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Does the U.S. need to Ban Religious Slaughtering Practices?

Should the U.S. ban kosher and halal slaughter?

by Countable | Updated on 1.10.19

What’s the story?

  • Belgium has banned the Muslim and Jewish methods of ritually slaughtering animals that make them halal and kosher.
  • The ban was pushed by animal rights advocates and right-wing nationalists.

Why the ban? Why the pushback?

  • Europe and the European Union have regulations requiring that animals be rendered insensible to pain before slaughter, making the process more humane. Usually this means using a “captive bolt” device that fires a meal rod into the animal’s brain.
  • But kosher and halal rules mandate that an animal be in perfect health prior to slaughter, then killed with a single cut to the neck. Religious authorities say this rules out stunning the animal first.

What are both sides saying?

  • Ann De Greef, director of Global Action in the Interest of Animals, a Belgian animal rights group, said religious authorities refuse to accept that stunning could still be considered ritual slaughter.
  • “They want to keep living in the Middle Ages and continue to slaughter without stunning — as the technique didn’t yet exist back then — without having to answer to the law,” she said.
“Well, I’m sorry, in Belgium the law is above religion and that will stay like that.”
  • Jewish and Muslim leaders in Belgium have filed lawsuits which they hope will lift the ban on slaughtering animals without stunning.
  • “The government asked for our advice on the ban, we responded negatively, but the advice wasn’t taken,” Saatci Bayram, a leader of the Muslim community, told the New York Times.
“This ban is presented as a revelation by animal rights activists, but the debate on animal welfare in Islam has been going on for 1,500 years. Our way of ritual slaughtering is painless.”
  • It is debated in the U.S. whether religious slaughter is more humane than secular slaughter.

What do you think?

Should the U.S. follow Belgium’s lead and ban religious slaughter? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / asikkk)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(176)
  • Kimberly
    Voted Maybe
    01/10/2019
    ···

    I’m really, really, NOT into bans based upon religious practices, but I was (possibly incorrectly so) under the impression that halal slaughter was more humane than conventional practices. And kosher processing of meat gives the impression of being cleaner than conventional ways. I’m probably not going to ever believe that kosher and halal practices are any worse than currently employed methods. No matter how anyone describes that ‘stunning’ we all know how it works.

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  • burrkitty
    Voted No
    01/11/2019
    ···

    Uh, we can’t. Freedom of religion, remember? The FIRST amendment, remember? “Congress shall make NO law”, REMEMBER?!?!

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  • Mark
    01/10/2019
    ···

    Read the first amendment of the constitution that should answer your question.

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  • Deborah
    Voted Yes
    01/11/2019
    ···

    Barbaric, inhumane, cruel torture!! No religion can justify ending an innocent animal's life so obscenely!

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  • Next
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    Let me ask you this. Are human infants rendered insensible to pain before they are brutally killed? Do abortionists use the most humane ways to murder children? (There is no humane way to abort babies). Do they care about the child’s pain? The answer is “No!” I hope I will never understand how people could be more concerned with animals feeling pain than human babies feeling terrible pain.

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  • Pat
    Voted Maybe
    01/10/2019
    ···

    I believe the Jewish and Islam procedures for killing an animal for food is more humane and cleaner so I have preferred their method over ours. I also believe that most of these animals are raised more humanely. Many citizens of the US don’t understand or appreciate other countries customs. And, actually, in many areas we are the ones who are behind. But, in this case, it doesn’t matter because this practice is protected under the Constitution.

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  • BlueSphere
    01/10/2019
    ···

    How are the animals taken care of before they die? What is their quality of life? Are they raised humanely? Are they content and happy? Do they get to be outside with the herd and socialize and forage, or are they raised in factories? Whether they receive a bolt (or shock) through their brain or a knife to their throat, both methods are breathtaking in their violence. While humans continue to eat animals and follow religious practices, there will always be a debate and no easy answer to the question of how to kill “humanely.” Until then, can we ALL agree that the animals should be raised humanely? I don’t think it’s asking too much. I’m not a religious person, but I believe that when you eat an animal that has suffered in life you consume their sorrow. Let’s keep sorrow, theirs and ours, to a minimum, please.

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  • 1958FRO
    Voted Yes
    01/10/2019
    ···

    The animal should be stunned before the kill. It's more humane.

    Like (8)
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  • Vikki
    Voted No
    01/11/2019
    ···

    Those religious standards are higher than the FDA

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  • John
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    Another attempt by right wing nationalists (Nazis and Fascists) to carry on their attacks on the non-white world and Jews. Give it up. You lost the war.

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  • James
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    I’m a carnivor and who the hell cares! If that’s what their religion demands then fine! It all goes into the same stomach and once it’s seasoned we won’t know the difference! Stunning/electrocuting the critter actually makes the meat tougher as the animal tenses up when shocked! Do it the old fashioned way! Most of you probably never have been in a slaughter house and probably never will do what do you care! As for all you silly ass vegans? What the hell do you care as you don’t eat meat! Hey! Anyone want to come over and have some great Smoked Bacon?

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  • JTJ
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    The purpose of the federal government is to serve the people, not animals.

    Like (10)
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  • Margit
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    Religious Freedom!! This is the United States of America!

    Like (8)
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  • Ross
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    "right-wing nationalists" -- all you need to know

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  • Maribeth
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    No, as long as religious slaughter is being done using humane restraints as described by Temple Grandin.

    Like (7)
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  • Jerry
    Voted Yes
    01/10/2019
    ···

    You slaughter to eat not because your religion tells you too

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  • ManfromNebraska
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    Animals are here for our consumption and to meet our physical needs. While I don’t believe in abusing animals I don’t think they are abusing the animals. We have the right in this country to live out our religious beliefs. We are not animals we are created by God. “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭9:3‬ “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:26‬ ‭

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  • Catherine
    Voted No
    01/11/2019
    ···

    From what I've read the method of stunning animals before slaughtering them is not always effective because of the speed with which we passed the animals through the slaughter Chutes and inadequate training of the workers. Yes I would like to see all food animals killed painlessly. However I would also like to see them living inhumane and clean conditions before they are sent to slaughter. I don't think that our animal producers always maintain sanitary conditions in the raising of animals and I don't think that we always practice Humane methods of slaughtering animals. I know that kosher slaughtering rules provide for a cleaner more sanitary product so I think that we should investigate these methods more thoroughly before we decide on Banning what is essentially religious practice. We should look at making our own methods of food animals more sanitary and humane. We should also look at making our produce handling processes more sanitary.

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  • Tinee
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    Agree with religious practice of raising & slaughtering of livestock or not, the benefits cannot be denied. Religious livestock are raised in ways that minimize disease without using antibiotics or other medicine. Sick or dying animals are forbidden to be slaughtered for human consumption. None religious don't have those restrictions on livestock they raise & slaughter. Which livestock would you prefer to eat from if given the choice?

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  • Leon
    Voted No
    01/10/2019
    ···

    I think freedom of religion covers this.

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