As indicated earlier, I don't know how this nasty dustup ended up, I'll do some more surfing, maybe e-mailing.
What struck me when I saw it on BBC TV was what a thuggish, insensitive, foot-shooting political iniative it was. Jews have been allowed to practice their faith openly in the UK since Oliver Cromwell, and there's gazillions of practicing Muslims in the UK, most whose families came to the UK from former British Empire colonies. If you want to find the most rabidly loyal and patriotic Brits, if you want to find the people who sing "God Save The Queen" (NOT the Sex Pistols' version) the mega-loudest, find UK-born Muslims and Jews.
So FAWC has targeted the most loyal, patriotic, UK-adoring citizens, and particularly the ones who observe their most ancient religious practices, and are threatening to forbid the ways their God and their Prophets tell them to prepare meat. This would be equivalent to telling all Baptists in the USA South that starting tomorrow, they can't immerse their followers in the river or swimming pool for public health reasons.
I didn't have a heart attack and die from shock. Governments do this kind of dumb foot-shooting crap to piss off their best citizen friends all the time. That's history's fertilizer for growing revolutions.
Two personal aspects:
1. I am not exactly the most observant Jew on Vleeptron. Sometimes I confuse the Old Testament's List of Forbidden Foods with a Menu.
Well ... it's my heritage. In Washington DC where I grew up, the most popular shellfish restaurant (Chesapeake Bay crabs yummmmm!) was owned by a nice Jewish family of our acquaintance, and Christians were always complaining that the Jews got there first every night and were hogging all the tables and eating all the crabs and shrimp. I knew this wife of a very prominent rabbi, and she said, "I make it a point never to eat shellfish in any restaurant where any of my husband's congregants might see me." (Although ... what the heck are they doing there, huh?)
2. Love of Animals and protection of animals is Article 1. in the Vleeptron Constitution. (We also toss momzers who mistreat animals in our prisons, that's one of the few prison-specific crimes on V.)
I might join the FAWC if they convinced me that Halaal and Kosher slaughtering were indeed far crueler than industrial slaughtering, if actual cows and sheep testified under oath in Parliament or Congress. Dr. Dolittle could be the official translator.
But I'm far from being convinced by these political drunk drivers. While Earth Humans are still going through this temporary phase of eating quadruped mammals -- as you know, we're all going to stop and become Vegans in 2009 -- well, raising these animals by the millions specifically to be slaughtered and eaten, that's the questionable ethical practice, not the specific way the butcher slaughters Lamb Chop or Elsie.
Jeez! First they expect me to stop smoking cigarettes. Then they make me stop with the troilism. They won't sell me Teflon-jacketed hollow-point assault rifle ammo anymore! Now they want me to stop eating meat. What next???
BBC: Tuesday 10 June 2003 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Halal and Kosher slaughter
The method of animal slaughter used by Jews and Muslims should be banned immediately, according to an independent advisory group.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which advises the government on how to avoid cruelty to livestock, says the way Kosher and Halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals.
Both the Jewish and Muslim religions demand that slaughter is carried out with a single cut to the throat, rather than the more widespread method of stunning with a bolt into the head before slaughter.
Kosher and Halal butchers deny their method of killing animals is cruel and have expressed anger over the recommendation.
One worshipper at the Central London Mosque told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Everything about the Islamic way of life is under attack so it makes you wonder if this is actually about humanity to animals."
Peter Jinman, president of the British Veterinary Association said vets respected people's religious beliefs, but urged Muslims to be respectful of animals too.
The brain is instantaneously starved of blood and there is no time to start feeling any pain
Muslim Council of Great Britain
"We're looking at what is acceptable in the moral and ethical society we live in," he told Today.
FAWC said it wanted an end to the exemption currently allowed for Kosher and Halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first.
It says cattle can take up to two minutes to bleed to death - amounting to an abuse of the animals.
"This is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn't suffer is quite ridiculous," said FAWC chairwoman, Dr Judy MacArthur Clark.
Compassion in World Farming backed the call, saying: "We believe that the law must be changed to require all animals to be stunned before slaughter."
'Way of life'
Muslims and Jews argue that their long established method of slaughter results in a sudden loss of blood from the head, causing animals to feel virtually nothing.
Q&A: Animal slaughter
They say they will fight any attempt to prevent a practice required by their religion and central to their way of life.
One rabbi, who had been practicing the Jewish method of animal slaughter for around 40 years, told BBC News: "The process takes a fraction of a second.
"With a very, very sharp knife all the vessels in the neck are severed and that means there's no blood going to the brain and the animal loses consciousness very rapidly and dies soon after that."
The Muslim Council of Britain says animals are not distressed when they are slaughtered.
"It's a sudden and quick haemorrhage. A quick loss of blood pressure and the brain is instantaneously starved of blood and there is no time to start feeling any pain," said spokesman Dr Majid Katme.
The Humanists movement, which has previously called for the abolition of ritual slaughter, said ethical values should be put above religious ones.
"There is no imperative for Muslims or Judaists to eat meat produced in this manner," said spokesman Roy Saich.
"There is no reason why they should not simply abstain from eating meat altogether if they do not wish to eat the same meat as the rest of us."
- 30 -