Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Faith and Our Meat

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Faith and Our Meat

Article excerpt

IT was predictable that Brian Sewell would trot out all his old prejudices and tired generalisations to attack the right of religious communities to practise their faith according to tradition and belief (Let's stop this ritual slaughter, 17 June). But the ferocity of his unsubstantiated attack was gratuitously offensive.

The Jewish method of religious slaughter - not ritual slaughter - is based on the principle of care for all living creatures. This is a fundamental teaching in Jewish law and is reflected in many Biblical passages. Jewish law also requires that in order to be fit for consumption an animal has to be in perfect physical condition and all the blood must be removed. Pre-stunning is incompatible with these requirements: it causes pain, has a marked failure rate and causes damage to the brain tissues.

By contrast, shechita produces a massive loss of blood pressure within a few seconds, leading to unconsciousness and rapid death.

Many animal inspectors and scientists have recognised that it is at least as humane as any other method of slaughter. …

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