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November 2014 December 2014 I respond that I would not object to such a hypothetical scenario out of concern for the farm animals themselves (though there are other relevant factors to consider). In light of this new video exposing the gouging second cuts—and Agriprocessors’ quite different conduct during the tour—Dr. Kosher law requires the animal be conscious when killed. For new content check out my new website, posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter. As such, there are incredibly strict requirements that kosher slaughter be humane, and the same is true for Halal. • Back to top Laws of Slaughtering. A sharp cut is also known to be less painful. The UK Government is being urged to consider a ban on slaughter methods used for halal and kosher meat. In some instances, it’s been shown to be much worse. The other person then asks whether I would prefer the purchase of kosher meat, since kosher animals are supposedly slaughtered quickly and with minimal pain. Today’s kosher meat comes from the same abusive factory farms as all other meat. The most brutal of these violations is the common occurrence of inaccurate and ineffective stunning which does not render the animals unconscious yet still forces them to move down the line through the slaughter process causing cattle to be skinned and dismembered and hogs to be scalded while they are still conscious. Despite the humane intention and spirit of the Jewish dietary laws, there are no standards to ensure that kosher slaughter is any less cruel than conventional slaughter. June 2017 Evidence from slaughterhouses around the country shows that, due to increased production speeds and industry deregulation, slaughter animals are routinely dragged, skinned, dismembered, and scalded while alive and fully conscious. Since then, animal abuse at other kosher slaughterhouses in South America, Europe, the US and Israel have repeatedly created public scandals. Slaughter must engender some animal pain and both methods adequately minimize it. During slaughter, for instance, a number of conventional farm animals are dragged, scalded, and cut open while still conscious. She told me that the first time she visited a kosher slaughter house, she heard screaming cattle from a half kilometer away and wondered what was different in this place. May 2013 Also yesterday, a representative of Israel's chief rabbinate said AgriProcessor's meat would no longer be accepted in Israel if the scenes he saw on tape were standard practice. What does this look like? Shechitah (sheh-HEE-tah) is the Jewish ritual of slaughtering permissible land animals and fowl so that they are considered Kosher and are able to be eaten by Jews. Browse Book. Under Kosher slaughter, known as shechita in Hebrew, the animal's neck is cut with a surgically sharp knife, severing its major arteries, causing a massive drop in blood pressure followed by death from loss of blood. Kosher slaughter addresses this concern as well. This effectively means that millions of chickens are boiled alive every year. A videotape showed workers cutting the throats out of living steers and then dumping the animals on the floor where they thrashed and bellowed while bleeding to death. Poor advocacy: Kosher Slaughter Badly Defended. Bruises or injuries caused by the restraint methods (or from any other cause) would be objectionable to observant Jews. No, with the single exception of whether or not stunning is used. Does this mean that it's perfect and has no room for improvement? Grandin made a new assessment of Agriprocessors, stating, “The undercover video clearly showed that when they think nobody is looking, … Most important is to have a very sharp knife and to keep the skin taught as well as to use good animal handling techniques. Pretty much any form of slaughter, and every facility in the world, can improve in one way or another. It is 10 years since the Agriprocessors abuses were made public. Sustainable Meat My Story It says cattle can take up to two minutes to bleed to death—amounting to an abuse of the animals. October 2014 But nothing has changed. I saw a Peta video of a "Kosher" slaughter that was quite disturbing, not humane in my mind. The main problem with this type of slaughter. In order to avoid tearing, the kosher slaughter knife is expertly maintained and regularly checked with the shochet's fingernail to ensure that no nicks are present. June 2014 Factory Farming As such, there are incredibly strict requirements that kosher slaughter be humane, and the same is true for Halal. Regardless, kosher slaughter may be very brutal in practice, as scandals have shown. But on its own merit, and certainly compared to what else is out there, the, The first good alternative that people usually discuss (mentioned in the above PETA video), is. ... Is this form of killing also kosher? Keeping Kosher. The Court’s starting premise was that “a scientific consensus has emerged that prior stunning is the optimal means of reducing the animal’s suffering at the time of killing.” There is no such scientific consensus. Kosher Slaughter: An Introduction. The most comprehensive kosher cookbook, Spice and Spirit shows you how to infuse your cooking with both the … • About Cut the esophagus, trachea, carotid arteries, and jugular veins in one quick incision. Despite the humane intention and spirit of the Jewish dietary laws, there are no standards to ensure that kosher slaughter is any less cruel than conventional slaughter. Beyond The Barnyard "shechita is a painless and humane method of animal slaughter." [...]. Today’s kosher meat comes from the same abusive factory farms as all other meat. ... for halal and kosher killing. I saw a Peta video of a "Kosher" slaughter that was quite disturbing, not humane in my mind. • Privacy Keeping Kosher is a very important aspect of Judaism because it benefits the mind, body, and soul; however non-Jews often consume Kosher meat because of the special process involved. America’s 1958 Humane Slaughter Act, which also requires pre-slaughter electric shock, asserts, based on scientific research, that this type of ritual slaughter generates equivalent pain to pre-slaughter electric stunning. She has shown them a way to restrain the animal while shechting that is easier, faster, causes less problems with blood flow, and is a far more humane way to shecht. Orthodox and haredi rabbis have been left on their own to fix the problems. Petitioners also point to other violations such as dragging, beating, and excessive electric prodding, including abusive treatment of disabled animals. If administered correctly this system seems reliable and can work well on a healthy and diverse range of poultry. That is why the ruling was factually wrong. K Kosher standards explicitly require animals be fully conscious and aware when killed. Kosher Slaughter The plant is the country's largest producer of meat that is glatt kosher, the highest standard of cleanliness. In your picture it looks like it's supposed to be in front and looks like it would cut right into the wind-pipe. According to kosher law you must cut below the voice box. I am not against killing animals for meat but see little point in inflicting needless pain and cruelty Reply. Videos, kosher slaughter and whist there are certain welfare concerns involved in, there are also very tangible welfare benefits. For example, consider the following selections from a BBC article on the subject: The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which advises the government [of the UK] on how to avoid cruelty to livestock, says the way Kosher and Halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals. Is Shechita Humane? [See PETA for more info and videos.]. Employees wearing football helmets attached a nose tong to the nose of a writhing beast suspended by a chain wrapped around one back leg. Discomfort during a properly done shechitah cut is probably minimal because cattle will stand still and do not resist a comfortable head restraint device. And kosher slaughter is a quicker process. Shuja Shafi and Jonathan Arkush: Religious slaughter is at least as humane as conventional mechanical slaughter. This caused the animal to slip and fall so that workers could attach the chain to its rear leg [in order to raise it into the air]. While practices in European poultry plants are better, electric water bath stunning remains the most common form of killing there too, despite the many serious welfare issues and concerns is raises, In comparison to these ‘automated’ methods, during, This last statement is not agreed upon by everyone, but from the research I've done, the scientists who lobby against, Despite all of the concerns, Jewish laws, customs and industry practices have contributed to the creation of an effective form of poultry slaughter, which can be relied upon to have high welfare standards throughout the world. 5 Comments. June 2019 I quote from her book, Thinking in Pictures, and Other Reports Prom My Life With Autism: I will never forget having nightmares after visiting the now-defunct Spencer Foods plant in Spencer, Iowa, fifteen years ago. But today, IMO, there's no reason for that. Conditions in kosher slaughterhouses, however, are very rarely optimal. The animal is killed with a swift, surgical cut with an unblemished, razor-sharp knife. Shechita Kosher slaughter can, however, raise other issues, although these are not of greatly significant concern in poultry so I will leave them for another post. The calls follow the Flemish region of Belgium’s decision to ban the practice, which requires the animal’s throat to be slit without stunning first, the blood is then allowed to drain away from the body.. Conventional slaughter practices make sure that cows are knocked out (unconscious) before their throats are cut. It shows how chickens killed by ‘electric water bath stunning systems’ in the United States are routinely electrocuted, painfully cut and then boiled alive each and every day. A survey of some of the laws governing the slaughter of kosher animals for meat. Scientific dispute. However, the most notable variation in regards to the humane debate is their stance on pre-slaughter stunning. Poor cutting technique often causes vigorous struggling. Glossary What Is a Shochet? It would be ironic if kashrut, which historically represented a breathtaking ethical advance in the relationship between people and animals, were to be seen as indifferent to calls to become as ethical as it can and must be. I have heard that butchering an animal that is kosher (Jewish) or halal (Muslim) is partly done to be humane. A shochet (שוחט, "slaughterer", plural shochtim) is a person who performs shechita. Because heritage birds and other species such as ducks and geese all have much stronger lungs and organs, they react violently to the gas. The most contentious aspect of ritual slaughter—taking the international stage more than once—is whether shechita (שְׁחִיטָה) and zabiha/dhabiha/al-dhabh ( ذَبِيْحَة) (the terms for slaughter performed to kosher and halal standards respectively) are the most humane and merciful or the most brutal and barbaric. When I tell people that I do not oppose the killing of animals as such—but rather the weeks of wretched conditions that animals endure in cramped and disease-ridden factory farms and the pain and stress that their subsequent slaughter generally involves—they ask whether I would object to humanely raised, grass-fed animals that are killed painlessly. [...], In all three slaughter plants [that used well designed holders], there was almost no visible reaction of the animal's body or legs during the throat cut. In the laws of. Scope of regulations. FAWC said it wanted an end to the exemption currently allowed for Kosher and Halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first. Some claim that kosher slaughter can, in principle, be relatively painless, while others contend that cutting the throat of a conscious animal is always inhumane. Donate. The practices exposed in the video represent the opposite of humane slaughter. Some claim that kosher slaughter can, in principle, be relatively painless, while others contend that cutting the throat of a conscious animal is always inhumane. The Conservative movement holds that Jewish law, properly implemented, does not allow this indifference. I'm sure at one time that was to be sure the animal was not already dad and the meat possibly going bad. Sadly, virtually all kosher meat comes from animals that are raised in the same abusive factory farms that produce most meat in America. Cutting as high as you described can cause certain issues but I am not ready to say that it is less or more humane than the kosher method. [...]. After watching this video of an Israeli Kosher slaughterhouse which is supervised by the stringent religious authority, it's clear the answer is no. Since more humane systems exist, the inversion methods are avoidable, and thus a violation of Jewish law. These methods can effectively promote a more humane and personal approach to ending an animal’s life. They demanded that the legislation explicitly declare that kosher slaughter of conscious animals is as humane as slaughter after stunning because the effect of the shechita cut is that the animal immediately loses consciousness. • As a vegan for more than 30 years I am fascinated by those outraged over halal/kosher slaughter. By Rabbi Gersion Appel. Humane slaughter is a complex and multifaceted topic that is distinctly separate from the welfare issues of how an animal is raised. From what I have been able to ascertain, the kosher label does not imply anything about conditions of raising. Each terrified animal was forced with an electric prod to run into a small stall which had a slick floor on a forty-five degree angle. "This is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn't suffer is quite ridiculous," said FAWC chairwoman, Dr. Judy MacArthur Clark. [O]n today's factory farms it is perfectly routine and legal to cut horns, testicles, and beaks off animals without painkillers, and to confine animals for their entire lives in spaces so cramped that they must be fed antibiotics simply to keep them alive. If kosher slaughter is a legitimate target for the ECJ, then why not add male infant circumcision as well—another requirement of the Jewish and Muslim faiths that has been faced with legal and political challenges across Europe in yet one more demonstration of how centuries of anti-Semitism have reappeared dressed in humanist concerns. For more on the brutality of the conditions in which factory-farmed animals are raised, I recommend these sources: Home You might also like Kosher Animals. In my diary I wrote, `If hell exists, I am in it.'. Groups such as the RSPCA believe that the most humane way to slaughter livestock is to use irreversible stunning (which renders the animal dead) before slitting its throat. June 2013 This is hardly the case with the shackle and hoist method nor an inversion holding pen as is evidenced by the recent revelations in Iowa. The measure was seen as effectively outlawing the Muslim halal and Jewish kosher traditions, which require livestock to be conscious when their throats are slit. Keeping Kosher. Like any other method it also has its downsides but overall it seems to be a balanced and effective approach. Also read: Belgium bans halal and kosher animal slaughter. In the meantime, when it comes to eating poultry, one can rest assured that kosher slaughter is a high welfare system that can be relied upon virtually anywhere throughout the world. However, a recent study suggests that slaughter without stunning does indeed cause pain: The researchers then showed that the pain originates from cutting throat nerves, not from the loss of blood, suggesting the severed nerves send pain signals until the time of death. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Tzaar Baalei Chaim But kosher-certifying authorities say that no form of stunning before slaughter is permissible, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who oversees … There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment. For Marilyn Eden I appreciate your concern. • Contact "The court concludes that the measures contained in the decree allow a fair balance to be struck between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom … Are halal (حلال) and kosher (כשר) slaughter humane and merciful or brutal and barbaric? The USDA again cited Agriprocessors for violating the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Kosher Beef "Kosher Authority Seeks Change in Steer Killings": Killings at the plant, AgriProcessors Inc., in Postville, Iowa, were clandestinely recorded this summer by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. July 2013 The animal can still breath when cut this way. That is why the ruling was factually wrong. My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. Halal slaughter of animals was conceived on the historical principle that it was one of the more humane methods available. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. Often when this conversation comes up, people seem to focus their attention on cow slaughter, which is the most difficult form of, The PETA video below, though horrific to watch, is extremely valuable in helping to explain some of the issues that arise during conventional slaughter of birds. However, the most notable variation in regards to the humane debate is their stance on pre-slaughter stunning. Last November, an undercover investigation by an animal rights group (see PETAV) caused quite a stir when it revealed grotesque abuses at AgriProcessors, a glatt-kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa. Regardless, kosher slaughter may be very brutal in practice, as scandals have shown. Thus, the welfare concerns that apply to regular factory-farmed meat also apply to most kosher meat. It is also the only American plant allowed to export to Israel. These selections come from an article (February 2005) in the Jerusalem Post: It has been scientifically determined that industrial holding pens that allow the animal to stand upright during shechita (kosher slaughter) greatly reduces the animal's pain and stress at the time of slaughter. First written: 2006. Vegetarianism Are kosher animals raised and slaughtered humanely? I think the question is unanswerable at this point in time. To become a shochet, one must study which slaughtered animals are kosher, what disqualifies them from being kosher, and how to prepare animals according to the laws of shechita. For instance, consider this selection from a press release put out by Public Citizen, a consumer-advocacy organization: The Humane Slaughter Act [HSA], passed by Congress in 1958 and amended in 1978, requires that all slaughter animals must be humanely handled and "stunned" prior to being hoisted up on the production line. I don't believe that killing animals will ever be painless or completely free of suffering, but in order to continuously improve the way we do it, we must both increase regulations and stoke innovation. There is no objective way to measure pain; it is purely subjective and felt by individuals on an individual basis. February 2014 Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! The footage was captured recently by the organization Animals Now. Clearly conventional (non-kosher) animals are not. When used each animal is stunned by hand by way of an electric knife and then bled out by way of a cut made with that same instrument. The petition [by Public Citizen and others] highlights a long list of HSA violations. "It wasn't a surprise to me, but in terms of the religious community, they are adamant animals don't experience any pain, so the results might be a surprise to them," says Johnson. Can you please explain exactly where one is supposed to cut on the neck and how deep? My Jewish Learning is a not-for-profit and relies on your help. When the cut is done correctly, behavioural reactions to the cut are much less than reactions to air hissing, metal clanging noises, inversion, or excessive pressure applied to the body. Thus, while kosher meat is halal, halal meat is not kosher. For halal slaughter that includes pre-stunning there is no practical difference in the way the animal is treated. May 2015 I have so far ignored the other question: Under what conditions were the animals raised? of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment. I don't think it's more humane. It is a positive commandment of the Torah that whoever wishes to eat meat must first slaughter the animal, as it is written, “Thou shalt slaughter of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat within thy gates, after all the desire of thy soul” (Deuteronomy 12:21). While the most humane choice is always plant-based alternatives to slaughtered animals, most experts agree that kosher slaughter, when performed correctly, is at least as humane as pre-slaughter stunning. Is there some place you can point to in the scripture that says "to minimize pain to the animal" or something? The knife must be sharpened to such a sharp point that if the Shochet were to slice of his/her finger, he/she would feel no pain. Last nontrivial update: 21 Jan 2015. Recipes This selection is from a piece about Temple Grandin, a renowned animal-welfare scientist: Dr. Grandin has caused a minor revolution in the way shechita is done around the world. There are some seemingly effective means of non-mechanized non-kosher poultry slaughter that are in small scale use today. A shochet must be learned in the laws of kosher slaughter and adept at sharpening and polishing his knives, known as shtellen ah chalef in Yiddish. There is no clear scientific understanding of pain, even in humans. December 2013 [...]. March 2014 horse to plan a pro gram based entirely upon an untested as sumption. Kosher slaughter, by principle, and as performed today in the United States, is humane. Like all the more than 6,000 plants—producing all kinds of foodstuffs—that are certified by the OU, it has always been under our regular supervision. That is why the ruling was factually wrong. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman July 21, 2011. My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. During those 10 years, kosher certifiers and haredi rabbis have fought and blocked attempts to institute ethical kosher supervisions that would only certify the humane treatment of animals and employees by kosher slaughterhouses, leaving the actual kosher supervision to existing haredi or Orthodox supervisions. In Western countries, law reaches into every stage of ritual slaughter, from the slaughtering of livestock to the sale of kosher or halal meat. Meat Advocacy What she saw was shocking. Share on Facebook. • Search, Kosher Authority Seeks Change in Steer Killings. The graphic video, and the subsequent statements by kashrut certifying agencies and the Israeli Rabbinate that the abuse of the animals does not affect the kosher status of the meat, show that the laws of shechita alone do not protect against animal abuse. The cut must be in an area of the neck that has fewer pain nerves. Moreover, even if kosher animals are … . The Humane Slaughter Act, passed into law after objective research by the United States government, declares shechita to be … Kosher animals are raised on conventional farms, which often administer growth hormones and antibiotics. I believe that leaving our killing to machines, while cost effective and even seemingly "humane" at times, is … May 2014 The response of the Orthodox Union to the AgriProcessors scandal included the following statement: We continue to vouch for the kashrut of all of the meat prepared by AgriProcessors, Inc., which was never compromised. Finally, they stunned animals 5 seconds after incision and showed that this makes the pain signal disappear instantly. Temple Grandin prefers for the cut to be higher on the throat but there hasn't been enough research into this to determine exactly how high is best and all this can vary by the animal. Before considering the topic of kosher slaughter, I'll note that I do not approve of most forms of conventional slaughter, as they have the potential to cause severe agony. However, one can definitely conclude that poor cutting methods and stressful restraint methods are not acceptable. November 2013 Indeed, despite the availability of more humane restraint alternatives, such as upright restraint pens, shackle-and-hoist remains the primary restraint method in South American kosher slaughterhouses, which produce most of the world’s kosher beef. ... Humane slaughter is a complex and multifaceted topic that is distinctly separate from the welfare issues of how an animal is raised. I have heard that butchering an animal that is kosher (Jewish) or halal (Muslim) is partly done to be humane. The British Veterinary Association should look elsewhere This system, featured in the video above, supplies the precise level of voltage required to stun each chicken, by continuously measuring the amount of electricity needed to do, d. It has won several humane poultry awards and seems to be another promising alternative for fast-paced automatic slaughter. But I don't see that in scriptures. By. July 2014 Observations of the first author [Temple Grandin] indicate that cattle restrained in this manner often struggle and bellow and the rear leg is bruised. The cut severs the trachea, esophagus, and carotid arteries so the animal quickly slips into death from blood loss. In the laws of shechita it is specifically stated that use of machines is not allowed and that one can only make a kosher cut with coach gavra, human power. It's been a decade. It might also mean that in the future, communities will come together to buy stakes in slaughter facilities, so that high welfare meat production can be ensured. October 2013 Indeed, as PETA itself has acknowledged, shechita is more humane than the common non-kosher form of shooting the animal in the head with a captive bolt, for reasons noted above. Share. Since animals cannot communicate, it is impossible to completely rule out the possibility that a correctly made incision may cause some unpleasant sensation. Kosher slaughter, by principle, and as performed today in the United States, is humane. • As a vegan for more than 30 years I am fascinated by those outraged over halal/kosher slaughter. But I don't see that in scriptures. Heritage Poultry Spice and Spirit Cookbook » Buy Book. When I first looked into the topic of kosher slaughter, I was concerned by what I found. Is there some place you can point to in the scripture that says "to minimize pain to the animal" or something? They provided the congressional committees the scientific conclusions of 74 named experts of veterinary science, including the detailed opinion of a Nobel Prize winner in … To learn more about all this you should subscribe to my blog and or my "kosher slaughter educator" YouTube channel currently in development. Humane treatment of animals is certainly a Jewish value. As a shochet who is proud of the long-standing tradition of shechita that … "But Kosher Slaughter Is The Most Humane Way To Slaughter Animals" The slaughter process may be quicker, in some cases. Laws of Slaughtering. These selections come from a detailed paper by Temple Grandin and Joe M. Regenstein on proper kosher-slaughter procedures for minimizing pain and distress: This process when done properly leads to a rapid death of the animal. That doesn't mean everybody has to do it themselves, but it does mean learning about slaughter. 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