In New Delhi, India, 124 goats happily munched on spinach inside a Jain temple after being rescued from a live market — where they were at risk of being slaughtered as part of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha, or Bakrid.

Jainism promotes nonviolence and the practice of ahimsa — not harming other living beings. This principal is what inspired Jain spiritual leader Sanjeev to ask his community to help go undercover at the live markets — as practitioners of Eid al-Adha looking to purchase goats to sacrifice — in order to bring as many goats as possible to safety.

“We posed as their community members and asked for the price at which goats were sold,” Chirag Jain told The Print. “We also surveyed the goat mandis (markets).”

The desire to save goats spread throughout the Jain community. Soon, they had a group of 25 people and Rs 17 lakh — equivalent to $20,000 — and began visiting the goat markets dressed as Muslims. Sanjeev, the Jain guru, initially hoped to rescue 4 goats — but with community support they raised enough to rescue 120 more than that.

Vivek Jain, one of the undercover rescuers, couldn’t believe the horrible treatment he witnessed.

“It felt like we were buying clothes from a street vendor,” Vivek Jain said. “The goats were crammed together and handled poorly. There was no sensitivity towards these living, breathing creatures.”

No animal deserves to be crammed into filthy, tiny spaces like an item and not a living being. Live markets across the globe — including in the U.S. — are inherently cruel in their treatment of animals.

Vivek Jain and the Jain community plan to send the rescued animals to a goat shelter which was also inspired by a desire to save goats from being butchered out of tradition. These rescued goats will be find companionship with other goats saved from brutality. They will finally be safe to play and snuggle without fear.

Vivek Jain told the Times of India that the Rs 5 lakh left over will also be given to the sanctuary to help care for them.

Goats are intelligent, social animals. They recognize the moods of their friends by their vocalizations, are quick learners, and have great memories. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to earn the trust of a goat, you’d know that they also love to cuddle.

Lady Freethinker applauds the Jain community in New Delhi for their creativity in saving so many innocent goats and their plan to continue saving animals that need help.