Forman & Sons MD Lance Forman celebrates the unity of Muslims and Jews over meat slaughter


- Credit: Archant

It’s great to see Muslims and Jews unite, after all we have so much more in common than one might expect. The latest issue on which we share common ground is on religious animal slaughter and questionable yet resurfacing accusations of animal cruelty.

Under Halal (Dhabiha) or Kosher (Shechita) animal slaughter, the carotid arteries and jugular vein are all severed completely in one swift movement so that the blood pressure in the brain falls immediately to near zero causing the animal to lose consciousness and not feel anything.

However, following recent bans of such methods in Denmark, a country known for intensive and industrial pig farming, the head of the Britain’s vets union, John Blackwell, has cast his lot, against religious slaughter claiming that without first mechanically stunning the animal, unnecessary pain is caused. It is argued that under religious slaughter the vertebral artery is not actually severed by the knife as it sits in the back of the animal’s neck meaning that the animal does not lose blood pressure instantaneously and therefore suffers longer.

On closer examination this analysis may be partially correct but it’s wholly irrelevant as in all kosher or halal animals the vertebral artery diverts to the front of the neck into the carotid artery. God clearly had this all worked out. The old testament specifically forbids causing pain to animals and I suspect, especially in light of recent meat handling scandals, that the world has a lot to learn from such religious methods which date back thousands of years.

In a country where our most popular participative sport is angling, causing unnecessary pain and injury to every fish hooked and when there are so many issues that need addressing in terms of animal welfare and food safety one has to question why some people become so fixated with the last few seconds of an animal’s life than the weeks, months and years leading up to that moment. Jews and Muslims uniting should be cause for celebration not pig-ignorant criticism.