China produces 5,000 tons of ejiao each year, requiring some 4 million donkey hides. The number excludes the people who obtain donkey hides illegally.
Most donkeys were stolen and they were treated poorly and killed inhumanely, most of the time, using hammer to beat them and knife to slit their throats.
In a grim time in our history, people were killed to serve as a religious sacrifice for certain events, such as the death of a chief, preparation for war, construction of new house or canoe, epidemic outbreaks and violations of major social taboos. But a new study suggests that human sacrifices were not only meant for religious purposes.