. But it is not total vegetarianism, since dairy products are consumed by most Hindus and Jains. Few are pure vegan (eating no animal products.) Some Jains have agreed with me that to be consistent with their religious beliefs and with the ecological and economic dictates of the current situation, veganism is an ethical imperative. Abstaining from all dairy products would be more consistent with the principle of ahimsa that they hold so dear, than "saving" spent dairy cows, calves and bullocks from slaughter and condemning them to slow death by starvation in gowshalas or pinjrapoles. Such absurd love for sacred animal can be equated with exploitation. Because the Indians had the purely consumerist attitude towards them. Cows milk is stolen, and the bulls and oxen have long been used in agriculture as draft animals.
Hence the conclusion that sacrifices have appeared thanks to the emergence of religions. Only later, the things as "don't kill", "love your neighbor" appeared with the emergence of of philosophical doctrines related to the humanization. I don't deny the existence of a higher cosmic mind, the creator of the universe, but I deny the mindless adherence (consumerism) to the bloodthirsty ancient traditions of our ancestors. The human, who once was subject to nature, unfairly got too high an opinion of himself as king of nature. Sometime instead of religions there will be new ethic at which the sanctity of any innocent life will be honored.
PS: The first time I translated my article into English.