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The Forum > General Discussion > Should animals suffer to maintain religious sensibilities

Should animals suffer to maintain religious sensibilities

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One likes to think that most reasonable people would condemn cruelty to animals.
However there are varying degrees to which people are prepared to disrupt their lives to put those beliefs into action.
Some publicly demonstrate against live sheep export.
Some go vegetarian and others vegan.
Some pay a few cents more for free-range eggs.
Even meat lovers would like to think that the animal they are eating was killed as humanely as possible.
In Australia this involves stunning the animal prior to killing it.
Halal and kosher foods, however, apparently require that the animal be conscious while itís throat is cut.
Should animal cruelty considerations be ignored for religious reasons?
Posted by HermanYutic, Saturday, 28 November 2009 8:48:41 AM
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A very timely subject. A mass ritual slaughter of over 300,000 animals is scheduled to begin in a village in Nepal on Tuesday.

The slaughtered will include 15,000 buffaloes, and 300,000 birds goats and sheep.

This ritual is a centuries old tradition and is celebrated every five years and is dedicated to the Gadhimai, the Hinda Goddess of power.

There has been strong condemnation from many quarters as to the methods that will be employed to kill these animals.

The idea of animal rights is a recent arrival in countries like Nepal, where ancients beliefs are deeply ingrained in the culture
Posted by Poirot, Saturday, 28 November 2009 12:18:37 PM
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RE: Above. Obviously Hinda should be Hindu. (very slack self-editing)
Posted by Poirot, Saturday, 28 November 2009 12:23:32 PM
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In relation to Halal processing, general information can be obtained here: http://www.halalmc.net/resources/issue_stunning.html

Concerning the impact on animals, compared to stunning:

http://www.halalmc.net/resources/stunning_articles/009_islamic_method_slaughtering.html

"ISLAMIC METHOD OF SLAUGHTERING ANIMALS IS BETTER

Al Shaddad Bin Aous has quoted this tradition of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.)

"God calls for mercy in everything, so be merciful when you kill and when you slaughter, sharpen your blade to relieve its pain".

Many allegations have been made that Islamic slaughter is not humane to animals. However, Professor Schultz and his colleague Dr. Hazim of the Hanover University, Germany, proved through an experiment, using an electroencephalograph (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) that Islamic slaughter is THE humane method of slaughter and captive bolt stunning, practiced by the Western method, causes severe pain to the animal.

The results surprised many.

Results and Discussion

I - Halal Method

1.The first three seconds from the time of Islamic slaughter as recorded on the EEG did not show any change from the graph before slaughter, thus indicating that the animal did not feel any pain during or immediately after the incision.
2.For the following 3 seconds, the EEG recorded a condition of deep sleep - unconsciousness. This is due to a large quantity of blood gushing out from the body.
3.After the above mentioned 6 seconds, the EEG recorded zero level, showing no feeling of pain at all.
4.As the brain message (EEG) dropped to zero level, the heart was still pounding and the body convulsing vigorously (a reflex action of the spinal cord) driving maximum blood from the body: resulting in hygienic meat for the consumer.
II - Western Method by C.B.P. Stunning

1.The animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning.
2.EEG showed severe pain immediately after stunning.
3.The hearts of the animal stunned by C.B.P. stopped beating earlier as compared to those of the animals slaughtered according to the Halal method resulting in the retention of more blood in the meat. This in turn is unhygienic for the consumer."
Posted by grateful, Saturday, 28 November 2009 1:51:49 PM
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grateful,
The links you provide seem dubious at best.
The first one merely outlines why Muslims object to stunning:
-the animal might die of the stunning before it's throat is cut thus rendering it haram
-the animal might die of the stunning before it's throat is cut so that it doesn't hear the Tasmiyyah before death
(tangentially related - is that the same Tasmiyyah that terrorists cry out when they're beheading infidels on the internet?)
The second link purports to scientifically prove that halal killing is less cruel than stunning but looks "dubious at best".
I think I'll go with the RSPCA, UK Farm Animal Welfare Council et al on this one.
Hell, I'll even go with Princess Alia bint al-Hussein of Jordan who wrote PM Rudd:
"Contrary to some claims, killing without stunning is not necessary under Islamic principles," and that
"any lowering of animal welfare standards in Australia for religious reasons would be a blow to the country's reputation and undermine progress in the Middle East."
Yes it's hard to progress when you believe that the absolute unchangeable truth was set down
fourteen hundred years ago by the Holy Prophet (F.H.)
Posted by HermanYutic, Saturday, 28 November 2009 2:43:24 PM
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I can't find a link to the Hanover study, only third-party references. I'll try an academic database when I return to civilisation.

In any case, comparing Halal slaughter to conventional abbattoir processing is like debating the merits of the gas chamber versus the electric chair. Massive reform is necessary in Australia's food industry standards to prevent the hideous treatment of living creatures in this country (cue runner with a diatribe on abortion).

Aside from the thread topic, I'm interested to see how the OLO regulars will handle the competing ideological goals it presents. For one, we have HermanYutic, who believes in eating the blood and flesh of a Jewish zombie each Sunday, but wants to condemn Islam for the way it treats creatures which HY believes were given to man for whatever maltreatment he deems fit.

Even better, I can't wait to see how it's handled by posters such as Col Rouge and Peter Hume, who are both anti-Muslim and pro-animal cruelty. My bet is that they'll avoid the thread altogether.
Posted by Sancho, Saturday, 28 November 2009 2:47:23 PM
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