It’s amazing some of the things you can learn from Twitter. This headline showed up, I clicked the link, and I learned that kosher and halal aren’t just about a religious figure blessing the food. It’s about taking a sharp knife and slashing open an animal’s veins and then watching it die while spurting blood everywhere. NOTE: the following is what passes for “fair and balanced” reporting in Europe:
AMSTERDAM – One of Europe’s first countries to allow Jews to practice their religion openly may soon pass a law banning centuries-old Jewish and Muslim traditions on the ritual slaughter of animals.
In the Netherlands, an unlikely alliance of an animal rights party and the xenophobic Freedom Party is spearheading support for the ban on kosher and halal slaughter methods that critics say inflict unacceptable suffering on animals.
The far right’s embrace of the bill, which is expected to go to a parliamentary vote this month, is based mostly on its strident hostility toward the Dutch Muslim population. The Party for the Animals, the world’s first such party to be elected to parliament, says humane treatment of animals trumps traditions of tolerance.
The Dutch have some real problems with some of the things the Muslims are doing in their country, like having a film director shot to death with a note attached to him by a knife stabbed into his chest. Apparently it’s a problem for ladies to walk down the street with their hair uncovered, because they’re assaulted by roving bands of Muslim youngsters. The country prides itself on being tolerant, but apparently dictating to your citizens that they have to tolerate everything can cause a backlash. Anyway, along with the knife-slashing, I didn’t know about this, either:
If the Netherlands does outlaw procedures that make meat kosher for Jews or halal for Muslims, it will be the first country outside New Zealand to do so in recent years. It will join the Scandinavian, Baltic countries and Switzerland, whose bans are mostly traceable to pre-World War II anti-Semitism.
I’m not a PETA member, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for animals and an enormous hatred for people who mistreat them, so I agree with this legislation. I don’t care what your religion is; you can’t torture animals to death and then hide behind freedom of religion. Try a compromise: stick your religious guy in the slaughterhouse and have him make a couple of symbolic ritual incisions on the cow’s neck with a magic marker. If you don’t like the new law, then consider becoming a vegetarian.