I was always comforted in my decision to eat meat by the notion that since I kept kosher, the meat I ate would always come from animals that were humanely slaughtered. I read all the standard texts promoting a meatless diet and the most compelling arguments presented involved the horrific practices one found in non-kosher slaughterhouses. With kosher slaughter, the guy in charge’s main task is to minimize the suffering of the animal, whereas with the non-kosher variant the only consideration is production. Kosher slaughterers receive special and extensive training in that regard, whereas non-kosher slaughtering can be done by pretty much anyone.
All this has now changed as a result of an undercover investigation and video released by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The videos are rather graphic and show cows getting their throats ripped immediately after the shechita. You see cows getting up and struggling – do not see the video if you have a weak stomach.
There has, understandably been tremendous fallout as a result. You can read all about it in detail at Failed Messiah and all over protocols. I have a hard time believing that the video represents the norm for kosher slaughter. However, until I know that for sure and until the relevant kashrut bodies assure me that this is indeed not the norm, I will stop eating all meat. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ban kosher slaughter and I don’t think eating meat is evil, but if this is what it takes for me to have meat, if this is the norm, then thanks, but no thanks. I’m not interested.