Sunday, 21 June 2009

Religion's abuse of animal rights

Both the Jewish and Islam religious faiths are responsible for inflicting cruelty to animals. While they may preach love and kindness to their fellow humans, they stop short when it comes to animals.

Jews practice the dietary law known as kosher, while Muslims practice the dietary law known as halal. Both these religious dietary laws are in direct contravention of UK animal welfare laws. When an animal is slaughtered in a UK abattoir, the animal should be rendered senseless to pain first by stunning. This is carried out by passing electricity through the animal's body, usually through the use of a stun gun.

However, both the Jewish and Islam faiths contravene this law. Their religion teaches that an animal must be killed by a single knife cut to the throat while fully conscious. This causes unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal involved. The animal is left to suffer while it is bled to death, and this may take up to several minutes.

A PETA investigation has found shocking evidence of cruelty at the AgriProcessors kosher slaughterhouse in the US. Workers at that slaughterhouse were ripping the tracheas out of fully conscious cows and watching them writhe in pools of their own blood.

It is difficult to comprehend how any religion can condone such a brutal level of cruelty. That this is carried out under the name of religion should be even more shocking. Having watched the undercover investigation for myself, I fail to comprehend how any religion can demand that animals be killed in this way.

The question then is, why is this allowed to happen if such acts of cruelty contravene animal welfare laws. If you or I were to inflict the same level of suffering on an animal as these religions demand, we would be sentenced to a custodial sentence, and rightly so. The fact that this is not illegal is yet another example of religion demanding special favours from a compliant government.

In all truth, any government that tried to remove this blatant double standard would stand accused of religious discrimination. Religious zealots would demand that it is their right to inflict cruelty on animals, as their religion demands it. Given the choice between removing animal cruelty in accordance with current animal welfare legislation, and appeasing the religious zealots, endless governments have taken the soft option of leaving animals to suffer at the hands of religion. It is obviously much more important to kowtow to religion's demands for special favours, than to prevent an animal from having its trachea ripped out.

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