"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Déjà Vu? Cruelty to Cows at Rubashkin's Nebraska Slaughterhouse

In May, an undercover investigator from PETA documented cruelty to animals at Rubashkin's Local Pride kosher slaughterhouse in Nebraska. Conscious cows didn't have their tracheas ripped out of their throats this time, as was witnessed during PETA's 2004 investigation of Rubashkin's AgriProcessors plant in Iowa. Nevertheless, the findings of this investigation slaughter shechita's humane reputation and raise much doubt about the ethical standards of the kosher meat industry.

PETA's investigator found that animals remained conscious for up to two minutes after their throats were slit, which is a far cry from the intended goal of quickly losing consciousness after one fell swoop of the khalef. A worker ripped into a cow's throat while the animal was still conscious in order to expedite the bleeding. Cows experienced fear and stress prior to slaughter as a result of being handled improperly. Workers mutilated cows ears in order to remove identification tags while the animals were still conscious. Click here to read more and watch video footage documenting these horrific abuses.

Numerous experts have come forward to condemn the cruelty of the practices observed at the Local Pride slaughterhouse. Click here to read their statements. Here is a sample of what they had to say:
  • Veterinarian Dr. Holly Cheever commented, "Each animal evinced the range of behaviors indicating extreme panic in a bovine, including the plunging, struggling, bellowing, eye dilation, flaring of the nostrils, and tongue protrusion. This method of slaughter as depicted on this tape is brutal and should be amended to provide a humane end for these animals."
  • Professor and renowned lecturer Dr. Bernard Rollin said, "In this video … the animals suffer while conscious for prolonged periods, in one case over two minutes. … In the same vein, the evident insertion of the meat hook to increase bleeding is both inhumane and a violation of the principles of kashrut. The ripping out of ear tags before the animal is unconscious is equally morally and religiously illegitimate. The vocalization and struggling after the cut is made speak for themselves and evidence suffering and a callous disregard for that suffering that should be abhorrent to and condemned by all observant Jews."
  • Dr. Temple Grandin, the world's leading expert on farmed-animal welfare, noted, "I am concerned about ear tag removal before onset of insensibility [and] the use of a meat hook … to probe the throat cut. This would cause pain and must be stopped. … This would be a failed audit …."
  • Dr. Lester Friedlander, a former chief veterinary inspector for the USDA, said, "More than 2 minutes elapsed after Shechita [in the first slaughter]. … The cow’s eyes were tearing, blinking and not rolled back. The ears were also moving. The cow was not in a Moribund State. … Within 40 seconds after Shechita [in the second slaughter], the Plant employee removes the metal state identification tag. This is unacceptable since the cow was still conscious and you can not remove or cut out parts of the cow. … [In the third slaughter, a] Meat Hook and Knife is used on a conscious cow after Shechita. This is unacceptable since the cow was still alive. … There was prolonged consciousness in the [fourth] cow following Shechita. The knife and hook was being used to tear the tissue apart to facilitate bleeding of the carcass. This is unacceptable since the cow is still conscious and can feel pain."
This issue demands the attention of Jewish blogs and print publications as well as the community at large. (Kudos to Jewschool and Failed Messiah for already leading the charge.) Cruelty to animals in the kosher meat industry cannot continue to go unchallenged by the powers that be.


Post a Comment

<< Home