To Silence Compassion

Another common ploy to assuage guilt—which is to say, to silence compassion—was to assert that the animal willingly sacrificed itself. On yet other occasions an attempt was made to convince the animal that it was not in fact killed. Thus in the hymn of the horse sacrifice in the Rg Veda, ca 1000 BCE, the priest says to the horse, "You do not really die through this, nor are you harmed. You go on paths pleasant to go in."
—Wendy Doniger