According to the JPost, key rabbinical organizations across North America are preparing to put on a solid front protecting kosher shechita.

About what are they worried? Prospective attacks and fallout regarding the PETA disclosures and video about the heinous (but apparently kosher) slaughter of the animals at AgriProcessors.

Okay, I get it. These leading rabbis are justified in worrying because a couple of European countries have already outlawed shechita after concluding that it causes more pain to animals than stunning and killing them (which would be unkosher).

I get it. These groups and rabbis want to ensure that we can still provide kosher meat to the Jewish population across North America before it becomes illegal to do it everywhere except Paraguay and Cameroon.

What I don’t get is what they think they are doing when they don’t attack what happened at AgriProcessors as vile, heinous, unJewish, and unacceptable as kosher food. I mean, for god’s sake, if you don’t have a Jewish law declaring what was done at AgriProcessors as unkosher, CREATE ONE!

Here’s how they plan to counter the bad publicity and ensure that shechita will still be practiced: their public relations firm, handled specifically to handle this fiasco, quoted Rabbi Ezra Harari Raful, director of overseas shechita and meat imports for Israel’s Chief Rabbinate saying,

“I never said that the shehita seen in the [PETA] video is not kosher…What I did say is that the Chief Rabbinate does not approve of an animal that gets up after shechita because of ‘marit ayin’ [perception] but that the animal is kosher! I also never said that that the Rabbinate will not accept shechita where the arteries have not been severed.”

Brilliant strategy folks! I’m sure this will garner the sympathy of all Jews and gentiles out there. For those of you who only eat kosher meat, I suggest you get used to imported beef from Paraguay.

Here’s more from that JPost article:

Dr. Temple Grandin, assistant professor of animal science at Colorado State University, who provided expert advice to PETA, told The Jerusalem Post that incompetent kosher slaughterers and shoddy quality control at AgriProcessors is giving shehita a bad name.

“What really makes me mad is when Orthodox Jews try to hide behind religious rhetoric to try to justify sloppy slaughtering procedures,” she said.

“You know what that’s called? Bulls**t. I’ve seen kosher done right and all it takes is responsible management.”

Grandin has 30 years of experience engineering slaughterhouses, both kosher and non kosher, throughout the world.

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  • Look, PETA’s ultimate goal is not to ensure humane slaughterhouse practices, it is to eliminate animal slaughter, period – kosher and non-kosher. From the PETA Web site:

    PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat …

    So while Kosher slaughter is meant to avoid tsar baalei chayim, cruelty to animals, the values of PETA and Kashrut are not the same.

    Having said that, the response from the Jewish community to the allegations made by PETA have been unprecedented. Many rabbinic authorities have and voiced their concerns.

    What is also important to note is that the USDA, certifiers of slaughterhouses, have no issues with animal cruelty at Agriprocessors. Suggesting that the fallout from this video will lead to the banning of kosher meat is a bit… shrill.

  • TM, a new day has dawned! We actually agree on something to do with religious Judasim.

    They are circling the wagons rather than doing the right thing, which would pesent us with an opportunity to show that our sensitivity to the suffering of other sentient beings goes well beyond our need for shabbos cholent.

    However, I will point out that the Jpost article states that the Israel Rabbinate said it does not meet their standards, while it was the OU said while ‘the pictures on the video were not pretty, but said they did not show a breach of Halacha’

    But hey, what was that that old 60’s adage? When the people lead, the leaders will follow? Lets start a revolution.

  • Laya, glad you’re moving over to the better side. 😉

    CK, I noted that you called my comments about future difficulties with kosher shechita being allowed in this society shrill, ignoring that it is probably this very concern that has brought these rabbis together in the first place. I do feel that it’s important to note that this is far from “shrillness” but is well founded concern on a couple of levels, the first being kashrut and the second being how people who don’t like Jews much will use this against us.

    Read this and let me know if I’m being shrill.

  • For years we have been repeatedly told by jewish rabbis, that the schechita, i.e., the kosher ritual of cutting an animal throat is swift, painless and brings almost instant death in a matter of a couple of seconds.

    The video from PETA taken at the Postville Iowa kosher slaugherhouse irrefutably dispels this lie. We clearly see cows after having their throat cut, falling down on the floor, struggling, getting up, walking around in extreme pain, crashing against walls, for several minutes, still very conscious. A picture is said to be worth a thousand words … well this time, a video is worth a millions.

    But the rabbis still use this false description of the scheita as their argument. What they never discuss with the puplic … and you can visit hundreds of websites to that effect, … is HOW the poor defenseless animal is forcefully restrainted BEFORE and DURING the schechita throat cutting.

    Some kosher slaughterhouses will tie the back leg of the cow and using a pulley, will elevate the cow off the ground. The animal is at that time in a state of sheer terror. Her entire weight of more then 1,200 lbs is held by this single leg. In trying desperately to redress herself in an upright position, she struggles violently and often times break hers leg and teasr some logaments and tendons.

    THE JEWISH LAW specifically forbids the animal to be injured in any way before the throat cutting!! As you can see this is absolutely “NOT” the case.

    Now that the cow is hoisted up, off the floor, the jewish rabbi needs to prepare her for the schechita cut. Before, a rope was used to be tied around her muzzle and held fast by his assistant, to prevent her head from moving … but because the rope quickly became slippery due to the rushing torrent of blood, left by the previous cow … the rope was later replaced by a chain and hook.

    The metal hook is painfully inserted deeply inside her nostrils, to permit a good solid hold, and the chain is then pulled back tightly. If the cow struggles too much at this time, the assistant would then, place his hands, on each sides of the cow head, and insert his thumps into the cow eye sockets, pushing her eyes back into her head and holding her skull this way. The cow tongue is hanging out and she is screaming in pain…still very alert.

    But … THE JEWISH LAW specifically forbids the animal to be injured in any way before the throat cutting!! As you can see this is absolutely “NOT” the case.

    Then the rabbi approaches and with a powerful water hose, washes her throat for sevearl seconds. The hard jet of water, sprays her eyes, gets inside her nostrils, her mouth, suffocating her.

    Then using a long razor sharp knife, cut her throat deeply, severing her arteries and windpipe. The cow is well alert of what is happening to her. She smells her own blood and fells it rushing out of her cut throat.

    The pain is so intense, that sometimes the cow in reacting violently, falls to the floor. She tries to stand up, but keeps slipping in her own blood. She doesn’t die in a matter a seconds, sometimes it takes her 3 to 4 minutes to finally loose consciouness and die.

    Nothing about this archaic ritual slaughter is quick or painless. But it was adopted more then 3,000 years ago, because it was deemed “more humane” then to repeatedly smashed her skull in, with a heavy hammer.

    Even though the “schackle and hoist” method, is being used in many countries including the USA, some slaughterhouses prefer the “rotating drum” method instead, where the cow is forced into a large metal drum type cage, and then rotate 180 degres, upside own. Her throat gets washed and cut. The cow is then dumped on the floor in intense pain, dying, waiting to be chained and hoisted up on the “dismembering” production assembly line.

    If you still think that the ritual kosher slaughter is quick, painless and humane …

    There is a modern method where the cow standing upright inside a “kill box” is knocked out …(97% of the time on the first attempt ~ 100% is she has been kept very calm and without fear or stress, beforehand)… into immediate unconsciousness, with a bolt gun and then hoist up on the production to be bleed. Quick, painless and humane.

    The cow doesn’t care about kosher law, religious belief or ancient ritual. She just doesn’t want to feel any stress, fear or pain.

    Now you have … finally!! The truth.