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article imageOp-Ed: Unholy Cow! – Dutch ban ritual slaughter

By Alexander Baron     Jul 2, 2011 in Politics
The Dutch Parliament has voted to ban ritual slaughter; this perennial non-argument rears its head time and time again, but does it really matter how an animal is slaughtered?
Earlier this week, the Dutch Parliament voted to ban the ritual slaughter of animals; somehow, a motion tabled by the animal rights party Partij voor de Dieren which holds a total of three seats in both houses managed to pass. This is said to have united the country’s small Jewish and somewhat larger Islamic populations. There must be a lesson there for the Middle East; perhaps if the Knesset votes to ban both Shechita and Dhabīḥah they’ll stop killing each other? Then again, perhaps not.
Earlier this year, the British Islamic convert David Pidcock made a short video for Channel 4 TV in which he explained how people won’t be concerned about the poor cow suffering “once they know the benefits to the animal, and themselves”, although he didn’t explain how a cow, a sheep or any animal benefits by having its throat cut, its neck wrung, or a bolt shot into its brain.
The reality though is that if we want to eat meat, animals must die. We can argue or rationalise it away somehow – a chicken is lower down the evolutionary tree than a cow, and a fish is lower down still - but whether we choose a salt beef sandwich, Colonel Sanders or fish and chips, something somewhere has to die.
There are arguments – ethical and otherwise – for going vegetarian or even vegan, but let us not kid ourselves that it makes one whit of difference ethically or otherwise how animals are killed for human consumption. Yes, we can agree they should not be tortured, either physically or psychologically; there are also powerful arguments against using animals for experiments or research, but it takes a matter of seconds to slaughter an animal, and whether its slaughter is kosher, halal or purely mechanical, whether it is for food, for a coat, or a handbag, the end result for the animal is the same.
The proof of this pudding is in the eating. Here is what kosher slaughter looks like.
Here is what halal looks like.
And here is a regular Western slaughterhouse in action.
Now ask yourself, if you were a cow, a pig, or a chicken, which would you choose?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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