It isn’t just halal slaughter that Britain needs to make more humane

After a long – and heated – debate, councillors in Lancashire voted on Thursday to ban the supply of non-stunned meat in state schools. The decision has resulted in some controversy over the status of kosher and halal meat, which has legal exemption from being pre-stunned, with one Labour councillor describing the ban as sending a disrespectful message to the children of Muslim families.

As a Muslim who eats only halal meat, I have to say that I am firmly on the side of Geoff Driver, the Conservative councillor who called for the ban. Killing an animal by cutting its throat may be an effective method of draining it of blood to avoid the transmission of disease – and is certainly prescribed by sharia law – but to do so without stunning it first is immensely cruel.

…. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In the UK, we pay scant regard to the conditions in which farm animals are reared, and it is notable that while issues around the sharia requirements for meat to be considered halal are frequently discussed, fewer people raise concerns over the treatment of farm animals before they enter an abattoir. [674 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 564 votes] “The Qur’an only requires that an animal be alive at the time its throat is cut; it makes no reference to stunning.”

The central issue here, the unstunned elephant in the room as it were, is that it’s an incredibly bad idea to take advice from a text written 1400 years ago during a time of profound ignorance. To grow is to learn and move on. To subscribe as a thinking adult to a set of dogmas that rejects this simply won’t allow a rational debate on any subject. It’s not the act of a reasonable human being to be “offended” by this.

I fully believe as someone who eats meat today that we’ll look back in a few hundred years and wonder what the hell we were doing eating animal flesh at all. the Vegans shall inherit the Earth.

[392 2ND] I had to chuckle at this quote from the opponent of the Lancashire ban.

“Abdul Qureshi, acting CEO of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, was advocating children boycott their school lunches if the vote went against him. He told The Telegraph: “[The RSPCA’s guidance] is most of the time based on feelings, it’s not scientifically conclusive.””

Yes, this chap only deals with hard scientific fact.

[3RD 353] If we are going to continue to eat meat, the animal should be killed in the most humane way possible. Whatever that is. Archaic religious ceremony is not relevant.

[4TH 312] I can’t see why the opinions of religious ‘scholars’ are relevant in this matter.

They are not qualified to know how an animal’s nervous system works.

We should ban all slaughter of conscious animals, and if some religious people don’t like this they can stop eating meat.

[5TH 228] “it’s an incredibly bad idea to take advice from a text written 1400 years ago.”

Once the animal is stunned, I don’t think it makes any difference how the animal is killed. Cutting its throat is just as good/bad advice as any other.

Having said that, I will never knowingly buy halal meat as I do not want to endorse any form of organised religion. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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