Many animal rights people, myself included, have long been opposed to both halal and Kosher (or to give it its correct name schechita ) slaughter. Our opposition to ritual slaughter has been held over many years. Unfortunately recently groups, such as the EDL, (English Defence League) have also jumped onto the bandwagon, turning a debate about animal welfare into an excuse to attack Islam in general. The intervention of the EDL has justified their opponents, alongside those unconcerned about animal welfare, to shout racist at anyone who dares to ask that ritual slaughter be banned in the UK, a move that would bring the UK into line with many of its European neighbours. Of course, even without the intervention of the EDL, those same people would still call “racist” at anyone daring to criticise anything about Islam. Many of these types choose to wear their mantle of political correctness like a ghoulish shroud, and use it as an excuse for bullying behaviour. The campaign against ritual slaughter however is not racist. The campaign is one supported by British vets and the RSPCA and seeks to outlaw a practice that would be illegal if it were not allowed under special licence granted by the British government.
Most people who have companion animals, dogs and cats for example, go to great expense to insure that their lives are comfortable and that their deaths are stress and pain free. Animal rights people want this same consideration extended to all animals, including those that some humans eat. The battle against ritual slaughter is a part of this battle. It is to ensure that an animal is caused the least amount of stress at the end of its life. As the video (and I warn you it is sickening to watch) illustrates; there is a huge difference between the western method of slaughter where the animal is stunned and made unconscious before being killed and the ritual slaughter method where the animals throat is cut while alive and often in front of its fellows, waiting their turn, for the same sickening treatment. Animals are like us, they feel love, they feel fear and they feel pain. Sadly however their suffering rarely make the headlines, which is why it was so shameful for the so called politically correct to use the racist card to slur this important debate.
Critics of the campaign against Halal slaughter also demand why animal rights people are not equally vocal about western slaughter methods and farming methods in general. If these people had been listening, rather than jumping on a political bandwagon, they would know that animal rights people are very vocal in their criticism of western farming methods.
Animal rights people for example have long argued that the transportation of living animals over long distances, in often appalling conditions, to meet a cruel death, often in a foreign land, is both cruel and wrong. They have argued that the mass production of milk and eggs and of meat leads to short and miserable lives for too many animals. Our western treatment of farmed animals in general reduces the death of living creatures to a shiny, disposable plastic coated package on a supermarket shelf. In this way as a society we loose empathy and too easily dismiss as unimportant the lives of animals with whom we rarely have any direct contact.
Animal rights is about so many things, great and small, it is about changing attitudes and it is a never ending battle against government and corporations and it is about taking little steps and winning often small and rare victories. So lets stop using the racist card to protect an abusive and cruel method of killing. Lets instead just extend a little humanity to our fellow creatures and make sure Halal and all ritual slaughter is ended in the UK.