The Conservative movement holds that Jewish law, properly implemented, does not allow this indifference. But I don't see that in scriptures. April 2013, All Scientific dispute. Keeping Kosher. Observations of the first author [Temple Grandin] indicate that cattle restrained in this manner often struggle and bellow and the rear leg is bruised. 33 Kosher standards explicitly require animals be fully conscious and aware when killed. I have heard that butchering an animal that is kosher (Jewish) or halal (Muslim) is partly done to be humane. Grandin made a new assessment of Agriprocessors, stating, “The undercover video clearly showed that when they think nobody is looking, … Kosher Meat Nathan Lewin - 7 Tevet 5781 – December 22, 2020. A sharp cut is also known to be less painful. The footage was captured recently by the organization Animals Now. February 2014 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. In the laws of. June 2013 And kosher slaughter is a quicker process. 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. 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. 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. Vegetarianism [See PETA for more info and videos.]. In some instances, it’s been shown to be much worse. Spice and Spirit Cookbook » Buy Book. 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. Both the Jewish and Muslim religions demand that slaughter [be] carried out with a single cut to the throat, rather than the more widespread method of stunning with a bolt into the head before slaughter. ​Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! Kosher law requires the animal be conscious when killed. Videos, kosher slaughter and whist there are certain welfare concerns involved in, there are also very tangible welfare benefits. Thus, while kosher meat is halal, halal meat is not kosher. 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. Are kosher animals raised and slaughtered humanely? 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. The present piece is my attempt at a response. It is also the only American plant allowed to export to Israel. In Western countries, law reaches into every stage of ritual slaughter, from the slaughtering of livestock to the sale of kosher or halal meat. However, the most notable variation in regards to the humane debate is their stance on pre-slaughter stunning. But nothing has changed. Are kosher animals raised and slaughtered humanely? 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. Kosher Slaughter: An Introduction. My Story 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. Employees wearing football helmets attached a nose tong to the nose of a writhing beast suspended by a chain wrapped around one back leg. Since then, animal abuse at other kosher slaughterhouses in South America, Europe, the US and Israel have repeatedly created public scandals. The main problem with this type of slaughter. [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. I'm sure at one time that was to be sure the animal was not already dad and the meat possibly going bad. [...]. I have heard that butchering an animal that is kosher (Jewish) or halal (Muslim) is partly done to be humane. "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. We can all agree that animals should be treated humanely. I saw a Peta video of a "Kosher" slaughter that was quite disturbing, not humane in my mind. 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. As I watched this nightmare, I thought, `This should not be happening in a civilized society.' Shuja Shafi and Jonathan Arkush: Religious slaughter is at least as humane as conventional mechanical slaughter. [...]. May 2015 • As a vegan for more than 30 years I am fascinated by those outraged over halal/kosher slaughter. I have so far ignored the other question: Under what conditions were the animals raised? I have found that in discussions on the topic of vegetarianism, the question of kosher slaughter frequently arises. However, the most notable variation in regards to the humane debate is their stance on pre-slaughter stunning. 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. March 2014   •   About Kosher Beef November 2013 In my diary I wrote, `If hell exists, I am in it.'. What does this look like? For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. According to kosher law you must cut below the voice box. The petition [by Public Citizen and others] highlights a long list of HSA violations. Browse Book. Halal slaughter is not humane – according to the RSPCA – yet virtually all our livestock (bar pork) is now Halal slaughtered. Humane slaughter is a complex and multifaceted topic that is distinctly separate from the welfare issues of how an animal is raised. 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. 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. 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). May 2013 Because heritage birds and other species such as ducks and geese all have much stronger lungs and organs, they react violently to the gas. 5 Comments. 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. ... Is this form of killing also kosher?   •   Privacy The Humane Slaughter Act, passed into law after objective research by the United States government, declares shechita to be … Clearly conventional (non-kosher) animals are not. Chicken Soup 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. [26] Breaching any of these five rules renders the animal nevelah ; the animal is regarded in Jewish law as if it were carrion . Although I don't think it would be effective for non-industrialized birds either, as they tend vary in size, Despite the many upsides of both CAK and TopKip, my biggest concern with these systems remains how highly mechanized they are. 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. By Rabbi Gersion Appel. 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. of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment. 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]. Cut the esophagus, trachea, carotid arteries, and jugular veins in one quick incision. 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. Regardless, kosher slaughter may be very brutal in practice, as scandals have shown. 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. 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. This, whole discussion is quite complex and is not something I can cover in one post, so as it is Poultry Month, I am going to focus this piece on issues concerning poultry. 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. Recipes 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. Is there some place you can point to in the scripture that says "to minimize pain to the animal" or something? 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. I saw a Peta video of a "Kosher" slaughter that was quite disturbing, not humane in my mind. The cut severs the trachea, esophagus, and carotid arteries so the animal quickly slips into death from blood loss. I am not against killing animals for meat but see little point in inflicting needless pain and cruelty Reply. 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. 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. The animal can still breath when cut this way. Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! K Kosher standards explicitly require animals be fully conscious and aware when killed. gas to put the birds to sleep and according to many top animal welfare researchers, including kosher champion Temple Grandin, is quite effective and humane. Poor cutting technique often causes vigorous struggling. Since more humane systems exist, the inversion methods are avoidable, and thus a violation of Jewish law. Share. My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. [...], 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. Any blemish on the blade at all, even one big enough for a human hair to fall into, renders the knife unacceptable for kosher slaughter. When shechita is performed properly in this manner, the animal does not kick or bellow or display other outward signs of anxiety, and evidently is rendered insensate within seconds. 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. . I think the question is unanswerable at this point in time. December 2013 October 2014 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. You might also like Kosher Animals. When I first looked into the topic of kosher slaughter, I was concerned by what I found. 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 cut must be in an area of the neck that has fewer pain nerves. Such actions would get a mammal slaughterhouse shut down in seconds, but since birds used for food enjoy no legal protections in the United States, these horrific practices are allowed to continue. Today’s kosher meat comes from the same abusive factory farms as all other meat. For new content check out my new website, posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter. [...]. These illegal practices happen every day at USDA-inspected plants across the country. For halal slaughter that includes pre-stunning there is no practical difference in the way the animal is treated. 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. 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. December 2014 Is Shechita Humane? Halal slaughter of animals was conceived on the historical principle that it was one of the more humane methods available. It's been a decade. 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. Conditions in kosher slaughterhouses, however, are very rarely optimal. Slaughter must engender some animal pain and both methods adequately minimize it. The most widespread of these is the stunning knife. 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. Humane treatment of animals is certainly a Jewish value. As such, there are incredibly strict requirements that kosher slaughter be humane, and the same is true for Halal. Beyond The Barnyard As such, there are incredibly strict requirements that kosher slaughter be humane, and the same is true for Halal. Tzaar Baalei Chaim This effectively means that millions of chickens are boiled alive every year. Last nontrivial update: 21 Jan 2015. Discomfort during a properly done shechitah cut is probably minimal because cattle will stand still and do not resist a comfortable head restraint device. Poor advocacy: Kosher Slaughter Badly Defended. 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. Bruises or injuries caused by the restraint methods (or from any other cause) would be objectionable to observant Jews. Laws of Slaughtering. 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. Clearly conventional (non-kosher) animals are not. Does this mean that it's perfect and has no room for improvement? Today’s kosher meat comes from the same abusive factory farms as all other meat. A key intellectual consideration is separation of the variable of restraint stress from the animal's reaction to the slaughter procedure. Stressful or painful methods of restraint mask the animal's reactions to the throat cut. July 2013 The animal is killed with a swift, surgical cut with an unblemished, razor-sharp knife. Kosher slaughter addresses this concern as well. • As a vegan for more than 30 years I am fascinated by those outraged over halal/kosher slaughter. In North America some kosher slaughter plants use very stressful methods of restraint such as shackling and hoisting fully conscious cattle by one rear leg. November 2014 June 2019 Sustainable Meat There are some seemingly effective means of non-mechanized non-kosher poultry slaughter that are in small scale use today. The practices exposed in the video represent the opposite of humane slaughter. Most important is to have a very sharp knife and to keep the skin taught as well as to use good animal handling techniques. Factory Farming It also requires that, once stunned, animals must remain unconscious throughout the butchering process. The preceding discussion concerned itself exclusively with the topic of whether kosher slaughter was humane. Rabbayim are listening to what she has to say about shechita. June 2017 Laws of Slaughtering. ... for halal and kosher killing. 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.” During slaughter, for instance, a number of conventional farm animals are dragged, scalded, and cut open while still conscious. Keeping Kosher. My Jewish Learning is a not-for-profit and relies on your help. June 2014 But Most of all, those interested in animal welfare need to consider how the animals they eat are killed. 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. Glossary What Is a Shochet? However, one can definitely conclude that poor cutting methods and stressful restraint methods are not acceptable. That is why the ruling was factually wrong. 5. Moreover, even if kosher animals are … horse to plan a pro­ gram based entirely upon an untested as­ sumption. ... Humane slaughter is a complex and multifaceted topic that is distinctly separate from the welfare issues of how an animal is raised. Finally, they stunned animals 5 seconds after incision and showed that this makes the pain signal disappear instantly. That is why the ruling was factually wrong. 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 UK Government is being urged to consider a ban on slaughter methods used for halal and kosher meat. By Menachem Posner. Is there some place you can point to in the scripture that says "to minimize pain to the animal" or something? Kosher Slaughter My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. Scope of regulations. Moreover, even if kosher animals are killed humanely, most of them are still raised in the same deplorable factory farms as other animals. If administered correctly this system seems reliable and can work well on a healthy and diverse range of poultry.   •   Contact I believe that leaving our killing to machines, while cost effective and even seemingly "humane" at times, is … "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. As such, there are incredibly strict requirements that kosher slaughter be humane, and the same is true for Halal. 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.. "shechita is a painless and humane method of animal slaughter." Kosher animals are raised on conventional farms, which often administer growth hormones and antibiotics. Sadly, virtually all kosher meat comes from animals that are raised in the same abusive factory farms that produce most meat in America. 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. January 2014 During slaughter, for instance, a number of conventional farm animals are dragged, scalded, and cut open while still conscious. A survey of some of the laws governing the slaughter of kosher animals for meat. These methods can effectively promote a more humane and personal approach to ending an animal’s life. Kosher slaughter, by principle, and as performed today in the United States, is humane. 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. 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. That is why the ruling was factually wrong. Orthodox and haredi rabbis have been left on their own to fix the problems. 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. 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. I thought I read that one should cut behind the ear on the throat area and should avoid the wind-pipe so it could still breath while it was bleeding out. 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. October 2013 Meat Advocacy Donate. (confused). Pretty much any form of slaughter, and every facility in the world, can improve in one way or another. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. That doesn't mean everybody has to do it themselves, but it does mean learning about slaughter. Also read: Belgium bans halal and kosher animal slaughter. 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. Like any other method it also has its downsides but overall it seems to be a balanced and effective approach. As a shochet who is proud of the long-standing tradition of shechita that … No, with the single exception of whether or not stunning is used. But kosher-certifying authorities say that no form of stunning before slaughter is permissible, said Rabbi Menachem Genack, who oversees … But I don't see that in scriptures. 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. There is no clear scientific understanding of pain, even in humans. It says cattle can take up to two minutes to bleed to death—amounting to an abuse of the animals. 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. "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. What she saw was shocking. For Marilyn Eden I appreciate your concern. First written: 2006. Heritage Poultry May 2014 In your picture it looks like it's supposed to be in front and looks like it would cut right into the wind-pipe. The USDA again cited Agriprocessors for violating the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Regardless, kosher slaughter may be very brutal in practice, as scandals have shown. 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. Rabbi Tzvi Freeman July 21, 2011. Note: This piece leaves out many additional references that are helpfully collected on Wikipedia's Shechita article. Can you please explain exactly where one is supposed to cut on the neck and how deep?   •   Back to top [...]. 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. 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. I don't think it's more humane. 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.” 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. By. After watching this video of an Israeli Kosher slaughterhouse which is supervised by the stringent religious authority, it's clear the answer is no. Conventional slaughter practices make sure that cows are knocked out (unconscious) before their throats are cut. But today, IMO, there's no reason for that. Thus, while kosher meat is halal, halal meat is not kosher. Petitioners also point to other violations such as dragging, beating, and excessive electric prodding, including abusive treatment of disabled animals. 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). August 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. Shechita Kosher slaughter, by principle, and as performed today in the United States, is humane. It is 10 years since the Agriprocessors abuses were made public. 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. The British Veterinary Association should look elsewhere 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. 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. 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 … FAWC said it wanted an end to the exemption currently allowed for Kosher and Halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first.   •   Search, Kosher Authority Seeks Change in Steer Killings. To learn more about all this you should subscribe to my blog and or my "kosher slaughter educator" YouTube channel currently in development. Glatt Kosher. In light of this new video exposing the gouging second cuts—and Agriprocessors’ quite different conduct during the tour—Dr. 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. A shochet (שוחט, "slaughterer", plural shochtim) is a person who performs shechita. 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.