A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana
Larry was nothing when I met him. He was working at some kosher slaughterhouse out in Fontana before they fired him for being mean to the cattle. The Jewish laws dictate that the animals have to be treated kindly before they get whacked. Larry would taunt them: "Hey, hamburger, guess what's going to happen to you—haha!"
The episode, titled "A Kosher Slaughterhouse Out in Fontana," originally aired November 8, 2004—just a few weeks before PETA went public with its first investigation of AgriProcessors.
Of course, Jewish mandates do call for Jews to avoid causing animals unnecessary suffering (tza'ar ba'alei chayim). Unfortunately, AgriProcessors has been more concerned with the letter of the law than the spirit of it, choosing to focus specifically on the first cut of shechita rather than what happens to the animals "before they get whacked" (or afterward). As recently as a few weeks ago, Rabbi Menachem Weissmandl, who is reportedly the head rabbi at AgriProcessors, said that his focus is "strictly kosher supervision" and that he will not remove his hechsher—despite everything that's gone wrong at AgriProcessors—"as long as the strict guidelines of Kosher Shichitah [are] followed in this plant."
Daisy got it right when she said that Judaism requires animals to be treated kindly. But all too often, the kosher meat industry overlooks that if it doesn't apply to the shechita itself.