Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

In Great Britain Hypocrisy is Kosher

In a worrying development, UK poultry producers have told their government that 60 per cent of chicken processing plants could be out of operation within the next few days. There will be no more chicken for sale in England.

I noticed this news after reading about a proposed law in Britain that will allow consumers to have “information about the food they are buying to make their own choice”. The law, championed by the British Veterinary Association, would require Kosher and Halal meat to be clearly labelled as such. Consumers would be able to avoid meat from animals that had not been stunned before slaughter.

The UK’s Mail on Sunday (MoS) was already on the case a couple of years back “Meat from cattle slaughtered in ‘cruel’ kosher method is in your high street burger” screamed the headlines. The article describes how many consumers are buying their meat unaware that kosher meat has “entered the main food chain” and is being sold as ordinary beef or lamb. The article goes on to say that Jews eat only the front part of a cow or sheep because the rump and hind-quarters are deemed ‘unholy’. The MoS reveals that these ‘unholy’ parts are sold to British suppliers and retailers, including supermarkets and butchers. The MoS does not bother to reveal why the rump is not used (too much effort is required to remove the sciatic nerve and related arteries) but is careful to imply that the Jewish slaughter houses are not really “British”.

So, why is the UK running out of chickens? The answer, of course, is the current shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2). Many ammonia plants, which produce CO2 as a by-product, are closed for maintenance during the summer months when there is little demand for ammonia, used by farmers as fertilizer. The situation, which could affect supplies of beer and fizzy drinks, has been described as the “worst CO2 supply situation in Europe for decades”.

But what has this got to do with chickens? Well, in the UK, a country that is concerned that consumers might unknowingly purchase meat from an animal that has been quickly and humanely dispatched by a Jewish or Muslim slaughterer, carbon dioxide is used by the food production industry to kill chickens (and pigs). Known as Controlled Atmosphere Killing (CAK), gas chambers take several minutes to dispose of the unlucky chickens who may convulse wildly, even breaking their wings, while fighting for their lives. Scientists have used EEG monitoring to record electrical activity in chicken’s brains as part of the debate over how nasty it is for the birds. However, while EEG can show the scientists if a bird is conscious, it can’t tell them if a chicken is in pain. But we know that Kosher is bad, so I am sure that the chickens prefer slow suffocation in a gas chamber over the schochet’s knife.

When each batch of chickens are dead, the gas chambers are opened, and the CO2 released into the atmosphere where it can help kill the planet. But I haven’t heard any outcry from greens or environmentalists – when it comes to criticizing Jews, anything is Kosher.

The writer, a retired physicist, is the author of the Len Palmer Mysteries (

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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