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Ritual Slaughter and Animal Rights - Comments

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 1 by Schrodinger's Cat

There is simply no way that so-called religious 'rights' should trump generally agreed secular humanitarian standards. The default position where a religious 'right' goes beyond the bounds of common decency ought to be....must be....the humane one. A person should have no more 'right' to ritually slaughter an animal because some religion says so than they'd have to slaughter their children because some religion says so.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:17:50 UTC | #634675

Jay G's Avatar Comment 2 by Jay G

What do "human"itarian rights have to do with animals. Why are animals entitled to "human"e slaughter?

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:24:59 UTC | #634679

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 3 by Rich Wiltshir

I know vegetarians who site such examples in support of their assertions that eating meat is "just wrong". But doing so misses the point, surely? No meat means none of the species that populate farms across the globe. For me, the question is how we treat the individuals that will fill our bellies, coat our backs, protect our feet and are part of so many items in our lives. I see no excuse for delivering avoidable end-of-life distress (to humans or other animals).

There is no excuse for these bronze age impositions of cruelty.

Schools in Birmingham (the original UK one) now serve jalap meat: does this mean cruelty has been expanded? Are UK children from non-Islam homes inadvertently sponsoring profit for the prophet-driven "abattoirs"?

I am a vegetarian.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:31:01 UTC | #634684

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 4 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 2 by Jay G

What do "human"itarian rights have to do with animals. Why are animals entitled to "human"e slaughter?

Because if one assesses the needless infliction of pain and suffering to be reprehensible, then I don't see how one can fail to pass that 'humanitarian' principle on to animals too. It's the principle, not the species, that matters. It just happens to be humans....hence humanitarian.....who get to apply the standard.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:35:16 UTC | #634688

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 5 by Stevehill

I've been passionate about the Aussie live animal trade for a while. I know a lot of farmers' livelihoods depend on it. I'm not a vegan. I am a very happy carnivore.

The Middle East is not good grazing land. 1% of say Qatar is arable, and 94% is desert. They need to import a lot of meat. Religion however demands that they pretend refrigeration has never been invented, and that animals be transported live, so they can be ritually slaughtered at the point of consumption.

Animals are therefore subjected to (for them) a horrific six-week sea voyage in closed holds in which tens of thousands of animals die of suffocation every year.

The sooner Australia (and any other complicit countries) ban this appalling trade, the better. If that means the de facto end of halal/kosher slaughter (because the only meat anyone will ship to the Middle East will be dead meat), I'd consider that a fortuitous bonus.

Jay: I agree animals do not have "human" rights. I eat them. But I also defend humane standards of animal welfare and slaughter. I am not prepared to turn myself into a sub-human to feed myself, when there are more humane alternatives which could and would be used but for the fatuously ridiculous protestations of religious fuckwits. If Switzerland can ban all ritual slaughter, so can the rest of the world, and we'll end up in a few centuries regarding it with the same morbid fascination we reserve for say human sacrifice.

Links:

banliveexport.com

animalsaustralia

unleashed (petition)

catalogue of disasters

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:38:30 UTC | #634689

Jay G's Avatar Comment 6 by Jay G

My opinion is that the banning of ritual slaughter would be beneficial for religious people.

If Shechitah were against the law, then orthodox jews would have to make a choice and take a firm stand for their belief. As things are today, a person who is a practicing orthodox jew (in countries like the USA) don't really have to make any sacrifices for their religion. They can talk all day about how much they believe, but don't have to really put anything "on the line" for it. If religious people would have to choose between the dictates of their faith on the one hand, and the dictates of the secular law, on the other, we would see just what their faith amounts to.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:50:03 UTC | #634692

Bishopess's Avatar Comment 7 by Bishopess

Agreed, like usual, with SteveHill. I too eat meat. But must animals be tortured for this reason? No, thank you.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 13:04:12 UTC | #634699

smegely's Avatar Comment 8 by smegely

Reminded me of this article on the subject in New Humanist Magazine last year. Which argues that ritual slaughter methods may be more humane than conventional methods.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 13:12:04 UTC | #634704

josephor's Avatar Comment 9 by josephor

Ritual Slaughter and Animal Rights.

How can anyone expect a belief system based upon dark age savagery to kill animals in a way to cause the creatures as little pain and distress as possible? Take a look at how they treat human beings and their general contempt for anyone who does not share their barbaric beliefs.Ritual slaughter is possibly a form of entrainment for these savages, second only to a good stoning or amputation.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 13:22:10 UTC | #634712

I Worship Irony's Avatar Comment 10 by I Worship Irony

I've seen something about this on CNN . What caught my ear was when I heard Indonesian clerics or officials said " Cattle should be treated well and slaughtered while facing mecca " I'm sure the cows would appreciate that .On an after thought ,I'm sure some Hindu's are offended .Perhaps deeply if they really try and maybe some muslims are too afterall there not strictly speaking muslim cows

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 13:47:08 UTC | #634724

PaulinSydney's Avatar Comment 11 by PaulinSydney

I will note that that Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has proposed a private members bill to outlaw the live export trade. All Australians concerned about this issue should probably take the time to contact their local MP. Those of you who are not Australians could try contacting our PM, Julia Gillard. link text This could be a month when Australia succeeds in standing up to religious nonsense from all three Abrahamic faiths.. link text

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:02:11 UTC | #634731

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 12 by Dirty Kuffar

By way of information - here is a very curious article from the Australian Meat Trade journal accusing the Governments failure to invest taxpayers money in the halal meat trade to be the result of racism stirred up by Rupert Murdoch ! (well, you may as well go for laughs I suppose !) link text

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:17:43 UTC | #634736

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 13 by Hellboy2

I honestly think that if we are doing the animals the injustice of eating them, then we at least owe them a quick and painless death. Surely it's just common decency.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:41:24 UTC | #634751

Kasterfin's Avatar Comment 14 by Kasterfin

There is a moral imperative to minimize suffering if you're going to eat meat, whether for 'religious' reasons or not. In fact, although I wouldn't advocate total vegetarianism, the most ethical option seems to me to minimize your meat consumption.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 15:06:16 UTC | #634772

Jay G's Avatar Comment 15 by Jay G

Comment 14 by Kasterfin :

There is a moral imperative to minimize suffering if you're going to eat meat, whether for 'religious' reasons or not.

That is a conclusion. How do you get there?

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 16:34:37 UTC | #634810

Kasterfin's Avatar Comment 16 by Kasterfin

Comment 15 by Jay G :

Comment 14 by Kasterfin :

There is a moral imperative to minimize suffering if you're going to eat meat, whether for 'religious' reasons or not.

That is a conclusion. How do you get there?

If we accept the idea that anything sentient (something different from intelligence or consciousness, all it means is that you have a welfare (and ignore, for the moment, the various problems of consciousness)) deserves to have it's suffering minimized, all other things being equal (and this is a conclusion reached by most ethical systems that aren't religious), and feed into that the fact that most vertebrates and some invertebrates have complicated nervous systems and apparently feel both pain and psychological stress, it seems reasonable to try and minimize suffering in slaughter - 'ritual slaughter' is not an excuse.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:15:05 UTC | #634830

Jay G's Avatar Comment 17 by Jay G

Comment 16 by Kasterfin :

Comment 15 by Jay G :

Comment 14 by Kasterfin :

There is a moral imperative to minimize suffering if you're going to eat meat, whether for 'religious' reasons or not. That is a conclusion. How do you get there?

If we accept the idea that anything sentient (something different from intelligence or consciousness, all it means is that you have a welfare (and ignore, for the moment, the various problems of consciousness)) deserves to have it's suffering minimized, all other things being equal (and this is a conclusion reached by most ethical systems that aren't religious), and feed into that the fact that most vertebrates and some invertebrates have complicated nervous systems and apparently feel both pain and psychological stress, it seems reasonable to try and minimize suffering in slaughter - 'ritual slaughter' is not an excuse.

This is still a conclusion. You are accepting the idea (stated in a long, complicated way) that anything sentient deserves to have it's suffering minimized. What do you base that on?

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:26:29 UTC | #634833

MentalLentil's Avatar Comment 18 by MentalLentil

Comment 17 by Jay G

This is still a conclusion. You are accepting the idea (stated in a long, complicated way) that anything sentient deserves to have it's suffering minimized. What do you base that on?

In the same way that I feel it is wrong to kill or rape another human being I feel it is wrong to cause suffering to a sentient non human. You can rationalise about how much of ethics is nature or nurture but I think all of us have a sense of what is right or wrong though obviously what is felt to be right or wrong differs to some extent in each of us.

I could ask why you think it's wrong for you to rape the next pretty girl you see walking down the street? You may well be able to give a better answer to that than I can but I'll bet the answer can also apply to not wanting to make non humans suffer.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:17:34 UTC | #634852

Ulven's Avatar Comment 19 by Ulven

This is still a conclusion. You are accepting the idea (stated in a long, complicated way) that anything sentient deserves to have it's suffering minimized. What do you base that on?

It's not as much a question of the cattle's rights as it is a question of how we view ourselves as human beings.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:36:30 UTC | #634868

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 20 by Helga Vieirch

Lets not make this all about criticizing religions that demand ritual slaughter be done a certain way. Is it any worse to kill an animal by cutting its throat than by other means? I have thought about this a long time. I know, from doing slaughter here on the farm, that it is more humane to stun first, and to kill as quickly and mercifully as possible. Cutting a throat, if done correctly, by the way, when all the major blood vessels there are cut, causes almost instant unconsciousness as the blood pressure falls to nothing in the brain.

However, by not stunning the cattle first, these Indonesian butchers were dodging flailing hooves and trying to make a cut on a moving animal. It was pathetic and unskilled. And something cruel.

Aside from the apparent cruelty in the way these cattle were often put to death, I suspect that most of the time, it happened because people were afraid of being kicked. But the facilities were awful - why the sloping and wet cement ramps? Why the awful steel box? Why were these animals allowed to get so terrified? That was all unnecessary.

My impression is that this kind of phenomenon arises when corporate interests see a chance to make a nice profit on a commodity - and they go in and develop the opportunity the fastest way they can without having high costs to deduct from the production side of the ledger. High costs would be such things as training to make sure that workers in butcher plants knew what they were doing. Individual farmers as well as big commercial farmers are getting rich off this trade in live cattle to a growing market in Indonesia. It is no different from what has been going on all over the world. When some people stand to be able to make a nice living doing something, no one appears to have the right to stop them, even if it does incredible damage to a remote environment or involves incredible cruelty in a remote place.

Compassion for animals is not new, nor is indifference to animal suffering. It is a cultural thing. If you grow up in a culture where animals are not thought to have any feelings, you treat them as "things".

Personally I see no difference between people participating in and/or watching a "bullfight" in Spain and the people watching and participating in the slaughter of cattle in Indonesia.

In Western cultures, we have just modified our acceptable limits a bit - and in odd ways, concurring which creatures we make suffer. We may no longer find it entertaining to watch a dogfight or a cockfight, but we still find it culturally acceptable to watch a fist fight or a boxing match.

Look at what happens to a fish caught by a flyfisher - it is hauled into a boat and instead of being stunned it dies a long slow death, struggling for air. Or look at what people still do to lobsters they can buy live in the market.

How many of you eat sushi? How many of you know or care that the Bluefin Tuna is facing extinction? How many of you regularly eat marine fish like cod or haddock? How many of you know or care that the North Atlantic Cod is facing extinction, or that 90% of the big fish (both in terms of being adults of breeding age and in terms of being a species with large adult sizes) are GONE?

Eating beef is actually preferable to fish, if you are going to modify your diet on ethical grounds. At least cattle are not wild animals being harvested to the point of extinction. And that argument about the amount of methane they produce is also silly - you just have to consider how many large ruminants were running around all around the world belching and farting before humans domesticated a few of them.

Furthermore, agriculture itself is highly damaging to the environment, especially the way we do it today. Eating a cereal or bean based diet is not going to save the planet from climate change.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:37:08 UTC | #634869

skiles1's Avatar Comment 21 by skiles1

I used to be a vegetarian, but I got sick of having my cat look at me as if I were nuts, every time I sat down for a meal. However, I do think that some ways of killing are more inhumane than other ways and thus should be avoided. I would favor outlawing rituals of killing, for the dignity of the animals involved, and as a way to smash religion.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:54:22 UTC | #634887

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 22 by RomeStu

@20 Helga "Look at what happens to a fish caught by a flyfisher - it is hauled into a boat and instead of being stunned it dies a long slow death, struggling for air."

Wow - a fish struggling for air. You must tell Richard Dawkins. It's an evolutionary leap......

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 19:10:37 UTC | #634901

Jay G's Avatar Comment 23 by Jay G

Comment 18 by MentalLentil :

Comment 17 by Jay G

This is still a conclusion. You are accepting the idea (stated in a long, complicated way) that anything sentient deserves to have it's suffering minimized. What do you base that on?

In the same way that I feel it is wrong to kill or rape another human being I feel it is wrong to cause suffering to a sentient non human. You can rationalise about how much of ethics is nature or nurture but I think all of us have a sense of what is right or wrong though obviously what is felt to be right or wrong differs to some extent in each of us.

I could ask why you think it's wrong for you to rape the next pretty girl you see walking down the street? You may well be able to give a better answer to that than I can but I'll bet the answer can also apply to not wanting to make non humans suffer.

We are not going to agree on this. I think that by claiming similar entitlements for sentient non-human live, you are making an unjustified "leap" and I don't see in your arguments any rationalization for the point you are arguing.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 19:11:48 UTC | #634902

MentalLentil's Avatar Comment 24 by MentalLentil

Comment 23 by Jay G

We are not going to agree on this. I think that by claiming similar entitlements for sentient non-human live, you are making an unjustified "leap" and I don't see in your arguments any rationalization for the point you are arguing.

It's you that are making the "leap" and taking an almost creationist attitude in your separation of humans from other species with humans having dominion over them. I'm certainly not arguing that animals have human rights or that they should be treated the same as humans what I don't see is the massive gap between humans and other animals that the religious and you appear to. I would see a chimpanzee as being almost as capable of suffering as a human, a fish less so and an insect probably not at all so a continuum rather than an us and them. I would also see the possibility of a more advanced species than us being able to suffer more than us so where does your ethical position stand there?

If the other animal is capable of suffering then my ethics makes me not want to cause that animal any unnecessary suffering. That seems to me to be a rational ethical stance whereas your position is that you have ethics but they don't apply to other species, I think you should justify that position because you are imposing a barrier that doesn't really exist.

Suppose we were to find a lost tribe of Neanderthal living in some remote region - would your ethics apply to them?

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 21:36:13 UTC | #635002

pagan83's Avatar Comment 25 by pagan83

In the UK, halal and kosher meat is on supermarket shelves and being served in schools, prisions etc WITHOUT being labeled as what it is.

How can the so called 'rights' of the religious to eat meat deemed 'clean' by their beliefs in silly stories and awful ritual be prioritized over the very real issues of the suffering caused to these animals.

The humans choose to follow the path of a belief that condones animal abuse as matter of fact, since they believe in their superiority and right to dominion over the beasts.

The beasts may beg to differ on this issue, the poor animals did not choose to be a part of their warped religion, and can not speak out for themselves.

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 21:26:25 UTC | #635643

Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar Comment 26 by Sparkasaurusmex

"It's you that are making the "leap" and taking an almost creationist attitude in your separation of humans from other species with humans having dominion over them."

I don't see this as creationist, it is the law of the jungle. Humans have dominion over other animals because we can.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 16:50:58 UTC | #636018

Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar Comment 27 by Sparkasaurusmex

Does the tiger consider ethics when eating something else? Is he creationist for thinking he has dominion over his prey?

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 16:52:46 UTC | #636019

BeanSlap's Avatar Comment 28 by BeanSlap

Wow! I watched the video on youtube and found it absolutely revolting. Watching it was like an out of body experience. In one case they half slit the animals throat near to decapitation and it was up and trying to flee after breaking its tail and kicking it around and thats AFTER it slipped, fell and broke its leg. The other animals saw and were shaking. Such needless torture of animals. I read Temple Grandins trascipt and I dont know why they dont employ people like her to change it. I dont know so much about when halal is performed appropriately (apparently they were detailing what happens in inapproriate halal organizations) but even with that I'm opposed to it. The welfare of the animal should come first along with proper protocol and handling of the animal. According to Temple slippery floors would be a problem, so then how can you not have slippery floors when cutting the throat? Footing according to Temple is important too so I dont think them standing on grates would be good.Very chilling experience.

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 22:48:02 UTC | #636163

Kasterfin's Avatar Comment 29 by Kasterfin

Comment 17 by Jay G :

Comment 16 by Kasterfin :

Comment 15 by Jay G :

Comment 14 by Kasterfin :

There is a moral imperative to minimize suffering if you're going to eat meat, whether for 'religious' reasons or not. That is a conclusion. How do you get there?

If we accept the idea that anything sentient (something different from intelligence or consciousness, all it means is that you have a welfare (and ignore, for the moment, the various problems of consciousness)) deserves to have it's suffering minimized, all other things being equal (and this is a conclusion reached by most ethical systems that aren't religious), and feed into that the fact that most vertebrates and some invertebrates have complicated nervous systems and apparently feel both pain and psychological stress, it seems reasonable to try and minimize suffering in slaughter - 'ritual slaughter' is not an excuse.

This is still a conclusion. You are accepting the idea (stated in a long, complicated way) that anything sentient deserves to have it's suffering minimized. What do you base that on?

If this is meta-ethics now, are we asking about the is-ought gap, or the issue of why other's interests need equal consideration? I'm not an ethicist, but I can direct you to the later chapters of 'Darwin's dangerous idea', and 'The Expanding Circle' by Peter singer respectively as answers to either of these questions. My point in the above was to show that if you extend most ethical systems to their logical conclusion, it includes incorporating the interests of most nonhuman animals.

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 15:23:14 UTC | #637958

anothermarcus's Avatar Comment 30 by anothermarcus

I'm a new poster so i wil try to go against my instincts and be polite.

Why should humane treatment is to be extended only to humans? That seems an arbitrary distinction. Playing word games is disingenuous, at best. By mistreating animals, we debase ourselves. Is it coincidence that Jeffrey Dahmer started his exploits by torturing and killing neighborhood pets?

the tie-in between the "dominion over the animals" argument and Genesis is obvious, and is often cited by the delusional as a response to those that object to needless abuses of animals. "Because I can" is never an appropriate answer for barbaric behavior. using it in this forum, of all places, is almost funny. i do not deny that we are at the top of the food chain. But with great power comes great responsibility and there is a difference between feeding ourselves and perpetrating needless cruelty on those weaker than us. People that commit such acts disgust me; those that display apathy toward it worry me. The former lack conscience; the latter, compassion.

two comments on the analogies: as far as i know, tigers don't torture their prey before they eat it, nor make a profit from it. people that engage in fist fighting choose to do so.

on a personal level, I will add that my dog is a lot more valuable to me than these delusional humans. (but my comment is not limited to pets.) he's also more rational. I care more about your contribution than your species.

Cheers

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 08:04:09 UTC | #845687