This isn’t the usual sort of thing I write about on my site, but it is something I feel passionately about. I’ve recently come across this video that, quite frankly, sickened me to the depths of my stomach and feel that it should be shared with as many people as possible. This is in order to educate the public each time they make a decision about consuming animal produced via the practice of ritual slaughter…
Despite my girlfriend being a vegan I am still a meat eater, I understand that in order to put meat on my plate animals have to die. I’m not here to argue whether it is moral/ethical to eat meat, I do that’s not going to change. I believe strongly however that if an animal has to die in order to feed people then it should live a healthy, comfortable, relaxed life and be treated with enough decency that when the time comes for it to be slaughtered it should be done in a way which causes the least amount of discomfort and suffering.
In the UK (as well as most other countries) we have laws which govern the welfare of animals during the slaughtering process. Sadly these laws have exemptions for religious slaughtering methods which, I believe, subject the animals to undue stress and suffering (I’ll leave you to judge this for yourself). This isn’t an attack against religion or religious people (believe in what you want, just don’t cause hurt/harm to anyone else) but using religion to justify this barbaric treatment of animals is unacceptable to me. I would rather suffer in purgatory than pass into the heavenly kingdom of any god which allows this level of pain and suffering to another creature (except I know that none these things exist). Those sanctifying these practices as part of their religion are just as accountable for what horrific acts are performed in the name of their religion as those performing them.
Due to the reduction in costs an abattoir incurs by circumventing the general animal welfare laws by using ritual slaughter methods, halal/kosher meat (and animal by-products) are commonly used throughout a number of brands. For example, Nestle, Kellog’s (I’ve recently had to give up my favourite breakfast cereal), Lyle’s golden syrup, Kingsmill, just to name a few. Additionally what I would consider a mark of quality products, the ‘Assured Food Standards’ (Red Tractor logo), seems to suggest that, actually, what you are eating is ritually slaughtered meat. Having looked into this further the number of products containing halal/kosher products is astounding.
Ultimately I would like to see an end to this practice but I realise that this probably isn’t economically viable for companies who also produce products for Islamic countries or to appeal to the UK Islamic population. What I would like to see is a marking on food products which contain meat (or animal by-products) which have been slaughtered using inhumane methods i.e. halal or kosher slaughter. I would also extend this to restaurants or any place serving food. I believe this marking would allow myself and others to make an informed choice when it comes to the products I choose to purchase, and the practices I choose to support.
One such scheme has a petition here to sign: http://www.causes.com/causes/538272-boycott-halal/actions/1725485
Thank you for reading (if you’ve got this far), I’ll now finish with a copy of the video I’ve talked about, be aware that this is quite disturbing. The video starts by showing the generally accepted ‘bolt method’ slaughtering process used in most abattoirs in the UK. It then goes on to show the halal/kosher slaughtering method and the suffering of the animals before, during, and – most disturbingly – after the slaughtering has taken place.
Please watch it and understand what has happened to an animal (or animals) when you choose to eat, or refuse to acknowledge/check that the food you are consuming, has been slaughtered according to Halal/Kosher methods. I believe the original source of this video is French, but I’m sure the process is similar in the UK. I hope the video has the same affect on you that it did to me and changes your perception of such animal slaughtering methods in the future as well as your purchasing habits…