Halal - Kosher ban2
Freedom of Religion

Ukip ban on non-stun slaughter will affect Jews more than Muslims

 

When David Cameron spoke at the Knesset almost a year ago, he was unequivocal in his opposition to anti-Israel boycotts; his support for a two-state solution; and his denunciation of Israel’s enemies. And he also vowed to guard the religious liberty of Jews in defence of shechita – the ritual slaughter of animals in accordance with Mosaic Law (Deut 12:21; 14:21; Num 11:22) – against the crusading animal-rights lobby and the British Veterinary Association, who are of the view that religious slaughter is bestial, barbaric and inhumane. The Prime Minister said:

“I’ve stood up to protect Jewish practices too. The Jewish community has been an absolute exemplar in integrating into British life in every way but integration doesn’t mean that you have to give up things that you hold very dear in your religion. When people challenged kosher Shechita. I have defended it. I fought as a back-bench Member of Parliament against the last attempt to do something to change this. And there’s no way I’m allowing that to change now I’m Prime Minister. On my watch Shechita is safe in the UK.‬”

Nigel Farage defends shechita, too. Or he does when he’s talking to The Jewish Chronicle. Now, however, Ukip has decided to ban it. Actually, their policy is aimed specifically at a prohibition on halal slaughter; Jews are apparently “caught in the crossfire; collateral damage. You know what I mean”. These are the the words of the party’s agricultural spokesman, Stuart Agnew MEP, who explains:

“There are more votes to be gained, and I expect that’s what they were looking for. We’ll have lost the Jewish vote for sure, they won’t support us now for sure – we won’t get any now. But we might gain votes elsewhere – and that’s what they’re after, general election votes. It’s an emotional issue.”

It must be quite refreshing for Jews to be collateral damage: they are usually the necessary target, not an ancillary one. But if Ukip think this policy will cost them only a few thousand Jewish votes, they are profoundly mistaken, for ritual slaughter strikes at the very foundations of religious liberty.

It is impossible to watch without feelings of indignation and disgust Channel 4’s secret filming of the halal barbarism practised in the Bowood Yorkshire Lamb slaughterhouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. That is not an exhortation to view the footage, which many will find upsetting, showing, as it does, “sheep being kicked in the face, smashed headfirst into solid barriers and picked up and hurled by the legs.. one worker hacking and sawing at animals’ throats, contravening Islamic practice. One worker took up to five attempts to sever blood vessels of one animal”. Employees are also featured jeering and taunting the sheep with knives. It is primitive, brutal, barbarous behaviour, which is bound to lead to renewed demands for mandatory stunning to prevent unnecessary suffering – with no religious exemptions. The stoking of bit of anti-Muslim sentiment is collateral damage. “You know what I mean.”

What Ukip appears to be ignorant of is the fact that the vast majority of halal slaughter in the UK is carried out in accordance with British Veterinary Association and RSPCA requirements: pre-slaughter stunning before ‘Allahu Akbar’ neck-slicing is not only common; it is the norm, not least because Islamic scholars do not generally believe that a stunned animal is rendered inedible. EU figures from 2006 indicated that “75% of cattle, 93% of sheep and 100% of chickens slaughtered in the UK for halal meat were stunned prior to their deaths. Figures produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in 2011 give a similar picture: 84%, 81% and 88%, respectively”. It remains around the 80% mark. Orthodox Jews, however, would no more eat a pre-slaughter stunned lamb than they would tuck into roadkill: it is considered ‘ritually unclean’. Precisely 0% of kosher cattle, 0% of kosher sheep and 0% of kosher chicken is stunned prior to slaughter. Ergo, Ukip’s ban impinges upon the freedom of Jews far more than it does Muslims. The collateral become the cardinal.

Human participant observers cannot know whether un-stunned slaughter causes unnecessary pain and distress, for all we can apprehend visually is the animal bleeding to death, which can take more than a few minutes. And this obviously produces steady streams and then rivers of blood, which is a truly awful sight for a generation more used to buying sanitised supermarket meat neatly set out on blue polystyrene trays and wrapped hygienically in clingfilm. But human perception ought not to nullify millennia of tradition: the popular myth must be informed by more than sensory positivism.

Yet it is written:

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel (Prov 12:10).

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds (Prov 27:23).

If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him (Exod 23:5).

Jews have always had regard for the welfare of their animals. The concept of ‘Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim’ prohibits cruelty to animals. Those lobby groups which oppose shechita (including, now, Ukip) don’t appear to appreciate that Judaism has always taken animal welfare seriously, and did so centuries before the West began to legislate against animal cruelty. Their teachings on animal welfare and slaughter were handed down from God to Moses, mediated and interpreted via the traditions of the Oral Torah and Rabbinic legal opinion.

Good grief, Jews are even forbidden to hunt for sport: where does Ukip now stand on fox-hunting with hounds?

The modern obsession with stunning is understandable in a society which judges everything by appearances: we see the animal rendered apparently insentient, but there is no guarantee that it is insensible to pain. What goes on in many regulated and licensed slaughter houses is quite shocking. Indeed, there are just as many (if not more) deficient non-halal abattoirs as there are barbaric halal ones: the difference is that we judge a Muslim swinging a knife differently from the way we evaluate the white butcher who routinely botches bolts fired into brains.

It is also widely known that stunning can fail, and that many thousands of animals have to be re-stunned in order to actualise the necessary show of insensibility. Double-stunning is an obvious cause of distress to the animal. In Jewish kosher slaughter, there is no need for a ‘second try’: shechita produces an effective and irreversible stun as well as being a humane and efficient method of slaughter. The method of cutting the arteries in the neck, which causes the animal to drop to its knees (almost as if it were stunned), is perceptibly less brutal than a stun-bolt to the head or electric shock to the brain, before being hauled upside down half-conscious and conveyed along animal death row to have its throat slit.

The debate (what there is of it) tends to minimise (or completely ignore) the suffering caused to animals by our ‘compassionate’ procedures. Stunning an animal is not like a serene visit to Dignitas.  A Jewish vet explains in ‘How to be kind to animals‘:

..On the specifics of slaughter I can speak with a little personal experience. Like many young UK vets in the 1980s, I did a share of (cattle) slaughterhouse supervision. (It’s easy money for veterinary practices, but not the sort of work the principal wants to do.) Unlike many of my colleagues, along with conventional slaughter I also saw the kosher variety. In every case I witnessed I was struck by the way the animals appeared to pass out instantly: complete muscle relaxation accompanying the massive blood loss from the severing of both carotid arteries and both jugular veins. That’s not a guarantee of unconsciousness, and there is some research evidence that it can persist a while longer, but it strongly suggests to me that in the great majority of cases at least, coherent brain activity stops very quickly. Conventional stunning, when it goes well, does just as good a job. The catch is right where you think it is: When it goes well. Stunning involves either firing a steel bolt through the skull and into the brain , or hitting the skull with what is essentially a pneumatic hammer to cause concussion. The brain of a cow is not a particularly large target, and it’s not that easy to immobilise the head. Mis-strikes—and therefore repeated strikes on a conscious animal—are not that rare.

..The work of conventional slaughter is done by young men in their teens and twenties—not a famously empathetic demographic. They are early school leavers, low paid, lightly trained and marking time in a dead-end job (again, no pun…). They watch or cause death all day, every day, and sensitivity to the animals is not much in evidence. Kosher slaughter has this one, big advantage: it’s done by a man who had other job options, a man whose day’s focus is not killing and a paycheck but obedience to his god. In this case, a god who has commanded a very sharp knife and attention to rules that hope to minimise suffering and maintain the dignity of both the animal and the man. Yes, abuses occur, but if I’m forced to bet, my money will be on the prayerful man rather than the time-serving boy.

Bloody religious practices like ritual slaughter and circumcision tend to confirm the worst of secularist prejudices: that they, being enlightened and compassionate, are superior to the religious, being ignorant and cruel. Restrictions on freedom will always be imposed according of the dictates of the prevailing worldview, to reinforce and sustain the dominance of that worldview. Since there exists no rationally determined nominally objective set of restrictions, it is the dominant mindset that prevails.

But un-stunned slaughter is not the law of Allah but of YHWH. And shooting a bolt into an animal’s brain is neither particularly Christian nor British. By attempting to shake off the constant and condescending allegations of racism which are heaped upon it daily, Ukip has just condescended to the most constant racial prejudice in history. If Nigel Farage gives way to Compassion in World Farming, the Farm Animal Welfare Council or the British Veterinary Association – as his stated policy currently does – then the prohibition on un-stunned kosher and halal meat will surely and swiftly be followed by demands for the banning of non-medical circumcision. After all, if animals should not suffer pain and distress, why should human boys suffer child abuse?

  • Dominic Stockford

    I quite agree with you. I am on the point of leaving UKIP over this. However, no Christian can vote for any of the major parties because of all the appalling and anti-christian things they have done. I shall have to raise £500 and stand myself I suppose, or simply be unable to vote.

    • James60498 .

      I didn’t join UKIP when I realised that their opposition to “gay marriage ” had been got at and effectively dropped, and that they were going to tell everyone what they wanted to hear. Unlike the LibDems of course who had years of experience in telling people what they wanted to hear and therefore got away with lots until they actually got into government, UKIP can’t even do that right if asked a precise question.
      They really are little, if any, better than the rest and I have not a clue who I will vote for, never mind do any campaigning for. May offer to help Christian People’s Alliance if they stand anywhere local but still might just offer to help UKIP in Tatton against Osborne if the candidate is any good.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Heartening to find some agreement of a sort – I suppose the possible UKIP support depends whether you do have a decent local candidate, as well as whether you can trust them to stand up against the party machinery. I’m afraid my local candidate isn’t one I can run with on this particular issue – religious tolerance. I know, I was asked to look over, and then completely rewrote his press release on the subject!

        • dannybhoy

          Our local UKIP candidate is a thoroughly decent chap experienced in leadership through HMF, and has been doing a great job at County Council level.
          UKIP is at low ebb at the moment, a lot of woolliness and clarity of leadership. Plus of course, dirty tricks galore behind the scenes. Despite UKIP’s current loss of impetus they are still shaking up the cosy complacency of the Westminster Cartel. We’re seeing hiccups and gaffes, but it is UKIP who is bringing honesty and openness to the political debate.
          A lot of people forget that.

          • CliveM

            Are they? The cynicism underlying this proposal says otherwise.

          • dannybhoy

            How is it cynical Clive?

          • CliveM

            The words of the parties Agricultural spokesman make that clear. It’s not about principle, it’s about votes.

          • dannybhoy

            I see what you mean. I’m not happy about that at all, because for me it is a principle, as I explained earlier, and I do think that all Christians should be players not spectators. I do think that our Jewish community has been caught in the crossfire through no fault of their own. As I see it this is another front in some Muslims onslaught on our own culture, and if the government showed the commitment to ensuring humane slaughter AND proper labelling, no one’s slaughter methods need banning.

            What we are seeing is the real costs of running a multicultural society, in which one section is not content to live according to our own values and human rights legislation says they don’t have to…

          • Dominic Stockford

            I would agree with you, I stood for local council for them. the idea of having no whip at that level is superb. There are also all sorts of unpleasant tricks going on. However, this u-turn by UKIP is no trick, and clearly it has been lengthily discussed before taking the decision to act in a way that affects both Muslims, Jews and even some Christians. Given the clear statements by Mr Farage about standing up for religious freedom and our beliefs, it is especially galling. And, having given way to expediency on this issue, it is clear that expediency will be the order of the day on others.

            ‘Same-sex Marriage’, and the opposition to it, which has been cleverly put in a box, will probably be next. I believe that, also, there is planned to be support for wearing of the burka (can’t tell you how I know), and other things too. Whilst it may appear to be contradictory to some for me to worry about that, such an item of clothing is not a religious matter (not in their holy book), but purely cultural. Whereas shechita does come from within the book – it is a religious command, not a cultural desire.

            However, referring to local candidates, the need to alter the following planned press release was obvious. I think he is probably an atheist, which he is allowed to be, but his planned press release was ‘uncomfortable’ to say the least. I quote partially necessarily (I hope he doesn’t put it out):

            “This change in the law [blasphemy becoming intolerance] was to some extent prompted by the way some religions were using blasphemy as a means of intolerance towards atheists and other non-belief organisations – in fact having no faith in any deity is a belief of its own. It was also prompted by the worthlessness of such a law which presented opportunities for division, and which was difficult to use. This change in the law was intended to assist in creating open-mindedness and a fairer society.

            UKIP calls on the leaders of all religious groups to inform their congregations that the law of the UK has changed in this way and therefore takes priority over any other beliefs or
            rules, including religious belief or guidelines. Religious leaders are requested that they condemn and expel all those who use their faith to incite hatred or violence against any person, group, or even society as a whole, as any such action is not in their name.

            The current real and perceived threats from Islamic terrorists; is not from Islam it is from terrorists claiming to be Islamic.”

          • dannybhoy

            Oh dear!
            If they are indeed changing their minds to gain votes i shall change mine to retain integrity.
            I am very disappointed if what you say is true. Personally though my concern is not votes as much as it is coherence and clarity.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have approached the Christian Party.

          • dannybhoy

            Dominic,
            they don’t have a chance! I left the Tories through disillusionment. I finally joined UKIP because I agreed with a lot of their stated policies and felt that we could break up the cynicism of Westminster.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I’m not in it to win, as such. Living where I do there is no chance of ukip winning – I was subjected to considerable verbal abuse last May, simply for ‘being there’.

            I cannot be part of something that either doesn’t think about, or doesn’t care about, religious freedom – and would rather chase votes than stick to principles.

            After all, the changed their policy on this in order to gain votes, then PN weighs in to try ann save the day but simply now holds two opposing positions at once, all on his own. One of which is contrary to the NEC policy statement and the other which is contrary to previous policy. His Grace called it ‘clueless’ – I find it lacking in principle. My Christian conscience can’t justify being part of that.

          • dannybhoy

            Hullo Dominic.
            I just found this…

            “Ukip leaders are now backtracking over the party’s decision to ban non-stun religious slaughter and appear to be engaged in a partial reversal of their previous reversal of policy.
            In the latest UKIP statement, Paul Nuttall, an MEP and the Ukip deputy leader, says that he was “surprised” when the party’s National Executive Committee agreed to the ban earlier this week.”

            http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/129436/ukip-apparent-backtrack-over-shechita-ban

            Me too!

            It’s deplorable that this has happened, but I don’t yet see it as a reason to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • len

    I think it totally disgusting to see the cruelty being exhibited by these monsters kicking punching and hacking at poor defenceless animals.It is barbaric in the extreme especially in light of this is what the so called IS is doing to people
    I have decided to become vegetarian on seeing how these animals are suffering (some slaughter houses do not even bother to stun these animals before performing these acts of barbarism) to shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar!’.
    Also should Christians or Jews eat meat sacrificed to the Islamic god?.

    As for me I want no part in it….

  • dannybhoy

    I heard a little bit about this yesterday and googled it.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/outcry-after-undercover-film-exposes-brutality-of-halal-industry-10019467.html

    Yesterday I sent an email to my MP and copied in some of the big supermarket chains. Although a member of UKIP, I did this in my capacity as a Christian citizen who takes his democratic responsibilities seriously.
    That means as well as commenting on a blog, I think I should take it a step further and do something about it.)

    I believe this is a very serious issue that further threatens that ‘old British narrative’ I believe in. Meaning that we must stop bending, or ignoring, or changing rules and laws because some people don’t like them..

    We need to ensure that the slaughter of animals conforms to the traditional, legitimate and humane practices that we used to adhere to before we became a multicultural society and member of the European Union.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs

    The other issue is meat labelling.

    It is an established fact that unlabelled Halal slaughtered meat is being put on sale, used in schools and hospitals. Those who object to this deceit (and it is a deceit allowed by government), on ethical or religious grounds, don’t know what they are buying or eating.
    Personally I have no problem with Kosher meat because it is carefully regulated, labelled as such and caters for a very small section of society.

    The Muslim population is much larger, and whilst I have no objections to them having their own meat sources, it must be slaughtered in accordance with our own standards of animal husbandry, and labelled as such. It should not be allowed to enter the retail sector or public services unlabelled.

    UKIP are imo forced into conflict with the Jewish community, not because they are racist or anti-semitic, but because there is a bigger issue at stake here.

    The simplest way I can say it is that our Jewish community makes no demands on us, does not seek to impose anything on us, does not have amongst their ranks those who would kill us or harm any individuals or sections of our community. They live and work and serve alongside us in complete harmony and whilst they support Israel, they do not do so to the detriment of their home country.

    But multiculturalism demands Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, so UKIP are being forced to treat Halal and Shechita in the same way. It is up to the government to recruit extra Inspectors and support staff to oversee the implementation of the law, and prosecute and take away the licences of those who refuse to obey the law….

    • len

      I also emailed my MP regarding the need to regulate unnecessary barbaric cruelty to animals in slaughter houses

      • dannybhoy

        Well done Len. We as Christians regardless of denomination should use the privileges which were denied our Christian forbears under the Roman Empire!
        The thing is that some Muslims -a very small number of Muslims, are busy working towards the undermining of our values and the subjugation of the West to their version of Islam. They are busy in every aspect of our national life: little by little, piece by piece. Peaceful means or through violence. This issue of Halal meat how it is slaughtered, how it enters the retail chain and our hospitals etc. is a part of that process.
        It is really up to government to stop with the words and start using the teeth needed to enforce the laws of the land.

    • Harry

      Danny, having read your post I would judge you to be a fair and reasonable man… but for the fact that you support UKIP! Do you realise that UKIP intend to deprive Jews of their right to eat meat prepared in the way their religion requires? That means Jewish children in schools, the Jewish elderly in nursing homes, the Jewish sick in hospitals, not to mention the Jewish family traditional meals eaten together. All of these will no longer be able to buy kosher meat or meat products. This constitutes a gross abridgement of the civil liberties of British Jews. But this is UKIP’s policy! In 1933 the very first law enacted in Nazi Germany was the banning of Kosher meat, ostensibly on the grounds that it didn’t accord with animal welfare yet a few years later they enacted laws making the murder of millions of humans compulsory.

      • bluedog

        Perhaps the solution is that implicitly being proposed by the EU, who are getting something right for once. Namely labelling meat that is halal/sechita killed so that those who regard the practice as barbaric need not buy and eat the stuff. Everyone is happy, no?

        • Harry

          Not happy at all! Please see my reply to Albert on this very point. Scroll down to about 35 minutes ago.

      • dannybhoy

        ‘Allo ‘Arry.
        I am indeed a fair and reasonable Christian man, one who supports Israel and our Jewish community. May I ask if you read this blog because of this particular issue or because you regularly read this blog anyway?
        I only ask because I haven’t seen your name here before so I’m a bit curious about how you arrived here.

        • Harry

          Danny, no I don’t come here often (in fact never been before). Someone emailed me the link to the Archbishop’s blog on this particular issue. Generally I find the folk here to be quite humorous and (reasonably) intelligent. Of course there are exceptions. I take it that you’re a regular.

          • dannybhoy

            Morning ‘Arry.
            Not only am I a fair and reasonable Christian man, I am also an old man who needs his sleep, and I thought your question merited my full attention.
            So you’re Jewish and I’m a practising Christian, and I lived and worked in Israel five years.
            I was a long term Tory and local branch activist, also served as a town councillor.
            I lost faith with the Tories under David Cameron (David Davis was my choice). The more I saw of the way things worked in our party and Westminster as a whole, the more disillusioned I became.
            I joined UKIP in this last year because I believed that what Nigel Farage was saying both in Brussels and here, was right.
            British politics is moribund, cynical and self serving. The disconnect between manipulative politicians and an apathetic electorate shows how ready the British people are for a change.
            I liken it to living in a town with only three restaurants and no matter which one you choose the menu’s exactly the same, the service is lousy and they’ll rip you off with the bill..
            So for me Nigel represents a return to openness and real change.

            Your mentioning UKIP and Hitler in the same sentence is frankly laughable, given that most UKIP members are older law abiding men and women or old crocks like me. Many have come from the other parties, particularly the Conservatives.
            We tend not to attract the militant young, and certainly where I am we don’t tolerate racism.

            I was anti-EU as a Tory, I think we should have developed an economic trading bloc with the major Commonwealth nations with whom we have far more in common. Instead of importing other nations skilled workers we need to get back to excellence in education, more home trained medical staff, engineers and scientists.
            UKIP’s stance on the issue of shechita and halal slaughter is a big shock to me.
            As Stephen says “No party is perfect” and I freely admit that UKIP
            still has a way to go in properly developing its policies and
            establishing its leadership structure.
            I’ve heard nothing about it from within UKIP, and I will seek answers at a regional conference later this month.

          • Harry

            Thanks for yours Danny. I personally don’t see what’s laughable about putting UKIP and Hitler in the same sentence. I’m not for one minute comparing Nigel with Adolf. There are however comparisons to be made between some of UKIPS policies and those of the Nazis in their early stages, and the banning of shechita is one example. The banning of shechita deprives Jews of their Human right to eat kosher meat according to their religious conscience. The subtle process of the ban is to first “delegitimise” Jews in the eyes of the public e.g. by saying the Jewish method is cruel, or they can always import kosher meat or if they don’t like our laws in the UK they are free to leave, and the like. Hitler did not start off by putting Jews into gas chambers. That came a decade after he won the election, by a democratic process I might add. Once in power he closed Jewish businesses, stopped Jewish kids from going to schools or universities, he confiscated their bank accounts, destroyed Synagogues etc etc. and once the German public were inured to the belief that the Jew is an “Untermensch” it was but a small step to exterminate them, not only in Germany but in every country they occupied. But you know all this anyway. Two months ago I wrote to David Cameron after he promised to stamp out anti-Semitism. Among other things in that letter I wrote, “Prejudice and intolerance do not happen overnight or from one minute to
            the next; they creep up on us slowly, the roots very often being almost
            imperceptible and concealed in apparently honourable endeavours, and by the
            time these prejudices have fully flowered and proliferated, it is often too
            late to eradicate them.” It is my firm belief that UKIP is opening the doors to prejudice and intolerance which will not be noticeable in the short term but will take hold when those with bad intentions will start to manipulate party policy as time goes on. They have already alienated Jews before the election. What will they do to others after it?

          • dannybhoy

            It is laughable Harry, because the young people do not identify with UKIP. We’re mainly old fogeys who don’t like the changes we see in our country. The younger generation grew up in “New Britain” like they grew up with “Xboxes.”
            When I was a kid we didn’t even have a “fridge” or a telephone.
            It’s a different generation.
            Also, Hitler used the anger and resentment and humiliation of the German people to get them on side, but it was the judicious use of violence that really established him.
            Violence always works if you want to destroy freedoms.
            Listen Harry, I know plenty about the history of anti semitism. Through my sister I have Jewish in laws, I have worked in Jewish organisations, I was a volunteer in kibbutzim, I have probably done more “Jewish” things than some Jewish people. If I thought that UKIP was an anti semitic party I wouldn’t be in it. And anyway antisemitism is in the other main parties too. We all know that.
            This is a cock up. A horrible cockup, and I am dismayed that it has happened, but labelling UKIP as anti Jewish or anti Israel is wrong. Anti semitism is on the rise because antisemitic elements within British Islam are on the rise.
            Try listening to LBC and hear what some Muslims are saying there.
            btw,
            Calling us “reasonably intelligent” was said in jest I know, but you seem to be making yourself at home anyway!

          • Harry

            “When I was a kid we didn’t even have a “fridge”” Good grief man, where did you keep the bottles of Krug or the foie gras, or the tins of Beluga?

          • dannybhoy

            Beluga!
            Foie Gras!
            Yore posh, entcha?!
            Bulmer’s Cider, Brahn Ale and crisps were the highlight of our weekends.
            Times were hard Arri.
            Times were ‘ard…
            Are you at all reassured? I hope so.
            If you were considering aliyah I would do your homework first. Not everybody takes to Eretz Israel you know. Especially polite, well mannered English people.
            Israel is boisterous, in your face, rude and opinionated.
            I liked it ‘cos I’m all of those things, but seriously it doesn’t suit everybody.

          • Harry

            Bulmers? BULMERS? That’s luxury! And you’ve got the nerve to call ME posh. If we needed a drink our dad gave us a length of rubber tubing and we ‘ad to go out in t’ gutter and suck up muddy water from t’ drains! I suppose you ‘ad cups to drink your tea out of didn’t ya? Well if we wanted tea our dad would boil t’ kettle, put two tea leaves in our gobs and pour boiling water straight out of kettle down our throats, an’ if we ‘ad cumpney we were allowed to tek off our boots and drink tea from that!. Spoilt you were Dan!

          • dannybhoy

            Hmm,
            After hearing your tale of woe and misery, I suppose we rather were.
            Rather.
            Whereabouts are you from then?
            Are you a regular blogger, or is it just the issue that brought you into goyish waters?

          • Harry

            I have been known to opine on various topics on other forums over the years, but I drifted into these “goyish waters” solely because of this issue, I thought Dr Cranmer had some very cogent points to say about it, and I found myself engaging with the regulars. My tale of woe before was a parody of the famous Peter Cook and Dudley Moore skit (Google it) so don’t take it seriously (as if you did). What I tried to do here was to disabuse some of the folk with enquiring minds of some of their misconceptions about this issue, that’s all. Of course there are two sides to this debate about religious rights and animal welfare and I am of the opinion that the two are NOT mutually exclusive.

          • dannybhoy

            “My tale of woe before was a parody of the famous Peter Cook and Dudley
            Moore skit (Google it) so don’t take it seriously (as if you did).”
            Ermm
            Are you sure it wasn’t this one?

            Anyway,
            regarding your serious bits
            (No offence..)
            In other circumstances all of this would be a storm in a tea cup.
            Not to excuse or defend UKIP on this, I can’t. The NEC are plainly wrong.
            But we are living in extremely unstable times and we desperately need to see positive political change.
            The global balance of power is shifting ‘Asiawards’, America has a strange POTUS who appears both anti America and anti Israel. Europe continues to be horribly weak, inwardlooking and ineffectual.
            Our own country has pygmies for politicians. They have no real authority. They take their orders and direction from an EU dominated by that there Germany…
            and our whole country and infrastructure seems to be up for sale…
            Russia is a mafia state hell bent on causing all kinds of trouble.
            As used to be said in “You rang my Lord”
            Where will it all end?

          • Harry

            Ah yes, that’s the one (my apologies to Messers Cook & Moore), it’s been done a few times in various guises.
            But on a more serious note (ha ha ha), one needs to take care that dissatisfaction with one bad lot does not drive one to embrace an even worse lot simply for the sake of change which may not be a positive change. You are quite right that we are living in extremely unstable times and no one knows where it will all end. I have usually tended to vote C except on a couple of occasions when as a protest I put my X next to David (Screaming Lord) Sutch’s Monster Raving Loony Party. He had a few ideas which were not so loony and which the Tories pinched and claimed as their own. I can understand UKIP’s opposition to the EU who are a bunch of fat-headed bullies (the EU that is, not UKIP) but Farage and Co do not inspire me with confidence in other areas as we’ve seen in only these past few days how they backtrack and backtrack on their backtrack, very unstable and not to my liking. As far as Labour is concerned I think that they’re a bunch of hypocritical tossers, they may have supported the working man/woman years ago but no longer and that Ed Moribund character gives me the creeps! He’s not true to his Faith for one thing. He ate a bacon sandwich in public to show off that he’s broken free from his religious shackles. Anyone who breaks faith with his God cannot be trusted to keep faith with the people. Of course it’s entirely his business what he eats but to do it so ostentatiously shows he was making a point and a bad one at that. So who’s left? (that’s left as in “remains”). Not the LibDems, or the SNP, or the Greens, or the BNP, or the SWP or the Rainbow Alliance, no one. You were right in your evaluation. If I had the energy and the means I would create my own political party dedicated solely to helping little old ladies across the street (whether they wanted to get to the other side or not!)

          • dannybhoy

            “but Farage and Co do not inspire me with confidence in other areas as we’ve seen in only these past few days how they backtrack and backtrack on their backtrack, very unstable and not to my liking.”

            And I wouldn’t disagree there either. I think Nigel has the ability to tap into people’s “repressed” concerns and vocalise them. He talks straight without continually covering his back, and people respond to him.
            My own hope is that he will draw more serious, professional and experienced people into the party so as to give it more coherency and uniformity. There are “oddballs” in the party, but I think that’s inevitable in a new party with no real leadership or experience of government.
            If that doesn’t happen then I fear for the party’s future.

            “He’s not true to his Faith for one thing. He ate a bacon sandwich in public to show off that he’s broken free from his religious shackles. Anyone who breaks faith with his God cannot be trusted to keep faith with the people.”

            I think that’s a bit harsh Harry. You know of course that after ww2 a lot of Jewish people lost their faith after what happened, and it was horrific wasn’t it? Who can blame them?

            So Ed Millipede doesn’t believe for I think, philosophical reasons, so he’s Jewish culturally. He feels a connection even if he doesn’t believe. His real problem (as it is with many now of the new political caste) is that he has no real life experience, he doesn’t really care for the working man, and he’s useless as a leader…
            Harry you have a great sense of humour. I’ve gone on far too long (I often do!)
            I hope you’ll stick around.

          • Harry

            You’re right Danny, many Jews lost their faith after going through the Holocaust and you’re right again that we should not stand in Judgement of them. But Millipap was not one of them. His father was a “commie bastard” and silver-spoon fed his little boys turning them against their heritage. I don’t know what connection he feels, but if you think so I’ll not argue the point. In a word he’s a twit (that’s three words), he’s not getting my vote in any case and by the look of things he’s not going to get many from others either. They should never have got rid of Ramsay MacDonald, and to say “but he’s dead” is no excuse since all other Labour politicians might as well also be dead for all the good they do!
            Rule Britannia!

          • bluedog

            Godwin’s law infringement. Must try harder.

          • Harry

            Godwin was a Jew hater just like you!

          • bluedog

            Neither right nor an argument, Harry.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector was brought up on frozen New Zealand lamb. Can the holy stuff not be imported that way?

    Seeing the way those Mohameds abused those animals in the UK is just not on. Perhaps stricter licencing is the answer. And the meat must be labelled if halal and kept in closed boxes or whatever. Don’t want to see the damn thing, let alone eat it.

    • dannybhoy

      ” Can the holy stuff not be imported that way?”
      I thought of that Inspector, but why should our Jewish community who have lived here for centuries be penalised because some Muslims want things their way?

      • Inspector General

        Well yes Danny, then ban ritual slaughter unless it is carried out in the Jewish tradition. Of course, we would be racists in the eyes of a fair minded world, but then again, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of prudent racism from time to time…

    • Dominic Stockford

      The majority of meat, the vast majority of meat, from NZ is Halal already…

      • Inspector General

        Yes, had a feeling that was the case. A matter for the population there to get their government to do something about that.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        My understanding from writing to all the major supermarkets is that ALL NZ lamb is halal. That’s why I stopped buying the stuff. Best to buy locally – slaughtered meat; unless you live in parts of Birminghamistan, where they have been known to slaughter animals on the street.

  • Ben Allen

    “After all, if animals should not suffer pain and distress, why should human boys suffer child abuse?” Why, indeed? Unnecessary surgery on an infant? Who could possibly object?

    • dannybhoy

      Yes, I picked up on that stoopid statement, but I wanted to concentrate on the main issue. The reality is that circumcision is an essential part of Judaism and has been going on now for 4,000 years or more.
      The number of Jewish men complaining about this and its effect on their ability to “perform or enjoy the act of love” are remarkably few. Perhaps that’s why the Muslims took up the practice…

      • Ben Allen

        Would you really expect men to line up to complain about a lack of sexual prowess? errrrr

        • dannybhoy

          Okay, but this is still a stoopid argument.

  • sarky

    If we should eat meat (and I do) then we have to make sure that these animals are treated humanely from birth to slaughter. Im sorry but religious slaughter should always be trumped by animal welfare.

    • TimeForTea

      As you say from birth to slaughter.

      Animal welfare would be much better served improving the birth and life conditions of the animal than spending time on the debate about it’s final seconds.

    • avi barzel

      His Grace described the situation quite accurately, and there is addition research on the subject matter. The bottom line is that properly done Muslim halal slaughter or shehita slaughter is as humane, if not more so in the aggregate, than other methods. Is the “religious” bit that’s sticking in your craw?

      • sarky

        Absolutely not. The problem is that the slaughter is not being done properly in some cases and thats what I have a problem with.

        • avi barzel

          Slaughter is not being done properly in most cases across the board. I mentioned Temple Grandin’s studies and Sister Tiberia, a veterinarian, has also an opinion on this matter here. The problem is mostly in the handling and restraint technologies and methods, which cause far greater suffering than either stunning or slaughter with a knife. This issue is a cultural one…”religious” versus an imaginary humane “secular” slaughters. His Grace is dead-on the topic.

          • sarky

            I think your right. This isnt about religious or secular but about respect for an animal that is dying to feed us.

          • avi barzel

            I think you misunderstand, Sarky. I’m saying that on a technical level, the whole thing is a non-issue and a transparent farce. People with genuine respect for animals fight for their better treatment in captivity, oppose all slaughter methods and the whole practice of raising animals for meat. I can respect the PETA people for their consistency, but find this fake concern over “ritual” slaughter alone hypocritical and from a historical perspective chillingly sinister. You have religio-nationalist jingoists demanding that “we people” fall in line with their prejudices, religious folk who see a theological distinction between the pneumatic bolt and the slaughter’s knife and secularists who promote abortion by choice and euthanasia for “dignity” who suddenly discover their inner Buddha when it comes to Jews. As I said to someone before, this isn’t new to Jews at all and in every single instance it was the beginning of the end for whichever Jewish community was targetted. Feel free to come up with a secular explanation for why something so seemingly minor and silly as this would portend such serious events.

          • sarky

            Understood. its passive/aggresive. You attack the people by attacking the ritual.

          • avi barzel

            Hmm. Passive/aggressive response. I like that. You have a knack with summarizing…you must be on your smart phone most of the time and can only type with one finger, right?

  • Athanasius

    Unwilling as I am to sound like Polly Toynbee, this post reads exactly like one of those comments critical of Israel which is then immediately denounced as “anti-Semitism” by Mr Thomas Cranmer et al. Just substitute “Islam” for “Judaism”. I regard Islam a Christian heresy (a bit like Protestantism, really), but that doesn’t give me the authority to consider Muslims as dogs (or Protestants, for that matter). This is is reason the Catholic Church believes in objective morality, not the arbitrary insights of the Holy Spirit, should he happen to be passing. If Kosher is acceptable, so is Halal; if Halal is not acceptable, neither is Kosher.

    • The Explorer

      When you get a visit from a Protestant suicide bomber, I’ll concede the similarity.

    • avi barzel

      His Grace and a surprising number of folks here have, actually, a very good idea about what antisemitism is or isn’t.

      • carl jacobs

        Why waste time on anti-Semitism when anti-Canadianism is so much more fun.

        • avi barzel

          I’m going to flag this comment. That’ll learn ya good. Always wanted to see what’ll happen.
          ……..
          Hmmm. I thought it would auto-delete. That means it’ll bother HG’s ashes. O shit. I’m outta here…good luck!

          • You flagged a rhetorical question of puerile indulgence which could either have been ignored or subjected to a reasoned riposte. It is not a matter for censorship.

  • Inspector General

    Gentlemen, you all do realise that any attempt to stop the muslims producing their meat they way they want it will in due course lead to a bombing campaign. Having said that, the security services have foiled 40 such plots in the last ten years since London, so it’s not as if the Islamists are scraping around for reasons.

    It would take any government to have a nerve of steel to implement it, but with a growing Islamic population, we are going to need such resolve whether we want it or not. Welcome to New Britain.

    • CliveM

      Unless I misunderstood, wasn’t part of HG’s post making the point that because Muslims allow pre stunning in the slaughter of animals, any ban will have minimal affect on Halal?

      • Inspector General

        Clive, really can’t see any reform of animal husbandry leaving any other method for killing other than the bolt in place

        • CliveM

          But is that what UKIP are proposing? Most arguments I have read about this centre on the need to stun. It will be interesting when this is clarified.

          • Inspector General

            One would think this is UKIP thinking out loud. As the Labour party found when they first formed a government with Ramsay Macdonald, it’s going to business as usual for the first year or two. UKIP have more important matters to be getting on with.

          • CliveM

            Yes it would be a bit worrying if it was seen as a priority!!

            I understand labour are going to teach sex to 5 year olds as a priority. As a patent once said to me “my son still believes in Santa, why does anyone believe he wants to know about sex!”

            Which sums it up.

          • Inspector General

            What a leader they have in the Millibean! Are they chasing the tiny queer vote now the Lib-Dems are breaking up, and if so, what happens when that policy gets discussed at mosque level. The Respect party are set for their best turnout ever. Though he didn’t stand a chance with the muslims, being a Jew, and the loathing they hold for Israel.

          • CliveM

            He is truly the Michael Foot for the 21st Century.

          • Nothing wrong with Michael Foot. He was an honest politician.

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            Probably. He was also an incompetent one, who wished for some frightening things for this country.

          • Jack didn’t support all his policies but he was an honest politician – very rare these days. Even Margaret Thatcher recognised this. What the Labour Party and media did to him was a disgrace.

          • CliveM

            Jack

            I don’t doubt his honesty. It’s the credibility of his vision for Britain I question.
            As far as what the Labour Party did to him being a disgrace, well sadly that politics. You could argue the same about the Tories and Maggie.

          • CliveM

            Also I suspect it will be quietly forgotten as not worth the hassle.

          • Inspector General

            You’re getting the hang of this politics business Clive!

  • CliveM

    I don’t know if I am more appalled by the cynicism of the policy or surprised by how honest UKIP are about it.
    However it does lead one to think, which other of their policies are equally cynically dishonest?

    • Sam

      No different to the UKIP decision to be anti ssm: a cynical ploy to get the votes of social conservatives. But I’m not prepared to be “collateral damage’ for UKIP.

      • CliveM

        It is depressing to see how little they care about the impact of this on an innocent party, in their efforts to grub for votes.

        • dannybhoy

          Who said they’re grubbing for votes? Only the spokesman.
          “The party’s agricultural spokesman said that losing Jewish was ‘collateral damage’ as there were ‘more votes to be gained’ elsewhere.

          In a statement the party said: ‘We respect religious groups to carry out slaughter in the UK according to how they define and read their scriptures. What we do not allow however is for the rights and demands of groups within those religions to override the UK’s compassionate traditions of animal welfare.”

          Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2938362/Farage-accused-wanting-drive-Jews-Britain-Ukip-pledge-ban-religious-slaughter-animals.html#ixzz3Qn8OxTjg

          Those who are convinced that UKIP is anti semitic (which is what some here are implying) are as far as I am concerned plain wrong. If I find out for myself that then I would resign, but I’m not going along with the opinions of vested interests.

          • Sam

            Danny there’s a great saying by Ronald Reagan (a political hero of mine) about politics and the oldest profession (:

          • dannybhoy

            Well.. come on, let’s hear it!

          • Sam

            “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first”.

          • dannybhoy

            Good old Ronnie! I really admired that man. If you ever youtube some of his earlier speeches as governor of California you will see that he was a pretty astute thinker.

          • CliveM

            Well what the spokesman says is quite revealing and is reflective of a mindset I would suggest.

            Btw, I am not saying they are anti Semitic.

          • dannybhoy

            I know you’re not Clive, but people can’t have it both ways. On one hand they say UKIP is chocful o’ nuts, and then decide this particular statement is representative of the party.
            Heavens, I’m an active member and I don’t know all that’s going on regarding policies. I was talking to a fellow member this morning about it and he agreed it’s ridiculous.
            But… if people are determined to find evidence to support their case, they will.

          • CliveM

            Thing is I don’t see any inconsistency between the spokesman and the statement. He merely tells us how UKIP got to the policy.

          • dannybhoy

            Clive,
            I dunno. Did you read what Dominic said re UKIP?
            I shall be going to a regional conference later this month and see if we can shed further light on it. I’ll let you know afterwards. Very unsettling.

        • Sam

          Dude, they’re politicians what do you expect? Look at Miliband “I’m a strong supporter of Israel”. I’m with Maureen Lipman on that. He needs to be more of mensch .

          • CliveM

            What do I expect? Honestly not much. My gripe isn’t that UKIP are more cynical then other parties, they’re not. It’s that they pretend not to be.

          • Sam

            Dude

            Then we’re on the same page. A topic for another day, but often I think of farrage as being the English ” wee eck”….

          • CliveM

            Yes……….. LOL!

      • dannybhoy

        “But I’m not prepared to be “collateral damage’ for UKIP.”
        Ah c’mon now, don’t be a spoilsport.

        They’ll probably put up a blue plaque on the house where you lived….

  • Male infant mutilation is a far more serious issue than stunning.

    • dannybhoy

      “Male infant mutilation is a far more serious issue than stunning.”
      Another twaddletalker. As mentioned earlier there are millions of circumcised Jews and Muslims who function perfectly normally, make love and produce offspring (and NO, I don’t want to get into another boring debate on sex ‘n marriage thankyou).
      If circumcision were “mutilation” then God would not have instituted it as a sign of the Covenant with Israel….

      • CliveM

        Their are health benefits associated with it as well. Carl may be able to advise, but I had been told by an American that it’s pretty universal in the US.

        • dannybhoy

          That’s why I was circumcised, because at the time the government believed there were health benefits, but either way, cut or uncut, the ‘equipment’ works…

          • CliveM

            Thanks!

            I wasn’t thinking performance, more cleanliness!

          • dannybhoy

            With mild green Fairy LIquid…
            Does dishes pretty good too!

          • Sam

            Dude,

            I know we’ve had this conversation before, with my brother David. Have no wish to make you blush again, so won’t mention it….. But I think the Roundheads are better than the Cavaliers, so to speak.

          • CliveM

            Interestingly put.

            Thanks…………….!

          • Sam

            Dude, I know you are a decent, but delicate chap, not used to discussing such bedroom matters.

          • CliveM

            I had a sheltered upbringing!

          • carl jacobs

            Roundheads are better than the Cavaliers, so to speak.

            That’s good theology too.

          • But there is no way a good Jewish lady can know this.

          • IanCad

            True!
            Better aim. Less retained drippage. Change shorts less often —–.

          • CliveM

            It’s amazing what you learn on this site!

            Some of it not always welcome :o)

          • IanCad

            I should add: I’m not.
            Wife makes me sit down to pee.

          • CliveM

            Ahhhhh

            Speechless!

          • No, no, thrice times no. You must resist this grave injustice in your own home. Take a stand. Take a stand. And always leave the toilet seat up.

          • IanCad

            “And always leave the toilet seat up.”
            I think she would be less enraged over a wet one than a raised one.

          • CliveM

            How does she check on you?!!!!

          • Inspector General

            As James Brown used to say, “Shake that thing”

          • Ivan M

            No matter how you shake and dance – the last drop always falls in your pants. ( Old graffiti ) . And it gets worse with age.
            I can see the advantage to circumcision now, though I don’t see how this affected the patriarchs and prophets of old who would just let it dribble down, like all true Scotsmen and dhothi wearing Malayalees like myself.

          • CliveM

            Only the now spotted this, true Scotsmen do not let it dribble down!!

            The cheek!

        • carl jacobs

          It was pretty much universal when I was born. I don’t think this is so anymore. I had only daughters so the issue never came up for me. But I would not have thought twice about circumcision. To me it was simply a normal procedure performed for medical reasons. It would have been exactly analogous to vaccination.

          • CliveM

            Thanks, yes my friend used the vaccine analogy as well.

    • You must mean gender realignment surgery. Jack agrees, it is barbaric to put the mentally ill through this.

    • carl jacobs

      Paul Perrin

      I am not a Jew. I was circumcised at birth. So I am your victim. Please tell me how I was mutilated. Should I sue my parents for this crime against my person? My parents who had this done to me upon medical advice and for my own good.

      Please tell me how I have suffered. Tell me what I have lost. I cannot answer this question for myself, since I have no sense of loss. And I should really like to know what has been taken from me that warrants the charge of mutilation.

      • dannybhoy

        Reggie’s talking nonsense, and I wonder what his real motives are here.

      • Dominic Stockford

        And I am, according to rote, a Jew. yet my parents didn’t have me circumcised (even though they are catholics, and catholicism tended to encourage it in the 60’s). This is probably at the root of my confusion on everything.

    • The Explorer

      There was the case of David Reimer, the Canadian boy turned into a girl after his penis was destroyed by a botched circumcision in infancy. There, I grant you, was an instance of mutilation.
      (Psychologist Dr John Money hailed the case as a triumph of gender reassignment; until David had himself turned back into a male after suffering suicidal depression.)

      • carl jacobs

        There is always a risk. There is a risk with vaccination. There is a risk of human error with any procedure. But there are men in Africa getting themselves circumcised to protect themselves from disease. The question then becomes one of reasonable risk.

        But I have never thought this argument was about mutilation. This is a means for modern society to level an accusation against God. For God commanded circumcision. And what does that say about Him if it is mutilation? That’s the condescending accusatory question that is really being asked.

        • CliveM

          Good point.

        • The Explorer

          I think David’s mishap arose from an experimental procedure that involved burning away the foreskin. But my intention was not to attack circumcision. I was criticising loose accusations of ‘mutilation’ by giving an example of a real one.

          • Sam

            Explorer

            I’m always delighted by your posts, which have quite mystical element to them and reckon you are a captain of a pub quiz team with your knowledge of far flung facts… so I bet you know that one of the first acts of the Austrian painter turned chancellor of Germany circa 1933 was to ban kosher slaughter because he believed in animal welfare….

          • The Explorer

            Hi Sam,
            Thank you for your kind words. I’m not the captain (nor even a member) of a quiz team, but I did know about the Austrian painter.

          • CliveM

            Vegetarian I believe. Watch out Len!

          • Sam

            Heh, I have nothing against veggies. My wife to be prefers vegetarian food (or meat and two veg …ahem) and Lord Rabbi Sacks , a Gadol* of British Jewry (in my view at least) is a vegetarian.

            *in modern Hebrew meaning something like “well cool”, but also in religious parlance meaning an outstandingly excellent Rabbi of his generation.

          • CliveM

            What is it about your family and it’s enthusiasm to enlighten me on your sex lives????????? :0)

            Ps do your future in-laws read this site?

          • Sam

            Dude,

            Alas it’s not my fault I was bought up with British humour like the carry on films…..or that you penetrate with clear purpose through my innuendo! My future in laws …. ah one is French and the other of Russian ancestry. They have a cracking sense of humour and are very observant. I asked them if they read this blog and they relied “we will now”. Oy, time for tea….

          • CliveM

            And again…….. sigh!

          • Sam

            Dude,

            I apologise and as it is Torah study might, I’m off line for tonight, debating Exodus 18:1-20:23 instead!

          • CliveM

            Have fun.

          • IanCad

            Very strict rules were specified for the transport of livestock.
            Interesting that the obedient Germans paid little heed to them when transporting the millions of tortured humanity to the camps.

          • Pubcrawler

            Not much has changed. Have you been on a tube or commuter train lately?

          • IanCad

            You make a good point.

          • Sam

            Naturally as the “animal rights” chaps seem to think, cows and chickens are above Jews in the rights hierarchy.

      • avi barzel

        This was a non-ritual circumcision, once a routine operation on most male babies in North America, done with an electric instrument which malfunctioned.

        That’s not to say that mishaps don’t happen, but they are extremely rare, while the health benefits are certain.

    • Sam

      True it is, but as male circumcision isn’t “mutilation” then you don’t have anything to worry about.

    • avi barzel

      Best to avoid it, then.
      But seriously, not that it may matter much to you, but bans on ritual slaughter and circumcision have historically gone hand in hand and they always preceded attempts to exile or destroy Jews. But then, everyone tells me this time around it’s different…even though the arguments for the prohibitions are exactly the same since the ancient Greeks and onwards down to the latest big ban by that German fellow with the funny moustache, wassisname.

      • Linus

        Does previous persecution now make the Jews sacrosanct and above criticism?

        If the law is for everyone, it must apply to everyone. It must also take account of everyone. And it must not discriminate without having a compelling reason to do so.

        • avi barzel

          Sacrosanct? Above criticism? Where is this coming from? And what law are you referring to?

          Are you saying I should desist from expressing preferences, having concerns, fears or self-intetest while wating for you to rule on my fate? What the heck are you talking about, Dude?

          • Linus

            Any attempt to question religious rituals always draws charges of persecution from the believer concerned. When that believer is a Jew, the long history of anti-Semitic persecution is always cited, as if to say that any attempt to question what Jews do will by its very nature become persecution.

            Why should the Jews alone not be subject to the same scrutiny as the rest of us?

            I don’t know whether ritual slaughtering and infant circumcision are cruel or not. Some say they are and should be banned. Others say they are not and their cultural importance outweighs any suffering they may inflict anyway. I don’t know enough about either side of the argument to be able to draw solid conclusions, but I do know that as soon as someone, or some people, tell me they cannot be questioned and that their practices are sacrosanct and above criticism because of who they are and what they have suffered in the past, or even that what they do is no concern of mine, then alarm bells start to ring.

            Of course if what they do harms nobody else, let them do what they like. But when it does harm others, and especially when those others are defenceless children or animals, then it becomes everyone’s business. You cannot claim a cultural right to harm others. That’s the very essence of the reasoning behind laws that now protect children from’abuse by their own parents or dogs from abuse by their owners.

            Like I say, I don’t know whether circumcision and ritual slaughter constitute cruelty, but I do know that we all have the right to ask the question. If it hurts someone else it is NOT your private business, whether you’re Jewish or not.

        • carl jacobs

          What you say is true, but it misses the point. It’s a funny kind of “mutilation” that is recommended by doctors for positive medical benefits. I was no more mutilated by circumcision than I was mutilated by having my wisdom teeth removed. Let someone explain to me the loss I have suffered, because I can’t identify it.

          So what then? Is it an offense against the autonomy of the child? But parents are legally required to make good medical decisions on behalf of their children. “My three year-old wouldn’t consent to vaccination” is not a credible defense.

          Well, perhaps it’s not about the medical benefits. Perhaps what troubles people is circumcision solely for religious purposes. Now we are getting close to the truth. But if the procedure is benign in terms of functionality, and has positive health benefits, why should the motivation matter? Is there a hidden assumption that parents have no standing to take responsibility for a child’s religious upbringing? And yet parents are required to instruct their children in right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil – all the things that proceed from religion. That is just as much indoctrination. It would then seem that indoctrination is not the problem. It is the inculcated religion that is the problem.

          So Avi’s question is pertinent. Why are people seeking to ban this procedure? The “mutilation” charge is nonsense. It is a mask for other intentions. What are those intentions? And against whom are they directed? The physical integrity of the child is not being protected from medical harm. So what integrity is being protected? The alleged “right’ to not be brought up in a religion? What would we normally call people who don’t want Jewish children to be brought up as Jews?

  • carl jacobs

    Some of this stems from the secular judgment that theistic religion is objectively false, and should therefore be accommodated only when no other imperatives are in play. Some of it stems from the secular tendency to see (and to display) religion as inherently barbaric. But a lot of it comes from a desire to create distance between man and death. We want death to appear neat and quick and sterile. The knife to the throat is too personal. The resultant bloodshed is too graphic; too representative of life slipping away. We want to cover up the violence and the ugliness and the mess.

    Modern society pushes death away. It dresses up the corpse to give an appearance of normalcy. It embalms the body and seals the tomb to prevent decay and decomposition. It hides behind modern medicine and health clubs to put it off as long as possible. And finally it demands control at the end. The entitlement mentality demands a quick easy sterile death devoid of suffering and humiliation and pain. It does not want to see death as it really is. It wants to control death according to its own vision of itself. That vision is one of autonomy. The slave desires to imagine himself the master.

    The ritually slaughtered cow then becomes a metaphor for man himself. The fact that the cow doesn’t suffer is not important. It is the personal contact, the cold steel blade, the spurt of blood. It’s the idea of watching yourself fade to black at the behest of another that disturbs. Far better to be stunned and be killed with a quick shot. It’s the stun that is important. That way you don’t see it coming. The illusion of autonomy can be maintained to the end.

  • We weep crocodile tears over animals whilst ignoring the suffering experienced by children ripped from their mother’s wombs.

    • carl jacobs

      Exactly so. Better description would be “Ripped apart in the womb.”

    • dannybhoy

      Been mulling over this ..

      https://carm.org/is-an-embryo-human

      • CliveM

        Thoughtful article.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Thoughtful – but fails to address the issue of the natural monthly ‘period’. Clearly, IMO, with that taken into account there must be a difference between an inseminated embryo and an un-inseminated one.

        • Pubcrawler

          There is a difference: before fertilisation it’s just an egg, it only becomes an embryo after the fusion of the two gametes (egg and sperm).

          • Dominic Stockford

            Apologies – I shall amend to get the comment accurate.

        • dannybhoy

          I don’t know.
          I can see the slippery slope argument as regards what is now medically possible. I am against abortion on demand, against abortion in general, except for rape victims, or where the baby would be extremely handicapped.

          Of course “extremely handicapped” is a subjective thing, but advances in medical science will provide more accurate diagnoses, and it would remain up to the parents to decide.

    • CliveM

      I agree some peoples hypocrisy is sickening, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of humane animal husbandry.

      People who are deliberately cruel to animals, typically show cruelty to their fellow man.

  • Dreadnaught

    UKIP is right to seek to ban non-stunned slaughter. The fact that it will effect Jewish dietary requirements does no exclude Kosher meat products being imported. That should be sufficient for the Muslim too. We have bent the rules all too often for the latter who unlike the former have no intention to accommodate the norms of the host nation.
    We are eating Halal without knowing it; even the majority of NZ Lamb and Australian beef has been butchered by Muslims as they now operate the majority of slaughter-houses: never know when those skills may be needed to check the infidel.

    • dannybhoy

      Agreed, but why should our Jewish community be forced to give up doing something they have carried out in this country without complaint for years and years? The fact is that it is some in our Islamic community which are causing problems.

      • Sam

        Well shutting down the kosher meat industry is a sure way of helping out Britain’s chronic balance of payments problems!

        • dannybhoy

          The balance of payments has given way to borrowing from Wonga to service our debts. I should think the Treasury should have their own online Bingo site…

          • CliveM

            Hmm an international lottery fro governments? Now that’s an idea.

  • Sam

    Great article your Grace and I’d add that I can’t see a problem with clear labels as to what’s kosher or halal. Indeed for Jews we have to know it’s kosher, so I can’t see a big issue with it. Kosher meat already costs a fortune (in the US it’s cheaper, but food generally is cheaper in the US), so if food prices did go up, then that’s the cost of following one’s faith.

    • IanCad

      “in the US it’s cheaper, but food generally is cheaper in the US”
      I don’t know where you’ve been shopping Sam. In my experience food is far cheaper over here – particularly when the superior quality is factored in.

      • Sam

        I got this via a discussion with American ex pats.

        • IanCad

          I’ve added about ten pounds since moving over here.
          Case closed.

          • Sam

            Well dude, glad you’re making money!
            Ps, are you American then?

          • IanCad

            No Sam. I’m British. Spent many years in the USA though.

  • Sam

    Oh and if people don’t like ritual slaughter , don’t go for a curry. The menu will often say “all of our meat is halal” (i know because my housemates celebrated Christmas day having a curry). So are those opposed to ritual slaughter , especially the secular and liberal minded of you, going to call for a boycott of curry houses and kosher restaurants?

    • dannybhoy

      “Oh and if people don’t like ritual slaughter , don’t go for a curry.”!
      They ritually slaughter cats too?

      • Sam

        I have no idea…. I’m more into Sephardic cuisine. But we DO have a lot of spicy dishes that would pass for curries such as charime, tagines and tandoori chicken cooked with lemon ( the difference being as I guess you know, Jews can’t mix/cook milk and meat together -another example, btw, of Jewish animal welfare-although us Sephardic also take this view with fish).

        • dannybhoy

          I never go out for curries anyway.
          Who knows what goes on behind the scenes..
          I worked in a pizza restaurant one time and waited on tables in the Merchant Navy.
          Don’t care for Indian food much either.
          Chinese is pretty good, but I found out one time that leftovers were being served up in an all you can eat buffet thing which rather put me off.
          It’s a case of “what the eye don’t see the stomach can’t throw up over..”

          • Sam

            Danny
            What about the good old Jewish dish called fish n chips?(:

          • dannybhoy

            Of course! I especially like fresh cod and chips.

          • CliveM

            Love curries, love Chinese love food!

          • *gasp*

            You eat the Chinese?

          • CliveM

            Yes, taste like Chicken!

          • Sure you’re not confusing them with the French, Clive?

          • CliveM

            Tried French, not enough meat on the bones. Go well with a sauce though.

          • William Lewis

            We get a lot of French sauce here.

          • CliveM

            RFOL!

        • Fish batter?

          • Sam

            Ah dude,

            Well you can make fish batter with flour and water . Well if Delia says so- and she is a devout Roman Catholic- it must be true!

            See here:

            http://www.deliaonline.com/how-to-cook/fish-and-shellfish/basic-fish-batter.html

            And here’s Jamie’s recipe, no milk as an ingredient! :

            http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/fish-chips-and-mushy-peas/#r5j05M7wDKMHbyRE.97

          • Jolly good, then. Now you know the recipe, there’s no excuse for not doing the frying next time. Jamie has a cracking good recipe for ‘Toad in the Hole’ too.

          • Sam

            Dude don’t worry about my toad… or hole!

          • CliveM

            !!!!!!! Dear oh dear!

          • avi barzel

            Forgot about that Sephardic oddity of yours, Sam. Oh well, more creamed herring and lox and cream cheese on bagels for me!

          • Sam

            Dude

            Wouldn’t have it any other way! Although I’m marrying an Ashkenazi Jewish girl. Hmmm did you have a good Tu B’Shevat? We did quite a Seder and I finally managed to make the right mix of white and red wine for the second and third cup, alongside various fruits and a lamb tagine. But best not to mention that as the poor lamb was killed in a “barbaric” way…

  • Happy Jack’s got nothing against circumcision. It’s no skin off his nose.

    • dannybhoy

      Gross..

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Depends how short-sighted the surgeon is

      • carl jacobs

        Don’t encourage him. Jack should be prosecuted for Felony Bad Humor for telling that joke.

        • Two men are sharing a hospital room before surgery.

          What are you in for?” asked the first man.

          “I’m getting a circumcision,” his roommate replied.

          “Damn,” exclaimed the first man. “I had that done when I was born and I couldn’t walk for a year.”

      • A short-sighted Rabbi would get the sack, Sir.

      • Harry

        I hear that Jewish circumcisers can earn 500 quid a week… plus tips!

        • Politically__Incorrect

          Quite a snip at that price

          • Harry

            It is indeed, there’s a lot of undercutting going on!

        • sarky

          I knew one once, until he slipped and got the sack!

    • CliveM

      Look what you’ve started!!

      Every one a classic.

      • Yes, these circumcision jokes are funny, but there is a cut off point…

        • CliveM

          Oh dear, will it never end!

          • Need to cut back a bit …………

          • CliveM

            Frankly I’m beginning to worry that this maybe the tip of an unpleasant iceberg!

          • Harry

            Iceberg, Goldberg, what’s the difference?

          • CliveM

            You’ll need to tell me!

          • Now you’re just bragging …..

          • CliveM

            I’m not speaking personally !

          • Now it’s modesty ……..

        • Harry

          It is no longer considered Politically Correct to refer to Jews and Muslims being circumcised… they are simply prepusely challenged!

  • I think we should be shining the light in every one of the UK’s
    slaughter houses. CCTV cameras is a good idea. We have not fought
    tooth and nail for animal welfare only for it to be ignored and
    usurped by barbaric foreign methods or lax British standards. It’s
    good to know what is going on in the country, well done to Ch.4
    I agree with others here that the halal and kosher stuff can easily be
    imported, but make sure it’s all labelled and that means hospital,
    school and other public institutions can request it rather than it
    being served up without people’s knowledge. It can be an option on
    the menu like vegetarians have.

    Christianity s our religion here, all other religions are secondary. So this
    means that others here can practice but must be considerate of the
    country they are living in. I’m sure the Jews can see this.

    • Harry

      I’m sure a nice little antisemitic Catholic girl like you would love to accommodate Jews with your Christian charity!

    • avi barzel

      Stunning with pneumatic bolts is a traditional Christian practice?

      • bluedog

        It’s not, but it’s an attempt at easing the death of an animal so that fear and pain are mitigated. That seems to be a Christian approach.

        • avi barzel

          Except that that there is no measurable difference in pain between properly done stunning or halal or shehita. Is the ban going to be followed up with a ban on hunting and fishing? I’m guessing that would be a Christian approach too.

          • CliveM

            Wonder where this leaves UKIPs pledge to support our JUDEOChristian heritage!

          • Dead as a stunned duck in the water.

          • bluedog

            Hannah and Avi, you are not comparing like with like. Slaughter is a process by which domesticated animals are killed. Hunting/fishing are processes by which non-domesticated animals are killed, either for pest eradication reasons or to eat. But yes, I support hunting and fishing. Please see my post addressed to HG above.

          • The issue is minimising any unnecessary suffering. It’s the trade off between the purpose of killing and the method used.

          • avi barzel

            You’ve shifted the goalposts, so I don’t have to compare “like with like,” bluedog. You spoke of an “…attempt at easing the death of an animal so that fear and pain are mitigated.” You called it a “Christian approach.” Curious to know the doctrinal differences in the value of suffering between domesticated and non-domesticated animals.

          • bluedog

            Shifting the goal posts? Not at all, its just that animals hunted or fished are killed by different methods to any technique used to kill a domestic animal. In the case of a domesticated animal, we assume a duty of care. A domesticated animal is raised in an environment controlled by humans and is frequently trusting of humans. This of course applies to the larger mammals and not fowl. So when the time comes to slaughter the fatted calf, the beast will happily follow human commands because in its short life and based on what it knows, that has been a successful and rewarding practice. But not one day. The practicalities of hunting are self-evidently very different.
            If you want to make this religious specific, something I have been trying to avoid, I believe there is an wonderful Jewish injunction that no calf should be slaughtered within sight of its mother. This goes back to the duty of care concept and shows deep understanding of animal psychology.

          • avi barzel

            Not only shifting, but adding new goal posts and tripping yourself up in the process.

            Basically, you have invented a special status for domestic versus wild animals by injecting “duty of care.” This based on your mistaken notion that domesticated animals interact with and bond to people and trust them, which places the “duty of care” on us, while wild ones are, well, who cares?

            You realize we are discussing animals raised for meat, not your pet pooch? If you’ve ever troubled yourself to visit the facilities where your future steak or bacon live out their lives as commodities to be grown and fattened at the lowest cost and with the least amount of space and hassle before their contentious dispatch and processing, you might revise your assumptions about the quality of that duty of care.

            We have a legal and ethical duty of care for wild animals as well, which is just as substantial, if not greater, as many are endangered. Now, domestic animals rarely interact with people..for practical reasons…but an imagined or symbolic relationship allows you to lobby for their welfare and to feel next to nothing for their wild…theoretically ownerless and unattached… cousins, who may take hours or even days to die as often happens with hunts. It ain’t makin’ sense, blue dog.

            In defending shehita…once the standard method of slaughtering cattle in every culture (pigs had their brains bashed-in with a mallet or were “stuck”), I don’t need to make a religious argument…you brought up the notion that stunning is, somehow, more “Christian” by the way. But it so happens that as far as animal science is concerned, and there is plenty of objective literature on this, it appears to be still marginally the more humane method.

          • bluedog

            Some points:

            1) ‘Duty of care’ is no invention of mine it is the legal status, binding of the livestock owner, where ‘own’ is the operative word. Livestock or domesticated animals are considered property and the law demands that they be kept according to certain standards which include appropriate fodder, water, shelter and fencing as required.

            2) Wild animals or ‘game’ are not owned. The law recognises that these animals may temporarily reside on a property in which case they may be harvested and killed for meat, where they are not a protected species. Deer, for example, are not restrained by fencing that controls cattle and sheep. The same applies to vermin such as foxes and rabbits. These may be killed by dogs, shotgun or rifle, practical in the circumstances. Birds, like pigeons or pheasants, are clearly not constrained by fences either. The law applies accordingly and they may be killed with shotgun. Not necessarily an instant death but in a practical sense, considered reasonably humane.

            3) In my chequered business career I have read many reports by independent experts that invariably support the proposition advanced by the payor. I am not expecting to read a report by a Jewish or Muslim apologist suggesting that Halal/Sechita is inhumane.

            4) Bio-mechanicals. In all mammals the centre of neural activity, both voluntary and involuntary (heartbeat, breathing) is the brain. Kill the brain and everything stops dead, literally. But large animals do take a while to die as the systems shut down, and even when all vital signs have gone they twitch, violently, but not for long.

            5) Slit the throat of a large mammal and the brain continues unimpaired. Involuntary actions like breathing and heartbeat continue until the blood pumps away. As blood floods the lungs the animal will cough and choke. The animal may lapse into unconsciousness but will do so in a state of fear and panic as its body sends signals to the brain, which orders a reaction; violent thrashing.

            6) This is why I regard Halal/Sechita as an utterly barbaric form of death for livestock which is only permitted as a result of religious priorities. If there was no religious connotation, the process would be banned.

            7) ‘If you’ve ever troubled yourself to visit the facilities where your future steak or…’ Yeah, buddy, I own hundreds of the critturs and I’d expect to be arrested and jailed if I slit their throats Hallal/Sechita style.

            8) I’ve killed plenty of cattle, but cleanly with a rifle shot in the centre of the fore-head, just above the eyes.

            9) I find your arrogant approach sickening and am persuaded that Hallal/Sechita should be banned forthwith.

          • avi barzel

            I find your arrogant approach sickening and am persuaded that Hallal/Sechita should be banned forthwith.

            Gosh. Looks like I’ve upset you, bluedog. In turn, I only find your muddled approach highly comical and further reinforces my opinion that the call for a ban on ritual slaughter has never been about humane treatment of animals.

            You moved from the lofty heights of “… easing the death of an animal so that fear and pain are mitigated,” which you declared to be a “Christian approach,” which you then limited to farm animals because established custom and legislation protects them…but not to hunted animals, which can apparently be ripped apart by dogs. Your “science” of slaughter argument is based on personal anecdotes, opinions and selective agenda-driven science. If you’ve actually looked closely and dispassionately at the issue, you would at least acknowledge that animal scientists and veterinarians differ in their views about slaughter methods and that the chief problem they focus on is the process before the slaughter itself.

            Your bottom line, though, is that kosher slaughter…which, by the way, has also been enshrined in custom, tradition and law in Britain…is no longer welcome because it’s “totally barbaric” and its ritual dimension offends you. I think you may be finally on the way to figuring out the source of your patently illogical rationales.

            As an aside, and if you care to know about it, my opinion on the reactions to shehita, the Sabbath and circumcision is that the Creator was kind enough to give us Jews a multi-layered defense…the Global Halakhic Early Warning System, I will call it. Whenever a culture or civilization we live in loses its capacity for tolerance and healthy common sense and begins obsessing over or becomes enraged at the Divine Laws, it’s time to quietly pack up and leave.

          • bluedog

            ‘In turn, I only find your muddled approach highly comical
            and further reinforces my opinion that the call for a ban on ritual slaughter
            has never been about humane treatment of animals. ‘

            Quite wrong, and you know it. It’s not the ritual it’s the
            method of slaughter.

            ‘You moved from the lofty heights of “… easing the
            death of an animal so that fear and pain are mitigated,” which you declared
            to be a “Christian approach,”

            Mocking Christian belief now? Bad idea.

            ‘…but not to hunted animals, which can apparently be
            ripped apart by dogs’.

            It’s cruel. It happens in the wild all the time. Are we
            wrong to replicate nature?

            You say ‘Your “science” of slaughter argument is
            based on personal anecdotes, opinions and selective agenda-driven science.’ But
            earlier I had seemingly been chastised for not having personal experience. Inconveniently
            it turns out that your assumption of my ignorance is incorrect and I do have
            personal experience of the death of large animals (You realize we are
            discussing animals raised for meat, not your pet pooch? If you’ve ever troubled
            yourself to visit the facilities where your future steak), but this is now dismissed
            as personal ‘anecdote’, and suddenly my evidence can be traduced. This is not
            shifting the goal-posts, Avi, it’s blatant misrepresentation.

            The problem is that I’m a reliable witness and what I
            describe is the absolute fact. You know that and cannot deal with it.

            Have you ever kosher slaughtered a beast yourself? If not,
            it’s time you did. Show the kids and the missus how it’s done.

            You say, ‘the chief problem they focus on is the process
            before the slaughter itself.’ If so, these reports deliberately skirt around the
            issue. And who commissioned the reports?

            ‘Your bottom line, though, is that kosher slaughter…which,
            by the way, has also been enshrined in custom, tradition and law in
            Britain…is no longer welcome because it’s “totally barbaric” and
            its ritual dimension offends you.’

            Once again, quite wrong with regard to ‘ritual dimension’,
            but I understand that by defining my argument you give yourself the opportunity
            to misrepresent my position. And you do.

            Two points. I admit naivety with regard to sechita, until
            very recently I had simply not realised it was an identical process to halal,
            and I hadn’t appreciated how both were practiced, outside my sheltered little
            world. Again, the ritual doesn’t offend me at all. It’s the process.

            ‘I think you may be finally on the way to figuring out the
            source of your patently illogical rationales.’

            Well that’s one way of closing your eyes to reasoned
            criticism without answering the points raised. You seem to be missing something
            though. What is ‘the source’ to which you allude? C’mon Avi, don’t hang back,
            say the words.

            You say, ‘As an aside, and if you care to know about it, my
            opinion on the reactions to shehita, the Sabbath and circumcision is that the
            Creator was kind enough to give us Jews a multi-layered defense…’ Excellent!
            Let us hope that one Jew in particular can realise that sechita may no longer
            be acceptable in view of rising standards and that using a more humane form of
            slaughter does not mean, ‘it’s time to quietly pack up and leave.’

            Leave and the Jewish community will simply find the same
            problems somewhere else. Better to stay and fight, but realise some battles don’t
            always go your way. It’s called compromise.

            Here’s some helpful advice. Just admit that sechita is a cruel
            and painful form of death. Stop confecting reports about the events before
            slaughter while deliberately avoiding discussion of the act of slaughter.
            Otherwise every time you bump into firsthand experience of livestock death, you’re
            left looking evasive and unable to confront reality.

          • Hi blue dog

            This is the logic as I can see –

            So it’s o.k. for foxes to be torn to bits by dogs after being chased half to death, or okay for fish to be killed by a giant hook or to wriggle around and die for not being in water,but not o.k. for a cow to be killed quickly and humanely by quite single stroke of a sharp knife?

          • bluedog

            Yes, because in the situations you describe there is no alternative. Not sure how farmed fish are killed. Possibly a hit on the back of the head with what is called a ‘priest’.

        • I guess you support a ban on Fox hunting and fishing?

      • Roasting alive has a longer pedigree.

        • avi barzel

          You know that I can’t get away with such stuff.

          • Jack, being a Catholic, shouldn’t have said it either ………

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, there are alot of things that Jack, being Catholic, shouldn’t have said on this thread.

            [stern glare]

            And Jack should cut it out. Right now.

            [facepalm]

          • Thank you for the … tip.

            (Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo …)

          • avi barzel

            Not to mention that you might be triggering some flash-backs in His Grace.

    • So like Jews have lived here since 1656 and this is only an issue now??

      • Linus

        In 1656 animal welfare was not the issue it has become in recent years. Then we thought that animals felt little pain, or at least if we did know they do, we didn’t really care. Now we understand more about what they do suffer. And we care about it.

        Social attitudes evolve and this can mean that practices viewed as completely acceptable in the past are no longer so.

        It remains to be seen whether Jewish ritual slaughter falls into this category. If everything that Cranmer claims in his article is substantiated by solid, peer reviewed research, there shouldn’t be any problem.

        • Hi

          Jews don’t go around imposing our beliefs on non Jews…. If you want to see France and the UK Jew free zones support a ban on kosher food and male circumcision… just don’t say “I don’t know WHY they left, we’re not antisemitic!”

          • Linus

            I don’t know whether Jewish ritual slaughter is cruel or not. Cranmer argues that it is not, but I don’t know what evidence veterinary authorities can present to counter that argument.

            I believe that religious practice should not be banned unless there is a clear and compelling reason to do so, but proof of cruelty would, for me, be a clear and compelling reason.

            You might not accept my proof and say that I was trying to impose my belief on you, but would my actions be any different from those of a man who steps in to prevent his neighbour from beating his dog? My neighbour might believe he has a perfect right to beat his dog if he wants to. That wouldn’t stop me from acting to protect the dog. And the law as it currently stands would support me.

            When incompatible beliefs clash there are winners and losers. I understand how upset the losers must be and I think it’s important to try and find a “terrain d’entente” which allows everyone the free use of their conscience. But sometimes this will not be possible.

            It seems to me that in this particular case it will be pretty difficult to prove that traditional Jewish practices are cruel. The standard of proof needed to justify outlawing an ancient religious custom would be very high indeed. And the likelihood of Ukip ever forming a government and just outlawing the practice because they want to is fairly remote.

            Seems to me that you won’t be forced out of the UK or France any time soon. You might choose to leave because you’re scared that extremists like Ukip or the National Front might win power and start to discriminate against you. Given the facts of history, who could blame you for feeling that way? But I hope it doesn’t come to that.

          • Good post, Linus.

          • SidneyDeane

            I think they ought to be much more scared about muslims.

  • Linus

    The public interest is not served by letting religions impose their rules on us all.

    On the other hand, it also isn’t served by arbitrarily denying believers the right to follow their religion.

    If Jewish religious slaughtering is not cruel, why do the veterinary authorities maintain that it is? What do they not understand? Or what evidence are the Jews ignoring or even dissimulating in order to justify a practice that really is cruel?

    • avi barzel

      Veterinary authorities do not, in fact, uniformly maintain such a thing.

      One of the top authorities on the subject, Dr Temple Grandin, sees all slaughter methods as a multifaceted processes which can be improved on many points. See http://www.grandin.com/ritual/kosher.slaugh.html

      When done properly, kosher and halal slaughter are equal to and in some cases better to alternative methods.

      • This is a pretty persuasive argument:
        “Kosher slaughter has this one, big advantage: it’s done by a man who had other job options, a man whose day’s focus is not killing and a paycheck but obedience to his god. In this case, a god who has commanded a very sharp knife and attention to rules that hope to minimise suffering and maintain the dignity of both the animal and the man. Yes, abuses occur, but if I’m forced to bet, my money will be on the prayerful man rather than the time-serving boy.”
        Presumably, it also applies to halal slaughter too.

        • avi barzel

          Yes, it most certainly does apply to halal as well, at least from reports by the Canadian meat industry and veterinary inspectors. Anecdotally, I have met two kosher slaughterers, shoihets, who studied and trained for about two years and who are expected to be impeccably observant and scholars as well. They worked beside Muslim slaughterers and claimed that they are just as skilled.

        • Ivan M

          Jews have this business of the blood belonging to the Lord as it is the source of life etc. This is somewhere in Exodus. Hence they are pretty careful about the manner of spilling it and in the course of time have developed rituals and taboos to ensure that the animal is dispatched as humanely and cleanly as it is possible. So you have these kosher butchers who are trained like sushi chefs, no one else need apply.

          For Muslims on the other hand slitting the animals’ throats is just a practice that is handed down. Anyone can do it. There are no rituals except for a mumbled formula. In the old days, in the desert or some such place, the buggers would be lucky to get meat even once a month and this limited the throat slitter to the headman or his assistant. When they come into countries where meat is plentiful and cheap, all of them want a hand in it. This incidentally gives the Muzzies a lot of practice overcoming the natural squeamishness and is the reason why the buggers have no hesitation slitting the throats of the infidels.

    • carl jacobs

      Of course, someone’s religion (whether theistic or otherwise) will be used to impose rules. And those rules will serve to advance the dominance of that particular religion. That religion will define the scope and boundary of “the public interest.” In this case it would impose a rule to prevent…what exactly… Jews from imposing their rules on the public? No, because Jews aren’t imposing anything on anyone. It would impose a rule regulating the ways that animals may be killed. The dominant worldview imposes its sense of morality on the minority. Now, of course this is necessary. Law is by definition an imposition. But when the dominant worldview has no authority for its position beyond “evolving social mores” one can’t be faulted for doubting the morality of the rules imposed.

      How is one to reconcile this zealous concern for a chicken with the callous indifference displayed towards unborn children being dismembered? Is a chicken more worthy of empathy? Evidently so. Perhaps because a chicken does not impose so many obligations on our evolving social mores.

      • James60498 .

        Ukip as a libertarian party will not ban the slaughter of unborn babies as it impinges on women’s rights. But they will ban the slaughter of animals because it may be worth a few votes.

        Really. What kind of mess are we in when the voting options are those that we have?

      • Linus

        Some believe there’s no such thing as an unborn child. When in a woman’s uterus, what you call an unborn child, they call a fetus. They don’t regard it as a human being, but rather as a constituent part of the body of the woman carrying it.

        That doesn’t stop you from regarding it as a human being, of course. And if you believe that killing human beings is always wrong, then of course you’ll argue for the practice to be outlawed.

        If you can swing public opinion behind you to the point where legislation banning abortion can be passed, then you’ll be able to impose your belief on those who don’t share it.

        So on you go. Fight that campaign and make abortion illegal. It’s your right to try.

        • Unborn children suffer pain during abortion – fact.

          “At 20 weeks, the fetal brain has the full complement of brain cells present in adulthood, ready and waiting to receive pain signals from the body, and their electrical activity can be recorded by standard electroencephalography (EEG).”
          (Dr. Paul Ranalli, neurologist, University of Toronto)

          An unborn baby at 20 weeks gestation “is fully capable of experiencing pain. … Without question, [abortion] is a dreadfully painful experience for any infant subjected to such a surgical procedure.”
          (Robert J. White, M.D., PhD., professor of neurosurgery, Case Western University)

          Unborn babies at 20 weeks development actually feel pain more intensely than adults. This is a “uniquely vulnerable time, since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher level pain-modifying system has barely begun to develop.”
          (Dr. Ranalli, neurologist, University of Toronto)

          • Linus

            Research indicates that continuous brain waves do not begin until the 28th week of gestation, indicating that the nerve circuits needed to carry pain impulses to the brain are not connected until then. Sporadic brain waves however have been detected as early as 21 weeks. (Morowitz. 1992. Ibid. pp. 119. And: Childbirth by Choice Trust. Pre-Natal Development.)

            Perhaps this is why so many countries set limits on abortion at or around 20 weeks.

            In any case, whether you regard a 20 week old fetus as an unborn child or as a constituent part of the body of the woman carrying it, the fact remains that if she chooses to terminate the pregnancy up until the 20th week of gestation, most Western countries will permit her to.

            If you don’t like that law, try to change it. If you can’t, then clearly there’s something about your arguments that just isn’t persuading people that your cause is just.

          • Tad out of date that research, Linus.

            The denial of reality about the horrors of abortion illustrates the folly of universal suffrage and liberal democracy once separated from morality and centred on self.

          • Linus

            So universal suffrage and liberal democracy should be reserved for states in which a large majority is Catholic, eh?

            Odd that Italian laws aren’t more in line with Vatican dogma.

          • Jack is not a great admirer of universal suffrage when combined with secular-liberal democracy in countries which have abandoned God. However, maybe it’s the best we can achieve. This is a big “maybe”.

        • carl jacobs

          Some believe there’s no such thing as an unborn child.

          To be precise, they legally define it out of existence. Fetus is a stage of development, and not a separate ontology. Fetus is to infant as infant is to child as child is to adolescent as adolescent is to adult. A fetus does not relate to a human as a spleen relates to a human. That is a transparently obvious legal fiction intended to salve the conscience.

          Not that it matters. The arguments for abortion do not turn on the humanity of the child, but on the autonomy of the adult. The clear purpose of abortion is to allow adults to repudiate the legal obligations of parenthood. All this sturm und drang about the humanity of the child is simply a fig-leaf. It allows the abortionist and his client to say “I’m not really killing anyone.” But it’s a lie. If you had the courage of your convictions, you would admit the truth.

          but rather as a constituent part of the body of the woman carrying it.

          Right. A constituent part with a completely separate DNA structure. What was that I was just saying about transparently obvious legal fiction?

          I wouldn’t worry too much about people like me. We don’t have much purchase anymore. I would worry about the people who will replace this brittle sterile dead secularism that afflicts the whole of the West like syphilis. They aren’t going to be Christian by any means. And they aren’t going to be Liberal. They will blame liberal secularism for the decline of Western wealth & power, and they will offer a non-Liberal alternative. They will also be decidedly pro-natalist. One of their mantras will be reversing the fertility decline.

          You better figure out how to convince people to produce enough children to stabilize your population. You also better figure out how to convince those people to form enough stable families in order to properly civilize those children so they can compete in the modern world. The sexual revolution that has justified your behavior is destroying your ability to do just that. It is destroying the very foundation of your liberty and prosperity – the ability to produce and form the next generation. You can’t have both. Not over the long term.

          • Carl, you know the perspective as an atheist-homosexual is self, not future generations. What do they care? Why would they? They think they will be rotting in godless graves when the shit hits the fan. They leave no children; nothing but annihilation awaits.

            It’s Babel and the Cities of the Plain all over.

            If you can bear it, watch this fine example of homosexual man daring to hold God to account and demanding He explain and justify Himself.

            Mr M. has two fine posts on this. Somewhat OTT and very, very unPC.

            https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/blasphemous-fry-is-just-plain-stupid/

            https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/in-this-vale-of-tears/

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I enjoy reading Mundabor. He doesn’t hide. He doesn;t obfuscate. He states things clearly.

            I was, literally, in Kindergarten when I first heard a perfectly sound explanation of the evil in the world. Adam and Eve were disobedient. Disobedience leads to punishment. Our punishment is to live in a world very different from the Garden of Eden. As we are all children of Eve, we all share the punishment. As children of Eve, we also share the disobedience.

            All good so far.

            Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross allows us…

            Uh Oh.

            …if we are good, the way out from the ultimate punishment. But if we are bad, a much worse punishment await. That’s it.

            Yes, that’s Catholicism in a single paragraph. With the works righteousness clearly displayed. That’s why I am not a Catholic, Jack. That’s why I will never be a Catholic.

          • No, Carl, that’s not Catholicism. Mundabor is writing from his heart. You should try to find and read his articles on predestination. Jack struggled with them for a time because they challenged what he understood to be his faith.

            Mundabor is not a theologian and is somewhat rigorist in approach, but he does understand we are only capable of being ‘good’ and ‘bad’ with the grace and intervention of the Holy Spirit but, and here’s the Catholic bit, we have to cooperate. He gets that “efficacious grace” is not granted to all but is an unmerited gift given to those whom God foreknows.

            Like all Catholics, he believes we can, if faithful, be confident, not certain, of salvation; that we can lose grace; and the Church and the Sacraments are the God given supernatural means of sustaining and recovering grace if we sin, which we all do, and restoring our unity with Christ.

        • James60498 .

          “some believe there is no such thing as an unborn child”

          Really? Then why does no one ever refer to a “wanted child” as a fetus? Why does no one ever go to hospital to have a scan of their fetus? Why does no one ever show their fetus’s photograph to their family and friends? Why does even the BBC refer to unborn babies when it suits their slant on the particular story that they are telling?

          With few exceptions, everyone knows it’s an unborn child, certainly after the first few weeks. It’s just easier to call it a fetus if you want to kill it, especially if that’s what the doctors and nurses who are being paid to commit the murder call it. Most people can convince themselves of anything if it helps to salve their conscience.

          Doesn’t sound so evil and nasty, does it?

          • CliveM

            It’s easier to kill after you dehumanise. Even the Nazis found that.
            What is a foetus? Unwanted cells. What is an unborn child? A human being.

          • Linus

            I’m sure opinions differ as to when a fetus turns into a child. Some think even a newly fertilized embryo is a child, whereas others believe it remains a fetus until it’s born. Many may take the moment of quickening to mark the transition from one state to the next.

            Whatever the terminology, as the law currently stands most women who do not wish to proceed with their pregnancies have the option to terminate them up to a certain time limit and even, in some countries, right up to birth. Whether you agree or disagree with this, it is the law. If you want to change the law, you’ll need to persuade a majority of voters to support political parties who propose to ban abortion. To the best of my knowledge there are no major parties in most Western countries who currently advocate this. So you will have to persuade a party to change its policy. This may be difficult given that most voters seem to support the status quo. So you may be forced to start your own party, although your chances of getting elected on a one issue platform will be slim.

  • Frankly, after three weeks working in abbatoirs as a veterinary student (compulsory i in third year) and several months with slaughter teams as a veterinary surgeon during the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak, I can categorically say that cruelty is not exclusive to the halal method of slaughter, and appalling things happen in regular abbatoirs also. What is needed is a much more rigorous oversight of all abbatoirs, and a careful study of all current slaughter methods. Don’t get me started on the methods of poultry slaughter in this country – I couldn’t eat chicken for years after the time spent in an abbatoir dealing with fowl. If those birds could pray, they would be beseeching God for the single stroke of the slaughterman’s knife rather than the form of “stunning” that is used – or was used 20 years ago. I have to hope it’s not as bad now as it was then.

    No, I am not a vegetarian. But yes, I an very careful about where my meat comes from. I’ve seen the other side.

    • “I am very careful about where my meat comes from.”

      Indeed, as all good Catholic women should be.

      (mea culpa)

      • Bad Jack, 5 Hail Marys and firm resolve not to repeat the offence…oh, who am I fooling 🙂

    • Harry

      Things haven’t changed Sister Tiberia, They are still shackling birds upside down live, dipping them in an electrical water stun bath, snipping their throats with the neck-cutter then putting them in scalding hot water prior to defeathering. Many birds “swan-neck” (lift their heads so that they miss the stun) and then go live into the scalding tank. This method of conventional slaughter in large poultry abattoirs can process 10,000 birds an hour. Compare that with the kosher method of hand-holding each bird individually, a swift incision with a razor sharp knife which takes less that two seconds, processing no more than 500 birds an hour with an experienced kosher slaughterman. No live shackling, no birds in a panic flapping their wings, no dislocated thigh-bones. Of course kosher slaughter is more humane, but because it’s a religious requirement it’s not “fashionable” to admit that religion is fully compatible with animal welfare.

  • bluedog

    Your Grace, we have a problem.

    Our species, humanity, requires a high level of protein to survive and a purely vegetarian diet does not usually suffice. In addition we have discovered how to cook our food, a process that speeds digestion and makes the absorption of nutrients more efficient. We have also practiced eugenics on certain mammalian species, principally herbivores, for millenia resulting in a range of mega-fauna which now dominate the countryside. We have few inhibitions about killing and eating these animals.

    Setting aside all precedents derived from any previous practice, how should we kill these animals? Is slitting their throats with a knife optimal?

    If not, how should slaughter be conducted?

    • Hi

      I did read a paper that suggested we could eat insects for protein…. with the highest standards of slaughter of course, stunned before slaughter, as we can’t have like Jewish religious beliefs being above the welfare of grasshoppers.

      • bluedog

        Indeed not Hannah. The voting bloc of the Grasshopper Liberation Front is rightly feared and its support consider pivotal.

  • Harry stop being so hysterical, see the bigger picture and consider others
    instead of yourselves for a change. You are not the only kids on the
    block. And for the record I’m not anti-Semitic nor a Catholic.

    Avi Yes it is, it’s kinder to the animal.

    Hannah we have moved on since 1656 and you’ve been fortunate to have kept it
    for so long. It’s not as though I’m saying you can’t eat Kosher/halal, just that the
    killing practice should be against the law in Britain.
    I’m not saying that you can’t practice your circumcision either just so
    long as you don’t call on the NHS if it goes wrong.

    • CliveM

      Why shouldn’t they be able to call on the NHS? Smokers do, drinkers do, dangerous sports enthusiasts do. Do you eat an optimum diet for good health? If not should you be barred from using the NHS?

      Most normal people have habits that increase risk. Frankly wouldn’t want to spend time with the sort of person who doesn’t!

      • Clive we should all take more responsibility for our health.

    • avi barzel

      Marie, judging by reports and studies, it’s handling and restraint practices that make the most difference. What Temple Grandin, the acknowledged expert in the field, calls “total quality management (TQM) approach.” All slaughter methods currently practiced could use improvement. Properly done, both stunning and slaughter, involving the last minutes in a process, are indistinguishable in terms of suffering. If you had watched some of the non-halal or kosher nightmare videos of how animals are treated before and during the slaughter, you would understand that.

      • Avi
        The companies I worked for in the 80s practised TQM, it helped
        streamline and make them more efficient and customer focused with
        better products. You’re on to something, I agree the
        animal rearing, ‘(free range’ chickens in particular where thousands
        of them are crammed into chicken runs pecking around in their own
        excrement), and slaughter house industries might be improved with its
        implementation.

        • avi barzel

          Unfortunately, TQM came rather late to the meat industry, largely because of the conservative drag by management and strong unions. There are problems throughout and admittedly, not all kosher slaughter facilities are of the same quality. Not so much due to the individual slaughterers, who are highly trained and ethical in the majority of cases, but in the handling of the animals and the speed of the process which is beyond their control. I strongly support efforts to improve the living conditions and handling of the animals, as this is a clear biblical commandment. As much as I enjoy meat, I have to admit that I don’t find the arguments of vegetarians and vegans entirely wrong. At the very least, they are logically and ethically consistent.

          • Harry

            Avi, you say, “I have to admit that I don’t find the arguments of vegetarians and vegans entirely wrong. At the very least, they are logically and ethically consistent.”
            No they are not always consistent or logical. From the Jewish perspective it depends very much on the motive behind an individual’s choice to be a vegetarian. The Torah given by God is the moral compass by which Jews live. God has permitted man to eat meat provided it is slaughtered in the most humane way which for Jews is shechita. If a person chooses to abstain from eating meat on moral grounds because he thinks taking an animal’s life is cruel, then that person is setting his own moral standards of compassion above Gods compassion. That is not acceptable. However anyone choosing a vegetarian lifestyle for other reasons e.g. he doesn’t like meat or he cant digest it or he simply prefers vegetables then there is no conflict with Judaism. There is a Jewish Vegetarian Society and plenty of kosher vegetarian restaurants worldwide.

    • Harry

      “Kosher/halal, killing practice should be against the law in Britain” That’s pure anti-Semitism for sure. I’ve read your other posts, you don’t like Asians or Blacks either. You cannot disguise your total racial bigotry.

      • Harry I suppose shouting anti-Semite at anyone who questions or does not condone your dodgy practices in order to shut them up and get your own way makes you to be the bigot not me.
        I don’t dislike Asians and blacks, just all the aspects of their
        cultures that are backward and incompatible with our own.

        • Harry

          Dislike of the Unlike! I asked a psychiatrist to read your posts, he said on the face of it you’ve got serious mental issues, xenophobia being one of them!

          • So when all else fails, accuse your opponent of having mental issues.

          • Harry

            You’re not my opponent, so let’s leave it there.

      • SidneyDeane

        “Kosher/halal, killing practice should be against the law in Britain” That’s pure anti-Semitism for sure.”
        No. She disagrees with the practice because it is inhumane not because it is done by jews.
        Some people are so dumb.

        • Harry

          …yes you are!

    • Thanks for telling me how fortunate I am. Do you want me grovel whilst I’m at it?

  • carl jacobs

    You know, when you look at this position politically, it’s a little disturbing. It means that UKIP doesn’t see any value in the Jewish vote, or in the vote of those naturally sympathetic to Jewish concerns. Which means either that UKIP doesn’t see those voters as a natural constituency or it has decided there aren’t enough of them to matter. This is all about pandering to anti-Muslim emotions, and any impact on Judaism is an afterthought. Or perhaps not a thought at all. It simply does not matter in their political calculation. You can bet UKIP did not overlook this impact. They simply ignored it.

    “We can gain marginal votes by symbolically opposing Islam even though that means chucking the Jews overboard.” That is UKIPs position reduced to its most basis essence. Kind of changes your opinion of the party. But the problem is that UKIP has already factored in that change in perception and decided that its an acceptable loss. They know they have changed your perception and they don’t care. Which means they think most people won’t care. And they are probably right.

    • “Kind of changes your opinion of the party.”

      Actually, it has served to confirm Jack’s opinion of Ukip.

      • carl jacobs

        Yes, but you will vote Labor or probably SNP, anyways.

        Nice little rose on your lapel, there, Jack. 🙂

        • ‘Labor’ – is that some American political party?

          • carl jacobs

            No, it’s “Labour” with the British misspelling corrected.

          • Secret ballot, Carl.

  • Albert

    I really don’t get this policy. If I were that squeamish about animals I would be a vegetarian campaigning for an end to the far more cruel practices that give us cheap meat. Therefore, it seems to me that this is simply an anti-Muslim and anti-religious freedom thing.

    Viewed from my proposed perspective, the issue of halal is therefore primarily ritual – does someone consider it as food offered to an idol, and if so, what difference does that make? Therefore, it seems to me that the right thing is properly to indicate on the meat packaging how the animal was slaughtered. That seems to me to be reasonable, consistent and doesn’t result in the Jews becoming “collateral damage” (what a terrible choice of words!).

    • carl jacobs

      Albert

      The choice of words might be terrible but that word choice is also admirably precise.

      This does seem to be about religion in the sense that it is a policy vaguely groping towards convergence with a pagan understanding of life. They elevate the worth of the chicken in the direction of man and in the process decrease the distance between chicken and child.

    • Harry

      Albert, if meat is going to be labelled as to the method of slaughter in order that the consumer can make an informed choice, then that label cannot be discriminatory or exclusively against any religious group in isolation. The meat must also be labelled as to how many mis-stuns the animal suffered if the first attempt did not work, or whether it was stunned by electrocution, or captive-bolt shot, or gassed. All these are welfare issues which the consumer has a right to know about. Remember, the object of labelling the religious provenance of meat is that people should not buy it. Anyone who wants to eat kosher meat can go to a kosher butcher or supermarket where the products are very clearly labelled as being kosher.

      • Albert

        I’m not completely convinced about the mis-stuns thing. If I know the meat is slaughtered in a way that requires a stun first (i.e. it’s halal, but it could be another type), then I should be aware of what that means: the stun might not have worked, it might have been repeated etc. I agree entirely about equality in relation to the meat – method of slaughter should apply to all.

        • Harry

          I have never used the term “collateral damage” in relation to Jews when other faith groups are targeted. As I wrote earlier, Anyone who wants to eat kosher meat can go to a kosher butcher or supermarket where the products are very clearly labelled as being kosher, this is indeed what is looked for by religious (and not so religious) Jews.
          But if religious slaughter is banned for Jews in the UK there won’t be any kosher butchers or supermarkets selling the products.

          • Albert

            Quite – the “collateral damage” was the expression of UKIP. I’m afraid, this just looks like a way for UKIP to get a Muslims, at the (unwanted) expense of the Jews.

          • Harry

            Ah well, the Good ‘ol Yids are always expendable I suppose.
            It’s like the Nazis didn’t really have anything against Jews, they just needed a bit of human skin to make lampshades!

          • Albert

            Grotesque, but point well made.

        • bluedog

          Sadly, all the fuss about ‘mis-stuns’ is nothing more than a device to reduce stunned killing to the level of un-stunned killing by way of halal/sechita.

    • William Lewis

      “I really don’t get this policy…”

      Seems like a knee jerk unfortunately. I completely agree that all meat should be labelled according to the method and ritual associated with the slaughter.

  • Here we go ……….

    Ukip leaders are backtracking. Paul Nuttall, Ukip deputy leader, says that shechita would remain legal because of the high standards used: “(If) shechita does not cause any undue suffering for the animal then it would fall within the requirements that Ukip has in mind.” The implication behind Mr Nuttall’s words is that while shechita would be legal, halal could fall foul of the new policy.

    Hypocrisy thy name is Ukip.

    • Harry

      Ah but Jack, Hypocrisy in the furtherance of political expediency (i.e. getting more votes) is part of the game. UKIP couldn’t give a flying f**k about hypocrisy. Yesterday UKIP couldn’t stand the sight of Jews, today they’re grovelling at their feet! I sincerely hope the electorate can see through their excrement. I wouldn’t trust them further than I could throw a salt beef sandwich!

    • Inspector General

      Some of us are more than quite happy about UKIP’s main function. This Inspectorate, for example…

    • avi barzel

      More like ignorance of issues, scientific illiteracy, being led by emotional appeals, prejudices, myths and YouTube vids. Mechanically speaking, shehita is similar to halal slaughter and if done properly, just as humane. Both, though, require a fair degree of skill…as does stunning to some extent…and all slaughter facilities and pre-slaughter processes need to be improved and better inspected. Assuming that halal facilities have lower quality standards (rather than that this hullaballoo being based on a sensational a-typical case), I’m sure this can be corrected quickly with efforts by the Muslim communities and regulary authorities.

      • CliveM

        You are being to kind.

        • dannybhoy

          I thought you meant ‘two’
          As in split personality….

          • Please …………… that position is taken by us.

      • dannybhoy

        Avi,
        This issue has much more to do with the growing influence of Islam on our country than it has with Shechita. That people eating meat slaughtered by Halal is as much a concern as eating beef which is actually horse for example. That we are importing meat from New Zealand which has been slaughtered according to Halal is a shock, that it is being sold unlabelled or used unlabelled in schools or hospitals is wrong.
        It is imposing a slaughter system by stealth, when only 2-3million of our population are Muslim and not all of them are practicing Muslims.

        People forget -even British people here forget- that we are an old established nation with a thousand year history of development in laws, practices and religion. Multiculturalism is a very recent add-on.
        We had everything in place for animal husbandry, standards in food purity etc., and suddenly we find that our government is struggling to ensure that our own laws and practices are observed and adhered to.
        It has very little to do with the Jewish community or kosher food. The Jews are a welcome part of British society. It is elements within Islam which are causing us concern, but the government has yet to show the will and the teeth to deal with those who wish to increase the power and influence of Islam in this country.

        • avi barzel

          Danny, I’m aware that this has got to do mostly with Muslims, but it doesn’t help Jews much. It’s not nearly as dramatic as the Crusaders wiping-out the low-hanging fruit, the Jewish Rhineland communities of Christ-killers on their way to liberate the Holy Land from the perfidious Moors, but the process is fundamentally similar.

          This issue (or, rather, non-issue), as I see it, is that it’s a magnet for a particular sector of the loonie fringe, from the ultra-religious, ultra-nationalist and to the ultra-secular, whose immediate reflex is to go after Jewish customs. And just as His Grace wisely pointed out, it begins with faux animal rights campaigns against ritual slaughter, to faux children’s rights campaigns against circumcision and, I might add, if this process continues as it always has before, Judaism will be declared a harmful religion and Jews a blight. As I opined to bluedog, the Creator has given us this Early Warning System and if we can’t defend the observance of His Laws and Teachings, it’s an indication that the system is going to the dogs and we better get the heck out while leaving in one piece with our families and with most of our property is still possible.

          • CliveM

            You know we all to easily blame Islam for the rise of anti-semitism. But I’m actually coming to the opinion that it is the rise of secularism that’s more of a problem.
            It makes it’s appeals oh so reasonable. Hate animal cruelty right? Well kosher is cruel, right? Need to do something about it

          • bluedog

            You’d better read my reply then, Avi.

          • avi barzel

            I’ll scan the posts, since this Disqus thing with notifications and new posts is a mess when using several devices and computers. If I’ve ignored a comment of yours, it’s only because I missed it or got confused with the notifications; do copy and paste it under my name anywhere and I’ll reply. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

          • dannybhoy

            Avi,
            You’re right in some ways but the Jewish community in the UK as you know has been here a long time. It’s their home, they’re British. We have to stand together on this and say NO to intimidation and attacks.
            Another thought just struck me is that I live in the sticks and so much, perhaps all of this stuff is happening in the cities and suburban areas.
            We have to take the kid gloves off and start dealing severely with those who are abusing us, attacking us and using our freedoms (especially that darned Human Rights legislation) against us.
            God will take care of His ancient people Avi, and we Christians have to work with the Almighty in standing with and protecting them.

          • avi barzel

            Amen to that, Danny!

  • Dumb of UKIP, but they still have my vote. They’ll learn, I hope.

    • Harry

      Even dumber of you to vote for them then!

      • No party is perfect, the others based on ideology, personalities and performance are far worse.

  • len

    There is a worrying undercurrent that seems to be prevalent in almost every debate on virtually any subject today.
    It is when words such as’ racist’,’ homophobic’,’ bigot’, etc are thrown into the argument as’ a device’ to stifle debate. This seems to be one of the main objectives of Political Correctness which is to obscure the truth (often the very unpleasant truth).
    Events such as the current fiasco in Rotherham where child abuse seems to be rife but the authorities seem to be unwilling to confront this problem perhaps for the danger of being labelled ‘racist’?. This is probably just ‘the tip of the iceberg’?
    The authorities in Europe united to declare free speech in the wake of the ‘ Charlie Hebdo ‘tragedy but these are the same authorities who try to silence any criticism of Islam the hypocrisy of secular Governments who advocate free speech for some groups but silencing free speech in others will cause immense social pressure which will burst out eventually.
    ‘Political Correctness’ allows the enemies of free speech to prosper and to gain control over those who dare not speak the truth.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘Animal Rights’ is another thing thrown into the pot which trumps human conscience.

  • If ritual slaughter were as humane as Dr Cranmer seems to think, then why would any slaughterhouse bother with stunning animals? The reality is that killing animals in this brutal way, halal or shechita, belongs to a thankfully long forgotten era of history, except that it is preserved in the scriptures of two religions dating from that time. Modern methods of slaughter are considerably more humane. Shechita is no different to halal and neither should be given a free pass by politically correct politicians with an eye on elections. (Dave is well aware of the size of the islamic population of the UK).
    If you can bear to watch, here is what happens in practice in a shechita abattoir: http://www.peta.org/features/agriprocessors/ If you think this is just a bit of “muslim-bashing” then remember that today’s news item was about a halal abattoir – and then remember how political correctness enabled grooming gangs in Rotherham to operate unhindered for more than a decade. The issue is compassion in farming. If we have the means to slaughter animals humanely using modern methods, then there can be no excuse for permitting cruel methods to continue.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I guess you’ll be chipping in for the travel costs of Jews then? They’ll have to leave this country if they take their faith seriously.

      • They will either have to revisit their interpretation of their scriptures; or cease to eat meat. If eating shechita meat is more important than any other priority, then the option of Aliyah is always open.

        • Sam

          So you’d like to tell Jews how to interpret our scriptures. How typically Christian. And you’d also be happier without Jews in the UK. How tolerant and wonderful of you.

          • Harry

            Sam, what Good Christians don’t know (or know but don’t admit to) is that Jesus as a practicing Jew ate Kosher meat slaughtered by the humane shechita method, as did his disciples, and not only the Paschal Lamb at the Last Supper. The New Testament Gospels records this fact in a number of places. I’m sure that no believing Christian would ascribe any cruelty to Jesus because he ate Kosher meat… would they?

          • Sam

            Dude ,

            There you go. Our almarsh doesn’t have time for “ancient texts”, though.

          • No time for ancient practices which include inhumane treatment of animals. Ancient religions can adapt however, and this is one instance where they need to update themselves.

          • Harry

            Sam, You cannot argue with the ignorant! Almarsh knows nothing about religious texts and even less about the anatomy of animals at slaughter. He just follows the slogans blindly!

          • Cruelty to animals is not something for which exceptions should be made. There are many requirements which appear in the Jewish law but which are not permitted in the UK. Judaism manages perfectly well without them, and it can find a way to deal with its opposition to the stunning of animals before slaughter. How the religious authorities do this is for them to decide.

          • Sam

            ” There are many requirements which appear in the Jewish law but which are not permitted in the UK”

            Ah so you’re now an issue expert in British law and Halakhah now???! Well I didn’t know that….

            And you have yet to prove that Jewish slaughter methods are “cruel”.

          • I suggest you contact the British Veterinary Association, which is somewhat better qualified to speak about the science involved than those whose expertise is the interpretation of ancient texts.

          • Sam

            Are you a Christian?

          • Harry

            “There are many requirements which appear in the Jewish law but which are not permitted in the UK”
            Name two!.

          • Two examples: Leviticus 12.6 requires the mother of a new-born son to offer a sacrifice for sin of a lamb or two doves.
            Leviticus 20.13 requires those caught engaging in homosexual intercourse to be put to death.
            The second is a good example of how a religion can radically revise its interpretation of its sacred texts: most synagogues are now willing to perform same-sex marriages.

          • Harry

            Oh you foolish boy! You are a living example of how a little knowledge is dangerous. Your first example does NOT apply to outside the Land of Israel in any event and then only in the time when the Temple in Jerusalem stood.
            Ditto your second example, with the addition that the male couple needed to be warned by two witnesses before hand that it was wrong to engage in homosexual intercourse and two different witnesses had to testify afterward they had actually seen the act taking place. As it was almost impossible for all these witnesses to actually testify, the death penalty very rarely was executed, according to some religious commentators only about once in seventy years.
            No Jewish synagogue anywhere in the world performs same-sex marriages, only those non-Jewish places purporting to be Jewish where the non-Jewish clergy perform some ersatz ceremony.

          • I am sure the congregation at Finchley Reform Synagogue would be pleased to know your opinion of them as “non-Jewish”: http://www.jewishnews.co.uk/whole-community-thrilled-first-sex-couple-married-london-shul/

            Your first point demonstrates my argument precisely. Although the law requires Jews to carry out a number of religious requirements at the Temple, its destruction in AD70 has not put an end to Judaism, which has adapted, moved on and flourishes without it. Shechita belongs with the Temple – in the past.

          • Harry

            “…its destruction in AD70 has not put an end to Judaism,”
            No it hasn’t, and neither will your Jew-hatred and ignorance!
            Inshaala!

          • These are insults, not arguments.

          • Harry

            Anti-Semites like you don’t deserve better!

          • Insults don’t win arguments

          • Sam

            Whatever the merits or not of reform Judaism and this isn’t the forum to critique it and I take a more “ecumenical” approach than Harry, you are engaging with orthodoxy here and not the reform movement. And it is the orthodox part of Judaism which is growing and thriving and something like 2/3 rd of British Jewry belongs under the orthodox banner, in one way or the other. In the US, whilst reform is the biggest denomination, it is being decimated by inter marriage and decline. Likewise in Israel the bulk of the population identifies as orthodox or traditional (even many secular Jews). So whatever you say the bulk of what will be left of the Jewish population will simply ignore you.

            But again this doesn’t matter, as I guess that many liberal and reform Jews often express their Judaism as a culture as much as a religious belief. And kosher is a big part of that culture.

            Now, returning to the point above, you are incorrect about kosher being with the temple and your point doesn’t hold water as sacrificing doves and indeed administering capital punishment, for which there are many, were and are temple specific and for capital crimes one needs a functioning sanhedrin. As Harry has pointed out to you, capital offences were extremely hard to prove and rarely undertaken…

            I believe your point about homosexuality is a bit of a distraction and nothing to do with this discussion. I don’t know of any orthodox synagogue which does do religious gay marriage , so you aren’t making a decent argument there as orthodoxy isn’t picking and choosing , if that is what you are implying. If you want to make this into orthodox Jews are bigoted because we don’t do gay marriage, think again, for various reasons, which are obvious and well known to regular readers, but as said above this isn’t the forum for that discussion.

            Incidentally, I have no problem, in some one attempting to be giving a case via Halakhah for the end of kosher or Jewish gay marriage…. however I cannot see anyone being able to do so.

            I think ,frankly you should more concerned about your own faith (if you have one), than trying to interfere and interpret the Jewish faith for Jews and whilst the Torah is not in heaven, it is for Jews and not for gentiles to understand and interpret.

          • Sam, you have not answered my argument about Judaism being capable of adapting to different circumstances in different ages and in different places. Of course it is impossible for a non-Jew to contribute to Halakhic development, but the UK is not a theocracy or governed by the religious authorities of Orthodox Judaism, which has to exist within a much larger culture, both secular and religious, which increasingly views both halal and shechita as morally indefensible. Parliament has the power to ban both and eventually it will do so. It is a problem which you are going to have to deal with, but as I have pointed out, it is not impossible for you to do so. History, both Jewish and gentile, contains many instances of religions interpreting and reinterpreting their scriptural texts in the light of contemporary circumstances and new knowledge.

          • Sam

            Wow, hold the horses here: what orthodox theocracy!?? What are you talking about?

            Look Jews don’t have to reinterpret anything, just because you or parliament says so. If that’s the case then what chance of religious liberty in the UK? In the hypothetical circumstances of legislation being passed to ban kosher slaughter and assuming court appeals fail, then Jews have the following choices:

            1. Stay and obey the law, whilst the next crusade against Jews gets going (male circumcision).

            2 Leave for Israel, the US or Canada.

            3. Stay with a reassurance that Jews can import kosher meat (which will last all of ten seconds as you guys will doubtless be campaigning against such a compromise from day one).

            To be honest I’d take option 2,because I don’t believe this will stop at banning kosher. The next target will be male circumcision, in which case parliament may as well abolish Judaism in the UK…. which of course then can do. But then the claim to a free, tolerant and open society will be exposed as a sham.

          • I don’t think anyone is proposing a ban on male circumcision and it was meretricious of Cranmer to raise the issue at all. But because of the halal controversy and the refusal of the government to require that halal meat be labelled as such (it is offensive to Sikhs, for example, and to some Christians, to eat meat that has been dedicated to a false deity – as well as being unacceptable to those concerned for animal welfare) there is growing momentum for a legal requirement that all meat must be stunned before slaughter.

            I have lived in this country for a long time. Fifty years ago I would not have imagined that fox hunting would be banned. Ten years ago I would not have imagined that a Conservative government would introduce same-sex marriage. But bandwagons suddenly appear from nowhere, and MPs start legislating. There will soon be an Act of Parliament requiring stunning before slaughter. MPs will only look at the evidence submitted by the BVA and the RSPCA. They won’t be remotely interested in what religious texts say. Animal welfare is a (secular) moral issue, and religious texts have no influence in the secular milieu which is the modern UK Parliament, as the Church of England frequently discovers, even though it is the Established religion.

            A number of European legislatures have banned halal and shechita slaughter, but their Jewish populations, according to information on the internet. have not diminished. They are permitted to import meat, at least for the present. But more and more countries are likely to follow suit, including the UK, in banning what are viewed as inhumane methods of slaughter. There is a hierarchy of values in secular morality, and animal welfare will trump religious objections. There are numerous current analogies in which Christians, for example, are finding that their religious sensibilities are overridden by the State. Religion does not have the influence it once did – any religion. We might wish it were otherwise, but religious believers are now a small minority. That’s how it works in a democracy. The UK ceased to be theocratic a long time ago.

            Judaism in this country has to find a way to cope with the likely legislation which is fast heading this way, just as other religious communities in the UK have had to find ways to cope with the loss of freedom to act in accordance with their faith. They have not left the UK. They have adapted.

            I suggest that the options will be, in the case of a new law requiring stunning before slaughter,

            (a) to import meat for as long as it is permitted;

            (b) to ask religious scholars to review the situation, to see if modern methods of slaughter can be permitted;

            (c) to avoid eating meat.

            Parliament has done many things in the past 800 years since Magna Carta, which defy its promise that “the Church shall be free”, and it has engaged historically in some deeply repugnant persecution of Catholics, Protestants, Free Churches and many more. The current “theocracy” is secularism, often with a Marxist mindset, and it is imposing its will over and against any religious objections in the UK. Until the UK changes for the better, so that there is genuine religious freedom, all religions will have to adapt to the circumstances in which we live. But the UK is still preferable to any other country I can think of, apart from Utopia.

          • Sam

            Well what do you think? Are you in favour of this secular morality or not? You clearly have strong opinions on kosher slaughter. Where do you stand within this overall framework?

            PS: point 3, I doubt if you’d get away with forcing a total ban on all meat eating in this country. And if you did,they’d be very few chickens, lamb, or cattle left as they are only around now for people to eat. Farming is a business and without the ability to sell the animals for food, almost no one would be prepared to upkeep them to just sit in a field to eat grass.

          • I share the concern of both religious and non-religious lobbies who are concerned about animal welfare at the time of slaughter, when it appears that the scientific evidence does actually require stunning before slaughter. There is a growing consensus in society that this is so, which can not be brushed aside.

            And because I want the Jewish community in the UK to flourish and live at peace – I am utterly horrified by the rampant antisemitism in the UK which necessitates the high security at our local synagogue (I can imagine what it would be like if every CofE church needed security guards on Sundays) – what I am suggesting is that a problem is coming up which needs urgently to be addressed by the Jewish authorities in the UK, recognising the political reality which is the UK Parliament, which is likely to legislate without any respect for what religious texts of any kind say about animal slaughter.

            So far as point 3 is concerned, I think it manifestly unlikely that Parliament will ever attempt to ban the eating of meat. But if it bans halal and shechita and also eventually bans the import of certified kosher or halal meat, then the practical alternatives are as I suggested earlier.

          • Sam

            The whole business about parliament ignoring religious objections. As far as I can tell only UKIP and the Greens have banning this as official policy. and I suspect UKIP is actually more divided over it than they make out. Cameron has said as long as he is prime minister he won’t allow it; Miliband is in hot water as it is with the Jewish community, so I doubt he’d do that and he’s got a large voting bloc from the Muslim community, that could turn against him if he endorsed a ban…. the liberals will be toast after the election. So I can’t see it happening.

            But even if it did, I think that there will be the other side to the argument and it isn’t over yet. Even if the legislation is passed, it could be fought in the courts on religious freedom grounds ( I suspect we would loose).

            As I said before, Jews could stay here (or leave) and either eat imported food (if that wasn’t banned) or if imports were banned, simply not eat meat. So it isn’t necessary for Jews to change our religion to satisfy the state, we would simply acknowledge that the state doesn’t want us to eat meat in accordance with our religious beliefs or traditions(assuming bans on imports aren’t introduced, but I suspect a couple of years along the line they would be) and respect that this had become law. And laugh out loud when Ministers /politicians/The Guardian bull*hit us about how tolerant and wonderful we are as a country etc.

            There is a Jewish tradition of saying that the law of the land is the law, except in 3 circumstances, but I would leave before anything like that happened, so I (and I hope the British Jewish community) would respect a law banning Kosher slaughter, but presumably we would be free to campaign to repeal it.

            As for your concern about antisemitism and the security around the synagogues, this is an important point. I ask you how would you feel if your community lived like that & then when someone outside of your religion comes along and tells you, point blank another aspect of your life is going to be chipped away, because others think it to be morally wrong? Heck, it’s like I never used to wear a Kippah, except when entering a Shul. I do now because I’m sick to death of being afraid of what might happen if I put one on in public.

          • Sam, it won’t be of any comfort to you if I say that I share your concern about security, precisely because this has already happened and is happening to other religious communities of which I have direct experience, who are now labelled and abused by those who have changed laws which stood for a thousand years in this country.
            I would gladly wear a Kippah in solidarity with you, if it were appropriate for me to do so. But I guess it would not be considered appropriate? The most powerful message I have seen recently was #JeSuisJuif – a message which the UK needs to hear loud and often.
            We are already at a place in UK society where one is legally “free” to believe in something – but not to speak about it or to act upon those beliefs. We are “free” to campaign to repeal legislation Parliament has already passed, but it would be dangerous to do so.
            The UK is “free” and “tolerant” – but only if you are already a Guardianista. Woe betide those who defy the new party line.

          • Sam

            Also I suspect that Cramer included male circumcision with kosher slaughter because people who campaign against one are often also against the other. Look at all the campaign section of the national secular society for example.

          • The dear old NSS, with about 20 members.
            It’s more of a problem in Los Angeles, however. But LA is not UK.

          • Sam

            Still their arguments are strikingly similar to the ones that people deploy all the time against Kosher slaughter , such as ancient religious texts are nothing compared to “animal rights” , the science has apparently “proved” this that and the other etc. It doesn’t matter if it has 20 members or 500,000. Clearly it is -and this is what you are saying to some degree- in tune with popular opinion or perhaps it is even providing or driving the intellectual apologetic against both kosher slaughter and male circumcision?

          • A campaign against circumcision is unlikely to gain any traction here, unless it becomes associated in the media and in the public mind with FGM. That is the biggest risk, not the NSS.

        • avi barzel

          What an idiotic thing to say. Once a society starts obsessing over kosher slaughter and circumcision, it’s clear that it’s on a downward spiral and worse things are about to happen. In every case in history…but perhaps this time it’ll be different because of, um, nice folks like you?

          • Cruelty to animals is not something for which exceptions should be made. There are many requirements which appear in the Jewish law but which are not permitted in the UK. Judaism manages perfectly well without them, and it can find a way to deal with its opposition to the stunning of animals before slaughter.

          • avi barzel

            A central feature of this debate is that the cruelty claim is disputed. Specifically, the claim that halal and shehita are intrinsically crueler methods of slaughtering an animal in comparison to approved alternatives. Thorough animal studies have established that all the currently approved methods are very similar in “quality” when done properly by skilled operators. Many of the studies are relatively recent, within the last five years or so, and they are much better than past studies or ad hoc observations and sensations in that we have better metrics and better tools to determine animal suffering during the entire process of slaughter.

            I’m curious to know what these “many” requirements you imagine Jews have dropped and managed perfectly without. But your suggestion that the Jewish community “find a way to deal with its opposition to the stunning of animals before slaughter

            is an excellent one. The Jewish community and its friends need to take on this nonsense proactively and openly, bringinging forward facts and rational arguments and exposing the various sources behind the challenge to kosher slaughter. These sources are not uniform, as they include honest concerns by essentially decent, but misinformed people; animal rights activists who see the assault on kashrut as the first stage in a general assault on all slaughter; cynical, vote-getting political activism and outright antisemitism.

    • Harry

      “If ritual slaughter were as humane as Dr Cranmer seems to think, then why would any slaughterhouse bother with stunning animals?”
      Good question Almarsh, the answer is simple. Far from anaesthetising the animal, stunning merely immobilises them, giving the appearance of unconsciousness. In this state of immobility there are two advantages, first the animal is not like to cause injury to slaughterhouse operatives and second once the animal is immobilised the throughput on the production line is much quicker meaning more animals can be processed per hour meaning more profit for the industry. The welfare aspect of stunning comes low down the list. Religious slaughter on the other hand is a much slower process and is not viable in large scale industrialised abattoirs. The director of Animal Aid once said that stunning does not eliminate pain and suffering of the animal, it merely raises it to another level of trauma.

      • dannybhoy

        Harry,
        This morning I wrote you a long reply to the question you posed last night. A response would be appreciated.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Dear Dannybhoy, couldn’t find our previous discussion – so here is some rather unsettling stuff about UKIP – I have now left. Christian Soldiers is the Christian group ‘within’ UKIP to which both Mr Farage and Mr Nuttall have given interviews. Mr Nuttall has even said, “The Christian identity is under threat from every angle. UKIP are the only party that now supports and will protect the fundamental rights of Christians. UKIP will speak out against the attack on our Christian heritage that has developed in this land for nearly 2,000 years.”

          However, as soon as we do we are subjected to this following, rather than supported.

          “UKIP, however, has distanced itself from the Christian Soldiers. “These groups are authorised but not official, they are mechanisms for members with shared interests to associate but have no official role or status,” a spokesperson told Christian Today. “They do not represent the party or its policies. This leaflet was recently brought to our attention. Authorised groups are not allowed to invent UKIP policy, and we do not consider that this leaflet is of an acceptable standard to be associated with the UKIP brand.”​​

          • CliveM

            Do you have a link to this leaflet.

          • dannybhoy
          • CliveM

            DB

            Thanks :0)

          • Dominic Stockford

            There is no link to the leaflet. It is not online. It is sent to members of the Christian Soldiers by post. What do you want to know? I have one.

          • CliveM

            I just distrust press reports. It’s always best to go to the source material! I was interested to see.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes indeed. Just what i was saying elsewhere!

            In fact, the reply I received from UKIP to my resignation email included the following bit of bizarre comment. “Even the atheists are Christian, in the sense that the God they deny is a Christian one.” Most odd thing to say, and I think some of our confreres on this blog would heartily disagree with that one.

            They ‘don’t get it’, (‘they’ being UKIP hq/NEC, and ‘it’ being a sincerely held faith).

          • dannybhoy

            Dommy,
            Am I a ‘confrere’?
            Or did you mean someone else?
            I wanted to call you Dommy because I have a song especially for you…

          • Dominic Stockford

            Oh, dannybhoy…

            (you asked for that!)
            No, I was thinking of Linus or sarky!

          • dannybhoy

            Shucks!
            I’m ‘bawwassed now.
            (pink face, pink face!)

          • CliveM

            I agree a truly odd response!

          • dannybhoy

            Dominic,
            you mean this..?
            “Ukip urged to cut ties with Christian group over gay ‘depravity’ comments”
            http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/03/christian-soldiers-ukip-gay-depravity

            Then,
            “The Christian identity is under threat from every angle. UKIP are the only party that now supports and will protect the fundamental rights of Christians.”
            Leaving aside the homosexual/sodomite thing, do you not think Christianity is under threat in the UK?
            What about the Jews. Do you not think the Jews are now under threat?
            Personally I think it’s very clear that Islam is the only major faith not under threat in the UK…

          • Dominic Stockford

            I don’t disagree that Christians are under attack – however, for all their rhetoric about standing up for us, when the crowd began to bay UKIP have simply thrown the Christians (from among their own number) to the lions.

          • dannybhoy

            Dommy
            (may I call you that?)
            Did you read those links I found for Clive? Evidently there is a lady called Elisabeth Biddulph responsible for a newsletter.
            We all know that there are different groups with their own interests within political parties, so I think this is another dirty tricks stunt.
            Personally I object to the ‘sodomite/depraved’ label being used because as has often been said it’s all a part of the sin thing. No one goes around talking about “dirty old men” or “serial adulterers.” I don’t see it. We as Christians should be preaching the sinfulness of man, not discriminating. Billy Graham never did that.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I get, and therefore have, the magazine.

            It uses the word ‘depravity’ once, near the start of the article. It uses the word ‘sodomites’ once, much later in the article. it also refers to ‘depraved behaviour’ elsewhere in the article, referring to the promotion of sexuality on the public street. It is not much to write home about.

            But for UKIP to wash its hands of people who are, in Nigel’s own words (quoted from the previous magazine) “speak[ing]… following their conscience and their principles” in a private magazine is tawdry, and too much for me.

          • dannybhoy

            I respect your reasoning Dominic, and it may be that I will eventually discover for myself the same thing. So far though I have concerns, but not enough to make the same decision.
            We have to look at the other parties too. do yu trust any of them? I certainly don’t. I think I would settle for a Conservative-UKIP arrangement, but let’s be clear, the main parties have already sold us down the river.

      • There would of course be no problem if the eating of meat was banned in the UK, but that is manifestly unlikely. Since the practice is going to continue, the best course of action is to take expert scientific advice – which is that pre-stunning is more humane than using a knife.

        • Harry

          …and of course I see the perfect logic in your argument which cannot be faulted. But the facts suggest otherwise since the “expert scientific advice” is based on inconclusive scientific evidence which in many case is agenda led. I’ll give you a quote from the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s report on the welfare of red meat animals at the time of slaughter, this is the part dealing with religious slaughter, “It
          is difficult to measure pain and distress during the slaughter process in an
          objective scientific manner” (page 34). Other research at Massey University in New Zealand (which DEFRA likes to quote as being the most up to date) was not conclusive either. The other problem with your expert scientists is that they have completely ignored the available science which shows that a swift incision in the neck stops all brain activity immediately (within two seconds according to research in the University of Zurich). Other Veterinary scientists show similar results, e.g. Cornell University USA, University of Columbia USA, Professor Schulze of Hanover University Germany and others. But your experts are selectively forming their biased opinions with disregard to ALL the facts. That is not good science. But the public, including your good self are completely unaware of this imbalance.

    • Sam

      Dude

      You are confusing Islam and Judaism… why provide a link and call it shechita (Jewish not Muslim) and then say you aren’t Muslim bashing. Please Jews has zero to do with Rotherham… so please stop trying to confuse matters. Oh and incidentally that avatar presumably me and you identify with Christianity, or Jesus… who as a Jew who would have eaten the “cruel”slaughter practice you want to be rid of, although of course kosher is NOT cruel .

      • Neither halal nor shechita should be tolerated in a society which has compassion for animals, many millions of which are slaughtered in the UK each year.

        • Sam

          How very tolerant of you….

          • Simply labelling something “religious” does not give it a free pass.

  • saintmark

    The problem is that we are all be fed meat that has been dedicated to Allah without our permission all because the Muslims seem to live in a constant state of ‘being offended’ so we must bow to their(very delicate) sensitivities. I don’t recall any Jews being offended in food establishments because the item were not kosher. Just label the food then we can choose for ourselves, why won’t our politicians do this….oh, because they probably know that all our food has already been Islamified.

    • Harry

      If you don’t want to eat Halal because you think it’s cruel then you must demonstrate in what way you think it’s cruel. If you don’t want to eat Halal because you say “it’s dedicated to Allah” then you’re a racist bigot.

      • CliveM

        Is Islam a race? An Islamophobic bigot perhaps. But then I have to ask, why should any of us be made to endorse another’s religion and why not wanting to do that, does it make us a bigot?

        • Harry

          You’re not endorsing anything by eating Halal. You wouldn’t know, or even care if a Muslim walked into Sainsburys, stretched his arms over the meat counter and said “Alla Akbar”, thereby turning everything in the meat freezer into Halal. Unlike kosher food which is specifically labelled as such.

          • avi barzel

            Hi Harry,

            Two things…I have hopelessly messed up the notifications and new post pop-ups, so forgive me for addressing two issues.

            First, Clive’s preference to avoid halal or even kosher products, if that’s what he decides, has to be accepted as justifiable, as it may reflect an established or unique and personal religious position on accepting items that have been ritually sanctified by another religion. Such a position is not racist, nor would it limit the rights of those who choose kashrut, or halal, or the Hindu green dot, and is not for us to instruct him on what constitutes a legitimate religious position on this. How this can be actualized in a practical sense is of course another issue, one involving public opinion, industry practices and interests and such. It may mean establishing a private inspection and certification authority or lobbying for regulations about labelling.

            An issue you briefly brought up which I saw, and then lost, is the question of vegetarianism and what the legitimate reasons for that choice may be.

            When I stated that I have more respect for a vegetarian who opposes all slaughter for his consistency, as opposed to someone who singles out halal and kashrut for flimsy reasons, I meant, of course, non-Jews. At the same time, I find the whole assumption that one is prohibited from choosing or publicizing that he is choosing vegetarianism for humanitarian grounds, quite problematic. I haven’t the time now to properly study the issue, so forgive my off-the-cuff paskening on this.

            First, I don’t believe this is a halkhic issue and I’m not aware of it being brought up by the khazal. I suspect it’s a Hareidi hashkafic innovation, an interpretation by recent poskim, one which is not authoritatively binding to members outside of the posek’s community. Where it may intersect or interface with halakhah, is if publicizing such reasons for vegetarianism constitutes a challenge to the halakhic legitimacy of all forms of shehita. However this more specific issue is decided, though, and however persuasive the arguments may be, I’m not sure they can be binding, as they may be neither דאורייתא or דרבנן. Again, as a disclaimer, I’m merely speculating as a non-expert.
            Pleasure to have you on board here, a shabbat shalom to you and yours, and if you are reading this motzei shabbes, a shavua tov!

          • dannybhoy

            Well,
            I’m impressed.
            I dunno if Harry was….
            ;0)
            Shabbat Shalom old chap.

          • avi barzel

            O, be sure that Harry will come back at me with full magazines; the chap seems far more learned than I am. Get your popcorn ready for watching Avi get owned on halakhah….although I did buy myself breathing room with the earlier onset of shabbat in the UK and when I can get advice at shul tomorrow. Unless Harry is in LA and has all the time in the world….

            Shabbat shalom!

          • CliveM

            Oh Shabbot Shalom as well!

          • Harry

            Avi, I’m not in LA (or LA LA Land). I am chuffed at your compliment about being learned. If only I was! I am more than happy to give of my limited knowledge to those who are reasonable and can engage in reasoned argument. But there are not that many who frequent this forum. Some deny being bigots and racists when their opinions clearly show otherwise, others are quite content with admitting their bigotry. I don’t know which is worse, not that it really matters.

          • avi barzel

            Hi Harry. Shavua tov! Glad you’re not from Lala Land…that part of the country is becoming a financial and demographic write-off.

            I think you need to note that the majority of people out there and here who have jumped on the anti-halal or anti-shehita bandwagon have done so not because of antisemitism or anti-Muslim sentiments, but because they have been fed with bias and disinfirmation often originating from unsavoury sources, those people could be made aware of facts, such as how stunning is, in every day practice, a sloppy and cruel method which needs to be improved, how the traditional slaughter by knife is still the most humane method and that given that the last societies to attack kosher slaughter and circumcision were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, the ban campaigns are questionable, to say the least.

          • Harry

            Avi, and any one else reading this. See this link from todays paper
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2944609/Kicked-punched-hit-thrown-sickening-violence-inside-family-butchers-slaughterhouse-distressing-video-captured-campaigners-hidden-cameras.html#comments

            An English Abattoir, not Halal, not Kosher. This the way stun-slaughtered animals are killed. Dare those bigots complain about “primitive” religious slaughter.

          • avi barzel

            Thanks. You should pist the link by itself at top of the page.

          • CliveM

            Harry

            There are people out there who believe that if it wasn’t for the meat trade all animals would die of old age surrounded by their loved ones! They are therefore shocked by the thought of slitting an animals throat to kill it. It’s all to raw and bloody. This offends them and they want to do something about it. This doesn’t make them racist or anti Semitic. Muddle headed perhaps, wrong certainly, but not racist.

          • Harry

            the

          • CliveM

            ????

          • Harry

            Click on this link below, or if you can’t open it go to yesterday’s Daily Mail and see the story of animal cruelty in an English abattoir in Staffordshire, where they do stun-slaughter.

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2944609/Kicked-punched-hit-thrown-sickening-violence-inside-family-butchers-slaughterhouse-distressing-video-captured-campaigners-hidden-cameras.html#comments

          • CliveM

            Well there are certainly anti Semitic people who will try and manipulate anything to discredit Jews. However I don’t think the majority of people who disapprove of this form of slaughter do it for anti Semitic reasons.

            What happened in the attached link is clearly wrong. I don’t defend it for a moment. But then I don’t advocate banning Kosher forms of slaughter.

          • Harry

            “But then I don’t advocate banning Kosher forms of slaughter”. That makes you a friend of the Jews.

          • CliveM

            Avi

            For clarification if invited to a Jewish house for a meal I would have no problems eating kosher meat. I wouldn’t buy it, as from what you say, it’s a bit expensive.

            Ditto Halal. My gripe with Halal is how it has been slipped in under the radar as it were. I think it should be marked up as such, but that’s because I think people should have the right to decide for themselves.

            I cannot see if Kosher is marked up, why Halal shouldn’t be (or conventionally stunned for that matter).

            Hope all is now clear.

            Please confirm!

          • avi barzel

            Hi Clive I know your position and sorry, I should have mentioned it before launching into principles and hypotheticals. I believe that kosher meat also winds up in the “general” population…most the hind legs die to the problems eith the removal of the sciatic nerve…but that it has never been an issue with anyone for years. I have heard from kosher butchers that non-kosher high-end restaurants try to reserve those parts because meat that has been bled out and not hung for days, as is the practice in kashering, is preferred for steaks. I also remember reading that the meat industry resists being forced to identify provenance based on slaughter methods because it would be an expensive nightmare to keep track of it all and because too few people care.

            Just as I can accept the desire for some people to know the “religious status” of their meat, I can sympathise with the industry’s reluctance to take on an additional hassle at their expense on behalf of a small number of people. I don’t think most folks realize the ginormous volume of meat that is processed in a single daY and that 99 percent of people don’t care about how their meat was slaughtered or by whom. Perhaps the fair approach would be for those concerned to set up their certification standards…as with kosher, halal, “organic,” fair trade or free range and to be prepared to pay for it, instead of downloading the cost onto the indifferent majority and the already over-taxed and over-regulated food industry. Just a thought.

          • CliveM

            And a reasonable one. Due to ‘mad cow’ and the tracking requirements already in place because of it, the UK I think would be able to do so without to much hassle.
            But point taken.

          • avi barzel

            I don’t know about the tracking procedure developed fir Mad Cow, but my guess is that it might not be suitable for tracking meat once it has been processed into parts. At that point it becomes a commodity which can be sold and resold and building networks to include all parties in a tracking system for individusl cuts of meat seems undoable at this time. It is much easier to design tracking procedures for specific criteria, such as kashrut, halal, free range or organic, than for “not-kosher” or “not-free range” for for example.

            While a few people might desire slaughter which is “none-ritual,” there have been no suggestions about how to achieve such a certification…nor a desire to pay with higher meat prices for such. Requiring that it be accomplished by banning all ritual slaughter or treatment of meat is impractical and unfair.

            Btw, one of the reasons a “humane slaughter” label hasn’t emerged is that contrary to claims that stunning is humane, studies show that it is deeply problematic, as it fails quite often, with horrifying results. Temple Grandin covers the issue on her website rather extensively, with recommendations for proper stunning and slaughter with knife protocols, procedures and technologies.

          • CliveM

            Avi

            It will be an interesting test of people’s commitment if Supermarkets started to sell guaranteed non Halal meat but at a higher price. I suspect a lot of the outrage wouldn’t result in a significant demand!

            Anyway long may Kosher meat continue to be sold in Canada and the UK, even if at rediculous prices.

          • avi barzel

            Guaranteed you’re right on that. Although, when I look at how readily people swallowed the “organic” scheme, with its price increases, I wonder. As for Canada and the US as well, the halal and kosher slaughter pseudo-controversy is still a lunatic fringe issue. This is mostly because antisemitic groups are much smaller and weaker in North America, and animal rights activists here seem to be less biased in their critiques.

          • Harry

            You are right Avi , “man of iron”, it is now Motzei Shabbos so a Gut Voch to you! שבוע טוב . I personally will not engage in any debate with a vegetarian who singles out shechita as being cruel. That simply demonstrate that he/she is an anti-Semite. I have no problem with debating the eating of meat with a Veggie who decries ALL animal slaughter for food as cruel and unnecessary. There are some on this forum with whom one can engage in reasonable, enlightened discussion. But for many they just blindly follow the slogans spouted out by so called animal “welfarists” without even knowing anything at all about the process of dying at slaughter, as if the magic word “stunning” makes everything nice and painless.

      • Bollocks. How can a preference for not eating any kind of food make you a bad person of any description?

        • Harry

          Don’t twist my words! I did not say “any kind of food”, I specifically said Halal and if you have an aversion to eating it, it is only because it offends your sense of prejudice. You are of course free to eat whatever you like, but you do not follow any religious code which tells you that Halal is forbidden to you. It is only your own bigotry which does not allow you to eat Halal.
          Would refuse to be treated by a Muslim Doctor?

          • Harry, there is no need to twist your words, they are twisted enough already.

      • DanJ0

        I’m quite content to be a “racist bigot” by this interpretation.

  • SidneyDeane

    “followed by demands for the banning of non-medical circumcision. After all, if animals should not suffer pain and distress, why should human boys suffer child abuse?”

    Indeed.
    Scientific opinion is clear in that animals that are not stunned suffer more than those that are.
    80% it may be that it is nowhere near a high enough percentage.
    I personally say tosh to your ‘freedom to make animals suffer unnecessarily’ which is what the Jewish religion demands (oh how moral and wise) and the premise which you are trying to defend.

    • Harry

      You’re quite right Sid “you personally say tosh” and a lot of it!

    • There are clear medical benefits of circumcision.

  • dannybhoy

    Further to my email to our MP and supermarket chains on this isssue I have had one response from Tescos. Here it is…
    ” Dear Mr & Mrs XXXXXXXXXXXX

    Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us regarding the sale of halal meat in our stores.

    We sell Halal meat in our stores to meet customer demand and to demonstrate that everyone is welcome at Tesco.

    I would like to reassure you that we require all slaughter
    processes in our supply chain, including Halal, to meet our stringent
    animal welfare requirements. In every case, the animal is stunned before
    slaughter so that it is insensible and feels
    no pain.

    Like all other major UK supermarkets, we source from suppliers who serve Muslim as well as non-Muslim customers. Some of these suppliers process all their meat to Halal standards. For example, all New Zealand lamb meets
    Halal standards. In these cases, all of our processes still meet the same stringent animal welfare requirements and all animals are stunned prior to slaughter whether the meat
    is sold as Halal or non-Halal.

    The Tesco own label Halal range, Shahada, is HFA certified and is
    stunned prior to slaughter in accordance with the Halal Food Authority
    guidelines.

    We also sell a National Halal Centre range which is unstunned, and
    clearly labelled as such, so that our customers are able to make
    informed choices about what they wish to purchase.

    If you’re interested in finding out more about our animal-welfare policies, please visit our website at the following address:

    http://www.tescoplc.com/assets/files/cms/Animal%20Welfare.pdf

    Thanks for taking the time to get in touch. I do hope the above information is helpful.”

    Full marks to Tescos for getting back to us.

    • Harry

      Danny, What does Tesco have written on their Kosher meat products. Does that also say unstunned? Because if it does it is in breach of the Trades Description Act.
      Shechita DOES stun the animal by virtue of the fact that the animal loses consciousness within two seconds after the incision.

      • dannybhoy

        I don’t know Harry.
        I have seen and eaten quite a lot of kosher meat, but not in Tescos.
        I was aware that Jewish butchers and slaughter houses worked within the government guidelines
        I emailed a government minister about the situation and copied in the supermarket chains for two reasons. One being that we should treat the animals that give us food with kindness and respect, and two I am concerned that Halal is being used as part of an orchestrated programme to change our nation.
        I cite the recent schools subversion in Birmingham, the continuing situation in Tower Hamlets, the abuse scandals in Rotherham and elsewhere, demonstrations against our military, our government, our laws, and of course the Jewish community here and in Europe.

        That’s my own analysis of what you referred to regarding Hitler’s rise to power. If we Christians and Jews do not speak out about creeping influences and changes coming from people who hate our way of life, then we are part of the problem.

        • Harry

          Well it sounds reasonable on the surface but I have my reservations if it will work in practice. Multiculturalism, or interculturalism is really semantics. It will develop into “elitistsculturalism” sooner or later, with everybody excluding everyone else. There must be a modus vivendi if we are all going to share this planet in peace and harmony. Shabbat Shalom.

          • dannybhoy

            Shabbat Shalom to you, son of Israel.

  • len

    This whole barbaric method of killing helpless animals seems to underline how far the British have been forced into multiculturalism (like it or not)
    The British National Identity has become so diffused that it has probably been lost forever and this has been an intentional act brought about by EU in its quest for an European Superstate.
    The’ divide and conquer’ strategy seems to be alive and working well within the EU.
    We have no great leader such as Churchill who is prepared to make a stand for British interests and to protect our National identity but groups of men who pay lip service to ‘liberal’ ideologies but are as much slaves to’ the system’ as any of the rest of us.

    • Ivan M

      Len, Exodus or Leviticus just requires the blood to be poured out. I don’t recall any prescription on the details of the slaughter. The solution to this conundrum is to get the kosher and halal people to conform to certain standards that will ensure that the animal is dispatched as humanely as is possible with this bloody business
      Properly done there is no reason to believe that the animal suffers more than in the conventional method. Even a blade of grass values its own life and there is no way to overcome the fear of death.

    • Ivan M

      I have to say that I that I sympathize with the workers in the slaughterhouses. I myself experience a tightening of the bowels when I see the innards. Others faint at the sight of blood. The Muslim boys who were taunting sheep show all the signs of working up their courage to perform the bloody deed. They have to overcome a natural aversion to the spilling of blood..

    • UKIP continues to oppose any restriction on foxhunting, on seal clubbing, on the ivory trade or on the trade in rhinoceros horn. But it has had to clarify that its call for a ban on ritual slaughter did not apply to Jews. Apparently, that was “aimed at others”.

      The abuses uncovered this week were precisely that: abuses, in breach of the halal food laws. I agree with Shechita UK that, “Rather than saying just “stunned,” it should say “electrocuted”, “gassed” or “shot with a bolt gun”. Then consumers will be fully informed.”

      Kosher and halal meat more than bear comparison with our own meat production practices. Do the Middle East’s ancient indigenous Christians eat halal meat? If so, then there cannot be anything wrong with it in principle.

      Israel, meanwhile, is now so desperate that she is importing Russians who refuse on principle to eat kosher meat. Oh, well, at least they are not Arabs, eh…?

      • Harry

        “I agree with Shechita UK that, “Rather than saying just “stunned,” it should say “electrocuted”, “gassed” or “shot with a bolt gun”. Then consumers will be fully informed.”
        Correct, but not only label the method of stunning but also when those methods go wrong which they often due. The FAWC (Farm Animal Welfare Committee – used to be Council) is the advisory body to the government on welfare issues, has complained that stunning procedures are sadly inadequate. The animals are put through severe pain and suffering due to faulty equipment, misplacing of the electrodes, insufficient voltage etc. These possibilities for error do not occur with shechita.

  • doctordeb

    I sympathise with my Jewish friends re this and if the Vet is right he has a good case for saying shekita is not as cruel as we might think.
    I don’t think Stephen Pollard is right necessarily, though, that orthodox Jews would have to leave the country. When this subject was a matter for debate some years ago the Jewish speaker I heard said that the option would be to import kosher meat from outside the country. Expensive, yes, but a possible answer.

    • avi barzel

      Bans on kosher slaughter are typically followed by bans on importation of kosher meat. If Jews decide to leave because of this issue, it’s not because they are being petty…the majority, about 80 percent don’t even keep kosher…but because they know such measures always portend bigger problems coming up.

      The fact that animal research shows that kosher and halal slaughter when done properly are equal to or even superior to other methods when done properly, should not be ignored. Facts matter. But facts don’t matter to all.

    • Harry

      That’s not the point, importing meat is not the answer. The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights
      guarantees religious freedom to all citizens of countries who are signatories, Great Britain was one of the first to sign. That guarantee of religious freedom includes the method of obtaining kosher meat slaughtered in the UK for British citizens who are of the Jewish faith. You want to impose hardship on Jews by forcing them to import at a high price. That smacks of anti Semitism to me!

  • Harry

    See this link from yesterday’s paper about cruelty in a Christian family slaughterhouse
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2944609/Kicked-punched-hit-thrown-sickening-violence-inside-family-butchers-slaughterhouse-distressing-video-captured-campaigners-hidden-cameras.html#comments

    An English Abattoir, not Halal, not Kosher. This is the way stun-slaughtered animals are killed. Dare those bigots complain about “primitive” religious slaughter!

    • Nobody is defending the abattoir in question, which deserves to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.