Banning Kosher Meats Shows European Weakness

One of the most disappointing things that has come out of Europe in the past few years are the bans and attempts to ban Kosher and Halal meat. These bans on shechita, such as the 2014 ban in Denmark, are done under the auspices of animal rights. The advocates for these laws state that non-Kosher pre-stunned animal slaughter is more humane than meat created by Kosher and Halal slaughter.

The arguments for these laws on the basis of animal welfare are weak when most meat in Europe is produced in factory farms which are by their very nature cruel and inhumane. When Denmark instituted a ban on religious slaughter the Danish pork industry was killing 25,000 piglets through maltreatment and not using the carcasses for food. Despite this obvious animal cruelty happening in his country Danish minister Dan Jørgensen defended the ban on Kosher and Halal meat saying  “Animal rights come before religion

Furthermore those advocating for these bans seem to ignore the writings of experts that contradict them such as Temple Grandin who wrote that Kosher and Halal meat can be made as humanely as non-Kosher pre-stunned meat stating on her website that “When the cut is done correctly, the animal appears not to feel it.”

These bans and attempts at bans reflect not the strength of Europe’s liberalism but its weakness. It reflects a belief that Jewish culture and Islamic culture are inferior and need to become more like the “civilized” and secularized Christian cultures that dominate Europe. I do not see an effective fight for political moderation in Europe in the face of extremist like Golden Dawn, the National Front, and Jobbik when more mainstream political forces are passing such slanted laws against their religious minorities in multiple counties throughout the continent. A continent whose governments lecture on animal rights, yet ignore the ghastly industrialized meat factories in their backyards because the meat from them is cheap.

About the Author
Merritt Skidmore-Hess is a graduate at of Georgia Southern University where he studied the history of Islam and the Middle East. Merritt also studied Judaic Studies with the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.
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