July 8, 2011

Religion-free food

Other Jewish experts agree. “This is not about animal rights,” said Joe M. Regenstein, a professor of food science who runs a kosher and halal food program at Cornell University. “It’s an invitation to Jews and Muslims to leave.” 


The Dutch, unlike Australian's, are about to take a stand about inhuman killing of food.

It might be that cruelty to our food supply is entirely compatible with many or all religions, but I've yet to see a compelling and logical argument.

Anyone whose religion requires these practices needs to rewrite their sacred text of choice.

I don't think anyone's deity is going to get upset about a small kindness in the moments before we kill our meat.

Muslim butchers unsettled by Dutch bill 


  1. geoffff11:41 PM

    Yeah I agree that's bull.

    There are different dynamics working here for Muslims and Jews. The religions are different and at the risk of being condemned for non-PCism, so, on the whole, are the attitudes to animals. On the evidence, remarkably different.

    Muslims won't leave anywhere because of a change to the regulations over killing in licensed slaughter houses.

    Depending on what else is going on, Jews, including secular Jews who insist on both the eggs and bacon pre-stunned, just might. Just as they are in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland and a number of those other countries that have or are considering bringing in these laws.

    Caz, I reckon I'm pretty much up to speed on this issue after a conversation with Jenny Hume at WD over a few days last week.

    Here if your interested.


    Whether they intend it or not this is just another way these countries are getting rid of what's left of their dwindling tiny Jewish populations while not causing so much as a hiccup in the rapidly expanding Muslim communities.

    Soon Norway will be as Jew-free as Iran or Gaza.

  2. It's fine to classify Islam as a religion mired in the Middle Ages. This practise might serve to confirm it. Just as it does those who prefer their meat "kosher".

    In reality, the barbaric process of slicing a living animal's throat - supposedly to "bleed" it - goes directly back to sacrificial rites where this is the entire point. Either religion might deny it as it like, but, there is no reason for the pratctise to continue other than that it is a stupid, outdated ritual.

  3. geoffff12:22 AM

    Father Park is quite right. Animal sacrifice was central to Judaism up until the destruction of the second temple in the summer of 70CE. Whether or not the Saxons and Celts were still sacrificing humans then is a question I would refer to him as the better authority.

  4. Certain Illyrian tribes were still sacrificing boys and / or girls in 335 BCE.

    It's entirely possible, given relatively recent events in the north-western Balkans, that they still do.

    The "bleeding" of a living animal is blood sacrifice. The only thing missing is the altar with a decent fire. In the good old days the "priests" got the cooked meat and the "gods" got the smoke and bones. That's as it should be.

    As to the question whether the "Saxons" or "Celts" were "still sacrificing humans then" I fail to to see the point. In any case their descendants, just like the descendants of sundry "middle eastern" live throat slitters seem very adept at sacrificing their young.

  5. Oh, I forgot: that the Jews no longer have a Temple selling animals - so as those animals can be gifted to the Temple for sacrifice - they've given away animal sacrifice.

  6. geofffff9:44 AM

    Cruelty is built into our food supply. I would be a vegetarian except it would interfere with my God-given right of hypocrisy as a human being.

    The proponents of kosher killing (no need for the inverted commas) claim it is no less "humane" than the assembly line methods and from what I can see they have a lot of science on their side.

    Turns out the Norwegians were still sacrificing humans as late as the eleventh century.


    What has this got to do with Norway banning kosher slaughter? About as much as animal sacrifice in Temple Judaism which ended abruptly over 1000 years before the Norwegians stopped decking out funeral pyre long ships of Viking warriors with butchered slave girls. Nothing at all really. Just that it amuses me and I dislike Norwegians. It's as if they have launched a takeover bid for the concept of "hypocrisy".

  7. I haven't read the WD thread yet, but will do Geoff.

    The Dutch have been ahead of the curve in being unashamedly anti-Muslim, a reclaiming of their own culture, seeing the future and deciding they don't want to be overtaken by Islam, or something.

    It's a stretch, I think, to believe this proposed law is covertly aimed at the tiny Jewish population, rather than the much larger Muslim community in that country.

    It also begs the question why a number of countries would suddenly - now, not decades ago - get all huffy over kosher killing. None of them, as far as I can tell have the heeby geebies over Jewish folk and if they do, why now, not some other time during the last 50 or 60 years?

    I don't believe entire societies sit around worrying about their tiny Jewish populations and wondering how to make them emigrate. The victim mentality behind that, the insistence of perpetual suffering is a step too far for me. It also smacks of everything, fooking everything, revolving around this one group of people - always that need to be centre of attention.

    Disquiet in Europe, quite correctly, is focused on the spread of Islam via vigorous immigration and breeding. They have good reason to be concerned. Terrorists in the West, after all, are mostly Western educated and raised - they live with us.

    I think it was pretty despicable that our gov't caved so quickly about live exports to Indonesia. We could have taken a stronger stand before lifting that ban, been a bit more insistent.

    The killing of our meat is a brutal business, it's quite hideous. I'd rather animals be knocked out first, not having their throats cut while conscious. Would you feel ok dying like that? We virtually drown animals just to get them clean enough before that point, it's bad enough without the ritual killing business tacked on at the end. I would say that it's uncivilized, and it is, but we still do an awful lot of uncivilized things, so it's not an argument that stands up.

  8. Interesting that "humane" is applied to no humans. Anyhow...

    The end result of any slaughter technique is death - obviously. There was a series, made in England, called something like "From farm to table". The slaughter practise, by accredited facilities, involved the stunning of animals prior to killing and bleeding out. Clearly animals bled out just as efficiently this way as with kosher or halal.

    As is generally known, I fish. I most often release but occasionally keep for the pan. The kids have been taught from an early age that if you keep you kill. To kill the fish is struck hard over the noggin and then the throat is slit. THh fish is quite dead once the fatal blow to the head is delivered. This does not, in my experience, affect the bleeding. Very similar to the slaughter practise above described.

    Again, the notion of slitting a live and aware animal's throat is rooted in religious sacraficial ritual and belongs in the same bag as "animals of the cloven hoof are a mortal sin bag".

    And, yes, clearly the laws are aimed at Muslims.

    My God-given right to hypocrisy is telling me to make Roman tripe stew for dinner...

  9. Oops... should have been "non humans"...

  10. geoffff5:45 PM

    "Humane" is an odd word. Wombats, for instance, that think humans should be put down with as little pain as possible are never spoken of as "Wombate".

    I do know of cases where killing methods of humans were considered "humane" but let's not go there.

    Father Park, I can see nothing at all wrong with the fishing ethics you have taught your kids and for what it's worth the most orthodox kashrut authority anywhere would certify anything your family catches, kills and brings home as kosher provided you're prepared to swear it had scales.

    I once kept a "fish donger" on the floor behind the front passenger seat in easy reach of the driver's seat. If I drove much at nights I probably still would.

    I gave up fishing when I was about 25. I fished as a kid around the Gold Coast and later further north with uni mates who were really into it. I kind of lost interest.

    Game fishing would probably be considered not kosher. I would agree with that I guess. A couple of years ago the local paper reported a big fighting marlin(?) exhausted from a battle with sportsmen a few miles out had quietly slipped into the mouth of Cudgen Creek to die. You can see the mouth of Cudgen Creek from my balcony.

  11. Geoff - I'm fumbling over the “science” of the whole humane killing thing.

    So, kosher killing results in 100% death rate and 100% pain free.

    While the stun and kill approach results in 100% death rate and at least 5% failure to stun, thus at least 5% die with some pain, or have to be repeatedly stunned to get the job done.

    The former involves no stun guns, but is 100% successful in not causing undue pain to the animal in the last minutes. The latter knocks the animal out first, then kills it, but apparently results in big margin of error and pain to many animals in the last minutes.

    Nope, the scientific logic of that argument defeats me.

  12. geoffff6:21 PM

    As I understand it the objection to pre-stunning is not so much to do with interrupting the speed of blood flow, which must be as rapid as possible to "stun" the animal, but that it offends the religious requirement that the animal is uninjured when killed.

    There are a number of reasons for this and a number of consequences but one of each is that it protects the animal in ways that factory killing do not.

    There are other requirements. Animals must be killed one at a time for instance. One animal in the line is not allowed to see the animal ahead killed. For some reason I found that one particularly poignant.

    One thing about this is that it at least forces Jewish kids to think about what goes on in abattoirs.

    I noticed that series was on BBC Knowledge but didn't watch any of it.

  13. geofffff6:38 PM

    Caz, the argument is that the cut itself is observably painless because the knife is so sharp and the guy so expert and the blood pressure drop to the brain is so instantaneous that blackout is instantaneous. It never senses pain. The animal is dead in seconds if done right. Kosher killings are botched too but at a much lower rate apparently.

  14. geofffff6:44 PM

    Also I believe they do use stun guns now in bovine kosher killings at least but not pre-stunning. The religious edict is to do with the condition of the animal at the point of slaughter. Not a second later.

  15. Game fishing would probably be considered not kosher.

    I find the hanging of any sports fish - marlin, shark, tuna etc - for display rather repugnant. No matter the apologists, most of those fish are wasted for macho posturing. Ditto the growth of competition for money tournaments (barra, bass, bream). This latter is catch and release but the catch is (excuse...) that live fish have to be transported, weighed and, of course, photographed. The next tourny-mag with a photo of some fellow on cover sporting a brace of bass, cross armed and hung by a lower jaw grip, won't be the last. Such a grip places enormous strain on the gill latches and throat of the fish these posers claim to so respect - and they know it or should.

    Time to climb down from the pulpit....

    That series was really quite interesting. If it repeats you should catch it. The true reality (none of this confected Master Chef tripe - pardon the poor pun) of meat eaters and vegans following the process from farm to slaughter house and table was most interesting. Several meat eaters claimed shock (can people be so cossetted now days that they really think meat is raised in styrofoam packaging!!??) and feeding habits; others simply confirmed their preference and ditto for the vegans.

  16. "(can people be so cossetted now days that they really think meat is raised in styrofoam packaging!!??)"

    What?! Doesn't it?!

    Hee hee.

    I didn't watch the Four Corners program, nor do I ever watch PETA videos. I already have quite a lot of information, from people in the industry, and that's more than enough to turn my appetite.

    There are images I don't need stuck in my head, and I like meat. Don't eat a huge amount of it, but could never be a vegetarian, and leather outlasts vinyl (and is more stylish by far).

    So, not head in the sand, but I don't want the horrors stuck in my head either. I'll support anything that makes the ghastly business of feeding over-fed humans slightly less ghastly.

  17. geofffff11:43 AM

    Caz: "It also begs the question why a number of countries would suddenly - now, not decades ago - get all huffy over kosher killing. None of them, as far as I can tell have the heeby geebies over Jewish folk and if they do, why now, not some other time during the last 50 or 60 years?"

    Exactly. Indeed, leaving aside the Nazi era why not some other time during the last 500 or 600 years? Antisemitism came in out of fashion but apart from the Nazis nobody showed much interest in how Jews slaughtered their livestock.

    Of course it has to do with rapidly expanding Muslim populations that have mainstream politicians across Europe including Angela Merkel annoucing the death of multiculturalism. It doesn't work, they say. Why doesn't it work?If ever there was a question that begged to be asked, that would have to be it. It seemed to be working OK up until now.

    I like picking on the Norwegians in particular because they are so smug and it's such fun when you succeed in getting up their noses. For me they are a model for what is wrong with Europeanisation. I'm thinking of specialising in them. The bastards even go whaling in summer! They are perfect.

    Never mind Gaza. The remaining Jews of Norway are under seige. For instance, I'll reproduce a little of this piece here but I invite you to read it all.


    "Norway to Jews: You're Not Welcome Here
    Anti-Semitism doesn't even mask itself as anti-Zionism.


    "It was then that I realized why all this happened. At all of the Norwegian universities, there have been efforts to enact academic and cultural boycotts of Jewish Israeli academics. This boycott is directed against Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian land—but the occupation that the boycott supporters have in mind is not of the West Bank but rather of Israel itself. Here is the first line of their petition: "Since 1948 the state of Israel has occupied Palestinian land . . ."

    "The administrations of the universities have refused to go along with this form of collective punishment of all Israeli academics, so the formal demand for a boycott failed. But in practice it exists. Jewish pro-Israel speakers are subject to a de facto boycott.

    "The first boycott signatory was Trond Adresen, a professor at Trondheim. About Jews, he has written: "There is something immensely self-satisfied and self-centered at the tribal mentality that is so prevalent among Jews. . . . [They] as a whole, are characterized by this mentality. . . . It is no less legitimate to say such a thing about Jews in 2008-2009 than it was to make the same point about the Germans around 1938."

    You got it right professor. I'm organising a freedom flotilla for Norway's Jews as we speak. I'd organise a flightilla except I don't know anybody who would be prepared to spend a night in downtown Oslo.

  18. geoffff12:03 PM

    Attacks on Norwegian Jews are now so prolific that the community has been advised by antisemitism experts to emigrate.


    Of course nearly all of this comes from locally inflamed Islamists, sometimes helped by crazy ugly leftists, but it's worth noting how quick the Norwegians have been to appease the "the Jews have no place anywhere" Islamist/nazi line when it comes to Israel. They have plenty of experience at arselicking when it comes to nazis. They invented the word, remember? Quislingism.

  19. Geoff - I was, as you'd gather, unaware of Norways funny little views on the Jewish population.

    For them, the anti-kosher killing thing, or any other thing, it would seem, is opportunistic.

    I still don't believe it's true of other countries. Animal rights is not new, but it continues, as do all movements, to find new ground, battles not yet fought, and most people are OK with treating animals with a bit more respect, even as we go in for the kill for the purpose of consumption. So, the current debates are not necessarily driven by bias against particular ethnic or religious groups - it's a fine line though, to argue.

    It's confronting to see that Norway is so hideously and overtly anti-Semitic. Although I do much prefer that it be overt, never support quashing the vile side of people, far safer to have these things in full view.

  20. geoffff1:54 PM

    Those veteran campaigners for civil liberties and animal welfare of the ancient world, the Romans, accused the Carthaginians of ritually sacrificing their own children. Give that they genocided the place into oblivion, we have to take their word for it. Recent archaelogical research however suggests the Romans were right.

    It's a beautiful day here and on that note I'm going down the beach.

  21. Was bucketing rain here, when you wrote that.

    I could do with a beach stroll, but will have to wait another five months or so.