Dutch consider banning religious animal slaughter

It’s amazing some of the things you can learn from Twitter. This headline showed up, I clicked the link, and I learned that kosher and halal aren’t just about a religious figure blessing the food. It’s about taking a sharp knife and slashing open an animal’s veins and then watching it die while spurting blood everywhere. NOTE: the following is what passes for “fair and balanced” reporting in Europe:

AMSTERDAM – One of Europe’s first countries to allow Jews to practice their religion openly may soon pass a law banning centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions on the ritual slaughter of animals.

In the Netherlands, an unlikely alliance of an animal rights party and the xenophobic Freedom Party is spearheading support for the ban on kosher and halal slaughter methods that critics say inflict unacceptable suffering on animals.

The far right’s embrace of the bill, which is expected to go to a parliamentary vote this month, is based mostly on its strident hostility toward the Dutch Muslim population. The Party for the Animals, the world’s first such party to be elected to parliament, says humane treatment of animals trumps traditions of tolerance.

The Dutch have some real problems with some of the things the Muslims are doing in their country, like having a film director shot to death with a note attached to him by a knife stabbed into his chest. Apparently it’s a problem for ladies to walk down the street with their hair uncovered, because they’re assaulted by roving bands of Muslim youngsters. The country prides itself on being tolerant, but apparently dictating to your citizens that they have to tolerate everything can cause a backlash. Anyway, along with the knife-slashing, I didn’t know about this, either:

If the Netherlands does outlaw procedures that make meat kosher for Jews or halal for Muslims, it will be the first country outside New Zealand to do so in recent years. It will join the Scandinavian, Baltic countries and Switzerland, whose bans are mostly traceable to pre-World War II anti-Semitism.

I’m not a PETA member, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for animals and an enormous hatred for people who mistreat them, so I agree with this legislation. I don’t care what your religion is; you can’t torture animals to death and then hide behind freedom of religion. Try a compromise: stick your religious guy in the slaughterhouse and have him make a couple of symbolic ritual incisions on the cow’s neck with a magic marker. If you don’t like the new law, then consider becoming a vegetarian.

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Categories: Islam, Judaism

22 replies

  1. Agreed. Ritualistic religious animal slaughter is cruel and macabre and belongs in the dark recesses of some midnight graveyard where hobbit-like freaks chant verses over pentagrams.

  2. Yes, because animal rights completely trump human religious rights, I am amazed they have not outlawed meat consumption and religion altogether. Judging by their recent history with their Muslim immigrants, its not animal slaughter they should be worried about.

  3. So, this bill would place the religious freedom of human beings beneath the rights of animals–who are being killed and eaten for food.

    My understanding is that Jews who keep kosher will not eat non-kosher food; presumably, it could be imported from other countries; I would assume devout Muslims would do similarly. Banning kosher slaughtering (and its Islamic equivalent) could deprive these people of meat.

    I don’t think (and I’m going from a memory of an old National Geographic article) that kosher butchers use rituals, per se, but slaughter the animals in accordance with the Jewish law. I would think that an animal with its throat cut is not going to suffer unduly as the blood loss should cause unconsciousness quickly. In fact, the website Judaism 101 states: “Kosher slaughtering is designed to be as fast and painless as possible, and if anything occurs that might cause pain (such as a nick in the slaughtering knife or a delay in the cutting), the flesh may not be consumed” (http://www.jewfaq.org/animals.htm).

  4. The religious slaughtering of animals is no less humane (and often more so) than the slaughter of animals for human consumption. I have no problem with it. Animals should not be treated cruelly, but they are here for our use as we see fit. Seems like little more than the usual nanny state, animal rights crap we see all the time but perhaps with a pinch of racism and religious bigotry included just for good measure.

  5. Come on, cruel and macabre? Animal rights completely trump human religious rights? Horse radish and poppycock, give me a break. Have you watched a bleed out of an animal? Have you done one? Have you watched another animal attack its kill (not on TV)? You people have been so removed by our society from the reality of how food is processed. You think meat just comes packaged neatly by a machine from Star Trek’s ship Enterprise. On the farm, my mom would “ring” the chicken’s neck. Seen one? You grasp the chicken by the head, swing it around two or three times, then pop the head. You can do it with snakes if you’re dumb enough, but I don’t recommend killing snakes that way. My job (Four years old. On the farm everyone had a job.) was to observe the chicken as it ran around headless with blood spurting from its neck. The object was not to let it get too close or you’d get spurted. When it stopped, I took it to mom who gave it to my sisters to remove the feathers. It was quick, painless and since the heart was beating and continued to beat until it bled out, there was meat with no blood in it. If the bleed out does not occur, you have a “wild” taste. The term given to venison primarily because the deer is killed, dragged to a tree so it can be hung up and gutted. Unfortunately, by that time the blood has pooled and will not drain out, thus the meat will taste differently because blood will pool. This is one reason we don’t eat road kill. About nine years, I would watch the guy bleed out the cattle at the packing plant. He used a eighteen pound sledge hammer hitting them on the pol. When the cow dropped to its knees, he sliced the neck open and cut the aorta. So, your steak won’t taste funny. The gadget used in No Country for Old Men by the supreme villain is used instead of the sledge hammer now. The trick with meat is that it needs to be bled out in order to taste right. There is an art to butchery. When you consider all the animals sacrificed in ancient Jerusalem, the alter had to have a yucky smell but then deodorant wasn’t around and the human musk may have been so great you didn’t notice the sacrificial odor.

    • Well hey, if it’s all about the flavor, and we can do whatever we want to animals because we’re at the top of the food chain, then why stop with ritual religious slaughter? Let’s just tie the cow down, skin it, and start slicing off steaks while it’s still alive. I’ll bet those would taste really yummy! Slice open the belly and chop out the liver while it’s still fresh. Pluck out the eyeballs so it can’t look around for a way to escape. Maybe we could pry off the lower jaw and cut off the tongue while it’s still waggling around. Ooh, tasty.

      As for religious freedom, there were many things done in the distant (and sometimes not so distant) past in the name of religious freedom that are no longer allowed today. I’m sure the people in the Netherlands who want to eat kosher or halal meat will find other sources for it, just like the folks in Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and other countries that have banned ritual slaughter. They will just import their meat from elsewhere.

      • No one here is dending animal cruelty for cruelties sake. There is a difference about ‘using’ an animal with minimal sufferering to it (hunting and fishing comes to mind) and torturing one. So red herring arguments aside, what purpose would thus be gained by importing such ritually killed animals or just doing it in country? The “hamsters have rights too” argument is a slippery slope argument straight from the mouths of PETA and similar progressive groups and I see overtones of that in the Dutch and similar laws.

  6. Let’s try just facts:
    1. Meat is a staple of human diet; we are designed for it along with other omnivores.
    2. We don’t eat it while it’s alive (like most natural predators will); it has to get dead first. And yes, the blood needs to be removed, which is hard after it’s coagulated.
    Those are givens, ok?
    Religious forms for butchery were public health measures before refrigeration. Perfectly legitimate and the least cruel practicable. If one sees current industrial methods as less cruel, perhaps a visit to a meatpacking plant is needed. Pay especial attention to veal. Industrialized chicken production will be of interest, too. Google “battery cages.”
    Someone who sticks with kosher/hallal meat production for religious reasons is practicing ancient public health along with ancient morals. Animals won’t survive ancient or current meat production and the difference in suffering (if any) is unmeasurable. It seems possible we’d do better with the ancient morals…

  7. I wasn’t really trying to ingite some debate and I didn’t really need a WestTexas lecture on killing methods. My wife was from a ranching family so I think I get it.
    The article was about a “law banning centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions on the ritual slaughter of animals”(emphasis mine). If ritualism was the best method, I would think we would still kill our food in that manner.

    I don’t really disagree with anyone here. I just have low tolerance for food restrictions based on criteria that have nothing to do with science. The notion that one can’t eat an animal unless it is standing at some altar and then has to have its neck sliced seems ridiculous. Levitical laws are dumb and thankfully are relics of the past. I happen to also think that laws prohibiting the consumption of “unclean” pork but permitting a shit infested sheep to be consumed are stupid too. If you’ve ever seen sheep on a farm you know what I mean. But who am I to say? Carry on.

    • But such a “lecture” is valid when the ones really backing such laws in Europe are the animal “rights” squad. This is all just PETA ‘be nice to the animals’ propaganda being peddled by our European brethren. And whether you and I may think our Jewish brothers and sisters are ‘silly’ in their religious customs that have been passed down from the Biblical patriarchs doesn’t really matter. They have, and should have, the right to practice them. Just because some religious practice is ‘archaic’ or ancient in practice, or of dubious practicality, doesn’t mean we should just start banning them because we view it that way and ‘don’t like it’ for whatever reason. I’m not one to tell someone else they can’t practice Mosaic law in regards to relatively harmless ritual and tradition. How presumptuous would that be?

      • But Dave, you are saying that because you disagree with the group that is trying to prohibit religious practices. Plus, as an Evangelical Christian you feel a certain kinship with Jews.
        Your reasoning could then justify practices like polygamy or genital mutilation or sharia law or, yes, animal slaughter.

      • Interesting point on the polygamy, though I think comparing genital mutilation to killing an animal in a culture that already kills animals for any number of reasons is somewhat of a stretch. Notice my quote “relatively harmless ritual and tradition.”

  8. This turned into a pretty good thread…

  9. Sorry if I oftened tender sensibilities. If the discussion is about pain. Painful stimuli in animals result in the immediate release of endorphins which are pain medication. A nice reaction that allows an animal which is incapable of binding its wounds or call 911, a way to continue the fight or run away and nurse its wounds. After the initial stimulus, these chemicals enter the game even in ritual killings. If it is religious freedom, I see no reason to censor it unless you wish to begin an erosion of freedom of religion which will trickle down to other freedoms.

  10. The article calls this group an “animal rights” group (but it also calls the Freedom Party “xenophobic,” so the authors enjoy labeling people). I don’t believe the “Party for the Animals” folks are saying “don’t eat meat.” I believe what they’re saying is “if you are going to slaughter an animal, stun it first like most of the civilized world does, so the animal doesn’t feel pain when it dies.” I found the following horrendous video that shows the process from both sides. The first scene shows a cow being stunned into unconsciousness, then rolling down to the floor of the facility, presumably to be butchered. The second scene shows a cow having its throat cut without being stunned. I couldn’t watch the rest of it, so I’m not sure what else is there, but after seeing that second scene, I am in favor of banning ritual slaughter worldwide, right now.

    Pleasant dreams.

  11. http://constitutionclub.org/2011/04/12/dutch-consider-banning-religious-animal-slaughter/

    Too bad you limited your education on kosher slaughter to Twitter and some eurotrash “news”.

    and as for your comment

    “Let’s just tie the cow down, skin it, and start slicing off steaks while it’s still alive. ”

    Guess what, the rules of kosher FORBID eating any animal alive, and were the first religious rules to forbid it.

    If you had done some research you would have found that kosher slaughter’s FIRST PRIORITY is the quick and as–painless-as-possible slaughtering of cattle. Unless you are some vegan (and if you are, my food has been pooping on your food) all slaughter of cattle is bloody.

    Here’s what a little research would have shown you (and saved you from standing with the leftwing (and a few paleo-paul-tards) who are cheering you on):

    *********

    Excerpted from a report by

    Dr. Temple Grandin
    Department of Animal Science
    Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado 80523

    Joe M. Regenstein
    Cornell Kosher Food Initiative
    Department of Food Science
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, New York 14853-7201

    “….These animals made no attempt to pull away. In all three slaughter plants, there was almost no visible reaction of the animal’s body or legs dunng the throat cut. Body and leg movements can be easily observed in the double rail restrainer because it lacks a pusher gate and very little pressure is applied to the body. Body reactions during the throat cut were much fewer than the body reactions and squirming that occurred during testing of various chin lifts and forehead hold-down brackets. Testing of a new chin lift required deep, prolonged invasion of the animal’s flight zone by a person. Penetration of the flight zone of an extensively raised animal by people will cause the animal to attempt to move away (Grandin, 1993a). The throat cut caused a much smaller reaction than penetration of the flight zone. It appears that the animal is not aware that its throat has been cut. Bager et al., (1992) reported a similar observation with calves. Further observations of 20 Holstein, Angus and Charolais bulls indicated that they did not react to the cut. The bulls were held in a comfortable head restraint with all body restraints released. They stood still during the cut and did not resist head restraint. After the cut the chin lift was lowered, the animal either immediately collapsed or it looked around like a normal alert animal. Within 5 to 60 seconds, the animals went into a hypoxic spasm and sensibility appeared to be lost. Calm animals had almost no spasms and excited cattle had very vigorous spasms. Calm cattle collapsed more quickly and appeared to have a more rapid onset of insensibility. Munk et al.,(1976) reported similar observations with respect to the onset of spasms. The spasms were similar to the hypoxic spasms which occur when cattle become unconscious in a V-shaped stanchion due to pressure on the lower neck. Observations in feedyards by the first author during handling for routine husbandry procedures indicated that pressure on the carotid arteries and surrounding areas of the neck can kill cattle within 30 seconds.

    The details spelled out in Jewish law concerning the design of the knife and the cutting method appear to be important in preventing the animal from reacting to the cut. The knife must be razor sharp and free of nicks. It is shaped like a straight razor and it must be twice the width of the animal’s neck. The cut must be made without hesitation or delay. It is also prohibited for the incision to close back over the knife during the cut. This is called “halagramah” (digging) (Epstein, 1948). The prohibition against digging appears to be important in reducing the animal’s reaction to the cut. Ritual slaughtermen must be trained in knife sharpening. Shochets have been observed using a dull knife. They carefully obeyed the religious requirements of having a smooth, nick-free knife, but they had failed to keep it sharp. Observations of Halal cattle slaughter without stunning done by a Muslim slaughterman with a large, curved skinning knife resulted in multiple hacking cuts. Sometimes there was a vigorous reaction from the animal.”

    http://www.grandin.com/ritual/kosher.slaugh.html

    (BTW, that article includes strong debate as to the best method of holding the cattle for slaughter, but if you have any reading skills, you will find it goes even further in discussing and documenting that ritual slaughter is NOT inhumane…

    Further I watched that video and the title on Youtube is”Meet your Meat, the Barbarity of Halal Slaugter(Mirror).flv”; even without going to the source, simply watching the sawing and hacking going on in that abattoir one can see that it is not Kosher ritual slaughtering being filmed but TYPICAL MUSLIM BRUTALITY , where there is no more concern given for welfare and the pain of the the animal than they display for the INFIDELS THEY BEHEAD IN THE SAME FASHION.

    You, as well as as Wilders (who I have long admired otherwise) are making a huge mistake. They should be banning HALAL SLAUGHTER, not all ritual slaughter.

    The few thousand or so kosher Jews in the Netherlands ARE PREDOMINANTLY THE POLITICALLY CONSERVATIVE JEWS IN HOLLAND, and this ban will slowly drive them out and will leave the marxists and the muslims (who won’t obey the law) to continue their destruction of Europe.

    • “Here’s what a little research would have shown you (and saved you from standing with the leftwing (and a few paleo-paul-tards) who are cheering you on)”

      1. I take great offense to being accused of “standing with the leftwing.” I wouldn’t be posting here if I were a leftie. Besides, this is not a political discussion. This is an animal cruelty discussion.

      2. I don’t give a rat’s patoot for anyone’s research. The fact that the Muslim cow was killed with a curved sword and the Jewish cow had its neck held higher makes no difference to me. What makes a difference is that both cows had their throats cut while they were still alive and conscious. That overriding fact invalidates any and all research cited by anyone attempting to justify this barbarism.

      I grew up on a farm and watched animals being butchered. I’ve killed and skinned rabbits myself. I’m not a vegetarian. As a friend of mine once said about animals bred for food, “They aren’t pets.” I get that. The difference is that when we killed our animals, their deaths were instantaneous. One second they were alive and the next second they were dead, and they didn’t have the time to hurt or bleed or even know what happened. Their deaths were merciful, quick, and humane, unlike the barbaric ritual slaughter that’s about to come to an end in The Netherlands. I also do not believe that animals should have rights equivalent to those of a human. We’re at the top of the food chain and they aren’t. But if we are going to use them for food, we need to take their lives in as humane a manner as possible. We’re not cavemen any more.

      My point with the previous post was that I could easily construct a new religion that required all food animals to be skinned alive, with meat sliced off while the animal was still breathing. There would be people who support that too, even if the animal were tortured to death, if it were done as part of a religious ritual. “My religion requires me to do this” is not a good enough excuse for engaging in this type of primitive barbarity that should have come to an end 500 years ago.

      This reminds me of a couple of experiences from the past. There was a ballot measure to ban leg hold traps in Arizona many years ago. I didn’t know or care much about the issue, and probably would have voted against it because it was said that farmers opposed it. The opponents were well financed and had expensive advertising to show that the traps were necessary and there was no way around them. I only saw one commercial from the supporters, on late night TV. The voice over said that the traps were unnecessarily cruel and needed to be banned, and the video clip showed a fawn struggling desperately to get free from one. I voted in favor of the measure. The second experience involved bullfighting. I don’t remember the circumstances, but the video clip showed a bull after it had been stabbed with a sword. It was struggling to stand upright while blood poured out of its mouth and nose. I was horrified at both of those videos, and I can still visualize them even now. And thanks to this controversy, I can still see the frightened cow after it had its throat sliced open, a third barbaric video burned into my brain forever. Extreme cruelty to animals, perpetrated for no other reason than “We’ve always done it this way.”

      I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not searching for understanding or hoping to be convinced that cutting an animal’s throat while it’s still awake is a good and right and proper thing to do. The practice needs to be outlawed, and I will say to those who believe otherwise that we will simply have to agree to disagree on the matter.

  12. I watched all the film. The technique used was not what I observed in US packing plant. The air hammer used was quite effective. It is difficult to watch death by any means including the drugging of the animal before administration of the lethal dose. Even drugged, the animal may thrash about and moan. If the film was of the Muslim techniques, I think it be typical of how they behead people, maybe a little more humane. Why would you expect Muslims to be humane? The hygiene of the plants were terrible, definite health hazard. But, no one has discussed the cause for this concern about ritual killing. Is an animal to have rights equal that a human?

  13. “1. I take great offense to being accused of “standing with the leftwing.” I wouldn’t be posting here if I were a leftie. Besides, this is not a political discussion. This is an animal cruelty discussion.”

    On ” “standing with the leftwing.” I inadvertently left off “on this issue.” Its obvious you’re not leftwing, but you do share their misunderstanding and contempt for kosher slaughter.

    “2. I don’t give a rat’s patoot for anyone’s research.”

    How brilliant of you! /s

    ” The fact that the Muslim cow was killed with a curved sword and the Jewish cow had its neck held higher makes no difference to me.”

    Sir, you are uninformed and inflammatory. The muslims hack away with whatever implement they have while the kosher slaughter is done with the sharpest implement available (and sharper than anything in your drawer) and is designed to render the cattle unconscious in the fastest and least painful method possible. Halal is BS and so is your equating the two.

    “What makes a difference is that both cows had their throats cut while they were still alive and conscious. That overriding fact invalidates any and all research cited by anyone attempting to justify this barbarism.”

    The barbarism is yours based on your refusal to read from EXPERTS IN ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.

    Since you are proud of your ignorance and your desire to remain so, you are obviously unaware that even when cattle are first stunned (in non-kosher slaughter,) they are then butchered and occasionally are STILL ALIVE…. twitching and all.. But don’t let that bother you when you buy your steak… hey, 99% 0f the time they’re “unconscious” while having their limbs sawed off…

    “I grew up on a farm and watched animals being butchered. I’ve killed and skinned rabbits myself.”

    DID YOU STUN THE RABBITS FIRST? When you hunt, don’t you try for one-shot kills and if you find the animal still alive, don’t you “put it out of it’s misery” with a follow-up head shot?

    “…The difference is that when we killed our animals, their deaths were instantaneous. One second they were alive and the next second they were dead, and they didn’t have the time to hurt or bleed or even know what happened. ”

    Really , EVERY TIME? Did you shoot your cattle in the head before carving them up? How about your little bunnies? Did you trap them first? Or did you wring their necks while they were alive?

    “Their deaths were merciful, quick, and humane, unlike the barbaric ritual slaughter that’s about to come to an end in The Netherlands.”

    Only a proudly ignorant polemicist would call kosher slaughter “barbaric”. You don’t know anything (and are proud of your ignorance), but you do know what you were fed by some 42 word twitter link and a PETA video of MUSLIM slaughter, but who cares, your mind is made up, “KOSHER SLAUGHTER IS JUST AS BARBARIC.”

    “I also do not believe that animals should have rights equivalent to those of a human. We’re at the top of the food chain and they aren’t. But if we are going to use them for food, we need to take their lives in as humane a manner as possible. We’re not cavemen any more.”

    And thats what Kosher slaughter is ALL ABOUT. Good God man, kosher rules are so dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals that they include not taking eggs from a birds nest if the mother is there! On Kosher farms the animals are fed before people.

    “My point with the previous post was that I could easily construct a new religion that required all food animals to be skinned alive, with meat sliced off while the animal was still breathing. There would be people who support that too, even if the animal were tortured to death, if it were done as part of a religious ritual. “My religion requires me to do this” is not a good enough excuse for engaging in this type of primitive barbarity that should have come to an end 500 years ago.”

    Ridiculous argument. “For argument’s sake let me create a bullsquat religion that might have some bizarre practice,…OH, LETS BAN ALL RELIGIOUS RITUAL we don’t understand!”

    “This reminds me of a couple of experiences from the past. There was a ballot measure to ban leg hold traps in Arizona many years ago. I didn’t know or care much about the issue, and probably would have voted against it because it was said that farmers opposed it….the video clip showed a fawn struggling desperately to get free from one. I voted in favor of the measure.”

    Well congratulations, you’re a Bambi voter; and you’ve been duped on this one by similar well-financed jackasses.

    ” The second experience involved bullfighting. I don’t remember the circumstances, but the video clip showed a bull after it had been stabbed with a sword. It was struggling to stand upright while blood poured out of its mouth and nose. I was horrified at both of those videos, and I can still visualize them even now. And thanks to this controversy, I can still see the frightened cow after it had its throat sliced open, a third barbaric video burned into my brain forever. Extreme cruelty to animals, perpetrated for no other reason than “We’ve always done it this way.”

    What juvenile logic. Bullfighting is obviously animal cruelty, and your way of connecting it to kosher slaughter is because you saw a video of bull fighting AND A VIDEO OF MUSLIM SLAUGHTER.

    “I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not searching for understanding”

    Well there you go, who needs discussion or debate, YOU KNOW EVERYTHING.

    ” or hoping to be convinced that cutting an animal’s throat while it’s still awake is a good and right and proper thing to do. The practice needs to be outlawed, and I will say to those who believe otherwise that we will simply have to agree to disagree on the matter.”

    I have not read so much claptrap and feeble logic on a conservative site in my life. To paraphrase your earlier comment, “I don’t give a rat’s patoot for your boorishness.”

  14. Enough of the bullshit ! the animal is killed at the height of it’s terror because apparently that caused certain chemicals or whatever to be released into the beasts flesh ! presumably making it taste better, inhuman religious practice which should be dealt with by the law !

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